The Top 10 Mainstream PC Games of 2011

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There were several huge PC releases this year but the majority of the best non-indie games were sequels. Sequels can of course be loads of fun but it would be nice to see some new ideas and experience some new stories now and then. In addition to this, it seems like the differences between games in the same genres are becoming less and less noticeable; not to mention the clones. For example, the Call of Duty series and the Battlefield series are different, sure, but they’re really not different enough. All the creativity and unique ideas seem to be coming from the indie and smaller developers, which is likely one of the big reasons these games have become so popular over the last few years.

It was honestly somewhat difficult to come up with 10 of the best games of 2011. There are a few obvious shining stars but after reaching a collection of 7 games, the contenders list seemed to dry up rather quickly. There were also several big games that were possibly going to be released this year but were delayed to 2012. A few of those include Guild Wars 2, Diablo III and Mass Effect 3. So, it looks like Q1/Q2 of 2012 will be strong for the PC but still not very original, at least at the mainstream level.

  1. SkyrimThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks ~ $60

    What is it? The fifth chapter in the role-playing series by Bethesda. Skyrim isn’t a direct sequel to Oblivion but takes place 200 years later in a Scandinavian-esque environment.

    Why you should care: Skyrim is easily the PC game of the year. It’s big, it’s open, it’s beautiful and it’s a great follow-up in the series. The game does suffer from a few of Bethesda’s common glitches and UI problems but these flaws are relatively minor. Plus, the Creation Kit is scheduled to be released in January so there will be a lot more community fixes, additions and enhancements in the near future.

  2. Portal 2Portal 2 by Valve Corporation ~ $34

    What is it? Portal 2 is the sequel to the innovative first-person puzzle-platforming game. You know… it’s the game where you can teleport through walls.

    Why you should care: While everyone may like to joke about “Valve time” it seems as if every game the company creates has been blessed and turned to gold by the gaming gods. There are few, if any flaws, co-op play is included this go around, the dark humor adds plenty of pizazz and it’s just downright fun.

  3. Witcher 2The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings by CD Projekt Red – $45

    What is it? The sequel to CD Projekt Red’s 2007 sleeper hit, The Witcher.

    Why you should care: A mature RPG built on a new engine with plentiful improvements over the original, which was also a great game. Our own Mark Hengst called it “the very definition of a new and improved sequel” in his review. Between this game, Deus Ex and Skyrim, it’s safe to say that the RPG had the best year on the PC of any genre.

  4. Deus ExDeus Ex: Human Revolution by Eidos Montreal ~ $30

    What is it? A sci-fi action RPG prequel to the highly acclaimed original that was released in 2000. Human Revolution is set in 2027, 25 years before Deus Ex and the story follows Adam Jensen, a security sepcialist for Sarif Industries.

    Why you should care: Human Revolution was developed by a completely new team, which usually indicates a disaster, but not in this case. There are a few flaws but for the most part Eidos Montreal created a worthy prequel. There are a variety of ways to play the game, many of the small details are done correctly, it looks nice, it has a deep storyline and it’s plenty of fun.

  5. Battlefield 3Battlefield 3 by EA DICE ~ $60

    What is it? The latest addition to the first-person war simulation series by DICE. Battlefield 3 is a direct sequel to Battlefield 2 and is set in present day.

    Why you should care: If you enjoy the FPS genre look no further. Battlefield 3 throws you into complete havoc alongside fully functioning helicopters, tanks and jets. It’s fun, it looks amazing and the multiplayer matches never seem to get old. However, there are a couple of downsides to this game versus the previous installments. The main issues include the Origin requirement, the Battlelog (a web browser has to stay open to launch the game) and the high system requirements.

  6. Arkham CityBatman: Arkham City by Rocksteady ~ $40

    What is it? Sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady’s action adventure series is Batman done right.

    Why you should care: Arkham City was just recently released on PC but it’s already raking in high review scores. For the most part it seems to be a strong follow-up to the highly recognized original. Arkham City features a new story, it’s set in a new super-prision five times bigger than the original, includes new and enhanced gameplay features and it’s very open.

  7. MagickaMagicka by Arrowhead Game Studios > $10

    What is it? A humorous action adventure game set in a Norse mythology fantasy world.

    Why you should care: Magicka is, by far, the most original game on this list. It’s inexpensive, it’s fun, it’s creative, several DLC packs have been released at a low cost and it appeals to a wide audience. It’s definitely worth trying.

  8. Shogun 2Shogun 2: Total War by The Creative Assembly ~ $25

    What is it? The latest addition to the longstanding Total War series set in 16th century feudal Japan – the age of Samurai warfare.

    Why you should care: Shogun 2 takes the Total War series back to its roots. The AI is improved in both the campaign map and real-time battles, the game offers extensive new multiplayer rewards, it looks great, it’s been refined and simplified and it’s a solid addition in the series.

  9. Dead Space 2Dead Space 2 by Visceral Games ~ $10

    What is it? Dead Space 2 is the latest sequel in the third-person shooter/horror series by Visceral Games. The series is set in futuristic deep space where your character, Isaac Clarke must, survive alien infestation.

    Why you should care: Dead Space 2 is bigger and better than the original. It’s action packed, has high production values, includes an atmosphere somewhat comparable to the Alien film series, and the gameplay is tighter and more focused than the original. EA tried to make the new multiplayer component a selling point with this game but unfortunately, that portion falls very short. That said, the single-player offers a great experience.

  10. Assassin's Creed BrotherhoodAssassin’s Creed: Brotherhood by Ubisoft Montreal ~ $28

    What is it? Brotherhood is the third installment in the action adventure series by Ubisoft Montreal. It’s the second chapter in the Ezio Trilogy and the first game in the main series to offer a multiplayer mode.

    Why you should care: Stealth is the focus in the Assassin’s Creed series and the game’s fantastic mechanics allow you to climb up, over, and down virtually anything in the large open world of Rome. After playing it for a while you begin to start strategizing parkour tactics based on the building architecture you come upon in real life. The game offers an interesting storyline, it looks nice, it plays well and the series really sets a standard for acrobatic, stealthy gameplay.


One Response to The Top 10 Mainstream PC Games of 2011

  1. never says:

    this is a solid list, I would switch portal & witcher positions though..other than that I agree completely

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Boxart



Minimum Requirements

  • Win XP / Vista / 7
  • 2GHz dual core CPU
  • 1GB RAM (XP) / 2GB RAM (Vista & 7)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8000 series or ATI Radeon HD 2000 series GPU
  • 8.5GB HDD Space
  • DirectX 9.0c

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