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The 2011 Boysie Awards

It’s been a fascinating year for games. From LittleBigPlanet 2 early in the year to Skyward Sword last month to hundreds of Apple games, you never had to look far to find something good. That just makes it more difficult to pick the best games of the year. But ta-da, after a lot of blood, sweat and game playing, here are this year’s winners!

BEST WII GAME

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older

The action-filled puzzles, the touching adventure story of Link and Zelda, and the smooth way you fly on the back of your loftwing! All of these combine to create a world you’d have so much fun living in. Since creator Shigeru Miyamoto might be retiring soon, this could be the last great Zelda game of this era. Sure, there are some camera-angle issues. But overall, this is a superior game.

BEST XBOX 360 GAME

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Activision)
Rated E10+

Skylanders heralds an amazing comeback for Spyro. The ambitious adventure story has all the cool elements of a role-playing game. But here’s the key: When you buy Skylanders, you can use your characters and your saved game on your pal’s system via the Platform of Power – whether it’s Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, PC or 3DS. And those computer-chip-enhanced action figures are nicely detailed, too.

BEST PS3 GAME

LittleBigPlanet 2 (Sony)

So many people these days want to be game designers. With LittleBigPlanet 2, you can make all kinds of games — from platformers to shooters to role-playing games. If that weren’t enough, the story mode featuring Sackboy and an intergalactic vacuum cleaner is one of the most engaging tales of the year.

BEST NINTENDO 3DS GAME

Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)

This Super Mario is just super inventive. From the get-go, the way the levels are designed make you smile and wonder, “How’d they do that?” The 3D works well (unusual for a 3DS system that has had its problems to overcome). And it’s the world’s greatest Mario in all his heroic, comedic glory.

BEST NINTENDO DS GAME

Professor Layton and the Last Specter (Nintendo)
Rated E10+

The Layton games always bust your brain. But they make you think while you have fun – and that’s hard to do. Here, you deal with a giant, long-fingered, dark specter as you solve the mystery of Misthallery. It makes you feel like you’re in a world that’s slightly creepy. But it’s one full of artistic graphics and superior music, too.

BEST COMPUTER GAME

Portal 2 (EA for Mac, PC)
Rated E10+

The great writing makes you laugh constantly. The puzzles leave you slapping your head, but always make you come back for more. If you love science fiction, Portal 2 lures you into its strange world, a world you don’t want to leave (well, except when you can’t figure out a puzzle). This is a game to savor; you never want it to end. A couple of puzzles each day did it for me and made my time with that excellent wit and sidekick Wheatley last even longer.

BEST MASHUP

Nicktoons MLB (2K Play for Kinect)

It’s really a game that’s pretty darn smart. Combining a vast selection of kooky Nicktoons characters like SpongeBob with real-life baseball players like Big Papi, it’s a total blast to play. It’s also probably the first game to let you pitch, bat and field by using Kinect. While it has a few flaws (sometimes it’s too easy), it feels like the real thing – in a hilariously inventive Nicktoons world.

BEST OVERALL SPORTS GAME (TIE)

NBA 2K12 (2K Sports for PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, PSP, PC)

There’s just so much to NBA 2K12. If you like old-school basketball superstars, you can match up Michael Jordan against Magic Johnson. If you’re a hardcore fan, NBA 2K12 lets you tweak and coach to your heart’s content. Go deep and start out before the draft as coaches interview you for a life in the pros. It only gets better from there.

NCAA Football 12 (EA Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

In some respects, NCAA Football 12 is better than this year’s Madden. The attention to detail is admirable. When you type your last name in your profile, it not only goes on your player’s jersey, the announcer also calls your name when you play. You can play as your high school team, too. And that’s just the beginning.

BEST RACING GAME

Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft for Kinect)

Boy, is this a smooth game or what? You can play it casually and just use your hands as a controller to steer via Kinect. Or you can get as complex as you want and make it a real racing simulation. If you dream of being a racecar driver who travels the world for speedy adventure, this is the game for you.

BEST GAME FOR YOUR LITTLE BROTHER OR SISTER

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster (Microsoft for Kinect)

You’ll have fun, too, as you play with your younger siblings in an interactive storybook. The graphics are like something from a fairy tale – beautiful and mysterious. Because many characters from the show are here, it’s a great way to start young kids out with games.

BEST WRAP UP OF A GREAT SERIES

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5 – 7 (WBIE for PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, 3DS, DS, PSP, PC)
Rated E10+

They didn’t reinvent the wheel, that’s for sure. But they didn’t need to. The last Potter books and films were pretty dark. But the intelligent people who made this game were able to add a humorous lightness to that darkness – without any dialog. That’s not a simple thing to do. Plus, the graphics, puzzles and magic are really terrific.

