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GAF Games of the Year 2011 - Voting Thread - Voting's Over, Folks!

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Feb 5, 2009
01 - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
02 - Batman: Arkham City
03 - The Witcher 2
04 - Portal 2
05 - Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
06 - Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
07 - Dead Space 2
08 - Dark Souls
09 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
10 - Forza 4

x. Resident Evil 4 HD ; i just use any excuse to put RE4 in any best game list.
x.Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D; the legendary game still holds up today.
x. The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection; i did read the OP, still RE4 and this desserves mention.


Jul 15, 2010
1. Xenoblade Chronicles
2. Portal 2
3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

No need to list more. Any of these five could be my GOTY.

Seraphis Cain

bad gameplay lol
Apr 8, 2009
1. Dark Souls ; Sequel to Demon's Souls. What else needs to be said? It's awesome.

2. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 ; A much improved version of an already awesome game.

3. Yakuza 4 ; I couldn't get into Yakuza 3, but I absolutely love 4. Great characters, great story and atmosphere, great gameplay.

4. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls ; Old-school fun without being soul-crushingly hard. Great value for the price.

5. Shadows of the Damned ; Stylish as all hell, amazing gameplay, and some of the best characters ever. Adore this game.

6. NBA Jam: On Fire Edition ; So much better and more fairly priced than it's retail predecessor. HE'S ON FIRE!

7. Dead Rising 2: Off the Record ; I believe the first DR2 was in my GOTY 2010 list, and OTR is, in my opinion, a much improved version. Sandbox Mode alone justifies another trip to Fortune City.

8. Dragon Age II ; I just recently got this, but I've put enough time in it to justifiably say that it's great fun. First BioWare game I've been able to stand for any discernible length of time.

9. Elemental Monster: Online Card Game ; 99 cents for hours and hours of play. Simply fantastic from a value standpoint.

10. The King of Fighters XIII ; Hey, look, a GOOD HD KOF!

x. LA Noire ; Sure, it has it's problems. But it's not really all that bad at all.
x. Dynasty Warriors 7 ; Koei still hasn't gotten the HD Warriors formula down yet. But DW7 shows that they're getting close
x. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon ; Fun, but not really worthy of a spot on the Top 10

2010. Resonance of Fate ; Best (non-Souls) JRPG this gen. Seriously.


Jan 19, 2008
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Gears of War 3
3. Dead Space 2
4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
5. Dark Souls
6. MotorStorm: Apocalypse
7. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
8. Killzone 3
9. InFamous 2
10. RAGE


Jan 20, 2010
1. Dark Souls
2. Portal 2
3. Uncharted 3
4. Skyrim
5. Zelda Skyward Sword
6. Super Mario 3D land
7. Assassins Creed Revelations
8. Rocksmith
9. Batman Arkham City
10. Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D


Jul 10, 2006
1. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
3. Portal 2
4. Outland
5. Dark Souls
6. Radiant Historia
7. Batman: Arkham City
8. Bulletstorm
9. Final Fantasy: Type-0
10. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

x. Dragon Age 2 ; I really liked the game for what it was. It could have been much better with more time in the oven, and I wasn't happy with the way they handled time skipping or the reused locations, but I had a lot of fun with it regardless.
x. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; just barely missed the list. It's a fantastic game and I wish I could have put it on the list, but it got edged out.
x. Alice: Madness Returns ; this game was incredibly awesome, although I felt that many of the levels were too long and the general pacing is what kept this from beating some of the others in my list.
x. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ; overall, I was disappointed with the game by Zelda standards, but it was still a good game and I felt the need to list it anyway.
x. Dead Space 2


Jun 7, 2004
1. Skyrim
2. Dark Souls
3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
4. Uncharted 3
5. Gears of War 3
6. Dead Space 2
7. Zelda: Skyward Sword


Jul 29, 2010
  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  2. Portal 2
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  4. Gears of War 3
  5. Batman: Arkham City
  6. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
  7. Dead Space 2
  8. Assassin Creed Revelations
  9. LA Noire
  10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3


Dec 7, 2009
United Kingdom
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Saints Row The Third
3. Trine 2
4. Anno 2070
5. Total War: Shogun 2
6. Battlefield 3
7. Batman: Arkham City
8. Terraria
9. Frozen Synapse
10. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

x. Orcs Must Die!

EDIT: Recently got to put some proper time into Anno 2070 and have added that, pushing Orcs Must Die! down to an honourable mention.


Nov 9, 2010
1. - Xenoblade Chronicles; I purchased my Wii purely for this game and I wasn't disappointed one single bit. It actually exceeded my expectations despite my hype for it. The music was absolutely wonderful, the environments looked like concept art come to life, in real-time. The story and cutscenes were dramatic and kept your eyes fixated on the screen. Overall a very special game and I can only hope there will be a similar experience in the years to come.

2. - The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky; Amazing characters and a great story. The best thing about it was the lack of tropes and character archetypes that I was expecting. Would give anything for the 2nd chapter =(

3. - Yakuza 4; Four great characters. Loved learning about all of them and seeing the story and links between them unfold. Not to forget the insane amount of actual game content outside of the story.

4. - Catherine; Everything about this was crazy and very memorable.


Unconfirmed Member
1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword; The pacing in the game is awesome, so are the controls and the dungeon design is the best I've ever seen in a Zelda title.
2. Portal 2; Just crazy addictive, brilliant level design and hilarious dialogue and excellent voice work.
3. Assassin's Creed: Revelations; It's more Assassin's Creed, so I like that.
4. Mario Kart 7; The best Mario Kart, it combines the best aspects of all the past games into one and removes what didn't work well from the past titles.
5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution; This game is unlike anything I've ever played before. The quests and side missions are great and I love that you really can play the game however you wish.
6. Super Mario 3D Land; Amazing platformer that proves why 3D is beneficial for certain games on the 3DS.
7. Batman: Arkham City; Super fun game that builds upon what Arkham Asylum did so well.
8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D; I never had a chance to play the original Ocarina of Time, so the 3D version was my first experience, and it was damn awesome.
9. Pokemon Black/White; I love Pokemon and this game just feels like a great, natural progression of the series.
10. Pushmo; This game is awesome! It's a crazy fun puzzle platforming game.
Mar 3, 2010
1. Resistance 3 Best SP and MP game i played this year.
2. Heroes of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes Amazing Strategy game. Very engaging game with a lot of strategical options.
3. Uncharted 3 Great SP, did not like MP
4. Infamous 2 Good open world game. I liked it better than Infamous. Different powers have added a lot to the game.
5- Batman Arkham City Great game, but it did not live to AA imo.
6- Portal 2 Good puzzles and coop. I am not usually into this kind of game, but the coop was great.
7- Outland great 2D platformer with various powers, but i did not like level design much.
8- Infamous festival of blood the powers are very different and unique than Infamous games, but it´s very short. Very enjoyable none the less.


Aug 11, 2006
1. The Witcher 2
2. Saints Row The Third
3. Drakensang: The River of Time
4. Portal 2
5. Alice: Madness Returns
6. Trine 2
7. Assassins Creed Brotherhood (PC)
8. Warhammer 40K Space Marine
9. Skyrim
10. Orcs Must Die
Dec 28, 2008
1. Dark Souls; Pretty much instantly one of my favourite games of all-time. It expanded on everything that was great about Demon’s and made some vital changes. It has the most satisfying combat I’ve ever seen, one of the best designed worlds, amazing atmosphere, beautiful soundtrack, wonderful minimalistic approach to the narrative, rewards exploration and different tactics, tense multiplayer moments whether it’s in co-op or PVP... I could easily go on. It has a few flaws, but they are ultimately small and it says something when I dump 60 hours in to a game and it still feels too short when the credits roll. An absolute masterpiece and nothing else this year comes close to it.

