Game of the Year 2011

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Couldn't agree more. Skyrim is my personal GOTY with Arkham City as the distant runner up.

Definitely disagree with this no surprise choice of GoTY.

If it was for the most buggy and broken with a crap port for the PS3 (and I think PC?), this would wins hands down. Really, things like this *should* be taking in to consideration when picking a GoTY, not just, "This game is kewl."

Looking at everyone's Top 5 I expected to see Skyrim as GOTY, and sadly so. The main reason I believe Skyrim doesn't deserve the title is because of the story and the quests. The main quests is the worst storyline I've seen in a very long time, especially in an RPG. And there are so many fetch quests it's unacceptable. Even when you're doing important quests like becoming Guild Master, there are literally 20 fetch quests you need to do.

I've heard the argument a countless times that you don't need to do the main quest to enjoy the game, but it's the main quest for a reason! Either don't put a main quest in there at all, or at least make it a good one. Fallout: New Vegas is a good example of an open world game with a strong story and multiple paths depending on your choices and actions. You can ignore the main story but if you do follow it, you're in for a treat.

And dragons really are far from memorable and far from well executed. Remember that these dragons are feared throughout Skyrim because they're bringing total destruction and the end of the world with it. As Susan points out: bears are to be feared more than dragons!

Why didnt I see Saints row 3 anywhere?

Assassin Xaero:
This is the reason why I never cared much for GOTY awards popularity contests. Dragon Age 2, the sequel to the worst game I ever had to force myself to finish (which from play the demo and what I've heard, DA2 is even worse than DA:O) gets "honorable mention", while my three favorite games of the year (Rage, Duke Nukem Forever, and Bulletstorm) are no where on the list. Oh well, not like the awards make the games better or anything, I still get to have my fun with games that I actually enjoy.

You might like Dragon Age 2 better. The reason I say this is that after I pre-ordered it, I went online and got the Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition.

I only got a little over 20 hours into it and I couldn't continue, it was just too broken, outdated, boring and cliche.

I decided to keep my pre-order in place, and when I got DA2, I found it so awesome, it was the only game I played until I finished it, 54 hours in less then a month period. I also went back and started up and played a bit as the other two classes.

I willing to bet what you heard about the game has been bile out of the mouths of people that trash the game because, "It isn't like Origins".

Everything that was broken about Origins, they fixed, controls, more fine tuned inventory, much better and rewarding level and ability tree system, dialogue is much cleaner and better executed with the edition of dialogue wheel, the story is more personal to the player character and the party members actually feel like real people but unique from each other. The only problem the game had was the sort of small amount of dungeons that get reused, though since the rest of the game is phenomenal, that can easily be overlooked. I know I didn't notice it until I was almost finished with the game and somebody had to point it out.

Now about one point of the rest of your comment, how could you ever think Duke Nukem Forever would be on any critic site's game of the year list. If it was, it would most likely have been a joke. DNF was critically panned across the board. Heck, it was so critically fire-blasted that the guy that was head of the PR group that represented the game, in desperate attempt to make the ratings better, he actually threatened reviewers/review sites that they would never get another pre-release copy of games that they represent if they didn't stop saying DNF was a horrible game.

I was glad I waited for the reviews to make my decision, and since the consensus is that it is nothing like previous DN games, I'm definitely will never play it. I mean come on, DN3D had open explorable levels, you could carry all ten weapons at once, and it had health packs. DNF had linear levels, a two gun limit, and silly, suck thumb behind rock, regen health. And to top it off the sexual themes and jokes were at least 20 times over done compared to DN3D. The game is a travesty, it could have been so much more, but Gearbox was just so lazy when the got it and apparently didn't know thing one about what made a great DN game.

leet_x1337:
Before I opened the article, I just knew you were going to keep praising Skyrim as the best game ever made, despite its numerous flaws (among them not one but two bad ports and the bugs in all three versions.) Either I'm psychic or every single game critic ever thinks that Plan 9 from Outer Space couldn't possibly be a better movie.

Yeah. course every other game they praised was flawless.
*hust* Dragon Age 2 *hust*

Am I seriously the only one who thinks Skyward Sword should have gotten GOTY?
Either way, at least I'm not the only one who thinks Elder Scrolls Filled-To-The-Skyrim-With-Bugs should have lost.

Carnagath:
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".

Pre-Alpha? These glitches and bugs have been minor annoyances at best. Plus, a GOTY is about the overall experience, and many times the overall experience far overshadows bugs and glitches.

