Arguably one of the most legendary years for the video game industry has passed us by. Major releases seemed to stand out more this year than any in recent history. Games like Killzone 3, Uncharted 3, Skyrim, and Battlefield 3 aren’t yearly release franchises, and all were released this year. Throw in Gears of War 3 on that too, and you had a year where major exclusives shined in the industry. My categories for Game of the Year include best shooter, best sports, best racing, best rpg, best adventure, best fighting, best ps3, bext 360, and best wii game. Let’s get started.
Racing Game of the Year: Forza 4 – In a year littered with sub par and disappointing racing titles, Forza did not have much competition. The look and feel of the game are great. Personally I still prefer Gran Turismo, but this has been met with great critical acclaim. It has a certain look to it and a lot of American muscle cars and more customization options.
- Forza 4 – Best all around racing game, look, controls, and options.
- F1 2011 – Great gameplay, hindered by performance issue graphically and some bugs.
- Nascar 2011: The game – Fun game, but very buggy, horrible A.I.
Sports Game of the Year: Tiger Woods 12: The Masters – This was a very tough category to weed out. But the difference maker for me was the changes made from the previous year. As great as Fifa, Nba 2k12, MLB The Show, NCAA, and NHL are, there were minimal upgrades made. Tiger added play with the PS Move, a lot of golfers, a great career mode, and a beautiful game. The hitting is tough, but makes you strive to get better. The sense of accomplishment in this game is great, and it’s clearly one of the best multiplayer experiences you can have. The PS Move takes time to get use to, but the game in general does anyways, and the sense of accomplishment is unbeatable.
- Tiger Woods 12: The Masters – Amazing sense of accomplishment and multiplayer experience
- NBA 2k12 – The best presentation hands down of any game. Little improvement from 2k11.
- NCAA Football 12 – Better than madden. Great football look and feel. Dynasty even better.
Shooter of the Year: Battlefield 3 – Sure there were a few bugs and the issue with the flashlights, but this is hands down the shooter of the year. The PC version really shines if you have the PC to run it. This is more of a team based game that focuses on gaining points depending on your class. Yeah kills are great and look awesome when you kill someone, but it’s all about doing your job and working as a unit. Add tanks, planes, and helicopters, there’s definitely a learning curve to this and it’s certainly not a pick up and play type of shooter. There have been some good ones this year but this stands out the most.
- Battlefield 3 – The ultimate team based shooter game.
- Killzone 3 – Classes stand out on this exclusive and the perk system is addictive. Add Move support and 3D and excellent graphics, this is truly an amazing game, but falls just short.
- Gears of War 3 – Met with great critical acclaim, good story mode, pushes graphics on the Xbox.
RPG of the Year: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – What is there really to say? This is the best open world RPG of all time. The game is legendary, however, it does have its bugs. The bugs though are story worthy and help add to the game. The game has endless replay value. It looks great, and if you can get mods and can run those mods, it’s even better. The console version, especially the PS3, do lack the experience the pc version has, but it still stands out as excellent. Dark Souls comes close to this on consoles, but with the insane difficulty and the play style, I prefer Skyrim.
- Skyrim – The ultimate RPG. Large open world. Endless replay value.
- Dark Souls – Extremely tough game, which hurts it IMO. Great looking game.
- Dead Island – Open world zombie game that let’s you craft weapons. Full of bugs and hurts it in the end.
Adventure Game of the Year: Uncharted 3 – The franchise that has topped each previous title in the series, and has turned xbox fanboys released it’s third iteration this year. This is possibly the best looking console game of all time. Basically Indiana Jones in a video game, this game incorporates every type of game play into one bucket. Platforming, shooting, puzzles, stealth, and hand to hand combat, this is the complete game. Add in the addition of 3D and it’s over the top.
- Uncharted 3 – Beautiful game that offers all types of gameplay in one package. And 3D.
- Batman Arkham City – Really close second to Uncharted. Open world gameplay. Sometimes gets redundant.
- Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Making the most of a washed up system.
Fighting Game of the Year: Mortal Kombat – The fighting genre was kinda of caught off by surprise this year with some great games. Mortal Kombat kind of set the bar high for the rest. Capcom saw two releases of the same game. For that reason, I won’t be supporting Capcom anymore. Also out of left field came a brilliang wrestling game in WWE All Stars. But MK had the game play, the graphics, the great gore, and the best story mode in a fighting game ever that might possibly be one of the best overall ever. Add in great support for DLC and replay values that include unlocking tons of things including original music for levels, this was a top 5 GOTY overall for me.
- Mortal Kombat – Amazing visuals, control, and story. Online had issues.
- Marvel vs Capcom 3 – Great look, but disappointing support, not a lasting title, and abandoned for newer version.
- WWE All Stars – An out of left field, amazingly fun wrestling game that pits old legends versus new legends. Arcade style, feels like classic N64 wrestling games.
PS3 GOTY – Uncharted 3
Xbox 360 GOTY – Forza 4
Nintendo Wii GOTY – Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
PC GOTY – Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim