Charlie's Top 5 Games of 2011

Charlie's Top 5 Games of 2011

2011 came and went, and throughout the year we were treated to some seriously hard-hitting titles, with triple A-games and high caliber sequels filling the list.  I've played some legitimatelyamazing games this year, but only one can win this five-way brawl -- so here goes my picks for the top 5 games of the year.

5. Gears of War 3

Epic games ends the series with a bang, as Gears of War 3 is undoubtedly the best iteration in this venerable third-person shooter franchise. The climactic campaign, robust multiplayer action and a slew of gameplay refinements make Gears of War 3 an awesome, awesome experience all-around – rightfully making it my fifth favourite game of the year.

4. Crysis 2

Defying all expectations and norms, Crysis 2 came out of nowhere and showed exactly how you’re supposed to make a great shooter. The Nanosuit is a huge game-changer in this regard, allowing for options and a level of maneuverability that few, if any shooters can offer. Crysis 2 also offers up large battlefields for you to wreak havoc on, and this element alone makes the game worthy of multiple play-throughs.  The last half of the campaign is also some of the most explosive and thrilling in recent memory; featuring large battles against the alien menace invading New York and a constant barrage of incredible set-pieces. Couple that with some extremely entertaining and wholly immersive multiplayer action and Crysis 2 emerges as the best shooter of 2011. Check it out.

3. Portal 2

Portal 2 is the kind of game that has fun with itself. It features an amazing series of escalating challenges and puzzles, some of the funniest dialogue and voice-acting ever seen in a game and the co-op campaign is simply the epitome of fun.  While some say that it’s short, that isn’t what you’ll talk about when you bring up this game. You’ll talk about the unbelievable opening, all the fun jokes and the jaw-dropping conclusion. Case and point, Portal 2 is simply an unforgettable game and one that’s likely to be remembered for years from now on.

2. Batman: Arkham City

Batman Arkham City took me by complete surprise. Here is a game that actually makes you feel like the caped crusader, allowing you to soar about the incredibly atmospheric prison that Is Arkham City. It also allows you to employ almost all of his gadgets and moves that culminate in quite possibly one of the best combat systems seen in a game. Arkham City moves you along at a great clip, and whether you’re harassing enemies while hidden, throwing fists and punches or collecting the 400 Riddler trophies on offer, Batman Arkham City remains an incredibly impressive experience throughout, making it a worthy runner up of this list.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Five and a half years of waiting, and guess what? It was worth it. Skyrim isn’t just the best game of the year; it’s also one of the best role-playing games ever created. Bethesda nailed everything in this game and it’s a dramatic improvement over Oblivion. The questing, exploration, combat and atmosphere are the best in the series and it’s also a game that truly lets you play the game however you like. Want to be an assassin? Equip a dagger and sneak around. An expert of sorcery and magic? Then utilize every spell and shout in your arsenal, and go to town. Bethesda truly outdoes themselves this time, and lives up to each and every single expectation. The most amazing part about Skyrim isn’t that there so much to do, but that doing everything is worthwhile, so you’re always having a good time no matter what you’re doing. 50 hours later, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface, so to put it bluntly; video games don’t get much better than this.

Honorable mentions: Deus Ex Human Revolution, Dead Space 2.