2011 is halfway through and we’ve played a bunch of great games so far. The first half of the year has been packed with great gaming experiences, in a number of genres. With so many great games having come out so far, it was hard to narrow it down to just our ten best of the first half of the year, but we tried anyway.
Here’s our favorite video games of 2011 so far.
#10 Bulletstorm – People Can Fly partnered with Epic Games took the first person shooter genre and turned it on it’s ear shedding traditional conventions in almost every sense of the matter. Instead of just killing, you’re killing with style earning points for dispatching your enemies in the most fantastical ways possible. If you can deal with the crude humor and over-the-top violence, or better yet, you love those things, Bulletstorm is a hell of a fun game.
#9 DiRT 3 – It’s everything that you loved about Dirt 2 turned up a notch and upgraded. It’s definitely the best off-road racing game on the market today, done by one of the best racing game developers in the business. Codemasters does this thing well, and with Dirt 3, they’ve pretty much perfected the wheel.
#8 Outland – The combination of both a visually striking experience, great sound, and challenging gameplay is a balance that many developers look to strike. Outland is a throwback to when games were about substance and gameplay more so than they were about style, except with Outland you get both. Being a downloadable title, its even more impressive.
#7 The Witcher 2 – No matter where you look at the Witcher 2, it’s hard to find it’s flaws. For a year that’s been quite short on RPG’s you’re wouldn’t have found one better in any regard that The Witcher 2. From a technical standpoint, The Witcher 2 will make you wish your PC was just a little bit stronger to take further advantage of the outrageous graphics, but no matter, the mature storyline and great gameplay will get you along all the same.
#6 LA Noire – Team Bondi might work their employees like slaves, but that hard work certainly paid off with LA Noire. Have you ever heard the term linear – sandbox? I hadn’t either, but that’s pretty much what LA Noire is. Motion capture technology that truly must be seen to be believed, and a great story, with unique gameplay, make LA Noire very worthy of a play if by some chance you missed it.
#5 Mortal Kombat – The ultra violent fighter hasn’t been seen in awhile but the iconic fighter returned to the stage in a big way. Tons of stuff to do besides the standard fighting modes, makes Mortal Kombat not just one of the best fighters in 2011, but possibly this generation. Whether you’re into unlocking goodies, battling your way through the ranks of the ladder mode, getting your story mode on, or just chopping peoples heads off, Mortal Kombat has something to offer.
#4 Little Big Planet 2 – It’s basically all of the things you’ve ever like about video games and mixed together into a stylish collage of fresh ideas and possibilities. The follow up to the critically acclaimed Little Big Planet, the sequel offers up all of the fun and style of the original with even better creation tools to extend the length of this party infinitely. A passionate community that continually innovates with fresh new experiences, the game is just as fun to pick up and play today as it was six months ago when it was released, and I think that’s what Media Molecule was hoping for.
#3 Crysis 2 – PC Gamers might have gotten the short end of the Crysis 2 stick when the game released earlier this year, but their loss was a console gamer’s win, because Crysis 2 on Xbox 360 and PS3 were exceptional. In this sandbox style first person shooter you just need two things: The Nanosuit and an idea, with those two things the crumbling world of an alien infested New York City is your oyster.
#2 Dead Space 2 – This third person survival horror game had big shoes to fill when following up on the original Dead Space, but Visceral handled it with ease. One of the best looking multi-platform titles of 2011 thus far, Visceral delivers some truly unforgettable moments in Dead Space 2 that’ll likely be burned into your retinas for some time to come. Mixing the tension and gruesome graphics with an atmosphere that is superb, Dead Space 2 is one game you definitely shouldn’t pass on in 2011.
#1 Portal 2 – Can Valve make a bad game? Portal 2 is a pretty much everything that was good about Portal, which was an exceptional game, and amplified to the next level. A Great Story, fun gameplay, and some truly hilarious moments await you in the Aperture Testing Facilities. When you’ve had you fill of the single player, Valve also incorporated a completely compentent multiplayer portion of the game as well that will have you solving a whole new world of puzzles in the cooperative mode that’s one of my best cooperative experiences in recent memory.
If you haven’t the chance to play any of these exceptional games, this summer might be a great time to catch up on some of the ones that missed. If you’re best games of the first half of 2011 differ from ours, let us know in the comments section below.