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Top Five Games You Probably Missed in 2011

December 28, 2011 Written by Jonathan Leack

Here we are again at the end of another calendar year. It feels like it zipped by in a flash, but if you think back, you’ll remember some extremely special games this year, from LittleBigPlanet 2 to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. But while there were tons of AAA games to enjoy from January to December, there were also a few others that truly surprised us. Unfortunately, not every good game gets the attention it deserves, so below we’ve compiled a list of just a few games that you may have missed in 2011.

5. Resistance 3

Original US Release Date: September 6, 2011
PSLS Score: 9/10

It’s always a shame when a great game doesn’t sell well, and Resistance 3 is a prime example of what is a rare but sad reality. Due to a saturated quarter of first-person shooters thanks to Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Resistance 3 was a game that was left in the dust. But Resistance 3 houses a captivating campaign mode along with some intense multiplayer moments. It offers a great experience to be had with a huge arsenal of weapons, and can be played locally with a friend.

4. Shadows of the Damned

Original US Release Date: June 21, 2011
PSLS Score: 8/10

The problem for Shadows of the Damned wasn’t that it was bad, but rather that most people never even heard of the game. It wasn’t supported by a big marketing campaign at launch, and its developer isn’t exactly well-known, but what it does do is offer entertainment value with a slight dash of humor that few games are able to produce. It truly is one of those games that you might find in the bargain bin, begin playing, and quickly wonder why more people don’t know about it.

3. Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten

Original US Release Date: September 6, 2011
PSLS Score: 9/10

Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten falls under a genre that isn’t very populated: strategy role-playing. While it’s a niche genre, it’s one that has a history of providing extremely deep experiences, and Disgaea is king of the modern-day strategy RPG. This latest release improved upon its many predecessors in several ways which made gameplay more varied and richer. Who can say no to a game that you can play for over a hundred hours and still not even be half-way through completion? If you need a game that will give you a lot of bang for your buck, this is it, but don’t bother asking your friends if they’re playing it, because there’s a 99% chance they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about.

2. MotorStorm: Apocalypse

Original US Release Date: May 3, 2011
PSLS Score: 8/10

Having been delayed due to the Japanese earthquake, and receiving a subsequent lack of marketing, Evolution Studios themselves admitted that Apocalypse failed to sell well. It’s perhaps the best 3D game in existence, and has the fast-paced racing gameplay that nearly everyone is a fan of. There are a variety of vehicle types along with plenty of dynamic courses to thrash through. Oh, and did I mention there are intense crashes as well? The first dozen or so times you drive into an object you’ll be surprisingly more entertained than frustrated. The mixture of high-octane racing, explosions, and gorgeous 3D support makes this a great game to show off to your friends.

1. Rayman Origins

Original US Release Date: November 15, 2011
PSLS Score: 9/10

Not only is Rayman: Origins good, it’s extremely good. It’s arguably the most polished platformer on the PlayStation 3, and also one of the most enjoyable local multiplayer games of this generation. With gorgeous visuals, light humor, and crisp gameplay, there’s a lot to love about the game. It’s very rare that you see a classic formula translate itself so well into the modern gaming world, but Rayman: Origins did a remarkable job of doing just that. With a PlayStation Vita version coming in February, we hope to see this game gain the popularity it deserves.

Do you have any great games that you think that everyone else might have overlooked? Let us know in the comments below.

Top Five Games You Probably Missed in 2010

12/30/2010 Written by Adam Wolfe

As we progress further and further into this generation of gaming, the number of quality titles released each given year grows. All though more great games is always a good thing, there will undoubtedly be some that fall by the wayside, as gamers focus more on the big name titles. We’ve compiled a top five list of PS3 games that fared well critically, but lacked the overall selling power of the bigger titles.

5. Transformers: War for Cybertron

Original US Release Date: June 22nd
Metacritic Score: 77
PSLS Score: 7/10

Transformers: War for Cybertron took a rather different approach from previous Transformers games, it was a completely unique story, and was not based off a movie. What this amounted to was a decent third person shooter, letting players first take down Cybertron as the Decepticons, and then take it back as the Autobots. Tight controls, phenomenal voice acting and sound effects, gave an overall solid game that Transformers fans have been asking for. Not simply relying on the single player alone, the online offerings for Transformers: War for Cybertron were quite extensive. With four different classes to choose from, and the ability to level up each character, War for Cybertron had more to offer then most online shooters. The only downside to the multiplayer was the community was rather small, so finding a match could be tough. Even with the smaller online community, the single player alone makes up for it, and really is one that gamers should be going back to.

4. Split/Second

Original US Release Date: May 18th
Metacritic Score: 84
PSLS Score: 8/10

What happens when you take a conventional arcade racer and add the ability to bring skyscrapers and 747s down on your opponents? You get one of the best arcade racers released to date. Split/Second gives you all the thrills of your basic arcade racer, but cranks the action up to 11. From little takedowns like debris shooting across the road, to bringing whole buildings down, the action is always entertaining. What may be lost by most gamers is besides the thrilling action, we also get a great racer on its own. One other aspect to Split/Second a lot of gamers missed out on, is its absolutely great online experience. The multiplayer in Split/Second has its issues, but is definitely one of the better online racers out there. Sure it may not be worth the $60 it was released at, but picking it up at a reduced price now makes it well worth it.

3. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Original US Release Date: October 5th
Metacritic Score: 85
PSLS Score: 8/10

To many gamers, mentioning Castlevania and 3D in the same sentence brings back memories of poor games, but that didn’t stop Konami announcing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Fast forward to the October 5th release and gamer’s worries were put to rest. What we received was a beautiful action platformer, that combined not only a very engaging combat system, but also an excellent story. Combining gameplay from many franchises, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow kept gamers on their toes as they tackled the nearly 20 hour campaign. Sure some gamers and critics bashed Lords of Shadow for using many elements from other games, but there is still no denying just how fun this game is, even if it did not bring anything new to the table.

2. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Original US Release Date: October 5th
Metacritic Score: 80
PSLS Score: 8/10

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was developed by the team behind the PS3 exclusive Heavenly Sword, Ninja Theory, and has an equally gripping story. You play as Monkey, a prisoner that has escaped a slave ship, and had the misfortune of stumbling across Trip, another prisoner. Trip installs a slave collar on Monkey and he must help her find a way home. Every aspect of the game will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens next. The interaction between the two main characters only helps to solidify the top notch story. Although the platforming does seem simplified from time to time, the ability to move through the world so fluidly keeps the story progressing, and the frustration down.

1. 3D Dot Game Heroes

Original US Release Date: May 11th
Metacritic Score: 77
PSLS Score: 9/10

3D Dot Game Heroes took the tried and true formula of the original Zelda, and gave it a unique art style in a 3D world. 3D Dot Game Heroes really does a great job of bringing back the nostalgia gamers had for the original Zelda. Many gamers may not bother to pick this up as the graphics aren’t realistic, and the sound may be in a simple 8 bit style, but that’s also what makes the game such a charmer. Sure 3D Dot Game Heroes doesn’t bring a lot new, but really once you get your hands on it you will instantly remember why you started playing video games in the first place. In a year with so many great games, these are just five that didn’t see the sales figures, or mass appeal, that those that had played them would have hoped for.

Do you have any great games that you think that people might have overlooked? Let us know in the comments below.