The 2011 Grimmys: Game of the Year

The Grimmys

The definitive games of the year, but only one can win.

The Nominees

Bastion – Small teams aren’t supposed to be able to provide thought-provoking, polished game experiences. Bastion will be impossible to forget for action RPG fans while other gamers found themselves engrossed by the incredible story narration and beautiful visuals of a world on the edge of destruction.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – The bar has been set quite high for Zelda games, and as Skyward Sword methodically approached its November release many wondered if the game could possibly reach its predecessors. Now the only debate is where the game ranks among its brethren, some of which are among the greatest of all time.

Grimmy WinnerThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Skyrim’s transcendence with fans is almost as impressive as its radiant storytelling system that will keep gamers engrossed in unique content for years to come. This is the definitive western RPG that made its mark as an epic solo experience in a year marked by multiplayer season passes and MMO’s trying (and failing) to secure gamers’ time and money.

Batman: Arkham City – The Bat returns to provide a lesson to all superhero games. This year’s lesson: how to play outside. Arkham City gives Batman an entire island of Gotham to exact his toy-filled justice on just about every memorable villain the franchise has to offer. Polished off by some great voice acting and a memorable story, it’s all the more impressive to think that Rocksteady is just getting started.

Gears of War 3 – Threequels dominated the headline releases of 2011. Only one seemingly wrapped up a trilogy by fulfilling and exceeding all expectations and promises. Looking back, it is tough to say what Epic could have added to its war-torn, trend-setting franchise…which may be the most impactful statement any franchise could hope to make.

Portal 2 – In the wrong hands, Portal 2 would be an infuriating and soulless experience, what with its mute protagonist seemingly destined to solve puzzles for eternity. I have given up on such adventures, but even when I hit a wall in Portal 2, the sheer amount of joy that comes from the characters and from solving previous puzzles pushes you forward to only wanting more. When the only downside to a game is that it ends, you’re playing something special.

Saints Row: The Third – Seriously, video games? Why so serious? Seriously, you could use a dildo bat. Saints Row: The Third has plenty to spare and wants you to get in on the joke that it knows just how ridiculous it is. It also knows where you think the limits of its story are and is happy to take you on a ride well past those lines. Come for the show, stay for the sandbox, and remember the cameos.

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