The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2011!

  • Skyrim and Skyward Sword are pretty much the only major 2011 releases I've played.

    The Elder Scrolls is a genre unto itself. Nearly right from the start, you can go anywhere and do anything at any time with a fully customized character. Pick up anything, put it anywhere. Harvest and combine an extensive variety of ingredients for potions. Forge and enchant weapons and armour. Pickpocket, summon, reanimate, read oodles of incredibly detailed lore books, and blast enemies off of cliffs.

    Skyrim had a lot of quality-of-life improvements over Oblivion. More refined character models and animations, streamlined menus, faster combat, dual-wield spells, and an overall tighter presentation. It also had fantastic setpieces such as random dragon battles, learning shouts, giants & mammoths, Dwarven Centurions, the College of Winterhold, and Blackreach.

    But even with all that, I found it significantly less satisfying than Oblivion. The snowscapes and rugged tundra feel brilliant at first, but it's the same across the whole map, and a lack of colour pervades everything. Enemy variety is subpar, with dungeons stocked mostly with different sizes of Draugr and Dwarven automatons. Dungeons have also been streamlined to the point of eventually becoming a drag, something that's never happened to me in nearly 300 hours of Oblivion. And the soundtrack leans heavily on ambience, lacking the charming melodies that pervade Oblivion. Even the writing generally feels blander.

    You may be able to go anywhere and do anything, but after you finish the flashiest parts, the rest feels like you're doing EXACTLY the same thing over and over.

    But hey, dem Sparks!

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  • Hmm... My top 4 is going to be the reverse isn't it haha.

    Skyrim is great, the length and freedom are well known and while I replay it frequently I've only ever beaten it once.

    Personally my favorite Bethesda game is fallout 3 as I feel like skyrim can simplify things a little too much at times (a problem compounded in fallout 4) but skyrim also make enough improvements over oblivion that it ultimately becomes an upgrade.(even if my heart tries to convince me otherwise)

    As I mentioned above dark souls is my #1 of all time skyrim is still likely around a #8.

  • Skyrim's good, but it just didn't capture me the way I expected. Never finished it, way too many open threads/quests to all directions across the map. I did buy, though, that big old guide book for the game, propably thinking I'd spend countless hours with the game. It's still cool to browse through, anyway.

    But what this means is that Batman's in Top 2. Nice!

  • Banned

    I find Skyrim to be mind numbingly boring in pretty much every way. I honestly don't see the appeal. Oh well.

  • This is the game I was alluding to in my previous post.

    While I don't have the same love for it that I do for Fallout series, I think Skyrim is fantastic. Someone else mentioned it before. But Skyrim is great because it lets you do anything and everything. It has pretty good combat and at the same time it's a strong stealth experience and at the same time has an expansive magic system and at the same time impressive set pieces and at the same time engaging random encounters and quests and at the same time many engrossing quest lines and at the same time an enticing levelling system and at the same time very customisable difficulty settings and at the same time a tonne of mod support.

    I think people take Skyrim for granted. They judge it too much for what the game isn't instead of appreciating what the game is. In many ways, the Witcher 3, and I would hazard a bet that Cyberpunk 2077 will be the same, is not as good as Skyrim.

    Also, @Axel feel free to keep this to the facts post at the end, but have we ever had game in the top 5 that didn't actually have a vote for its overall ranking. As in, Skyrim is third but it doesn't have any 3 votes. Has there even been something this high that didn't have a vote in a single category?

  • @hazz3r said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2011!:

    have we ever had game in the top 5 that didn't actually have a vote for its overall ranking.

    2019, The Outer Worlds.

  • @ffff0 I meant with the position in particular, but that does answer my secondary question about not having any votes in any position!

  • Global Moderator

    I thought Skyrim might end up on top, but glad to see it in top 3! I initially didn't want to put it in the top spot, but then realised that I have put in like 600 hours in the game, both on PS3 and PS4. So must mean that I enjoyed it a lot and replayed it over and over, so top spot makes sense.

  • Now that Skyrim is in the top 3 is wonder which game will come out on top: Portal 2 or Fight Night Champion?

  • @hazz3r said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2011!:

    But Skyrim is great because it lets you do anything and everything. It has pretty good combat and at the same time it's a strong stealth experience and at the same time has an expansive magic system and at the same time impressive set pieces and at the same time engaging random encounters and quests and at the same time many engrossing quest lines and at the same time an enticing levelling system and at the same time very customisable difficulty settings and at the same time a tonne of mod support.

