Before the lot of you begin asking, "Where's x, y, and z games?" and "Why are there only nine games?" There were a lot of games that I wanted to play in 2011, but did not get the chance to for a number of reasons. I'm sure the list would look quite different if I did get the opportunity. If you want to see a more robust list next year, feel free to donate to my Paypal account and I'll see what I can do.
Without any further panhandling, I present to you, The Top 9 Video Games of 2011 (That I Played).
9. All Points Bulletin: Reloaded - PC
Mix equal parts Grand Theft Auto and intense PvP and then make it free to play and you wind up with the relaunched version of All Points Bulletin. The game is gorgeous and plays incredibly well. It brings about a breath of fresh air in the stagnating world of MMOs. Best part of the whole deal? The game is completely free to download and play.
8. Wizard's Choice (series) - Windows Phone
Wizard's Choice revitalized the choose-your-own-adventure genre with a challenging trilogy that was full of twists and turns. The first installment is free and completely hooked me. Within seconds of completing it, I had purchased the next two chapters at $0.99 each and have since played the series repeatedly. It's among my favorite apps and if you have a Windows Phone, it's well worth the download.
7. Brawl Busters - PC
Brawl Busters was a surprise hit for me in that I wasn't expecting much from the kiddie style and monster fighting. What I found instead was a game full of personality and compelling gameplay. From the PvP to the Horde inspired Zombie Survival mode and the characters that inhabit that world, there's so much to love. Of course loving it is made that much easier when the game is free to play.
6. Mortal Kombat - Xbox 360
Mortal Kombat was a series on life support for a long time. I had loved the series as a kid, but had long since long given up interest. The last game I had purchased was Deadly Alliance and I was underwhelmed by it. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe showed promise, but was too far too tame. Mortal Kombat brought the series back to its violent roots in a triumphant way and spun the classic story with an intriguing twist. With a new in-depth combat system, Mortal Kombat has finally returned to the top of its game.
5. Marvel vs Capcom 3 - Xbox 360
Twelve years after the second game became a smash it, Capcom and Marvel stunned the world with the trailer for a third entry. Sporting a look similar to Street Fighter IV and featuring the frantic, fast-paced combat the series is famous for, Marvel vs Capcom 3 immediately climbed to the top of my "Must Play It Now" list. Months later, I'm still terrible at the game, but have loved every second invested in it.
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3- Xbox 360
I've never been a super huge fan of the Call of Duty series. The story has always been lackluster and the multiplayer lacking in one way or another. However, when it comes to playing a game with a group of friends, it's hard to do better. Modern Warfare 3 still lacked in story, but balanced the multiplayer and brought back my favorite gun of all time, the Barrett .50. Now, it's more fun than ever to get a group going online and battle against the unwashed masses of Xbox Live.
3. Hunted: The Demon's Forge - Xbox 360
Hunted: The Demon's Forge was a title that had caught my eye early into its development. It released to mediocre reviews. When I finally got my hands on it, I found one of the most enjoyable co-op gaming experiences. Kim and I spent a weekend devoted to the game. It was a weekend of teamwork at its best. From solving puzzles to taking on near insurmountable odds, it was a blast. If you have a buddy to do some classic couch co-op gaming with, you can't do much better than Hunted: The Demon's Forge.
2. Gears of War 3 - Xbox 360
You can't do much better than Hunted: The Demon's Forge for classic co-op gaming, but Gears of War has been the reigning king since its initial release and for good reason. Gears of War 3 then took everything great about the series and perfected it. It is the pinnacle for cooperative gaming and marks the end of a tremendous saga. With the addition of new game modes and a new take on the classic Horde mode, there's a whole lot to do with a group of friends.
1. Dead Space 2 - Xbox 360
The first Dead Space was a surprise hit for me. It wasn't a game I hadn't paid much attention to until it found its way to my coffee table. I was instantly hooked. The environment, story, combat, and sound all drew me into the madness surrounding Isaac Clarke. Dead Space 2 was the perfect Valentine's Day gift. Isaac spoke, and the madness spread to a space station. It was a roller coaster ride of terror that has yet to find its equal. For its story telling and the immersion I felt while playing it start to finish, Dead Space 2 was the game of 2011 for me.