Ten of the best games of 2011
The top ten titles that blew us away in 2011
1: Batman Arkham City
A well-written story, good game mechanics and great graphics made this follow-up to Arkham Asylum our game of the year.
2: Uncharted: Drake's Deception
Part three of the (D)rake's progress sees one of the most memorable PS3 characters do more jungle-crawling, sand-sifting and wise-cracking in search of legendary treasure discovered by his purported Elizabethan ancestor. Best dialogue of any series.
3: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The combat is fluid, levelling up actually feels like you are making choices rather than trying to max out everything, and the world is stunning - right down to 3D water effects.
4: LA Noire
The sole non-sequel on our list. From the team that brought us Grand Theft Auto, LA Noire works wonderfully as a detective story.
5: Saints Row: The Third
Being bad can be such fun (see review on this page).
6: Portal 2
The original Portal was a first-person shooter that didn't really involve any first-person shooting, and it was awesome, with a minimalistic story lightened up with some excellent humour. The sequel was more of the same, but better.
7: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Sequel to an old Nintendo franchise, this time our young heroes have to use magic and weapons to save their world. A wonderful RPG throwback.
8: The Witcher 2
It is rare for a game with full-frontal nudity to get praised for its maturity. A worthy successor to the original.
9: Pokemon Black/White
Pokemon games are strictly formulaic, with blocky graphics and weak characters. But the formula is gold and will keep you coming back.
10: Resistance 3
Most first-person shooters put a gun in your hands and point you in the direction of the things you are supposed to shoot. Resistance 3 breaks out of that rut to give you a family and relationships to defend.