2011 has been a pretty significant year for RPGs, with sequels to some of the industry’s biggest IPs trickling out throughout the year. Things got off to a spiffy start in January, as BioWare’s Mass Effect series made its PlayStation 3 debut with the release of the critically acclaimed sequel. The series is to sci-fi RPGs what Elder Scrolls is to fantasy games, so if you fancy chatting up aliens and leading your squad across the galaxy battling evildoers is your thing, then you can’t really go wrong.
Speaking of BioWare, they took another stab at the fantasy space with the sequel to 2009’s acclaimed RPG Dragon Age, which provoked quite a reaction among fans. Some loved it, others condemned it for streamlining the experience. Retro fanatics meanwhile were treated to the PSP outing Final Fantasy IV Complete, offering a revamped version of the original FFIV alongside the former mobile-only sequel.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution appeared on the tail end of a draught-heavy summer, fusing engaging storytelling with the ability to approach gameplay how you see fit: do you go in all guns blazing, or opt for a more stealth-based approach? The choice is up to you. Finally, we have what is unequivocally one of the most anticipated games of the entire year on any format, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As the sequel to 2006’s critical darling Oblivion, Skyrim marries sumptuous visuals with a sprawling, Nord homeland oozing with atmosphere, memorable characters and heaps of quests. If you’re a fantasy fanatic, then you can’t go wrong.
The nominees for best RPG game of 2011 are:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Developer: Eidos Montreal | Publisher: Square Enix
Mass Effect 2 Developer: BioWare | Publisher: Electronic Arts
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Developer: Bethesda | Publisher: Bethesda
Final Fantasy IV Complete Developer: Square Enix | Publisher: Square Enix
…and the winner is
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with 45 out of 73 community votes
If you’re a fantasy aficionado, then you’d be hard pressed to find a game that marries dragons, elves, burly bearded blokes and majestic landscapes better than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Indeed, as the follow-up to the critically lauded Oblivion, the fifth iteration in the Elder Scrolls has a lot to live up to, but the quality speaks for itself. Set in the chilly, Nord capital of Skyrim, the game not only brings dragons back into the fold after a lengthy hiatus, but expands on just about everything its predecessor offered. As well as a vast, open-world chock full of quests to indulge yourself in, Skryim offers improved voice acting, gorgeous visuals (characters don’t look like stoic muppets for one thing), better quests, streamlined menu system plus the return of Werewolves. The world is stunning, oozing with atmosphere and jaw-dropping vistas. As ever, Skyrim is your game to play how you want. Build your own character, watch them evolve based on your own playing style and tackle things how you see fit. One minute you might find yourself stumbling across a headless ghost riding through the mist, the next you might encounter a group of blood-thirsty bandits hoping for an easy target. The world is what you make it, and every play session in Skyrim is never the same. The sense of discover and journey is quite simply unparalleled.
PSU awarded Skyrim 9.5 out of 10 in our review, and the game received 9.8 out of 10 from our community vote.
We would like to congratulate the team behind Skyrim for creating the best RPG in 2011 as voted by the PSU community.