A strong finish ...
This year has been a boon for gamers. From the PC-melting Crysis sequel that didn't melt consoles - to the highly anticipated Modern Warfare 3 and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, there wasn't a shortage of great gaming on consoles and handhelds.
Here are my top 11 picks for 2011 - and my pick for Game of the Year.
11. Sony PlayStation 3D Display. The small size of the device rubbed some folks the wrong way but the incredible price drop - $399 gives any PS3 owner a great entry into the world of 3-D gaming and movies.
10. The Nintendo 3DS. I know. I said it failed in my last post with the price drop. However, it continues to dazzle with 3-D video, Netflix and other non-gaming features but the games-games-games are what makes this one phenomenal device.
9. Forza 4 - Microsoft Xbox 360. This is one of the finest racing games on the planet. From the inclusion of Top Gear tracks and Jeremy Clarkson's commentary to the up-close and personal "Auto Vista" mode - and limited Kinect support - lets anyone who loves cars, young and old, the chance to race on virtual tracks around the world.
8. Crysis 2 - PC, Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360. This was one of the best shooters of 2011 - and the one of the most underrated as well (Operation Flash Point: Red River was another great shooter that didn't get the props it deserved). The sequel to the PC-melting game, Crysis, hit consoles and received great reviews.
7. Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars - Nintendo 3DS. This. One of the launch games with the Nintendo 3DS - along with Steel Diver - kept me entertained for hours. Even though I am not a huge fan of turn-based video games, this one was a great ride and looked brilliant in 3-D.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Nintendo Wii. One of the greatest LOZ's of all-time. In this episode, Link must leave his city above the clouds to find his longtime friend, Zelda, in a world of darkness. Great graphics and killer gameplay adds a douse of life into the Wii.
5. Dead Island - PC, Sony PS3, Xbox 360. Take a dose of Left4Dead, a dash of Resident Evil and a hint of Grand Theft Auto's open sandbox for one hella crazy ride. Despite the meh ending, you will have fun bashing zombies, finding bubbly to trade for ice - diamonds.
4. Uncharted 3 - Sony PS3. Play as Nathan Drake as he travels all over the world - London, the Mideast and even a flashback of the young Drake in Colombia - in search of the “Atlantis of the Sands” somewhere in the Mideast. Great story, excellent graphics and it shines in 3-D.
3. Gears of War 3 - Microsoft Xbox 360. The finale is truly legendary. The thrilling adventure, the excellent gameplay and stellar multiplayer - if you are a Gears fan - you already have it. If not and you like shooters, check this game out.
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3/Battlefield 3 - PC, Sony PS3, Xbox 360. Yes. I did it. I'm that guy. Both games are awesome - have great - but at times flawed multiplayer - and rather short campaigns. And yet ... we still slob on ourselves like a litter of Pavlov's dogs when they are released.
1. Skyrim - PC, Sony PS3, Xbox 360. Being dragon born totally rocks. You can knock people over with your breath (or just eat some limburger cheese to get a similar effect), sprint past obstacles like you are a crackhead AND solve why dragons are suddenly reappearing in the mythical world of Skyrim. You can easily sink over 100 hours in the game without scratching the surface of the main quest. Without a doubt, Skyrim, glitches and all, is a video game that is worth its weight in gold.