7.Star Wars: The Old Republic
Release Date: December 20th, 2011
Just in time for Christmas, Star Wars: The Old Republic took up much of my December. In the few weeks I was able to spend with the game, I was instantly hooked. Bioware is the king of storytelling lately, and their impact in making the typical MMO grind into a grand series of events is evident. Hundreds of thousands of lines of spoken dialogue suck you in as you battle the opposing faction on every Star Wars planet you can remember from the movies. It's a blast of a title for any MMO or Star Wars fan, and a no brainer to add to the list.
PC - PS3 - Xbox 360
Release Date: April 19th, 2011
From the genuine charm of GLaDoS to the witty banter of Wheatley, Portal 2 delivered everything a sequel should. The new intricate puzzles became even more complex with small additions to overcome like the various gels and gravity beams. The co-operative multiplayer was a nice addition and made tackling puzzles with a friend a very satisfying experience. With a fantastic electronic soundtrack fueling some of the best lines of dialogue ever uttered in a game, Portal 2 did not disappoint.
5.Gears of War 3
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: September 20th, 2011
The Gears franchise is very much in your face with machismo and bromance, but it can be pure fun to play. Offering something for everyone, Gears 3 had a fantastic single player campaign, frantic co-op multiplayer Horde mode, and refined multiplayer for the most competitive of shooter fans. Epic went all out with the last installment, and the gorgeous textures and beauty beneath the grainy filter shows it all. With continual updates, holiday events, and more content coming up in the future; it will be one of those games you continually revisit.
PC - PS3 - Xbox 360
Release Date: November 11th, 2011
The holy grail of RPGs this year, Skyrim was one of the few games you could gather around the water cooler and share stories about. Each player had a unique experience with the game as they chose their hero to behave as they would; be it the noble archer or brutal warrior. The open playground dared you to explore, as the amount of content in the game is unmatched in quests, villages, and skirmishes. The stellar soundtrack fueled each swing of your blade, and had players opting out of quick travel just to encounter all that they could. Boasting a different experience each play with random encounters, the game is more than enough to carry you into 2013 if need be. While this may be grabbing GotY awards left and right, it never struck me as the perfect title this year. Backpedaling combat and constant fetch quests held it back from being anything unexpected from the franchise.