The Best Videogames of 2011

  • Comments: ↓ 44 user comments
  • Publish Date: December 23, 2011

PC games

Image
90+ Games by Year
(2007 - 2011)
2011 Avg. Metascore 70.0
PC Games
vs. 2010 Avg. 71.3

Of the scored PC games (i.e., those games with at least 4 reviews from critics) released in 2011, a total of 101—or nearly 42%—were positively reviewed, a percentage that nearly matches the year's top-performing console (the Xbox 360).

And PC gamers could choose from six "great" games (with Metascores of 90 or above) in 2011, compared to just 4 the year before. In fact, that's the highest total of great PC games in a single year since 2007. While four of those great games could also be found on consoles, Total War: Shogun 2—2011's top PC exclusive—could not. And while the hugely popular indie sandbox building game Minecraft—available in alpha and beta releases for years before finally getting its first official release this fall—could also be found in (inferior) mobile versions, the PC version received such stellar reviews from critics that it finished among the year's 10 highest-scoring games overall.

Note that our stats and rankings for PC games this year do not include one of the year's biggest releases: Star Wars: The Old Republic, a MMORPG released just a few days ago (an unusually late release for such a major game). While, at press time, the game has a handful of (very positive) reviews already posted, it will take several more weeks (if not longer) for the bulk of the reviews to trickle in—such is the nature of online multiplayer titles, which cannot be accurately graded prior to launch. So it's possible that there will be one more very good PC game for you to mentally insert in the lists below.

PCBest PC Exclusives, 2011
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar
90 88 85 85 84
Total War:
Shogun 2

Sega
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Atari
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
ValuSoft/Frictional
Frozen Synapse
Matrix Games
Rift
Trion Worlds
PCBest-Reviewed PC Games, 2011
  Game Publisher Metascore Users
1 Portal 2
PC Game of the Year
Valve Software958.4
2The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bethesda Softworks948.3
3Minecraft Mojang AB/Mojang Specifications937.1
4Batman: Arkham City Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.917.5
5Deus Ex: Human Revolution Square Enix/Eidos Interactive908.2
6Total War: Shogun 2 Sega908.2
7Battlefield 3 Electronic Arts897.4
8FIFA Soccer 12 Electronic Arts897.5
9LIMBO PLAYDEAD897.8
10Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Ubisoft888.1
11The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Atari888.4
12Dead Space 2 Electronic Arts878.1
13Bastion Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.878.6
14Crysis 2 EA Games866.5
15DiRT 3 Codemasters867.1
16Amnesia: The Dark Descent ValuSoft/Frictional Games858.8
17Saints Row: The Third THQ858.0
18Frozen Synapse Matrix Games857.9
19Trine 2 Atlus Co.859.0
20SpaceChem Zachtronics Industries848.4
21Football Manager 2012 Sega847.5
22Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Capcom847.3
23L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition Rockstar Games847.8
24Rift Trion Worlds847.2
25Shift 2: Unleashed Electronic Arts845.6
26Orcs Must Die! Robot Entertainment848.4
27Anno 2070 Ubisoft838.1
28The Binding of Isaac Edmund McMillen837.7
29Terraria Re-Logic/Redigit837.9
30The Book of Unwritten Tales Lace Mamba Global/KING Art/Dreamcatcher838.3
... and the worst:
183Painkiller: Redemption JoWooD Entertainment/DreamCatcher 435.5
184Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Paradox Interactive422.2
185Battle: Los Angeles Konami382.5
186Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops Viva Media 343.2
187The Asskickers AGO Games26n/a

Note that games are ranked prior to rounding. Only games with 7 or more reviews are included in this and other rankings on this page.

PCPC Games with Highest User Scores*, 2011
  Game Users
1 To the Moon 9.5
2 Trine 2 9.0
3 Amnesia: The Dark Descent 8.8
4 Serious Sam 3: BFE 8.7
5 Alice: Madness Returns 8.6
  Bastion 8.6
  Gemini Rue 8.6
  Panzer Corps 8.6

* Minimum 25 user votes.

Nintendo 3DS/DS

Image
3DS Avg. Metascore 63.4
DS Avg. Metascore 65.4
Nintendo 3DS / DS

Though the three highest-scoring handheld games (not including iOS) in 2011 could all be found on Nintendo's new 3DS platform, the 3DS actually finished the year with the lowest average Metascore for its games; both the standard DS and Sony's PSP had higher average scores. Only 14 of the 74 (just under 19%) scored 3DS releases this year received positive reviews. There were fewer releases for the older DS, but more of them received positive reviews: 20 of 61, or nearly 33%.

