2011 Community GOTY Results!

From games that I completed for the first time this year, not games solely from this year.

1. The Witcher 2 Easily the game of the year for me, I played it back to back to back. The combat was fun, challenging, and made me feel like a Witcher. Preparation and research was key, as well as doing my best to engage as Geralt would. The story was huge, deep, and rewarding. CD Projekt has huge balls for effectively making two games with the early story split and it was rewarding as all get out.

2. Metro 2033 A survival shooter which scratched my itch. Tension builds and breaks throughout this game as waves against the rocks. The story was well written and nicely told, the attention to detail made stories that could be discovered in the world itself, and the graphics! Oh my! The action really got across a sense of danger and that the weapons you were using were homemade, not to mention the scarce resources at hand.

3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent A very well crafted game. The unease pulls you in and only starts to fade towards the later part of the game. What will keep you going is a well crafted story combined with excellent art and architecture and puzzles that actually make sense.

4. STALKER: Call of Pripyat The most action oriented STALKER game of the trio, it also has the best execution and pacing from A to Z. If you like planning out an assault, running around a dangerous wasteland, and frantic fights for your life then you might like this game.

5. Batman: Arkham Asylum BATMAN! More importantly, it was Batman come to life straight out of the comics.

6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution While not as freeform in terms of player choice as Deus Ex, it was a refreshing change of pace from FOLLOW being stuck over some guy in BDUs' head. The story was more straightforward, less ridiculous, but also better acted than the original. Despite the much maligned bossfights the rest of the gameplay was quite good.

7. Portal 2 Funniest game of the year, by far, and with mind bending puzzles which always seem simple and intuitive after you've figured them out.

8. Fallout: New Vegas Obsidian puts Fallout back where it needs to be. A complex, morally grey story with individual quest plots as well written as main stories for other RPGs. Decisions that have real consequences in terms of the world you're acting in, and a generally exploratory goodness. Also: Mutant in a floral pattern dress.

9. Far Cry 2 An unforgiving slog as a mercernary. Constantly betrayed, always trying to do what seems best but things never turn out well. The first game this year that had me questioning my motives as a player.

10. Mass Effect 2 Guns and conversation in a much tighter package than Mass Effect. The opening scene is one of the best I've played in years. Mass Effect may be fairly weak in terms of decision making, but the core mechanics were tightened up and made incredibly fun.

1. Dark Souls
2. Mortal Kombat.
2. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (ultimate edition)
3. LA Noire

Wow, I didn't play alot of new stuff this year.

Making this for the games I've played for the first time really opens up my list since I am barely ever current with the new titles.

1.) To the Moon - it is the first game that has ever made me cry. Pretty damn accomplished.
2.) Amnesia - first game since Silent Hill 2 to make me jump and turn off a game because I was scared. Never thought I would be unsettled by nothing in a room. Like literally nothing.
3.) Bastion - the atmosphere and narrative is what made it for me, but the overall game didn't live up to the hype that so many people were putting on it.
4.) Skyrim - i have literally only put two hours into this but I can already see it has everything in it that was missing from Oblivion that subsequently made me dislike the series ever since Morrowind disappointed.
5.) Xenoblade Chronicles - there is a reason why this game is one of the best JRPGs ever, and it's sadly only importable for the Wii. It's what Square wishes their games were.
6.) Disaster: Day of Crisis - just an immensely fun game.
7.) Radiata Historia - one of the best handheld RPGs since Mario and Luigi 1.
8.) Mount and Blade - most people who have played this indie gem know why it's so good.
9.) Freedom Force - we're men! Men in tights!
10.) Gothic - underneath the ungodly dumb control scheme there's a great old school open world game.

1. Skyrim
2. Fable 3
3. Witcher 2
4. Shogun 2
5. The Old Republic

If #5 had come out sooner, it would be #1 I'm sure.

OK, here's my updated list, please disregard my previous top 10 list on Page 4. This is final for me.

What a great year for games.

