It’s impossible to deny that 2011 was a great year for video games. No matter what genre you were interested in this year, a game came out that could satisfy your wants, especially on PS3.
If you wanted an open-world game, the obvious choice would be Skyrim, but problems plaguing the PS3 version prevented me from playing it, so I turned to inFAMOUS 2, a choice that turned out to be excellent. You also have the choice of Batman: Arkham City, but I didn’t really like Arkham Asylum all that much, so I skipped over that one.
We had one of the greatest (not to mention funniest) puzzle games ever made this year in Portal 2, something that clearly made the PS3 version significant by giving a free PC version of the game, which I don’t really think is necessary if you own the PS3 version, but it did provide Steam functionality, which was rather cool if nothing else.
As far as shooters go, the PS3 got Uncharted 3, which I haven’t gotten more than about 15% in to (read my prior blog posts for details!), Killzone 3 and Resistance 3, neither of which I’ve played so far, and of course Call of Duty. I’d just like to note that 3 out of 4 of those games are exclusive to PlayStation, yet again marking the strong exclusives that they system received this year.
If platformers are more of your bag, you have not only LittleBigPlanet 2, which will have new content added to it until probably the end of time, but Rayman Origins, an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful game that harkens back to the difficulty of platformers of yore. However, if you’re looking for 3D platformers, you can turn to Ratchet & Clank All 4 One, although the world of the game seems empty without at least a partner.
If RPG’s are what you’re interested in, we have Skyrim, which as previously mentioned has tons of problems on PS3, and the Team Ico Collection, which contains HD Remakes of what were arguably the best 2 RPG’s on the PS2.
For me, though, my final nominees really came down to the following:
- Portal 2 – It’s been many years since I’ve enjoyed a game as thoroughly as I enjoyed Portal 2, and I haven’t even finished the co-op campaign. Not only did the game try to break my mind in the most fun way possible, it provides hilarious commentary throughout the entire experience. Now, you can make anything great by adding a funny commentary over it, but the fact that Portal 2 has excellent gameplay along with the hilarity of GLaDOS, Wheatley, and Cave Johnson makes Portal 2 one of my favorite games of the year.
- InFAMOUS 2 – The fact that you could put InFAMOUS 2 on-rails with the shooting mechanics of the game and the powers of Cole MacGrath and it would still be great is a testament to the quality of the game. Add to that the fact that the game offers an expansive open world, a karmic system that actually significantly affects the powers that you receive, and massive setpiece bosses, InFAMOUS 2 truly becomes one of the best games of 2011. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I got the Collector’s Edition with a bag that I use at least once a week for $60.
- Sonic Generations – Yes, it’s a strange choice, and one that you probably won’t see on any website’s Game of the Year nominations this year, but I thoroughly enjoyed Sonic Generations. It might be really stupid, but I kind of grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog and all of his terrible 3D games, so seeing my favorite moments from all of these games transformed into actually quality levels of this game made me genuinely happy. It’s not a surprise that Sonic 2006’s Crisis City level was my least favorite, seeing as how I never played 06 as it’s regarded as the worst Sonic game by far, but other than that, this game was a nostalgia party all around for me, and I loved it.
- Honorary Mention – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Yeah, it didn’t come out this year, but I actually only got my PS3 this year, so playing through all of the exclusives was one of this year’s defining experiences for me, and of those, the highlight was definitely Uncharted 2. Naughty Dog was able to craft a masterpiece here, and they should be honored for it 2 years later. I’m sure that when I play Uncharted 3 next year, I’ll love it, but right now, Uncharted 2 is my Uncharted experience for the year.
These are my nominees. Expect my winner soon. Until then, happy New Year, and be responsible!