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Fri, 24 Feb ’12

A Bounty of Bits: The Top 5 Games of 2011

It was a great year for video games, but it’s not over until you’ve played these.

By: Alexei Bochenek

With the Oscars happening this weekend, everyone is talking movies, movies, movies, but what about the games? Here are our picks for the best games of last year:

COMICSSkyrim – You would’ve seen this top pick coming if you weren’t too busy enchanting armors and mixing Magicka potions to notice the year was ending. Bethesda’s sweeping RPG left us in awe of its massive scope and created a subculture that celebrates its wacky glitches and hidden easter eggs. Also, you fight dragons. Dozens and dozens of dragons. Fus Ro Da!

COMICS Batman: Arkham City – It’s back to the big-house for Batman, and his re-incarceration couldn’t have come a moment too soon. Though the setting has slightly shifted, the super-slick melee system will have you convinced you’re continuing the same combo you started in 2009, when Batman: Arkham Asylum made us believe that superhero games can actually be great.

COMICS Saints Row: The Third – Thuggery has never been so silly as in Steelport, a city where crime is paradoxically the only real law. The Saints’ series has matured in this incredible (and incredibly immature) new chapter, a sandbox full of auto-tuned pimps, murderous furries and inter-gang jet combat. Plus a bunch of adult-antics we’d blush typing out.

COMICS Portal 2 – Forget cakes and companion cubes, this sequel’s biggest treats are the additions to Portal‘s already engrossing puzzle mechanics and increasingly complex (but oh-so rewarding) map designs. Set yet again amongst the ruins of Aperture Science, you’ll laugh at the spats between warring A.I. GLaDOS and Wheatley, and cry when there are no more levels to leap through.

COMICS Minecraft – Now’s not the time to debate if Minecraft is a “game” or not; there are diamonds to harvest, castles to build, and Zombie Pigmen to swiftly slay! And with the long-awaited official release of Version 1.0, there’s even an end boss to battle. Though why you would want to end your time in this infinite virtual-Lego pile is beyond us.