The ten most overrated games of 2011

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Every year I try to explain that this list isn’t necessarily about games that are bad. It is instead about games that I’m surprised weren’t received more critically. So again, let me point out that I actually like and continue to play some of these games.

After the jump, the most overrated games of 2011

10) Catherine

Why wasn’t this weird Japanese RPG story with awkward puzzle sequences eviscerated by reviewers and unsuspecting gamers? I’m happy for publisher Atlus’ success when it comes to Catherine selling well, but it couldn’t have happened to a thinner game. Read more here.


9) Crysis 2

People love cookie cutter shooters when they’re beautiful. But Crysis 2 wasn’t particularly beautiful. Read the review here.


8) Super Mario 3D Land

Why is everyone so delighted with these same platformer concepts? Have they just not played all the better platformers that have come out in the last ten years?


7) Rage

Id idem. Read the review here.


6) LA Noire

Really good writing in search of a game. Read the review here.


5) Gears 3

People are taking these neckless space marines seriously? It’s the same good gunplay it’s been all along and not much else. Read the review here.


4) Forza 4

While talking to a colleague who really liked and reviewed Forza 4, I was surprised to discover he’d never played a Need for Speed: Shift game. Are Forza fans in a bubble in which only Forza and Gran Turismo exist? Because that would explain a lot. Read the review of someone who played a Need for Speed: Shift here.


3) Dark Souls

Most people who play videogames have no business playing Dark Souls, no matter how good it is. The beauty and the madness of this thing is how it nonchalantly violates nearly every rule of good game design from the past ten years. Despite this, it was well received and I couldn’t be happier about that. The game diary starts here.


2) Uncharted 3

The cautionary tale of how games that think they’re movies can go wrong by forgetting they’re actually games. Read the review here.


1) Skyrim

I love Skyrim, but not because it’s well made. Bethesda’s been doing this long enough that they need to work on the actual game design basics and not just the nifty world-building. Read the review here.


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