Best games of 2011

Best games of 2011

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Well then, where do we start?

2011 had some game-breaking advancements, new genres and some heartbreaking disappointments so let’s take a look at the top memorable games of 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most well known open-world Single-Player RPGs of all time. If you’ve been living under a rock and never heard or played this game, I’ll tell you what it is and what you have been missing.

Made and published by Bethesda, this game was a big hit at the time of its release and is still loved by many gamers even today, with a vast open-world to explore, set with a classic story to follow and many side quests to do meanwhile, the game is set in Tamriel, and more precisely Skryrim, hence the name, You are Dragonborn, or DovahKiin, and that means you have a special quality that makes you Shout, or speak in the Thu’um, the language of dragons. This is not affected in any way by the Species/Race you choose in-game, as this is part of the main story. You have to stop the dragons from coming back to life, defeat Alduin, an ancient dragon, while there’s a war about to begin between the Imperials and the Skyrim-born Nords. Unfortunately, the world incentivizes exploration so I found myself just exploring and doing side quests and leaving the main quest hanging.

 You have a big variety of Races and Species to choose from a vast territory to explore,  things to discover that reward your time spent doing other stuff besides the main storyline,. you also have skill trees to upgrade your character, you can even get married, adopt children, buy a horse, get a dog, buy a house, etc.

I can go on and on but I’ll leave this with two more things: This game is by now very memamble, just look it up on the internet, it’s very, let’s say unique, dialogue or his very well known bugs. Just keep in mind to save your game several times. It has plenty of them, some are funny but some are a disaster for your game, so better safe than sorry. Also, this game is the modders toy, everything you can think of has been modded to this game. If you’re into those types of things or you’re a modder yourself, this game is great for it. It’s a bit outdated in combat mechanics and in graphics, even for the time, but that’s not what you’re here for, just go nuts exploring and play with it. I advise it.

Portal 2

Portal 2 is a game made and published by Valve, the successor to Portal the first of its kind. It is a platform puzzle game and its concept is simple but with a very complex execution. You have a portal gun that you can use to create, you guessed it, portals, that can influence objects and the player itself around it. It has a very good physics mechanic. If you jump from one portal to another you’ll come out jumping in a similar way from the next, so this game’s physics are complex but fun once you get the hang of it.

You’re still the same character as the first game, Chell. You’re rescued and put into a suspended animation chamber. After a while, the auxiliary power of the chamber runs out and you wake up, you meet a new character by the name of Wheatley, and your objective for the game is set. You will stop GLaDOS from achieving higher intelligence and destroy you.

These are still robots and AI but the story is still good. The game gives you more characters, gameplay mechanics and it’s overall bigger and more polished than the original, it also has multiplayer which is a very entertaining puzzle solving game with your friends in a co-op mode, also has a plus on my block, a stage editor, something that some sandboxes are missing nowadays.

It might not look as good nowadays, but the gameplay and puzzles still hold up to today’s standards, if you like good puzzles and co-op this is for you.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

It’s a remake of the original Ocarina of Time made by Grezzo and published by Nintendo on the 3DS. It changed some game sections and dungeons, improved graphics and the possibility to play it in 3D on the Nintendo DS. The game was already a very great game before, but the remake made it what it looked like impossible even better, not for the graphics but for the quality of live improvements made on the original. Thanks to the 3DS’s hardware this game made things easier and more intuitive. For example, you got a first person mode for things like bow, slingshot, etc; you also got a second fiscal touch screen on the 3DS where you could switch gear or items.

There were more bosses to kill and dungeons to explore, which made the game seem  fresh and the great main story stayed in the same.

Your character is Link and you are in Hyrule and your goal is to stop Ganondorf and his kingdom from getting his hands on the Triforce in order to achieve world domination, as it grants wishes to the one that claims it. This game has a lot of time travel and backtrack to achieve this goal, you’ll also need to play music on the ocarina to do this.

It’s a great game made even better, if you have a 3DS and have not played this yet you’re missing out to do something with your life. See, this story in this action adventure game may be the best of all time, some say.

Batman: Arkham City

Hello bat fans and welcome, if you played this, rejoice. Made by Rocksteady and published by Warner Bros, this game is a blast to play, you get out of the Asylum straight to a Super Prison.

So you play as Batman and some Gotham neighborhoods were made into a prison, Arkham city, a bit over the top but pretty cool. The prison has some dark secret operations like Protocol 10, which you need to uncover and stop. You try to protest against this prison as Bruce Wayne with the media and you found yourself captured.

After some events, you get yourself free and suspect The Joker has some hand on this Protocol 10, only to find out that The Joker has contracted a disease due to the last game events and needs a cure. He then injects you with his blood to infect you and threatens to do the same to the citizens. 

