Posted By Bennett The Sage about 1 year, 5 months ago
Sage Reviews: The Top Five Best and Worst Games of 2011, 9.4 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
With the year winding down, it’s time to reflect on the best and worst that the year had to offer.
For me best game of the year was LA NOIRE shame every game reviewing website forgot about this game and nominated COD over this awesome game. Every conversation with the partner in LA NOIRE was entertaining and finding the BD killer was intense. The game could be better I know but I’ve never played anything like it before. Also I hated Homefront so much that I just stopped playing it, for the reasons you stated in tihs video. Homefront is like a bad South Park episode.
Here is my Top 5 Best:
1. “The Binding Of Isaac” (FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN THAT KEEPS BEING RANDOM EVERYTIME YOU START THE GAME AGAIN)
2. “Hyper Princess Pitch” (Old School Fun)
3. “Bastion” (A good original story for once, reminds me of Legacy of Kain in levels of originality)
4. “Realm of The Mad God” (yeah i know its a MMORPG, sue me)
5. “Minecraft” (it reached 1.0 full version this November but too many bugs to get to the top)
Blarg, what is this, Sage reviews Venetica which was a barely know crap title (but I was still glad that it was reviewed since I wanted to know about it) and Homefront; but we don’t get a review for Serious Sam 3. A game which is awesome, has a strong marketing campaign (relevant enough), and a very strong legacy and yet almost nobody has reviewed it.
Why is that?
Also: Homefront confuses me a bit. Kaos studios’ previous title was “Frontlines: Fuel of War” which was about the world running out of oil and a war breaking out. To switch from a hippy storyline there to a redneck storyline in Homefront is kinda weird.
no one bought Ar Tonelica? Ya, you must be right. Guess thats why new copies of it are going for over 100 bucks on amazon and ebay these days. I actually still havent played it myself but the earlier ones were kinda fun with an interesting combat system. Its possible this one sucks, but to say no one bought it is ridiculous. NISA sold out of it pretty fast
Eh, after finishing Arkham City with story mode 100% with Hard difficulty the game felt little as an enormous expansion pack to Arkham Asylum.
I loved the Riddler and all, but there were a bit too many side characters for my liking; if Hugo Strange ran the City, was it obligatory to try to squeeze Ra’s al Ghul in there. In the 70′s story Strange Apparitions Hugo Strange managed to find out Batman’s identity on his own and made an auction about it (Joker and Penguin were some of the bidders), so something less epic could have made a bit more solid story. Summa summarum:
too many minor characters (or great characters in minor roles).
Also, as large as the City was, it was mostly an empty prop (but a good-looking one) with gang members here and there. There weren’t that many buildings to enter, etc.
I remember when I used a network of sewers to get past guards and road blocks in Thief 2: Metal Age (that came out in 2000), I could take a shortcut through houses’, enter houses via balconies, etc. In Arkham City player just jumps or glides from one building to another, but there’s really little tactical elements in environment how to play.
Alas, I really liked the game, but I had hoped a little more improvements from Arkham Asylum. Oh, and loved the Wonder City’s world’s fair theme.
I can’t believe the overrated LA NOIRE is up there if anything Heavy Rain deserves that spot much more. LA Noire’s story isn’t even that great, it has too many missteps in the story. If anything Heavy Rain deserves to be up there as it has much more of a cinematic feeling that LA Noire was missing.
Heavy Rain was released in 2010, not 2011.
regardless my point still stands, LA Noire is a over hyped and overrated game. The story is flawed, and does a terrible job providing a good cinematic experience.
This is a top games list, not top movies with a bit of interaction.
I’m sure I’ll be the only one saying this, but I played Skyrim and the only words that come to mind are overrated, repetitive, and rehash. While I’m glad it wasn’t in your top 10, there are better reasons than just “I don’t review computer games”. I agree with your top 5 except I would of swapped Uncharted with Saint’s Row 3. Love, Peace N’ Chicken Grease.
Pfft, where’s the Bastion love fuckers? More people needed to play that game. Only Skyrim was able to beat it out in my book.
I am SO glad you didn’t put MW3 on your good list!
my top 5 (that i played this year) would be:
5.) Batman: Arkham City
4.) Uncharted 3
3.) Saints Row: The Third
1.) Portal 2
If I had to pick a worst, it would be Battlefield 3. Just for the simple fact that I played the game for a total of 2 hours before a game breaking glitch struck. I demanded a new copy, I demanded my money back from EA, they told me to wait for the patch, I waited, and I still spawn with no guns and walk around like a human airplane.
While we don’t share the exact same opinion on Homefront, I am just as disappointed about the game as you, Bennett. What originally seemed like a fairly interesting idea, turned out to be one okay starting level and then a load of crap that only lasts 4 hours with a god awful ending and completely uninspired multiplayer that is doing nothing more than trying to take ideas from CoD, BF, and it’s own series, Frontlines. It was so annoyingly bad.
Glad to see Bodycount on the list. Talk about another dissappointment. Supposedly a spiritual successor to Black, a basic, yet absolutely fun shooter on the PS2, this game was pure crap. Weak destruction, stupid ideas, bland shooting mechanics, which is the worst thing you can have for a shooter. Just so awful.
My Top 5 would be…
Batman: Arkham City
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Even though I don’t hate the game, Ar Tonelico 3 was certainly the most disappointing game I’ve played this year. Ar Tonelico as a series somehow focuses more and more on fan-service each game, which is a frustrating trend, but the major kicker is the battle system that’s far inferior to the first two games. The second game’s system, while easily exploitable, was rather innovative and fun. That plus having the best protagonist of the three games makes Ar Tonelico 2 my favorite.
So Bennet included Saint’s Row 3,a game even Angry Joe says it’s overhyped and overblown, but not Gears of war 3? I know Bennet is a Sony fanboy who basically hates all things Microsoft,but that is just silly. I could’ve accepted Uncharted 3 instead,but freaking Saints Row 3?!
I don’t care if Bennett is good pals with Doug, all credibility just WOOSH! out the window.
Well, Uncharted its just a carbon copy of Indiana Jones with gameplay and story elements that dont take any risk and was written by Amy Hennig; Who could have instead write something original like i dont know COUGHLegacy of KainCOUGH, i did say that its mere existence its a disappointment all around.
I didn’t have a chance to play Ar Tonelico 3 but playing 2 I had problems with the characters, mainly that they were written too well.
I’ll elaborate a little, the teenage girls in the game acted like believable jealous, petty, short sighted, reactionary teenage girls.
It was painful at times but I believe it was a positive for the game rather than a negative, that being said one of the main power up mechanics is sticking the girls together in a hot tub with magical bath-salts and some pool toys, so no I won’t claim it doesn’t pander but the game has much more to offer than that.
Is it sad that the only game on the top 5 list I played was Portal 2? Heh.
Also, I want to go on record and say that Skyrim seriously disappointed me, but I think it’s due to hype backlash. I heard EVERYONE gushing about how amazing it is, and I bought it, expecting something freaking incredible, and… Well, it’s good, but it’s not jaw dropping amazing as people have been saying it was. I actually had to stop playing it and wonder why I wasn’t really enjoying it, and I realize now it’s because of, as I’ve said, hype backlash.
If you guys do intend to get Skyrim, don’t go in expecting the best game you’ve ever played, just go in expecting to play a good game, and you should be fine with it.
Wow, guess I’m not the only one who voiced dislike for Skyrim. I agree 100% that it has received way more praise than it deserves. To me playing Skyrim is like playing Minecraft (which I love), it’s fun for a while but gets boring after an hour or two..
I wonder if one day Skyrim will be considered as overrated as FFVII.
Top5 worst had games that I had not even heard about and Top5 was instresting becouse it was different from one that I would had made.
Meh, I enjoyed Homefront. To each his own.
Fus Ro Dah!
