Eurogamer Readers' Top 50 Games of 2011

The best of the year in your words and votes.

As you've probably spotted, we've spent the last week since we broke up for Christmas publishing personal accounts of some of our favourite games of the last 12 months, and we've also named our overall Game of the Year for 2011: Valve's wonderful Portal 2.

Traditionally though we leave it to you to bring order to the chaos of the year just ended by voting for your top games and giving us your reasons. We take your top-five lists and scientifically jumble them all together to create the Eurogamer Readers' Top 50 Games, and then publish it all in one go along with a selection of your comments.

This year we had our largest ever response and we also received far more comments than before - and far more than we have been able to use here, so apologies if you submitted something that we weren't able to use. We did read all of them while compiling the list, and it was fascinating to see where you agreed and disagreed on the games included. The comments we did include are a snapshot of the range of views expressed.

One last thing - while the consensus around the game at the top of the list was huge, so it can reasonably be termed the Eurogamer Readers Game of the Year 2011, it's worth remembering that lists are just a bit of fun, and that at this merry time of year it is not worth getting hot and bothered about whether one game is definitively superior to another. Trust us - we learned that one the hard way.

Happy New Year! Here's the very best of the one to which we all just said goodbye...

50. The Binding of Isaac (PC)

What we said: "Binding is not the game I would have expected Edmund McMillen to create in the wake of Super Meat Boy. That was a painstaking, pixel-perfect work - some seriously Old Testament, Miyamoto-esque stuff. In other words, he was a total control freak. With Binding, McMillen and Himsl created the rules of the world and then set it in motion. Yet this game is nearly as much fun as Super Meat Boy, and more profound. It proves that there's more than one way to make a masterpiece."

Indy said: "[Developer] Edmund McMillen convinced me to buy this game simply by explaining the concept on his wonderful blog. It sounded so much fun so I wasn't surprised when it indeed turned out to be a lot of fun. I was surprised, however, at the amount of different items and how each and every one of them served a purpose without killing the balance of the entire game. That's some wicked game design right there. You either love or hate the art style, dark humour and overall themes of the game, but even if you're the most religious person in the world you wouldn't deny this game is downright fun."

neuroniky said: "I bought this on the day Skyrim released, and I spent the night playing it instead of the latter. A unique game with a twisted humour and a classical SNES gameplay with a 'let's try one more time' factor that makes it impossible to stop playing it."

49. Terraria (PC)

"Single-player Terraria beats the pants off single-player Minecraft."

mrpsb, Eurogamer reader

What we said: "There's a reason Terraria has sold a few hundred thousand copies in the first few months it's been on sale. It's because, if Terraria really does have a bottom, no one can be bothered to go find it. They're having far too much fun on the surface, and the spaces in between."

mrpsb said: "Single-player Terraria beats the pants off single-player Minecraft, and has been delivered in a fraction of the time."

mkreku said: "Little masterpiece! No apparent story, nothing to drive you onwards and no manual that tells you what you can do. And yet I played it for 100 hours!"

Heitzu said: "A brilliant game, especially if you have someone to go adventuring in your generated world with. Plenty to see and do, bosses to fight, dungeons to explore, ores to be dug, homes to be built, floating islands to discover, armour to forge, the list just goes on and the most recent update adds even more!"

Dr Strangelove said: "Minecraft meets Metroid meets Zelda in never-ending wonderful 16-bit realms. Since Counter-Strike has no game destroyed my life like this."

48. Beyond Good & Evil HD (PS3, Xbox 360)

The first 15 minutes of BG&E HD, eight years later.

What we said: "Can a game so shrouded in cult praise deliver so long after the fact? Surprisingly, yes. Beyond Good & Evil is still a wildly ambitious game, often beautifully constructed and with its own distinct personality. Stacked alongside its modern descendants, like the less interesting but equally commercially-challenged Enslaved, its pioneering qualities are plain to see."

ssuellid said: "This bored the crap out of me on its first release. I don't think I had the patience for it then. But now I like the relatively slow pace, the character design and the tweeness. More HD remakes please."

nopizzanocry said: "Loved this game when it released, it is a pleasure to meet with it again. Like meeting an old good friend. The game's world is fascinating and incredibly deep with a smart gameplay."

CraigC8 said: "A classic back in the days of the original Xbox. One of those games I go back and play every six months or so and still never get tired of it. Now come on Ubisoft and develop Beyond Good & Evil 2!"

47. Sonic Generations (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

What we said: "Sonic Generations still doesn't do much to dissuade us that the hedgehog's best days are distant memories, but at least it is a worthy tribute to them, capturing the subtler elements of the original Hedgehog's enduring appeal although still falling foul of some of his weaknesses. And looking ahead, it also suggests that the next 20 years - for Sega will surely continue to pump out Sonic games until its dying breath - at least hold the promise of many more enjoyable birthdays to come."

OneClassyBloke said: "Sonic Generations is my favourite game of the year. Critically, it is average, but for the fans who stuck with the series through its highs and lows, it's a wonderful gift and will put a smile on even the most jaded Sonic fan."

NineOverSeven said: "A great mixture of the past and present. The music is fab and modern Sonic is actually fun now. Just a shame about the Planet Wisp levels."

Butr0sButr0s said: "After all the garbage that has been shovelled out to SEGA's nostalgic fans, it feels like hell froze over to finally get a great Sonic game. The 2D throwback levels maintain the physics of the originals while updating the classic chiptune soundtrack, and the modern levels harness the speed-run addiction of the best 3D Sonic offerings."

46. SpaceChem (PC)

What we said: "Sure, SpaceChem is just pseudo-science, but it does capture that mystique of toying with nature's fundamental ingredients. And while nuclear chemists are serious professionals, I'm willing to bet that the first time that one of them transformed a smidgen of helium into super-heavy hydrogen, part of him wanted to cry, 'Look what I made!'"

tadejs said: "SpaceChem is simply by far one of the greatest puzzle games ever made. It not only makes you think, it makes you come up with your own solutions, instead of just trying to guess the solution the developers have intended. Because of that, every solution feels like it is truly your own. The gameplay is simply phenomenal, introducing you to a simple, yet ever-extending set of rules, and asking you to reach the solution in whichever way you want. It doesn't take much time for it to become really hard, which only makes it even more rewarding. It also happens to have some pretty good writing, an enjoyable soundtrack and a number of free updates available."

TrilbyNorton said: "My favourite board game when I was younger was Mouse Trap. I loved how, over the course of an afternoon, the trap would grow from humble beginnings to an impossibly complex system of doodads. I get the same thrill from SpaceChem."

45. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Xbox 360)

Who's excited about Halo 4 then?

What we said: "This is no longer Bungie's Halo, though much of what made the original so successful is here and intact. It's an awkward reinvention that manages to be at once faithful and a little wide of the mark. But such is the strength of Combat Evolved, this is still an Anniversary that's worth celebrating."

MahtiK said: "Halo Anniversary has proven it's still one of the best, if not the best, FPS games of all time. The feel of the weapons is uncanny, and the pistol and the assault rifle especially are the two best-feeling weapons in any game ever. The shotgun is probably third."

retrological said: "Like getting to play a much-loved classic without having to remove your rose-tinted glasses. Perfect update. Still delivers that famous 30 seconds of fun."

44. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "When you strip away our automatic affection for the universe, you're left with a simple story full of thin characters and predictable twists, where the combat quickly descends into a repetitive war of attrition, and a small suite of online modes that can't compete with the bigger boys in the genre."

BIGsheep said: "The nerd in me loved it. A faithful recreation of the grim dark future with a lovely combat mechanic that kept you in the mix and allowed seamless switching between close and ranged Ork-thwarting."

berelain said: "For the Emperor."

43. Yakuza 4 (PS3)

What we said: "A significant step up from Yakuza 3 in terms of visuals and story, Yakuza 4 still lags behind the genre's leaders, lacking the polish in interactions to make it a classic. But this is still a strong, mesmerising video game, an offer that none should refuse."

Electro_UK said: "The best story the series has told since the original, with three new characters that give the combat a much-needed makeover. The city stays the same, but I never want it to change."

MercenaryRaiden said: "With the introduction of three other playable characters and new ways to roam around Kamurocho Yakuza 4 manages to stay fresh and entertaining. With the story returning to its roots it's the strongest entry in the series yet."

JoeGBallad said: "Not only is the setting one of the most intricate ever seen in a game, it's also backed up by combat that is hilariously violent. It's a real achievement."

42. Child of Eden (PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "As with all of Mizuguchi's work, Child of Eden offers a memorable journey and a strong sense of development. But where Rez was concerned with the evolution of the player character, which transformed from amoebic blob to running man, the auteur's latest is about the evolution of the world around the player."

YobRenoops said: "Finally a sequel to Rez! The game I thought it would be and everything I'd hoped. Shame it got tied to Kinect, however, which seems to have affected it in the marketplace."

JollyNiceSoup said: "The sequel I felt like I was waiting a lifetime for. Where Rez felt like you were destroying, Child of Eden felt like you were rebuilding. Gives me goosebumps thinking about it and I'm pathetic enough to have shed a tear by the end of the credits. Just beautiful."

nedrichards said: "Justified a Kinect."

41. Football Manager 2012 (PC, Mac, iPad, PSP)

What we said: "If you're really intent on living out your football management dreams the way that Sports Interactive used to, the best bet is to keep things simple and opt for the iOS version. If you need all the trimmings, then by all means surrender yourself to the all-consuming PC/Mac version. Just don't let your joy about the new streamlined match preparation and in-depth contract negotiation system creep into your pillow talk, for God's sake."

NicolasVH said: "The progression is marginal compared to 2011, but it's still the best and deepest football management game out there."

HunterKiller said: "Classically addictive stuff from SI as always, with huge improvements in both match engine and player interaction."

popej said: "Yeah, it's basically the same as the last one, just like the last one was the same as the one before (and so on). For all-day gaming sessions though, nothing beats FM!"

40. DiRT 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Developer: Codemasters
  • DiRT 3 Review (9/10)

What we said: "Codemasters has succeeded in curating another superlative festival of driving. It's a package more inclusive than any of its predecessors, shot through with the quiet innovations that have defined the studio's more recent efforts. With its off-road events celebrating the series' past and Gymkhana presenting a potentially bright new future, it's another great racing game from an outfit that's proving itself to be a master of its craft."

john385 said: "A great... [turn left, 90m, jump] game... that shows... [slightly right, over jump] even a noob like me... [go left, hard right, then straight to finish] can enjoy a great rally game. Oh, it's DX11, which is just grea... [crash]."

GaidenZero said: "Still the ultimate driving experience and for me the perfect balance between simulation and arcarde. The graphics are stunning and, whilst not for everyone, I enjoy the variety of differing driving experiences on offer."

StrikeForce1 said: "They finally got the handling physics to feel right after the ridiculous shopping trolley cars of the first two DiRT games. A few more iterations and they might finally be back to the superb handling models of the 2004/2005 Colin McRae games."

39. Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

What we said: "'The core of Mario Kart is pretty solid at this point and I think it's safe to have it evolve in a pretty staid and traditional manner,' Miyamoto said recently. Mario Kart 7 reflects that, in its title and in its design: it's robust, but it lacks some creative effort on Nintendo's part. Newcomers will love it, while series stalwarts will find its novelties welcome, if largely inconsequential. But it's nevertheless one of the stronger entries in the series, balancing the orthodox precision of the original with the playful silliness of the more recent iterations more successfully than ever."

beatleben said: "I've only just started getting into it, but already it's clear how refined everything in the game is. The 3D is implemented sensibly, without any needless distractions. The online community aspect is an excellently designed setup. The new tracks are full of potential and the classic tracks are all worthwhile. The only problem is the lack of DK Mountain."

Sodding_Gamer said: "Best MK since the N64. Balanced, good online play and great new tracks."

BonzoBanana said: "Not totally inspired but that warm familiar feeling that you've come home."

38. F1 2011 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
  • F1 2011 Review (8/10)

What we said: "Strip away the new lick of paint and it's tough to tell F1 2011 apart from its predecessor, and though it's certainly tighter, smarter and more technically accomplished, some of the old faults remain. A marginally better outing than last year, then, and that's enough to ensure that, as F1 games go, this is still quite comfortably the best."

shamblemonkee said: "Despite a host of issues that caused me serious frustration at launch this is still the best 'serious' online racer out there for Xbox 360, and does a good job of recreating the buzz around a race weekend. It has occupied my Tuesday evenings since launch."

jetsetwillie said: "Being a massive F1 fan I played this a lot this year. Playing it with a Logitech DFGT on a high-end gaming PC through my 46-inch LCD the experience is sublime.Ii can spend hours just racing friends' ghosts and never get bored."

Fatbobbybob said: "A great if a little subtle update to last year's game. The sense of grip and general car simulation in long races makes this an incredibly intense racer. Could probably do with a year off and come back big in 2013 but this will never happen."

Stefarno said: "Probably the best console F1 game since F1 '97. Needs Murray Walker though."

37. LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)

What we said: "Strip away the relentless good looks and the generous open-source playpen, and the bare, underlying platformer's shortcomings may hold it back from classic status. But as a package, as a concept, as an unfinished story, LittleBigPlanet 2 is a world apart."

reeferchief said: "My son has ploughed over a hundred hours on this. This is his Skyrim."

Flying_Pig said: "A surprisingly substantial upgrade from the original, with Create mode allowing some genuinely amazing DIY games."

GreyBeard said: "Another victim of an early-year launch, LBP2 will probably go down as the most under-appreciated title of the year. Better in all respects than its predecessor as a game, and a truly phenomenal game-creation tool."

calexd said: "Had me and my girlfriend smiling from start to finish, and aforementioned girlfriend often begging to play. Full of charm and with a level-creator with so much choice. A game I keep coming back to."

36. From Dust (PC, Xbox 360)

"I didn't play it. But I did read the review and think this kind of game needs support and recognition for being creative, innovative and fresh."

rare_uk

What we said: "It feels like a beginning, and not just because it tells the tale of one. It's a big idea in a small package, and it's begging to be expanded, as Ubisoft has hinted it might be. Pray that it is."

BIGsheep said: "My favourite sandbox in a long time. Apologies to all those villagers who got in the way of my dabblance with lava, however."

Modhabobo said: "From the first moment of picking up the dust and placing it in the sea, watching it change colour, and watching my tribe crossing, I was hooked. A beautiful analogy for our quest for power and how cyclical and destructive it is."

rare_uk said: "I didn't play it. But I did read the review and think this kind of game needs support and recognition for being creative, innovative and fresh in an industry that is supposed to be those things but so rarely is."