BEST MOVIE ADAPTATION (TIE)

Cars 2 (Disney Interactive for Xbox 360)
Rated E10+

Here’s a case in which I think the game was better than the movie. Full of thrills and spills, Cars 2 even has an enjoyable tutorial. Each Car has its own personality, and the addition of a spy story is often full of drama. The replay-ability is really high, so you have fun beyond the story mode. Too bad you have to pay to go online.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Game (Ubisoft for Xbox 360)
Rated E10+

Here’s another case in which the game sometimes exceeds the action within the movie. Before it was released, I had my doubts. After all, the Tintin movie is based on an old kids’ book that’s more popular in Europe than in the U.S. But the gamemakers combine a real love for boy journalist Tintin with some truly hair-raising adventures. The result is entertainment that’s as good as the movie – and, once or twice, even better.

BEST DOWNLOADABLE GAME

Bastion (Microsoft for Xbox 360)
Rated E10+

It’s almost worth buying a 360 just to play this little game that could. The big-voiced narrator is both dramatic and hip. The cool weapons do all sorts of crazy things. The music is so memorable, you’ll be humming it when not playing. The epic story and smart dialog is better than those in more expensive console games. If you haven’t gotten it yet, what are you waiting for?

BEST iPAD/iPHONE GAME

Contre Jour HD (Chillingo)

This little game that costs a buck is as much fun as Cut The Rope. But there’s something about that little one-eyed blob you control. It feels like a friend. That’s because its expressions change slightly as you play. On the surface, there isn’t much of a story here. But the soft, effective music and atmospheric artwork makes you feel there’s something bigger going on here.

GAME OF THE YEAR (TIE)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Bastion

Runner Up: Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

Runner Up: Portal 2

94 Comments on The 2011 Boysie Awards

  1. I like clash of the clans

  2. Madden NFL 12 should have won Best Overall Sports Game. NCAA Football is good, but I feel that Madden is more exciting and more fast paced. Plus, you can import players from NCAA 12 to Madden 12.

  3. Oh man I can’t wait for South Park the stick of truth in march

  4. toxicmonKEY // August 24, 2012 at 9:59 am // Reply

    If MW3 wasn’t rated M it would’ve beaten Skylanders.

  5. mariowithamushroom // May 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm // Reply

    Yay! No Sonics!

  6. jonbuddy1 // May 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm // Reply

    Just sayin’ – if Portal 2 was rated T like it’s predecessor was, it wouldn’t be on this last.

  7. kid icarus uprising fan // April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm // Reply

    super mario 3d land is pretty cool. but heroes of ruin is better.

  8. Fruit ninja fan // February 4, 2012 at 1:53 am // Reply

    I agree with “COOL DUDE” fruit ninja should have won!!!

  9. bobthebuilder // February 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm // Reply

    yes!!!!!! zelda

  10. yes! a mario game!

  11. ShadowTheDuck // January 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm // Reply

    List was OK. These are my favorite games of the year:

    Portal 2
    MW3
    Skyrim
    Skyward Sword
    Sonic Generations
    Sonic CD

    • These are mine:

      Portal 2, terraria, HL2 (yes, even though it is from 2004, it is still freaking awesome. GO PLAY IT NAO!!!), minecraft, Nuclear Dawn, CSS, CSGO, CS 1.6, L4D, L4D2, and then anything else made by VALVe that i forgot. And most of these are for PC!!! Yeah!

    • If you like MW3, then you should really try Black Ops multiplayer. pretty much the only thing I go on now. Sadly, this is my last year as a cub.

  12. does anyone know if I can play Sonic Generations on a DS Lite

  13. SKYLANDERS ROCKS

  14. LEGO Universer // January 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm // Reply

    i want Super Mario 3D land

    but do not want to spend money on a 3DS
    Nintendo should come out with one for a regular DS

  15. gallardo225 // January 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm // Reply

    NERVERMIND tHOSE GAMES (except for forza and portal) th eREAL winner is BATTLEFIELD 3!!!!!!!

  16. Flash 18 guy // January 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm // Reply

    I beat Super Mario 3D Land in one day!

  17. I got skyward sword for Christmas… BEST… GAME… EVER

  18. NO! Minecraft is the best downloadable game!

    (Granted, it’s still in beta.)

  19. skylanders are totally wicked!!!!!!

  20. deep fried chicken 101 // January 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm // Reply

    Is sonic generations any good? No offense but the games they picked for the best are kinda lame. But they are trying to make it appropriate for the little kids that are reading the magazine.

