Game of the Year 2011

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Mr Somewhere:

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...

Yeah. I should have Pointed out that the mainstream is shit.
Thanks to digital distribution indie industry will thankfully grow.

Imbechile:

Mr Somewhere:

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...

Yeah. I should have Pointed out that the mainstream is shit.
Thanks to digital distribution indie industry will thankfully grow.

Yes, we should hopefully see some exciting things coming out of that, already looking forward to some stuff.

I'll start by saying that I'm currently playing Skyrim and (after modding the crap out of it till almost every single super blurry low-res texture got replaced with something I can look at and the elves/mer look less like a deranged drug addicts) enjoying it greatly.

With that out of the way, for me the Witcher 2 is a far superior game. It has better storytelling, superior characterization, game-world that actually recognizes your existence, more enjoyable combat system... Also being the best looking game of 2011 doesn't hurt either. All in all, TW2 is a lot more memorable experience.

I don't mind Skyrim being a bit bland, and a huge land to explore and loot is awesome too. Bugs aside, I know I can't reasonably expect the same level of polish from a game of that magnitude, but a GOTY I just can't give it.

...
And why can't my khajiit marry J'zargo, eh?

FelixG:

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

Pro tip: Anything Rr Greg 'Special-Ed' Tito posts is probably going to be a complete joke.

Good point.

Just a note to all the people who say "Saw Skyrim coming, so predictable" ...

That's one of the reasons WHY it's the Game of the Year. Because as soon as you say "Game of the Year" the first thing just about all of us think is "probably Skyrim".

Like it or not (I myself am lukewarm), it's the game from 2011 that made by far the biggest impact, and that matters.

omicron1:

leet_x1337:

SirBryghtside:
Because Azura forbid that a game has flaws! What's your favourite game, by the way, so we can poke a million and one holes in that? OK, fine. You hate it. Well done, your opinion is obviously better than everyone else's. Have a bloody sticker.

Guess what? Skryim is so praised by everyone there's no way future historians will see it the same way as the gaming press and critics these days. Just like Duke Nukem Forever was panned mostly due to 12 years of excessive media-generated hype and didn't hold up, Skyrim won't hold up in future generations due to the excessive fan- and critic-generated hype right now.

There are two possible ways Skyrim could be remembered - as Oblivion, a game released to hype that outweighed its quality... or as Morrowind, a game whose other quality overcame its somewhat fiddly nature.

The fact of the matter is that Skyrim came out in very good condition. PS3 slowdown bugs aside, the bugs-per-hour in Skyrim is comparable to many other high-profile games (Red Dead Redemption comes to mind), and the value of the game far outweighs its flaws. It will not be remembered for its flaws, soon modded and patched to Oblivion; rather, it will be remembered for its coherence of vision, its audacity of achievement. And this, despite your pessimism, is More a win(d) for the future of gaming than a perfect, smaller game could ever be.

For all mediums are borne forwards on imperfect works, works which stretch beyond their reach, sometimes failing, but all the more beautiful for it when they succeed. Why should gaming be different? Why should games like Skyrim be weighed down by (exaggerated accounts of) bugs and flaws when they have a chance to carry the medium to a brighter tomorrow?

Well said!

I think its also good to keep in mind the longevity of an Elderscrolls game. The expansions and DLC's will undoubtedly fix some of the issues that people are complaining about.

Great list of games up there. Deus Ex was a good bit better than DA:2 in terms of sequels. I think it deserved a nomination.

GOTY SHOULD be predictable, that's kinda the point. It's the Game of the Year, not the game of the HAH SUBVERTED!!!

Anyway yay for Skyrim, I have it on PS3 and play despite the slowdown. If they fixed that it would be a no contest win. Even with it though Skyrim still takes the win for me personally, nothing else comes close to the sheer amount of freedom and after playing Skyrim every other game in my collection feels linear and forced.