MaybeLater said: "In a market dominated by big-brand, largely soulless FPS titles, it's a great pleasure to see a soulful little delight like From Dust snuggled in amongst the big boys."

Zackv4861 said: "An excellent interpretation of a god game that has been so over done but has faded out in recent years. Soundtrack was amazing and the environments were to die for. If only it were a little longer."

35. Driver: San Francisco (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Martin Robinson and Tom Phillips talk through the start of Driver: San Francisco, a surprisingly lovely game that most wrote off as inessential. The curse of too many sequels, perhaps, or maybe too many games set in San Francisco.

What we said: "Driver: San Francisco isn't quite the jolt that the arcade driving genre needs to stir it from its own particular coma, but it's an endearing and eccentric experience in itself. In Reflections' best work since the Driver series began, it's managed to tame the ridiculous and conjure something quite sublime."

jonthepymm said: "I've loved open-world driving games with randomly generated traffic since I first played Turbo Esprit in the eighties on the ZX Spectrum. 60 frames-per-second goodness on this one too!"

marmaduke said: "So your man's driving around San Francisco, chasing a criminal, and then BANG! He's crashed and is in a coma. Like any coma victim, he takes up astral projection and uses it to help people in trouble by taking over their bodies and driving their cars really fast. He knows to do this because a billboard opposite the hospital told him to do it. Driver: San Francisco is the perfect mix of Burnout, GTA, Quantum Leap, Dirty Harry and Seinfeld. If that doesn't appeal I don't know what does."

SirClive said: "Not perfect, but a great concept and pretty well executed. Life on Mars in cars!"

34. Dragon Age 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "For all the ideas that don't quite take flight, for all the design decisions that feel restrictive rather than liberating, when the credits rolled I was already itching to devote another 40-odd hours to reliving it all again."

JdEvangelion said: "One of the most disappointing games of the year - a lazy sequel to Dragon Age which in itself was a pale imitation of Baldur's Gate 2. Despite all that this still ranks in my top five. Not sure what that says for the rest of the industry."

mogwins said: "I put off buying this until the end of the year, when it was down to a tenner, due to fairly mediocre reviews. But it's far and away the most compelling game I've played this year. While the characters initially seem to seem your usual RPG archetypes, they really grow as the game progresses, and some of the interactions between NPCs are a real delight. Also Planescape: Torment levels. Almost."

Boki said: "While a lot of people may whine that the game is bad, shallow, not an RPG etc, it is under the surface that you'll find how truly great the game is. The characters are well-written and are different enough that if you take time to listen to their story you'll come to like them. Voice acting is top notch, the combat is visceral and it's pretty hard to go back to the slower-paced Origins after this. Yes environments are reused, but it doesn't take away from the enjoyment as much as people claim."

33. Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)

What we said: "Occasionally, it shows flashes of originality, flair and Lucas-powered matinee excitement that set it apart. We'll need even more time with it to tell if the romance of Star Wars and BioWare's narrative ambitions can carry it past its rivals. But we've seen enough, at last, to believe that The Old Republic is a real MMO, and no-one's idea of a failed one."

Astrates said: "BioWare. RPG. With friends. Nothing more really needs to be said. Getting an amazing storyline told to you that's unique for your class with major decisions to be made that shape the story, then also you can take your friend along as you choose to sacrifice an entire engineering team just because you couldn't be bothered to run around. Awesome."

Rootminusone said: "Takes the essence of the Star Wars universe, as realised in the magnificent Knights of the Old Republic games, and explodes it into baffling scale. Technically it does little to mix up decades-old MMO formulae, but the addition of meaningful story and character relationships is a long-overdue and wonderful addition to the genre."

32. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)

"A remake actually worth making."

redcrayon

What we said: "Great art means different things to you at different points in your life. Ocarina of Time means something different to me now than it did 13 years ago. But the fact that it still has so much meaning is an affirmation of something I've long suspected: that this game is one of the greatest things that video games have ever achieved."

Lexx87 said: "An old classic that manages to stay fresh over a decade later, this remake is pure class. Gameplay that lasts through the ages and will never get old."

redcrayon said: "A remake actually worth making. The redrawn graphics and having the inventory on the touch-screen make this the definitive version for me. Loved it on the N64, love it even more now."

Mikeeeboy1 said: "2011 was certainly the year of HD remasters, with varying results - but nobody could argue with the return of one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. Where the resurrection of other games of old could only muster an increased texture quality, Japanese developer Grezzo had the advantage of pushing Ocarina of Time into new dimensions thanks to the 3DS. And push it they did, with a resounding success that inspired many a lapsed gamer not to think twice about buying a 3DS just to roam Hyrule Field yet again."

johnnydude84 said: "Despite being a gamer since the NES days the Ocarina of Time has always passed me by. Upon playing it on my dusty 3DS I was able for the first time to understand what all the fuss was about, while finally seeing the potential of my expensive doorstop. It's not the best game I played this year but the game that justified my 3DS and allowed me to play what is essentially a gaming masterpiece."

31. RAGE (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: id Software
  • Rage Review (8/10)

Perhaps overburdened by hype and history, the fact that Rage was merely a solid, enjoyable game with some excellent weaponry and snazzy graphics condemned it to the ignominy of 'relative failure' in commercial terms, but we still loved it. Bring on Doom 4!

What we said: "Judged on game design and content, it's slightly anachronistic, but as a toy box full of things you can only do in games, Rage is warm-hearted and refreshing. It's not going to change the world, but it does serve as a timely reminder of that other thing id Software games always did besides smashing through some new technological barrier. They made shooting things fun, and it's nice to have that back."

UKGN_Zoidberg said: "More than just a technical showcase, id Software's flair for level design shines through in Rage. By far the best FPS of the year."

dickothe1st said: "Old-school mechanics from an old-school developer that provided me with much refreshment from a stagnant industry. Linear, loud and focused entirely on what makes shooters so great: the guns. Oh, and gorgeous to boot."

orakio said: "Let the naysayers hold theirs! Rage is a fantastic showcase of what arcade FPS games should be like. You don't need realism to create a thrilling atmosphere and compelling gameplay where the kill itself brings more satisfaction than the completion of an area."

30. Total War: Shogun 2 (PC)

What we said: "Those expecting revelatory improvements in areas like AI may be mildly disappointed by Shogun 2. Those after a sumptious, weekend-whittling strategy epic heaving with flavour and challenge can reach for their uchi-bukuro with confidence. This is a corker."

Boki said: The attention to detail is amazing and the campaign is deep, with lots of customisation options and factions to play through. Then there is multiplayer and co-op mode. It speaks volumes of the game as a whole when the weakest part feels like the actual large-scale battles.

maxleonhart said: "In our day and age, when real-time strategy games are on life support, it is great to know that Creative Assembly is still taking care of fans of the genre. Even though the Japanese setting might not be for everyone, Shogun 2 is a magnificent game polished to the last helmet on your samurai's head."

glottis0 said: "They've made the same game every few years, but this time they finally perfected it. Just incredible."

29. inFamous 2 (PS3)

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Developer: Sucker Punch
  • inFamous 2 Review (8/10)

What we said: "UGC aside, inFamous 2 is a great example of the iterative approach to sequels: it's driven by tweaks, fixes, and subtle refinements, and there's a sense throughout that the series is starting to come into focus. During its best moments, it feels like something we might have been given by the Assassin's Creed team if they'd grown up immersed in the works of Steve Ditko rather than Umberto Eco: a hard-edged pulp adventure where your tools are perfectly matched to your missions. If the original game gave Cole a purpose, this one provides a little personality to go with it."

Olemak said: "While this game was good rather than great, I played it to completion and then some. Can't say as much for many other games that have come out this year."

Epcotman said: "While Arkham City really nailed being Batman, inFamous 2 nailed having super powers - leaving you vulnerable enough to be scared but powerful enough for smart players to thrive with their new super-human status."

coomber said: "I would never have played this or the original inFamous if it hadn't been for the Sony hackers, so a big shout out to the cyber nerds. Cheers!"

28. Killzone 3 (PS3)

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Developer: Guerilla Games
  • Killzone 3 Review (8/10)

What we said: "Killzone 3 is a powerful, impressive game that sets an imposing standard for Sony's 3D, Move-enabled future output; it's just a shame that in doing so, it's lost just a little of what made the series stand out in the first place."

zoweewowee said: "Superb visuals, solid gameplay, clever multiplayer... Killzone is still an outcast in the first-person shooter crowd, but its third iteration is nonetheless the best online shooting experience I had this year."

Killerbee said: "Despite the rivalry of BF3 and MW3, it was Killzone 3 that represented the best three-quel shooter in 2011. Proper co-op through the campaign, some of the finest game modes in MP (Warzone and Operations), great visuals and a unique feel. I loved it."

jefranklin18 said: "Not as good as Killzone 2, but add a Sharpshooter into the mix and release your inner child!"

27. Mass Effect 2 (PS3)

It's SHEPARD. SHEPARD.

What we said: "Perhaps BioWare's greatest success in Mass Effect 2 has been taking a complex RPG and making it effortless to understand, play and enjoy on a constant basis, because it has done this in a manner that should prove utterly essential to veterans and newcomers alike."

Fletche said: "Not perfect, but an engaging game that will keep you playing until the end. The storyline is fantastic and keeps everything ticking over, so much so that you can forget any failings with the conversations."

retrological said: "I'm cheating here as I played this on Xbox 360 [released in 2010], but it was such an awesome experience I had to vote for it. Loved the dialogue, loved the renegade options, love FEMSHEP."

ShiftBreaker said: "Not only one of my favourite games of the year, but one of my favourite games of all time. Never before have I finished a game that lasted 50 hours then immediately gone through it again doing a lot of things differently. Twice. It was enough to encourage me to get the first game on 360, even though I can only play it when back home from university over the holidays."

Kangoo said: "So big in scope and developer ambition and such a rich universe. Can't think of another game that you want to start again the second you have finished. A game that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Can't wait for March to finish the story."

26. Rayman Origins (PS3, Xbox 360)

"Definitely this generation's platformer and the kind of game to make you fall in love with gaming all over again."

Stefarooh

What we said: "Ubisoft Montpellier has indisputably crafted a delightful, playful, occasionally exhilarating platformer. But while this is a game whose visuals point to a bright, alternative future, its systems too often rely on the dusty past. Half of a classic, then."

UKGN_Zoidberg said: "Quite simply the best 2D platformer I've played since Super Mario World on the SNES. Brutally difficult but fair and utter gorgeous visuals."

Stefarooh said: "The most exquisitely beautiful game of 2011 also turns into my surprise game of the year with platforming fun that challenges Mario for his crown. Definitely this generation's platformer and the kind of game to make you fall in love with gaming all over again."

exenpipp said: "The smiling faces made my day every time. Which means I have plenty of good days to spare."

25. Bulletstorm (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "This is a game that wants you to laugh so hard that you sneeze on yourself, but it's also a game that wants you to experiment as much as possible with the tools you've been given. Its cleverness is as lightly worn as it is unexpected. It's the best kind of guilty pleasure."

JollyNiceSoup said: "The love child of Geometry Wars and Doom, Bulletstorm tied a compulsive score-chasing mechanic to a beautiful and inventive shooter. Plus it had the most creative use of swearwords since Malcolm Tucker."

43n1m4 said: "Besides the thunder and the roar of both visuals and sound, the sheer old-school fun you can have in this game makes it a must play. A skillfully produced shooter."

rivuzu said: "LEASH! KICK! SLIDE! LAUGH! SHOOT! LAUGH AGAIN!"

24. Crysis 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

It was a big year for PS3 and Xbox 360 but in the end they were both able to match one another technically on most major games. Check out Digital Foundry's PS3 vs. Xbox 360 Crysis 2 face-off video above to see how Crytek did at the start of the year.

What we said: "The long road through the game, winding its way towards Central Park, lacks variation, but then it was never intended to be a Bond-style rollercoaster ride around diverse global tourist locations. Rather, this was always intended to be a game about a suit, and what that represents. In almost every way that matters then, Crysis 2 is dressed for success."

glottis0 said: "Most underrated game of the year I feel. The tactical freedom and sheer coolness of the suit made me prefer this to all the generic corridor shooters. Looked great with the DX11 patch on PC too."

jonc24 said: "There's been a lot of complaining and ranting about this game, whilst comparing it to Crysis 1, but it's the most enjoyable FPS I played this year by a mile. It's stunning to look at and encourages you devise your own plan of action to navigate a destroyed New York whilst experimenting with your range of powers. Great fun!"

CFacto said: "It gained good reviews, but I think this was the most underrated shooter of the year by players. The story was nonsense, but the graphics and both single-player and multiplayer gameplay were different and interesting. I had no more problem with lag than with any other online FPS."

xenon_md said: "Pew pew! Not on par with the scope of the first game but a very solid enjoyable romp."

23. Assassin's Creed: Revelations (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

"A worthwhile game for the series."

blackpaladin105

What we said: "It's still fairly entertaining amid all its missteps, as the heart of Assassin's Creed perseveres to a degree. The disappointment is that Ubisoft is enamoured with its own glitter here, cramming Revelations so full of unnecessary adornments that there's not as much room for players to bring their own ingenuity and sense of adventure to the table."

LividCarrion said: "I always enjoy the Assassin's Creed games and although it was probably the weakest one in the series I still enjoyed the story and loved the ending."

Tiberius_Gracchus said: "The great unanswered questions surrounding this game make me want to play on and on. I would play 20 iterations of it, it's that good!"

blackpaladin105 said: "Though it's certainly not the best game in the series, the improved multiplayer and the satisfying conclusion to Ezio and Altair's stories makes this a worthwhile game for the series."

22. Saints Row: The Third (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

We're sure all the Grand Theft Auto baiting done during Saints Row 2's promotion a few years ago in no way entered the minds of Rockstar when it scheduled the unveiling of Grand Theft Auto 5 about 10 minutes before The Third came out. Semi-sure.

What we said: "There are traces of that excess here, but they arrive too late and change the formula too little to really make a meaningful difference. It's still a cynical slice of dirty fun, but the most damning aspect of Saints Row: The Third is that where the all-important lulz are concerned, there's precious little here that you couldn't already do in Saints Row 2."

laserrule said: "Glorious again, but too restrictive on the customisation side to be true GOTY. But for player-orientated design it's a big yay."

ssuellid said: "It's an open world that you can spend hours just mucking around in and having a laugh. Mining a road and a couple of passersby with multiple remote sticky bombs that you can then fire off individually kept me entertained for hours. I've never seen a game allow you to do this before - normally its one remote bomb you can use at a time. Seeing the NPCs running around, alarmed and panicked, with a sticky bomb attached to them and the other NPCs trying to avoid them is just one of its many great touches. It's full of lovely little touches and laughs. The only thing I would like to add to it would be a Just Cause style grappling hook. 40 hours so far and I have not even touched the multiplayer yet. Simply the most fun I have had with a game for ages. Vehicles are good and wide ranging and the weapon variation is excellent. It's a shame that you cannot record a video in-game, but easily my best game of the year."