2. Gears of War 3; The perfect end to one of the best trilogies of this gen. Pretty much all of my complaints from the first two games were fixed and so many things were improved upon. The action was bigger, the story moments more impactful and better written and it ultimately gave me a great sense of closure. By itself it’s a great game, but when combined with the previous two games it becomes something much more powerful. I don’t care if people want to think the series is simply “dudebro” because that’s simply not true. I know Halo 4 is out next year, but this might just be the swansong for the 360 for me.

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution; All that really needs to be said is that it’s a worthy successor to the original. That alone is a huge feat, as Invisible War proved that following-up one of the best games of all-time isn’t easy. Bad graphics and the awful last two hours aside, it’s a great mix of old school mentality with just the right amount of modern tweaks, such as the third person perspective. Despite the awful end section making me wish the game ended earlier, at the same time I wish there was another two or three hubs that gave an extra 30 hours of gameplay because it was so much fun exploring the rich world and finding new ways to tackle objectives. It also has the best soundtrack of the year as far as I’m concerned.

4. Uncharted 3; First and foremost it has to be said that the fact it launched with such BROKEN controls is absolutely unforgivable. I don’t care what some apologists say on GAF, it was unacceptable the game shipped like that and it boggles my mind ND didn’t realise they had broken the game. That really soured the first few hours for me and I had to shelve it until the patch. With that said, post-patch the game is wonderful. It doesn’t hit the highs of the first two games, and it inevitably made less of an impact that 2 did, but it’s an extremely good game that, like Gears 3, feels like a natural place to end the trilogy. They went in quite a few different directions at times and I loved the story exploring Sully and Nate’s friendship. Also, that chase scene through the city is by far one of gaming’s greatest moments.

5. Portal 2; If I had made this list months back this would be at number 1, however over time I’ve realised there are things I don’t like about the game and that it isn’t the perfect, refined package that the original was. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, however, as in fact it’s great. I feel like a sequel to Portal was always going to disappoint in some ways just because it’s such a known quantity, but the single player was a witty and well designed ride whilst the co-op provided a great new twist that provided the most complex puzzles yet.

6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim;
There are lots of things I dislike and would change about the game, but I'm over 25 hours in and there's no sign of me stopping any time soon. Those beautiful moments like being in a fight with a dragon, mammoth and giant, or even just watching some deer prance through the snowy mountains, are extremely special and you can't really get that experience anywhere else. If the game had a better engine, more varied dungeons/enemies and better designed quests it would probably be the best game of all-time. As it stands, it's just a great game.

7. The Witcher 2; First of all, it looks ridiculously good. Not just on a technical level, but from an artistic standpoint too. Walking through the Flotsam woods takes immersion to another level and anyone who claims that consoles are powerful enough and better graphics won’t improve a game are simply proved wrong here. This game makes you feel like you really are in this beautifully crafted fantasy setting and, for me, that’s the biggest achievement. There’s a great game behind the presentation, though, with the improved combat system and lack of tedious travel removing my two biggest complaints about the first game. Unfortunately, Flotsam as a chapter is by far the strongest, with the rest ranging from good to mediocre, however that section of the game is so memorable it warrants being this high on this list for me.

8. LittleBigPlanet 2; The sheer variety of things to do in the game instantly elevates it above the original, with the enhanced story elements only making it more enjoyable. It’s not especially mind blowing in any one element, at least from the perspective of something who only plays and doesn’t create, but it’s pure fun. That same warm fuzzy feeling I get from playing Mario Galaxy is back when I’m in the game and that’s a very special thing. It’s hard to articulate what’s great about the game for that reason, but it definitely is great.

9. F1 2011; Similar to Uncharted 3, this game was tainted by a horrible launch and the issues were patched two months after the release of the game. That’s such a horrible waste because at its core, when you got past all of the bugs, F1 2011 has the most satisfying driving model I’ve ever experienced in a game and I feel that Codemasters have got much closer to making you feel like you’re in a real F1 car, micro managing all of the things they do as they attack a track at 200mph. The fact the game was so broken for so long simply can’t be overlooked, however, and I think it’s fair to say it really hurt the community. I’ll be waiting until I hear impressions about 2012 before I buy it.

10. Bulletstorm; In a year when Duke Nukem Forever finally came out and showed in an embarrassing way how out of touch and unfunny the franchise was, Bulletstorm was a breath of fresh air with its distinct wit and combo style gameplay. The great characters, addictive gameplay and beautiful world made it so hard to put down and it’s one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. It’s not mature but who cares? Unlike Duke it still makes me laugh and that’s an achievement when you consider the content. It’s a huge shame we apparently won’t be getting a sequel.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword;
So much potential is wasted by repetitive tasks, questionable motion controls, too much hand holding, filler and just general bad game design. There are some fantastic step forwards made in the game, such as the RPG-lite system, stamina bar, etc etc, but all of these are overshadowed by the flaws. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t. It’s horrible not liking a Zelda game, but I really don’t. I just wish a few design choices were different and then it could have really been something special.
LA Noire; What should have been a gritty and mesmerising adventure was simple repetitive, badly written and wasted on an open world. The first few hours are great, but after that you’ve seen all of the tricks the game has to offer and the story gets absolutely awful. My main mistake here was expecting a Rockstar quality game, rather than a Team Bondi quality game.
Batman Arkham City;
By dropping the Metroidvania aspect and going with an open world I feel the game has lost so much of what made the first so special. The concept of the setting is ridiculous, the story fails to grab you and catwoman is terrible. Maybe the combat is improved and you have lots more toys to play with, but I don’t care (or even enjoy) the most basic aspects of the game so that’s meaningless to me.
Crysis 2;
Whether it was the change in setting, inspiration from other FPS series or simply restraints of working on consoles, Crysis 2 feels a whole lot less impressive than the original in pretty much every regard other than graphically. There were some great sandbox moments, but not nearly as many as in the original and so many other aspects simply didn’t pull me in. Unlike the other three choices in this category, it is a good game, but as a sequel to Crysis, one of the best FPS ever made, it needed to be so much more than that.

Honourable Mentions:
Bastion; Not as tight as it should have been, but still a very pretty and unique experience.
Battlefield 3; Awful SP, but the MP has so many “Battlefield moments” that it’s provided some of the most memorable gaming moments of the year for me.
Modern Warfare 3; Great SP and MP, but this is the year I finally didn’t get addicted. It’s a worthy sequel and much better than I expected, but that’s it, it no longer has its hooks in me.
Dead Island; Tedious and shallow, with a pretty crap open world, but good fun in co-op with a friend.
Dead Space 2; Probably better than the original and in any other year this would make the top 10. Pleasant surprise.
Motorstorm Apocalypse; Simply the best arcade racer this gen. Again, if it were any other year it’d make the top 10.
RAGE; The driving/open world elements are boring, but when you get into a linear level and it’s all about the shooting then you know it’s a an id game. Such satisfying gunplay.
Ico and Shadow of the Collosus Collection; Great to finally get a chance to play them (at a playable framerate in SOTC’s case). Not as mind blowing as people make out, but very good games.
Yakuza 4; After 3 was so bad it’s great to see them experiment with multiple characters and in many ways it’s my favourite game in the series.  
saints Row 3; It starts off very strong, and a lot of the self-aware humour is really funny, but ultimately falls back on boring open world, GTA-lite conventions. A fun experience, but wasted potential.

