Game of the Year 2011

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I'm screaming "Portal 2" and "Minecraft" at my computer screen right now. I will remain calm and collected while typing this, so not to come off as a douche.

I frankly disagree with your opinion that Skyrim is the best game of the year. While I found it quite enjoyable, I did enjoy the other two titles above more. I'm glad you guys took the high road and actually mentioned Portal 2 and Minecraft as opposed to other sites... *cough* GAMEFAQS *cough* Excuse me. But, it must still be said that Portal 2 managed to take a small game and expand it into something worthy of 60 bucks and Minecraft was able to engage millions of gamers through the work of just one man. Yes, minecraft has several people on the team now, but it started and became popular with just one guy working on it. Those are quite impressive achievements.

Now I have to stop typing before my inner nerd rages out and...... WHY THE FUCK ISN'T MINECRAFT NUMBER ONE... *slap* *smack* *duct-tape* *facedesk* Sorry. I didn't mean for that to break out.

Have a nice day.


i almost got a tear in my eye to see Shogun 2 Total War making it to the list. the rts games get no love in this day in age.

Great list overall. And skyrim getting top honor is no surprise :D

hmmmm, skyrim was a good choice in my opinion, with a few mods, it has become my favourite game of this year, bit disapointed that portal 2, witcher 2 and batman:AC weren't nominees as they were far above anything else I played this year. I personally preferred those 3 to Deus Ex, which failed to wow me, Minecraft, which I have gone off since it came out due to lack of change or updates from the pre-release versions, and shogun 2, which again was a good game, but failed in holding my interest long enough to finish a campaign. I havn't played any of the others in the nominee list due to not owning any of the consoles, doesn't feel right to shell out £200 for outdated tech (I'm a bit of a tech junkie, and I enjoy messing about with my pc as much as skyrim<)

Edit: After a second look I forgot about bastion, I just never got round to buying it... Also the rest of the list I agree with, especially the SW:TOR, you can't really judge an mmo properly after this tiny amount of time

You guys probably said this at least 20 times in this thread but, i can't accept Skyrim as the game of the year. Skyrim was the game i put the most of my hours this year(130) but when a games wiki has at least 2 bugs on every other page, that's just a broken game. (yes i played the Ps3 version. I don't have anything else)

Greg Says: There is no wrong way to play Bethesda's fifth Elder Scrolls game

That's funny, because whenever i tell Skyrim fanboys that there are some parts of the game that i don't enjoy, they're telling me that I'm playing it wrong.

Not only can Skyrim be played wrong, it actually INVITES you to play it wrong in so many ways. A game should avoid that.

I honestly haven't played most of these games - been too busy with my backlog this year, as well as a bunch of other old games I bought new - but of the ones I've played, I agree entirely. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a very worthy sequel to the original, with the advantage of an actually good storyline this time round, and Portal 2 was very similar, in that it somehow lived up to the first. Skyrim was... well, bloody Skyrim - but I'm an Elder Scrolls fanboy anyway, so my vision may be warped a bit - and MineCraft is a fun game, even if it lost its appeal for me.

Most of these points fit me as well. The game I've played the most this year is TF2, a game I didn't play before it went F2P. But it's weird to call a game from 2007 one of my top games of the year. :)

I also logged a ton of hours into Minecraft, but then it struck one of my major gaming pet peeves: food requirements. And suddenly all of my enthusiasm was lost. I told myself I'd grab a mod that removed this once the final version was out, but I've been busy playing Skyrim since then, and when I take a break it's been for short games like Amnesia and Left 4 Dead (another Valve oldie I've only just tried).

As much as I love Skyrim I suspect Portal 2 would have been my top choice if it had a nice challenge mode. But after months of waiting for it we get . . . . the ability to play any of the levels with stats? No Valve, I'm looking for challenging puzzles. I was willing to overlook their absence in Portal 2 because the story was phenomenal and I was having too much fun to care that the puzzles were on the easy side. But I really hoped the challenge mode from the first game would return or be improved upon, instead of waiting for a watered down version.