OllyJ said: "You had me at Cock Punch."

21. Dead Island (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "I suspect this will be one of those games that will be justifiably mocked by the majority for its many flaws but embraced by a forgiving minority, and passionately defended for its underdog status. Neither response will be entirely wrong. Much like gnawing on human flesh, Dead Island's clumsy horror-action role-player is the definition of an acquired taste."

Astrates said: "It looked great from trailers, it looked terrible from reviews, and in game it was mediocre in single-player. Then though, your two co-workers get it, two of them are brutes, zombie comes at them and BLAM he's down. I'm playing as a hack and slash kinda gal. I can take off limbs and see them damage in real time with every swing. For all its many problems, I haven't had as much fun in a co-op game in years. Gotta hand it to them, it was the co-op Dead Rising needed."

stryker1121 said: "A glitchy, goofy clusterf*** of a game that still manages to be one of the most out-and-out fun titles of 2011. Far-flung from the poignant CGI trailer everyone flipped over, what this wacked-out action RPG hybrid does well it does excellently, i.e. a weighty, visceral analog combat system that never gets boring even after 30 hours of play."

JayG said: "Not the game to play the week before you go to Crete. Too many flashbacks with endless decaying old flesh throwing itself at you. That umbrella was sooo tempting. Great game."

20. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

After all the noise about the disintegration of Infinity Ward, Modern Warfare was more polished than ever on release. Not much had really changed, but it didn't bother any of us that much.

What we said: "Whatever next year's entry brings, some measure of reinvention will be essential. For now, its exuberant blend of testicular bravado and blockbuster gloss ensures that Call of Duty retains its crown as the shooter genre's biggest, boldest rollercoaster ride for at least one more year."

beatleben said: "Nice Tony Scott and Michael Bay storytelling with everything and the kitchen sink thrown in for luck!"

Chester said: "Multiplayer Kill Confirmed mode puts an end to Mr 'Ooo-look-at-me-hiding-up-here-cowardly-sniping-everyone' and forces him out of his cosy den to face reality. Not so cosy now, eh, Mr. Snipey-Snipey?"

robbo007 said: "Always provides a great few hours' gaming. I don't need a game to be realistic so this ticks all the boxes. The multiplayer is just an added bonus that makes it well worth 40 quid. One of the only games I buy on release day."

pipito said: "COD gets a lot of hate for being, well, COD, but this is a stunning crescendo for a series that deservedly is the best-selling game in the world. Incredibly intense and uncompromising single-player that revels in it's ultraviolent opulence and sociopathic monsters of main characters (arguably, the Ian Fleming of this day). Fun Spec Ops side missions and an addictive multiplayer. Infinity Ward still has it - let's see if they can still keep it."

ktwse said: "The AC/DC of video games. Not much has changed, but the fans don't really mind... Still, it does have the tightest single-player of the series, a brilliant co-op, and a multiplayer that might be more of the same yet manages to be slightly better."

19. FIFA 12 (PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

What we said: "After playing FIFA 12, going back to previous entries in the series seems almost unimaginable. It's another step closer to reality, and this time it's a very welcome one."

dupplawt said: "Not many changes on the previous year's edition, but nonetheless keeps me entertained for hours. By no means the definitive football game, with bugs and glitches quite often seen, but the Career mode is unlike any other."

braydee89 said: "The new defensive system is much more involving, new online features seem to have reduced quitters. Player Impact Engine is hilarious."

smoothmunky said: "More of the same from FIFA this year. But that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Not without its faults but if you're a fan of the beautiful game can't say this isn't the best representation of it yet. I'll still be playing this game in September while waiting for FIFA 13 to arrive."

wayneh said: "The introduction of tactical defending has really transformed this year's FIFA. Head to Head Seasons is superbly addictive and Ultimate Team is no longer a case of who has the quickest defenders wins the game."

18. Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)

What we said: "The series' steely heart has softened, revealing a game that's as exhaustive as it is exhilarating and that's now been infused with a little extra passion. Forza has always been a series to admire, but now it's a little easier to fall in love with it too."

Iliad said: "Wonderful visuals, gameplay and maintains 60 frames-per-second even with 16 online maniacs behind the wheel, plus the introduction of Rivals mode is far more addictive in friendly competition times than NFS's Autolog ever was."

lasersrule said: "The best 360 racer got a bit better, but a bit worse. Still, Rivals alone elevated it above the shortcomings and made for more heart-pumping racing with friends than I ever imagined possible."

MahtiK said: "Forza Motorsport 4 is the best car game in existence. Autovista is extremely impressive feature, if only it had more cars. The handling took an enormous leap from Forza 3 which took me by surprise. Driving is now hugely enjoyable."

FlamingCarrot said: "Great graphics and sound contribute to a very good game. More realistic AI would help as there's nothing better than other drivers totally losing it. Multiplayer is spoiled by rear-enders. Now make a dedicated 1960s F1 simulator like GP Legends."

17. ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection HD (PS3)

What we said: "It's a lovely restoration job, and the kind of thing Ubisoft could learn a thing or two from. Beyond the joys of seeing the games sharper and less shaky, and in 3D if you've got the right telly, is the simple pleasure of having them on the same disc and the same loading menu, where you can flick back and forth between them and ponder the way that they fit together."

"More of this kind of thing please."

OllyJ

YobRenoops said: "These games were always on my 'must play at some point' list, but in playing Ico and Shadow of the Colossus in HD it shows how polarised the current gaming landscape has become. Between hardcore FPS boredom, MMOs and causal mobile games there is little room for just a wonderful experience."

Lalaland said: "Yay! Great games deserve respectful rereleases like this where the updating is restricted to locking in frame-rates and allowing the underlying art to shine. Any further and you're almost remaking the game and diluting the essence of what the title was."

OllyJ said: "More of this kind of thing please."

jasondonervan said: "Two of the greatest games from the previous generation reappeared in 2011 with a caring spit and polish that allowed them to shine brighter than ever. After the initial excitement that such a collection was in the works, concerns were raised that better textures and improved frame-rates would wipe clean some of the fragile charms of the Team Ico twosome. Thankfully, Bluepoint Games did a magnificent job - ensuring that both games continue to remain as relevant and exciting as they were upon their original releases."

upselo said: "Timeless classics now feel right at home on proper hardware to support them and make them shine. Holding Yorda's hand and clinging on a colossus' fur for dear life has not yet been bettered."

16. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)

What we said: "You could wish for 3D Land to be a little more challenging in places, but you couldn't wish for it to be any denser, any more imaginative, or any more daring. Most importantly, you couldn't wish for it to be any more playful."