  21. deep fried chicken 101 // January 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm // Reply

    Is sonic generations any good? No offense but the games they picked for the best are kinda lame.But they are trying to make it appropriate for the little kids that are reading the magazine.

  22. LEGO Universer // January 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm // Reply

    what about cut the rope?

  23. not all these games are all that great, but some are

  24. Really glad skyward sword got on.

  25. I am so glad Portal 2 won!!!!!!!!!!! I just beat it yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!11

  26. Planning on buying Super Mario 3D. I’m also Interested in Portal 2- is that one good?

  27. samurottfantic // December 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm // Reply

    i really liked sklanders but its pretty short in one week im battling kaos in his fortress i really want skyward sword bad

  28. Glad skyward sword made it!!!

  29. WHAT! FRUIT NINJA WAS AWESOME IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PICKED!

  30. finally, a good game rating since skyward sword is tied for the best game of the year

  31. Okay where’s super smash brothers brawl. It got best fighting game of the year that got to count for something,

    You just can’t miss that.

  32. The Game Master // December 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm // Reply

    The Game of the Year is definitly The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword! Notice it is at the top of the list of the “Tied games”. I only own one Zelda game and it is the best game I have ever played. The Legend of Zelda is a well respected series that has many fan websites devoted to it, it also has many games in the series. Above all it has superb puzzles and action-packed sequences(fighting enemies).

    Thanks,

    The Game Master

    • Qwertyman365 // January 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm // Reply

      SKYRIM BEATS ALL.

    • Yeah, but Zelda was tied with Bastion, and that game was epic with a capital e. I don’t know if any of you guys played it, but if you have a PC, XBox, or an iPhone/iPod/Touch/iPad (they made an Apple version five months ago) you should.

  33. i love mario kart Wii! but i do not have mario kart for my Dsi but i want it so bad

  34. i AM GETTING SKYWARD SWORD

  35. I wish BF3 Was on here, though it is pretty violent. idk about sesame street

  36. I want to get Nicktoons MLB and Super Mario 3D Land.

  37. Sonic Generations isn’t here? WHAT?! C’mon guys, that game is beastly

  38. @mrmustache Yeah, I think they did a Really good job doing the games, especially Forza 4. but games like MW3 and AC:R are too violent for the tiger cubs reading the mag. I don’t think the little ones would like to see games like Skyrim and Left 4 Dead 2 pop up everywhere, because then they would be begging their parents to get the violent games, and i n the case of Skyrim; Putting up those annoying “arrow to the knee” jokes. GOOD CALL BL!

    • Bordeyboy20605 // December 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm // Reply

      Forza 4 is pretty good But unless you are playing it with the phyisical wheel or Kinect Then it’s just boring

  39. WHAT HAPPENED TO RAYMAN ORIGINS????????

    • WHAT THE HECK IS RAYMAN ORGINS?

      • Carbison // April 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm //

        Rayman Origins is a platforming masterpiece (yeah, it’s THAT good) where you can play as Rayman and his friends, Globox and the Teensies (obviously). If you haven’t played it yet, you’re missing out!

  40. sonics #1 fan // December 23, 2011 at 9:46 am // Reply

    where,s the sonic games?

  41. Mr. Hamstahman // December 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm // Reply

    I’m just glad that Spyro made a comeback and got a Boysie.

  42. Give me a reply if Skyrim should have beat Legend of Zelda!

  43. also why is mac listed before pc

  44. skyrim and battlefield 3 anyone???

  45. DefectiveToaster // December 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm // Reply

    BL did a good job picking games within the E – E10 rating.

  46. my little sister says that DANCE CENTRAL 2 should be best kinect game. ugggh

  47. I can’t believe that LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 got best ps3 game and RATCHET AND CLANK ALL 4 ONE didn’t.

  48. Probably they weren’t considered because they were too violent (T ratings and above, anyone?) and besides, this is a magazine for all boys, even the little ones. A six-year old reader couldn’t and shoudn’t be slaying zombies with a crossbow. This is evidenced by the Sesame Street gmae being put in as excellent- they at the magazine want to promote good wholesome entertainment- something zombies just ain’t. Use some logic here.

  49. I was happy to see Skyward Sword as one of the best, but Little Big Planet beating Modern Warfare 3? I don’t think so.

    • Or Ocarina of Time 3D? So what it’s a remake, it’s better than the original.

    • Scouting 101 // December 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm // Reply

      The Call Of Duty (or Call of Durty) games are to violent and all that to be considered on this site. Besides, Call of Duty is losing it’s classic awesomeness that made it popular in the first place.

  50. You are kidding me. What about portal 2? And Skyrim? And the new assassins creed? Seriously!😡😡😡😡😡😡

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