The Best Videogames of 2011

  • Publish Date: December 23, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 43 user comments

It was a very good year

Image
2011
Batman: Arkham City
(PS3)
96
2010
Super Mario Galaxy 2
(Wii)
97
2009
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) 96
2008
Grand Theft Auto IV
(PS3)
98
2007
Super Mario Galaxy
(Wii)
97
Metacritic's Game of the Year
(Highest-Scoring Title, min. 7 rev.)

Sure, next year superhero fans—and entertainment fans in general—will be talking about Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. But no matter how good it is, that movie will have a hard time matching the critical acclaimed earned by the latest incarnation of Batman in game form. A huge sequel to 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City 96 (on the PS3) edged out the 360 version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 96 by a few decimal points to take top honors as Metacritic's 2011 Game of the Year.

Arkham City, though, was just one of many amazing games to be found during the past 12 months. All in all, there were 23 great console releases (with Metascores of 90 or higher) in 2011. That's the highest total in the last five years (and since the introduction of the current generation consoles). Throw in PC games and releases for handheld devices (iOS excluded), and there were a total of 32 great games released this year—also the highest mark in at least five years. In 2010, by comparison, there were just 22 releases to score at least 90.

In the following pages, we'll take a look at the best-reviewed games for each gaming platform. First, however, let's examine how each console fared during the past year. Once again, it was the PlayStation 3 that scored the best metrics in most categories.

Console Comparison - Games Released During 2011
Image Image Image
69.5 Avg. Metascore
253 games *
68.9 Avg. Metascore
261 games *
62.2 Avg. Metascore
69 games *
12 Great Games **
90 or higher
9 Great Games **
90 or higher
2 Great Games **
90 or higher
13 Good Exclusives **
75 or higher
12 Good Exclusives **
75 or higher
4 Good Exclusives **
75 or higher
Best Exclusive:
Uncharted 3:
Drake's Deception
92
Best Exclusive:
Gears of War 3 91
Best Exclusive:
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 93

* Games with 4 or more reviews in Metacritic's database released between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.
** Excludes games with fewer than 7 reviews; downloadable map packs are also excluded.
All Metascore data is from December 21, 2011. The pie charts reflect the percentage of all releases for each console with Positive Reviews (receiving a Metascore of 75 or higher indicating), Mixed Reviews (receiving a Metascore of 50-74), and Negative Reviews (receiving a Metascore of 49 or below). Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

And here are the year's best-reviewed titles, regardless of platform (iOS games excluded; they're covered in a separate article):

Best-Reviewed Games (Any Platform), 2011
  Title / Platform Genre Metascore Users
1 Batman: Arkham City PS3 Action-Adventure 96 8.1
2 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 360 Action-RPG 96 8.5
3 Portal 2 PC Puzzle/Shooter 95 8.4
4 Portal 2 360 Puzzle/Shooter 95 8.1
5 Portal 2 PS3 Puzzle/Shooter 95 8.0
6 Batman: Arkham City 360 Action-Adventure 94 8.4
7 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 3DS Action-Adventure 94 8.5
8 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Action-RPG 94 8.3
9 Mass Effect 2 PS3 Action-RPG 94 8.2
10 Minecraft PC Sandbox/RPG 93 7.1

Releases by platform

On the next pages, we examine the best and worst 2011 games released for each platform, including the top titles exclusive to each platform.

Comments (43)

  • WLink  

    Arham City was definatley the best game of the year that I have played. Yes fanboys, I did play Skyrim.

  • FineapplePucker  

    It is so hard to choose between Skyrim and Batman. I do think that Skyrim should still be at the top because even though Batman got higher in critic reviews (by mere decimals), Skyrim got higher user reviews by 4 points (out of 100). What ever I have both, doesn't matter to me.

  • thebrunfail  

    Skyrim ,Batman and Portal are in the top 3 thats all that matters to me, it shows that Metacritic gets it right most of the time.

  • Happymonk  

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

  • TalleyReviews  

    Skyward Sword!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Armegdon  

    No CoD games. As it should be

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