BIGsheep said: "It reaffirmed my faith in the plumber. Having thought he was coasting, playing it safe with New Super Mario Bros, this tour de force of his skills is reason enough to own a 3DS."

redcrayon said: "My favourite Mario platformer since Super Mario World. Short, sweet levels, ideal for a portable, and post-game content that is actually worth playing."

melatonin said: "Personally speaking, my favourite Mario game since... well, since Super Mario World, really. For all the superlatives gushed about the recent Galaxy games, this somehow managed to capture the spirit of what made the Mario titles all that they were in the nineties and bottle it up for a new generation. The fact that it's the clearest argument for 3D gaming to date is almost an afterthought."

axman303 said: "More ideas in each level than your average game has in its entirety."

15. Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

What we said: "No Japanese RPG has more successfully married its various components this hardware generation. It's a game that invites us to reassess an entire genre, pointing to a bold future while nodding its respect towards the past. It's a towering triumph."

notorious_roy said: "In a time where developers try to push out as many graphical features as possible, Xenoblade shows us that an interesting art style is way more important. It also has one of the best battle systems of modern RPGs."

wez_316 said: "In my opinion Xenoblade Chronicles is the only JRPG to really shake things up since Final Fantasy XII. The combat is fantastic and manages to always keep you involved. In addition to the original and fluent combat that it embraces, the game still manages to cling on to all of the mainstay RPG qualities that this genre has always been famous for. It bucks the modern trend of diminishing depth and game length to deliver a lengthy, epic tale with just the right level of customisation and tweaking to keep you going back to those menu screens in between all of the action and exploration. Xenoblade is truly a fantastic game like no other released this year and a must for anyone who misses how console RPGs used to be."

Scrapper said: "This game proves that it is possible to make massive, ambitious RPG game worlds without crippling bugs."

14. Minecraft (PC)

What we said: "Minecraft is a towering achievement in the very possibilities of gaming, and it does this without losing itself to either esoterica or cynicism. It is a game anyone can play and anyone can get something out of, no matter how skilled or imaginative they are. They will make something and they will have an experience that feels like theirs and theirs alone."

Lexx87 said: "It gives you the tools and a whole world to play with. All you need is some imagination to create your own game of 2011 right here."

riz23 said: "To me it's just a virtual Lego set and without direction I feel, well directionless. But for many of my friends this was huge timesink and I had to endure their stupid stories about how they built a portal to the underworld or a tower to the clouds so they could find their way home. That Notch bloke is kinda cool too."

Slim said: "Minecraft's a gaming mirror. It's as brilliant as you make it."

Robyrt said: "Minecraft represents the birth of a new genre, and the vindication of the publishing model everyone wanted. These things alone make it special. It is difficult to be objective about a game we have watched grow from infancy to adulthood, but its power and broad appeal are undeniable. Still, it can't quite decide whether it wants the player to grind for 10 hours - literally mining in a dark hole - before being worthy of all the fun stuff."

smoothmunky said: "There is no way we won't be talking about this game in 10 years' time. All of the other games that will make the list will be forgotten due to sequels and better games but Minecraft will still be in our minds. What it did for Indie games is incredible."

13. Bastion (PC, Xbox 360)

  • Publisher: Warner Bros.
  • Developer: Supergiant Games
  • Bastion Review (8/10)

"You know what was missing from all these second sequels and closing trilogy chapters game developers threw at us over the year? Heart. Bastion has that in spades."

Move42

What we said: "Once the dust settles on The Kid's journey, you are still likely to want to return for another: listening out for deeper meaning in Rucks' narration, storming through previously tough areas with a meatier arsenal, soaking up details you didn't linger on previously. Any concerns you had are likely to be drowned out in wistful hindsight by the dazzling visuals, artful commentary and moving score that made up your adventure."

Move42 said: "You know what was missing from all these second sequels and closing trilogy chapters game developers threw at us over the year? Heart. Bastion has that in spades. What inhuman monster wasn't touched by the ending? Even more impressive was that beneath all the charm and cleverness lay a fun and surprisingly deep action RPG that will be remembered as a prime example of the special kind of content XBLA has to offer."

DjchunKfunK said: "This game is everything that a good downloadable title should be. It takes a classic premise and tweaks it by adding a wonderfully realised world that is brought to life through the eloquent tones of the narrator to give you a new and unique experience that would never have seen the light of day if we still worked under the system of retail only."

davebiglife said: "I've studied film, creative writing and game design and they all say 'show, don't tell'. Bastion relentlessly snubbed this rule and it made it one of the freshest game experiences of a year that was pretty pragmatic."

12. Dead Space 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Games released at the start of the year are often forgotten by the end of it, so we were impressed to see Dead Space 2 so high up your lists.

What we said: "Considered in isolation, Dead Space 2's ambience, brute frights and player toolset are good rather great. But in combination, these three elements prove as irresistible as the pull on Isaac exerted by a malfunctioning airlock."

kupocake said: "Tucked away at the beginning of the year, probably one of the year's most improved sequels. The part halfway through the game where you end up at a lonely outpost of the station was a brilliantly atmospheric moment, but just reminds you of how tediously relentless the rest of the game can be."

ollyn said: "Uncharted 3 and Gears 3 may be more recent in my memory but for me my third-person action title of the year had to go to Dead Space 2. It might not have been quite as scary as the first and lost the Event Horizon feel, but it had slicker combat and bigger set-pieces. Being launched out the top of a solar array and dodging debris on your way to the government sector is one of this year's most memorable gaming moments. The only problem with Dead Space 2 is that going the bigger-badder route, rather than sticking with survival-horror theme, only leaves itself one place to go and that is biggerer and badderer, and this can often end with games becoming just one giant set-piece after another and losing all impact in the process."

rashes said: "A very tight and polished piece of game design. Every room and corridor was carefully created. Every encounter was play-tested to perfection. And no game series spends as much time perfecting sound design as Dead Space. When I hear people say this game is not scary, I sincerely doubt they've played it with a Dolby headset!"

11. L.A. Noire (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "L.A. Noire is slow but quietly engrossing; its mechanics are suspect, but you can't fault the ambition, attention to detail and commitment that went into its making. It risks stumbling over its own earnestness at times, but it's saved by its star - Los Angeles."

johnnydude84 said: "Innovative, if not perfect gameplay was very refreshing. Probably the most different AAA title since Heavy Rain and one that was well realised. I loved the setting and time period and I felt that this game got most things right for a thoroughly enjoyable experience."

evanac said: "An amazing adventure. Putting aside its troubled gestation, this game has excellent narrative, pushes technology in a new way and really pulled me in to its world. Who cares if you can't wander around the city? The cases are so compelling you don't even feel the need to!"

upselo said: "L.A. Noire keeps in mind the small details and the big picture. Each case shows a different aspect of 1947 Los Angeles, the hopes and dreams of its society, its dark side as well. Everything is brought together by the slowly emerging tale of Cole Phelps, the righteous cop troubled with guilt, making the story both personal and historical. A storyline confident enough to weave itself at its own pace, and ambitious enough to tell so much."

CFacto said: "The interview game mechanic was seriously flawed, but they made a decent game out of a new technology, and the story was quite interesting."

10. Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)

Gears of War 3 is rather boring to start with - as you'll probably conclude if you walk the above talkthrough of the first 20 minutes - but by the end we couldn't get enough of it. The series feels like it needs a shake-up, for sure, but we'll be happy to return.

