Well, now that 2011 has finally, officially finished, I feel that it would be high time to toss out my top 11 games of 2011 (see what I did there?). It took a lot of through, and some fights to the death, but here you are, K7's Top 11 Games of 2011!
For me, here is my list going down from #11 to #1. Click "Read More" to see!
11. MLB The Show 2011
- Yes, it is a sports game, and yes, most of you all wouldn't agree with me here, but as a fan of sports games hear me out. In comparison to all the other games on this list, there was not one game played as much as this one. While the gameplay itself was pretty good, the thing that any player of sports games goes for is the create-a-player function. After 2010 brought about some rather poor changes to the road to the show story mode, 2011 comes back with one of the best versions I have seen in a long time. The stat improvement system has been fixed, and the customization options are still very strong in terms of making your guy play exactly how you want them to play. Overall, if you are a fan of baseball games, this one was definitely worth it, and falls into #11 on my list.
10. Mortal Kombat
- Netherrealm Studios definitely breathed new life into a franchise that was felt to be dead or dying off for years. Not only did this game have a very competent fighting system, lots of blood and gore, and a resurfacing of the 2D style, but they also showed the world that fighting games CAN have an interesting plot. The revamp of the story combined with a very solid story mode to traverse it makes the new Mortal Kombat my #10 choice for 2011.
9. Batman: Arkham City
- While the playstyle didn't change much from Arkham Asylum, the sheer atmosphere of Arkham City could be the only reason that you could want to play this game. However, there is more to the game than just that. Include many historical batman areas, a pile of sidequests, an engaging story, and enough side characters that would bring out the fanboy love from all of us, and you have yourselves the #9 game on my list. As for my favorite characters? Riddle me this, what time is tea time in wonderland?
8. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Now, I was a fan of the original Deus Ex, and I am the type who loves it when games pull off stealth gameplay successfully. I was a tad disappointed that there were some boss fights you couldn't get past without resorting to combat, but aside from that, the game really goes above and beyond. The characters feel like they have a personality thanks to some decent voice acting and the story really comes through in most areas. The atmosphere also really does a good job conveying what life would be like in a society that is on the beginning stages of a social upheaval. So, good story, characters with personality, and a fantastic atmosphere join together and pull in at #8.
7. Saints Row: The Third
- What else is there to be said about Saints Row that hasn't been said already by someone. You go into the game expecting to cause mayhem and havoc, while giving yourself the look of someone completely insane, and that is what you receive by the truckload. Honestly, Grand Theft Auto can have it's mob-movie-esque storyline and seriousness, I'll happily take the bloody insanity provided here. The controls are familiar, the storyline actually adds to the insanity, the dialogue is hilarious, and the customization available is pretty good. You know, this game really does deserve to be higher up on the list if it were not for the bugs and glitches I ran into while playing, and how they removed some of the side quests from the 2nd game, but I digress. Saints Row 3, the underrated #7 on my list.
6. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- After going through the Cel-shaded headaches of the last few Zelda games, I was VERY happy they we finally get to see the more traditional "teen/adult" form of Link again. While there were some cel-shaded parts to the game, overall I think they actually used it well in this version, but mainly because it was mostly limited to items and effects rather than making it the entire world. Graphical improvements aside, the story is what you expect from your usual Zelda game; long, involved, and deep (wait...). The controls did force us to use the Wii-mote waving again, but it was actually pretty decent when it came to registering hits, and being able to at least get some feeling that I am sword fighting is a nice plus, and as such, Skyward Sword comes in at #6.
- This game came to me as a pretty big surprise. It is always nice when an indie downloaded game comes out that can rival that of a mainstream big-budget title thanks to some very solid storywriting and gameplay controls. However, the thing that I loved most about this game was an absolutely fantastic soundtrack. For those of you who are fans of good music, I highly recommend checking this one out. While I know there is more to the game, the soundtrack is the icing on a cake of a fantastic story mixed in with great characters and other strong gameplay elements. Definitely worth a pickup and #5 on my list.
4. Portal 2
- This may be a bit of fanboyism, but I loved the first game, and was equally impressed with the 2nd one. While this one didn't bring out a wall of fun surprises as the first one (mainly due to me being ready for it this time), Portal 2 really did do a good job not only meeting expectations in terms of the gameplay, but it once again pushed itself above the pack of good games thanks to some fantastic writing and voice acting. The addition Stephen Merchant and J.K. Simmons to Ellen McLain make you want to play the game just to hear their dialogue. Add in some pretty good multiplayer and another awesome soundtrack, and you have yourself #4 on the list here.
3. Assassin's Creed Revelations
- Not much to say here. The game took a lot of the things that were good about the previous AC installments, shined them up, and repackaged them with a few new bells and whistles to result in a very solid and competent "conclusion" to the Ezio chapter of the Assassin's Creed saga. Not only did the storyline come through again with the twists and turns, but the gameplay in this one is the most refined so far. It is refreshing to see some games actually look back on what makes their games fun, and actually take those elements and make them better. Revelations does just that, and now, more than just fans of the series will be wanting to see what is next up in this saga. So, AC:R comes in at #3.
2. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
- Not much I can really say about this game that hasn't been said already. The game is absolutely beautiful. The environments are some of the best I have seen in a long time, and the PS3 engine really lets them shine. Add that to the already engaging storyline of Nathan Drake & Co. and you have yourself a series conclusion that really does a good series justice. The characters all have personality, and [spoiler alert] I admit, I really did wish I could have saved that antagonist from doom. To be able to do that when you were harrowed by her throughout the game really says something to the way these characters were portrayed, and as such, Drake can now go off into the sunset on the highest note of the series, and comes in at #2 on my list.
1. Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Now, I know a lot of people will probably disagree with me on this just for the reason that this is an MMO, but my top game of 2011 for me would be Star Wars: The Old Republic mainly for the absolute sheer amount of story they put into this game. Honestly, each class could have had it's own single-player game made about each and every one of them. Every class has it’s own story arc, and with the dialogue options, even if you play the same class multiple times, you can play it a different way each time. The combat system is a bit of the tried and true MMO style of combat, but they added little extras like some destructible objects that help push it past the pack. Add in some fantastic voice acting and you not only have characters who actually have character, but you also have NPCs who give you tasks that you might actually want to do because you feel there is a purpose and urgency. There are some issues (like a need for an improved auction house, and some looking for group things), but overall, the game is pretty much the best MMO I have played in years, and is my #1 game of 2011.
So, those are my top 10, what are yours?