8

We are looking to put together a blog post from gaming.se folks in the style of an ESPN 5 on 5 format in what they think are the best, worst, and most surprising games of 2011.

If you would like to contribute, please answer the following questions, write a small paragraph (3-4 sentences) for each answer.

The highest voted answers will be featured in the blog post.

  1. What was the most surprising game you played this year?

  2. What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

  3. What was the worst game you played this year?

  4. What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

  5. What is your Game of the Year?

  • 5
    That's an awfully sneaky loophole to keep your poll question from getting closed...! – LessPop_MoreFizz Dec 17 '11 at 15:44
  • 1
    @LessPop its one of the reasons why I like to write for the blog, just to use sneaky loopholes >:) – l I Dec 19 '11 at 22:24
  • I seem to remember seeing this blog post in the wild. Would you mind posting a link to it (perhaps as the accepted answer)? – Steve V. Jan 1 '12 at 2:13
2

1) Surprising is probably supposed to mean some Indie game or a game not everyone thought would be a hit. But what surprised me was how much I liked Skyrim, because I threw away Oblivion Lost after only getting through the opening sequence.

2) I think Minecraft, the more video's I see of you guys chit-chatting away while doing crazy stuff reminds me of the good ol' days in World of Warcraft. I think I got to play most other games that are worth the time, but I dare not start with a time sink like Minecraft...

3) Rage: take all the elements that make other games great, implement them subpar, juice them with hyped, but great looking graphics and you end up with Rage. That I made it to the end is more because of OCD then because its a good game.

4) Diablo III, no doubt. I've played nearly every Blizzard game and they rarely let me down, I expect Diablo III to be just as awesome. I only worry getting hooked even more so than with Skyrim and hate to think what that would do with my productivity...

5) This should be a choice between: Portal 2, Uncharted 3 and Skyrim. But given that I've played the latter 41 hours and even bothered to start all over after losing my savegames, this is definitely the game of the year for me. Nothing else this year has come even close to keeping me engaged for over 20 hours and that says it all to me.

  • Just out of curiosity, what Blizzard game let you down? – Jeff Mercado Dec 17 '11 at 9:21
  • Guess its a poor choice of words, I just didn't want to make it sound like I feel every game is perfect. I think the let down would be more in things that I as a fan disliked at times, like having to wait for Patch X to be released in WoW, the long wait for either Starcraft 2 (and now its sequels) and Diablo III. Plus things often get hyped so much, that its bound to let down somewhere. Compared to that hyped status, I think they do a pretty good job of hitting the target. – Ivo Flipse Dec 17 '11 at 9:31
2

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

The Binding of Isaac. I wasn't expecting it to be something I'd want to play, and every time I played it I felt really icky, what with all the disturbing yet cartoonish imagery. The gameplay though, was just sublime. Very addictive and the randomness added a depth element I just wasn't expecting.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

Skyrim looks like a heck of a lot of fun, and I'm a total Bethesda addict, but I really want to wait until it gets patched up before I dive in. The first few months always yield any number of crashing bugs that would ruin my enjoyment. Plus, I'll probably be able to pick up a good combo pack with some of the early DLC if I'm lucky.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Sword of the Stars. I think it's not a terrible game, but it was a terrible disappointment. I was really hoping for a re-imagining of Master of Orion for the modern era. It's been a good long while since I played a solid 4X game. It's just a mess, with far less tutorials than it needs, and confusing game mechanics.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Mass Effect 3, no doubt. I've enjoyed the first two parts of the franchise, and it's plot has only become more compelling as time wears on. It manages to take a cast of believable characters and turn them into a cohesive team. I think it will be a good game for the site too - it's open-ended nature means that guides and wikis don't always fit the bill when you're looking for advice.

What is your Game of the Year?

Saints Row: The Third. It's full of crude humor and frat-boy level jokes, but I view it as the Transformers of video game franchies - it's over the top, it knows its over the top, and it uses that to make an excessively fun experience for everyone involved. The plot missions manage to one up one another even though the first one ramps the crazy dial all the way to 11. The side missions are fun and funny, and the game is just damn fun to play. It manages to take your character from slob to god-like, and still keep the difficulty just right the whole way, which is no mean feat. It's also got the best co-op experience ever.

  • saints row 3 also had IMO the best story and voice acting I've seen in a game in a long, long time. I know that may seem odd given the ludicrous nature of the game, but.. I swear! It was great writing and great voice acting! – Jeff Atwood Dec 24 '11 at 8:50
2

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

This is going to sound silly, but Saints Row: The Third. I hadn't heard anything about it until it came out, and then it seemed to be brushed off as a GTA knockoff (full disclosure: I hadn't played the first two, either). When I played it, though, I realized it was an incredibly well-made game that was incredibly fun to play. SR3 didn't feel like a cheap GTA clone, but an improved version. It really blew me away.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

