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Best of 2011

It's startling how difficult it was for me to make this list. While I had about 3 to 4 games I was absolutely sure had to make this list, the other 7 or 6 of them made a substantially lesser impact on me, to the extent that I had to consult Wikipedia for a list of 2011 games just to fill in the rest. But without further ado, here are my games of 2011.

List items

  • EDIT: I have only played this game in 2012, towards the end, more than a year after this game came out. I am putting it on the top of this list and all lists from now on. I don't care that 2011 is over. This and always will be, the best game of 2011, 2012, 2010, 2009 - all the years in fact.

  • No other game has made me laugh this much. No other game this year, with the exception of one other, has actually made me care about the characters. Yes, it doesn't last long, but when did we start valuing quantity over quality? No other game this year has even half the spirit, heart and sheer quality of this game. Games frequently awe and amaze, but very rarely do they actually provoke pure joy and happiness. This game does that in a way that no other game of 2011 did.

    It also has Robots.

  • I loved Fallout New Vegas. It was my second favourite game of 2010. Over the past year, I've put about 178 hours into it. I put 130 hours into Skyrim in 2 WEEKS.

    Skyrim is the quintessential open world RPG. It's not perfect, but it's damn, damn, damn good. Skyrim definitely has quantity - and while the sheer size of the game means that some quality was lost, it is still very fun to play. It loses out to Portal 2 (and nearly lost out to Bastion) because I simply don't care about ANY of the characters in Skyrim. Skyrim is an awe inspiring game, a power fantasy, a great open world experience - but it has very little, to almost no charm or heart. I cared about Yes-Man and Doc Mitchells and ED-E from Fallout (the last one doesn't even TALK). I would be upset if a character from Portal 2 died or a character from Bastion or New Vegas died. I wouldn't bat an eyelid if any character from Skyrim bit the dust. I did not find myself caring about Lydia, Jarl Whatshisname or anyone in Skyrim.

    Having said that - it's still an awesome game, allowing you to explore and play your character as you see fit.

    It also has Dragons.

  • You know that stuff I said about games needing to have Heart? This game has heart. This game, despite being a 15 dollar downloadable title lasting only 6~7 hours, has provided me with more joy than many of the 99 dollar AAA games like Crysis 2. It has been so expertly crafted. If this is what a determined, talented indie studio can make, then I am very confident that the future of video games will be bright.

    Everything about this game delights me: The Art, the Music, The Story, the gameplay - if this game were 5 hours longer, it would be my game of the year, without question. I was tempted to put this higher than Skyrim because I cared more about Rucks and Zia than any Jarl of Whateverplace or any NPC of Skyrim.

  • A very good game - I've always been fascinated by the topic of transhumanism, and while DE:HR can handle the topic a little ham-fistedly, it still deserves credit for addressing a big issue.

    Also, the game play is pretty awesome, the length is decent and I really admire the art-style. It's not like the original, but in many ways it's better than the original Deus Ex.

    It too, has robots. And robot arms.

  • Yes, a lot of shine has come off this game, and a lot of shine is lost on it when you really start to peer under the cover and the visuals and look at the mechanics of the game, which aren't too great.

    Still, the scope, the art, and the plot of L.A Noire is fascinating to me. It is a bit more "Movie" than "game", but I'm just glad it got made. I had a lot of fun playing as Cole, and the writing was sharp and the voice-acting was excellent. The experience of L.A Noire is brilliant, and it really brought the late 40's, early 50's alive for me.

  • Despite an incredibly poor and boring single player campaign, the multiplayer more than makes up for it. Visually stunning, tactically complex, this game offers almost endless replayability.

    Also, the Frost Bite 2 Engine is pretty damn nice.

  • Uncharted 2 was my game of the year for 2009. Uncharted 3 is placing only 7th on this list? Why? Because it's weaker than Uncharted 2 in almost every single way.

    It still deserves a place on this list for the ship and desert sections alone. It is still very fun to play, visually stunning, but its starting to feel played out. I hope there's no Uncharted 4.

  • Yes, this game was disappointing. It's inferior to Dragon Age Origins in so many obvious ways. I still had fun with it, and really, what would you rather I put on this list? Crysis 2? No.

    It has Dragons though. Dragons are cool. And so was Varric! Dragon Age II was a good game on its own - it just fails badly when compared to its predecessor.

  • It's sheer fun. Not deep in any way and completely lacking in heart (although to be fair, it tries, it tries hard to pull at your heartstrings, but it fails utterly), but there are few experiences like playing Gears of War 3 co-op with your family and friends.

  • I was seriously considering putting Arkham City here, but I realize that I just don't care about Batman. Sorry. Arkham City is still a good game, but Dark Souls was slightly more interesting for me. There are boss fights in Dark Souls which you wouldn't believe - the gaping dragon fight was pretty intense.

    It's a hard, hard game, and it has its flaws (Blighttown), but man oh man, does it feel exciting to fight Smough and Ornstein in a massive cathedral.