    This is exactly how I feel about Skyrim. Oblivion had more varied environments and, arguably, more interesting DLC's/Expansions.
    However, if you're into min-maxing, Oblivion has the worst leveling system to do that. God forbid you mess up your leveling and get stuck fifty hours in under-powered, and/or in a useless class. Skyrim doesn't have those problems.

    While I did enjoy Oblivion overall, Skyrim had all the improvements I wanted and more.

  • I'm not surprised to see Skyrim reach top three. It's one of those games, for good or ill, that just takes OVER the gaming zeitgeist. We're still in the midst of Fortnite, and before that was PUBG, which was after Overwatch, Hearthstone, GTA V, and then this. It's weird just how all-encompassing a game can be to an industry and a hobby. Anywho, Skyrim is a game that has two personal issues: 1.) Way, WAY too much to do and choice. Kind of "paralysis by analysis" as it were. For me, it's not a selling point to say a game is triple digit in hours and you still will content to parse through. And 2.) Spiders. $^#& Spiders.

    And with that, I'm hoping my top two will actually be the forums' top two and if that is the case, it'll be the first time that's happened. I'm excited to see the final reveal later tonight!

  • Batman: Arkham City

    #2. Batman: Arkham City - 59 points


    #1: 4 (Sentinel Beach, Crepe, Axel, Capnbobamous)
    #2: 3 (Shoulderguy, Brannox, Atbir Aimad)
    #3: 6 (Scotty, Brandon_Reister, El Shmiablo, Nimbat1003, Exist 2 Inspire, Ikataishou)
    #4: 2 (Hanabi, naltmank)
    HM: 5 (ffff0, bard91, Sazime, bam541, Hazz3r)


    Release date: October 18 [US], October 21 [EU]
    Developer: Rocksteady Studios
    Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows, OS X


    GT Review

  • Portal 2

    #1. Portal 2 - 64 points


    #1: 5 (Brannox, Phbz, Jamicov, E_Zed_Eh_Intern, Atbir Aimad)
    #2: 4 (TokyoSlim, Sazime, Ikataishou, Hazz3r)
    #3: 5 (Shoulderguy, bard91, Faaip, tokeeffe9, GageBlackW23)
    #4: 1 (Nimbat1003)
    HM: 6 (ffff0, DIPSET, Brandon_Reister, Crepe, Axel, Capnbobamous)


    Release date: April 19 [US], April 21 [EU]
    Developer: Valve
    Publisher: Valve
    Genre: Puzzle-platform
    Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, OS X


    GT Review

  • I played all of the Batman Arkham games for the first time last year. I enjoyed them all and Batman Arkham City was my favorite. Great boss fights and story, with improved combat and movement from Arkham Asylum. The first time you grapple and soar around the city is thrilling, and it never got old for me. I think it's a better experience than any of the Batman movies, probably better than a lot of the comics too (I don't read them). We seriously need more games like this.

    Portal and Portal 2 are two of the best puzzle games I ever played. I slightly prefer 1 over 2. The final third of Portal 2 dragged on a bit too long. Otherwise, Portal 2 is a near flawless game. Also, I didn't get a chance to try the co-op, which I've heard good things about. I never thought Portal 2 would rank #1 but It's well-deserved.

  • And it happened! Awesome! Both of these are great games that I didn't get to until well after the fact, but I'm glad I did.

    For Batman: Arkham City, I know I've said this elsewhere (I think in the 2015 thread), but trying the Arkham Asylum demo on 360 got me into not just the Rocksteady Arkham games, but also the Nolan movies. But going from Asylum to City wasn't immediate; it took a while for me to get City, but when I did, I felt irritated it took me so long. Of all the games, City has my favorite story, and having Arkham City split into specific areas of territory for the villains (Joker, Penguin and Two-Face having their own space) really gave off a sense of unique turf in an open city. With each game, the settings have gotten better, and while Asylum gets a lot of deserved of having captivating interiors and being an interconnected 3D metroidvania island, The potential of city just spoke to me more. Another underrated aspect of City is introducing side-stories for more villains to be involved that don't get as much attention like Hush and Deadshot. Getting to play as Catwoman was a nice change up (and the first shot of the game being such a nod to the end is too good). Finally, obviously, the most notable part the City is known for: The top tier boss fights.

    Despite how much I enjoy Arkham City, my GOTY for 2011 is Portal 2. The original was a revelation to me and something so good in such a condensed package I thought couldn't be improved. But Stephen Merchant and J.K. Simmons alone proved me wrong, not to mention the story, and just as excellent, the co-op mode. The writing in this game is probably (for me) top five across all games. GLaDOS being even better really further underscores this. Because she is a potato. I replayed it within the last few months and every aspect of this game holds up exceptionally well. The puzzles are good teases, and introducing the gels and funnels as mechanics just further twisted the perspectives. And yes, because no one really cared as much as I did at the time about Portal 2, I grabbed a second controller and beat co-op by myself. The only thing about the game that is slightly to its detriment is that replayability is dependent upon how long between play sessions you go, giving you enough time to forget the puzzle solutions. Easily a top 15 game of all time.

