Another year of gaming goodness comes to an end, we’ve seen the lows and we’ve seen the highs. Which games do we here at Paranerds.com highly recommend? These are games that surprised us, stood out from the crowd and made us continue doing this hobby. These are the games that stood out from every game that came out, and that definitely takes a lot. This is the Top Ten Games of 2011.
10. Modern Warfare 3/Battlefield 3
Honestly before going into the hot debate of what game is better we have to agree that both Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 share similarities. Both games have a strong multiplayer; whereas one is more action oriented and one is more team work based. Both games are very successful and both games have a rapid and angry fan base. Maybe Battlefield 3 is better due to it running on the Frost Bite 2 engine, maybe Modern Warfare 3 is better due to its record sales. Maybe we can all stand back, remind ourselves that there is room for both games and accept that war….never changes. There is no denial that The PC version is the best but when it comes to consoles, they’re sort of equal…to those that don’t agree…bring it on.
9. Mortal Kombat
I was just as surprised as everyone else when I downloaded the demo to the newest Mortal Kombat game. There were no new tricks, no tacked-on mini-games and no new characters. It was nostalgic without being redundant. It was the Mortal Kombat game we all wanted. Finally! Not being a big fan of fighters, Mortal Kombat kept people interested just like it did the first time around. With blood…lots and lots of blood. The gore was more detailed and more horrific. The X-ray attacks were just brutal to watch and the fatalities were even brutaler (?). Add on great gameplay and graphics and DLC that is (sort of) worth it. Yes I’m talking about Freddy Krueger as a playable character–or if you’re playing on the PlayStation 3…god damn Kratos from God of War. This game cannot be over looked.
8. Gears of War 3
I loved the shit out of this game. The story wrapped the trilogy and there were genuinely sad moments. The gameplay was fine tuned and the graphics looked great with some color added to the mix and it also had a great online multiplayer and free DLC making this game packed with re-playability. Seriously horde mode alone can easily eat up 3 hours alone and playing with friends is gratifying as you try to save each other. Team deathmatch was fun too even though the sawed-off shotgun is absolutely dominated and will destroy everything in its path.
A lot of mixed feeling towards L.A.Noire. Sure the facial expressions were really good but a little uncanny. Sure the story and voice acting were top notch and a little stupid and sure the gameplay was unique but repetitive but–lost my train of thought.
Anyways what I’m trying to say is that L.A.Noire is still a game that took a chance with something “new”. It doesn’t make sense in context (killing a whole gang of guys every hour) but it’s still an enjoyable experience. Trying to figure out if someone is lying by their facial expression was different and challenging especially if they were a good liar. Solving crimes were fun too as you rummage through every piece of trash trying to separate a clue from everyday trash.
Also the little gap in between interrogating someone only to be returned with a couple of piano keys suggesting you got it correct or not was intense. There has never been a game like this and there never will be, it’s an experience everyone must experience at least once.
6.Dead Space 2
The first Dead Space was unique; unique meaning you kill enemies by shooting their limbs off rather than aiming for the head. The story was interesting enough and the twist was nice (spoiler all the levels spell Nicole is Dead) nice touch.
Dead Space 2 deals with the aftermath of Isaac Clark. How do you live past all the brutality you witnessed? Easy…you don’t. The whole situation was treated as a “never happened” so Isaac is stuck thinking he’s losing his mind…until shit hits the fan again. This time Isaac has a voice and a new look. Damn his suits are cool looking. Adding a whole lot more and a terrible multiplayer Dead Space 2 brings back the survival-horror aspect of gaming without being forced to stick to cheesy puzzles.
(Written: By Stew)
As noteworthy as the previous Uncharted games have been, there was always a bit of standard-ness to them. You could always predict hours away what would happen next and while the snappy dialogue and intense set pieces were wonderfully entertaining, Uncharted 1 and 2 rarely amounted to more than virtual blockbusters.
