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.


    1. Portal 2

    Epic Singleplayer, Hilarious Multiplayer.

    2. Marvel vs Capcom 3

    Great multiplayer fun.

    3. LittleBigPlanet 2


    Witcher 2. Hands down

    AFL Live (seriously). They did a fantastic job.

    Portal 2 is definitely my fave so far - though I look forward to playing Crysis 2 whenever that shows up. (I played the MP demo to death just about - it was a lot of fun)

    portal 2 for sure, but nothing else much has tickled my fancy this year. waiting for my Shogun 2 copy back, bought it eagerly only for my pc to crash so it was lent to a friend, but hes been telling me good things.

    other than that, waiting for elder scrolls v...

    thinking back to the previous bethesda games I've played, I always end up knifing people in the back whilst naked (the in-game characters naked btw, not me). theres just something about sneaking around shanking people whilst not wearing any clothes that appeals to me, and so far Bethesda has made it the most enjoyable.

    Even my fallout character got around in naughty nightwear, a deathclaw gauntlet and a maxed-out stealth skill.

    maybe I really am a deveo, but still, looking forward to some naked shanking in skyrim!

    I played Fight Night Champion to death, without doubt one of the top games this year.
    However some of the patches basically ruined online play there for a while.

    The Witcher 2 would have to be right up there with Portal. I dont think people really realise how good that game is. Up there with DA1 and flogs games like Fable etc.

    Dirt 3 and its close online racing is a real winner too. Not unusual for 3 cars basically being side by side over the finnish line.

    My picks:

    -Dead Space 2. Scary ass shit, but its still such a great game.
    -Portal 2. Fun SP mode, fun MP mode (but my friend I did it with originally won't do it with me anymore because I sucked ;_;)
    -Killzone 3. The SP was extremely short, and the MP doesn't offer much new stuff once you max out a class, but still a fun game all around.

    Other ones I've played:

    -Cry, er CoDsis 2. That game was terrible. Decent SP but horrible, overly-melodramatic story, horrible MP.

    I still gotta get some money together to play L.A Noire, rent Duke Nukem, and Infamous 2 (unemployment sucks hard) :(. I downloaded the first Infamous from the PSN Welcome Back package so I'm gonna finish that first before I play the second one.

    Little Big Planet 2, Yakuza 4 & LA Noire for me

    1: Mortal Kombat. Loved it, was looking forward to the game for a long time, and it really delivered.

    2: Portal 2. Great game, very funny and a great co-op. Only downside for me was that Wheatley's voice got on my nerves a bit

    3: LA Noire. I enjoyed this mainly because it was something different, plus had a reasonably decent story.

    Have to mention Dead Space2, Duke Nukem, Fight Night (finally a decent SP), and Brink as I also really enjoyed them.

    Portal 2 - well nigh perfect (ok, the ending song wasn't anywhere near as funny as Still Alive, but that's the only flaw)

    Dragon Age 2 and L.A. Noire, both of which sucked me in for huge hours despite some glaring flaws which held them back from true greatness.

    Have I even bought any other games this year, besides a couple of old ones from the used bin? LBP2 if that was this year... fun while it lasted. Maybe I would have got more out of it if not for the PSN outage. Deserves an honourable mention, anyway.

    Portal 2

    Also, GOTY - with an honorable mention to Skyrim.

    Crysis 2 for sure, I think it was quite underrated.
    Mortal Kombat was a good bit of fun and L.A. Noire had some potential even if it didn't live up to it. And yes, Portal 2

    Portal 2 is a clear winner for me as well but I throughly enjoyed LA Noire. Killzone 3 was alright I guess but I grew extremely tired of the storyline

    It's fairly obvious what my favourite game is so far. L.A. Noire deserves a good mention too.

    Portal 2 was an enjoyable experience. I still love playing through chapter 9 just for the game to tell me three+ times that I'm about to die :P

    Assassins Creed: Brotherhood for PC is just something different the story is great imo and multi is also entertaining when you can get a game going

    Crysis 2 (PC) - I'm yet to finish the campaign as I fell that the game is out to find the cheapest way to kill me but i do enjoy some team deathmatch - nanovision is over powered by the way :P

    1. Portal 2 is great yes.

    2. The Wither 2 - Assassin of Kings*

    3. Crysis 2*

    4. COD Black Ops*

    5. Total War Shogun 2*

    and many others

    * give my new $2K notebook a great test for power. Happy so far!