Not a bad list. It’s a good time to be a gamer. =)
What do you mean by that?? since when it wasnt a good time for video games?? i mean it not like we didnt have good games back then before the 2003, right?? Like Dungeon Keeper, Psychonauts, MDK, Sacrifice, Messiah, Heroes 3 of Might and Magic and Legacy of Kain. I was too busy to have internet back then so i am not sure if something happened after that.
Awww, no Skyrim review from Sage? Damn… ><
Still, good list nonetheless, and good job for this year. Let's hope that 2012 is even more awesome!
I`ve said before, and I’ll say it again, Ar Tonelico 3 sold more copies in Japan than Mass Effect 2.
It’s a matter of preferences and subjective opinion.
My worst game of the year 2011 is easily the Thor movie game, I never give games the lowest scores possible, but I’d give Thor a 1.
And when we live in a world where user reviews have given the lowest scores possible to Skyrim, and Skyward Sword, that has to mean something.
Then again, that might just mean all user reviews are worthless.
Still not sure what my tops games are yet, since I just started Skyward Sword(Though I am loving it so far)and haven’t beaten Skyrim yet.
Yathzee HATED Skyward Sword and saids that compared to the other Zelda games (that are basically the same game over and over) its probably the worst he ever played. It mentioned the constant padding, a plot hole and the fact that the WII motion control its still shit to use with this kind of game. Be warned
SPOILER ALERT (for those who haven”t watched the video)
Benett, have you played Saints Row 2? Cause it’s so much better and with more stuff to do than it’s sequel, that SR: The Third is quite a let down. The main story is way shorter and not as good as SR2, activities are less and not as fun and the characters/gangs not as memorable.
It’s a decent game but in comparison to it’s predecessors it’s a huge step back.
Woah, you’re coming to MAGFest, Bennett? That’s fantastic! I hope to see you there!
I still think your review of Ar Tonelico was too kind. That game raped all of my sensibilities. Ok, accept for the soundtrack, love the hymnos. I can’t remember the last time a game was so bad it made me physically ill. There’s also a sidebar about it ruining my eyesight. Why do I still own it? I’m never playing that shit again….
Send Ar Tonelico to me! I would gladly take it off your hands! ;-D
Great list. I have to say, Alice: Madness Returns was a slight letdown for me, I knew what I was in for since I loved the first one but I kinda expected more from that title.. In no means a bad game, just that the gameplay gets repetitive pretty quick for some reason. I liked Dirt 3 alot but probably the biggest surprise of the year was Saints Row 3. I hated the first 2 games, but the Third is actually playable and I’ve had alot of fun with it.
Yeah, I LOVED the original American McGee’s Alice, so I was extremely excited about Madness Returns. It did get overly repetitive, and the “Far East” level got downright tedious, but the amount of symbolism present in the game and its story is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time.
Duke Nukem may not have been the worst game of 2011, but it was probably the most disappointing.
Can’t say it was a surprising list or a unique list. Most of these games will be gracing people’s top whatever lists.
Not to say what you liked is bad, I just enjoy opinions and thoughts on more unique titles, not just every big name game one after another.
So you’re saying he should have put inferior games on the list just to be entertaining?
No, not inferior. But unique and obscure titles, little titles that maybe someone hasn’t thought about. A game that’s a bit more difficult to like or enjoy but is worth the effort.
I’m not saying he should change his opinion, that’s just the kind of games I like to hear about. And sadly not one title here was surprising or new. Just the games you would expect on someone’s top whatever list.
Batman Arkham City? That’s fantastic: I literally LOVED the first one, and I’ve just heard good things for the sequel
glad i’m not the only one with arkham city as numero uno.
while star wars tos still has a slight chance to take over that place, it’s still the best action game i have played in many years.
The more I thought about it while replying to some other people, that’s some interesting social commentary with Ar Tonelico. Sounds an awful lot like some of these people in California or Australia would say about “violent video games.”
Really, you’re doing a huge disservice to yourself, BT, and gaming as a whole by saying when someone buys the game an amber alert should go out, especially when we have all this villainization of “violent video games” from the media and various political groups. It’s a painfully hypocritical thing to say to start judging people as potential sex offenders because they got that game, but gunning down people by the truckload is perfectly fine and harmless. That’s the exact same line of thought that gets people saying porn creates rapists and violent games create Columbine kids.
