Game of the Year Awards 2011
New Game Network staff make their annual selections for the best video games of the year!
Best Driving Game
A very solid racing experience that comes with a wealth of cars, tracks, and modes. There is a lot of racing to be had here, and with a game that looks this good - you simply can't go wrong giving Forza Motorsport 4 a green light.
Best Platforming Game
This sequel provides players with new gameplay, robust tools, and seemingly endless experiences. This is still a fantastic sequel for anyone who enjoys traversing three dimensional environments presented in 2D, where you can jump, swing, and ride furry animals to your heart's content . Alone or cooperative, this is a complete and very user friendly platforming experience, and it's the best this year.
Being in a squad that is a small part of a team fighting for control of the entire battlefield is a remarkable experience. The shooting feels fantastic as do all the weapons and vehicles. The balance is good and the replayabilty is simply astonishing. A wealth of weapon customization options combined with dynamic combat environments makes this the best shooter experience of the year.
Best Action Game
First class action, clever suspense and a killer sci-fi setting make Dead Space 2 a very worthy sequel. The game is not necessarily terrifying due to the high action and deadly arsenal at Isaac’s disposal. That does not mean you won’t be shooting each dormant Necromorph corpse blocking your path.
Best Strategy Game
Shogun 2 is an excellent and cohesive package that is also remarkably diverse thanks to its extremely well implemented real-time and turn based components. Epic large scale real time battles are like something out of a Akira Kurosawa film, and never fail to surprise as new scenarios require new tactics with every battle.
Best Adventure Game
Putting together the pieces of the proverbial puzzle hasn't been this exciting since the days of point-and-click adventure games. No longer are you required to tie a shoe string to a bottle to solve a problem - this is the new age of adventure. LA Noire showed that it's never too late for intelligent titles to enter the market and take players on a classic adventure with modern gameplay mechanics.
Best Role Playing Game
Many have called The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim one of the best RPGs ever, and for a good reason. It's expansive “do anything, be anyone” play style is done here better than ever before. Bethesda appears to have learned from many of their past missteps in Oblivion and Fallout 3, snatching the top RPG honors for the second year in a row following Fallout: New Vegas as our best RPG of 2010.
Best Sports Game
Despite being on a yearly release schedule, this football franchise continues to improve in rather meaningful ways. To the delight of the fans, FIFA 12 is a great footy title with numerous significant improvements that you should most definitely have a crack at.
Best Simulation Game
It may lack diverse weather conditions and different terrain to race on, but what Forza 4 does have - pure asphalt - feels fully realized. From the feeling of racing at breakneck speeds around accurately recreated circuits, to the feedback of burning rubber on your tires, there is no other racing game which came close to Forza 4's realism this year.
Best Puzzle Game
A worthy sequel to one of the most unique games of the last ten years, Portal 2 offers a hilarious and mind-bending, albeit all too brief, romp through the world of Aperture Science. With the addition of new gameplay elements, puzzles are more complex than before, presenting a challenge even to the experienced players. The satisfaction of figuring out a solution by random experimentation with the elements is just as satisfying as crunching the physics engine's possibilities.
Fractal, Trine 2
Best Arcade Game
The game's strong focus on party goers and casual players shows with great execution of all the right features. Just Dance 3 is easily accessible to players of all skill levels and ages, and with the use of Kinect, it is the most freeing arcade experience to date.
Bit.Trip Runner, Dance Central 2, NBA Jam On Fire Edition