3DSBest 3DS Exclusives, 2011
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar
94 90 90 85 85
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Nintendo
Super Mario 3D Land
Nintendo
Pushmo (aka Pullblox)
Nintendo
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Capcom
Mario Kart 7
Nintendo
3DSBest-Reviewed 3DS Games, 2011
  Game Publisher Metascore Users
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
3DS Game of the Year
Nintendo948.5
2Super Mario 3D Land Nintendo907.7
3Pushmo Nintendo909.4
4Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition Capcom858.5
5Mario Kart 7 Nintendo857.7
6Cave Story 3D NIS America838.6
7Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Activision824.8
8Star Fox 64 3D Nintendo818.0
9Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked Atlus Co.807.6
10Dead or Alive: Dimensions Koei798.5
... and the worst:
60Driver: Renegade Ubisoft482.3
61Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D Ubisoft443.3
62Asphalt 3D Ubisoft433.3
633D Classics: Urban Champion Nintendo375.0
64Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Stealth Force Edition Activision30n/a
DS Best-Reviewed DS Games, 2011
  Game Publisher Metascore Users
1 Pokemon White Version
DS Game of the Year
Nintendo878.0
2Pokemon Black Version Nintendo878.0
3Radiant Historia Atlus U.S.A., Inc.858.8
4The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition Nintendo856.5
5Professor Layton and the Last Specter Nintendo/Level 5849.3
6Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Capcom838.6
7Kirby: Mass Attack Nintendo838.6
8Okamiden Capcom828.6
9Mighty Milky Way WayForward81n/a
10Plants vs. Zombies PopCap817.1
... and the worst:
27Cars 2: The Video Game Disney Interactive58n/a
28Captain America: Super Soldier Sega56n/a
29Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House THQ48n/a
301950s Lawn Mower Kids Zordix AB43n/a
31Duke Nukem: Critical Mass Deep Silver293.3
3DSDS3DS/DS Games with Highest User Scores*, 2011
  Game Users
1 Pushmo 3DS 9.4
2 Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective DS 8.6
3 Dead or Alive: Dimensions 3DS 8.5
  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 3DS 8.5
  Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition 3DS 8.5

* Minimum 25 user votes.

PlayStation Portable

Image
2011 Avg. Metascore 69.9
PlayStation Portable
vs. 2010 Avg. 70.4

For perhaps one final time, the PlayStation Portable had a higher average Metascore for its games than either of Nintendo's two handhelds. But even by PSP standards—the platform typically has fewer releases than any other—2011 offered slim pickings; we calculated Metascores for just 40 releases for the device all year. Fortunately, 17 of those 40 (42.5%) were reviewed positively by critics, so PSP owners could find something decent to play this year (though many of those good releases were smaller downloadable games, including the year's highest-scoring PSP exclusive). Next year, of course, will bring the PSP's replacement in the form of the PS Vita.

PSPBest PlayStation Portable Exclusives, 2011
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar
80 78 77 76 75
Where Is My Heart?
Copenhagen Game Collective
Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy
Square Enix
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
Square Enix
1000 Tiny Claws
Mediatonic
Corpse Party
Xseed
PSPBest-Reviewed PSP Games, 2011
  Game Publisher Metascore Users
1 Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
PSP Game of the Year
Square Enix878.4
2The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Xseed Games809.2
3Where is My Heart? Copenhagen Game Collective80n/a
4Legends of War: Patton's Campaign Enigma Software Productions798.8
5Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy Square Enix787.5
6Angry Birds Chillingo Ltd775.7
7Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection Square Enix778.5
8MLB 11: The Show SCEA77n/a
9Shift Extended Zallag769.7
10Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 - Innocent Sin Atlus Co.768.2
... and the worst:
20Ys I & II Chronicles Xseed Games639.2
21Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Namco Bandai 597.8
22Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive Namco Bandai 57n/a
23Ninjamurai Open Emotion Studios55n/a
24Lord of Arcana Square Enix535.2
PSPPSP Games with Highest User Scores*, 2011
  Game Users
1 The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 9.2
2 Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together 8.4
3 Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy 7.5

* Minimum 25 user votes.

What do you think?

What are your favorite games of 2011? Let us know in the discussion section below, or cast your vote for your favorites in our Best of 2011 Users Poll.

Comments (44)

  • Reethu  

    If you're looking for the best PC freeware games of 2011 then nominations are open here http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-free-pc-games-2011-nominations-open.htm

  • max4080sky  

    Call of duty black ops is the best game alive

  • ZekromLikeTrain  

    @Armegdon I agree

  • Armegdon  

    No CoD games. As it should be

  • ShadowEXP  

    Skyrim has the same score but has a better user review score. Some of the best 100 hours i spent in a week.
    But i have to say i think Duke Nukem Forever should of won. "Sniff" If only it was good.

  • sethvdk  

    For me, the game-breaking bugs on the PS3 version of Skyrim put it below Arkham City overall. Awesome game, but an unfinished product (on one platform at least) doesn't deserve GOTY. And Arkham City kicks ass.

  • halo_on  

    Dark Souls > Skyrim and I've played both. Skyrim was just a bigger, more bloated version of Oblivion, rushed to the market with all kinds of bugs. From Software, makers of Dark Souls, are pushing the boundaries of gaming. It's a shame more people don't have the patience to enjoy it.

  • tacticalcraptic  

    Even though it still scored high I still feel like Rayman Origins was under-rated and no one played it. Even though I dug Arkham City, Rayman Origins was, to me, the best game this year. Skyrim, in my opinion, was unbalanced and a little bland. It feels like a step backwards from both of the recent Fallout games. I went into it expecting the next great thing in RPGs only to stop after about 20 hours in and install Fallout because all it did was make we want to play New Vegas. Not to mention that Witcher 2 was a better RPG this year.

  • TalleyReviews  

    Skyward Sword!

  • Happymonk  

    Fair enough, Xenoblade still should have at least been mentioned though...

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