I know it was a joke, though a bad one and insulting to a large number of people and an entire culture, but making claims like that, especially from within the gaming community, is what gives the people who want to censor games fuel and legitimacy.
Great list, though Portal should’ve been no.1 *trollface* In all seriousness, though, it should’ve been no. 1
Seriously it would have been a difficultly for me to compile this list, with all the awesome titles that have come out this year. Batman deserves it’s place as no. 1. Portal just isn’t for everybody. But Batman? Dude, it’s fucking Batman. Everyone loves Batman and the game was just fucking incredible. The list in all was pretty spot on, I reckon…. except for Portal… Great video!
Might as well put my top five:
5. Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Okay, this one barely comes through. To me it’s not as good as the past two games, but it still holds some interesting ideas even if it came across as poorly directed. Also, I wouldn’t mind playing a whole game based on the Desmond’s Journey sections.
4. Infamous 2. I just liked how refined it felt, and to be honest the main reason this is here is because of how good the ending is. Please Sony, no more sequels.
3. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. Not much that can be said that hasn’t been said already.
2. Portal 2. A game as clever and witty as this deserves mention.
1. Batman Arkham City. Only you. . .
I didn’t put LA Noire or Deus Ex Human Revolution on my list as I haven’t gotten around to completing them, but they’re both great games. I just don’t feel I could properly judge them until I complete them.
i don’t know what games would be my top 5 this year, i don’t think i even played 5 games that came out this year O.O
yeah i have only gotten 3 games that came out this year O.O that are tipple A titles
Duke Nukem Forever doesn’t deserve that much bad reputation. Of course it was pretty underwhelming and bad in its own right, but like Sage I blame that on the long development cycle. Pretty sure this game was finished in 2006/07 and Gearbox just connected all the lose ends and finally shipped it. If they’re really working on Duke Nukem 5 now, it will finally be its own game and maybe even enjoyable.
And yeah, Arkham City was pretty damn awesome! Maybe this will be its only problem in the future: It’s so damn good, it will be very hard for Rocksteady to follow up on.
Dude you should have played Hyperdimension Neptunia if Ar Tonelico Qoga Knell of Ar Ciel was even on this list. Ar Tonelico was bad and nothing more than a mass disappointment to all the Ar Tonelico fans (also about no one buying it the game was crazy popular in Japan. I heard it sold a few hundred thousand copies) but Hyperdimension Neptunia was nothing but horrible in every single aspect. Horrible combat, irritating as hell music, terrible controls for movement in dungeons (also them not even being able to get moving in a straight line right is just pathetic), absolutely awful graphics, then we get to the characters. OH DEAR GOD THE CHARACTERS. There has not been a single character I have wished death upon more than the main character in Hyperdimension Neptunia. Aside from that good “worst” list but there are so many worse games out there though I do understand its only what you reviewed so I guess you just got lucky those were the worst games you had to review.
I have a sealed premium edition copy of ATQ sitting in my shelf.. I hope to get around to it sooner or later. I actually got it because of Sage’s review since of a lot of his reasoning seemed… questionable, and I like to support NIS and their developers, even if on occasion it comes back to bite me.
Speaking of biting me.. HDN was the worst game I’ve ever played. Coming off of Trinity Universe, I had high hopes, but they took everything from TU and just went in the completely wrong direction; making some of the, if not the, worst RPG gaming I’ve ever touched. It beats out even FF13 for being the worst JRPG I’ve ever played and that was a high bar to jump over.
Also, I have to ask, if games like Ar Tonelico Qoga are why the JRPG is drying up on the consoles.. considering the flood of shitty shooters we get every year, why isn’t that market drying up? Most of the “named” JRPG series never made it off the PS2 and it certainly isn’t because now and then we got a mediocre one. Perspective please, let’s attribute development and marketing trends to their actual causes instead saying “It’s that game’s fault! String it up!”. Though, if we want to do something as ill-advised as blaming “a game” let’s blame something that’s actively working to ruin the genre yet still sells ridiculously well.. and has about 13 installments.
Dear god you took the words right out of my mouth. Every. Single. Word. Though honestly Final Fantasy’s sales strength is basically its name. The original creator left and it seems like Square are intent as hell to completely destroy every single thing about the series now and completely run it into oblivion. Thankfully we do have good RPGs from japan like Dark Souls, the Tales series (I guess the few that actually leave Japan when Namco Bandai is on a less racist day), basically everything Mistwalker has made, and Xenoblade is coming to the U.S. now so we have those. Personally I doubt FFXIII-2 will sell anywhere near as much as FFXIII since many people already hate XIII and know XIII-2 is basically more of the same. Well I want to pre order Xenoblade soon but the steam sales are coming soon and who knows what $5 could buy then.
As a fan of the first 2 games let assure you Ar Tonelico Qoga… was god awful!
Ignoring the whole transition from mild sexual overtones to soft-core pornography, the game brings up some very dark themes, then sugarcoats over them. Oh, lets just forget about that 700 years of habitual genocide!
Many of the characters are unlikeable, I don’t mean the subjective cutesy unlikeable, (though there was one of those), I mean evil sociopath unlikeable, with the game not acknowledging this.
The battles are boring. Very, very, boring. Even the music that is usually wonderful didn’t seem up to standard.
There are only 3 games I’ve ever truly hated, many I didn’t like, but I’ve only ever hated 3.
This ranks second on that list, right after Third Birthday.
I really liked Hyperdimension Neptunia. And I’m proud to admit! You can laugh all you want!
I’m not laughing at you I pity you. Well I guess that means it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
Your list is deprived of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Alice: Madness Returns, but I definitely approve of L.A. Noire! I disappointed about how it was received, though. Hell, only one other person besides me came to it’s midnight release. Everyone else there wanted something else. Ironically, I believe it was Duke Nukem…
My top games of the year (all PC)
5) Cthulhu saves the world
4) Dawn of War 2: Retribution
2) Dragon Age 2
1) Batman: Arkham City
Oh some love for Cthulhu.. that and Breath of Death VII were probably my most enjoyable game experiences this year.
Saints row isn’t really my type of game (plus I’ve heard its short and doesn’t tell quite a compelling story as its predecessor), so I’d have to put zelda on the list instead (if you haven’t played it yet, you should), but a very good top 5 overall. Definitely portal and Batman deserve to be on the top 5 this year, and LA Noire seems to have been forgotten by too many people.
I don’t really agree with your choices but I do respect them(unlike IGN top 100s and Gametrailers GOTY awards).
Heh, we’re quite different I see. I can’t say much about worst games of the year – I don’t even so much as rent a title unless I think I’m going to like it at least a little bit, and I’ve only played one of the games you mentioned for that part of the list, X-Men: Destiny. Which honestly I thought was more disappointing than truly bad – if you just think of as what it is, an X-Men themed beat-em-up, it’s a decent rental for one time through. Though that is about all that can be said for it, granted.
As for best, I’ve again only played one of those you listed – Arkham City. And while it would be among my best list as well, it’s not at the top. The rest I mostly have no interest in, and as such probably won’t ever play. L.A. Noire due to the setting just not being my kind of thing, Deus Ex because I don’t like first-person shooters, Saint’s Row because there’s just nothing about it that interests me, You Don’t Know Jack because I just don’t care about that genre at all, and Skyrim because it does pretty much everything I don’t want an RPG to do, especially with the whole first-person gameplay mechanics (yeah, I actually think those are worse for melee than for shooting, and as mentioned I don’t like first-person shooters to begin with).
I am interested in Portal 2 (and yes, I know it’s in first-person, which I still don’t like, but the more puzzle-game nature of Portal 1 let me enjoy it in spite of that, aside from the bits where you had to do platforming), just not enough to have tried it yet. And I couldn’t play Uncharted 3 anyway since I have no PS3, plus I’d want to play through its predecessors first anyway once I do get a PS3.
My own personal top 5 of the year would go something like this:
1) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2) Dragon Age 2
3) Batman: Arkham City
5) Radiant Historia
(I should say that I’m slightly conflicted on whether to put Skyward Sword or DA2 on top, and a bit hesitant on just where to place Catherine relative to Batman and Radiant Historia, but otherwise this is about right for me.)
With honorable mention to MvC3 and UMvC3, since they probably provided me with more hours of entertainment and fun than any of those games except Dragon Age 2. I just can’t bring myself to rate them up with those games simply because I don’t like fighting games as much as RPGs or adventure games (and Catherine was just brilliant enough for me to love it in spite of it being from genres I normally dislike).
Dismissing a game simply because it is in first person is pretty close minded. Deus Ex is not an FPS, and calling it one is a disservice to what it is.
If someone doesn’t like playing in first person, they don’t like playing in first person. It’s a pretty sound reason to me.
Your counter-point is, “If you don’t like spinach, you shouldn’t dislike something made of spinach just because it’s made of spinach.” See how silly that sounds?
Huh, I overlooked two games that were released this year.
Here is the revised list (worst to best)
Duke Nukem Forever
Section 8 Prejudice
The Binding of Isaac
W40k Space Marine
Dead Space 2
Alice: Madness Returns
I LOVE you. I could not have agreed more with your top 5. Happily surprised to see that you left Skyrim out. Don’t flip your shit Skyrim is a good game, but i think that a lot of people are going to place it nr.1 this year anyway. Happily surprised to see SR 3 on the list, but i would have put Portal 2 on third place. Other than that it was a damn good review.
I can see where hes coming from with most choices except L.A. Noire, I’m sorry, while that game had interesting elements, the last 3rd of the game ruined it for me not to mention it was too easy to get all the clues imo. Now my top 5 would be:
5. Battlefield 3
4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
And since I have yet to finish Serious Sam 3 (I know it will be there just cause I’m having a blast with its SP alone), I’ll right now leave it at a tie between it and Mortal Kombat.
3 Games that I still need to play by the end of the year though are The Old Republic, Super Mario Land 3D, and Halo Anniversary (even though I’m bound to love it as a Halo fan, I ain’t counting graphical remakes for GOTY)
Why you don’t review games on PC?
Anyway, here is my Top5, sure there are games that I suspect will make it to the list but I won’t be playing them in a couple of months at least like AC: Revelations and Portal 2.
#1 Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
#2 Gears of War 3
#3 Dead Space 2
#4 Crysis 2
#5 Batman: Arkham City
I have to say Kudos for putting Deus Ex: Human Revolution on this list. It flew under the radar for a lot of folks, but it shouldn’t be missed. Interestingly enough, I had never played one game in the Dues Ex franchise. Regardless this was still an amazing game that mixed the gameplay of Metal Gear with the setting of Blade Runner in a first person world.
I haven’t played too many games this year so I probably won’t be able to make a complete top 5 and bottom 5 list.
The only games I played are
Duke Nukem Forever
Section 8 Prejudice
The Binding of Isaac
W40k Space Marine
Alice: Madness Returns
And that’s pretty much the order from worst to best.
Nice list, Bennett. I tried to avoid the really atrocious games (though the worst I played this year would have to be a tie between Venetica & Knights Contract), so here’s my rundown of the 5 best.
3.) Batman: Arkham City
2.) Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
5.) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Cool list, Bennett. You have three of my favorites of the year in your top 5. I never beat Portal 2 (Which I’m sad about, because it’s awesome) and I’m not sure I would have LA Noire in my top list, but I definitely enjoyed my time with it. Your runners-up are great too.
I haven’t played any of your bottom picks-Wait no! Bad memory coming back. I did play X-Men Destiny. Fuck that retched game! Overall, I agree with your list with a few adjustments for my own personal list.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Music Mondays revisits the band that brought us tunes from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Bit.Trip Runner.