Was 2011 The Best Year Ever For Multiplatform Games?

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]

As 2011 draws to a close we can safely look back at the year in video games, Was 2011 the best year every for us gamer’s? It’s hard to say, as some games lived up to the hype and some unfortunately did not. In all honesty the year was supposed to start off with a bang, we got Dragon Age 2 almost right away, but the game was rushed and under-performed with what was expected from it. The exclusives were pretty quiet from Microsoft and Nintendo, while Sony did churn out quite a few, most went under the radar and were largely unremarkable. It really seems like exclusives as a selling point for a console is officially over. Could 2011 have been the best year ever for multiplatform games?

I started to notice a trend a while ago, 3rd party multiplatform games were getting better and better and most of the first party games just weren’t mainstream or interesting enough to keep up. It was once said that only first party studios could properly make a game that would take full advantage of a particular consoles power, but with games like Crysis 2 and Rage, it’s easy to see that given the proper time and tools, any company can make any hardware sing. I’m not saying Rage and Crysis 2 were the best games, but they certainly looked the part. I’d go as far to say Rage is the best looking console game this generation and it runs at a steady 60 frames per second, which is astounding when you think about it.

We all knew 2011 would be jam packed with great games, I don’t even think I could list all of them, but I will list some of my favorites from this past year. Portal 2, LA. Noire, Mortal Kombat, Homefront, Crysis 2, Saints Row The Third, Marvel Vs Capcom, Dragon Age 2, BulletStorm, Rage, Sonic Generations, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Batman Arkham City, Assassins Creed Revelations and Skyrim. That’s a stellar lineup no matter what kind of games your into, not to mention the quality sports titles we’ve seen like Madden 12, FIFA 12 and NBA 2K12. In any other given year we might see three or four top quality games, but nothing on a scale to match this past years offerings in my opinion.

I think this past year I spent the most money I’ve ever spent on video games, I not only bought all the ones I listed, but I also bought a bunch of exclusives. After playing through everything from Gears Of War 3, Uncharted 3 and Zelda Skyward Sword (all good games) I found that they lacked when you compared them to the quality of games like Skyrim and Batman Arkham City. Those games were as close to perfect as I’ve come since I first played through Ocarina Of time back on the Nintendo 64. Maybe in the end Nintendo and Microsoft were smart not to release too many first party games to combat those third party multiplatform games? When you take into consideration that a first party game costs a certain amount to make, advertise and sell, you realize that a game needs to sell around 2 million before it even see’s a profit. This is one of the reasons we are seeing less and less as far as new IP’s go, and it’s the same reason we see mostly sequels from established franchises. Companies don’t want to take the risks involved with new games, they cost too much money to make and usually wont see much of a return.

It’s easy to throw numbers at people, we all know Call Of Duty sells well, but there were plenty of surprise games that did well this year, like Deus Ex : Human Revolution, which was a surprise to me. It came out of nowhere and was a really fantastic game. This truly was the perfect year in gaming if you’re the type of person who likes quality games. I know people think sales numbers don’t equal quality, and that might be right, but I do know what I like and the games I listed all had some great qualities to them. I know I’ve never really had problems buying a game from a store, except for Halo 3 back years ago, no stores near me had a copy. Anyway, I actually had trouble finding a copy of Skyrim on the Xbox 360, I was laughed out of a couple of local game stores in fact. This past holiday there were plenty of exclusive games to be bought, all well stocked and no shortage at all, but when it came to multiplatform games, there was a run on them not seen since the bank run scene from “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that exclusives don’t still have a place in the world, after all, those fanboys will still need some ammunition to argue with people they’ve never met on the internet. So soak it in gamer’s, 2011 was probably the best year ever for multiplatform games, we might never see another year like this one in terms of quality blockbusters. Rarely are people actually aware when they are part of something as special as this past year was to all us gamer’s. So have a very Happy New Year!

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