It was no surprise that the Escapist picked it as the GOTY. Especially so if you ever regularly listen to the Escapist Podcast. I remember that in at least four of them in a row, the group discussed their experiences with the game for at least 25 to 30 minutes of the podcast. Occasionally bugs got mentioned, but the praise far outweighed them.

My brother got me the 360 version for Christmas. I've played for almost 80 hours and I barely scratched the surface of the content in the game. I've done maybe five of the main storyline quests, heck, I haven't even picked a side(Empire or Stormcloaks) yet. In my play time I have encounter a couple frame rate slow downs/pauses and my 360 has froze up twice while playing it, but the awesomeness of the game makes those problems meaningless. Skyrim is definitely my game of the year.

My brother has the PC version, and if he has encountered any of the bugs, he hasn't mentioned them to me in his stories of his times playing the game. So it is all about experiences and how they weigh against the bugs. If the bugs feel meaningless to most people, then the bugs will be overlooked when considering it for the GOTY.

Well I must say I'm surprised to see Batman Arkham City and Portal 2 only got Honorable Mentions and not a full on Nomination for GOTY.

Skyrim is both predictable as GOTY and highly deserving. I'm still playing it now, can't say that for some of the other choices.

Amaror:

leet_x1337:
Before I opened the article, I just knew you were going to keep praising Skyrim as the best game ever made, despite its numerous flaws (among them not one but two bad ports and the bugs in all three versions.) Either I'm psychic or every single game critic ever thinks that Plan 9 from Outer Space couldn't possibly be a better movie.

Yeah. course every other game they praised was flawless.
*hust* Dragon Age 2 *hust*

I've already repented on this one; just read my incredibly long argument with omicron1 on the first page.

SilverUchiha:
That was fuckin' predictable. I was really hoping you guys would surprise me on this one.

A game of the Year list is predictable? Stop the presses.

In all honesty, Skyrim deserved to win just by its sheer scope and wealth of stuff to do. But I would have liked Arkham City to have gotten more than just an honourable mention. :(

InFamous 2 was game of the year for me. Game had only few flaws and I have replayed it many times. :)

Skyrim was good, but quests were way too linear and close quarters combat was bad. Sneaking could have been done better, but it worked. World was big and that's great. I also loved the Skyrim itself, so that's good. Good game, but few flaws held it back for me. Not to mention the characters were pretty un-interesting.

I'm quite happy with that list overall really. It's good to see infamous 2 get some recognition, given that it had enjoyable, rock solid mechanics, a decent story which kept me entertained. As for people complaining about their personal choice not being GOTY, and that the result was predictable, I say pffft. The whole point of the article is to recognise the best games of the year, and opinions will vary. I doubt that all the contributors agreed that skyrim was the very best, but they had to come to an agreement, and they did. Personally, having played skyrim on PS3, the slowdown issues were very annoying, but in no way were they game breaking, so all the claims of "1/3 of the product were broken" is bull. Additionally, having just played red dead redemption this year, I didn't notice any bugs that were supposedly rampant. They probably patched them, but I was pleasantly surprised not to get bits of horse stuck in walls.

Skyrim defense aside, it was not my personal goty. That award goes to the grim, gloomy, mass-murdering ball of brilliance that is dark souls. But I can realise that not everyone agrees with me, and so I'm perfectly happy to see it as just a nomination. As I am with the other games on the list that I enjoyed, namely bastion and deus ex.

In short, if a game you loved didn't make the shortlist, go ahead and lament that fact. If it did make the list, be happy with the recognition that it is receiving, and stop complaining.

Well, Bethesda did make certain strides to iron out some of the flaws that have been inherent to all of their previous games(mainly the worst character system ever created(not so much in Fallout 3) and mostly weak sauce storylines) and i enjoy Skyrim quite a bit to be honest. Playing it on PC i'm just itching to see what the modding community will come up with once the SDK has been released. Still, i must say i enjoyed Witcher 2 quite a bit more. Even considering the rushed 3rd act(and the technical issues i.e. the crappiest console-type interface known to man) the storytelling is just so superior. I guess it's just something thats in the nature these games. Elder Scrolls games are more about providing a world for the player(also via the modding community) to make up his own stories in. The Witcher(or any of the Bioware titles, sans the horrible DA2, for that matter) games are more about telling a strong story with a certain range of choices that lead to somewhat different conclusions but are very restricted in terms of level design.

But aside from all that, clearly the GOTY has to be NBA 2k12. There's just no competition. You know i'm right, dontcha? xD

double post sorry

Sonic Doctor:

Carnagath:
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".

