The Best of 2011

Contents

Best Art Style

Rayman: Origins

With every level packed with artistic flare, beautiful colouration, vivid backgrounds and vibrant characters, there's something unique and special about the artistic style of the latest Rayman game. It's utterly beautiful.

Rayman

Best Boss Fights

Dark Souls

When you've met the likes of Ornstein and Smough, The Four Kings, Chaos Witch Quelaag and the rest of the Dark Souls villains, there really is no comparison with any other game. Incredible scale, and genuine difficulty.

Dark Souls

Best Action Game

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

In a future that combines Blade Runner with a whole host of other terrific sci-fi ideas, the story of Deus Ex is genuinely fascinating, and the action truly enjoyable. The game is beautifully polished.

Red Dead Redemption

Best Shooting Game

Vanquish

Following on from the success of Bayonetta, with creative influence from Shinji Mikami, Vanquish is one of the most intense, action-packed shooters of the year, and it's an absolute joy to play.

Vanquish

Best Platform Game

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Though sadly not a complete game, Episode 1 of Sonic 4 features classic 2-D Sonic gameplay, with blistering speed and snazzy HD visuals. It's an addictive little game, and the best platformer of 2010.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Best RPG

Final Fantasy XIII

Though initially more linear than its famous predecessors, Final Fantasy XIII is a superb RPG that provides a brilliant story to enjoy for fans of the genre. The more you give to the game, the more you get back.

Final Fantasy XIII

Best Racing Game

Gran Turismo 5

Though it's easy to fault Gran Turismo 5 for niggles like B Spec mode, the core gameplay makes this iteration of GT the best racer in a generation. With superb handling, brilliant car models and loads of great tracks, it's unbeatable.

Gran Turismo 5

Best Fighting Game

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

Providing an entertaining, anime-style take on the fighting genre, BlazBlue combines fluid control, over-the-top moves and dazzling colours to create a fighting game like no other, and a brilliant one too.

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

Best Puzzle Game

Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX

The PSN is host to a whole range of classic games, upgraded for the HD era. One of the most impressive returns to the gaming world is this addictive Championship Edition of Pac-Man, with blistering pace and arcade thrills.

Pac-Man

Runners up

Tetris

Peggle

Best Original Score

Red Dead Redemption

Somehow managing to outdo Final Fantasy, Red Dead Redemption provides an unrivalled atmospheric soundtrack, with several pieces of music that set the game apart from all the competition.

Red Dead Redemption

Best Sound Effects

Bioshock 2

There's something undeniably brilliant about the atmospheric effects implemented in the city of Rapture. Some of the weapon effects aren't quite at the same standard, but Rapture will always draw you in.

Bioshock 2

Best Characters

Final Fantasy XIII

This award suits RPGs perfectly, which allow time to build a complete cast of interesting people. Final Fantasy XIII succeeds completely, with characters that gamers will become truly attached to by the end of the game.

Final Fantasy XIII

Best Graphics

Final Fantasy XIII

Despite the increasing power and resources of American developers, Square Enix has still managed to create a game that has no visual equal in 2010. The beautiful Final Fantasy XIII has superb environments and incredible character models.

Final Fantasy XIII

Best Online Game

Skate 3

Skate 3, despite EA's misguided activation code usage, provides an excellent online experience, due to the careful combination of cooperative and competitive event types. Being able to tour the city with friends, outdoing eachother's moves, is superb.

Skate 3

Best Story

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII is quite a linear experience for the first 25 hours, but this is a great opportunity for the story to unfold. Simply sitting back and enjoying the ride allows you to experience 2010's greatest gaming story, before crafting your own way after that.

Final Fantasy

Best Voicework

Red Dead Redemption

Though the Red Dead Redemption cast is consistently very good, it's John Marston himself that singlehandedly makes this game one of the best this year, and a clear favourite for voicework. This non-Nolan North lead produces a terrific performance in the Wild West.

Red Dead Redemption

Best Party Game

Peggle

Despite being a game that insists on one player at a time, Peggle is tremendously addictive and instantly accessible. Friends and family can easily get involved with the fire-and-forget gameplay, and laugh together as things go very right, or very wrong.

Peggle

Best PSN Game

Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX

Though far more simplistic than the likes of DeathSpank, Pac-Man provides unrivalled arcade thrills. As a cheaper, downloadable title, it's hard to beat the short bursts of entertainment Pac-Man provides, even with epic RPG awesomeness from DeathSpank.

Pac-Man

Biggest Disappointment 2009

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

For any gamer keen to explore, to uncover new things, to try new strategies, Enslaved will come as a crushing disappointment. Unless you're content to follow every on-screen prompt and guide, you will be punished relentlessly. It's like being supervised by Daleks.

Enslaved

Game of the Year 2010

Final Fantasy XIII

Handing over from Demon's Souls, last year's winner, Final Fantasy continues the reign of epic RPGs on the Playstation 3. Though it isn't a game that suits everyone, here at MeteorStorm, it's the best game of the year by a clear margin, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Final Fantasy XIII

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Solid Snake

War has changed. It's no longer about nations, ideologies, or ethnicity. It's an endless series of proxy battles fought by mercenaries and machines. War - and its consumption of life - has become a well-oiled machine. War has changed.