Tell Us Dammit! Is This Year The Best Ever For Gaming?

Tell Us Dammit! Is This Year The Best Ever For Gaming?

2011 Has been a slow burn. There were only a handful of games I truly enjoyed during the first six months but now? Well, let’s just say I didn’t stay up until 2am last night for the good of my health. I feel swamped with quality, must-play games for the first time in years. So kindly tell us dammit — 2011. Great year or greatest year?

As far as I can see it there are a handful of contenders…

2007: BioShock, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Mario Galaxy, The Orange Box, Rock Band, God of War II…

2004: Half-Life 2, Halo 2, MGS3: Snake Eater, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, World of Warcraft…

1998: Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid, Half-Life, Baldur’s Gate, Grim Fandango, Starcraft, Soulcalibur…

Personally? My favourite year is a tie between 2007 and 1998, but hindsight and nostalgia may push 2011 into the top three.


  • 2008: MGS4 and GTAIV

    2009: Uncharted 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Street Fighter IV

    2011 was a great year, but far from the greatest. 2007 is the winner for me. BioShock and Orange Box were killer apps.

    • Yeah it’s hard to beat 1998

      1080 Snowboarding
      Crash Bandicoot 3
      F Zero X
      Half Life
      Ocarina of Time
      Metal Gear Solid

      It’s hard to beat a list like that

  • For this generation, I think was the best. 2009 – UC2, Arkham City, ACII, Shadow Complex, Flower, Demons Souls. So many surprises/siginificant improvements over predecessors.

    • Totally agree notorious, that was the year I finally realised i was a gamer 😛
      Although Demon souls completely destroyed me for quite some time…

  • Out of those three you listed, I’d have to say 2007 was my favourite as it was the only year that your listing had more than two games I truly loved. But 2011 has been pretty amazing, I’ve loved Arkham City, Portal 2, Uncharted 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and I’m about to begin Skyrim tonight. It has been awesome!

  • I think it’s pretty impossible to say, really. It HAS been a damn good year, though. Let’s hope 2012 does a better job of evening it out across twelve months. 😀

  • 2007 I’d say gets it.

    On a related note, 1986 was undoubtedly the best year for comics. Watchmen, DKR and Maus Volume 1, among other notables.

  • In 2008, Mario Kart Wii was released. The previous year was a contender for one of the best years of gaming.

    In 2005, Mario Kart DS was released. The previous year was a contender for one of the best years of gaming.

    In 2011, Mario Kart 7 was released. I’m more inclined to believe that 2010 stands a better chance of being an awesome year of gaming compared to 2011 :p

    It appears that Mario Kart comes a year after greatness.

    Seriously though, this year hasn’t been as great as it feels like it should have been.

  • 2011 is definately the best year just look at the big titles! Skyrim, Gears of War 3, Saints Row 3, Assassins Creed: Revelations, MW3, Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Dark Souls, Dead Island …. The list just goes on and on the only downside of the year was they were all release around the same time so the first 9 months of 2011 were pretty bland.

  • I think the ‘best’ year comes after the nostalgia kicks in too. Not only were those years mentioned good, but we’ve also had time to ponder just how good. We won’t get that perspective until later.

    • Space Marine should get GOTY. Pew, pew, pew.. SMASH FACE 😀 Titus is a bit of an idiot though, “Oh, the world is ending, let’s damn ourselves while we’re at it”. (Note: I haven’t finished it yet).

  • I was not overwhelmed by this year’s games. I bought a bunch, but played them and forgot them (though enjoyed them at the time). More AAA titles than I ever remember seeing before. But I agree with Trjn, most of these games had twinges of disappointment in them.

    Mark’s top three look pretty good to me, but I would probably rank 1998 and 2004 highest.

  • 2011 has been a very strong year but best ever – it’s a very subjective question in my book. Depends on the games you like to play. As a primarily SP gamer, Witcher 2, Deus Ex: HR, Batman: AC and another Assassin’s Creed title, yeah it’s been pretty good for me.

