By Tristan Meiman and Evan McMillin

4. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Since its debut Nov. 15, 2001, the Halo series has spawned six games and nine novels. 2011 marks the 10th year of the legendary Halo Franchise. 343 Industries has decided to commemorate this special occasion with the release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

Halo: Anniversary is a revamp of Halo: Combat Evolved, the game that launched the highly successful Halo franchise. The United Nations Space Command is fighting a losing war with the Covenant, a faction of multiple alien species united under a religion that demands the extermination of humanity. The player takes control of Master Chief, the last living super soldier of the UNSC, who must find a way to defeat the Covenant before humanity becomes extinct.

Halo: Anniversary utilizes the same game engine as Halo: Combat Evolved, albeit with updated graphics and the introduction of hidden terminals, which give insight into the back-story of Halo. While this sounds like 343 was cutting corners with production, this is exactly what Halo fans wanted. Besides, the original game had no flaws I could find. Definitely one of the best of 2011.

 

3. Batman Arkham City

Holy sequels, Batman! To cut right to the chase, Batman Arkham City is by far the best super hero game to date. Arkham City borrows a lot of elements that are similar to that of its predecessor. The combat system is exciting, the gadgets are fun and the map is expansive.

While pulling off purely badass combos to take down thugs is invigorating, the free-roaming map keeps things interesting. Sure, you can follow the story line, or you could start collecting all 440 Riddler trophies. Yes, that’s right: 440 trophies. While you are gliding through the city off to save some person in distress, chances are that the glowing green tantalizing Riddler trophy that is begging to be collected will distract you. It’s an understatement to say that you will get sidetracked in this game.

Overall, if you are a fan of Batman or are looking for a good superhero game, then this is the game for you.

 

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls series has always been known for vast, open worlds in which the player can play the game in any way possible, and Skyrim is no exception.

Skyrim is an open-world RPG developed by Bethesda Game Studios, which created The Elder Scrolls series and developed Fallout 3.

Skyrim takes place 200 years after The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in the Nord homeland of Skyrim. With a civil war between the in-power Empire and the rebelling Stormcloaks, as well as the sudden return of the immortal dragons, Skyrim is in a state of chaos.

The player assumes control of the Dohvakin, the Nord word for “dragon-born.” After choosing one of 10 playable races, the Dohvakin sets out to find out why the dragons have returned and must prevent them from ending the world as they know it.

Skyrim is as close to a perfect RPG experience as one can get. Skyrim is a huge country with many different types of environments. Skryim is also the best-looking game of The Elder Scrolls series.

As a non-linear RPG, the player is free to decide how he/she wants to play Skyrim. The story will also have you glued to the controller

 

1. The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

This is the game that Zelda fans and gamers alike have been waiting for. While other companies seem to be losing faith in motion gaming, Nintendo remains strong. Going into the story of Skyward Sword would in itself be a spoiler. While, yes, the story is deep, immersive and constantly keeps you guessing what’s around the next corner, the gameplay is what really makes the game shine.

Skyward Sword utilizes Nintendo’s Wii Motion Plus to its full extent. For those who are unfamiliar with Wii Motion Plus, it’s an add-on for the Wii Remote that enhances the motion sensor on it to make gameplay more interactive. No matter where one moves the sword, Link, the main character, will follow your exact actions.

Speaking of swordplay, combat in Skyward Sword stands out the most among the other actions within the game. Not to say that the other actions aren’t entertaining. Enemies can actually block attacks, and quite well at that. Gamers can’t just run to an enemy and flail their arms, hoping to win. It requires some strategy and careful thinking. One wrong move, and you’re wide open for an attack.

There is so much more that could be discussed about this game and how much fun it is, but this review barely scratched the surface. This is the game that Wii owners have been waiting for. It even has “Game of the Year” potential.