1. Skyrim - It's cliche to put this as #1, but it's a well-deserved cliche. This is literally the only game that is able to pull me away from The Old Republic, and that's saying a lot for both games.
2. The Old Republic - I knew I'd like it a lot, but I never knew how much I'd like it. It's my favorite MMO since WoW, and the only one since WoW I regret not playing when I'm away.
3. Portal 2 - So well done. Best story and characters by far, but again this speaks more to the praises of Skyrin and TOR than any shortcomings from Portal 2.
4. Dragon Age 2 - For a game I loved this much to be this far down the list speaks volumes about what a great year this was.
5. Assassin's Creed 2 - My #1 "old" game.
6. Dead Space 2 - What a well produced game. A bit samey at times, but the expanded gameplay elements more than made up for it.
7. Tropico 3 - My favorite casual game. Can't call it a strategy game, but an incredibly immersive city builder. It's just fun.
8. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Best music, ok/good story, good gameplay. Awful character animation. Can't wait to see what happens next in the future DLC and sequels.
9. Shogun 2: Total War - The best strategy game to come out this year, and it's basically a well-made Total War game - both good parts and flaws.
10. Bioshock 2 - This game deserves better than the initial reception it received. A must play for any Bioshock fan, and the fact that it can be bought for <$10 on sales is an absolute steal.

Honorable Mentions:
Modern Warfare 2
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Beyond Good and Evil
Atom Zombie Smasher
Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Hidden Gem I never thought I'd like: VVVVVV
Game I really need to give a second chance to someday: Rift, Mount & Blade (tie), Empire:Total War
Most overrated for my tastes: Psychonauts

Best graphics: Skyrim
Best art style:Machinarium (indie), Assassin's Creed 2 (studio)
Best music: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (original), The Old Republic (adapted)
Best characters:Wheatley, Cave Johnson, Merrill
Best story: Portal 2
Best replay: Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins
Best games I didn't play yet: Crysis 2, The Witcher 2, Batman: Arkham City

These are games I played and finished this year.

1) Skyrim - It sucked all the air out of the "end of the year game rush" room.
2) Bastion - Fantastic ideas that I hope are found worthy of a sequel.
3) Dungeon Defenders - Barely beating the Halloween challenge map co-op in insane mode was AWESOME!!!!!
4) Trenched - Forget the mechs... ROCK PAPER SCISSORS on a boat!
5) Shadow of the Colossus/Ico Collection - Still on of the best games I've ever played (SotC)
6) Enslaved - Great game but the ending was stapled on from another game. Did not fit in at all.
7) DLC Quest - Needs more horse armor.
8) Divinity II The Dragon Knight Saga - Really fun but really odd all at the same time.
9) Guild Wars Factions - I needed a cheap MMO fix and this fit the bill nicely.
10) Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - The "Lost" of video games right now.

Okay this was a pretty hard list for me to come up with because I spent a lot of this year in a slump where I didn't do a lot of gaming. I had a hard time finding 10 games that were new to me this year and sadly I have only played a few of these games for a couple of hours. If this was a list of the top games I have played this year time wise then Fall Out: New Vegas would probably be in the top spot.

10: Torchlight (XBLA)
Not much to say here. I enjoyed it but didn't love it enough to keep playing it after I finished the story and got all of the achievements (which happened about two hours after finishing the story for me). Only played through with a single class, but still had fun with it.

9: ilomilo (XBLA)
Super cute game that I have yet to finish. I would have some pretty decent scores on the leaderboards if not for all the hacker with their 0 steps clogging up the top spots.

8: Dead Space 2 (Xbox 360)
I wasn't a fan of the first game but what little I have played of this makes me want to see more. I got this game right as I was entering my period this year where I was just sick of gaming. Pile +1.

7: Portal 2 (Xbox 360)
I have yet to touch the single player portion of this game but just from what I have played co-op I feel that this game is a contender for the top spot. I can't put it there just because I don't feel like I have played enough of it. Pile +1.