    Will have to look back in about five years to see.

  • This year is a real contender and easily in my top 3 with 2007 and 1998. In terms of number of high-quality releases its probably the best. However, I also think we got mostly got high-quality sequels rather than seminal classics:

    – Witcher 2 (CRProjekt are the Bioware we wish we had, I think the standing of this game will increase dramatically once some console players get into it).
    – Portal 2 (better than the original, but nowhere near as novel)
    – DXHR (in many respects better than the original, but not as innovative)
    – Skyward Sword (innovative use of motion-controls, which may also mean it only achieves cult-classic status like Majora’s Mask)
    – Batman (good, but still not the game we’re waiting for, Batman: Gotham City proper. I’m not convinced it was as good as AA).
    – Skyrim (this game is blowing my mind right now. I think I like it more than Morrowind, which means it could be this years seminal classic)
    – Uncharted 3 (excellent, but not as mind blowing as its predecessor)
    – Gears 3 (a lot of fun, but far from a classic)
    – Dark Souls (I haven’t played it – the impression I get is that its more Dead Souls, which is a good thing)
    – A crap-ton of others, mostly sequels

    I’m going to have to go with 2007 though – for personal reasons. I actually stopped gaming entirely (with a brief flirt with Twilight Princess) between late 2004 and late 2007, and it was the killer schedule, particularly the Orange Box that brought me back into the fold.

    I think the fact we all recognise that 2007 and 2011 are contenders, and I see people arguing for 2008 and 2010 as well, makes me think that maybe this is the best generation for gaming thus far.

    • Though the recognition of the more recent years could be down simply to the fact that this generation was gamings boom

      The people who were around pre 2000 are substantially outnumbered these days

  • I seem to remember last year being pretty damn good… Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, Heavy Rain, Halo Reach, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas, Starcraft 2… I reckon I could keep going, too.

    So for me personally, 2010 was the best year so far for gaming. 2011 was really not too big for me, although that being said, some of the big games I’ve been looking forward to (i.e Skyrim, Uncharted 3) are on my Christmas list so I havent played them yet.

    • I bought my PS3 in January of 2010 too, so I have all these other games like Uncharted, Uncharted 2 and inFamous that I associate with that year. (Even though they didn’t come out then. Cheating, I know. :D)

  • I think there are too many games this year. That may seem absurd to say, but seriously if you are lucky enough to own all the good ones, finding the time to play them all is challenging. Skyward Sword remains on the shelf, barely up to the first Temple. I am about 15% though Batman, and 10% through Rayman. I played through BF3 and MW3 once each, and spent about an hour on multiplayer.

    It’s too taxing to play all these unless you get paid for it.

  • 2004 is probably the year I remember most. Doom 3, UT2004, Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Far Cry, Battlefield: Vietnam, Need for Speed: Underground 2, Silent Hill 4, Thief: Deadly Shadows, Painkiller, Hitman: Contracts, Burnout 3, Def Jam: Fight for NY, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines and probably some others I forgot too. 🙂
    Good year indeed.

  • I dont think it was the best year at all, to me this year reminds me of 09 for games. In 09 we had a new Uncharted, Batman, MW, Assassins Creed, Halo, etc. Not much has changed really. Its been a good year…….if youre a fan of sequels!

  • This year has been good but how many of the games will you want to play 2 or 3 years from now. For me there are only 3 or 4 game that I can think of. So in my opion I think that 1998 is the best over all year because there are still game that i enjoy going back and playing 13 years later.

  • Definitely the best year for gaming. The shear amount of fantastic high quality games released this year is absolutely incredible.

  • SKYRIM! so yeah it is. I played more fun games this year than last year.

    And 2011 the year that finally answered the question of how good Duke Nukem is…. really really crap.

  • It’s not possible to say… but…

    Zelda, Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City and Assassins Creed revelations

    It has to be up there

  • I think this is the best year since 2007, and 2007 was a freakin’ top year.

    I think this is the year I’ve bought the most games on release instead of waiting, but that might have more to to with me having gradually increased my income. 😛

    – Dead Space 2
    – Shadows of the Damned
    – Portal 2
    – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    – Gears of War 3
    – Batman: Arkham City
    – Modern Warfare 3
    – Saints Row the Third
    – Assassins Creed Revelations

    Also, love it or hate it, 2011 saw the release of Duke Nukem Forever.

    So it was a big year for games but at the same time everything felt a bit lacklustre. Nothing blew my mind. It was all a bit ‘been there, done that’. I’m excited about new games, but not 2007 excited. Is it because the games are getting stale or am I old and jaded? I remember watching E3 demos for Assassin’s Creed and being amazed by how exciting it looks. Now I’m playing the 4th game in that series and wondering why I’m not more impressed by the refining of the controls and freecliming/freerunning, the additional features, the improved combat.

    Is it really time for a new generation of consoles? Will a new generation of consoles really make any difference at this point? Do I just need to STFU and play Demon’s souls or Skyrim?

  • Wait. Having just looked at 1998

    Resident Evil 2, Zelda:Ocarina OF time, Banjo-Kazooie, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft

    Hard to beat

  • I look back to 1993 and 1994.


    Ridge Racer, X-Wing, Doom, Mortal Kombat II, Starfox, Day of the Tentacle, Virtua Fighter, Secret of Mana, SimCity 2000, Return to Zork (come on, any year that has Return to Zork released in it needs to be a contender, surely?)


    Super Metroid, Final Fantasy III/VI, Tie Fighter, Sonic 3, Earthworm Jim, Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong Country, Doom II, Warcraft, Tekken, System Shock, Darkstalkers, Heretic, Daytona USA

    And an honourable mention for 1995 for me personally with the release of two of my favourite games of all time, Sega Rally Championship and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, and for 1996 for kicking off the Legacy of Kain series with Blood Omen.

  • 2009
    Awesome new games: Batman Arkham Asylum, Braid, Bayonetta, Demon’s Souls
    Great Sequels: Uncharted 2, Monsterhunter Tri (Japan release), Assassin’s Creed 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii
    Super-hyped stuff: Streetfighter 4, Resident Evil 5, Modern Warfare 2

  • Just finished Metal Gear Solid 2 HD and now I’m completely lost in the universe all over again. Totally pumped for 3 and Peace Walker.

  • 2011 wins for quantity of good/great games, but 1998 is hard to beat with Half-Life and Baldurs Gate, oh the memories. Diablo could also be counted in 98, well its Mac and Playstation release was that year. PC WAS 96-97

    • The original Half-Life was a phoenominal game however I never liked the original Baldurs gate i preferred its later release baldurs gate 2 100x better IMHO definately a rememberable title.

  • 1987-
    Zelda II : The Adventures of Link
    Metal Gear
    Street Fighter
    Final Fantasy
    The Legend of Zelda
    Dungeon Master
    Double dragon

    Nearly all of these games still have a franchise and these were the ones to start it off. 1987 was the best year for games. Nuff Said

    • Whilst a lot of those went on to become big series, some of them were actually crap in their own right. I’m looking at Zelda 2 and Metal Gear.

  • Just to review some of the more major releases of 2011:

    – Witcher 2
    – Portal 2
    – DXHR
    – Skyward Sword
    – Batman: Arkham City
    – Skyrim
    – Uncharted 3
    – Gears 3
    – Dark Souls
    – Modern Warfare 3
    – Battlefields 3
    – Dragon Age 2
    – Duke Nukem Forever
    – Rage
    – Star Wars: The Old Republic
    – inFamous 2
    – L.A. Noire
    – Mortal Kombat
    – BulletStorm
    – Dead Space 2
    – Minecraft
    – Assassins Creed: Revelations
    – Crysis 2
    – Why are we still talking here?

