What Are Your Favourite Games Of The First Six Months?

Well folks - we're almost at the halfway point of 2011, and we've already had some top games. E3 has come and gone, giving us a look into the what's coming out during the rest of year - but I thought it might be good to take a look back, and ask you guys: what were your favourite games of the first six months?

I'm stuck at home with my arm in a sling after a stupid skateboarding accident - so I thought I'd ask you guys this question to stem some of the intense boredom I'm suffering after being stuck at home by myself!

In the interests of getting some variety, I thought it would be best if we do a top 3.

Here's mine...

1. Portal 2 Obvious I know, but really - has a better game been released in 2011 so far? I don't think so. Much has been said about Portal 2's smart writing, and its incredible core mechanic but, personally, my favourite thing about Portal 2 is the way in which it teaches the player. Not once in Portal 2 did it feel like I was being guided through any of the puzzles, but in hindsight it's quite clear that I was.

I think for most players, the original Portal had a handful of choke points, a couple of frustrating sections, but in Portal 2 it felt as though I was being frustrated for the right reasons. I love that this is a first person shooter that non-gamers could play, yet niche and 'core' enough for folks like us to feel like Portal 2 was a game made specifically for gamers.

Portal 2 is a new idea to the extent that you don't require decades of gaming experience to navigate its curious universe. I think that's why it's such an incredible game.

It will be very difficult for any game being released this year to knock Portal 2 of its perch.

2. Ghost Trick To begin with, I completely hated Ghost Trick. It's barely a game really - quite often I felt as though I was simply being guided through a series of completely spurious set-pieces that made absolutely no sense.

However, once I submitted to the fact that was a game to experience, to enjoy, to engage with on a more passive level, everything sort of clicked, and I just fell in love.

My experience with Ghost Trick was more like an experience with a good book. I'd make myself a hot chocolate, load it up with sugar, put my paisley patterned pyjamas on, and head off to bed like a Grandad, DS in hand, to play through an hour of Ghost Trick before going to sleep. And like most good books - I always seemed to end up spending more time with it than I planned - staying up until 2am, each new twist propelling me through the narrative.

Great writing, fun charaters, awesome design - Ghost Trick is easily my favourite handheld game of 2011 so far.

3. Fight Night Champion This is a bizarre choice that may surprise people - but for a number of reasons, I think Fight Night Champion deserves to be up there with some of the best games released this year.

This is mainly because of its single player mode - a mode which does something so obvious I'm surprised no-one has thought of attempting it before - creating a scenario which places you, the player, in the midst of a cheesy Hollywood style boxing narrative and asking you to play through it.

I loved this mode not because it had an incredible story, with great writing - because for the most part the story and the writing was mediocre. I loved it because it gave me a reason to play, it cleverly provided scenarios which forced me to use all of the techniques and mechanics in the game.

- ARGH! The ref is bogus - I can't use body blows or he'll count them as below the belt shots and deduct points.

- NO! This guy is too fast - I'll have to slow hm down with body blows.

- OMG! I have to knock this guy out using counters and power shots, because the dodgy promoter has bribed the judges.

Fight Night Champion managed to combine an overblown sense of drama with the game's mechanics, and the end result was probably the most compelling single player campaign I've ever played in a sports game. Usually I'll buy titles like FIFA or Fight Night purely as multiplayer games. Fight Night Champion provided me with a new angle I didn't expect. It completely surprised me.

I really hope EA attempt to add this same kind of drama to the rest of their sports franchises.

Alright - so that's my top three games of the year so far - how about you guys? Let us know in the comments below.


    Portal 2 and Killzone 3 are the pick for me so far. Haven't really bought many new games so far this year. Most of the interesting stuff for me seems to be in the 2nd half of the year.

      Have to agree Killzone 3 is amazing. especially online!

        I felt KZ3 was sorta empty personally. Campaign was way too short as well.

          yep KZ3 was a massive let down.

          half the game on rails. No challenge on veteran(whatever its hardest was). I remember having to approach the final stretch as like a puzzle to work out where to sit to avoid the constant respawn wiping me

          The MP was a severe let down after KZ2, apparently alot of people bitching the game doesn't play like cod meant that KZ3 needed to be more like it

            I loved it. Finished the campaign 3 times and have spent more time in multiplayer than I did on KZ2. BC2 is still my main online game, though. At least until BF3 comes out.

    Shogun 2 has really sucked me in this year. From an initial overwhelmed feeling I have now sunk 100 hrs into it.