Saints Row the Third is my game of the year. In Skyrim I'm a nord with an axe. In Saints Row the Third I was a toilet with an armcannon.

We can't demand better quality from our gaming industry, and then give something with significantly less technical quality such unilateral praise. PS3 users can't even play it, dragons fly backwards, people shoot into the sky, quest givers disappear, but hey, as long as it's got a lot of stuff to do in it, it's awesome. Bugs are enough to take down games like Dead Island, but it's a good thing they're promptly ignored here.

I couldn't agree more. But oh well. This list is pretty lame anyway.

How very predictable.

It would have been nice if Skyward Sword won, it's still widely praised but at least it's not Skyrim which I hear so much about everywhere it's sickening, no one shuts up about it.

It's a great game, we get it, and I agree, but it doesn't deserve all the praise it gets.

Perhaps I'm a little annoyed by it, and the stupid arrow in the knee jokes you see on Youtube everywhere.

Once again, the game my PS3 refuses to play wins a GOTY award.

So is it really that bad? I've been thinking about buying it, but all I have is a PS3.

OT: I really liked Skyward Sword, despite what people on this site may say. I'm glad it's at least up there in the list. I'm also glad Arkham City got an honorable mention.

I don't usually care about these things, but Dragon Age 2 as an honourable mention is a complete joke.

This isn't even a list. It's just you praising Skyrim, which was pretty much Oblivion and Morrowind, except with dragons and a shittier setting... Yeah, I do prefer even those two countries over Skyrim.

Ok, You must be kidding. DN:F was never going to make a GOTY list, ever. Given it's 14 year development time and it's lack of magical powers, it's a failure on every single level of gaming.

I said DN:F was one of my favorite games of this year, and it was. It was fun, hilarious, and not serious like a lot of shooters are now. As for the "14 year development cycle", it was really only worked on for about 3 years, and even then, when Gearbox picked it up it was mostly just finishing what was there and getting it out the door.

This website in particular and its fan base has a huge calling against cheap flashy games that are pushed out onto shelves. I don't see how you could ever except otherwise.

So, you can't see how I can accept playing games that I find fun and entertaining rather than listening to a website tell me what is popular and what to play? Or the cut and pasted sequels rushed out the door the make a quick buck?

Nice to see Dragon Age 2 get a mention in there, although I don't think it deserves a GOTY nomination because let's face it, it was lazily designed. I simply got reminded too many times I was sitting in my room pressing buttons on a controller.

Anyway I can't wait to get Skyrim, NEED NEW PC!

Well, saw Skyrim coming about a galaxy away.

But I have to object, dammit! There wasn't a single shooter on that list at all, especially not the awesomeness that is Modern Warfa-- *shot*

OK, but in all honesty, it's nice to see the recognition of very good and genre-defining games there, games that took a chance and tried to be different, or did something amazing with their huge budgets that wasn't something someone was already trying to do or rehashing something from before. Skyrim is obvious, but I am pleasantly surprised by all of the 2011 Nominees and I'll probably check them all out.

Also, and I'm being completely honest here... I honestly think Dragon Age 2 should've been replaced with Battlefield 3. Dragon Age 2 was still BioWare quality and it wasn't bad, but it was a disappointment, imo, compared to the other Dragon Age games, while Battlefield 3 attempted to do something new with the stagnated FPS genre. Sure, it's still obviously copypastaing the tired and true variations of FPSs that we're all sick of now, but no one can deny that what DICE made with the game is still all-around fun.

Hey guys, I was bored so I did my own.

