Every year, mega-outlets such as IGN and Gamespot do an overwhelming amount of Game of the Year coverage, which is fine if you don’t mind spending seven hours reading it all. Of course, everyone else wants to throw their hats in the ring as well, and some take rather unique approaches, such as GamesRadar’s annual Platinum Chalice awards.
So with so many other sites shouting long-winded arguments for their favorite games of the year from the internet’s rooftops, we’ll go ahead and take a different angle: We’re going to showcase what our forum community thinks.
A few weeks ago, I started several threads in the forums asking users what their favorites were across a variety of categories, and forum user TRF did a few of his own as well. Now that 2011 is just hours away, it is time to showcase just what the PlayStation University student body thought. If you’d like to check out the full threads where these quotes came from, just click on the names of the winners for each category.
Drum roll, please!
Best Fighting Game
Winner: Super Street Fighter IV
Fighting releases were fairly low-key this year. Well, in comparison to next year’s comebacks for Marvel vs. Capcom and Mortal Kombat, at least. But that doesn’t mean our community didn’t have anything to say on the matter:
“BB > SF any day of the week.” – Reneid Klein
“I would have to disagree. Tuesdays totally belong to SF.” – One-Shot
Best Rhythm Game
Winner: Rock Band 3
While there’s no denying that the genre’s popularity is waning, there were still quality releases, especially in the runaway favorite Rock Band 3.
“Rock Band 3 is the epitome of the music genre. Although I haven’t had the chance to play keyboards, the entire package is awesome. Maybe it doesn’t feel as fresh as the music games did feel a couple years ago, but this is the best of them all.” – Thorzilla
Best Sports Game
Whatever your favorite major sport, there was a quality game to back it up this year. Surprisingly, no one pointed out that I forgot to include Madden NFL 11 in the poll, which is either great for the other games or not so good for Madden.
“Other: Tiger Woods. Love my golf, and the series has never been better.” – Deadpool, aka PS Uni reviewer ScottyB
“PES2011. Never a soccer game’s been this good. Also, it’s the one that improved the most over past installments unlike those in the list.” – Thorzilla
“Easy one for me. NHL 11. I’m Canadian so it’s a given.” – daevv
“NBA 2K11 won this year. EA has admitted defeat and just abandoned Live aka Elite” – Kratos
Best Racing Game
Winner: Gran Turismo 5
On the arcade side, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing was surprisingly great, Blur was like a grown-up Mario Kart that threw in some COD ranking into its multiplayer for good measure, and Hot Pursuit brought the NFS series back to what people loved about it in the first place. Hardcore sim lovers were treated to F1 2010 and the illusive Gran Turismo 5. 2010 was everything a racing fan could ever ask for.
“Typically, this really is the toughest one for me. Between Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Blur, F1 2010, Gran Turismo 5 […] all of these games were ground-breaking in their own delivery.” – Deadpool
“I voted for F1 2010. I love GT5, but F1 2010 had better racing (the AI are about 100 times better), the cars sound better and the cars/tracks look amazing.” – DonMare
“GT5, even with the faults people found with it, it is still a very pretty and great racing/driving simulator. All the others were arcadey and not that realistic.” – unicron7
“Just the way I like it.” – One-Shot, in response to unicron7 above.
Best First-Person Shooter
Another year, another round of testosterone-fueled shooters. The games released this year were still a solid slate, but all the votes went to either Bad Company 2 (played regularly by our Aussie/NZ crew) and Halo: Reach.
“Halo: Reach. On top of it having a pretty good campaign, it has an awesome multiplayer and provides a ton of bang for the buck.” – TRF
“For the little amount of Halo:Reach I have played, it soared above most other FPS games in my opinion.” – Kwesnoth
“Naturally, I have to say Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It was the only one that kept me interested for more than ~45 seconds” – Deadpool
“Battlefield all the way! It was the first MP that I kept coming back to this gen since Warhawk. I had it on PS3 and played it for well over 50 hours on the way to the platinum.” – daevv
Best Downloadable Game
There was a wealth of strong games to play on the DLC front, with strong showing from XBL exclusives Super Meat Boy and Limbo. In the end, though, it was Scott Pilgrim kicking 8-bit ass that did it for our community, and quite handily at that.
“Scott Pilgrim, hands down.” – Reneid Klein
“Scott Pilgrim. Loved it. Actually felt like a complete game, and the midi music within rocked hard.” – unicron7
“DeathSpank was awesome, but after you finish it, that’s really all there is to do and it got shelved. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light however, has loads more to give, challenges, co-op, offline and online and the puzzle solving is great.” – Deadpool
“LIMBO, for sure.” – TRF
“I voted for Joe Danger. I really loved it but I’m still kinda torn between it and HOARD which is also a superb title.” – Halfdeaf
“The pacman game!” – bubano, speaking for Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
Winner: Red Dead Redemption
2010 was a strong year for games audibly as well, with typically strong showing from Final Fantasy and God of War. Red Dead Redemption was the runaway favorite, though, as the music was not only fantastic but also punctuated key parts of the story with genuinely moving songs.
“Red Dead Redemption – I think it was the only time this year while playing games that I really stopped to listen to a moment, made better by the soundtrack. Honourable mention to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow though.” – Deadpool
“Red Dead Redemption for me too, he soundtrack made the game that much more awesome.” – Kwesnoth
“I’m also going with Red Dead Redemption here.” – Nick
“FF13 for sure.” – One-Shot