As a blogger, one of the best things I love about the year’s end is that I can write a definitive “Best of [insert year here]” list. So, in the next couple of days, I’ll be writing and posting my 2011 definitive list in different categories. I’ve already done my list for comics. Today, my list is for the best games of the year.
Like with comics, I also didn’t play a lot of games this year. It’s because I’ve limited myself to buying 4 games only (3 of which are on this list). As expected, I did buy more games than that. I bought 9 games in total (although 4 of them were bought on dirt cheap, sale prices). So, that’s plenty enough games to make a list.
Anyways, here are my picks for the best games of 2011:
As a gamer who prefers single-player games over multiplayer ones, this is the first time I’ve included an MMORPG on my “best of” list. But RIFT: Planes of Telara rightfully deserves a spot. Because, during the first half of 2011, I’ve wasted a lot of time playing this game –including alpha and beta tests. Out of all the MMO’s I’ve played, RIFT is also the most enjoyable. The variety of the things you can do here –crafting and artifact collecting– and the dynamics of rift invasions prevented the game from becoming a bore.
The Witcher is a great game. It’s one of my favorite PC games of all time. But its sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, is even better. Besides its sluggish combat, I really can’t find any fault in this game. The graphics is beautiful. Its storyline is intricate and intriguing. The voice-overs are masterfully done. Even the dialogue is grand in its vulgarity. But its the choices that you make, and the bitter consequences that they yield, that separates this game from the rest.
Batman: Arkham Asylum took me by surprise back in 2009. I usually avoid comics-to-game adaptation because they simply suck. But I was at awe with Arkham Asylum. Its free-flowing combat, mini-map challenges, art direction, graphics and voice acting were all stupendous. Now, two years later, Rocksteady Studios returns with its sequel, Batman: Arkham City, which still has everything that made “Asylum” good. But this time you’re not in the Asylum, you’re out in the streets, which is 10 times bigger and open for you to explore.
My life went downhill when The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hit the store shelves. I barely left my room. I was sleep deprived. I even forgot to attend the Chicago Toys and Games Fair. Yes, this game is that good. You’ll easily lose track of time, immersing yourself in this game, in its huge open-world that seems so real and organic it’ll make you feel you’re traipsing in Scandinavia. Like Fallout 3 and other Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim also offers you an unrestrained freedom. You can just do whatever you want in here.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution may not be as huge and open as Skyrim, or even Arkham City. But it still grants its players some freedom when dealing with various objectives. Like its predecessor, Deus Ex, DX: HR’s game design allows you to complete a quest using multiple methods: through stealth, tech advantage or brute force. But what I really love about this game is its cyberpunk setting, its transhumanist themes, and its cautionary tale about the perils of a post-human world.
So, these are my best games for 2011. I hope you guys like my list. On Thursday, I’ll be posting the best films I’ve seen this year.