Many people, magazines etc, are doing these. Here are mine, and the reasoning:

5) Project Zomboid

A game at number 5, that isn't even finished? A good game entertains, challenges and gives you plenty of stories to tell others-it makes you actually care about the game and catches you within its setting as a form of escapism. This unfinished product did all that for me, in such a short time. Boarding off the house, aiding your sick partner (you start with a dependent, something more games could use as a feature), scavenging, fighting the dead, being killed or infected. Being surrounded from help in a shack and turning, these have all been moments I've experienced in just one day of solid gaming. With new features being added, being able to negotiate with survivors, team up, be killed by dangerous scavengers, this could end up being one of the best games of 2012 as well.
Mmmmm apocalypse soup.

4) Skyrim

An obvious one, well accredited and loved by many. One of the best merits of this game is its accessibility. You can play the type of game you want within the world, complete or ignore the main quest, level up and hone your abilities how you wish. I have four characters, each with a different focus, there is that much room to develop. The world is expansive, but I would have liked more work done on the cities and the inhabitants, it can become a little samey and small-not that Skyrim is cast as a really urban territory. The most fun is out in the wild, hunting, raiding, attacking the lairs of bandits and "slitting throats" to quote Swearengen of Deadwood. The stories that are told by Skyrim fans may annoy non-players, but we players can all relate and then tell our own. This is a real mark of a good game. The biggest Skyrim fan I know goes to Miranda.
Sabre cat at low levels? Run!

3) Magicka

This game about wizards, monsters, humour and pop culture references has the best magic system I've ever seen in a game. Skyrim could learn a few things off Magicka. After months of play, there are still more strategies to develop, new combinations to learn and practice. It takes a while to master, but doesn't have the learning curb of games 2 and 1. Your micro will determine how good a wizard you are. The world is more attuned to the Scandinavian/Viking mythos, rather than Tolkien, which means it inhabits a world similar to Skyrim (but weirder). The multiplayer is incredibly fun with some good wizard-friends to aid you. Poor wizards or saboteurs can cause problems. The challenges are where the most intense fun is to be found, spell-duels are also good (especially for improving reaction time) and the campaign is not dull either. Put on your robe and wizard hat.
When you accidentally explode your ally with a botched crossing of the elements, you will laugh.

2) Dark Souls

The world is not as large or open as Skyrim, but it is harder, more rewarding and with a beautiful grim style. For many levels and days, even the lowliest skeleton can kill the player if they are not careful. Groups can always pose a challenge, and be a counter to your current attack style. That is one of greatest merits of Dark Souls, that it requires investment and to learn how each weapon combination works, what it is best against, what is its timing and stamina cost to use. For a good time, give these weapon types a go: murakumo and rapier, rapier and buckler, halberd and cestus, zweihander while naked. The game is punishing, and it is best to not fight the world, to not assume you should be able to just button-mash and progress through the game. This "entertainment" will require time, and is not for the fragile or easily angered player (unless you want to replace your controller often). Dark Souls can give a great sense of victory after so many defeats, and it really is a learning experience. The last point to mention is the soundtrack, I'd say superior it is superior to Skyrim. Here is a sample: 1:30

Gangster no. 1)
Shogun 2

This game is huge, and it is actually a number of separate games within one. There is the campaign, which can be played single player or multiplayer, there are the land battles, which starts one on one but goes up to four against four (that is four armies a side. With thousands on the field). There is also the naval battles, which differ to land battles and have the feel more of shogi (Japanese chess) as the ships move to concentrate their power and out-manoeuvre. There is even wonderful art and the loading screens, complete with ancient quotes on strategy, conduct and the art of war. The multiplayer games can be extremely difficult against seasoned players, but the game has unit promotion and balancing mechanics to reward dedicated players. The new players have the benefit of being able to bring more men (or nuns and onna bushi) and units to the field than the veteran players. The Gempei war expansion is especially good for this game, taking the setting back to the 12th century. Shogun 2 stands a mighty game, and one that is hard to master. Strangely it is an earlier game in the series, Medieval 2 that actually has a better trait, retinue and characterisation system for the leaders than Shogun 2.
Whether you want to fight a sea battle with great castle ships or small vessels or land battles with ninja, monks, samurai, cannon, mangonels or hordes of ashigaru levies, this game is one that allows all that. There are so many different combinations, strategies and tactics to use.

