Game of the Year 2011: Handheld

Next year is going to be huge for handheld gaming. The last couple of years have been dominated by Apple’s incursions into the market but a reinvigorated Nintendo 3DS console and Sony’s powerful PlayStation Vita should ensure that 2012 will have a different story.

Without any serious opposition from the PSP, this year’s handheld game of the year discussions were always going to be centred around Nintendo. We did manage to see a few votes cast for some of the year’s best iOS games and one DS title made the chart but the 3DS, with its familiar franchises, led the way.

Mario is difficult to beat when he’s at his best and so it was this year with the iconic moustachioed mascot winning TheSixthAxis’ Handheld Game of the Year 2011 for Mario Kart 7 on the Nintendo 3DS.


  1. I’m surprised that Peace Walker is not mentioned. :O

    Mario Kart was bound to win as it’s freaking Mario and i suspect many TSAers recieved him this christmas. ;)

    The graph is still confusing guys, please tell me that you didn’t use the same colours for all of the graphs? :S

    • Had to go and double check this as I wasn’t sure, but Peace Walker was out last year.

      • Yeah, portable gaming is all about Peace Walker and Ghost of Sparta for me, they seem so fresh in memory.

    • It was released in the Summer of 2010, if a 2011 PSP game was ever going to be GOTY contender Final Fantasy it would have been.

  2. I was kind of expecting an iOS game to take the top spot considering how well the platform is doing. But then again I’m not much of a handheld gamer so not in the best of positions to judge.

    • Have you seen the kinds of content on iOS? Sure, theres a few excellent games on it but the rest is shovelware lead by sheep developers :3.

      • I think that will probably be a seperate category, one which ought to be won by Jetpack Joyride. Top Game.

      • Okay, I foolishly failed to notice Jetpack Joyride is actually already on the above list.

  3. Pokemon should have won this at a canter.
    But no competition from PSP?
    Dissidia 012, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy IV After Years, Blazblue, Patapon 3, The 3rd Birthday, et al positively SHONE on PSP this year.

    • Have to agree with you, as absolutely nothing on this list is the least bit interesting, it’s very strange there was no PSP presence.

  4. Woah, that’s a lot of love for Nintendo ^^. I expected more love for Ghost Trick, which seems a bit more ambitious. Personnally, I was also impressed by Tactics Ogre (even if the job system wasn’t great).

  5. No love for Dissidia?

  6. Could you not put the names of the games on the chart instead of the key? Very confusing

  7. Oh dear CB, that charts a bloody mess mate…I carna make head nor tail?

    • Left to right, top to bottom.
      Super Mario 3D came 3rd.

      • Like a book.

      • What is this thing you call a book?

      • It seems easy for those that made it. Apparently, not for others, because people like to read charts in in a way where they link together the coloumns with the games names independent of reading-lines. It’s also very easy to read the names top to bottom first left to right second, which makes it confusing. Just use more diverse colours and problem solved. If it’s one thing I’ve learned studing media, it’s that people are stupid and one should keep that in mind when making something like this. :-)

      • The chart makes sense, but it could be much simpler…
        Make it so the bars are horizontal, and the game names come out next to each one:

        game name – *bar length —-*
        game name – *bar length –*

        ect ect ect. I think this would work?

    • I hope you aren’t implying i’m stupid Kenny(that’s fighting talk where i come from sunshine) :P
      Perhaps a single digit would of sufficed next to the oolour codes (which some are very similar) just my tuppence ;-)

      • No seedaripper, I’m not implying you’re stupid, in fact I’m on your side here and my reply was to Teflon (not calling him stupid either…). I’m saying that when making something that will be analysed by lots of people, one should imagine them to be “stupid” because they don’t necessarily know what you (the creator) knows and wont always think in the same way and draw the same conclusions. In short: People interpret differently and one should keep this in mind when making something like this graph or perhaps; my last comment, to make it as difficult to mis-interpret as possible.

  8. Oh no!
    Swords & Sworcery!!!

    • Not sure it’s a good game to be honest. The soundtrack is truly wonderful and the art style unique but the game itself is quite laborious and cumbersome throughout.

  9. Jetpack Joyride is so addictive…. great fun

    • Can’t say I feel the same.
      Feels like an average flash game, don’t get why it’s popular.

      • Because it’s so simple and easy to control? That’s what I found. It’s pretty fun in my opinion.

  10. I’m surprised Mario Land didn’t win, seeing the love it’s been getting. This all makes me want a 3DS.

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