    LA Noire, Portal 2, Dead Space 2... wow, I honestly thought there were more. I seem to have been gaming heaps, but I suppose they were all titles I'd had on the backburner for a while: Infamous, Dragon Age 2, AC:Brotherhood, Vanquish, Spiderman: Shattered Dims, Crysis 2 (interesting that that one's not on anyone's list)...

    Crysis 2
    Killzone 3
    Portal 2

    In that order

    This makes me realise just how few games from this year I've actually played. All I can think of is Shadow Wars and Pilotwings on 3DS, MvC3 on 360 (which I probably wouldn't have got if I didn't win it from here), and de Blob 2 on Wii. There's others from this year that I've bought, like Ghost Trick and Conduit 2, but I haven't played them yet. The ones I've actually been playing are all old. The whole US Virtual Boy catalogue, Monster Hunter Tri, Muramasa, Ouendan 2, X on Game Boy...

    Monster Hunter was pretty rad, I'll vote for that :P

    1. The Witcher 2 - A great game for many reasons, but I love it most for the choice it gave me at the very end, that one choice that clearly shows the difference between The Witcher and so many other RPGs out there. It's only major failing was not having a tutorial at the very beginning of the game saying "quen, use it!" as large as possible to ensure people get the message.

    2. Portal 2 - I think everyone else has covered this one better than I could.

    3. Dead Space 2 - Honestly kind of a weak third. I really enjoyed it don't get me wrong, but I think it could've been a lot better than it was.


    The single player is as short as a CoD game... but the multiplayer has me hooked.

    Bulletstorm and I don't have a 3rd... DA2 was terribad.

    Portal 2 and The Witcher 2 are pretty much the only new games I've actually played (or at least the only new games I can remember buying which must mean anything else I bought didn't stand out so much). Loved Portal 2. I have a love hate relationship with The Witcher 2 - mainly hating the many cheap deaths that keep happening. Loving everything else though.

    Most games have already been mentioned that I would put on a list.

    Portal 2 - was a great puzzle game, good humour throughout the game. Still need to do the co-op campaign.

    LBP2 - The never ending game, you can always find something.

    Killzone 3 - Enjoyed the campaign until the final mission, but I somewhat prefer KZ2 MP.

    inFamous 2 - I haven't started it yet, but I just know I am going to enjoy it very much.

    Mortal Kombat - A brilliant reboot of the series, the best fighter I have never played! ;p

    LA Noire - The opening missions and traffic cases are slow as, but the somewhat self contained Homicide story really amps up the interest, finally when everything starts coming together from Vice, it was rather enjoyable. Not feeling freeroam though.

    All the above are great plays and something you should at least check out. I'll throw in one more, I'm not saying this is the best of the year so far, but I haven't seen it mentioned just yet.

    Outland - I have yet to finish up the game, about 60% through, but I am having to stop myself from blitzing the game, getting completely hooked, wanting to see what lies ahead on the next screen, etc.

    The pacing is fantastic, there are plenty of secrets to find through exploration, but you are never too far away from the main task, nor do you feel never completely lost.

    Slowing gaining powers, leading into new areas, classic Metroidvania all wrapped up in a beautiful stylish package.

    Deaths can be aplenty, but they are never cheap, you are rewarded to know pattern recognition, so you know if you stuff up, it was your own fault and when you do succeed it feels like an accomplishment. Big shout out to the boss designs I've see so far.

    Everyone should at least be trying the available demo on PSN/Live. It's a hidden gem that I am hoping more people discover, as I am already hoping they look at making another one (even though I have no idea how it ends! lol)

    For new releases,

    1. The Witcher 2
    sure there are shortcomings, but the pros completely outweigh the cons. Loving the gorgeous graphics, the learning curve and the challenge.

    2. Shogun 2
    Multi is a blast for most parts, the improvements are solid and the AI is much better than the previous titles.

    3. Frozen Synapses
    Do I really need to explain why?

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