I know there’s still a few more games still to be released this year, but nothing that threatens to take the place of any game in this list, I’m sure. So that means its time to list the best games of the year!
There are so many popular, big-name releases not in this list, you’re going to be so annoyed. But I’m not doing it just to upset you. These really are the best games of the year. It’s just that not everyone can agree because not everyone can be right, like I am.
Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon
I actually gave this a 7/10 because, given the hardware it runs on and given the price, it needed to be technically a lot better and more substantial to warrant anything more than a tentative, cautious recommendation. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the most fun games I’ve played during this, or any other, year. It’s exciting and addictive and funny, and deserves to be checked out by anyone with a love of pure action gameplay. Especially if you can find it cheap(er).
Did an Xbox blog just say that LittleBigPlanet 2 was one of the best games of the year? Yes it did, and that’s because it is. Although I’ll admit it didn’t blow me away quite as dramatically as I thought it would, I still dip into it regularly and always have an awesome time with it whenever I do.
Dead Space 2
I thought that the follow-up to EA’s surprise survival horror hit might lack some of the psychological impact of its forebear, but I was wrong. Yes, there were more action-heavy set pieces, but they weren’t included at the expense of tension and atmosphere at all. Definitely one of the best horror games I’ve ever played.
In terms of sheer quality, no other game was a match for Rage in 2011. Yeah, it didn’t really need to be an open-world game, but never mind. When it did get down to the important business of shooting your way from one end of a level to the other it proved to be an absolute masterclass in how to make an FPS from the studio who kick-started the genre.
For me, Torchlight is by far the best XBLA release of the year and, being a huge, complex, deep action-RPG from the creators of Diablo, has to be one of the best value packages available on the platform. Who needs a console port of Diablo III anyway?
Like Rage, Bulletstorm was a welcome reminder that first-person shooters don’t have to be mindless blockbuster shooting galleries, they can be games of skill and satisfaction too. Bulletstorm does the blockbuster thing pretty well too though, with its comical script and epic pulp sci-fi story. It’s the addictive skillshot-based scoring system that really sets it apart from the pack though. Few FPS’s have this much of an imagination.
It’s just brilliant, isn’t it? Not only is it one of the most ingenious puzzle games ever made, it boasts a quality of comedy that’s simply never been seen in any other game. I wish every game developer were like Valve.
I’ve been a big fan of Codemasters’ off-road racing games since Colin McRae Rally kicked things off back in 1998. The franchise has changed a lot since then, but it’s still awesome, mainly thanks to pitch-perfect handling. This year saw the excellent new addition of Gymkhana events too, which proved to be much more than a mere gimmick.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
It’s tight at the top of this list and Skyrim very nearly got the top spot. It’s one of those weird games that, despite not quite being everything I hoped for, is still fantastic enough for me to get utterly lost in it for hours on end. And it’s a really nice feeling that I still have dozens and dozens of hours still left to go.
Forza Motorsport 4
Skyrim is second on this list because I love huge, expansive, detailed, content-heavy games, and DiRT 3 is third because I love racing sims. It makes sense that Forza 4 is at the top then because it is both of the above. It’s an excellent racing sim with a truly massive quantity of content to play with. Not only that, it’s well designed as a game as well, with varied, flexible modes that let you enjoy it in exactly the manner that suits you. I love it.