TSA’s Top 100 Games of 2011

Regular visitors to these parts might remember our Top 100 PS3 Games of 2010 feature from the end of last year. A ten part daily chronicle of the games we’ve – for the most part at least – experienced this year, the series attempted to depict what the PS3 gaming landscape would be like in the forthcoming twelve months. Now that we’ve actually lived the year in question, looking back, and the feature appears both whimsical and, well, grossly inaccurate. Such is the price of guessing what titles will make the grade and not knowing most of the furtive plans of publishers and developers. We still enjoyed doing it, of course.

The inherent difficulties of such a prodigious endeavour is two-fold. The primary and more venial of excuses is the obvious fact that we are human. We missed games. In fact, one of the first things we did in January was to start (and promptly abandon, as it would technically never end) an addendum to the series; a companion or retort to some degree, addressing some of the egregious oversights committed during the original archive proper. There were many such lapses, and you weren’t shy about letting us know about them!

The second, and this time an entirely irreproachable failing, was that, back at the start of December 2009, literally hundreds of PS3 games destined to eventually hit our shelves in 2010 were unannounced at that time. If we take a snapshot of 2010’s gaming highlights and look at such gems of Limbo and DeathSpank (two titles that spring to mind completely off the cuff, with no hidden meaning to be inferred here other than the fact that we gave them both good reviews), our prophetic picture of what we would be playing in 2010 was understandably skewed toward what we knew (or thought we knew) would be available this year. You’ll find literally a plethora of fantastic games that were announced and then released within a short space of time nowhere to be found on the aforementioned list. We knew this would happen.

So, taking the above into account and dutifully acknowledging the fact that we are quickly speeding toward the end of this year, we have decided to resurrect the “Top 100” series for another shot, albeit this time with a new twist.

What follows over the next two months is still 100 games you will (likely) be playing in 2011. Rather than futilely attempt to chronicle just 100 PS3 games of next year, however, when there will undoubtedly be many, many more than this number released, we’ve decided to make TSA’s sophomore Top 100 effort a bit more personal. We’re also orchestrating it so that we technically can’t “miss” anything or populate the list will games that, though may actually be released within the calendar year, not many of you, our readers, will actually be that interested in.

Starting tomorrow and finishing on New Year’s Eve, what follows is TheSixthAxis’s Top 100 Games of 2011 – our Most Wanted if you will – as selected by us, the staff here at TSA.

You’ll notice that the brand “PS3” is flagrantly omitted from the previous sentence, simply because, as we’ve grown quite quickly into a multi-platform site, we feel all games should be weighed and wished upon equally. Of course, as this is a personal collective list from people who, mostly, consider the PS3 their main console of choice, expect titles with a distinctive Sony flavour to dominate. It’s a natural result of the process, and we hope those of you who favour a different platform appreciate where we’re coming from.

The process was simple. We trawled through games databases, release lists, Wikipedia and press releases. We shook rumour-mongers, scoured message boards and even mailed people in the industry to tell us what they were most looking forward to next year in gaming. Then we rated all these these titles (there were hundreds), scoring them without fuss or bias purely based on how much we wanted the game. Or if we didn’t actually want to play it, at least our general interest in the title.

After a quick aggregate calculation, the hundreds of games that should release on PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, PC and Wii were whittled down to a tight, honed select few. A glistening, svelte century of gaming goodness we’re looking forward to engaging with next year.

Note: we left DS and iPhone games out for reasons I won’t go too much into here. Needless to say there are a lot of DS games we, as a team, are looking forward to next year but, as we – usually – don’t cover them in the daily news section on TheSixthAxis, we felt it was okay to omit them. No disrespect to Nintendo’s ubiquitous hand-held. Hey, it’s okay, it prints money and, who knows, maybe next year. As for iPhone titles, as an industry we’re still getting to grips with Apple’s fledgling yet highly impressive new platform that we still don’t have good visibility of what games are coming out on the device or when. So, they don’t feature. Sorry!

It’s an interesting list, with more than a few surprises (and omissions) peppered among its finely-tuned ranks. You will quite likely not agree with the ordering of this pecking order. In fact, some of the titles that will be discussed in the coming weeks you will quite vehemently disagree with. Hey, some of them I disagree with, and I voted. Such is the nature of having a team with eclectic gaming tastes. There are literally games in this varied menagerie of spectacle and wonder that some people gave the highest designation of “need” to, while others would rather get sick on their own faces if they were asked/forced to play them.

In terms of format, each title will have its own article where we will discuss the game in general and what appeals to us about it. Frequency wise, two entries will be published per day until the number of remaining days in the year equals the number of titles left to unveil. The transition over to one title per day will be on December 10th – in case you were wondering. (Yes, I had to work it out.) Think of what follows as the equivalent to a gaming advent calendar brimming with awesome promise for 2011. Looking over the top 100 in front of me now, I can honestly say that we’re all in for a fantastic time.

Also, as we were in the neighbourhood, we took it upon ourselves to rank games we know full damn well haven’t a snowball’s chance of releasing in 2011. Titles such as Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Mass Effect 3, Devil’s Third, etc. etc. In January 2011 we’ll publish the top 10 of this precocious bunch just as a small insight into what titles we’re also looking forward to in the distant future. That said, there are a few, shall we say, hopeful selections that are scattered throughout this list. Games we really want and have deducted have a good chance of appearing somewhere in the coming year. We’ve tried really hard, however, to keep to games that have been at least announced, though we did brake this rule a couple of times. I’ll give something away right now – Grand Theft Auto 5 and Dante’s Inferno 2 are not listed, despite the fact that we do want to play both (and, hey, next year would be great!). Alas it just felt a bit hokey rating these particular games considering their unknown statuses. Then again, there’s one other similar title that comes to mind that, right now, I can see myself almost half-apologising for letting in. Bottom line? It’s our list and our rules. We went with what felt right.

Finally, and just to keep this interesting, feel free to speculate what TSA’s number one game of 2011 is in the comments below. The correct guesser(s) will be put into a hat and we’ll pick one at random and give him or her something as acknowledgement of their powers of prognostication. TSA points at least but hopefully I’ll manage to persuade the powers that be to pony up a voucher or PSN/XBL code.

100 articles in 61 days? This should be fun. We hope you enjoy this insightful if not mammoth undertaking as much as we enjoyed creating it.

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66 Comments

  1. 100 articles in 61 days, Solidsteven does that many posts in a day let alone 61 days

  2. Please don’t let GT5 be on this list.

    • That joke did actually already come up ;)

      No, we tried to keep it to games based on their current release dates. So, GT5 (because Uncle Sony promised it before Christmas) is not on the list.

      • Thank goodness, my GT5existanceinmylifetime moral has been pretty low as of late.

  3. I vote for Gran Tursimo 5! :)

    Looking forward to reading the articles of the next coming months.

  4. I vote for The Last Guardian.

    Lee – I cannot wait for the following articles. Last year’s top 2010 games to look forward to was bloody brilliant reading over the Crimble season.

  5. I’m going to say LittleBigPlanet 2, I have a feeling The Last Guardian is a 2012 title.

    • We never get much news about TLG, which suggests it’s still way down the line.

    • If i remember right TLG was in last years top 100 so as we don’t know the release date yet it can still be counted this year…possibly.
      Sadly, you might be right about 2012 – i just hope it’s before the mayan calendar runs out!

  6. Well I’m going to say…oh wait, I probably shouldn’t :oD

  7. Has to be Portal 2, that will be awesome! :P

  8. Batman Arkham City #1

  9. Surely, with the amount of content on offer, we will be playing GT5 well into 2011? And should therefore be a contender for one of the top games of 2011?

    Just my two penneth.

    • i will be playing GT5 religiously until they release a bigger brother so that will be long past 2011

  10. I bet Gran Turismo 5 will be no.1 :)

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