What we said: "So where do you go after 'bigger, better and more badass?' You go to your fans and give them that which they crave. But now Epic has surely exhausted the formula in its current form - and, probably, on current-gen - the really exciting question is: where next?"

duckmouth said: "The addition of dedicated servers for multiplayer is reason enough for this to be number one, but with Campaign (including four-player co-op), Arcade, Beast and Horde, plus the superb RAAM's Shadow, I'll be playing this well into 2012."

DUFFMAN5 said: "I have gone for Gears 3 due to the overall amount of content, and the fact that I have played it daily since release says a hell of a lot - especially bearing in mind I do not like the multiplayer side of 99 per cent of games."

dupplawt said: "Action-packed and the most vibrant in the Gears universe, with some nice gameplay additions and a surprisingly touching story... for a Gears game at least. Horde and Beast modes keep the game entertaining months after release."

Nova1977 said: "It was great, didn't try to emulate the bull**** of Call of Duty or Uncharted's script-heavy sequences. It knew what it was about: guns, blowing stuff up and bromance."

Syon said: "A final part in Fenix trilogy. More dramatic than ever before with the atmosphere of all lost hope for the humanity. A franchise that keeps the steam rolling on Xbox 360. Truly a great action game."

9. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

"I get goosebumps every time I go back to it and start swinging the sword again."

dewington

What we said: "Skyward Sword feels like the Legend of Zelda game producer Eiji Aonuma always wanted to make. As director of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, he first pushed against then tried to imitate the towering Ocarina of Time; now he is simply and confidently stepping away from its decade-long shadow."

dewington said: "I get goosebumps every time I go back to it and start swinging the sword again. Few games have their design so closely knitted with their controls, and Nintendo never fail to amaze with their ideas. It just feels incredible to play, and the art style is perfect."

DifferentClass said: "The only game I've played this year that was just magical. No other game plays quite like it due to the new control scheme yet it is also comfortably familiar. A triumph."

darkmark said: "The most incredible game I have played for a long, long time. It avoids being the stale repeat of Zelda clichés many wrote it off as, but is familiar enough to bring back countless childhood memories of past adventures with Link. Such a shame releasing at this stage of the Wii's life cycle mean many will miss out on what is a truly wondrous game."

redcrayon said: "Endlessly inventive, new puzzles around every corner, flying that actually captures the way birds move and motion-controlled swordfighting that actually works. Also the bright colour palette and mix of tone between the cheerful atmosphere of Skyloft and the darkness below makes it stand out amongst the fashionable relentless grimdark atmosphere of other releases. Brilliant."

8. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC)

CD Projekt RED's attitude to digital rights management systems and downloadable content won it tremendous goodwill with a lot of you, to judge by your comments, and The Witcher 2 was a fine game to boot. Xbox 360 owners should be relishing their upcoming port.

What we said: "The Witcher 2's opening ten hours are as impressive as they are clumsy, and a little patience is needed until the game hits its stride. What a stride, though. What bravery and gravity. With a little time investment, this game offers everything the fantasy genre can be."

maxleonhart said: "Even though Geralt is not free to roam the lands as he pleases, his adventures are expertly crafted and there is not a single flaw to this game except maybe the learning curve. If you care to be immersed into a world where every decision counts, be sure to check out this game."

Kris_bla said: "It was a great surprise to see The Witcher 2 becoming the best-looking RPG game in a decade! This game stands out from the crowd with its absolutely marvellous graphics, and I mean GORGEOUS. Just have a look how characters' clothing is done - masterpiece on its own. Besides graphics, it has got a great story and very gripping world that you just want to immerse yourself into. Moreover, one of the best antagonists ever presented in a video game. Well done CD Projekt Red!"

"If you care to be immersed into a world where every decision counts, be sure to check out this game."

maxleonhart

Draden said: "A game that managed to improved upon its already impressive predecessor. Managed to fix the mistakes of the first game (sex cards...) without losing its charms of being a gritty and immersive experience. CD Projekt Red has also shown good after-release care with no charges for DLC and also seem to be one of the few developers/publishers with a good approach to the problems of DRM. Disappointed a bit by the lack of support on consoles with no PS3 version even announced and the Xbox 360 one coming so later after the PC release."

droshack said: "Plot, graphics, combat, details, dialogue, developer support, and obvious dedication to the core gamer made this summer fling turn into a winter's-long obsession. If not for Dark Souls the recent v2.0 would be taking all my gaming time."

7. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Uncharted 3 Review (8/10)

What we said: "As a slice of one-view entertainment, Uncharted 3 is peerless. The execution exhibits a kind of workmanship and polish way beyond the ambition of most other developers, let alone their abilities or budgets. As an expression of all that a video game could be, however, Uncharted 3 is narrow, focused and ultimately shallow. It is a majestic tribute to cinema, a movie game in the literal sense, and your enjoyment will be in precise step with your appreciation of that objective - and whether or not you believe it to be Drake's great deception, or Drake's great delight."

Tiberius_Gracchus said: "Uncharted 2 was a hard act to follow but Naughty Dog somehow pulled it off. A thrilling ride from start to finish."

follioe23 said: "Epic adventure, brilliant set-pieces and beautiful environments. Scale and ambition of the highest order."

Ord said: "The return of Drake and company was enough for me really. Amazing characterisation, and an interesting story into what compels Drake to do what he does regardless of the dangers that his actions may cause to his loved ones. Graphically it's the pinnacle of what consoles can do right now and the set-pieces were astonishing."

spunkythefunkymunkey said: "The story is the best yet. The graphics are amazing. The environments are breathtaking and let's be honest it deserves GOTY just for that plane scene, absolutely amazing stuff."

6. Battlefield 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Played on a top-end PC, DICE describes Battlefield 3 as a glimpse of the next generation of games, and for once it doesn't feel like hyperbole. One of the most hyped games of the year but it definitely went most of the way to living up to it, at least online.

What we said: "If Battlefield was a superlative multiplayer game in previous incarnations, it's never been better than this. The maps are larger and more intricately designed. The customisation options have never been deeper, the unlock tree never so flexible and rewarding. Even on a console where the graphics suffer and control is slower, it's dangerously addictive stuff."

zegerman1942 said: "The best multiplayer online shooter delivers yet again. Great versatility, great maps, great progression system."

"Hands down the most incredible multiplayer experience of the year."

Liamh

jasondonervan said: "The feeling that not only are you in the midst of a proper large-scale battle (on PC at least), but actively contributing to it in any number of varied methods available to the player makes BF3 a stellar multiplayer experience."

Gustave said: "The maps may have been made for 32 players and console but it's still Battlefield. More so now that Karkand is out."

Liamh said: "Hands down the most incredible multiplayer experience of the year and the signature 'Battlefield Moments' can be both breathtaking and hilarious in equal measure."

Lyserberg said: "Stunning graphics bringing next-gen technologies to the present, with highly appreciated console optimisation!"

5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of those rare games that knows you can't be perfect all the time, and that you have the right to change your mind about your actions later. It just wants to be played with and enjoyed - and when you finish, you just want to play with it again."

Jonny5Alive7 said: "Classic Deus Ex returns, loved the multiple routes through levels and hacking everybody's emails."

YobRenoops said: "Just a fantastic ride. It was really refreshing to not have to kill everyone and be actually be able to stealth it up. The most un-dudebro game of the year. Excellent."