Yet to play:
Child of Eden
inFamous 2
Rayman Origins
Super Mario 3D Land
Shadows of the Damned
Alice Madness Returns
Gemini Rue
Renegade Ops
Two Worlds 2
Trine 2

Look at that list of games I still have to play. Fucking hell. What a year.

Also, some observations:
  • BF3 and MW3 didn't have anywhere near the impact on me I thought they would. Finally tired of the genre.
  • There were some huge disappointments this year from big name sequels.
  • It was undoubtebly the year of the RPG.
  • Too many games used open worlds when it wasn't needed and suffered because of it.


Feb 2, 2008
The Netherlands
1. The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

It was a close shave, but Skyward Sword receives my vote for best game of the year. Motion controls done right, interesting dungeon design... loved it.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles

Very close to becoming my favourite of the year. Amazing game

3. Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception

It's Uncharted. What's not to love?

4. Super Mario 3D Land (Good use of 3D and the Special Worlds are a real treat to play)
5. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (The best game of all time on your portable. Still lovely)
6. Batman Arkham City (Not as good as Arkham Asylum for a number of reasons, but it still beats out other games of 2011)
7. Kirby's Epic Yarn (EU release, but man this game makes you go "Aaaaaawww" every five seconds)
8. Dead Space 2 (I prefer the first one, but man it's a good ride while it lasts)
9. Shadows of the Damned (I love Suda and Mikami, so I liked this game. Something something Johnson)
10. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (My favourite fighter on a portable? Oh yeah)


May 8, 2009
1.Skyrim; Great RPG, really vast world.

2.Batman Arkham City;Great sequel, best batman game ever.

3. Rayman Origins;An awesome platformer, very charming and challenging.

4.Dead Space 2;Great sequel to a great game, very atmospheric and scary, with diverse environments.Really love the gameplay changes.

5.Deus Ex Human Revoltution;finished it recently, fine game but not my favorite RPG.

6.Super Mario 3D Land; a must have platformer on 3DS, very good

7.Pokemon Black/White, an excellent renewal of the series.I love the new pokemons :3

8.Dead Rising 2: Off the Record; Dead Rising 2 was great, off the record is even better.

9.Ocarina of Time 3D; A classic remake.

10.Mortal Kombat ; Great fighting game, a great revival.

LTTP:Nier; really great RPG, awesome soundtrack, story and characters.

Edit:Dead rising 2 Off the record isn't on the list?Can you add it please?


Jan 14, 2011
San Francisco
1. Portal 2
2. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
4. Alice: Madness Returns
5. L.A. Noire
6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
7. Dark Souls
8. Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together
9. Pokemon White/Black
10. Infinity Blade II

2010. Valkyria Chronicles 2
Jun 21, 2010
planet earth
1.Elder scrolls V :Skyrim; Who would have thought that a western RPG would sell better than Battlefield 3 and became the biggest threat to Call of Duty ? This game not only is the most well designed Elder Scrolls game to date, it's the best example of how to make changes for the better in a video game.

I would like to add that Skyrim doesn't use the kind of bullshit strategies we've come to expect from publishers like; shitty DRM, online passes, forced multiplayer and on disc DLCs, the game has sold really well despite publishers telling us games won't sell without these, this is a deep, complex singleplayer game and it proved publishers wrong !

2.Uncharted 3; If anyone can compete with Valve in animation and ambition it's Naughty Dog, The Uncharted series continues to be a an entertaining adventure with the third installment and in this game we actually get to know stuff about Nathan Drake that we didn't know before.

3.Batman: Arkham City;Much like Human Revolution, the there are many ways you can approach combat situations and unlike Human Revolution, boss fights aren't as bad, and it's a well made Sandbox game.

4.Portal 2 ;Not quite as tight as the original, but still Valve has proved themselves to be the masters of their art, voice acting and the animation are out of everyone else league.

5.Deus Ex: Human revolution; Yeah the boss fights and the ending are lame, but everything else about this game is fantastic , the stealth really works well and it's fun to sneak around and finding your own way to solve the challenges the game give you, this could have been easily my GOTY if weren't for the boss fights and the ending.

6.Bastion; No question about it, this is the best indie game of the year (Yes even better than your precious Minecraft), the presentation and the art direction is fascinating, it's rare to see a western developed game to look as beautiful as this.

7.Rayman: Origins; This is the old school platforming game I've been waiting for for a long time, it's the type of retro fun that we should have every now and then, not to mention this is probably the best looking 2D game of the year

8.Infamous 2; Not much of an evolution over the previous game, but Infamous 2 continues to have fantastic game-play and engaging storyline that is even better than the original game, and it's set in an entirely new city which more than I could say about similar Sandbox sequels

9.Crysis 2; This game's variety of ways to approach combat and encounters, and it's great pacing puts it above your average FPS.

10.Battlefield 3; Has simply one of the most engaging multiplayer modes I've played this year, especially on the PC, and it's a technical marvel that anyone would appreciate.

Honorable mentions:

Child or Eden; one of the most beautiful games I've ever played and one of the best rail shooters I've ever played, I would have definitely placed it on the list if it wasn't for it's short length and the poorly implemented Motion controls.

Edit : Changed to a more appropriate format.

Beth Cyra

Nov 7, 2009
1. Gundam Extreme VS - Even taking away my love of certain Suit designs, the gameplay is amazing. The speed and the amount of stuff you can do is just brilliant. Easily my favorite game just based on gameplay in the last 5 years.

2. Mario 3D Land - Haven't played all the way through Zelda, but to me it's easily the best game Nintendo released all year. Yes this includes Xenoblade.

3. Super Robot Wars Z2 Part 1 - Not nearly as good as Z1, but overall still a very amazing game and it has me really excited for Z2 Part 2 and Z3.

I lied

4- Mass Effect 2 - Lair of the Shadow Broker makes it so I would always vote for it when it's allowed.

That is it for me.


Skyward Sword.


Dec 7, 2010
1. Skyrim; haven't spent so much time on a game in years, don't want it to end.
2. ?????

I guess I have only played skyrim that would qualify for 2011 GOTY

I played a lot of last years games, I always seem to be a year behind


Jun 28, 2011
1. Xenoblade Chronicles ; (European import) One of my favorite JRPGs of all time and my game of this gen (thus far, anyways). Xenoblade surpassed all of my expectations, despite them already sitting comfortably on the moon. A unique world, an enjoyable story, a great battle system, and an absolutely massive amount of content combine to form a game that was clearly a major labor of love. This was the first Xeno* game from Takahashi that wasn't noticeably cut back from the original vision and it really shows. If you even remotely enjoy RPGs you owe it to yourself to play this game.

2. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together ; If this is what we can expect when Matsuno decides to saunter back to Square-Enix they should have made him an offer he couldn't refuse before Level-5 kidnapped him. This is an incredible remake of a damn fine SRPG that brings it right up to (if not past) FFT-levels. Choices that matter and change the story-line, huge battles, and tons of customization made this one of the best games I've played all year. My biggest complaint is that outside of one job, you can't use skills from other jobs with a character - they're tied to using skills of the job they're currently a part of. The equipment management system sucks too, since they neglected to include "preview" functionality. An incredible, and lengthy, game despite these two issues, however.

3. Radiant Historia ; This is one of two games that showed me JRPGs on the DS can have stories that I find thoroughly engaging and characters that aren't one-dimensional. While the game starts off fairly slow and mediocre for the first 5 hours, it quickly ramps up and ends up being terrifically exciting. My major complaints lie with the one-trick pony battle system (which is still fun throughout) and the binary choices that force you into bad endings immediately.

4. Rayman Origins ; One of the greatest platformers in history and it was released in 2011. Gorgeous visuals, tons of content, extremely fun, tight gameplay, and a system that rewards perfection. Completionists have a lot of stuff to do here. This game deserved to sell millions and it's a damn shame it never will.

5. Dark Souls ; Dark Souls starts off presenting a much stronger front than Demons Souls, but by the end I found myself leaning slightly away from it. Regular enemies encounters are much more tense, and the dungeons and world design is top-notch (although there are some very notable exceptions to this). Unfortunately, a lot of the bosses just aren't very memorable and/or fun. This is the most significant aspect where Dark Souls fails to compete with Demons Souls (which, in my opinion, only had one crappy boss). With that said, however, Dark Souls was still a damn enjoyable experience and worth every minute of play.

6. Sonic Generations ; I'm a huge fan of the Unleashed style of Modern Sonic gameplay so having more of that was awesome. Classic Sonic was surprisingly competent as well. Overall, the game was a blast to play despite its lack of polish in spots.

7. Catherine ; Great and addictive puzzle gameplay marred by a story that falls apart at the end.

8. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ; I'm not a Zelda fan but this game was great - outside of the constant filler hampering the experience.

9. Battlefield 3 ; A great multiplayer mode that left me feeling a bit disappointed in a few areas (most notably the toned-down destruction).

10. The Witcher 2 ; A fairly enjoyable RPG, although by the end I was getting tired of it, and, a bit hypocritically: it ends too soon.


Mar 30, 2005
01. Dark Souls - Japan shows that they still have what it takes to make great games by pulling design notes from the 90s. Dark Souls is the square peg in this generation's round hole of cinema scenes, polished action set pieces, celebrity voice over and "Oscar worthy" writing. True gaming is not just coming from indie devs on Steam.
02. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Another throwback experience. DX:HR retains most of what made the original so good, adds in enough bombast and polish to keep the casuals entertained, and ends up being a worthy successor to the Greatest Game Ever Made.
03. Dead Space 2 - Since Dead Space is this generation's Resident Evil, it's fitting that DS2 succeeds by doing the same things that RE2 did. The iterative sequel can be tricky. Done wrong, it feels like a non-essential cash in. Done right, it reinforces how great the first experience was. DS2 did it right, aside from the unfortunate final chapter.
04. Batman: Arkham City - The iterative sequel that played it just a little too close to the original. A great game, but too similar to its predecessor.
05. The Binding of Isaac - Compelling dungeon crawling. In the HD age games just don't have as much game in them as they should. Isaac is all game.
06. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Gorgeous. Combat system is a bit iffy. I really don't understand what the story was about.
07. Gears of War 3 - The best Gears yet, but Gears is a little played out.
08. Portal 2 - Hilarious with great co-op. The puzzles were severely downgraded from the original, and while they were never going to be able to top that game's tight narrative and story telling, this one felt they didn't even try.
09. Mass Effect 2 - I'm surprised how far this one ended up down the list. Better combat, everything else was a step back. Story wasn't as good and there's just not much RPG.
10. Mortal Kombat - Best single player mode in fighting game history. If only the fighting was a bit tighter.
Honorable Mention: Frozen Synapse - I wanted to put this in the top 10, but haven't finished it yet, so that feels wrong. Great game, slick graphics, and one of the best examples of indie devs keeping the innovation coming.


Apr 4, 2006
1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2. Battlefield 3
3. L.A. Noire
4. Xenoblade Chronicles
5. Plants vs. Zombies
6. Catherine
7. Child of Eden
8. Bastion
9. ICO/Shadow of the Colossus HD
10. Outland


Jan 17, 2007
1. Battlefield 3 ; Simply the best multiplayer FPS game ever made. Sure the campaign was nothing impressive, Battlelog upset alot of people (not me), it's Origin exclusive, but when you're actually playing it, outstanding gunplay, 64 players, amazing graphics, jets and choppers flying by destroying buildings to pieces and OMG THE SOUND!!. Nothing beats it in 2011, probably won't beat it in 2012 either.

2. Terraria ; Amazing how such a simple game can be so addictive. Want to play just a few minutes and ending up awake till 5 AM is something few games can do (Civilization) and Terraria is one of them.

3. Uncharted 3 ; I haven't even touched the multiplayer or coop and it's already one of my favorite games. Better and bigger set pieces over Uncharted 2, better puzzles and all the rest that made U2 a GOTY.

4. Portal 2 ; Despite my complains with making puzzles easier by limiting the places where you can place portals, it is still one of the best games this year. The same amazing concept for Portal 1, with a few new twists, fantastic writing with great humor and of course, adding co-op turned the same gameplay mechanics into completely new and great experience .

5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ;

6. Dead Island ;

7. Shogun 2: Total War;

8. FIFA 12 ;

9. Orc Must Die ;

10. Test Drive Unlimited 2 ;

2010. Gran Turismo 5 ; The fact that I, and a bunch of gaffers, still do weekly races even one year after speaks volumes. Thousands of hours spent in it. Also worth noting is how PD supported the game with constant updates through out the entire year.


Jun 6, 2004
1. Outland
2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
3. Uncharted 3
4. Rage
5. Portal 2
7. Dead Space 2
6. Sequence
7. Sonic Generations
8. Crysis 2

2010. Bayonetta

I've played a few more 2011 titles but these ones right here are the good ones. :p
Dec 28, 2008
Reading through everyones lists made me remember that games like Dirt 3 Mortal Kombat and Infamous 2 came out this year. They probably would have been forgotten about them despite me loving the hell out of them.

I don't know how I'll whittle things to down to a top 10 and I still have Trine 2, Crysis 2, Deus Ex, Uncharted 3 and Dead Space 2 to play through.


Oct 19, 2007

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; The Elder Scrolls series has been one of my favorites ever since I played Daggerfall back in 1996. Despite that Skyrim managed to exceed my high expectations for it. And I still haven't touched any mods for it.

2. Dark Souls; Unfortunately the unbalanced difficulty and poor performance took away some of the satisfaction of playing it. It’s still an amazing game, but overall I still prefer Demon’s Souls.

3. Frozen Synapse; Minimalistic turn-based strategy at its finest.

4. Portal 2; A thrill-ride from start to finish. I still need to play through the co-op mode.

5. Anno 2070; Managing resources and trade routes is still as fun as ever.

6. Yakuza 4; I was a bit worried about getting burned out from the annual sequels of the Yakuza series, but the addition of three new playable characters managed to make it feel fresh and existing again.

7. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls; An old-school first-person dungeon crawler that can be both unfairly difficult and really easy to break. It felt great to just roam through the dungeons completing quests, search for loot, and kill fiends.

