Feature: Canaries of the Year

Genre Awards

Best Shooter

Gears of War 3
Modern Warfare 3

I didn’t play Battlefield 3 (I know, I know), so I wasn’t able to do the three-way competition between the three different threequels. But honestly, the shooter category felt boring and uninspired for the most part this year.

Best Puzzle/Action/Adventure

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Batman: Arkham City
Portal 2

I combined these categories because there weren’t enough games to warrant having separate categories for each. This category, too, was dominated by sequels. But that’s basically the direction the industry is taking with increased costs and risks.

Best RPG

Bastion
Dark Souls
Skyrim
The Witcher 2 

Role-playing games had a banner year in 2011. And look no further than this list (and what’s not on the list) to see how strong the lineup was. There was some innovation, with the completely branching storyline in The Witcher 2, and the narration of Bastion. But there was also refinement of the formula, such as with Skyrim and Dark Souls. Overall, though, it was a great year for RPGs. I should note that I didn’t play Skyward Sword, which could potentially have made this list.

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