Best of 2011

A list of my favorite games of this year, somewhat in order...

List items

  • I didn't really want to play the Yakuza games during the PS2 era, even though people had mentioned similarities to Shenmue. Thankfully I caught up with the franchise starting with Yakuza 3 and have been a fan since. The game does a pretty good job of giving you a feel of Japanese cities, with plenty of side missions to keep you occupied. With the inclusion of 3 other characters aside from the lead Kazuma, the game provides enough variety to really keep you going, which for me totaled in at about 60+ hours.

  • To be honest, I haven't played this game yet. I just know it belongs here. Trust me.

  • While I enjoyed the Arkham Asylum, it didn't really grab me and make me feel like I was in Batman's world. Arkham City totally improved upon that, giving the player an open world to explore and rid of thugs. It was definitely exciting to soar through Gotham, leaping from building to building. Combined with the game's well-executed combat mechanics, Arkham City provided a fine action experience.

  • Another case of not having played the game, but have seen plenty of footage on it and I do know that it is worthy of being on the list. While I'm not a fantasy person, the ambitious and expansive world of Skyrim really changes the scope and depth of role-playing games.

  • Had a bit of a dilemma on where to place this in my list, but recalling back to the early days of the game I did have massive amounts of fun with it. After having completely dropped out of Mortal Kombat games following the release of 4, it was a nice fresh change to finally get a quality MK game. While the constant online issues and gameplay changes made competitive playing a bit frustrating, what stands out the most for me was the single player campaign. The story was innovative in its presentation and for the first time in as long as I remember made me care about a fighting game's story.

  • Having picked this game up at a bargain price of $9.99 new, I really didn't expect much. When I finally got the chance to get it set up with my Kinect, that thought did a total 180. Child of Eden is simply a visual and musical treat, full of vibrant and imaginative sequences. I am a huge fan of games with vibrant color, and this one was definitely packed full of that. The use of Kinect made for an interesting way to play the game and in a way somehow merged with the sensory experiences of the visuals and sounds. While not a long game by any means, what is there should definitely be experienced.

  • Bastion is an astonishing achievement by a small team of developers, and that is something that really needs to be taken into account. That doesn't mean that Bastion isn't impressive, it just means that you can really tell the developers put a lot of heart and soul into this game. I feel there is a lack of 2D-graphics in the current era of games, and Bastion is a refreshing change of pace. Everything about the game is wonderful, from the vibrant world designs, the music, and the narration throughout the game.

  • This was the game that finally made me glad to have purchased a 3DS. This is one of those games that is perfect for playing sporadically, although it's easy to get sucked in for extended sessions. I didn't grow up with Mario games although I definitely appreciate their colorful and fun designs, this game being no exception, being as vivid and vibrant as any Mario game.

  • No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise is a game that I had put off playing fr a bit too long, but mostly because I don't own a Wii for which the game initially launched on. With the HD remake finally being released in the US, this game has made its way onto my list. A big part of the reason is the designs and art direction of the game, as I've always been a fan of cel-shaded style graphics. That and one of the bosses wears a Virtual Boy...