My buddy Paul just wrote his Top Ten Games of 2011 list. And I just know that he'll want me to do the same, so he can make fun of my choices.
The problem is that I don't buy new games all too often. So every year, my top ten list is really just a "the ten games I played" list. And of course, the top ten list always ends up being wrong, because I haven't had time to play any of the games that came out during the holiday season.
Anyway, here's my top ten list. The links are to my walkthroughs for these games. Only two of them don't have walkthroughs, which I think means I was overly obsessed with making walkthroughs this year.
1. Matches and Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale is probably the best game ever. This game is on my top ten games of all time list, not just my top ten games of 2011 list. It's a dating based on Pride and Prejudice, and it was way more fun than I ever expected. The dialogue was clever, the five or six different storylines were engrossing, and the character models were none too shabby, either. I particularly like George Washington as Mr. Bennet, and Colonel Brandon's awesome mustache.
2. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was a genius game. The plotline was very well thought out, and unlike the Miles Edgeworth game, the translation team did a very good job.
Actually, the reason I liked this game so much was because of Missile, the dog. That's basically it. Missile carried the entire game for me, and he single-handedly brought it from "okay" to "great".
3. Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse was the Nancy Drew game that came out this year. It was one of the scary games; several times, the investigation gets interrupted with "monster sighting" scenes, all of which were exciting. I liked the puzzles, myself. There were only two characters that I really liked--sorry, Renate, but you spend most of the game sleeping! You don't make it onto my top characters list that way! Oh, and the subplot with Ned was super interesting, and I know it's a great setup for Ned's appearance in the next game.
4. Nightmare Realm was a good 2-3 hour casual game. It had a nice blend of horror, adventure and fantasy. I liked the horror aspect and the main storyline the best. I thought it was "pretty good" at best. There are some things that I think detract from the flow of the game, and bring it down a bit. Other people disagree with me, though; they think this game is one of the year's best.
In fact, this game had an unexpected explosion in popularity since its release. It was so popular that it got a DLC chapter, which is a half hour to an hour of new material. Casual games don't usually get DLC, as you probably know, except for the sneaky ones who purposely plan to release DLC ahead of time, as a marketing gimmick to raise the game's price after its release. This game had one of the better casual game DLC packages I've seen; it's certainly more than just "we slapped on a few pieces of concept art".
5. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for the iPhone is a port of the PSP game. It's slightly inferior to the PSP version, what with the lag and the unneeded difficulty in selecting enemy targets. It's still a decent FFT game, though.
6. Back to the Future: The Videogame gets surprisingly little love from me. I liked the games, but none of them forcibly grabbed my interest and refused to let go, the way the other good games did. I think the pacing of the games is the problem. Episodes 1 and 2 have intolerably long intro sections, Episode 3 ends before its plotline is resolved, and Episode 4's outro section is a little forced.
7. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS) gets even less love from me. See my review for more details.
There are several games that will come out later this year that are sure to be popular, such as Super Mario 3D Land and wait, that's the name of the next Mario game? It's not on the SNES; it doesn't need Super in the title. It's not on the GameBoy, either, so it doesn't need Land in the title. Just call it Mario 3D. Yep. That'll work.