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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'WorthPlaying's Top Games of 2011' - Consoles and PC

by Rainier on Dec. 30, 2011 @ 9:00 p.m. PST

So far, we've revealed the honorable mentions and the top handheld and downloadable titles, and now, we're rolling out the top console and PC offerings. Once that's out of the way, we'll start the countdown of the top 20 titles, including what WP considers to be the best game of 2011. Read more for the results!
Xbox 360

5. Child of Eden

Child of Eden is an amazing example of what the Kinect hardware can do when placed in the right hands. It's also a brilliant piece of entertainment that is just as enjoyable to watch as it is to play. If you own an Xbox 360, this is a game that needs to be in your collection.

4. Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City isn't perfect, but the gameplay is amazing, the city is a delight to explore, and the sheer amount of game content is somewhat staggering. It is one of the most fun, clever and enjoyable games I've ever played, and it far surpasses its excellent predecessor.

3. Forza Motorsport 4

Forza Motorsport 4 feels like a proper sequel for the series instead of a glorified car roster update. The different activities make the package feel rounded and complement the other available activities. Everything from accessibility to car selection and the deep customization system make for a fun game that racing fans and non-racing fans alike can get lost in for hours on end.

2. Gears of War 3

With Gears of War 3, Epic has delivered a worthy send-off for Marcus Fenix and the rest of Delta Squad. Player complaints from previous titles have been addressed, there is more multiplayer content than ever before and the story delivers a satisfying conclusion. In many respects, Gears of War 3 is everything you could want a Gears game to be. Don't hesitate on pulling the trigger.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the snow-capped peaks of the Nords relentlessly beckon me back to pry loose one more artifact, dungeon or secret. Skyrim's lavish world is tailor-made for adventurers who are eager to satisfy their curiosity of what is beyond the next bend in the road, not those who want to know which attribute scores play into which skill. There's little question that this is a gorgeous epic.

PS3

5. TIE - Portal 2/The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Valve didn't mess with a winning formula, and the end result is that Portal 2 is a better game than its excellent predecessor. It keeps the same witty humor and high-quality level design but adds a few new tricks to turn the interesting puzzles into exceptional ones. The co-op campaign is a boatload of fun and adds extra value to the package — especially if you're a PS3 owner, who gets the PC/Mac version along with the console copy.

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the snow-capped peaks of the Nords relentlessly beckon me back to pry loose one more artifact, dungeon or secret. Skyrim's lavish world is tailor-made for adventurers who are eager to satisfy their curiosity of what is beyond the next bend in the road, not those who want to know which attribute scores play into which skill. There's little question that this is a gorgeous epic.

4. LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2 may be a single-player game, but the heart is in its creation features and the possibility of user-created levels. The single-player mode shows you the many possibilities and gives plenty of food for thought. The early created levels are already exceptional, and they're sure to grow as people master LBP 2's multitude of new features. It's a rare example of a sequel that completely eclipses the original. The addictive level creation tools and endless amount of developer- and player-created levels make the game well worth your money.

3. Dark Souls

With Dark Souls, From Software has written another unflinching homage to the kind of hardcore hazing that market-minded publishers find risky with its defiant gameplay. It's tough, it's brutal, and when I was killed by one smashing blast with a weapon larger than my own character, it's seemingly unfair. It's "seemingly" because as with every struggle in the game, there is always a way to seize the advantage with death as your tutor. It doesn't roll out the welcome mat for anyone who simply rushes in. In taking the time to wheedle through its hidden nuances and navigate each fight to seize the advantage, successfully surviving a journey such as this has never been as sweet.

2. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Once the ride hits full speed in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, it never disappointments. A few plot threads are unraveled and never sewn up again, but one of these, undoubtedly the most significant, has obviously been left out of the weave with intent, to be explained in greater detail somewhere down the line of Nathan Drake's continuing saga.

1. Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City isn't perfect, but the gameplay is amazing, the city is a delight to explore, and the sheer amount of game content is somewhat staggering. It is one of the most fun, clever and enjoyable games I've ever played, and it far surpasses its excellent predecessor.

Wii

5. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is specifically targeted to children and the unique way they approach games, often vacillating back and forth between tightly focused and wildly erratic in under half an hour. As parents, we have to pay for all those expansion sets, and we've patiently endured the same sorts of stories a thousand times. If my kids jumping around and screaming with excitement is any indication, Skylanders unquestionably accomplishes what it sets out to do: Provide an exceptional amount of ongoing gaming fun for children, with engaging peripheral devices and toys that seamlessly interact with the video game.

4. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

Even if you're not a huge fan of the LEGO titles, it's hard to deny that Traveller's Tales has managed to refine the gameplay formula in LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. Toss in the standard co-op mode, which is always a lot of fun, and you've got a great time-waster on your hands here. There's so much stuff to unlock (the character roster is incredible), and the gameplay keeps getting better every time a new game pops up.

3. de Blob 2

de Blob 2 is a great game that has the chance to be experienced by a wider audience because of its multiplatform status. The casual platformer is much easier this time around, but it's still an enjoyable experience. The addition of co-op makes it something younger kids could get into easily. The wonderful musical mechanic is still in place, with a soundtrack that's just as good as the original, and the brightly colored world garners favorable notice in a gaming landscape filled with drab and dark colors. Fans of more offbeat platformers will certainly enjoy painting the town red — or any color they want.

2. Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Kirby's Return to Dream Land remains a solid but simple game in the series. Though the real challenge lies in collecting everything to see the true ending, the game remains easy to finish, especially with the new abilities. Multiplayer is a blast, and the different character choices give it some replayability for those who want to experience the game from multiple angles. The sound is excellent, and while the graphics could be a tad better, the amount of post-campaign content available after collecting the required amount of orbs gives the game some legs. Platforming fans will have lots of fun with this title.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Ultimately, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an excellent entry into the series. It's a fantastic choice for any Wii gamer, and it deserves to be in your library.

PC

5. Minecraft

Minecraft lets you create a personalized gaming experience. Explore, experiment and shape the world to your liking. It's what you make of it, and that's what makes Minecraft so engaging.

4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the snow-capped peaks of the Nords relentlessly beckon me back to pry loose one more artifact, dungeon or secret. Skyrim's lavish world is tailor-made for adventurers who are eager to satisfy their curiosity of what is beyond the next bend in the road, not those who want to know which attribute scores play into which skill. There's little question that this is a gorgeous epic.

3. Battlefield 3

No one plays games like Battlefield for the single-player portion, and if that's the case, then this is a terrific multiplayer title that scratches the itch Call of Duty can never seem to reach. Battlefield 3 is a fine objective-based multiplayer shooter.

2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings made me agonize over who to ally with, who to believe, and which side should benefit from a Witcher's skill. Every subtle choice suggestively pointed the way to further mischief and greater adventure. There's plenty to craft, imbibe, gamble and slay amid this twisting narrative.

1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution took a little over four years to create, and waiting for a follow-up is the worst thing about the game. It's a brilliantly realized chapter to the world of Deus Ex. With the various avenues you can take and endings you can receive depending on your actions, you have a game with tons of replay value. Eidos Montreal's rookie effort is a definite candidate for Game of the Year.

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