These are ShortList’s games of the year, listed one to 10, in order. And, what’s more, we know and you know that you don’t agree with them. You think Arkham City should be higher. Or you prefer Battlefield 3 to Modern Warfare 3. Or maybe you’re apoplectic with rage that we haven’t included Driver San Francisco. Good. It’s been a terrific year for games and these are our choices. Feel free to slate us (below). It can’t be any worse than the anger we saw last year after we left out Mass Effect 2.
1. Portal 2: How do you go from low-budget experiment to million-selling blockbuster in one move? Simple: expand your backstory, add a few more elements to the physics-based puzzles and cast Stephen Merchant to voice your sidekick. Of course, it helps if that original “experiment” was a Game Of The Year contender in its own right, but impressive nonetheless.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ‘Vast’ doesn’t even begin to cover the scope of Skyrim’s world. Filled with bleak plains, inhospitable mountain peaks and terror-inducing dungeons, it may well be impossible to see everything it has to offer. There, that’s a challenge for you this Christmas. And one far more worthy than seeing how many mince pies you can eat in an hour.
3. Uncharted 3 Playing the Uncharted games is like making your merry way through an Indiana Jones film. But, you know, one of the good ones. And, as it’s clearly made with 3D in mind, slapping on a pair of shutter specs improves the experience immeasurably. If you’re so far unmoved by the extra dimension, this could be the game to persuade you otherwise.
4. LA Noire Rockstar’s crack at a detective game (with game-changing motion-capture technology) wasn’t for everyone. We suggest the naysayers try Saint’s Row The Third. This was a cerebral masterpiece that prioritised detective work over shooting everything that moves and hit all the beats of a classic noir story.
5. Batman: Arkham City Better than the first, and that won a Bafta. Crammed a huge number of villains into is open world – including some of the more obscure ones like Calendar Man – and set up the storyline for the inevitable second sequel. Which we can’t wait for.
6. Call Of Duty: MW3 And the records keep on coming. Again the annual Call Of Duty release became the fastest selling entertainment product ever. But this time it also became the fastest entertainment product to reach $1bn, beating (by one day) Avatar’s 16 day record set in 2009. Somehow the game is getting more popular. Staggering.
7. Fifa 12 It took some getting used to (God, did it take some getting used to) but the improved defending made for a more skilful, realistic experience. That it’s the finest football simulation ever made isn’t in doubt, what is is how the team can make such impressive leaps forward next year. But don’t worry about that now. Just enjoy the beautiful game.
8. The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword You probably have a Wii somewhere – lurking out of sight in a cupboard, unloved and unplayed since the early days of 2008. Skyward Sword is a game worth placing it under your TV for. A sign that motion controls can be a force for good, rather than an irritating and exhausting waggle-fest. A shame it’s taken so long for Nintendo to prove it.
9. Battlefield 3 The best multiplayer of any first-person shooter? Certainly it’s the most rewarding if you do it right. And doing it right involves teamwork and communication rather than lone-gunning your way through the maps. Your preference between the two dictates which of the FPS behemoths you should opt for.
10. Mario Kart 7 If this had been available at the launch of the 3DS, it’s unlikely you’d have read any stories about Nintendo’s handheld failing to sell. When all else fails, there’s always its plumber mascot to bail the company out. And if he’s driving a racing kart, all the better.