It is that time of the year. 2011 is over, and 2012 is upon us. The big games from last year are on the shelf, and it is time to talk about our favorite games of the previous 12 months. Last year was an incredible year for gaming. There were so many games that it is going to be incredibly hard for me to narrow it down to five, but every writer who talks about gaming is making a top list, and I suppose the peer pressure has pushed me over the edge.
Of course, I am not a full time games journalist, so I have not played every game that was released this year, but I have played most. I will not pick a game on this list if I have not played it.
It seems like every year the video game industry finds a way to push the quality of games further. It is even more impressive when you consider how old the consoles from this generation are. Just when you think video games have been pushed to their limit, a developer finds a way to push the hardware and make the games even better.
5. Battlefield 3
I was so excited for BF3 before it was released. I played Battlefield 2 for something like a million hours, and BF3 looked to be just like it, but improved. In the end, it was Battlefield squared. However, it is not my number one game, as I would expect it to be. The shooting mechanics were not as good as I thought they would be, but they are still solid. It is a top five game without question, and a game that anyone who likes shooters needs to play.
4. Modern Warfare 3
If you asked which giant first person shooter would rank higher on my top five list this year before they came out I would have said Battlefield 3 without question. However, after release, it pains me to say that I like MW3 better. At the end of the day, they are both shooters, and the shooting mechanics in Modern Warfare just feel better. Throw in all the unlockables and extras, and Modern Warfare 3 really is the total package, and without question one of my top games of 2011.
3. Deus Ex Human Revolution
I feel this game did not do as well as it should have. It generated some buzz, but it deserves so much more. It has an awesome story, awesome game play mechanics and it looks beautiful. It is a perfect length RPG to give the gamer value for their money, and it’s not too long to feel forced. There is plenty of side quests to do if you should so choose, or you can blast right through the main story and have a fully satisfying experience.
One of the most underrated aspects of this game is the difficulty. It is actually very challenging, and I feel like too many games have strayed away from making a games. Eidos did not get that memo.
2. Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham Asylum was one of the best games of this console generation, and while Arkham City doesn’t do anything too shake up the formula, it’s still amazing. After all, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. Basically, they took the gameplay from the last game and improved and expanded it. They made the game world much larger and threw every major Batman villain in. If you like video games, then you need to play Batman Arkham City immediately.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Well this is a no brainer. I honestly think this was the easiest choice I have ever made in my life. Skyrim is not only the best game of 2011, it just might be the best game ever made. The game could easily take 80-100 hours for one play through, which is not necessarily impressive; after all, anyone can make a long game. However, Skyrim is long, and every single adventure that you do in the game is awesome. Everything from the smallest of side quests to the final quest in the main story feels epic, important and most of all, fun.
Seriously, you need to play Skyrim. It really is a once in a lifetime game that stands comfortably alongside the likes of Ocarina of Time, Soul Calibur and Mario Galaxy as the best games ever released.
So there you have it. Let me say here, my PS3 broke. I realize Uncharted 3 is amazing, but seeing as I have only played a few minutes of it, I do not feel right listing it. In addition, I hate Gears of War, so there was no way I would put GOW3 on any top list. I respect the game, but I cannot stand it.
What are your favorite games of 2011? Let us know in the comments!