6: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Xbox 360)
I think this may be the only game I am listing that wasn't released this year. This was so the right game at the right time for me. It was a pretty easy but very enjoyable 1000 points for my gamerscore and more importantly it was a breath of fresh air after all the FPS and 3rdPS games that got me sick of gaming to begin with.

5: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)
Like Portal 2 this is another strong contender that I can't rate higher because I just haven't play it enough. I was all set to enjoy this once I finally got it (I wasn't able to afford it until a few weeks after launch), but then my number 3 and 4 games came out and I just sort of forgot about it. Pile +1.

4: Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)
I don't think there is much I need to say here. I've been a big fan of this series since the second game (the first one was okay but still felt a bit arcady when compared to Gran Turismo) and somehow they alway release a new one at about the same time that I start to get a craving for a new racing game.

3: Rage (Xbox 360)
Sometimes I feel like I might be the only person in the world who likes this game. Yes it was very flawed, but it was still fun. If this game had been made by anyone other than id I think people would have been more willing to over-look its flaws and have fun with it. I think it is the best game id has made since Doom, but then I haven't liked most of their games since Doom.

2: Minecraft
This is the game that really saw me through my low point of gaming this year. Even when I was barely playing anything else I was probably putting 5 to 6 hours a week minimum into this.

1: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
Other than Minecraft I can safely say that I have put more time into this game than all the other games on my list combined. My current play-through sits at 105 hours and I am already considering a second one. I can easily see myself playing this game for another 200 to 300 hours once all the DLC is done with.

1. Dark Souls

I still don't know why I kept playing this game. I even finished it and I kept playing. This was definitely my most memorable game of the year.

2. Batman: Arkham City

Being Batman in a open world was a great experience. It made me want to read Batman again.

3. Portal 2

Not only was it an excellent follow up to the classic Portal, but it managed to be a funny game in its own right. Humor in games is really difficult to pull off, and Portal 2 did it with ease. Also, it taught my 7 year old how to move with WASD and a mouse.

4. LA Noire

I totally understand the hate against this game, but I thought it was a great episodic adventure. If Rockstar had marketed it more towards casual players (because it was a casual game) and focused up the game a bit (by cutting out the manual driving and hunting for odd things in the city) then it could have been a bigger hit. Plus the faces - the wonderful faces.

5. Deus Ex: Human Evolution

This was one of my surprise hits of the year. I did not follow the development at all, and I only got excited about the game when it started getting good buzz soon after release. As with the original, it can take a while to get into the game, as you adjust your character to your play style, but once everything is hopping, then it was a blast to play.

6. Limbo on PS3

I finally played this gem of a game this summer. Even though the game was in black and white, each death felt visceral, and I played it through in just a few days. I'll say it - I enjoyed it better then Braid.

7. Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

A delightful Zelda-style game that I picked up cheap and it was certainly worth it. You know those movies you see that you enjoy at home, but you are glad you didn't pay $12 to see in the big screen? That was this game - modest but memorable.

8. InFamous 2

I really liked the first inFamous - in fact it was the first game I ever got a platinum trophy on. The sequel was good, and I certainly liked the improvements, but in the end it was not as special. Probably because it was still basically the same game. Blockbuster popcorn fare.

9. Crysis on PS3

Around the time Crysis came out for the PC my handbuilt PC got infected with a nasty virus and had to be wiped. It was time for an upgrade, but I decided instead to buy a MacBook. That began a process whereby my household slowly fell under the Apple fold. As a result though, I never had a chance to play Crysis. It was released this fall on the PS3 and although I'm sure it is not a beautiful as it would be on a high end PC, it was a wonderful single player first person shooter. I haven't played one of those in a while.

10. Army of Darkness on iOS

This is my favorite tower defense game since Plants Vs. Zombies. Honestly though, this spot could substitute for any of the fine gaming I've enjoyed the second half of the year on my iPad. I've now also got about 18 boardgames designed for the iPad and I'm looking forward to more next year.

Missed it by "that much": Renegade Ops on the PS3.

Encore of the year: Borderlands (I first played it last year, but I really got into it this year).

Games I started this year that need to play more: Saint's Row the Third, Dead Island, and Mass Effect 2.

Games released this year that may be on this list, but I haven't played yet: Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Assassin's Creed: Revolutions, Battlefield 3, Ico/ Shadow if the Colossus, and Rayman: Origins

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Classic Zelda formula + More immersive story + Full orchestrated soundtrack + Increased difficulty.
The glow hasn't quite worn off yet, so I'm not certain if this is definitively my favorite Zelda ever, but I think it is.

2. Batman: Arkham City.
The game oozes atmosphere. Well scripted, expertly voiced. Felt at home from the start and still yearning for more.

3. Portal 2
Mr. Johnson, I adore you. The multiplayer was perfect.

4. Battlefield 3
This is completely based on the multiplayer. The action in intense and having a real team helps immensely. This is also the game that got me to join GWJ so points for that.

5. Through the Ages
Online interpretation of board game of the same name. I technically discovered this at the tail end of 2010, but I completely jumped into it in 2011.

6. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
The set pieces are great and I enjoyed the story as much as #2. Game felt a *bit* rushed and I'm still not a fan of the shooting mechanics and fighting waves of bad guys.

7. Mortal Kombat
Nostalgia won the day here. The story felt like a warm blanket. The actual fighting was pretty good too.

8. Darksiders
I finally played this in early 2011 and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

9. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I love the world, love the skill progression system, but I don't feel drawn into any storylines like I have with the other games on this list. I can't deny the technical achievements in the game though and continue to go back to it.

10. Plants vs Zombies
Received as a free download from PSN and completed the game the same night. I just had to keep playing. It had an odd sense of humor that I really found charming.

Honorable Mentions:
Angry Birds: Finally played it this year and wasted plenty of time on it.
Renegade Ops: Great fun, good action.

Games that I need to play for 2012:
Assassin's Creed Revelations: I love the series, but it didn't fit the budget in 2011. Feel it would have contended for the top 5.
Dark Souls: Wasn't interested in it, but after seeing so many positive reviews, I feel I need to give it a go.

RoyalApe wrote:

8. Darksiders
I finally played this in early 2011 and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

So was it any good?

SallyNasty wrote:
RoyalApe wrote:

8. Darksiders
I finally played this in early 2011 and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

So was it any good?


[spoiler]If anyone wants to tell me Darksiders isn't worth a 7.5 or higher I take offense and would entertain the possibility of a gentlemen's duel.

I think it was fantastic. I really haven't figured out why it seems to be the butt of some jokes around here, but whatever.

RoyalApe wrote:

I really haven't figured out why it seems to be the butt of some jokes around here, but whatever.

No one has.

This is why.

Jeff-66 wrote:
RoyalApe wrote:

I really haven't figured out why it seems to be the butt of some jokes around here, but whatever.

No one has.

I don't know the origin of that particular running joke either. It always seems to come up around Clockwork's posts or in his threads so I've been under the assumption that it's just another good thing that he hates

The short version of the story is, around this time last year and continuing through last summer Darksiders was constantly being offered for discounts, hence people asked about it often in the deals thread. You'd always get equally passionate arguments for or against it.

Oh, no, Thin_J, Darksiders is the best thing ever gifted to the world by gods or men. At least, I love it so much, based on how fun it is.

I'll add descriptions/reasons later, as I'm currently short on time.

1. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
2. Portal 2 (360)
3. Recettear (PC)
4. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
5. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
6. Bastion (XBLA)
7. Limbo (XBLA)
8. Mario Kart 7
9. Plants vs. Zombies - Most recently played on my newly acquired Kindle Fire.

After going back to Bastion for a Steam achievement I moved it up to #1. There's nothing like it.

1: Skyrim PC - One of the few games to exceed the hype. I've put well over a hundred hours into it and there's still a sense of mystery.

2: Deus Ex: HR -When the game arrived I hadn't upgraded my pc. Otherwise I should have bought this on day one, it's so damn great! I love games that force me to not run and gun.

3: Portal 2: Bought this for my 6 year old for Christmas, but everybody loves playing it.

