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2011: Game of the Year

The Holiday season is upon us, which means it's time for a mega recap. You know, looking back at what we've played throughout the entire year and saying how much we loved it... or didn't (yeah, well, we'll be discussing crappy games another time). As gaming years go, 2011 wasn't half bad. It wasn't the best year ever, but it had some terrific moments. As much as we enjoy playing video games, we also continue to vomit in the face of certain publishers and some developers, who incessantly spew out mediocre titles in a vain effort to entertain us. Criticizing on our part may not be a sufficient method of fighting this, since those damn sales numbers have the final verdict. That's the way it will always be, I'm afraid. This, on the other hand, won't make us forget that we need to honor games that bloody well deserve it.

As some of you may notice, we don't have the Rhythm/Music category this year; mostly because we didn't play any Rhythm/Music games this year. In any case, I'm sure most of you won't condemn us for not talking about games like Just Dance or Zumba Fitness or whatever the hell you can find in that particular genre these days. Anyway, happily enough, we've included the MMORPG category this year (unlike the previous year), so that's something.

Of course, most of you already know full well which game is going to bag the most awards in 2011 (birds and bees know it, giants, mud crabs, saber cats and drunken backwards-flying dragons know it).

PEOPLE'S CHOICE
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks


The majority has decided. Approximately 11,000 people took part in our Game of the Year voting poll and, inevitably, Bethesda's game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim emerged victorious. We won't go too much into detail as to why all of you picked this particular title as the best game in 2011. The reasons should be obvious to anyone who was once an adventurer like me, but then took an arrow in the knee. Several pretty decent games also had a fair shot of winning this year... Hm, actually, no. They didn't stand a chance.

Runners-up:


GAME OF THE YEAR
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks


As a development studio Bethesda outshined everyone one of its competitors this year. Their latest foray into the realm of RPGs has undeniably left a mark on the gaming scene. It's one of those rare games that lets you be whatever you want to be, giving you the freedom to explore, master whatever skill you want and get into one adventure after another. Its beautifully crafted surroundings and engaging story, makes the experience worthwhile. The mysterious world of Skyrim has been accompanied by the incredible soundtrack created by veteran composer Jeremy Soule. His brilliant tunes are part of the reason why people will remember this game for a long, long time.

As far as we're concerned, Skyrim deserves praise in almost every aspect. Most of all though, it serves as an example to certain publishers who see video games as just another item in their hectic money-grabbing business plan. Skyrim proves single-player can still be as successful as online games, mobile games and social network games. Good job, Bethesda.

Runners-up: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal), L.A. Noire (Team Bondi), Portal 2 (Valve Software).



BEST ACTION GAME
Batman: Arkham City
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Developer: Rocksteady Studios


It was kind of a tough choice this year. Now, I'm almost certain a lot of you will complain about us not picking Modern Warfare 3. Well, let me tell you that we've really thought about this and MW 3 doesn't even come close to what we've experienced in excellent games like Dead Space 2 and Uncharted 3. Batman: Arkham City, on the other hand, is even better. It encompasses everything a player wants out of a solid action adventure - great action, wonderfully executed combat system, first-rate graphics and above all a decent plot and interesting characters. The game doesn't somehow leave an intense first impression like Arkham Asylum, although Rocksteady did make a variety of commendable improvements this time around, adding more cool elements to the excellent core gameplay mechanics of the original.

Runners-up: Dead Space 2 (Visceral Games), Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog), Gears of War 3 (Epic).



BEST RPG
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks


For years now, it seems to us that role-playing games have strayed from the genre's classic form. Frequently it's getting tough to make out any truly worthy examples in this category. Mind you, this year, there wasn't much of a dilemma. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim features just what players need to get immersed into an inviting and mysterious world. Most important of all, Skyrim stands proudly as a perfect definition of what a good single-player RPG should be like. Each step and every decision you make determines the fate of your character, thus causing NPCs to react accordingly. Events unfold unpredictably and there's rarely a moment when you'll feel like there's nothing to do. Rich content and an incredible number of quests and side-quests will keep you occupied for many hours. All of this, coupled with what was emphasized earlier in our People's Choice and Game of the Year categories.

It's also worth mentioning that Edios Montreal's Deus Ex: Human Revolution and From Software's Dark Souls represent fine efforts this year. Yep, they were pretty strong contenders, so keep up the good work guys.

Runners-up: Dark Souls (From Software), Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal).



BEST MMORPG
Rift
Publisher: Trion Worlds
Developer: Trion Worlds


Well, we certainly didn't see this one coming. An MMORPG this fun and it's not World of Warcraft. We'll leave our editor Vince to explain.

Here's a sample from Vince's review:

"Just when it seems all is lost and we are about to be overrun, fresh troops run to our sides and the battle swings in our favor. The Rift snaps shut with a roar as the final enemy commander falls. The country side returns to normal and the spoils of battle are dived. Our hastily assembled team begins to break up and individuals head off in differing directions to pursue their own goals. I am alone in this farmer's field that was a raging battlefield a few minutes ago. I take comfort in the fact that I have just helped once again ensure that Telara is safe for another day as we strive to wage the larger war. That comfort is short lived as on the horizon, I see another Rift forming."

Runners-up: Possibly Star Wars: The Old Republic... we don't know yet. Look, we're still playing, okay?



BEST RACING GAME
Forza Motorsport 4
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Turn 10


It was clear that the award was either going to go to Forza 4 or DiRT 3. While we totally appreciate what the boys and girls at Codemasters have done with the third installment in the DiRT series, placing this game above Forza Motorsport 4 would be a mistake.

Forza Motorsport 4 is perhaps one of the most pleasant racing games we ever played. Every aspect of this game has been done with care and devotion to detail. The game isn't exactly about hardcore realism, but rather simply about enjoying the ride and taking your time to beat each event either in solo mode or in multiplayer. With each race we just yearned for more speed, more cars and more challenges. Whenever you exit Forza Motorsport 4, you can't resist the urge of coming back for more.

Runners-up: DiRT 3 (Codemasters)



BEST STRATEGY GAME
Total War: Shogun 2
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Creative Assembly


There wasn't much doubt this year, really, now was there, folks? I mean when you think about it, Creative Assembly has been perfecting their 'Total War' formula year after year with various titles in their ever-popular series. Apart from providing an excellent blend of real-time battles and turn-based strategy elements, the game will keep you busy for a long time, both in single-player and in multiplayer. Tactics, of course, are the key to this game. Victory often comes in many different ways, depending on how you position your troops and how you prepare for battle. This year's ultimate strategy game.

Runners-up: Might & Magic: Heroes VI (Black Hole Games).



BEST INDIE GAME
Minecraft
Publisher: Mojang
Developer: Mojang


Personally, I haven't spent much time playing Minecraft. However, so many folks here at AT HQ have done so. As many of you already know, one of the most fascinating aspects of the sandbox-building PC game is the enormous success it has achieved worldwide. The game was hardly out of its Alpha stage and it already garnered a huge audience. Upon the release of the full version, iOS and Android versions of the game quickly followed, with promises of an Xbox 360 with Kinect support for 2012. Like so many good games, in order to comprehend why Minceraft is so great you simply have to play it. There's a virtually limitless array of things you can do and you have the freedom to create your own game and enjoy it any way you want. Not many games can make the same claim.

Runners-up: Trine 2 (Frozenbyte), Limbo (Playdead).



BABE OF THE YEAR
Kelly Andrews

As the year draws to a close, we cling to our tradition of singling out the highest-rated samples of babnessness. Born on January 17, 1990 in England, this beguiling sample of bebocity has selfishly stolen our hearts and... other body parts. Kelly has a way of hypnotizing you with her, um, qualities, up to the point of leaving you breathless. Yes, indeed, but she's not the only one to keep us company in the past year.

Babes of 2011 we salute you!

Runners-up:



PAGE 1

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37 post(s)
Reader Comments
tei187 Dec 23 2011, 09:21 am EST
pretty cool, i agree with most of the choices (dunno about MMOs though... i don't play them except for APB:R but it's barely an MMO).
btw... is that the entire list? seems like shooters aren't here.

as to BotD and Miss August - that kind of huge boobs isn't really that fun when you get to know them better. Miss January - that's the most reasonable size among the big ones. trust me, you really don't want them bigger. and Kelly Andrews is hotttah.
  Vader: Yes they are... only not so much. As before, 'Best Ac…
tei187: that and the fact that there really was no good shoot…
xXSheperdXx Dec 23 2011, 09:51 am EST
And that concludes another gaming year, it's amazing how time flys by don't you think ?
  Vader: It is... my friend ... it is
EricHalfBee Dec 23 2011, 10:05 am EST
I finally cracked/got around to it and have just bought Skyrim. I'm excited!
EricHalfBee Dec 23 2011, 10:12 am EST
The readers poll was a pretty good list with the best games generally receiving favour. My GOTY is Portal 2 but I'm not really qualified to judge (see the comment above; I haven't actually played Skyrim yet). Having played it/been annoyed by it I was particularly gratified to see Gears 3 quite low down with few votes. For a major release this was a major let down despite the MP improvements. The one placing I was a little perplexed about was Battlefield 3; I've really given it a good shot but still prefer the MP of Bad Company 2 and there's absolutely no contest in SP: the B3 campaign is really pretty mediocre for a 'top' title, irritatingly so at times.

Here's to another year of gaming. I raise my glass to you all. Budmo!
Paul Dec 23 2011, 10:40 am EST
For me, GOTY and RPGOTY goes to Witcher 2, with Skyrim being runner-up, followed by Deus Ex 3 and Dead Island.
  Vader: Nice choice, sir :)
tei187: ...i still haven't played witcher 2...
Paul: You can get it for cheap right now on gog.com, where …
Doomsday.: Good choice Paul!! :) tei187: U Must!!
tei187: i won't do what you tell me! i see through you, plot…
Doomsday. Dec 23 2011, 11:28 am EST
Nice guys!

Here be my list!

Game of the Year: Total War Shogun 2! (Never played any other game for 8 hrs straight in my life! Total freakin' addiction!)

Best Action Game: Batman: Arkham City! (No doubts there!)

Best RPG: Witcher 2! (Though Vader's review is spot on! Makes me want to go for deus ex but I really enjoyed Witcher 2!) Runner Up - Deus Ex: HR.

Best MMORPG: Never played one in my whole life! SW: TOR might be the first!

Best Racing: This genre is dead to me!

Best Strategy: Shogun 2!

Best Indie: Trine 2! (B E A utiful!)

Babe of the Year: Gracie Glam!
Fatty Dec 23 2011, 11:42 am EST
Fuck all of you who voted for cod or bf.
  Vader: To tell you the truth, I expected as much... Come to …
EricHalfBee: This isn't your average gaming site. It has more visc…
im_stardust Dec 23 2011, 01:49 pm EST
First of all: This GOTY post on AT gets shittier and shittier every year. L.A. Noire and Portal 2 as GOTY runners up?
Best action game? What the fuck is that?

All this GOTY was made like someone forced you to do it. Did someone force you to do the GOTY post?

Second: There is no way SKyrim deserves GOTY, only people who went through the main quest only, would think that.

Thirdly : Your descriptions of why any of this games should have won whatever they've won are full of shit.

And I'll tell you something else and my personal opinion. With all this games that shiiped this year, it's been a really shitty year from gaming. Soulless, frustrating games, most of them if not all.

And lastly, this voting poll you have now....fucking sucks.
  RenegadeCZ: Why don't you start your own website, to show everyon…
im_stardust: Mind your own business kid. The last thing I'm gonna …
Roland19: While a website might be a tad too complicated, there…
Alchi: Oh yeah, Portal 2 as GOTY runner up? Unbelievable Va…
Terminator: Yeah stardust, why don't you start backing up all you…
Vader [STAFF] Dec 23 2011, 01:59 pm EST
Yeah, I know what you mean, im_stardust. I feel that way about large purple ponies too.
  im_stardust: You are a fucking superficial prick.
Vader: Oh are we gonna offend each other now?
im_stardust: As long as we don't stray to far from the truth. I kn…
Vader: You strongly believe that every single statement of y…
im_stardust: This fuckers around here don't give a shit what you w…
Vader: Oh, I completely agree with that. Only I'd replace th…
RenegadeCZ: A nice insult hidden in a compliment. Good one Vader.…
im_stardust: Let's look at it this way. From 10 people, 9 woul…
Vader: My point was that your opinions would be taken a lot …
im_stardust: I know. But don't think there's someone here who's ca…
Vader: People can hate and be bitter, sure, but nobody dwell…
EricHalfBee: im_stardust is our Darth Vader.. I feel the goodness …
Roland19: im_stardust is such a misunderstood, tortured soul. B…
Meade352mxs: trololololololol.... :D
im_stardust Dec 23 2011, 02:03 pm EST
10 or 15 years ago, especially on this time of year, when it's snowing. there was full of kids on the small street I used to live on, playing almost until midnight, building snow fortress, snow fights, etc.

Now, it's just a big fucking parking lot and everyone is staying inside playing a game or jerking off. What kind of fucking life that is....
  thestewieman: you are aware of the fact that there are less childre…
Vycka Dec 23 2011, 02:15 pm EST
im_stardust, clearly the only thing left to do is to end this charade and kill yourself.
run_like_snot Dec 23 2011, 02:29 pm EST
GOTY should only include games which were released 6 months ago at the latest, so go from mid 2010 to mid 2011. Every man and his chihuahua is playing Skyrim right now, it's impossible for it not to win every prize on the planet. Hypage is like boobage: it blinds.
im_stardust Dec 23 2011, 02:53 pm EST
Each and everyone of you, at one point or another, you've agreed with me. I can search the archive and bring you proof.

You can only compare something with what you know. If you've only drank cheap, tasteless wine all your life, what you going to compare it with?

So? So what happens if you've read about Northern tradition and Norse Mythology, what happens when you've read 1001 Nights? or Isaac Asimov or Arthur Clarke? or have seen countless movies ? what happens when you've intensively played through all previous games of a series?

Isn't it logical for you standards to go up? You get tired of seeing, hearing the same thing so many times. Fewer and fewer things impress you with each passing time.

You can't go by ear without any basis behind you, no matter how intelligent you think you are.
  Vader: Games and movies are meant to entertain the masses. T…
RenegadeCZ: I've agreed with you in quite many cases in the past.…
Cheddar: Stardust, you hate everything because you're fucking …
im_stardust: You're talking out of your ass again, loser? You have…
Cheddar: You're reacting with such hostility because I hit a n…
LostPcGamer: Will you two knock it off its getting tiresome. Chedd…
im_stardust: This guy is more insane than I am. Man, let me cle…
im_stardust Dec 23 2011, 03:18 pm EST
And all this ignornat, young generation with internet lingo : "why the hate"; "u mad"; "rolf, lmao, omg, wtf, ftw, lol, lulz"; "like a boss"; "sad panda", "awesomeness", "epic", "sux", "pro", "newb, noob, nub, noobcake", "emo", "flame", "flaming", "troll", "trolling", "google is your friend", "hype", "inner geek", "lame", "lamer", "llama", "meltdown", "nerd", "praise orgy", "sexting", "wanker", retweet, rimjob and suck my dick.
Cheddar Dec 23 2011, 03:45 pm EST
Sorry in advance, but it just begs to be pointed out...

That ignorant, young generation is YOUR OWN generation, stardust.

I mean, even "u mad" is from fucking 2003. And that's one of the most recent lingo memes you list there.
Rick_Hunter Dec 23 2011, 03:49 pm EST
Someone's up for a visit to the shrink. Desperately.
  Cheddar: Stardust isn't healthy. I think that's been clear for…
im_stardust: You talk about me being hateful, when you tried to ba…
Cheddar: I don't hate you. I just try to get you to think som…
Cheddar Dec 23 2011, 04:01 pm EST
ANYWAY...

I'm embarrassed to say that I impulsively laughed out loud at the new poll's third option (i.e. Nothing, just spending time with...).

And then promptly clicked the first option.
raptor Dec 23 2011, 04:33 pm EST
At least the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was #4, personally I think it was the GOTY myself. Because it had BOOBS in it. LOL
run_like_snot Dec 23 2011, 05:11 pm EST
u mad?
im_stardust Dec 23 2011, 05:30 pm EST
There's 2 kinds of people here: fairly intelligent people with standards and expectations and people who don't agree with me.
  Cheddar: lol.
im_stardust Dec 24 2011, 01:38 am EST
This guy is more insane than I am.

Man, let me clear some things for you cause you're obviously concerned about me. And everyone else but I don't think anyone gives a shit. BUT this is directed at you, Cheddar, cause you were so arrogant to act like you actually know about someone, based on the hell know what.

I'm not the age you think I am. I'm not a female if you also thought that. I have 2 jobs, one is related to video gaming. I usually play 4 hours a day tops. I can't afford to play more. Despite that I managed to play every major title this year, including most of the consoles and even some WoW Catacylsm and Star ToR Beta.

I don't know what gave you the idea I complete huge games fast, it's only been a huge game this year and that was skyrim, which I stopped playing a few days ago on level 40 or something, I even said it here I uninstalled it.

As proof, don't know If I'm allowed, I can give you a link to my blog/website which focuses on bodybuilding and nutrition, which I've been practicing for over 15 years now. It's in russian but I can prove you, it's mine, if you'd like that.

I also have a degree in Psychology, which I know, I find it funny as well. But due to some circumstances, as of late, I still didn't manage to continue the studies forward.

You are right about having no social life, I don't really have close friends, I don't go to parties, activities etc.

The reason I hit a nerve and the reason I am like this and (this is the only website I post any sort of comments, really) is that I've had some personal problems in my life, especially in the last few years, which don't concern anyone but me, especially not some loser on a forum.

I'm not depressed and I'm not angered nor truly hateful in real life. I'm a pretty docile, kind person most of the time and I don't really bother anyone.

NOW you know something about me and that's all you gonna now, see the difference? Now, you look like a dick, don't you?

I might need help, sure, everyone does. But my money would be on you, if there was somebody in need of help. Maybe you are describing parts of yourself there that you tried to reflect on me. I don't know...

And BTW, with this occasion maybe you can learn some russian, cause you always complained about my english, which I have fairly gotten better at it. How about you fucking learn my language before you complain, I already decent enough at speaking/writing yours.
  Alchi: Oh you're russian. That explains why I'm naturally in…
im_stardust: "Oh you're russian." - Here I already lost interest. …
RenegadeCZ: Sorry stardust, but you have commited pretty much eve…
Alchi: Trolling a troll - it's so simple a game, anyone can …
Doomsday. Dec 24 2011, 03:23 am EST
^ Sooo u r Russian! Zdravstvuj Comrade! :)

And i would like a link to ur health site, i am fat assed and would like to get in shape!
  im_stardust: Так вы из &…
BmmB: Привет о…
Doomsday.: no man, I am not Russian! :) Just know some simple…
RenegadeCZ: This is NOT personal, but I am just bound to hate Rus…
EricHalfBee: Ren, history is no reason to hate Russians _now_ alth…
RenegadeCZ: I am. This hatred roots from like my grand-father's g…
Superastic Dec 24 2011, 08:38 am EST
Merry Christmas
touretul Dec 24 2011, 10:42 am EST
Ok! This is the GOTY list of touretul:

1. LIMBO (over Portal 2 just because is so fresh)

2. PORTAL 2 (great emprovement over Portal, which was GOTY at it's time)

3. THE WITCHER: ASSASSINS OF KINGS (great production, unbalanced fighting, very hard at the begining, gets easy very soon, more of an action-RPG)

The Golden Raspberry: Modern Whorefare 3, the whore of all the games everywhere, anytime.

not played, that could be in top: Batman: Arkaham City, Forza Motorsport 4
  EricHalfBee: I like your list.
Bubu Dec 24 2011, 12:48 pm EST
A Merry Fucking Christmas to all you Fucking Cunts. I Love You!
Un Om Bun [STAFF] Dec 24 2011, 01:07 pm EST
Merry Christmas ! I shall pray that we all find good, wealthy husbands next year.
  Alchi: And also they should be impotent. I treasure my ass…
raptor Dec 24 2011, 10:02 pm EST
ago ferreus quod lascivio congelo
Vader [STAFF] Dec 25 2011, 06:32 am EST
User of the Year - im_stardust
Doomsday. Dec 25 2011, 07:03 am EST
^ Got that right! lol!
RenegadeCZ Dec 25 2011, 11:07 am EST
On Christmas, there is a snowball war in the street.
On Christmas, there is a flame war on AT.

Damn, that would fit in a song. Or not.
Breedy_Mcfluff Dec 25 2011, 03:32 pm EST
Jesus knocked up his mom.
  Vodoo: that's very racist of you picking on the latinos.
Rondo Dec 25 2011, 07:47 pm EST
All I know is Im_stardust spent too much typing on this post. I cant bother reading through it all, but I agree that Skyrim is nowhere near my personal list of top games of this year... or ever, for that matter.
antonphd Dec 25 2011, 11:54 pm EST
best game of the year for me is Portal 2. it's also the only game i actually completed this year and one of the few games i have ever completed. i usually get tired of games before finishing them. i had one other game i almost finished and it's my runner up: Deus Ex Human Revolution. i love the shit out of that game, but i quit before beating the final boss, so, Portal 2 wins. now, had i more time to play games, i might have finished Skyrim or Batman Arkam City and either of those might have been my best game instead.
Terminator Dec 26 2011, 06:08 pm EST
Skyrim is the best game for sure, but Arkham City, Deus Ex 3 and Witcher 2 are right behind it. 2011 was a great year for games....I doubt 2012 can match it.
finaleve Dec 29 2011, 07:49 am EST
...I want to disagree with Skyrim being Game of the Year, but god damn it I can not. I'm actually still playing the game, doing all the sidequests and whatnot (finished the Companions, Thieves Guild, Mages Guild, and both sides of the War with 2 characters). Granted, I've hit a point where I'm not really going out of my way to find quests anymore and trying to finish the main game but... wow. This game breathes longevity.

I'm kinda surprised Dark Souls managed the follow up. I expected The Witcher 2 to be up there, even though I never did play it (I just hear good things about that game).

I'll be honest though, this list is probably a lot better than most who have MW3 and BF3 taking most, if not all, honors.
TitaniumFist Dec 29 2011, 03:39 pm EST
i know shaq fu.....
wooders Dec 31 2011, 03:48 pm EST
what is miss july's name?
  Vader: Jun
wooders: Jun?
Vader: Sorry July.
wooders: she doesnt have a real name?
Vader: She probably has. What I'm trying to imply is that it…
wooders: is there a way to match a picture with an image on sh…
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