8. Radiant Historia; The innovative combat system is quite engaging and jumping back and forth through time creates an interesting narrative.

9. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky; It has a great combat system that reminds me a bit of Grandia and the cast of characters are very likable.

10. Gemini Rue; It's a bit light on puzzles and there is too much backtracking, but the art, voice acting and overall mood of the game makes up for it.

Honorable mentions:
x. The Binding of Isaac
x. Cthulhu Saves the World
x. Inazuma Eleven
x. Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
x. Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

Wanted to play, but haven’t yet:
x. Dead Space 2
x. Deus Ex: Human Evolution
x. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
x. The Witcher 2.
x. Xenoblade


Apr 11, 2010
1. Dark Souls; I never play games for a challenge, usually turn games to easy mode, but this game changed the way I want to play games from now on. This is one of the most intense and challenging games that I have ever played.

2. Shadows of the Damned; I have a real soft spot for this game. This has one of the best soundtracks for a game and it is just a blast to play. Is it technically a great game? No, but it is definitely a incredibly fun experience.

3. Batman: Arkham City; Anything Batman related, I am most likely going to love, so its no shock that I loved this game. Solid all the way around.

4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; I am a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls series and this was a satisfying entry.

5. Portal 2; Wheatly is definitely the best character of the year. The voice acting, writing and characters in this game was the best this year. The gameplay wasn't as satisfying as the first one, but still solid.

6. Dead Space 2; Kinda disappointing this isn't getting more love at end of year lists. This is a definite improvement over the first game and a much better story. (Hated the ending to the first one)

The honorable mentions are games I haven't finished.

x The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
x The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
x L.A. Noire
x Bastion

2010 - Darksiders
Feb 16, 2011
1. Dark Souls ; The best game I played this year, and it isn't even close. Dark Souls hooked me from beginning to end (60 hours) and I loved every second of it. I know a lot of folks are sour on some of the later areas but I still managed to enjoy them despite a few issues. Not only is Dark Souls my GOTY 2011, it's also my favorite game this generation.

2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; There aren't many games I played more than once this year, let alone 3 times back to back to back. Deus Ex was another game that completely hooked me, and I fell in love with the incredible atmosphere of each of its locations. To me this game was the RPG elements of Mass Effect (only with better writing, decision structure, and characters) and the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid. On my final playthrough I even managed to get through the game without firing a single bullet (other than in boss fights) or taking down a single enemy. Any game that lets me go from start to finish in pure ninja mode deserves some kind of award.

3. Super Mario 3D Land ; I came into this game with somewhat low expectations and left with the opinion that SM3DL is my favorite Mario game of all time. It's the perfect mix of classic 2D Mario with new 3D elements, and I enjoyed every second of it. I've heard complaints of a slow opening and a difficulty that's too low but I never found anything worth complaining about. Now the waiting game begins, bring on Super Mario 3D Land 3: Wario3DLand!

4. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together ; This was my early GOTY candidate in 2011. It's an incredible SRPG with tons of depth, an interesting and deep story, and great mechanics. It still doesn't touch the greatness of some of the best Fire Emblem games in my mind but it's easily one of the best SRPG's I've ever played. Oh, and it also destroys Final Fantasy Tactics.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyword Sword ; If I had to sum this game up in one word it would be "charming." I thought the motion controls made for a very unique experience and I never felt myself struggling with them. The game could have used a few more areas and a couple more dungeons but I didn't find any of the content that many see as filler to be offensive.

6. Mario Kart 7 ; Easily the best Mario Kart of all time, MK7 is a cart-racer loaded with polish. The mechanics and tracks are the best in the series, and skill is more of a factor than it was in the disappointing Mario Kart Wii. Don't get me wrong, you'll still find yourself cursing at the blue shells stealing your wins from time to time, but skill still finds a way to prevail most of the time. If you find yourself getting mad just remember, "what the blue shell giveth, the blue shell taketh away."

7. Battlefield 3 ; I still haven't finished the campaign in BF3 but I've spent over 50 hours playing the MP. I'm a console peasant (PS3) who specializes in Rush but it's been the best experience I've ever had in an online FPS. Nothing beats the incredibly solid gameplay of BF3 when it comes to online shooters.

8. Portal 2 ; A real treat from beginning to end, Portal 2 was a crafted masterpiece of a game. The ending was my favorite moment in any game this year, and the writing was spectacular enough to carry this wonderful idea for a puzzle game into a full fledged adventure.

9. Resistance 3 ; Resistance 3 is the most underrated game to come out this year in my mind, and the SP campaign was my favorite from a shooter in years. The weapon wheel and health packs marked a return to form for the series, and the environmental variety and mission design kept things fresh and interesting throughout. After a few patches the MP also ended up being quite fun and unique. It's just a shame no one bought it.

10. Dead Space 2 ; Dead Space 2 was more of the same, but luckily for me that's exactly what I wanted. This is still the best horror survival series of the generation, even if it does lean more towards the 3rd person shooter genre at times. I can't think of a game that creates a greater feeling of tension and nervousness in me while I'm playing it, and in this case that's a good thing. I was also very impressed with how polished of an experience DS2 was.

2010. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow ; I picked this game up at launch but didn't spend much time with it until earlier this year. I sure am glad I did, because this is now my favorite character action game of this generation. It may not have the polish of a game like God of War III, but it makes up for it with a good story, a great combat system, and lots of interesting locations and environments. The enemy design and art direction are also top-notch.

x Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
x Bastion
x Outland


Aug 15, 2010
2. Battlefield 3
3. Portal 2
4. Mortal Kombat
5. Forza 4
6. Halo: CE Anniversary
7. Batman: Arkham City
8. LA Noire
9. Gears of War 3
10. Magicka

I just realized how few games you played this year. I need to lend you more games (and you need to get a PS3, so I can lend you these more games).


May 18, 2006
I only own a 3DS since I'm mostly a PC gamer, so I'll only include games I've played on those systems.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim : I've completed the game in 70 hours and still play on that character to simply explore this gorgeously crafter world. I've recently started another character and will probably put another 70 hours in this game.

2. Deus Ex : Human Revolution : Was incredibly surprised by the quality of this game. It feels like a real update to the awesome DE experience.

3. RAGE : Even with the worst ending level in history, I really enjoyed the gunplay and weapons feeling in this game. I blasted my way through this game so fast. I kept it on my hard drive to replay it some time.

4. The Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time 3D : it was my first time seriously playing this game and was blown away by the 3D and the classic Zelda gameplay. It's also harder than all the modern Zelda title and that's a good thing.

5. The Witcher 2 : Assassins of Kings : A sequel to one of my favorite RPG and what an improvement!

6. Batman Arkham City : Simply fun to beat those thugs and explore the city. I still have tons of things to do in this game, but it's so fun that I'll 100% for sure.

7. Star Fox 64 3D : Incredible remake of one of my favorite N64 arcade shooter. It's an excellent portable game that present a great challenge to get all those medals.

8. Bulletstorm : Great fun all around. Kinda feel innovative and classic at the same time.

9. Saints Row The Third : Crazy.

10. Dead Island : I prefer this game to Dead Rising. Beating up zombies never felt that good.


Jun 7, 2011
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ; Just perfection, no other game has drawn me in and kept me so immersed in its world as Skyrim has.

