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GOTY 2011

You know, 2011 was a great year. I went from a barren game shelf (rented or sold everything at one point) to a full shelf full of awesome games. To be honest, I really wish I played more games that came out this year. Too many instances of "I really should've played this." Enough lamenting though, I played a lot of awesome games. Discovered new series' and found more love for my Wii and 360, but what I played on my PS3 was still top this year. Honestly, multiplatform games were awesome. But my DS was able to pick a couple spots. Enough summary though, I'll just go with the games.

List items

  • Brilliant. Just brilliant. That game stayed at a high mark the whole time. It's just composed of so many great parts. The single-player mode is one of the best I've ever played. The characters are great, the story turns are great, and that ending, oh man that ending. One of those moments where you wish you could experience it for the first time again. Oh right, did I mention the co-op THAT'S brilliant too. You and your partner solving puzzles while GlaDOS tries her best to make you both hate each other. This game is easily my favorite of the year.

  • Think of Tetris DS. Think of how great of a Tetris game that was and what it did for the series. Puyo 20 is that times ten. So many awesome characters, so many different modes, the most pick up and play game of the year. The only thing possibly keeping this from winning is the fact that this was an import game. I don't read Japanese, so I didn't understand ANYTHING about the story. Yet I imported it twice.

  • The pure volume of stuff in this game, I could write books on it. My character Cat Sassin (Khajiit character focused on stealth). I don't even know where to go with this. Skyrim was great.

  • I gave up on this game in January. Got to the stealth sequence, quit. So how in the hell did this game make it so high up on the list? Upon replaying the game, I remembered some of the awesome story turns. If you can make it out of prison, the game becomes brilliant. Plot twist after plot twist, all made more poignant by the soundtrack. The people behind the first Phoenix Wright games make this game an insane trip. Also, best fourth-wall breaking moment since MGS4. Still get chills thinking about that one.

  • A great story mode, but the reason this game ranks so high is the multiplayer. My siblings and I racked up an insane amount of hours in the co-op. Putting many people in the Uncharted gameplay was cool. There were some intense moments, topping anything the single player threw at us. Also, best taunts in any online game. Pumping and thrusting.

  • I hate GTA, so for me to play a crime simulator is absurd. This game had me addicted. While the side stuff was boring, the story was fantastic. It slammed the foot on the gas pedal and didn't let up until the end. So many amazing moments you wanted to talk about. This game also had the best use of licensed music. "Power" and "Holding Out For a Hero" made good missions great.

  • This game blindsided me. I was expecting GTA in the 40s, I got an adventure game! This reminded me of Phoenix Wright, which was a great thing, and throughout the game, the interrogation sequences were intense. I felt fully satisfied about this whole game. The twist at the end, the actual end. Everything felt perfect. Despite the flaws and some weak cases, I really enjoyed this.

  • Sonic Generations, I fucking hate where the series has gone after Sonic Adventure 2, but goddamn, this game made me nostalgic. If you have ever had an emotional attraction to the series. Even more amazing was how this game mirrored the series. Classic Era, awesome. Dreamcast Era, decent but slipping. Modern Era, godawful, but showing hope near the end. Despite the game fucking up the final boss, there was enough credit built up from that game, I could let it slide. Nostalgia carries this game.

  • Repetitive gameplay, warlords with crazy names, grating guitar soundtrack. While true, I still love this series. What made this game great though is the story mode. Even if you have never played the series, the story mode makes this worth picking up. The integrated cutscenes were miles beyond anything in the series so far. I was blown away by how much the story affected me. Deaths I had seen before in previous games were very emotional, despite seeing them coming from a mile away. If you are a fan of the series, the finale of the whole story is one of the most powerful moments in a DW game. It had something for everyone.

  • Short, sweet, and oh so heartbreaking. To the Moon is a great indie game with one of the best stories of the year. If you can get past the basic gameplay, you'll find a lot to love. I picked this up on a whim after seeing someone post about it on Twitter, and I'm glad that I did.