So, here goes my first blog post in a looong time (writing for Darkstation has been quite taxing) but I'd still like to share my top 10 games of 2011. Please, do check out the video as well!
My top 10 games of 2011 - Video
Note: This is my personal list only, and I don't own every single console so games like Uncharted 3 and Infamous 2 are all omissions from this list -- sorry!
Coming in at number ten is Outland, a downloadable game from developer Housemarque. Outland is a brutally challenging 2D-platformer that paints a world that you haven't seen before. With an outstanding art-design, beautiful orchestral score and innovative mechanics, Outland rightfully takes the spot as this year's best Arcade game, and is a must download for anyone with an internet connection.
9. Dirt 3
Racing doesn't get much better than in Dirt 3, which takes the admirable number nine spot on the list. Dirt 3 is consistently brilliant because of how well it caters to players of all skill levels, since few racing games offers this many customization options in terms of handling and assists. Furthermore, the tour mode always keeps you hooked and entertained and doles sweet rewards, and the multiplayer is some of the quirkiest and varied this side of racing games. If you like racing, then missing out on Dirt 3 is doing you a huge disservice.
8. Battlefield 3
DICE triumphs with vigor this year with Battlefield 3, which is hands-down one of the best multiplayer shooters to come out in a long time. While the campaign certainly won't impress anyone, it feels more or less like an added bonus on top of Battlefield 3's incredibly exciting competitive and cooperative multiplayer offerings. It looks, plays and sounds incredible throughout and should be played by anyone who even has the slightest interest in military warfare.
7. Dead Space 2
While the scares were few in 2011, Dead Space 2 was most definitely the creepiest and most heart pounding experience money could buy this year. Dead Space 2 is one of the most well-paced and replay able games in recent memory, offering exhilarating combat and a setting and atmosphere few players will forget. It might have been the only survival-horror game this year, which in turns makes it extra special. If you haven't already been to the Sprawl, now might be a good time to do so.
6. Deus ex Human Revolution
Sick and tired of linear shooters that funnel you down a pre-determined path? Then odds are likely that you're still busy being swept up in the incredible world that Deus Ex Human Revolution offers. Easily the most story-driven shooter/Rpg hybrid of the year, Human Revolution offers choices and consequences that few players will see coming and the moment-to-moment gameplay will keep you engaged for hours on end. Human Revolution represents a step forward to the genre, and is a game that more developers should aspire to.
5. Gears of War 3
Epic games ends the series with a bang, as Gears of War 3 is undoubtedly the best iteration in this venerable third-person shooter franchise. The climactic campaign, robust multiplayer action and a slew of gameplay refinements make Gears of War 3 an awesome, awesome experience all-around – rightfully earning a number five spot on the list.
4. Crysis 2
Defying all expectations and norms, Crysis 2 came out of nowhere and showed exactly how you're supposed to make a great shooter. The Nanosuit is a huge game-changer in this regard, allowing for options and a level of maneuverability that few, if any shooters can offer. Crysis 2 also offers up large battlefields for you to wreak havoc on, and this element alone makes the game worthy of multiple play-throughs. The last half of the campaign is also some of the most explosive and thrilling in recent memory; featuring large battles against the alien menace invading New York and a constant barrage of incredible set-pieces. Couple that with some extremely entertaining and wholly immersive multiplayer action and Crysis 2 emerges as the best shooter of 2011. Check it out.
3. Portal 2
Portal 2 is the kind of game that has fun with itself. It features an amazing series of escalating challenges and puzzles, some of the funniest dialogue and voice-acting ever seen in a game and the co-op campaign is simply the epitome of fun. While some say that it's short, that isn't what you'll talk about when you bring up this game. You'll talk about the unbelievable opening, all the fun jokes and the jaw-dropping conclusion. Case and point, Portal 2 is simply an unforgettable game and one that's likely to be remembered for years from now on.
2. Batman: Arkham City
Batman Arkham City took me by complete surprise. Here is a game that actually makes you feel like the caped crusader, allowing you to soar about the incredibly atmospheric prison that Is Arkham City. It also allows you to employ almost all of his gadgets and moves that culminate in quite possibly one of the best combat systems seen in a game. Arkham City moves you along at a great clip, and whether you're harassing enemies while hidden, throwing fists and punches or collecting the 400 Riddler trophies on offer, Batman Arkham City remains an incredibly impressive experience throughout, making it a worthy runner up of this list.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Five and a half years of waiting, and guess what? It was worth it. Skyrim isn't just the best game of the year; it's also one of the best role-playing games ever created. Bethesda nailed everything in this game and it's a dramatic improvement over Oblivion. The questing, exploration, combat and atmosphere are the best in the series and it's also a game that truly lets you play the game however you like. Want to be an assassin? Equip a dagger and sneak around. An expert of sorcery and magic? Then utilize every spell and shout in your arsenal, and go to town. Bethesda truly outdoes themselves this time, and lives up to each and every single expectation. The most amazing part about Skyrim isn't that there so much to do, but that doing everything is worthwhile, so you're always having a good time no matter what you're doing. 50 hours later, and I feel like I've only scratched the surface, so to put it bluntly; video games don't get much better than this.