2. Dark Souls ; Pure amazing gameplay. No other game this year can give you as much of a feeling of accomplishment for every trash enemy you kill as Dark Souls.

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; A great example for how you should resurrect an old franchise. Keeping almost every element in tact while still managing to modernize the game. A true successor to the original.

4. Dead Space 2 ; Best survival horror action hybrid game since RE4. Capcom should take note because Visceral Games managed to do what they tried and failed to do with RE5.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ; It's a Zelda game. Need I say more?

6. Catherine ; Fell in love with the atmosphere, story, characters and soundtrack of this game.

7. Star Wars: The Old Republic ; After playing the pre-release for a few days, it's amazing how much it feels like a better WoW to me. Which is a good thing, it's hooks are in me unlike any MMO since WoW back in '04.

8. Portal 2 ; It's hard for a game to actually make you laugh, Portal 2 manages to accomplish that almost throughout the entirety of the game. Story was interesting, characters were amazing (Wheatley!!)

9. Gears of War 3 ; Gears of War 1 was the reason I bought a 360. Campaign was the best of the trilogy and multiplayer is solid even if I don't agree with some of the changes to balance they've made.

10. L.A. Noire ; I have to give L.A. Noire credit for trying something unique. Execution wasn't 100% there but it was still a fun experience nonetheless.

2010. Red Dead Redemption ; I wasn't a member of GAF in 2010, RDR is my favourite Rockstar game ever. I've never been so attatched to one of their characters, John Marston is a legend. I'd dare to say it's maybe the best ending to a video game ever.


Jun 15, 2011
Calgary, AB
1. The Witcher 2 ; Most involving story I've played in an RPG since the first Witcher game, the way in which choice and consequence flow naturally (for the most part) really does a lot for the game.

2. Uncharted 3 ; OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE WHAT JUST HAPPENED? OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. This game also gets bonus points for it's cockney thug that... isn't a cockney thug.

3. Portal 2 ; I think we can put our differences behind us, for science, you monster. Great comedy and puzzle solving in this, particularly with the addition of Stephen Merchant as Wheatley.

4. Skyrim ; There are dragons, you kill them, get married, save the world, standard Bethesda fare with a little more flare. No involvement in the story puts me ranking this one below TW2

5. Battlefield 3 ; Shoot Mans! The Singleplayer was kinda ehhhh but who cares? this game has motherfuckin' jets! and tanks! and helicopters! and rockets flying everywhere! and snipers! and big ass maps! The Back 2 Karkand DLC gave us some old favorites such as my 1942 best bud, Wake Island. Also if it was a woman it would be a supermodel.

6. Star Wars: The Old Republic ; Bioware decided to make an MMO in space, this is what happened.

7. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; The coolest part of this game doesn't have much of a major consequence and it's a spoiler so I can't really tell you about it anyways but
the part where you have to decide whether or not to upgrade your chip? leaving it up to the player was boss

8. Crysis 2 ; Shoot some dudes, shoot some aliens, have your suit reboot, rinse repeat. Great looking game with a CoD-like multiplayer that benefits greatly from the use of suit powers.

9. Dead Island ; Beat that zombie until it dies or your weapon breaks. Kind of okayish once you get past bugs in singleplayer but a bucketful of fun if you can coerce your friends into playing with you.

10. L.A. Noire ; Reviled by some members of GAF, I found the gameplay really intenresting. Watching faces and paying attention to clues is pretty cool. Engaging in chases and shooting dudes is, too. The rote nature of interrogations with only 3 response options leads to fatigue later in the game, which is why it scored so low here.


Mar 23, 2006
Chicago IL.
1. Xenoblade
2. Alice: Madness Returns
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
4. Crysis 2
5. Deus Ex Human Revolution
6. Batman Arkham City
7. Battlefield 3
8. Shadows of the Damned
9. Saints Row The Third
10. Uncharted 3

Honorable Mention-Bulletstorm, The Third Birthday.
2010-Ys 7


Nov 20, 2010
1. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ; The best version of my favourite fighting game of the generation. Ten years we waited for some new MAHVEL BABY, it was so worth it.
2. Bastion ; The most pleasant surprise I've had as a gamer in years. A superb action/RPG game with wonderful storytelling and a truly great soundtrack.
3. Portal 2 ; A worthy sequel. Maybe a tiny bit too long, but it's an epic journey. Brilliant difficulty curve and great voice acting. Now maybe HL3 please Gabe?
4. Batman: Arkham City ; Maybe not quite as good as Arkham Asylum, but still, second best superhero game ever is not bad. Once again captures the "being Batman" feel you want from a game like this.
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ; Gets its' hooks in and doesn't let go. Another great but buggy game from Bethesda.
6. Gears of War 3 ; A fitting finale for Marcus and co. The best campaign of the series, great multiplayer features.
7. WWE All Stars ; Wrestling games, now with actual fun and enjoyment! Loved the simplicity of this compared to the over-technical main series.
8. Mortal Kombat ; A massive improvement on everything since 3. The best story mode ever in a fighter and absolutely bursting with content compared to Capcom's offerings.
9. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine ; The best mix of melee and TPS probably ever. Not without flaws but the 40Kverse is so much fun I didn't care.
10. Dead Space 2 ; Superior sequel to the original. A terrific survival horror and manages to turn silent Issac from the original into a likeable character. Javelin Gun was my favourite new weapon of 2011.

x. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

First year voting on GAF, yay me and yay for great games!


Dec 28, 2010
1. Dark Souls
2. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
3. Saints Row: The Third
4. Shadows Of The Damned
5. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
6. Marvel VS Capcom 3
7. No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise


Feb 22, 2011
1. Rayman Origins - Nothing but raw entertainment. The most fun I have had all year along with the most mesmerising art and level design.

2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Was #1 before rayman came along. Actual player choice and a game that doesn't treat me like a moron that needs my hand held all the time. Shame about the last level.

3. The Witcher 2 - Another superb RPG. Beyond gorgeous, another narrative that respects my intelligence while trimming the fat from the first game. Again, a weak ending here.

4. Portal 2 - The writing, the level and sound design, animation. Basically everything technical in this game is far and away better than almost every other game. Shame there was not much replayability. Co-op was a blast but a bit short.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - I haven't finished it yet but the dungeons have been incredible thus far. Will have to wait and see if it is a better zelda than the minish cap ;d.


7. Frozen Synapse - Refreshing yet nostalgic, Frozen Synapse reminds me of older xcom type games, while not being bogged down by bad mechanics. Really tense game to play vs friends.

8. Xenoblade - The best JRPG in many years. It deserves to be higher but I just had more fun with the other titles. A real standout title on its own regard.

9. Bastion - I wasn't really paying attention to this game until it was already out, and it took a while for me to get into it but the narration and art really blew me away. Not to mention it's really fun.