I don't want scripted boss fights, I want to be able to run and hide like a little girl when my summon gets torn apart because that is what my character would do. I want to be able to dodge the traps and trick the nasty boss into running into them because that is what my character would do. I want to be able to ignore quests because they don't concern me, ignore problems because I dislike the area. I want freedom and Skyrim gives it to me.

If only my PC could run it. Nonetheless, PS3 version is still fine by me.

Well, I can't disagree with the list... However, I will say that I think a lot of the Skyrim praise for how everybody plays it differently can be applied directly to Dark Souls. I really think Dark Souls is a better product, however, I definitely understand why Skyrim won. I mean, I have many more hours in Skyrim than Dark Souls... although that's for a few reasons that have nothing to do with how good one or the other is ;)

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.

I reviewed Uncharted 3, yes, and gave it high praise...which, amusingly, your fellow forumites gave me crap over. I think it's a great game, especially the finale, but I thought other experiences were more special.

I agree, I think Skyrim is the best game of the year. I think a lot of people are hating on it just because it's gone quite mainstream.

This list is bullshat.
Dragon age 2 was pure garbage made without any effort and was just a pure scam for the fans of origins...

And Skyrim is only made of freaking dungeons with no efforts at all on the damn quests! Has the dude even played any of em? I mean the freaking guilds are only dungeons without any originality! Yea sure the game is fun but it dosnt deserve GOTY.

IMO The Witcher 2 should have gotten GOTY. Amazing story, great combat, best graphics for an rpg.

Magnicon:

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

Then if it holds no credibility in your eyes, I want you to do something for me.
1. Make your own website.
2. Review games so your perspective is heard.
3. Allow some form of comment section.
4. Wait for someone to disagree with you and say there is no credibility to your review simply because they disagree.
5. Come back here and tell me just how much you care.

It should be fun to see the results.

Red 3mu:
I am never coming back to the escapist, Skyrim is nowhere near the best game last year

If that's the reason you are leaving the Escapist after a solid twenty some posts, then I doubt much will be lost in the exchange.
It's always sad to watch new forumites join, say a few words, realise that they signed on for something they didn't want, then leave.

Assassin Xaero:

CapitalistPig:
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?

No you are vastly missing the point I made, which is if you don't like this websites analysis and are going to complain about it you should probably consider why they disagree with you. Being that the staff, forum community, and the much larger gaming community at large thought DN: F was rushed and immature while pretty much any other game had more time put into it. DN: F was even rated worst game of the year on some sites. Didn't Jimquisition rate it his worst game of the year? You are a minority opinion sir. Get over it.

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.

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.

As opposed to what exactly? If mass effect and Skyrim are what you call basically weak RPG titles what exactly would you call a strong RPG that would make top 10 of the year? And as I already told the other forum whiner. You are facing a community that mostly does not agree with you. The website, its forum base, and large portions of the gaming community at large disagree. So yes GOTY awards are stupid because they are based on opinions. But why toot your horn then if you already expressed your dislike of the system?

No King of fighters XIII (I havent read the article but im guessing that) raaaage!! (just kidding, I expected that)

... I read the article, I was right. Not other fighting games either, The escapist staff have no love for fighting games. Not even Mortal Kombat, wich was gametrailers fighting game of the year (Though i think it should have been KOF XIII, but i might be biased).

... KOF XIII.

By Khorne, am I glad to see no Call of Duty on the list this year.

I'm just going to throw this out there, but I actually don't think I would've nearly as much fun with Skyrim if it weren't for the bugs or general sillyness. It made for great streaming, too, being able to point out all the hilarity that was going on.

I'm not saying every game should come with bugs, mind you, but c'mon, roll with it.

Although it came as little surprise to anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last year I can't bring myself to take issue with the winner as it is THEIR choice and, as such, their right to give it to whichever game they choose. What I take issue with is the completely ridiculous notion that Batman: AC, Portal 2, and Witcher 2 were not even deemed worthy of nomination.

All three of these games were a) Technically excelent (meaning they did everything they set out to do, not that they were faultless); b) Improvements over the originals (not necessarily better games but everything the originals were with more on top).

