This year has been an interesting year. A lot better than I had initially expected it would be. When looking at all the games coming out for the year I wasn’t sure if I’d be buying many of them. Nothing really caught my eye. We had big franchises with their 3rd titles being released as well as a handful of sequels but not too many new IP’s. The year has now passed and I can honestly say it’s been a busy year. I played a lot more games than I had planned and I am happy for it.
When determining my top 10 games I like to look back at all the releases and see which games I had the most fun with. I’m not necessarily looking at graphics, sound, or gameplay but those factors do play a big part in my overall memory of the game. A game like Uncharted 3, which didn’t make my list, is pure beauty but honestly the game wasn’t all that fun to me and it didn’t do anything new with the franchise. Same goes for Gears of War 3. Great game, but I had that “been there done that” vibe with it. I’m finding more and more I want to have fun playing games and don’t want the game to feel like a chore. This may be why I’ve found myself switching more games to “easy” than keeping them on their normal difficulty. Games should be fun and for me this is a big part. This is how I determined my top 10 games of 2011 and my overall Game of the Year. Enjoy!
10. Infamous 2
I really enjoyed the original Infamous and felt like Sucker Punch provided a great sequel with great polish. I do however think they will need to change the environment and game greatly if they plan to make a third one. Overall InFamous 2 was a great solid sequel.
9. Where’s My Water?
This game is my iPhone Game of the Year. I think the reason I keep going back to it is because it’s not too difficult. Sometimes when an iPhone game get’s too hard (with the exception being Trainyard) it gets too time consuming and then I just get bored of it. I’d rather devote my gaming time to a console game than an iPhone game. Where’s My Water is perfect in short bites and is constantly adding new level-packs which makes me keep coming back to it over and over again. I love this game.
I know a lot of people hated on Rage but I actually enjoyed it a lot. Even though it didn’t do anything new with the post-apocalyptic genre it was still fun. It was one of the best, if not the best looking game I played this year.
I’d been following Bastion even before it was announced for XBLA because I was intrigued by the art style. It turns out the gameplay is great too! Bastion is a simple beautiful RPG and this years best XBLA title.
6. Killzone 3
I was not a huge fan of Killzone 2, mostly because it made me motion-sick and it looked really grey and bland but Killzone 3 changes that. This game looks and plays amazingly. It even works great with the PS Move which is impressive. I will never forget battling the MAWLR which for me wins “most epic gaming moment of 2011.”
5. Renegade Ops
This game came out first on XBLA but I decided to wait until it was released on PC purely for the better graphics. I’m very glad I waited because this game is beautiful. Renegade Ops is best played with a friend but is still worth the purchase even if you will be playing it alone. I played through the expansion pack as well and it was a great addition. If you like twin-stick shooters as do I then buy this game.
4. Portal 2
Portal 2 is a masterpiece in cooperative gameplay and has a truly solid single-player campaign. I loved the game because it gave me a Dharma Initiative (LOST) sort of vibe in that you never know what secrets lie behind Aperture Science. Portal 2 was a great sequel but I think that’s as far as Valve needs to go with the franchise.
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I was not a big fan of Oblivion so I went into Skyrim a little skeptical. I can reaffirm the haters that this game rules. Skyrim is epic in every way possible and it’s fun too. I wish that I could have spent more time with it as it is a huge game. I was only able to complete the main campaign. Either way, the game is great. I’m excited to see what they take away from this game and incorporate into Fallout 4.
2. Crysis 2
I guess you could say this is my “First Person Shooter” of the Year. It’s sad that many have forgotten Crysis 2 being that it was released so early in the year but I have not. This game had a stellar campaign and brought fresh new elements to it’s online multiplayer. It’s hard to keep me interested in online competitive shooters but Crysis 2 switched it up enough to do just that. I really enjoyed this game and at one point during the year I thought it was going to be my game of the year.
1. Game of the Year 2011 – Rayman: Origins
Like I said in my intro I like my games to be fun. Rayman Origins is the epitome of fun. First off, the art style is amazing. This is the kind of art that makes my heart melt. I hope more developers take advantage of the Ubi Art tools in the future or hopefully we’ll see a sequel. The controls are perfect. They are tight and not floaty at all. I never felt hindered by crappy controls in any way. Seriously I don’t see how they could make them better. The last thing I want to hit on is the sound. I’m not a stickler for great sound but the music and sound effects in Rayman fit it perfectly. The music really adds a lot to the vibe of the game. I had the best experience playing this game with 3 other people as I felt it was too difficult to complete alone. All-in-all Rayman Origins is just plain fun but it also perfects the three main components of a game: graphics, controls, and sound. Even though I’ve already put close to 40 hours into the game I still want to go back for more.
So there you have it. My top 10 games of 2011. I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.