10. Terraria - Didn't expect this to be as fun, and have as much legs, as it was. It's a bit old for me now (after 100~ hours, whoops), but it was (and is) immensely enjoyable.
Feb 10, 2009
1. Dark Souls
2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
3. Outland
4. Portal 2

I'm usually late to the party on a lot of games so that limits my options a lot on what to vote for but I felt that out of the 2011 releases I've played that these most deserve the recognition. It was difficult choosing between Dark Souls and Deus Ex for my GOTY. Dark Souls has some issues that disappointed me and Deus Ex is the more consistent experience throughout but I felt that DS has higher highs so it should come out on top. Outland is a fantastic action platformer that's like a Metroidvania had sex with Ikaruga. My only real complaint is that like Dead Nation the story isn't well told or interesting (but relatively unintrusive) and that there isn't more of it. I really hope they do a sequel that has more abilities, enemies, etc. Portal 2 is great. The writing is fantastic, Stephen Merchant is amazing, gameplay appropriately expanded on the first game's mechanics but I don't really love it like I do the original Portal. It can drag a little at times (especially after
Wheatley dumps you
) and I felt like they were more restrictive with the white walls and I didn't like looking around for the one portal-able surface in an area to proceed. So I put it at the bottom of my meagre list.


Feb 17, 2011
Kitchener, ON
1. Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) [IMPORT]

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (X360)
3. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP)

4. Pokémon: Black and White Versions (DS)
5. Batman: Arkham City (X360)
6. Bastion (XBLA)

7. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (X360)
8. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
9. Dead Space 2 (X360)
10. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (PSP)

LTTP - Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Apr 18, 2010
Looks like I only played a few new games this year. Spent a lot of time catching up on games from last year.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword; A beautiful game, inside and out. A game with heart and soul. Full of great new characters, great new items, great new areas, great new mechanics, great new controls. So many great NEW additions while retaining enough of the past. All the negativity I saw here on GAF and elsewhere tried to hamper my experience but the game kept breaking through and making me smile. A true classic and quite possibly the best Zelda ever.

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; Could just walk around for hours and admire the care that went into creating this beautiful world. Numerous fantastic quests. Fixed nearly everything that needed fixing from Oblivion. There is always a new dungeon to go crawling through or a new settlement to stumble upon. Had less small bugs than previous Bethesda games but I encountered a larger bug that has prevented me from doing a lot quests. An amazing achievement but much more of an incremental improvement to Oblivion/Fallout 3 than people will admit.

3. Portal 2; Very funny and very clever. Middle section of single player dragged but the new gel mechanics were all really fun and implemented well. Best co-op this generation.

x. Fallout: New Vegas DLC; Don't think this counts but felt I should mention the 3 expansions that came out in 2011. Spent a lot of time with these downloads and enjoyed them all. Added a lot of cool new areas, characters, and scenarios to a game already full of them.
x. Dead Space 2; A good game but didn't feel it deserved a number ranking despite only having a top 3. Great weapons, atmosphere, and enemies but enjoyed DS1 more and DS2 just didn't feel like a true sequel to me, more of a DS 1.5.

Need to play:
- Purchase 3DS
- Super Mario 3D Land
- Mario Kart 7
- Ocarina of Time 3D
- Rayman Origins
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Uncharted 3

2010 - Red Dead Redemption; Absolutely stunning from a graphical standpoint. Interesting characters and great story sections (Mexico was awful from a story perspective but the last quarter of the game and both endings more than made up for it). I usually have no interest in Rockstar games but I am definitely glad I played this.


Sep 30, 2006
Ottawa, ON
1. Dead Space 2

2. King of Fighters 13

3. Mass Effect 2

4. Hard Corps: Uprising

5. Heroes of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes

6. Ratchet All 4 One

7. Portal 2

8. Mortal Kombat

9. Under Siege

Haven't played any other 2011 games that fit the criteria in the OP.


Jul 20, 2009
Knoxville Tennessee
01 - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
02 - Portal 2
03 - Dark Souls
04 - Bastion
05 - Terraria
06 - Battlefield 3 ; just for the PC multiplayer ofcourse
07 - Forza 4
08 - Trackmania: Build to Race
09 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
10 - Dead Space 2

;kinda sad about games I have missed this year. I havent played batman and many others yet :(.


Asks questions so Ezalc doesn't have to
Mar 26, 2007
1) Xenoblade Chronicles - Wii (UK)

Yeah, I know, not a US release (yet). Don’t care; it’s my Game of the Year as it did come out in Europe (thanks NoE). Xenoblade Chronicles is a monumental achievement in RPG design. In addition to being a wonderful RPG with a driving story, likeable characters, great graphics and music, and an engaging battle system, it does a number of little things that just take an already great game and push it through the stratosphere. Because those little things just keep adding up over the course of the game and become huge time-savers and make the game more enjoyable to play. Saving anywhere outside of battle/cutscenes, warping back to checkpoints when you’re defeated instead of having to load your game and losing any EXP, items, and quests you’ve collected/completed, the fast travel to said landmarks, not repeating pre-boss fight cutscenes, about 80% of quests not requiring the player to go all the way back to the giver to get the rewards, all of these things save so much time and make the game so much more enjoyable to play because they allow the player to actually play the game instead of punishing them for experimentation by forcing them to lose time/achievements. Not only is it worth exploring Xenoblade Chronicle’s huge world, the game actually incentivizes this by giving you EXP for discovering new locations and landmarks, in addition to completing quests, using certain abilities often, completing achievements, this game rewards you for playing it and exploring it’s world/systems.

For sixteen years, Final Fantasy VI was the best RPG I’d ever played. Finally a game has come out that has usurped it. Congratulations Xenoblade Chronicles, you are my Game of the Year. And thank you, Nintendo of Europe, for allowing me to play this game in English this year.

2) Atelier Totori - PS3 (US)

In a industry where anything that isn’t dark, edgy, epic, or “mature” (lol) is seemingly looked down on as automatically lesser in quality, GUST and NISA show up with Atelier Totori and tells those closed-minded conformists they can fuck right off. A game doesn’t need to be any of the above to be amazingly fun and charming, and it doesn’t need to be from Nintendo or on a Nintendo system to be a high-quality exception to this standard either. Atelier Totori has plenty of fantastic things yes, but downplays those elements as simply being a part of the world they exist in, choosing instead to focus on a down-to-earth story about a young girl searching for her mother, the friends she meets on her adventure, and balancing her alchemy work and adventuring. More than anything however, Atelier Totori is the example I will hold up as the ultimate sequel; it improves on its immediate predecessor Atelier Rorona in literally every conceivable way. Featuring ten different endings, beautiful 60 FPS graphics with character models that look incredibly close to Mel Kishida’s original artwork, lively music, and lots of replayability, this is my favorite game released in the US this year.

3) Ghost Trick - DS (US)

Take a point and click adventure, throw in real-time elements to the puzzles, and a story you just can’t put down, and you have the Ghost Trick experience. The brainchild of Shu Takumi, the creator of the Ace Attorney series, all the quirky characters and out of this world story-telling you expect are here, along with a driving music score that increases the tension as the clock ticks and addictive puzzling gameplay that drives you to try just one more time propels this game to #3 on the list.

4) Valkyria Chronicles 3 - PSP (JPN)

Forgot in my original edit, as I keep thinking it came out last year (it was early this year!). So with that, this game brings the series back to form after the school entry that was VC2. It's insanely challenging (cross-fire will own you, unlike VC2 where the enemy was shooting bits of old paper at you), much more balanced, and has a much more interesting, driving story with characters I actually gave a shit about. Combined with the great BLiTZ battle system the series has come to be known for, this entry stands alongside VC1 as one of the greats.