Most rewarding game to play: dark souls
Hardest game: dark souls
Hardest multiplayer: shogun 2
Most fun multiplayer: magicka
Most fun single player: skyrim
Game with the most content: shogun 2 (truly, after many months, still trying new battle types, and going through the many sides and finding new situations in single player.
Games with dragons: skyrim, magicka, dark souls
Games with the walking dead: project zomboid, skyrim, magicka, dark souls, shogun 2 . Once, a young warrior aristocrat from my side, impaled himself on spears, died stone-cold on the ground, but was alive the next turn. His wrath was furious in the following battle.
Most arrows to the knee: shogun 2. Against defensive archer armies in multiplayer, the knees of your soldiers will ache.

Check these games out if you haven't!


I was expecting Skyrim to be my GOTY, but Dark Souls took that title away. It did everything perfect for me. It took me roughly 70 hours to complete it my first time (that's with idling around a bit since it has no pause, plus all the exploring). I've never taken that long to finish a game, and I loved every minute of it. Even if I was being brutally murdered quite a lot.

i almost got a tear in my eye to see Shogun 2 Total War making it to the list. the rts games get no love in this day in age.

Great list overall. And skyrim getting top honor is no surprise :D

Yes it was good to see Shogun get some praise. *Tears*

While Skyrim is most likely the best game of the year, Minecraft should of still one because it is the game the embodies this year.

Minecraft has shown that an indie game can be a success beyond what most of the AAA industry can do. If any game is going to have the most lasting impact, I think Minecraft is that game.

RJ 17:
come on, did you honestly believe that this or any other panel judging Best Game of 2011 would declare anything but Skyrim as the #1 game

Yes. I was hoping a critic somewhere would have the balls to stand up and say "One third of the versions released are broken. And two months later people that paid $60 still have a broken game. That is not game of the year material."

The same problem has even been reported on the 360, just not as widespread. So that's 2/3rds.

Even as someone who got it for the PC, I'm irritated by this. And to think of all the inane things we as the gaming community throw a shitfit over, we're suddenly willing to give this a pass? That's ridiculous.

Whilst I like the variety on the list, the GOTY I could see from a mile away and I personally kept routing for it not to be there because IMO it doesn't deserve it.
Also, that praise of DA2... It says the exact opposite of what many recognise as the flaws in the game at times. It gets it right with the different approach to story telling, but I think we've all agreed that wave spawning enemies is not a fun game, nor a good one. Not to mention the whole combat is mash button and hope your healer survives.

Skyrim... I can't say much here other than what has probably otherwise been said. Its hype was great, and it had a great following, but it was fatally flawed in more ways then one.
For instance, the fact you can't play it on the PS3. It does not matter if they are trying to fix it, when released and, from what I understand, at present time - 1/3 of the market cannot enjoy the game for more than X hours. That is pathetic. By giving it GOTY, we give the go ahead for other studios to do the same thing, and that is just wrong.
Honestly, I have no real GOTY for this year myself. Nothing wowed me that much that it should deserve such an honour. Skyrim was a major letdown, DA2 even moreso, Minecraft had potential, then wasted it, DX:HR lacked the replayability it needed, meaning to date I have only played it once - not GOTY material -, Arkham City, whilst brilliant, just felt too short, and it needed more boss fights like Ras Al Gul or Freeze, and none of the other games really hit home.

Eh, I wonder if I'll agree with anything next year. There looks to be a couple of interesting titles coming up (A couple is probably about right actually).

Yes skyrim is my favourite game of the year, as it seems to be for a lot of others.

I don't know about it being game of the year but okay at least it was Skyrim and not something awful that won. Though looking through the list of nominees I see Infamous 2. :/ I have to say that after playing about couple of hours into Infamous 2 that it is rather boring and feels stupid. The story seem is flimsy and it's really annoying to play. Also the "explore every single ledge of the city for purple rocks to upgrade your character but only a little bit each time" side-mission was boring as hell and I really have to disagree, I never felt like I held anyone's life in my hands.