By my humble reckoning these achievements equal anything that Skyrim managed without the additional, and quite valid criticism of game breaking bugs and mediocre storytelling (meaning the way it was PRESENTED not the way it was written).

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.

Thank you, I knew they were going to pick Skyrim as well, despite it being a half finished mess that I cannot finish due to a story bug, and speaking of story, it's nowhere near as immersive (the story, not the world) as other games like Bastion make it really undeserving of being game of the year.

As I was reading off Dark Souls, I literally said "And the winner is....SKYRIIIIIMMM!" before clicking to the next page. To quote Mannoroth "SOOOO PREDICTABLE..."

Mr. Omega:
Also glad to see InFamous 2 get some love.

agreed! inFamous 2 is my game of 2011, just talking about it the other day (in a game of the year thread) made me drop skyrim and start my 12th play through with Good Cole!

Finally a list that remember Deus Ex Human Resources existed. Too bad they had to bump off Portal 2 to make room for it.

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

Surprise you... with a list of Best Games of the Year? Like, if they had a picked a terrible game they all gave horrible scores to? I can definitely see how that would make the article better!

Anyway, the Hype Backlash for Skyrim seemed to take several weeks longer than for most things. I've always found that to be a good barometer of quality. Good enough that self conscious people craving desperately to be different feel he need the criticize, but great enough that it still takes them a while to pull themselves out of its trance. Congrats Bethesda

Skyrim wasn't my personal game of the year, but I can see why you guys chose it.

Personally, my choice would be either Portal 2, Deus Ex:Human Revolution or Batman: Arkham City, and to fill up a "Personal Top 5" I would add Sonic Generations and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. Sonic, because I nostalgia-gasmed every second of playing it, and Off The Record because I just love Dead Rising. My honorable mentions would include Skyrim, Saints Row 3, Rayman: Origins and Driver: San Francisco.

And for this year (providing it lives up to expectations...) Mass Effect 3 for Game Of The Year!

I'm just happy that World of Warcraft Cataclysm wasn't on this list or Rift.

Neither MMORPG game played out to be a really gut buster of a series and I did like Rift, but didn't love it.

As for Cataclysm, it was a horrible game from day you hit max level and had to play end game grind for gear that wasn't even that good looking and OP classes were back to being OP with 1 shot macros (LOL when will these devs learn they suck at building classes; I'm looking at you GC...GG)

I am happy to see Dead Island up there as a honorable mention. Even though I never played it, from what I watched from Youtube.com and other websites, this is a great Zombie game and I would like to play it one day.

BTW, was angry birds released 2010 or 2011? or was it 2009, cant remember.

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.

Name me a game without flaws and I'll take this as legitimate critiscm, until then GTFO.

OT -My game of 2011 has to be either Total War: Shogun 2 or Skyrim. It's a close run thing and two games are hard to compare considering the genre differences, I've poured a lot more time into Shogun 2 but can't but feel that when I manage to put the same effort into Skyrim, the latter will win out.

Sandor [The Hound] Clegane:

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.

Name me a game without flaws and I'll take this as legitimate critiscm, until then GTFO.

OT -My game of 2011 has to be either Total War: Shogun 2 or Skyrim. It's a close run thing and two games are hard to compare considering the genre differences, I've poured a lot more time into Shogun 2 but can't but feel that when I manage to put the same effort into Skyrim, the latter will win out.

I can at least name games with far fewer flaws: for instance, the complete works of Valve. (Speaking of which, Portal 2 wasn't brought up at all.)

leet_x1337:

Sandor [The Hound] Clegane:

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.

Name me a game without flaws and I'll take this as legitimate critiscm, until then GTFO.

OT -My game of 2011 has to be either Total War: Shogun 2 or Skyrim. It's a close run thing and two games are hard to compare considering the genre differences, I've poured a lot more time into Shogun 2 but can't but feel that when I manage to put the same effort into Skyrim, the latter will win out.

I can at least name games with far fewer flaws: for instance, the complete works of Valve. (Speaking of which, Portal 2 wasn't brought up at all.)

