2011 has been by far my favorite year in recent video game history. We have seen the release of more sequels than we probably needed but all of them managed to be extremely solid games. We have seen some very original ideas, some repeats, and even some rereleases but none of that has prevented gamers from having a year full of some of the best video games to grace the market. It wasn’t easy to pick my top five but I managed to narrow it down to a list that best relates to how I feel about this year in gaming.
5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex was probably one of the biggest surprises for me this year. I never really heard anything good about this game until its release and when I finally got my hands on it I was blown away by almost everything this game had to offer. With an amazing art style and gripping story Deus Ex is probably one of my favorite first person RPG games of all time. I found myself so wrapped in the fiction of the game that I even started reading the book that was released with the game. With multiple ways to play the game and great shooting to back it up I have no trouble thinking about going back to play through Deus Ex multiple times.
4. Battlefield 3
The thing I love most about the Battlefield series is the scale of the battles and with Battlefield 3 you get all of that and more. This is the first FPS game where I jumped immediately into the multiplayer without even touching the campaign first and was almost immediately addicted. All of the best modes from Bad Company 2 mixed with new technology makes Battlefield the most dynamic multiplayer shooter I have ever seen. While the campaign may not be the strongest in the world I still found it fairly enjoyable. I know that every time I sit down to play Battlefield online I know I will be sinking hours of my time away but I will always come away smiling and having a great time.
3. Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception
Nathan Drake returns for his third and best adventure yet in the Uncharted series. With incredibly high standards set in place by Uncharted 2 it’s hard to believe that Uncharted 3 could have possibly been better but Naughty Dog really nailed it and made another fantastic game that I found even more fun to play through than the last. Uncharted 3 has some of the most epic scenes that have I have ever seen and I won’t be forgetting them anytime soon. Running through the halls of a sinking cruise ship and flying out of the side of a crashing airplane still manage to blow me away every time I play these sections of the game. Even the multiplayer is better than the last game and is enough to keep me playing Uncharted 3 in the years to come.
2. Saints Row the Third
There are a lot of open world games but Saints Row has always been my favorite sandbox series. With some of the funniest writing I have ever seen in a video game Saints Row the Third has wedged itself in my heart as my favorite free roaming sandbox game. Whether you are flying over the city in a V-Tol jet or tearing through the streets of Steelport in a car Saints Row is filled with some of the most over the top moments ever seen in a video game. Playing through Saints Row I felt like they literally threw in every single video game trope they possibly could. I mean there is literally a text adventure in the middle of this game. I know for a fact that I will be playing Saints Row the Third often until the next game in the series comes out.
1. Mortal Kombat
To me Mortal Kombat completely revamped the fighting game genre. The MK series has been one that I have lived with the longest and is one of my earliest video game memories. Seeing a new game in the series of this caliber was like a childhood fantasy come true. I loved the game so much that I even bought it on both systems. I still play Mortal Kombat online and I know I will for some time. And with the most in depth story mode ever seen in a fighting game I can only hope more franchises learn from what NetherRealm Studios did set some new industry standards for fighting game story modes. Mk features some of the most intense fighting ever to grace a television screen and I can only hope that NeatherRealm keeps at it and stays true to what made Mortal Kombat so great.
Honorable Mention: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim