Top 10 Video Games of 2011
10. Dark Souls - Namco Bandai Games
Tweaking the dungeon crawling genre yields impressive results with this RPG. Open world environments, genuinely creepy monsters and a clever leveling and death system that revolves around souls collected adds dimension to the kill and loot game formula. Huge levels, creative spell and combat mechanics and notoriously difficult bosses should be an appealing challenge for the even the most seasoned adventurer.
9. Portal 2 – Valve Corporation
The Aperture Science Enrichment Center returns to challenge players puzzle solving skills via the 'portal gun'. A clever idea in gaming that made the first Portal such a hit, the portal gun creates two 'portals' (read: holes in the wall). By 'shooting' these holes, players can transport themselves between planes in unexpected ways, creating the momentum and playing off the game physics to overcome obstacles and 'outsmart' their nemesis, the so-pleasant-its-obviously-evil GlaDOS artificial intelligence. While the story line has been expanded upon and the addition of some previously unseen game elements surely built upon its predecessor, the only major complaints came in the form of the gaming being too short.
8. Battlefield 3 – EA Digital Illusions CE
While this game is deserving of hype on its own accomplishments, BF3 received additional press as the main competitor to another popular first person shooter that made this list. BF3's strength lies in its strong single player campaign, and extensive multiplayer battles that go far beyond the run and gun tactics of most military themed shooters. The extensive use of attack and transport vehicles add a truly epic sense of battle when run on PC servers that can accommodate 64 player battles. While not as 'tight' in its gameplay as it's competitors, BF3 size and range of vehicle combat make it a strong alternative in a crowded scene.
7. Total War: Shogun 2 – Sega
The Total War series has churned out numerous quality installments, consistently tweaking successful real time strategy formulas to suit their historic settings. The RTS formula of gather resources, build empires and churn out armies is refined to near perfection with Shogun 2. Complex strategies of both resource and troop management enhance the overall play that should challenge seasoned players while not alienating gamers new to the series. Stylistically stunning graphics combined with a strong single player and turn-based mode with tactical, real-time battles will earn this multiple nominations on game of the year lists.
6. Mortal Kombat 2011 - NetherRealm Studios
Another Mortal Kombat? Many gamers might have not noticed this, the 9th installment of the popular fighting series with all the hype surrounding other titles. Those of you loyal to all things MK were rewarded with one of the best builds of the game since its launch. Developers claimed the franchise was returning to its bloody origins (which earned a ban in Australia), aiming for a “Mature” rating as opposed to the “Teen”rating on previous games. An elaborate unlocking system, Challenge Tower Mode (similar to the arcade ladder), fatality training mode, tag-team mode, and an extensive multiplayer platform all add up to one of the best fighting games of the year from a franchise that practically invented the genre.