20 unmissable games from 2011

Games you should make it a point to play...

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Dirt 3


Dirt never lacked for edge-of-the-seat racing, but the tricksy Gymkhana mode and top-notch weather effects ramp up the series' thrills and brake fluid spills a few notches further.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - PC


CD Project's saucy RPG sequel is still in production for the Xbox 360 for a 2012 release, but wowed the PC crowd earlier this year. Our one grumble? It's tough - but that issue's now been patched!

Mario Kart 7 - Nintendo 3DS


One of the most iconic party series in history blazes its way onto the 3DS, and the tuned-up racing means this entry drives away with a cup and leaves the rest choking on its exhaust fumes.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Not only did Human Revolution manage to do the seemingly impossible and live up to the Deus Ex name, it also succeeded in delivering diverse options so robust that the individual shooting, stealthing and hacking paths could easily have carried the entire game on their own.

Forza Motorsport 4 - Xbox 360


Petrolheads everywhere wept oily tears of joy when they discovered how vast, how varied and how stupendously polished Forza 4 really was. Gran what?



"Football perfection," we said, and all the world agreed! It's the most beautiful game ever based on the beautiful game: dribbling around last year's instalment with ease.

Portal 2


Your Golden Joystick GOTY-winner took a quirky three-hour game and made a sizeable masterpiece. Also,
it does something few other games manage: it's tremendously funny, and sustains its humour throughout. Still Alive was always going to take some beating, but Jonathan Coulton's end ditty Want You Gone comes mighty close to doing it.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Nintendo Wii


Ninty rounded off 25 years of Zelda brilliance with a chapter that simply changed everything. The series has never felt as fresh or as surprising as it does in Skyward Sword.

Batman: Arkham City


Move over GoldenEye, there's a new licensed king in town. Rocksteady's vision for Batman is as well crafted as Nolan's or Morrison's, and a new yardstick for every tie-in to be measured up against. The ending has to go down as one of the bravest, most shocking conclusions ever. Who would have thought DC would allow Rocksteady to change the landscape of their world so dramatically?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


A world with endless possibilities; a story with uncountable permutations; a game unlike any other. Our undisputed GOTY does things no current generation game should ever be able to do, and does them superbly. There are hundreds of hours of content to root out and enjoy, and almost every major interaction with an in-game character comes pre-loaded with a range of moral choices to pick from. And even when you think you've finished it you really haven't - the radiant quest system will create an endless string of thieving and
assassination and exploration quests to wring every last drop out of the land. Did we mention it's simply gorgeous, too? RPGs suddenly have an awful lot to live up to in a post-Skyrim world.

Honorable Mentions

Anomaly Warzone Earth
Jetpack Joyride
Starfront Collision
Dead Space

From Dust

Call of Duty Black Ops: Escalation Map Pack
Fallout New Vegas: Old World Blues
Portal 2: Peer Review
Dead Space 2: Severed
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

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