Saying that Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception climbs above this might be giving it a bit too much credit, but it’s the first game in the franchise to really try, and those moments where it succeeds are some of the most memorable of the generation. While the basic formula of the game remains the same, there are countless bits of fine tuning that make it an unrivaled cinematic experience rife with moving moments. It’s also a blast to play, of course. The set pieces are frequent, perfectly orchestrated and will leave your heart pumping like you just rounded the last bend of the running of the bulls.
It’s not a perfect game; it only dabbles in upsetting the franchise’s status quo and never really embraces it. Even so, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is easily one of the year’s best.
4. Batman:Arkham City
Finally you can feel like Batman–again. The Dark Knight returns in a sequel that expands on the original in many ways. More characters and more outfits (finally). Arkham City has you glide, jump and climb your way through the city of hell. Everywhere there are thugs ready to try and beat you and everywhere there are Riddler trophies ready to derail you. Arkham City has an OK story and a very unexpected and most surprising ending to a game. Plus the inclusion of the animated series outfits, and Robin,Catwoman and Nightwing as playable characters will make any fan of the Bat drool.
Also keep in mind the fantastic voice acting and…well…Harley Quinn. I have problems.
3. Saints row the Third
(Written By: Serge Leshchuk of Joyblind.com)
Saint’s Row does not promise you a deep narrative of revenge and retribution, or rags to riches. It doesn’t make you slumber through countless tutorials all the way up the weapon progression. It doesn’t make you babysit your imaginary cousin and take him bowling. It hands you predator missiles in the first ten minutes and sends you on your way. Saint’s Row the Third does not lie to itself or you about what it is, it’s a video game to its core. It starts as off silly and stupid, but quickly progresses to sillier and stupider, but the writing stays strong and even the most “what the fuck” moments are hilarious for all the right reasons. It’s not the most visually striking or technically advanced game, but it is probably one of the more fun experiences you will have this year while holding a controller. If you’re into Russian clones, zombies, Burt Reynolds and having “I Need a Hero” soundtrack imposed over the last mission of the game…. You should definitely play Saint’s Row.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
(Written by: Stew)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, aside from being a vast and epic RPG, probably holds the record for the fastest meme creation in history. Go ahead, try visiting a forum (not even just a gaming one either) and see if you can’t find an “arrow to the knee” joke.
Skyrim is far from a flawless title. The inventory management is clunky, the combat simplistic and the PS3 version still suffers from lag issues that border on game breaking. In the years to come though, we’d be shocked if Skyrim wasn’t remembered as the one of, if not the definitive open world game of the generation. The developers couldn’t have made a better choice in ditching the Tolkien-esque setting of its predecessor for the Viking inspired land of the Nords. The land of Skyrim feels downright full of life and if the quests, loot and adventure aren’t enough, the epic atmosphere is bound to grab your attention and never let it go. Seriously, if your aren’t hooked after seeing a dragon swoop down from the sky and start duking it out with a freaking MAMMOTH then we can only conclude there’s something wrong with you.
1. Portal 2
The original Portal became a cult classic with time. At first it was a very quiet little game, bundle with the Orange Box and eventually picked
up the pace with the word of mouth being “that Portal game is hilarious,short and sweet”. With all the forums and internet jokes of “The cake being a lie LOLZ!!!” Once Portal 2 came around we had no idea how they would stretch a two hour game into at least 5 hours.
What we got was one of the most interesting unique stories in a long time with some of the best voice acting and funniest lines ever included in a video game. The twists are actually surprising and the story is told without it being in your face. Sure it’s less subtle than Portal but the way the story unfolds whilst playing is pretty interesting. The graphics and colors are great and the puzzle will make you tilt your head as you try to figure out the puzzles as you look at objects from a different perspective. Not only is the campaign great and has plenty of replay value (commentary for the levels) but there’s also a great co-op mode which doesn’t involve killing each other. You must actually work together to stay alive. Add in FREE DLC… FREE! That NEVER happens but here it is.
Seriously Portal 2 is one of the greatest titles this year, it was a pleasant surprise.