Oh, and fuck you Sega of America! >_<

5) Portal 2 - PC (US)

While it can&#8217;t quite measure up to the legendary original, Portal 2 tries its hardest to up the stakes and make the game longer and more engaging than ever before. Smartly keeping the fanservice to a minimum and expanding on the world, this game was highly enjoyable and funny from beginning to end. However I hope there isn&#8217;t a Portal 3, as I&#8217;m not sure they could do anything more with this premise that wouldn&#8217;t just drive this idea into the ground.

6) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Wii (US)

A beautiful aesthetic style, a simple yet endearing story, and the tried and true gameplay that&#8217;s made this series so legendary, it&#8217;s only the game being released with a game-breaking bug that brings Skyward Sword down the list to #6. Without the bug, it would be #3.

7) Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel - PS3 (US)

A great end to the Ar Tonlieco trilogy, but not as impressive as Ar Tonelico 2. The battle system is a poor man's Tales of, and the background music isn't up to par with the first two entries. But it's the setting of Ar Tonelico that I've always loved, and AT3 continues to shine here in it's ability to immerse me in it's mythos.

8) Professor Layton and The Last Specter - DS (US)

More Layton goodness. Going back to the very beginning, we see how everyone's favorite top-hat wearing Professor met his future protege, Luke. However as usual, it's the clever mix of story and puzzles that brings me back every time and will continue to bring me back with the next installment.

9) Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten - PS3 (US)

More Disgaea. Yay for more Disgaea, but while in the past I would rank this series much higher, this game fell a bit short with the story and characters for me. The awesome gameplay is still there, but that's why it's number 9 rather than say, 5 or so. Which is a shame, since the high-res sprites and animated character portraits are wonderful additions to this series. It's a real shame the upcoming Vita port of Disgaea 3 doesn't swap in the HD sprites from this game (I mean, they're basically already there!). If they had, I'd be a Day 1 purchaser of the Vita.

10) Sonic Generations - PC (US)

Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic team up in this great game. It's not quite as good as Colors was, but the Classic Sonic levels really shine. The controls are spot on, the graphics on PC run AMAZINGLY, and I love that Classic Sonic doesn't talk (even though he would have if they could have gotten Jaleel White, according to Sega. Dodged a bullet there, I say!). Some great musical remixes and likely future DLC make this a great package, though some more levels would have been appreciated. :/

2010 entry: 9 Hour 9 Persons 9 Doors - DS (US)

Quite simply, the most engrossing story I've ever read in a videogame. After finishing it, I bought a copy for my older sister and she was hooked. Then we conspired to get my little sister on board, and she was as hooked. The characters have so much life, largely thanks to the efforts of Aksys to put a great localization together. The puzzles, while not incredibly challenging, at least make more sense than other similar first person puzzle games like Myst. But what really amazed me is how all of the alternate routes are not only worth exploring, but are actually utilized to great effect by the game in ways I will not spoil here. If you own a DS or 3DS, and are fine with 90% reading, you OWE it to yourself to read this game.


Nov 14, 2010
1. Super Mario 3D Land; Incredible game, smart and fun, and the single best use of 3D I've seen yet.
2. Bulletstorm; Hilarious and great old school shooting.
3. Mario Kart 7; Most fun racing game I've played in years.
4. Portal 2; Genius puzzles and hilarious dialogue.
5. Mortal Kombat; Amazing fun beat em up.
6. RAGE; Another shooter that felt really old school to me. I've been digging those this year and loved the game despite some issues.
7. Football Manager 2012; Always feels cheap to name sports games in these lists for some reason but.. it is amazing.
8. Deus Ex: Human Revolution; Incredible single player experience.
9. Pokemon Black/White; Huge time sync, first Pokemon I've played since Red/Blue and I loved it.
10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; I've not played enough of this to place it any higher, but what little I have played is good enough to make my list.


Jul 27, 2009
1. Rayman Origins ; My #1 vote is both to raise awareness and because the game is amazing. The perfect blend of good (high-res) art, tight controls, humor & great level design/music. No frustration at all while playing due to good checkpointing and instant retries. Ancel and his small team should be applauded because they provide an experience that few big teams can rival.

2. Saints Row: The Third ; Game enthusiasts don&#8217;t like the stigmas and stereotypes about them, but this game screams dirty pleasure. Plastic penises, the best use of licensed music, more penises, over the top dumb but amazing set-pieces and great voice acting. Gameplay is not deep but it&#8217;s good and satisfying. Streamlining stuff like entering a car and in-world navigation arrows is a godsend in the open-world genre, and Volition deserves the recognition.

3. Catherine; Puzzle game. Japan. Anime. Sexual Innuendo. Keywords for disaster. But Atlus did well and provided an interesting take on block shuffling, juxtaposing it with a surprisingly adult story about adultery. Imported this from the US just because of the premise alone, and it didn&#8217;t disappoint.

4. Ghost Trick ; Another Japanese gem. Phoenix Wright in spirit (no pun intended :D ), it starts off slow but has an interesting story, but the characters (especially combined with the excellent animations) elevate it from good to great. Gameplay is basic but complements the story well

5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; A great take on the original mechanics of Deus Ex while still bringing the IP in new directions. Boss battles and the ending were a disappointment, but the amazing score by Michael McCann and the well realized setting and themes hold up.

6. Xenoblade Chronicles ; the return of the JRPG. Sounds a bit exaggerated but Xenoblade does a lot of things right. Japanese VO, easy fast travel, intuitive real time combat and a story that is cliché but still manages to entertain over the course of about 80 hours, and I haven&#8217;t even done all the sidequests yet.

7. LA NOIRE ; Flawed at some points but the facial tech was an unique experience in video games and the world was very well realised. I kept thinking about it when I turned the game off and that's a good thing. DLC was great as well.

8. Alice: Madness Returns ; The original Alice is a personal favourite of mine so I was pretty excited/sceptical when the sequel came out. McGee did a great job with Spicy Horse and it&#8217;s a shame they aren&#8217;t going to deliver anymore of the bigger budget titles. Also DAT HAIR PHYSICS. :3

9. Shadows of the Damned ; As you can probably tell from my list, I&#8217;m a sucker for style. Suda51 needs to be on the list, and you even get Mikami for free with it. Gameplay wise it feels like RE4 slower brother, but the setting, humour, good translation by 8-4 Ltd and excellent score by Yamaoka made this the perfect summer game.

10. Frozen Synapse ; I don&#8217;t really like strategy games, because I don&#8217;t have the patience for them. This game does strategy my way. Quick, fast and abstract. It&#8217;s also really satisfying to win from someone online.

x. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. Interesting take on religious storytelling and the combat felt tight. Also really stylish.

x. The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim. I wanted Skyrim to be my #1 game, but I played the PS3 version. Battered Wife Syndrome pretty much sums it up. The game is amazing but I can&#8217;t look past its faults. Jeremy and Julian Soule did an amazing job on the score though, probably one of my favs this year.

2010. Mass Effect 2 ; played on PS3. Really like the universe but I&#8217;m still not feeling ME3 yet.

walking fiend

Apr 13, 2011
Seems Xenoblade will easily win the 'best game no one played' category. I have a copy lying in front of me just now, but I have yet to put the disk in the drive. Guess I am part of the problem...


Dec 29, 2004
Dublin, Ireland
1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2. Super Mario 3D Land
3. Portal 2
4. Frozen Synapse
5. Mario Kart 7
6. Swords & Sworcery
7. Spacechem
8. Pullblox
9. Renegade Ops
10. Pilotwings Resort

2010. Just Cause 2
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