Skyrim. Unlike the whole world, I'm waiting for it to go on sale, as some sort of boycott of $60 PC game costs. My firm stance has been difficult to maintain through all the related gaming questions and reddit posts, but I've held out this long. I'm sure I'll get it when it hits $40, and I'll enjoy it, but for now I'm happy with what I have.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Brink. While it probably wasn't the absolute worst (I play a lot more flash games than I'd like to admit), it was by far the most disappointing. The game had been getting so much publicity among my friends that I expected it to replace TF2 as my go-to game. Within a couple weeks of playing, though, all my friends had given up, and it seemed like the community had died. The game just wasn't as fun as it was made out to be, and it was just a huge disappointment.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Diablo 3. I've been in the beta for a couple weeks and have enjoyed myself tremendously. The crafting system makes inventory management a much less agitating experience, and the gameplay is outstanding. Now, if only blizzard would announce a release date...

What is your Game of the Year?

I'm going to go with Portal 2. The potato-pack ARG that valve led added a sense of excitement around the release that I rarely feel anymore when games are release. The game was outstanding, and Valve did such a wonderful job of getting the community involved and excited for its release, there was really no other contender for the spot in my mind.

  • 1
    I totally agree with Brink, that's what I put for my worst game I played this year as well. – l I Dec 19 '11 at 23:25
2

2011 has had a lot of good games, but just hasn't presented me with an all-consuming game I could just play and play and play.

The Questions

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

It's hard to be surprised in this Internet age. The amusing narration in Bastion perhaps?

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

The L.A. Noire complete edition. I want to finish all the DLC quests.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Not a game at all, but the Fall 2011 "Metro" update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard has just made it horrible to use. Netflix has gone from my favorite non-gaming application on the 360 to my most hated. I could angrily rant all day about autoplay, bad UI, it's unresponsiveness and other bad features. This is why you don't outsource to Microsoft without some kind of approval process to ensure they don't give you a POS.</rant>

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Currently it is a tie between Mass Effect 3 () and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (), as those are the only 2 games I have pre-ordered for 2012.

What is your Game of the Year?

That is a tough call. Nothing this year really stands out despite there being several good titles. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword overall has great gameplay; _Catherine is a head trip; Portal 2 is funny as hell; L.A. Noire makes me hate Los Angeles even more; Batman was a solid game with terrible DLC;

So I will probably say The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is my GOTY.

The Facts:

Some of the games I have played this year:

I bought these:

I've also grabbed a few Humble Bundles, but haven't been able to play many of the games on my aging laptop.

2011 games I am waiting to go on sale:

* Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet I picked this up on the XBL end of year sale.

  • Since I posted this I got ITSP in the XBL end of year sale. – CyberSkull Jan 3 '12 at 3:01
1
  1. TF2. No seriously. My backgrond in FPSes was Quake Live, and I thought I had a taste of Valve's take on multiplayer competitive fps in Half Life 2: Deathmatch. A very disappointing, confusing shooter: unclear death notifications, no hit sounds, unsatisfying weaponry... I was turned off. I want to clearly see who I've killed dammit! I also disliked a few of the ideas in the game (I still don't understand why you'd spend money that could buy other games in hats).
    Then Powerlord, bless his soul, saw the error in my ways and gifted me TF2. Actually, he gifted me the entire Orange Box. And I played the game, and found that many of the issues I had had been addressed, and that the game was so good and the playerbase so helpful and friendly, it really was a special game that ended up sucking roughly 500 hours of my life this year. And it keeps getting better!
  2. Bit Trip Complete and/or Saga! I've seen the four non-PC Bit Trip games and, while I'm not sure they can be meaningfully ported to mouse and keyboard (and I really don't like to use anything else), I love the art style and the music in the games. (Obviously, Bit Trip Runner 2 is going in a completely opposite direction. Heh.)
    (What? You expected me to say MW3? or BF3? or Skyrim? or the latest Zelda? or whatever blockbuster (you name it, I've probably skipped it)?)
  3. The award for shortest time between first launch and uninstall has to go to APB: Reloaded. I was getting 10 SPF (...that's seconds per frame). In the main menu. With no 3D drawing whatsoever. Okay, perhaps that's not fair, then the award goes to Duke Nukem Forever, which bought me a few seconds in the game. Put in a mirror to show off the main character's terrible, terrible animation from the very start of the game, yeah baby. He looks stiffer than a broom. A broom of steel. (Oh, and I couldn't finish the boring boss fight in the demo either due to the low fps.)
  4. Valve's hinting at Half Life 2 Episode 3, if that isn't Half Life 3 directly. I don't think I need to add anything to that. Otherwise, I'm not really looking forward to anything in particular.
  5. The Stanley Parable.
1

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

  • Dungeon Defenders. This game combined really interesting aspects of a tower defense and first/third person shooter. A very awesome twist on two classics that I enjoy.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

  • Skyrim. I'm not a huge open RPG fan, didn't like Fallout, Oblivion, Gothic, etc. Just can't get into those games, but the people that I know that play it, absolutely love it. Don't know what it is about that genre that I just can't get into.

What was the worst game you played this year?

