Published on December 8th, 2011 | by Daniel4
Daniel’s Top 5 Games of 2011Before I start I would just like to point out that this is based on the games I have played. There may seem some glaring exclusions like fantasy-RPG powerhouse The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but I am yet to play it so I can’t yet put it on the list.
5. Forza Motorsport 4 & DiRT 3This may seem like a cheat, but I really couldn’t choose between the two. DiRT 3 is the ultimate arcade racer featuring a traditional rally pedigree mixed with new and innovative features like Gymkhana, while Forza still reigns king of the race track with Forza 4 being the ultimate simulation racer of 2011. The elements that make these games the best aren’t too dissimilar either: they both make racing fun. While racing in DiRT 3 is more powersliding round a dirt track in Finland while narrowly avoiding the trees and the spectators, Forza 4 excels on the track with making your way through the pack and then leading them for 4 laps around some of the most famous racing tracks in the world equaling the fun to be had in DiRT 3. Admittedly, the games are quite polar in style and audience, so it makes sense to include both on the list to satisfy both types of racing gamers needs.
4. Portal 2Many gamers’ Game of the Year, Portal 2 would have been mine too if it wasn’t for all the other great games released in 2011. Putting Portal 4th on the list isn’t a representation of how bad it is at all. It’s a sign of all the phenomenal games that were released in 2011. Despite coming 4th, Portal 2 was an incredibly fun game to play, bursting at the seams with personality, wit and smarts. Stephen Merchant as Wheatley really bought the game to life, and the puzzles Valve created were as mind-bendingly frustrating as ever. A regular and very real sense of satisfaction comes on completion of the puzzles accompanied by the regular giggles you’ll get from some of the brilliant lines of dialogue throughout the game. Portal 2 is one not to be missed, and in most other years, would be sitting comfortably at the top of this list.
3. Batman: Arkham CityBatman: Arkham Asylum was a tough act to follow. Everyone seemed to hail it as the best superhero game ever… Until Arkham City. While in Arkham Asylum you only had the prison to play around in as The Dark Knight, in Arkham City you get a whole section of Gotham City, featuring a vast array of villains to duel with, Gotham landmarks to visit and peruse, and of course a whole load of atmosphere to take in too. The size and scale of Arkham City may overwhelm at first, but once you get your bearings (made possibly by the latest Bat-tech, of course) you’re soon gliding round the city without a care in the world. Until you actually need to go take down the next bad guy in line, that is. Arkham City has loads to do. Once you’re done with the main story there are so many side missions so do, Riddler trophies to collect and general gliding to be done, so this is why I think Arkham City deserves third. Rocksteady sure have yet another tough act to follow.
2. Gears of War 3What a finish to the trilogy Gears of War 3 is. It is the ultimate Gears of War game. While Gears of War 2 left a bad taste in gamers’ mouths thanks to the problematic multiplayer mode, Epic came back with a bang this year and released Gears of War 3 to worldwide acclaim. The campaign is an epic, emotional rollercoaster with fan favorite characters coming and going to tug on the heartstrings of any long-time Gears fan. The multiplayer is also fixed, bringing back memories of the amazing multiplayer experience that Gears of War was. Shotguns still reign supreme though, which has become a problem for some over the trilogy’s lifespan, but you can’t fault Epic for trying to change it. Co-op modes like Horde and a lengthy schedule of DLC are sure to keep people playing, even if it is just for that immensely satisfying pop that comes after securing a headshot.
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3Although I risk the wrath of the entire internet for putting Modern Warfare 3 above such games as Portal 2 and Arkham City, you can’t deny that what the three developers have done with Modern Warfare 3 is nothing short of spectacular. The campaign is one of epic scale and sheer madness at the same time, a staple of the CoD franchise over the past few years, and is a 6 hour globe-trotting adrenaline rush. Once you’re done with the Campaign, though, the ever-improving multiplayer grabs you and will not let you go until you peek down at the game timer and realize you’ve spent 3 days shooting fellow players over Xbox LIVE (and subsequently realize you’ve missed Christmas dinner.) The multiplayer sits right in-between Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, seemingly getting close to the fine balance required for CoD between killstreaks and good ol’ gun on gun warfare. With Spec Ops missions returning alongside a new Survival mode, there’s so much to do in Modern Warfare 3 that you won’t put it down until next November when the next installment into the massive franchise released. Honorable Mentions Like I mentioned before, 2011 was full to the brim with great releases. Honourable mentions go to the following:
- Dead Space 2 – for making me love it and loathe it at the same time for scaring the hell out of me on a incredibly frequent basis.
- Bulletstorm – for being an extreme amount of fun, and allowing everyone to play a game where everything is purely about fun, scores and swearing.
- Crysis 2 – for showing everyone how good a game can still look on the Xbox 360.
- L.A. Noire – for being such a unique game, brought to life by the stunning facial technology.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution – for showing me an amazing time, one that was probably very different to everyone else’s (except those boss fights!)
- And finally all of the great downloadable games that graced 2011 such as Bastion, Ms. ‘Splosion Man and Toy Soldiers: Cold War.