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GOTY 2011

My thoughts on what the 10 best games that I played in 2011.

Still have Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Saints Row 3, Portal 2 and Skyrim to potentially get through, but doubt I'll complete them in 2011.

List items

  • 2 years ago Naughty Dog took a serviceable start to a franchise and turned it into one of the greatest pieces of entertainment in gaming history. This year, they've done it again. While it may not offer the step that Uncharted 2 had from Uncharted 1, it really didn't need it due to Uncharted 2 being so phenomenal already. I just wanted more Uncharted...and god dammit if that's not what I got. How could you complain about the same level of polish, detail and immaculate pacing? I know I can't. GAME OF THE YEAR!

  • A new year, a new FIFA. Last year both titles made it into my 'best of' list. However neither blew me away as much as FIFA 12 did. As nearly flawless as 2010 World Cup was gameplay wise, it lacked a severe chunk of the comeback and variety factor that the yearly FIFA's bring to the table. The gameplay has been freshened up for 12 with a big focus on defending and the impact engine while still very buggy definitely gives a lot better of a feel to the game. On top of the gameplay improvements the content is absolutely chock full to the brim. Ultimate Team (so addictive!), Career Mode (Be A Pro/Manager/Or both), Online Head to Head Seasons (a progressive seasonal mode for online), Online Pro Clubs...the list goes on. And this FIFA ends up at no.2 because as a whole this will keep me coming back every day until FIFA 13.

  • The 2nd Blockbuster title of the year that has kind of been forgotten by a lot of people is certainly not forgotten in my mind. After not picking up Dead Space until basement bin prices and then following it up with about 4 playthroughs I quickly became a Dead Space fan. Instantly picking this edition up (along with the also excellent Dead Space Extraction for the Move) I got more of what I wanted...stomping necromorphs and slicing the shit out of their limbs. A deeper and more sombre story coupled with a heap more varied environments with the same level of atmosphere and scares as Dead Space. Yep, this was a beauty.

  • Arkham City improved in nearly every facet that Asylum showed when it surprised everyone by being a huge Game of the Year candidate in 2009. A bigger, more varied and more realised game world. More side missions, riddler trophies and gadgets. The combat is improved over Asylum by adding more incentive to flow your button presses rather than just button mash, it's all about a real rhythm of button pressing instead of mashing that you may expect. The only downsides were a lack of exploring the side mission stories - they just ended a little fast for me - and not being able to replicate the Scarecrow levels for City, instead going for similar themes with different characters.

  • A brilliant story mode places Resistance 3 in my Top 5 games for the year. One of the best FPS story modes that I've played. Very atmospheric, surprisingly scary and an enthralling story that brought on twists and turns at a rapid rate and always kept me guessing. The levelling system for the weapons made it a thing of wanting to use every weapon to find that next level and upgrade and being able to use it to the fullest. While not the most technical game graphically, the use of lighting coupled with the art style is amongst the best of current gen games.

  • The follow up to the smoky of 2009, inFAMOUS 2 improves on inFAMOUS in nearly every way. Better looking, better playing and just an overall more polished experience. It lacks...something that I can't quite put my finger on, but it's still a great open world experience and a fun take on the original superhero genre. The UGC missions add great replayability to a single player game.

  • The story mode wasn't quite as good as the brilliant story from LBP, despite being more varied it seemed like that variety was ill-used. The levels tended to be a bit shorter and maybe not as full of secrets as LBP either. However, still a very fun game and always awesome controlling Sackboy in every way possible. The User Created levels add infinite replayability and there is a lot of high quality stuff there.

  • Although technically not a 2011 'release', the game did tick over to 1.0 version this year. I don't quite know why Minecraft is so addictive but I keep getting drawn back to it. Having a couple of servers I can go to and join in the creation fun with others definitely helps the playability factor. Could do with being a bit more 'gamey', but I can't argue the overall quality of the title.

  • The 5th COD in 5 years and it's certainly becoming more of a chore to get through these games. I really enjoyed Black Ops last year, so much so that it was my 3rd best title of 2010. The campaign and last in the Modern Warfare trilogy did tie up well enough, but for the most part the campaign was tired cliched set pieces and explosions galore. Not necessarily boring, but nothing outstanding. The Multiplayer has a wonderfully fast paced and tighter than ever controls. However is let down by some horrid maps and a little thing called Lag Compensation that basically ruins all fun you can have.

  • Sneaking into number 10 is Killzone 3. The campaign was solid, if not outstanding, but had some great looking set pieces and good variety in the missions. The Multiplayer is a little heavy in controls so it makes a run and gun game a little tough. Fantastic graphics and atmosphere add to the experience.