Lalaland said: "A brilliantly done and respectful prequel that isn't afraid to offer ambiguity around your role. It's also a project that highlights the risks inherent to outsourcing. The immersion-breaking combat bosses show what happens when you hive off a chunk of development and don't keep that team in the loop on what you're trying to do."

kingbelly said: "Brilliant game that managed to live up to an unbelievable amount of hype. It has it all - an intriguing sci-fi world, a compelling storyline and a great mix of shooter, stealth and RPG gameplay. Demanded an immediate replay with a different character build, making it my game of the year."

superjag86 said: "What a surprise! I mean before it was released I resigned myself to thinking this was going to be a huge disappointment. But no! The devs at Eidos Montreal nailed it with a game worthy of its name. A true sequel to the original!"

4. Dark Souls (PS3, Xbox 360)

'Prepare to die' was one of the better taglines of the year. Well done everyone.

What we said: "If role-playing is to put you in the boots of an adventurer in a strange land and let you pick your path through it, then Dark Souls is a great role-playing game. If action is to test your skill in thrilling situations, then Dark Souls is a great action game. If adventure is to surprise and mystify you and invite you to uncover the secrets of a forgotten world, then Dark Souls is a great adventure game."

Ferral said: "Extremely difficult to master and an absolute blast to play. This one keeps pushing you to better yourself as a player in a hostile world. You are only human, each attack has to be considered carefully, whether to use that last bit of stamina to block and then back off or just to swing and hope it connects and finishes off the opponent. From Software is getting better and better at what it is doing in the worlds it's creating and the setting. You have to explore to get little bits of backstory."

Fletche said: "'Prepare to Die' says the blurb, but you may want to also prepare to have some of the most fun you can have with a game. Yes, it is hard, yes it will punish you, but it will also reward you as long as you learn, adjust and be patient. For once a game that will not hold your hand, will not help you, will not give you tips, markers or assistance. What it does do though is make you feel amazing when you finally defeat that boss that has been killing you over and over again. Not often in gaming do partners give you high-fives when you kill something."

"Best game of this generation."

zoweewowee

BettySwallocks said: "Where has all my time gone, why am I dead again, look at the size of that thing, DUCK!!"

evanac said: "Just amazing. Easily the most immersive action-RPG I've ever played."

zoweewowee said: "Best game of this generation. It doesn't have the technical polish of an Uncharted 3 but it shines with a rock-solid, unforgiving but also incredibly rewarding gameplay, a challenging and fascinating world, it's an amazing gaming experience that only ends in darkness if you chose so."

riz23 said: "A game that instils fear and causes jubilation in equal measure. A game where you must think, where you must try different strategies. A remorseless unrepentant videogame like no other. A triumph! A true adventure."

DrDamn said: "The headlines are about the difficulty, but the real star here is the incredible world design."

3. Batman: Arkham City (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "Is it over? Unlikely. Rocksteady's latest certainly knows how to drop the curtain, but it feels like a dark second act or the middle section of a trilogy. If that's the case, it's tantalisingly tricky to figure out what the studio can do next."

JedEvangelion said: "Pretty perfect and almost embarrassingly too grand in scope. Even when your main Bat adventure is done, even when you've locked away every last lunatic and solved every one of the Riddler's puzzles, there's still months of content in the Challenge missions, enough to ensure you'll always be able to say 'I'm Batman' whenever you want."

Samirnasirov said: "So perfectly paced I couldn't stop playing until I had finished the game twice and completed all of the challenge rooms. Being a massive batman fan also helped."

VashNL said: "The combat, the story, the looks and the atmosphere, everything is just right. Joker is crazy as hell, which also helps."

"Best comic book hero game ever."

JamieR

JamieR said: "Near perfect game, best comic book hero game ever."

lucky_jim said: "I'd say this year was characterised by refinement and improvement rather than anything too groundbreaking, and nobody managed to refine and improve better than Rocksteady. Best superhero game of all time, without a doubt (and I'm old enough to remember The Caped Crusader on the Spectrum)."

BOBBYLUPO said: "Bigger. Better. More Bat-like. Arkham City did everything a decent sequel should. My only complaint is that Rocksteady seemed determined to cram everyone Batman has ever talked to into the game. Still, over-ambition is hardly a crime when the end result is something as self-assured, brilliant and fun as this."

2. Portal 2 (PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we said: "Portal is perfect. Portal 2 is not. It's something better than that. It's human: hot-blooded, silly, poignant, irreverent, base, ingenious and loving. It's never less than a pure video game, but it's often more, and it will no doubt stand as one of the best entertainments in any medium at the end of this year. It's a masterpiece."

Vortex808 said: "It seems like a long time ago, but I really enjoyed this. A great head-scratcher of a game and very funny to boot. An utter delight to play from start to finish and then through all the co-op too!"

Baleoce said: "Beautifully crafted. Superior to the original in every way, which was a very tough act to follow."

davebiglife said: "Portal may have been tighter and more coherent, but Portal 2 didn't have the luxury of being one bowl in a larger tapas. It may have been easier, but that gave it momentum, and it may have had less GLaDOS, but that allowed Wheatley to shine. Every argument I've heard against it has always had a perfectly justified and equally valid retort. Genuinely, one of my finest game experiences."

Popzeus said: "The first properly laugh-out-loud funny game since Day of the Tentacle, and lovingly crafted from start to finish."

Chufty said: "The environments are breathtaking. The art direction is world class. The script is hilarious; the delivery, sublime. Pixar would be proud of the animations and Atlas and P-body have more personality than any human videogame protagonist. There's no two ways about it - this game is a masterpiece."

Rabbinash said: "Speedy thing goes in, speedy thing goes straight to the top of this list."

1. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Skyrim Review (10/10)

Skyrim is the Eurogamer Readers' Game of the Year 2011, and it earned that mantle by some considerable distance, despite strong showings for Portal 2 and Batman: Arkham City. Congratulations to Bethesda!

What we said: "In weaving together the extraordinary craftsmanship evident in the music, storytelling, adventure and world design of Skyrim, Bethesda has created a very special game indeed - one that's likely to remain in the affections of gamers for many years to come."

jonfon said: "For the sheer scope of the whole thing. It drops you into a beautiful virtual world, gives you a few leads and then you can do whatever the hell you like."

darklemonily said: "Over the last year I turned into a bit of a Trophy whore. 80 hours in, haven't looked at the Trophy list once. Don't care. I just want to do everything for the sake of doing everything."

cjblackburn said: "Best game in a long time. Sure there are bugs but I have never put this many hours into a game so quickly."

Lexx87 said: "What else? Despite bugs and patch issues, news stories and the usual rage that GAMES ARE NOT PERFECT RAGH, Skyrim still manages to stand above everything else this year. The simple joy of exploring the world, the sheer number of places to go and things to do that somehow keep from going stale. It's a triumph, simple as that."

dudefella said: "I met a stray dog whilst traveling who decided to accompany me. Then he died, and I was very sad."

Move42 said: "I've slain dragons, murdered priests, robbed hidden graves. I climbed the seven thousand steps to the top of the world, I became a master thief, a mercenary and a werewolf. I've bought a house, joined a rebellion and discovered a conspiracy involving a prisoned king. And still I've only scratched the surface of all the content the crazy people at Bethesda put in their game. Game of the year, no doubt about it."

Stranded87 said: "I've always been a fan of games that tell a good story, but Skyrim is one of the few that lets you create your own stories. It's not a perfect game but for the sheer amount of content and the evident care and attention that's gone into it this is my game of the year."

Chamone said: "I used to play other games like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee."

Comments (177)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!