Though it's good to see that Dark Souls was on the nominee list. That game may have been ball-bustingly hard but it was rewarding.

Excellent choices and excellent choice for Game of the Year. SKYRIM deserves all the praise it gets. I hope Bethesda keeps wowing us with ever more ambitious games. I can't wait to back hand the Thalmor and become a Were-Shark in TES VI: Argonians In Space!!!

oh wow, lets drop all the accolades on skyrim woop-de-fuggin-do... You do realise this was the point? drop it right at the end of the year so nothing gets anything other than a cursory glance between it's release and new years. yes it big, but it has so many flaws, that just- gawww! forget it, fine, it isn't the GOTY, but wth do i know?

...Are people really complaining that their choice was predictable? Would you rather them lie to keep you on your toes?

Ah Dragon Age 2. The only game in my library that I regret ever buying. I LOVED the characters. I loved the plot. (though it was odd). I loved the aesthetics as well. The combat was nice and fast.....but everything else just sucked.....

The waves of enemies got tiring quickly. The teleporting enemies got annoying fast. The constant ambushes got old. Aggro was broken. Difficulty level was too easy or too hard. Dungeons re-used to the point that I even wonder why only certain paths are blocked off. Killed so many "citizens" that the city should of been a ghost town by the end of the "10" years. When the game makes it painful to face the next battle...there is something wrong.

Oh, I can really go into a nerd rage about how painful the game was for me, but that would ruin what I am trying to say. Games like DA2 should not get praise for such a lack of completion in so many areas. That is like praising Madden next year for "improving" their gameplay.

Goddammit, why is there so little bitching about Bastion not getting it?

Goddammit, why is there so little bitching about Bastion not getting it?

Because nobody expects an indie title to win GOTY unless it is called Minecraft. I'm not bashing indie games in any way, I play them all the time and enjoy them. But lets face it, 9.5 times out of 10 a AAA title is going to win GOTY.

The only thing more predictable than Skyrim winning this award, is the bitching and whining in the comment section.

Skyrim was the game I played the most, and enjoyed the most. I honestly can't remember any one game holding my attention for a long period of time besides Skyrim. 102 Hours, and just starting a new char.

So Dragon Age 2 made honorable mentions but Terraria seems to have fallen to the waste side. I played Terraria 108 hours and Skyrim for 20, after having grown tired of the constant waves of Draugr which made up roughly 70% of my combatants.

This list makes me want to cry.
And the fact that someone put Dragon Age 2 in it makes me want to throw up.

Honorable mention for Dragon Age 2.
Portal 2 wasn't nominated.
Minecraft WAS nominated.
Skyrim wins.

I played through all 4 of these games, and put over 300 hours into Minecraft, and around 150 hours in Skyrim.

This article has zero credibility in my eyes. I could write books on how many things are wrong with both Minecraft and Skyrim.

Are there any credible sites that review games anymore? Ones with standards for quality, creativity, and originality? Ones that don't let lazy greedy companies get away with releasing unfinished games that are filled with bugs and unplayable on entire consoles?

Yay Skyward Sword got a nomineeeeeehhhdfghdg!!!
*raises flame shield*

Hurray, all aboard the hype wagon. Let's all hand out game of the year awards to a product that, on the PS3 is completely unplayable, and on the PC players spend more time on the command console and trying to configure stability mods than ingame, because it's big and has dragons, instead of taking a stand against developers who disrespect their customers by releasing pre-alpha versions for 60$. It's funny, I remember last year people criticizing Red Dead Redemption for its bugs, while I doubt Skyrim will reach RDR's level of polish even 2 years from now (especially considering Bethesda's history of releasing a few patches and then going "we're done, fuck it, next game" and leaving behind broken games that people paid for). Thanks for lowering our standards. No wonder nobody gives a shit about "game journalism".

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