    LA Noire- Its annoying at times but that world just sucked me right in.

    Mortal Kombat
    Another game that helps me justify the purchase of a stick.

    My favourite game is a newly rediscovered one: Space Station 13.

    I swear if a developer could update it to a 3D setting, simplify the UI and make it all pretty... They'd have one of the most interesting, compelling, fun, and awesome games on the market today.

    Literally, all they'd have to do is copy what is already there and then remake it in a 3D first person perspective.

    1: Portal 2. Really don't need to justify this one. Great writing, reasonably entertaining puzzles (even if they don't push the boundaries of the mechanics like the first game did) and a great co-op mode.

    2: Marvel vs Capcom 3. It's Mahvel babeeee. Lots of fun to be had here with the sheer insanity that is Marvel. I was never a huge fan of MvC2 because I came in far too late and the game had already been shattered into a million pieces with Storm, Magneto and Sentinel pretty much too powerful for a newcomer to deal with. Even with the shenanigans that X-Factor cause, I have more fun with this than with SSF4.

    3: Portal 2. The only games I can think of that came out this year that I played which aren't already listed are Homefront, Pokemon White and Fable 3. None of them deserve mention so Portal 2 gets to claim first and third spot.

    Totally agree with Fight Night Champion good to see Marky... Shame though i think me and you are the only one of the few that really enjoyed it..or dare i say tried it. I recommened it to a lot of customers and they just dont believe me i think it must be the scottish blood.

    Portal 2 - I did feel there wasn't necessarily hand-holding, but the single white pane in a wall full of unportalable panels annoyed me a bit. But the story and dialogue more than made up for it, and the gels were pretty fun. And the co-op mode was where the thinking was to be had, that was great fun.

    inFamous 2 - I was a big fan of the first, and the second is still a very fun game. There are still some frustrations I have with it, such as the way they implement a very clearcut morality system, but I haven't done an evil playthrough, so I'm going to wait and see how it really turns out.

    LBP2 - It's impossible to not smile when playing this game, it is just a ton of fun. They've definitely made the creation tools a lot more user friendly, and I plan on wasting more time on them when exams are done.

    Looking forward to playing LA Noire, which should come in next week. It's the second half of the year that I'm really keen for: Uncharted 3, Arkham City, Gears 3, Twisted Metal, Ico/SotC HD, Skyrim. I was super keen on BF3 when announced, but kind of less so now. But I think I will probably end up buying it.

    Starcraft II - Yeah I still play this. Over 350 hours put into it so far.

    Civ V - got me through a rough patch where I had limited net access and nothing to do (trapped in the UK during snow storms)

    I can't think of anything else I've loved to bits recently.

    Honestly, the first half of this year has been kind of a dud for me. Or maybe Portal 2 was so good that it ends up drowning out everything else. The only other game I played during the same period to really grab my attention was Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP.

    I haven't really been impressed with any of the years releases so far. Although I have missed things like Ghost Trick. Maybe that would have made a difference but I've been too busy catching up on awesome games from last year. I thought LA Noire was going to be great, but I'm really starting to hate it.

    1. Portal 2
    For adding paint to the incredible canvas which was Portal with more AI, smoother puzzles, interesting mechanics and the best closing I have experienced in a video game.

    2. LA Noire
    For bringing adventure game mechanics to the open world environment with a strong plot, branching storyline and excellent expressions.

    3. Duke Nukem
    For actually making it out after 12 years and being a fun, if flawed, experience and for kicking ass and taking names. No game has been more divisive.

    Honorable mention. Mortal Kombat. This one came close, but due to the paiful cheapness of Shang Tsung, I cannot allow this game to make the top three.

    Also of note, the Witcher 2 and MvC3.

    Shamefully I've only played 3 new releases this year: Killzone 3, DCUO and Pokemon White so I guess those would be my top 3 games of the first 6 months.

    I've really got to get around to trying out Portal 2. Also thinking I should grab a copy of InFamous 2.

      Make that 4 games. I forgot DA2 came out this year. I should go get my memory checked.

    Crysis 2 - A FPS with a decent campaign length and narrative!
    LA Noire - Not perfect but different to the regular console game.
    Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy - Challenging strategy with a lot of content/replayability.

    But the best so far:
    Witcher 2 - Challenging, gorgeous game world and deep narrative. Just wow.

