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Game of the Year 2011 - Genre Awards

Find out what games of 2011 best represented the nine most notable genres in gaming.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Winner

The Call of Duty Franchise is like death and taxes. It’s inevitable; every year brings us a new title and with it comes demolished sales records and millions of satisfied players. Even with this expansive and unrelenting growth many fans have found previous installments to be formulaic. While it’s difficult to argue for changing what already works, the developers over at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer have taken a big risk going against the old Call of Duty formula in favor of new changes in Modern Warfare 3. I’m glad to say that these risks paid huge dividends.

Easily the most notable change in Modern Warfare 3 is its reconstructed streak system. Now deemed “Point Streaks,” the new system encourages balanced gameplay and diverse tactics as players gain rewards for adhering to objectives, amassing kills, and disabling enemy air support. Perhaps even more instrumental to the successes of this title has been the attention to detail. Every feature -- no matter how minute -- from weapon recoil to individual gun weight has been calibrated to ensure that this is the most balanced Call of Duty to date.

Modern Warfare 3 truly proves to be the epitome of the modern day shooter. It seamlessly combines grandiose visuals with the polish and precision needed to ensure fluid gameplay. Modern Warfare 3 has not only given us a worthwhile experience but moved the series in a tangible direction, expanding upon the best aspects of Call of Duty while rectifying the worst.

Gears of War 3 - Runner Up

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" - Epic knew how to do it right when making the finale of the Gears trilogy. Gears of War 3 simply polishes all of the various portions of the game to a sheen, removing all of the subtle imperfections of past games in the series. While the experience mostly received a simple polish, it was slightly augmented with the ability to bring four players into the main campaign, as well as the brand new Team Deathmatch mode for multiplayer.

While this move wasn't quite ambitious enough to grab the top shooter position of the year, the nearly flawless execution of this third person shooter easily earns it the Runner Up position.

Honorable Mentions


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Angelo Grant Staff Writer

12/14/2011 at 12:37 PM

Were it up to me, I would only swap a couple runners up with their 1st place winners. I'd put Gears 3 over MW3 easy.

Also, while I appreciate Radiant Historia getting some love, where the hell is Dark Souls?


12/14/2011 at 01:03 PM

I'm happy as hell Portal 2 won best puzzler. Catherine was good, but I felt Portal 2 was a much better game...the online co op is the most fun I've had playing online with anyone. I have to agree with Angelo though....Dark Souls didn't even get an honorable mention. Why's that?

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/14/2011 at 01:11 PM

Dark Souls is one of those games that sadly went under our radar. Not that we don't agree that it's a worthy game, but I don't think anyone on the staff has played it yet. I'm still trying to get back to Demon's Souls for my Travel Log series.

Nick DiMola Director

12/14/2011 at 01:15 PM

We each voted for our top 3 in the genre and Dark Souls only placed on 2 people's lists and that was in the 3rd place position. As such, it wasn't really enough to get a mention. I think it's one of those cases where it's been a year rich in RPGs and it's a game easily overlooked when considering your 3 favorites of the year. Disgaea 4 was also omitted for similar reasons.

Truth be told, I was pretty surprised it didn't get a bunch more votes.

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

12/14/2011 at 01:16 PM

Ah. Well hopefully hiring new staff should sort that out in time for next year. It's a niche game, so I can understand why not everybody played it.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

12/14/2011 at 01:17 PM

Yea it's tough this really was one of the greatest years in gaming EVER! So unfortunately that means that there was just not enough spots to represent all of the great games that came out this year.But in honesty having to many great games to choose from is a pretty awesome predicament to have.

Vic Roman Staff Alumnus

12/14/2011 at 01:28 PM

Dark Souls, if only I had been here earlier haha. I have been raving and ranting about that game since it's release, and was raving about Demon's Souls up until the day of Dark Souls release. I'm definitely a bit sad it didn't make it on this list, but this game was so jam packed of quality titles that the masochistic Dark Souls was bound to be left behind. It's personally one of my top 3 games of the year though.


12/14/2011 at 02:49 PM

it's all good fellas, not mad atcha. Disgaea 4..another wonderful title that I didn't give enough attention to. Glad it's in my Q...though I may just wait for a price drop and pick'er up for keeps. That game's easily playable for 100+ hours.

Vic, I knew you'd have something to say on SOULS. It's shaping up to be more fun than Skyrim, for me.


12/14/2011 at 04:34 PM

This is really reminding me how many games I need to play from this year still. I'm leaning towards Uncharted 3 over Zelda at the moment, but have not finished Zelda yet, so I have to wait and see. Still need to play Dead Space 2, Rayman, Kirby, Layton... ahhhh! Hopefully I will get to some of these games soon.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/14/2011 at 04:59 PM

I have 30 games in my backlog, but I checked last night and noticed that only 9 of them are from this year. I played and finished a lot more games this year.

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

12/14/2011 at 08:09 PM

Nice job on this one guys, it was great seeing everyone come together to make this.

Rob Ottone Staff Alumnus

12/14/2011 at 09:26 PM

Like Julian, I, too, have a 30 game backlog. Thankfully, I love myself too much to put "Dark Souls" on that list.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/14/2011 at 11:18 PM

Oh, Rob, it's not that bad. Check out my Demon's Souls Travel Log. It doesn't hurt nearly as much as people say.

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