The story is pretty good, I’m not going to spoil it too much for you but it takes so many turns that makes the player wanting more and wanting to see what comes next. The gameplay was brought up a notch, new enemies but with the classic ones still present, new gadgets to use , but it still is an action adventure, beat ’em up game with some stealth in for the mix as well. It looks good for today. It plays well and the story, if you like Batman, it’s very good. Oh did i mention you can play as catwoman too? Just give it a try if you haven’t already and you won’t regret it. 

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

This is a MMORPG game made by BioWare, published by Lucas Arrts and later EA. It has a great story unlike the ones we see today, full of rage and betrayal, death, large scale war. It also was the second biggest investment of all time till today, second to only GTA V, so no budget constraints.

It’s obvious when you see the cutscenes and how  gorgeous they are for the time, and it comes after The Knights of the Old Republic storylines which are very good stories. It competed with the likes of WOW at the time, but the player base just did not stick with it.

WOW is considered the king of MMORPG and has survived through time and space till this day.

As did The Old Republic but with less players, and it is still active to this day. It was not free when it launched, but after nearly one year EA decided that it would become free to play to make it more profitable and it was its demise. Pay-to-win mechanics were inserted in the game, playable characters classes, etc. But if you look through the monetization aspect, the game was pretty good at the time with several classes, abilities, large wars, good map design, many moral choices to make.

You can choose to become any way you like, but you can always change it up mid game. You can still buy the subscription fee which gives you a lot of new content to play and use, but its price is high compared to its former glory, that is. But if you can just ignore the monetization and bear with it you’ll be rewarded with the gorgeous cutscenes and storytelling, the gameplay will definitely throw some people out because it’s a bit outdated for today’s graphics standards but is worth the shot.

Battlefield 3

In the Battlefield 3 days, this game was a huge leap in the main franchise games (excluding the spin offs). It took inspiration from the Battlefield Bad Company spin offs and it brought assets to the main game. If you wanted a big all out war this game was the goal. Tanks, planes, infantry, large sandbox maps, destruction, and 64 players on a single map with all of this. This game has a single player campaign which just works like a tutorial, almost not too memorable, but not bad, you can also compare scores with your friends. 

It has a score leaderboard worldwide, country and even city specific for you to compare with your friends or other players, a pretty cool feature that was abandoned in later games, and i wish it would come back.

Matchmaking was good, you could create a squad with your friends or clan members (yes, you can make clans) and just enter a server altogether in a squad. It takes most aspects of Bad Company 2 and perfects it, including game modes like Rush.

It has only four classes to pick, but tons of weapon customizations and gadgets more than ever to give you one chance in any given situation. You can farm it all through levels, missions and getting loot boxes. Yes, there were loot boxes in this game that you can pay or earn from leveling up. You also could buy shortcuts to help you level up certain classes but nothing you could not do without.

This game is fun but has a learning curve like many others that can be stiff if you jump now to the game, but if you endure it you’ll have tons of fun, like jumping on a jet from your own jet and planting c4 on it, jumping and exploding it; or how about hijacking the plane after you land on it; fancy vehicles, no problem. If a Tank is pestering you, just throw a motorcycle or a car with c4 onto him. This game has bugs that are pretty funny and let you do things you never thought were possible. It looks ok for today, the gameplay still stands and you can go on easter egg hunts if that’s your thing, there are plenty here to discover and things to do. 

Dark Souls

First of all let me say you can read our Dark Souls in-depth review.

The one and only killer of the common folk, the rewarder of the patient and hardworking player, son of Demon Souls. This game made by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco is one fantasy RPG with no difficulty setting for you to turn up or down, it is vicious and brutal with its mechanics and that’s why some people love it.

 The game reaches to the side of the market that has been left famished: the masochistic gamers, the ones that like being pushed to the limit and call it fun, accomplishing something that seems almost impossible, is what they live for and this game was the one that introduced many new players to it, no hard feelings. Who doesn’t like a challenge once in a while?

So what makes it memorable? You can choose from several classes and even one class that is very weak overall has no benefit but don’t get yourself filled. The game does not get easy and there is no OP class that can save you. Enemies can kill you in seconds if you don’t learn and master the basics like block, dodge and parry.

  Level up is achieved by killing enemies and obtaining their souls, you store the souls of your enemies and you spend them on your character stats on things like health, resistance and strength. But there is a catch and things get messy, if you die before you get to a checkpoint that lets you spend them, you lose them and go back to the last checkpoint you activated. These checkpoints are bonfires that you activate and can restore health, save the game or restore your spells and mana. The souls you get are also the currency of the game, if you come across a blacksmith and want to buy a sword or item, you need to give him souls in exchange. Starting to see how this gets hard? Yeah, and I still did not touch on the enemies.

Enemies have lots of varieties: you’ll find typical skeletons, witches, dragons, animals, etc. All of them look and feel unique and have different attack patterns that you need to memorise in order to beat them.

The game looks good even for today, plays well, the environments are diverse and almost scream “explore me”. The story is a bit complex so I won’t touch it here, but there is a review coming soon.  

