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Release Date: July 20, 2011

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EGM’s Best of 2011
Brady Fiechter’s Picks

Posted on December 25, 2011 AT 01:00pm

I’m not gonna say 2011 was the best year yet for games, but no year has come even remotely close to offering me so many games I wanted to play, and had a great time playing. I won’t claim the following are the best of the bunch—I still can’t resolve why I don’t have Portal 2 on the list, and replaying ICO in HD reminded me of the grand potential of the medium—but these are the 5 games I finally settled on as examples of entirely different, entirely entertaining experiences.

Brady’s Top 5 of 2011:

#1: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
The beauty of Skyrim lies in its ability to create a vast world of possibilities. I can climb a snowy mountain, consume exotic herbs, bring down a dragon, listen to music in a old town bar, sharpen a blade and go hunting. This is a game of moments, every one connecting something grand and memorable, both big and small.

#2: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Formats: PS3
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog
Sure it didn’t feel as new and unexpected as Uncharted 2, and it could have toned down the shooting bits, but Drake’s Deception entertained me more than pretty much any game this year at its best. I might have to give the shipyard sequence “level of the year.”

#3: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Sorry Battlefield kids, when it comes to single-player thrills, Modern Warfare 3 can’t be beat. Lean and mean, the game was relentless in its full-throttle presentation and looked incredible at every turn. Toss in the obvious multiplayer charge and you’ve got an explosive sequel. More of the same? Yeah, more of the same, but better than most.

#4: Bastion

Formats: Xbox 360, PC
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Supergiant Games
The Kid triumphed in the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade, bring a dusty western spirit into a classically spun world of pure fantasy, gorgeously drawn and vibrantly colored. The action role-playing elements were superb, but the plotting with an omniscient narrator delivered one of the more unique and well written stories of the year.

#5: Dark Souls

Formats: Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: From Software
Let’s slot in a loose tie here between Dark Souls, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Super Mario 3D Land. Must I chose one? Ok, Dark Souls, for its uncompromising Japanese aesthetic and improvements over the cult-favorite Demon Souls.

Brady’s Off-Topic Awards:

You’re Two Console Cycles Old and Still Better Than Most Everything This Year: Resident Evil 4 HD and ICO and Shadow Collection
We’ve got a GameCube Resident Evil 4, the best since the first Resident Evil, and a PlayStation One masterpiece, ICO, offering more ideas and vision than most every game out this year. If you’re new to the scene, you must experience both.

Excellence In Follow the Leader: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
One of my favorite games of the year gets criticized for its rather rigid gameplay path, and it’s true, there’s a heck of a lot of watching and following screaming people as everything crumbles around you. I love it!

No One Cares for Your Award: 3D
Yes, it’s true, the 3DS came and no one cared, consoles released plenty of games in 3D, and no one cared. Remember the old adage—good games don’t need gimmicks.


What do you guys think of Brady’s picks? Let him know on Twitter (@BradyFiechter) or drop in a comment below!

EGM’s Best of 2011 Coverage

EGM’s Top 25 Games of 2011
Part 1: #25 – #21
Part 2: #20 – #16
Part 3: #15 – #11
Part 4: #10 – #6
Part 5: #5 – #1

EGM Editor’s Choice Awards
Part 1: Eric L. Patterson
Part 2: Ray Carsillo
Part 3: Marc Camron
Part 4: Brandon Justice
Part 5: Matthew Bennett
Part 6: Andrew Fitch
Part 7: Brady Fiechter

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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