The quality of a game can't be boiled down into a mathematical representation of the number of flaws it possesses. For one thing, a "flaw" is something you personally find distasteful, not something that can be objectively determined. This applies to quality of writing, how enjoyable the mechanics of the game are, whether the whole shebang is visually interesting, etc. Somewhere out there in some godforsaken corner of the Earth, there is somebody who absolutely freaking loves the lag he's getting on his PS3. For him, the lag isn't a flaw, because he has different opinions. Very, very weird opinions.

More importantly, how many flaws a game possesses for you isn't the ultimate determinate of quality either. What matters is to what degree a game's merits compare against its flaws. The people who enjoy Skyrim aren't ignoring personal flaws like the PS3 lag, they just think the game is good enough that the good aspects outweigh the technical difficulties.

Kinda disappoint that Frozen Synapse got the mention, Bastion got the nomination, but SpaceChem was nowhere on the list. It's the best puzzle game I've played in years. I understand that there's only so many slots you guys can open up for indie games... but really, SpaceChem was a shining example of an under-appreciated subgenre (automation). It was one of those games that was a huge pleasant surprise for me from the HIBs, like Jamestown, and I'm highly considering buying the SpaceChem expansion once I beat it. The whole genre disparity in preference is depressing for an action-platformer and puzzle game fan... Speaking of action-platformer: why no Rayman Origins or LittleBigPlanet 2?

leet_x1337:

SirBryghtside:

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.

Because Azura forbid that a game has flaws! What's your favourite game, by the way, so we can poke a million and one holes in that? OK, fine. You hate it. Well done, your opinion is obviously better than everyone else's. Have a bloody sticker.

Guess what? Skryim is so praised by everyone there's no way future historians will see it the same way as the gaming press and critics these days. Just like Duke Nukem Forever was panned mostly due to 12 years of excessive media-generated hype and didn't hold up, Skyrim won't hold up in future generations due to the excessive fan- and critic-generated hype right now.

That is one of the worst comparisons I think I've ever heard. One is pre-release hype, one is post-release hype. Those are so incredibly different.

Omnific One:

leet_x1337:

SirBryghtside:
Because Azura forbid that a game has flaws! What's your favourite game, by the way, so we can poke a million and one holes in that? OK, fine. You hate it. Well done, your opinion is obviously better than everyone else's. Have a bloody sticker.

Guess what? Skryim is so praised by everyone there's no way future historians will see it the same way as the gaming press and critics these days. Just like Duke Nukem Forever was panned mostly due to 12 years of excessive media-generated hype and didn't hold up, Skyrim won't hold up in future generations due to the excessive fan- and critic-generated hype right now.

That is one of the worst comparisons I think I've ever heard. One is pre-release hype, one is post-release hype. Those are so incredibly different.

To people who haven't played it yet, it's still hype and it's still unlikely to live up to it.

Oh god, awards. I hate awards threads. The only thing you ever find in award threads is rage about how game X didn't deserve to win and that game Y is so much better. People just descend into some sort of angry, retarded rage whenever awards are mentioned.

Well that was highly unpredictable.

Next year, just post the list and lock the thread. So many whining man-babies. Of course Skyrim was going to be GOTY on this site. Almost every one of the staff's top five personal favourites had Skyrim as number 1. Were people expecting the Escapist Staff's favourite game of the year not to get the Escapist's game of the year?

leet_x1337:

Omnific One:

leet_x1337:

Guess what? Skryim is so praised by everyone there's no way future historians will see it the same way as the gaming press and critics these days. Just like Duke Nukem Forever was panned mostly due to 12 years of excessive media-generated hype and didn't hold up, Skyrim won't hold up in future generations due to the excessive fan- and critic-generated hype right now.

That is one of the worst comparisons I think I've ever heard. One is pre-release hype, one is post-release hype. Those are so incredibly different.

To people who haven't played it yet, it's still hype and it's still unlikely to live up to it.

Perhaps, but one set of hype is actually based on about 10 million customers and glowing reviews across the board, while the other was based on marketing.

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