2011 was a tremendous year for the videogame.
A pile of big-budget, years-in-the-making blockbusters delivered on all of their promises and then some. Clever independent games pushed at the edges of the form. People are still hopelessly lost in Skyrim, their former meatspace lives abandoned without a thought for the promise of infinite adventure.
Wired magazine, Wired.com and Ars Technica editors teamed up this year to hash out a list of the most exquisite gaming pleasures of 2011. Some of our personal favorites didn’t make the cut; such was the extent of the competition this year.
All videogame writers should be forced to play through To the Moon, an indie PC game that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride through the memories of a dying old man. It’s a beautiful, personal story about love and communication, a drastic departure from the save-the-world tropes found in many of today’s triple-A games. There’s not a whole lot of interaction here, but spend 4 to 5 hours with To the Moon and you’ll be a sobbing wreck before you can say “one of these days, Alice...” --Jason Schreier
Image: Freebird Games