  • Tie between Dungeons and Dragons - Daggerdale and Hunted - The Demons Forge. Both these games didn't really a strong story driving the character (I gave them both 5-10 hours each) and ended up uninstalling both.

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

  • Hands down this will have to be hopefully Diablo 3, or Heart of the Swarm expansion for Starcraft 2. What can I say other than I'm a blizzard fan boy? Well that and they make really excellent games.

What is your Game of the Year?

  • I'd put Starcraft 2, but that was released in 2010 so I don't think it qualifies. So I'll have to go with Dungeon Defenders.
1

1. What was the most surprising game you played this year?

SpaceChem. I bought the Humble Bundle for Frozen Synapse, but instead I've mostly just played SpaceChem. As a programmer, the game's puzzles are a ton of fun, and it is even something that other members of the family have gotten into (including my 6 year-old).

2. What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

Portal 2. I enjoyed the first one when it came out for free, but I didn't feel like paying full price for this when I still had other games to complete. I just got it for 75% off though, so I'll get to it next year.

3. What was the worst game you played this year?

Dungeon Siege 3. As a big Diablo fan, this seemed like a no-brainer. But playing it made me appreciate all the fine touches that make Diablo great and were missing from this game. I still haven't completed a single playthrough.

4. What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Diablo 3 of course. I haven't managed to make it into the beta, but that's probably a good thing as far as having free time goes.

5. What is your Game of the Year?

Skyrim. It's a great game that has really raised the bar for open-ended story driven games, not to mention the huge impact it has had on this site.

1

What was the most surprising game you played this year?

I have a habit of over researching games before I buy them - I hate getting a crap game unexpectedly - so it is rare that a game really surprises me.

However, Bastion managed just that. It is the first game in a very long time I've picked up almost on a whim. In fact it managed to convince me to buy it based almost entirely on the first few minutes of its demo. It grabbed my attention with it's unusual narration and beautiful visual, then held on to it until I'd played the game end to end, twice.

What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

I've actually managed to play pretty much all of what I was interested in this year. I've a few big Christmas-season releases outstanding (Batman: Arkham City and Assassins Creed Revelations), but I'm in no rush to pick them up, and all the various indie bundles have pretty much satisfied me from that direction.

What was the worst game you played this year?

Brink. It's not really a bad game as such, but it was rather disappointing. The gameplay ended up being quite bland and it failed to deliver on the quality of narrative promised in the build up. Murmurs before release about it being a challenger against TF2 were ultimately wrong as it ended up being fairly mediocre all round.

It's such a shame too, with the world they've crafted they could do so much better...

What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

There's plenty of big titles coming next year: Mass Effect 3, GTA5, Tomb Raider and Borderlands 2 are all sitting on my radar at the moment, and I'll probably play them all but I'm not giddily enthused about any at the moment.

What I'd really like, however, is another awesome indie game to crop up and really hit the spot. This year has been the first that I've seriously played a wide number of indie's (partly thanks to Gaming.SE inadvertently advertising them to me) and will be playing many more from here on in; there's just so many interesting things to find here.

What is your Game of the Year?

Portal 2 was funny and clever, but just didn't feel as special as the first (thou' the co-op was fantastic).
Skyrim's a great huge time sink, but has a few too many issues bogging it down.
Deus EX: HR was good, but the ending tainted the experience for me.
SpaceChem is just down right clever. But frankly can be a little bit forgettable.
Frozen Synapse is probably the most multiplayer I've played in years, but rather niche.
Assassins Creed is great, but growing little formulaic (I've not played Rev yet, but the rest this year).
Zelda is fun, but massively formulaic and has a little too much hand-holding for my tastes.
LA Noire is turning out pretty interesting, but took too long to really get going.

So, I think, this has to go to Bastion from me. Clever, unique, beautiful and fun. It kept me gripped end-to-end, twice, and even convinced me to buy the soundtrack (an extremely rare occurrence as I rarely listen to music).

1

1. What was the most surprising game you played this year?

Skyrim. I have never played an RPG before (I played Pokémon as a kid, but that’s pretty much earnt itself another genre altogether in my mind). But dear God Bethesda's warm goodness has devoured my life.

2. What was the best game you wanted to play this year but didn't?

Team Fortress 2. It's still on my Steam library, waiting for me to finish downloading it. And I feel bad for neglecting it. Next year, maybe?

3. What was the worst game you played this year?

Medal of Honour. I really did want to enjoy that, I wanted it to be the gritty, hard face of war. But instead it felt like Call of Duty with an identity crisis. In fact, the best bit was the ending, and if you've played that game as well, you'll know that I mean that in more ways than one.

4. What game are you looking forward to the most next year?

Far Cry 3. I need that game. Now.

5. What is your Game of the Year?

Crysis 2, I bought it on PS3 when it first came out, didn't enjoy it much. But I bought it again when I beefed up my PC and with the added precision of the mouse and keyboard, I feel like a boss. Shooting aliens in the face hasn't been this much fun in a long time.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .