2011 Game of the Year Awards: The People’s Choice

Ah, the week after Christmas — is there a better time for end-of-the-year awards? Sure, it’s largely because there is literally nothing to else to talk about at as game companies wait until the New Year before saying anything again, but also because some of the year’s biggest games have had about a month to enter our skulls, gestate, and be birthed from our mouths as fanboyish rants about why our favorite game is better than everyone else’s.

Just like last year, we’re conceding our own editorial awards for the sake of showcasing what our community thinks. There are literally dozens of different places each offering dozens of awards, so why add to the clutter? Also like last year, forum members had opinions to go with their votes — opinions worth sharing right here on the front page.

So now that the votes are in, how do the top games of the year stack up? Check it, dawg.

Most Disappointing Game

Loser: Duke Nukem Forever

There were plenty of crappy games this year, but there’s something especially gutting about something that you were looking forward to being a waste of sixty bucks. While more people voted “Other,” no single title garnered more disappointment than the Duke.

“DNF, because it was sooooo phoned in.” — WonsAuto (hey, that’s me!)

“[…] I have found it difficult to choose from DiRt 3, Shift 2 and Duke Nukem Forever – none of them were as enjoyable as they should have been, and I only got to about halfway (if that) in any of them.” — Smurfn

“I’m gonna go with Brink. Overall, the multiplayer was severely lacking in levels and game modes … With the amount of development time that went into this and the sleek videos showing it off, I was expecting a whole lot more.” — hero

“Motorstorm: Apocalypse. Nothing redeeming, further dilution of the series, location was totally ‘un-Motorstorm-like’, racing wasn’t fun, cinematic/story insert was out of place…” — Deadpool

“Skyrim … I gave it a fair shake at like 20 hours or so but I just can’t stand the combat so that just means there is TONS of extremely boring things to do in the game.” — +silent55

“Rage. Disappointing to say the very least.” — unicron7

“Dead Island. I had said to myself that I had money for one game in the years gaming season, I would buy Dead Island. Horrendous game. Looking back on it, I’d give it an F … and it makes it even worse that I thought it was going to be one of the year’s best.” — Matt

Most Criminally Overlooked

Winner(?): Rayman Origins

Few accolades are as bittersweet as being the great game that no one played. There were quite a few games vying for the backhanded compliment this year, and Rayman Origins got more votes than any other game. Like DNF above, though, there was a large grab bag of “Other” votes.

“[…] I can vouch for Rayman: Origins. From the amount I played I was pretty amazed. Some of the best hand-drawn visuals I’ve ever seen in a game. The gameplay brings it back to the roots of the series as well, pretty challenging.” — hero

“Rayman Origins and Catherine. Gonna go Rayman, though.” — Matt

“Rayman, which was too beautiful for this world.” — WonsAuto

“My pick is Bulletstorm. Game sold like crap but was so cool with an awesome Skill Shot system and so many interesting guns, plus a great sense of humor.” — trf

“Driver: San Fran. Best open-world arcade racer since Burnout Paradise this gen. One of my overall favourites ever. Runs well, looks beautiful, loads of licensed cars, multiplayer is awesome fun – it’s just a shame hardly anyone is playing it.” — Deadpool

“Sonic Generations – a great return for Sonic, and hoping they do more (especially more of the old-style 2D stuff)” — Smurfn

“Other = Resistance 3” — coolsalajr

Best Graphics

Winner: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Six years into this console cycle, we’re starting to really see what these machines are capable of. No game showed this quite like the PS3-exclusive Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, who ran away with the most votes. Those with high-end PCs recognized the graphical brilliance of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which many are touting as one of, if not the, best-looking game ever.

“Uncharted 3 because I don’t have a great PC to play any games on it.” — SnowHawk

“Uncharted 3 looked breathtaking, especially the desert scene.” — Matt

“I think this is probably the hardest category to choose, the standards in graphics now is outstanding. The graphics in Uncharted 3 were amazing. The graphics in Sonic Generations were perfect for the game. Portal 2 was another with notably great graphics.
Killzone 3, Battlefield 3 and LA Noire also all had excellent graphics.” — Smurfn

“The Witcher 2 definitely wins here, but on consoles Uncharted 3 hands down.” — One-Shot

“The Witcher 2 has some of the most gorgeous environments and characters I’ve ever seen. Everything is so detailed and unique, and even at the lowest settings it’s still a visual powerhouse.” — hero

“Battlefield 3, solely because the PC version looks so breathtakingly beautiful.” — trf

Readers Comments (1)

  1. Fair bit of division this year. I definitely swayed from the ‘norm’ this year too, I played some hidden gems and some really shamefully overlooked titles. It’s a pity the last quarter was so packed with great games.

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