    (Oops that's a top 4)

    Pile of Shame:
    I still haven't played Portal 2 #Runs for cover#

    I've only played 3 new games in the past six months so id just rank them:

    1. La Noire
    2. Dead Space 2
    3. Fable 3

    1. Portal 2 - Loved this game, the first game in years that I actually couldn't stop playing and had to play from start to finish and not leave half done (although with the short story I suppose this wasn't hard).

    2. The Witcher 2 - This is definitely a close second, have loved every minute of this game so far and I can already see it's going to have a LOT of re-playability.

    3. Killzone 3

    Far Cry 2.

      I lol'd hard upon reading that. Though agree. bought it in the steam sale and put in around 50 hours again.. Oh Farcry 2 <3

      A goose! Shoot it! *goes to shoot but gun jams*

        Don't worry if you missed him. Go get another gun and come back in 30 seconds and he'll have respawned.

      I played it... only game I know of that gets better when I'm not playing it.

    MVC3. Well balanced roster, for the most part. Approachable, standardised controls, and lightning fast gameplay.

    It's good to have a fast, fast fighting game out to show Tekken/SF just how slow they are.

    The Witcher 2 - Possibly the best role-playing game I've played since Torment. The depth of choice and breadth of the branching story was brilliant! Loved the story, dialog, characters, graphics and I had a lot of fun with the gameplay.

    Assassins Creed: Brotherhood - Ok, so it was out last year on console, but only this year for a PC gamer such as myself. I was expecting little more than an expansion pack (remember those?) and was blown away to find Brotherhood a full blown sequel that improved on Assassins Creed 2 in every way.

    Bulletstorm - Where Duke Nukem Forever was a let down, Bulletstorm delivered in spades. And then some. It's silly and immature but, wow, what a crazy fun ride. The most fun I've ever had with a first-person shooter, the original Serious Sam being the close second. There's a surprising depth to the gameplay, that just works so well. Grinned the whole way through.

    Dead Space 2 - More of an interactive action movie than a game, but for what it did, it did it damn well.

    And of course Portal 2.

    I'd agree with Fight Night Champion, but the relatively easy story mode in no way prepares you for the slog of Legacy.
    Marvel vs Capcom and WWE Allstars is up there to.
    LA Noire was fun, but really just makes me excited for the next GTA...

    Mortal Kombat because it's a true return to form, I can't get enough of it at the moment. SSF43D is great fun too, held off buying SSF4 or SF4 until it was cheap but getting it on 3DS was something I wanted and it's turned out to be alot of fun. I love my 3DS also, although it's not a game, just love the console and it's brought me alot of fun.

    First half of the year has been pretty slow. Portal 2 and probably Back to the Future are all that's interested me so far.

    There really has being nothing at all this year so far that really stood out as being a game I sunk alot of hours into.

    L.A noire was cool at first, but got old very fast for me

    I am still playing Halo:Reach and Battlefield 2142 are the two games I'm tossing between at the moment.

    End of the year will spill me games tho

    Ace Combat
    Gears of War 3
    Halo CE
    Battlefield 3

    Then Mass effect 3 and Halo 4 in 2012

    other than that cant say any other games really have peeked my interest.

    I just realised, I have only bought 2 games that were released this year.

    They are, of course, Portal 2 and LA Noire.

    Portal was great. I think they couldn't have done a better job with the single player, and I've already played through the co-op campaign twice (finishing anything twice is rare for me).

    LA Noire I only picked up the other day. I've played a few hours in, and I must say, I'm pretty disappointed so far. The gameplay feels so simple and repetitive. I'm a bit of a Rockstar fanboy, so I'll probably love it by the time I actually finish it.

    To address the issue of why I haven't bought many games; I actually have bought quite a few, just not 'new' ones. I've just been playing back through older titles that I've missed over the past couple of years. My recent acquisition of a 3DS has had me delving into the old DS library, which has been great (just received my copy of PW: Justice for All in the post :D).

    I must put in an honourable mention for Mortal Kombat. My housemate imported it and after a having a few vs games, I was very impressed with what they had done. So that'll probably be up in my top 3 once I actually get to sit down and play it a bit more.

    Portal 2 for me. Closest thing to a perfect single player I've ever played.

    Also had some fun with LA Noire. I believe those are the only two games I've bought this year actually...

    Portal 2 - same reasons as everyone else who loves it.

    LA Noire - There's problems with the gameplay, but the story and acting is outstanding.

    Little Big Planet 2 - It managed to drag my better half away from Angry Birds, so it has to be awesome.

    Special mention would be Dirt 3, cos it opened my eyes, and made me realise that GT5 is not even half as good as it should be.

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