4: Dragon Age 2 - Not as good as the original, but it was on sale so my standards were relatively low. Still, a good rpg overall.

5: Batman: Arkham Asylum

6: Blur - by the Project Gotham guys. It shows. I haven't played enough to get the the steep curve, but so far it's been good.

7: Mass Effect 2

8: Darksiders

9: Minecraft

10: X3 Terran Conflict. After a full day of study I sort of have the hang of it, finished a few missions, made a bit of coinage. If I had longer to play this might be ranked higher.

edit 12/27/11 Overhauled the list since the excellent Steam sale.

After getting to the Gaping Dragon in Dark Souls and finishing a first run of El Shaddai last night, I think I may finally be able to compile my list. Tomorrow; I'm tired right now. But here's a preview:


They made Dance Central in Japan?

1. Portal 2: Incredible Story, Innovative and downright fun co-op and duh....Portals
2. Skyrim: Open world that I play my way, killing dragons its just sheer fun even 100 hours in
3. Minecraft: Do what you want when you want where you want. Rewards creativity and gives a challenge on top
4. Bastion: Complete innovation from the indie side and now I can play it on chrome
5. Dragon Age 2: Great story, companions almost feel like real team mates
6. Bulletstorm: Guilty pleasure shooter that makes no bones about it plus you just get to sit down kill stuff and have a blast being creative about it
7. MW3: Another great entry the CoD space but it is starting to tire
8. Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD Remake: The update makes this not new but worth a totally new purchase and throws it onto the 2011 radar
9. Dark Souls: Punishing yet rewarding and can't seem to pull myself away
10. Torchlight : wack kill get new awesome gear. though its simple its just plain fun

1. Metro 2033 - Simply amazing atmosphere. Had me riveted to my seat from beginning to end. Beat it in only a few days.
2. Prince of Persia (2008) - Absolutely charming and beautiful from beginning to end. It addressed all of my issues for rage from Sands of Time and added a layer of awesome on top. Something which should speak to its quality is that I even collected all 1001 light seeds.
3. Minecraft - Honestly, I'm a bit surprised it's ranked this high, but the fact is that I dumped huge amounts of time into this ugly, yet beautiful and unique experience.
4. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective - A last-minute entry, Ghost Trick drew me in with its fun cast of characters, great sense of humor, sweet 2D animation, and inventive gameplay. The Phoenix Wright touch is all too clear, but Ghost Trick adds plenty of its own merits on top.
5. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies - A wonderfully old-school portable RPG. A go-to game to grind away the hours (in a good way), with a fun story, beautiful presentation, and some interesting character development systems.
6. Limbo - A charming and haunting puzzle game that managed to stump me a few times near the end. Very memorable.
7. Call of Juarez - It's a very pretty western shooter with a dual-character perspective. The first one (Billy) often annoyed me with his whiny voice; the second (Reverend Ray) enthralled me - not just because he is an interesting, tortured, and totally bad-ass character, but because the choice for voice actor is so utterly PERFECT! Marc Alaimo - aka "Gul Dukat" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
8. Ghostbusters (2009) - It was pure fan service and I loved it. Played on normal and didn't think it was too frustrating either. The cast of the movies along with plenty of ghosts, both old and new, made this a delight to play through.
9. Back to the Future (2011) - Another nostalgia trip from the '80's. I wasn't such a big fan of the movies and haven't seen them in probably 15+ years, but the promise of most of the original cast plus Telltale's magic made me bite. The first episode was decent, the second dragged quite a bit, but then episodes 3 through 5 flew by in the best sense of the phrase, and left me wishing for more!
10.Magicka - Some amazing humor and an incredible, highly flexible, and unique system of spellcasting. The only thing dragging this one down is its high level of difficulty, despite playing it after the "revive fairy" patch.

(wow, only one direct sequel and one remake!)

Honorable Mentions:
[*]TRAUMA - Very short, but also emotionally impactful. I spent the time to get every hidden item and ending and wish it had been longer.
[*]Bioshock - Played it for the first time this year. Loved the unique world and various systems, but it somehow didn't amaze me quite enough to make the top 10.
[*]Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - Yep, thanks to gog.com I finally played this and lost several days to it. Thankfully, something else in the 'dusty closet of gaming past' caught my attention long enough to save me.
[*]Catherine - got a taste of it this summer and made it to the third night. Lots of potential here that I'm looking forward to diving into one day.
[*]Heavy Rain - also got my first taste of this in the summer and made it a ways in. Looking forward to one day playing much more.

1.Battlefield 3 - This game is just too much fun. I could care less about the campeign because that is not what I got this for. The multiplayer is addicting and a blast to play with the GWJ crew on Ventrilo. Most fun I've had all year.

- Who loves getting lost in a world? I do! Exploring is my favorite parts fo games and this delivers. I have spent so many hours of just walking round and seeing whats out there. This is the sandbox games of them all.

3.Deus Ex HR- Definitely lives up to my favorite game of all time. I loved all the subtle hints they places in here to tie it in with DX 1. The had a ton of fun with the gameplay of this and played through it twice. Each time I played I discovered new ways of going about things and seen new things I missed the first time. Yes, the boss fights sucked but I was able to ignore it easily. This game is a gem.

4.Portal 2- A great ride all the way through. One of the few games that made me laugh out loud. Best part for me was the Co-op. My brother and I had a lot of fun trying to figure things out.

5.Batman Arkham City- Had a blast with flying around and butting my head into fights with 15+ thugs. Just a load of simple fun.

6.Metro 2033- Finally got a chance to play this a couple months ago and I am so glad I did not miss it. This game sucks you right into that world with a perfect atmosphere that really engrosses you into the story. The need to conserve your ammo and plan your steps before you move ahead really changed things up for me. Loved it.

7.Homefront- Not many people liked this game but I actually really enjoyed it. Mainly enjoyed it for the multiplayer which was a mix between Battlefield and COD. It had a great multiplayer flowing for awhile before it died out.

8.Frozen Synapse- This was the perfect time waster while I was at work or had a quick couple of minutes at home. The fact that I can make my move and walk away really made this game awesome. Also loved the look. I want an iphone iPad version!!!!!!

9.Limbo- My wife and I played through this together and had a ton of fun trying to solve the puzzles together. The art style was perfect.

10.Amnesia The Dark Descent- No game, movie or anything else scared the crap out of me more than this. It should be commended.

I have a lot of games that I want to play.
Dead Island
Witcher 2
Crysis 2
Space Marine

Biggest disappointment:
Bioshock 2- I just couldn't drag through it anymore. Never finished.

1. Batman: Arkham City
2. Portal 2
3. NBA 2K11
4. Forza 4
5: Zelda: Skyward Sword
6. MLB 2K11
7. NHL 12
8. Full House Poker
9. You Don't Know Jack
10. Assassin's Creed: Revelations

There's been a deluge of meme haters lately — I think they need to loosen up.

I almost started Bastion so I could weigh in on it, but I don't ant to rush myself through the game. I'm still highly enjoying SR3 and Gears3 and really don't want to move on from either of them until I'm just done playing them. They remind of the games I played when I was young, you know, that one or two games you had to keep you entertained for the entire season.

Still no regrets about SR3 at the top of my list. And an amazingly null interest in Skyrim.

Blind_Evil wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
RoyalApe wrote:

8. Darksiders
I finally played this in early 2011 and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

So was it any good?



If anyone wants to tell me Darksiders isn't worth a 7.5 or higher I take offense and would entertain the possibility of a gentlemen's duel.

To be clear, I thought it was excellent. Bought it day one and loved it. I also think the gwj meme is awesome:)

I have added Zelda: Skyward Sword and Forza 4 to my list.

I considered including Kirby's Epic Yarn, which was also a christmas present, but it may be just a bit too overloaded with sweetness for me. Honestly, I feel like a pedophile when I play it.

NCAA 12 and Deus Ex: HR got the axe.