Pre-Alpha? These glitches and bugs have been minor annoyances at best. Plus, a GOTY is about the overall experience, and many times the overall experience far overshadows bugs and glitches.

Indeed, quest-critical NPC's that teleport below the world geometry forever and break the quests, 2 frames per second after 20 minutes of play, constant crashes that corrupt the game's autosaves so you can't delete them until you run HDD restore and monsters that glitch you in combat forever and require a reload, those are very minor annoyances. Game of the year material for sure.

Well, what a suprise. This is dissapointing. Skyrim isn't bad, it just isn't great. Skyrim represents the greatest travesty in the game industry: the singularity of genres. The Elder Scrolls franchise used to play off of some pretty specific strengths, but over the last two games, Bethesda has cheapened and watered the games down. Now the game has no strengths. Good thing the Escapists reviewers are still amused by the fact that Bethesda does open world games. It tried to be too accessible and I think it ended up alienating the fans of the series and not really doing anything new either.
But I suppose if that's really the best a person can hope for nowadays, maybe it is the game of the year. whooo.

Aaaand no mention of Uncharted 3? That's quite astounding. Did anybody at the escapist apart from Yahtzee play this title? Did we just forget this game exists? I don't care if it doesn't grab the GOTY award from every website (Gametrailers already did that), and Skyrim is very good, but at the very least mention it. Give the game some credit. It's not even my GOTY, Rayman Origins is, for being the least predictable and surprisingly great title to come out this year.
I have all these nominated games, and yeah, it's great Bastion keeps getting nominated as best indie game, but I would like somebody to show some love to The Binding of Isaac as a potential runner-up. I have yet to stop playing that game.

leet_x1337:
Before I opened the article, I just knew you were going to keep praising Skyrim as the best game ever made, despite its numerous flaws (among them not one but two bad ports and the bugs in all three versions.) Either I'm psychic or every single game critic ever thinks that Plan 9 from Outer Space couldn't possibly be a better movie.

Oh is it time to jump on the "Hate Skyrim" bandwagon now? I thought you people were still over on the Dragon Age 2 wagon?

Motakikurushi:
Aaaand no mention of Uncharted 3? That's quite astounding. Did anybody at the escapist apart from Yahtzee play this title? Did we just forget this game exists? I don't care if it doesn't grab the GOTY award from every website (Gametrailers already did that), and Skyrim is very good, but at the very least mention it. Give the game some credit. It's not even my GOTY, Rayman Origins is, for being the least predictable and surprisingly great title to come out this year.
I have all these nominated games, and yeah, it's great Bastion keeps getting nominated as best indie game, but I would like somebody to show some love to The Binding of Isaac as a potential runner-up. I have yet to stop playing that game.

As someone who eagerly awaited and bought the Collector's Edition for Uncharted 3... the game was meh.

Oh it was a fun game, it was just so incredibly rushed at the ending and the plot was almost cookie cutter of second game. It was an average game compared to the sequels that did it better this year (Skyward Sword, Skyrim, Rayman Origins, Batman: AC, etc).

Carnagath:

Sonic Doctor:

Carnagath:
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".

Pre-Alpha? These glitches and bugs have been minor annoyances at best. Plus, a GOTY is about the overall experience, and many times the overall experience far overshadows bugs and glitches.

Indeed, quest-critical NPC's that teleport below the world geometry forever and break the quests, 2 frames per second after 20 minutes of play, constant crashes that corrupt the game's autosaves so you can't delete them until you run HDD restore and monsters that glitch you in combat forever and require a reload, those are very minor annoyances. Game of the year material for sure.

Hm, I take it your on the PS3? As am I! And I have no issues whatsoever. Surprising to me actually. Maybe you are just incredibly unlikely? I have gotten quite far into this game, even with the rather large slow down.

So all I can really say is this:

Stop Bitching.

Enjoy the game or get rid of it, your choice as it always has been.

It's good to see Minecraft and Bastion on the list. I would have liked to have seen Trine 2, Dungeons of Dredmor, and Orcs Must Die! shoring up the indie offering.

Would LIMBO and Cave Story+ count? I know the former is a 2010 game but was only ported in 2011, and the latter is just a graphical update of a 6-year-old game (the best game ever).

I think soon the videogaming world will be split between AAA titles and low-budget indie-developed ones. Middle-ranged games seem to be doing less well as the market develops... Or is that just a warped perception of mine?