  • I’m gonna say 1998 since Half-Life and the mods that were developed from it pretty much kick started my gaming obsession.

  • BEST YEAR I RECKON. There were some close contenders but in think 2011. If Mass Effect 3 was out this year it would have sealed it.

    • BioShock Infinite and Mass Effect 3 are waiting in the wings, the not-so-secret weapons of 2012. We’ll be having this same conversation again this time next year. (While stock piling for the Mayan apocalypse…)

  • 2011 was the year I had just about enough of sequels and remakes. The disturbing lack of new IP’s and originality made me sad.

  • This is NOT the best year ever for games.

    That’ll be 2017, after they bring out the USB attachment for my dongle.

  • Looking at my selections in recent years lets see

    Halo 3; Call of Duty 4; Assassin’s Creed; The Orange Box; Bioshock

    GTAIV; Lego Batman; Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts; Left 4 Dead; Mirror’s Edge

    GTA Chinatown Wars; Arkham Asylum; Scribblenauts; Borderlands; Assassin’s Creed II

    Mass Effect 2; Battlefield Bad Company 2; Splinter Cell Conviction; Red Dead Redemption; Alan Wake; Transformers War for Cybertron; Crackdown 2; Enslaved; Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood; Monday Night Combat; Dead Rising 2; Halo Reach; Kinect Sports;

    Crysis 2; Portal 2; Lego Star Wars III, The Gunstringer; Fruit Ninja Kinect; Arkham City; Battlefield 3; Super Mario 3D Land

    I think based on this list I gotta say although 2011 has some great games, I’ve got more 2010 games and I still play most of them (I’ve still gotta get Vanquish at some stage!) It was also the last great year of Xbox Exclusives with Conviction and Alan Wake and WFC and MNC were real suprises that year

    2007 is a close second for me simply based on how much time I have sunk into Team Fortress 2!

  • I think this year has been an awesome year –
    Call of Duty
    Assassins creed
    Saints row
    Sonic Gen
    Uncharted 3
    Ace combat
    Battlefield 3
    Dead Island
    anno 2070

    I have no free time and my wallet hates me!

  • In terms of polish and innovation, no other gaming year beats 1998. Years like 2007 or 2011 have plenty of highly polished games but they are sorely lacking in terms of innovative concepts.

    Metal Gear Solid – redefined the action genre by emphasizing stealth gameplay and scripted events.

    Half-Life – redefined fps with advanced AI, a wonderful story and unique story-telling. FPS before were just 3D tech demos with a story and ai written as an afterthought.

    Zelda:OoT – redefined 3D games with its targetting mechanism, context controls, and 3D movement mechanics. Most of the things we treat for granted in third person games have their start here.

    StarCraft – redefined realtime-strategy games by emphasizing unit variety, balance and a killer story.

    Baldur’s Gate – redefined western rpg’s by introducing the Bioware-style of RPG. This was the foundation on which Bioware built its RPG chops.

    Resident Evil 2 – redefined action/survival horror by introducing the zapping system (e.g. the actions of one Claire Redfield will reflect on the steges involving Leon) and putting the emphasis on the horror atmosphere with haunting music and surroundings.

    Unreal – redefined 3D graphics in general (no hardware acceleration needed for drop shadows) and the concept of modding with the release of the user-friendly UnrealEd

    Grim Fandango – the last great adventure game for the PC

    Pokemon Red and Blue – the most successful cross media phenomenon that started with videogames. Spawned alot of “collect ’em all” copycats like Yu Gi Oh, Digimon etc.

    Guilty Gear – the spiritual predecessor of BlazBlue and made significant advances to 2D graphics

    Thief: The Dark Project – redefined stealth gameplay with its emphasis on light and sound.

    Radiant Silvergun – redefined 2D side scrolling shooters with its graphics and gameplay. The spiritual predecessor of Ikaruga.

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