    Again, like Uncharted 3 above, I'm not going to tag everybody (and that would quadruple unnecessary seeing as these are the top two games of 2011 as determined by us), but yeah. High five one and all!

    And finally (in terms of what I want touch on, not the post. Sorry for the novel), my list with words about the games that didn't make it.

    1. Portal 2
    2. Batman: Arkham City
    3. Gears 3
    4. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    5. (HM) Resistance 3
    6. (HM) Dissida: Duodecim Final Fantasy
    7. (Doesn't qualify) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
    8. (HM) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
    9. (HM) Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

    Ratchet & Clank All 4 One was in the midst of a stretch of R&C games that were not good and to this day it's inexplicable. I credit with trying to make an R&C game with not just co-op, but 4 player co-op, and it just doesn't work. From gameplay to mission structure and linearity to even story itself, All 4 One was a disappointment that hit hard.

    I'm not a Call of Duty person, and the Modern Warfare trilogy cemented that. When I saw this game's demo on Xbox's stage, I'll admit it, I was impressed. Enough so I borrowed my father's copies of the first two MWs. This game is whatever, in that the multiplayer was iterative of all that came before it, the campaign was nothing more than very loud and bright set-pieces to escalate an increasingly nonsensical plot, and spec-ops was a, "play it once, and never again" kind of mode. Oh, and the horde mode Survival wasn't compelling either.

    Halo: Combat Evolved is a good game on its own, and the graphical upgrade that is Anniversary is a fun contrast with the stark retro graphics of the original. But with the exception of the skulls, achievements, and terminals, the game didn't do anything new. Recency bias speaking, but we've been spoiled the Remakes of the last couple of years.

    Lastly, Dissidia: Duodecim is a trip. The ONLY Final Fantasy in which the named main protagonists and villains of all mainline entries interact with one another in a single story. Seeing all the vignettes between all these different characters is fascinating. The gameplay is a learning curve and a 3D free roaming fighter isn't really what one would think when describing a Final Fantasy game, but if enough time is put into the mechanics, you can actually do well. ESPECIALLY if you played the original Dissidia, where you can import ALL of your progress over to Duodecim, particularly because the entirety of the first game is a part of Duodecim. Think of it as like a Left 4 Dead in Left 4 Dead 2 situation. But the mechanics, plus the repetitive nature of fights (as they're all 1v1) in pretty bland environments is the game's biggest detriments. It's like the story was the primary focus while every other aspect of the game was secondary. But to end on a positive note: I'm a BIG fan of many of the character designs, and the box art RULES. The original's was also as awesome, with a reversible cover, one side the forces of Cosmos, the other the forces of Chaos.

    Thank you so much for reading any of this if anyone has! Kudos again to Axel and to all participants for making another fantastic thread!

  • 1: Yakuza 4
    2: Portal 2
    3: Bastion
    4: Catherine

    Deus Ex Human Revolution. LA Noir, Skyrim, Dragon Age II

  • I was kinda hoping that Arkham would take first place, but Portal is an excellent game so I can't really complain. I can really play Arkham forever though. I have started the game more times than I can count, and on more than a few occasions I have fiddled around with making my own Arkham lore series on YouTube. It's just such a rich world.

    RIP to Minecraft, MvC3 and Mario Kart 7.

  • Portal 2 is my #5. The best thing about it is that each time I thought “Ok, I did this long enough, what else do you have?” the game immediately introduced something new. So the flow was perfect. Story was nice and sometimes funny, but not exceptional. Don’t remember much about the puzzles, but probably they were good. Multiplayer was OK, but there was more coordination than puzzle solving. So it was a great game to play, but not much to remember.

  • Batman: Arkham City is my #8. I’m not a Batman fan, so for me it was just a fun 3-rd person action game like many others (well, maybe not many, but definitely not unique). It got my #8 because I really liked the ending – it was unexpected and surprisingly moving.

  • Here’re my top 8 2011 games:

    1. Dragon Age II
    2. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    3. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
    4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    5. Portal 2
    6. Catherine
    7. Saints Row: The Third
    8. Batman: Arkham City

    The only game that didn’t make into top 25 is Saints Row: The Third. I’ve played this game with a huge smile on my face and some jokes made me laugh out loud. Loved it.