This game inspired a generation of other games, the Dark Souls-like type of game, which this in itself is a feat only a few games can achieve. I suggest you try it if you like difficult and challenging games, but be prepared to die. 

Minecraft

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to build a world you want on a huge scale and play with it? No, I’m not talking to you, Lego. I mean it in a digital version. Hence Minecraft, a sandbox survival game that marked generations. It took several approaches to achieve the actual best selling game of all time, on almost every platform there is an iteration of this game.

This game achieves history by giving the player several modes where you can experience this game, like Survival mode, which is self-explanatory, a hard mode where you have health and resources you need to manage in other to survive and materials are scarce through the map, you also have the Hardcore game mode which is similar but with permadeath.

You get the Creative mode where you get god-like powers and can build whatever you want and like, so go wild. This leads to the Spectator mode where it is also self-explanatory, you can travel through blocks and to other players, see what other players see or what creatures of that game see, there is no inventory on this mode.

Let’s go on one adventure mode where you can experience other worlds players have built with their rules. Finally, in this adventure mode, you can play with your friends locally or not in one common world, pretty much like the adventure mode, but with friends.

What made this game such a success? It is the block building (still not talking to you Lego), the game’s design is kid-friendly.

Everyone can play this, it’s very user friendly and intuitive, has tons of potential to do whatever you want on a mass scale. Want to build Hogwarts on a 1 to 1 scale? Go for it, want to build your city? Have fun! wanting to build your next house project? you’re an architect now and this is your world. Imagination runs free here, but if you don’t have much of it, you have also a place here, visit other worlds and explore.

This game has something for everyone in it and that’s why it is fun and very successful. It will soon have raytracing mode that will turn the looks of the game up, even so I advise you to try it out for yourself and see why this is the best selling game of all time.

Saints Row: The Third

So, how can I express myself on how big of an improvement this game was?  Well, it was astronomical. The jokes, gameplay, everything of this game was refined to a comical point of no return for the series. 

Saints row always puts you in a position of one extremely overpowered protagonist that gets better as the game goes on. How is this possible? You get near invincibility by the end of the games if you want to.

This game is still made by Volition, still published by THQ Nordic and still the same gang Third Street Saints after the events of the last game, but meanwhile your gang rose to superstar status, and they have merchandise like clothes or drinks and much more. Suddenly, a new gang arises to overthrow your dominance of The Syndicate and after failed negotiations, it’s your time to kick them out of your territory.

This game is an action-adventure RPG played as a third-person shooter just like GTA, at its core it’s pretty standard nowadays and back in the days but what differentiates from the others is its over the top weapons and story, for example, the shark gun, where you fire a bait that summons a shark from the ground (YES from the ground) to a big pink dildo to beat your enemies or civilians with, to more traditional weapons like assault rifles, so pick your poison and have some fun with this game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is a remastered version of this game if you want, but the old one still looks good for today.

Now for the next entry..Let’s finish this with a bang.

Duke Nukem Forever

 

Yes, I never mention that these were the best of the year just memorable, but some games struck us as how bad they are. For every best there is a worst and here comes Duke Nukem.

 It was made by so many developers and took so many years it was bound for success, it was published by 2k games in the endSo how bad can it be? Well, the graphics even for the time were bad, a buggy mess, it had horrible voice line jokes, a forgettable story, there just a ton of bad things to say about it.

The jokes are a hard attempt to mimic the original sense of humor but fail to do so with many out of date jokes that come out as corny or just plain bad.

The gameplay is in first-person shooter and comes out as a cliché average one, the guns don’t feel so satisfying to use, the AI is terrible and don’t get me started with the car driving. The visuals are pretty bad, they could have done much better, even for the time, and the art design of the maps is lifeless, shallow and dull. As for the easter eggs, some are actually pretty cool but overshadowed by the graphical design. 

It’s a shame this game turned out this way. I was looking for some good time with it just like Doom, both classics in their ways but with very different executions.
I recommend you skipping this one out and just looking up videos on youtube to laugh at this attempt if you’re a veteran. If you’re new go look up the old versions of the game and have a laugh at it if this is your type of humor. But 2k, it’s time to kick ass and do a new game but you’re all out of budget.

2011 had more memorable games, so here are some Honorable Mentions: , Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Uncharted 3, Dead Space 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I highly advise you to check these games out. They could easily be in the list but I can only put so many, so go and have fun with them especially the Uncharted series which are great and it was supposed to be on this top list, it’s a bit unfair but some games deserved to be mentioned on how much they failed also.

But don’t forget to leave in the comments some games you think deserve a spot on the list even as memorable mentions and maybe you’ll get a review down the line.

About author

SamTheBear

Hyped Pixel Reviewer and bad writer, came across this project due to passion for hardware and software in general, I've been an enthusiast since the year 2000 wondering where we go next.

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