Dragon Age 2 was fucking terrible, I have no idea what game you were playing but it wasnt Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 was squeezed out in a year with horrible characters and a story that didnt go anywhere untill the end of the game. I only remember the characters from Dragon Age 2 thanks to the amusing stereotypes they fill like the Slutty Pirate Woman, The GiggleSquee Elf Girl or the Gay Wizard that makes it a challenge not to sleep with him.

image
"excellent story-telling"

Pretty agreeable list, wouldn't be my own, but it's great to see Dark Souls getting a mention. I would have liked to see Dead Space 2 get a nod but, it's still a good list, it was after all a rather good year.

No honorable mention for L.A. Noire? Now, I'm not even 100% sure it's my personal GOTY, so I'm not advocating it should be the Escapist's or even among its nominees... but surely, for pushing the envelope in terms of emotive characters and marrying gameplay with narrative, an honorable mention should be a perfect fit?

Was a bit surprised to find Shogun II among the nominees. While it is great, it's very iterative and not really groundbreaking in any way. I sorta get the feel it was just included to have a strategy title on there, amidst all the third-person action/adventures.

Lets not forget, people, that this list was compiled by 5 different people. There's no point in arguing/whining about it. For one: there's no actual award presented to the winning game. But also it's the simple fact that this story essentially equates to a forum thread in which someone says "I really liked this game and here is why." Which in turn immediately baits people into doing what any normal person on a video-game based forum does: "THAT GAME SUCKS AND HERE'S WHY! THIS OTHER GAME WAS WAY BETTER AND HERE'S WHY!" Which prompts bickering and arguments. In the end, everyone's points are just as valid as everyone elses...why? Because it's all based on personal opinion.

I would just like to remind everyone that arguing over the internet is like competing in the special olympics: even if you win, you're still retarded.

P.S. Skyrim should win if for no other reason than the mods that people have made for it...in what other game can you get attacked by a flying, mutated, fire-breathing Randy Savage? :P

Well the year was certanly better than the last. +1
GOTY awards are still shit. -1
Overall the industry is still a bloated, unoriginal bile.

CapitalistPig:
This website in particular and its fan base has a huge calling against cheap flashy games that are pushed out onto shelves.

Here's where you're wrong. If this website was like you said then they would dismiss games like Mass effect and Skyrim, the RPG equivalents of Call of duty.

Calibretto:
For Dragon Age Origins and Baldurs Gate fans Dragon Age2 was the equivalent of Final fantasy xiii for that fan base.

As a member of both of these fan bases, I agree. Both FFXIII and DA2 were good, enjoyable games.

RJ 17:
P.S. Skyrim should win if for no other reason than the mods that people have made for it...in what other game can you get attacked by a flying, mutated, fire-breathing Randy Savage? :P

WWF No Mercy, and MUGEN?

Reaper69lol:
Why didnt I see Saints row 3 anywhere?

Because compared to Saints Row 2 the game got rid of a lot of what made SR2 fun, such as:

Having less customization with clothing stores.

Less character customization (seriously, the gender slider was too good to get rid of)

The City of Steelport is boring. No underground mines, malls, universities, etc.

They got rid of half the side missions like Celeb Security, The Arena, and others.

The story felt so rushed, the villains sucked (seriously, a random Belgian who gets killed in the first 40 mins of gameplay, a teenage tech savant, and a Mexican wrestler?).

You got way too many powerful weapons within the first 1/4 of the game(got trouble? Call Oleg...)

The whole Dex story from the first too game got shoved away randomly.

The overall feel of the game just felt like Volition was trying too hard to go for 'over the top'. In SR1 and SR2 there was some semblance of seriousness with the story at times, and it worked. In SR3 that was gone.

It's still probably the most fun game to play of 2011, but clearly was not one of the best taking into account how much was taken away from SR3.

What a huge fucking surprise.

I am never coming back to the escapist, Skyrim is nowhere near the best game last year

Imbechile:
Well the year was certanly better than the last. +1
GOTY awards are still shit. -1
Overall the industry is still a bloated, unoriginal bile.

True, but there were some genuinely interesting titles released this year, titles that managed to find success too. That and indie titles are continuing to grow, only good can come of that. Most games are awkwardly written charmless works, tedium personified.

I still think videogames are worth playing for the minor achievements, I'm still certain they'll amount to something eventually. Or perhaps they already have, or perhaps people are fine with them being fun diversions, a hobby, that's cool too.

I just like books n' art and...stuff...

Meh. More Skyrim. Saw that one coming.

I would have said Arkham City. There was nothing wrong with Arkham City! There was no real bugs and the story was fantastic. Every game site, magazine, and blog have named Skyrim as the game of the year. Batman got snuffed by it every time.

I think it's lame that Skyrim keeps winning. Arkham City was the superior game last year, hands down.

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