A lot of things happened in 2011 and 2012 in the gaming worlds. We’ve seen new portable and handheld consoles released, massive blockbusters (and their sequels), and people leave the industry. We wanted to highlight the big moments in gaming in 2011 and 2012 to compare the years and see which one won out for the better gaming year. This is by no means a complete list, but just a few things that we think stood out above everything.
- Nintendo 3DS – We got a brand new console from Nintendo in 2011, and it was one that was met with praise as well as disappointment. We love the system, however, and while the launch titles weren’t the most solid bunch we’ve seen, Nintendo did happen to release Ocarina of Time 3D just a few months after the console launched.
- E3 2011 – The show floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center last year was absolutely buzzing. With new titles like Super Mario 3D Land and entirely new consoles like the PlayStation Vita and Wii U, there’s no wonder that show was one of our favourite E3s of all time.
- 2011 Holiday Games – last year’s holiday gaming lineup was incredible and contained some of the best games we’ve ever played. We did a piece on the season last year, so rather than drone on about it here, go have a read of that one!
- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – The third and final instalment in the Uncharted trilogy, it’s no wonder this game is on the list. It hits a high for the series, even though it was a little derivative, and marks a first for the franchise in so many ways that it deserves to be on the list.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Do we even have to explain why this game is on the list? In addition to knocking Ocarina of Time off our list of best Zelda titles, Skyward Sword was the best of the best in the series because of its story, characters, and incredible heart. Take a look at our review.
- PlayStation Vita – Sony finally released what was originally known as the NGP into the North American market. The console was met with critical acclaim and its price (announced at E3 2011) was the source of much (pleasant) surprise. The launch lineup was solid, and with the introduction of PlayStation Plus for the mobile platform just a few weeks ago, the Vita became a must-buy.
- E3 2012 – This year in Los Angeles saw a lot of awesome games and tech demos, but we left feeling a little unsatisfied by what we saw. The three years previous saw no fewer than five hardware announcements, including a redesigned Xbox 360, the introduction of the PlayStation Move and Vita, and Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U. This year, we had no hardware announcements (except for some Wii U information, and even that wasn’t much) and not a single price drop.
- 2012 Holiday Games – We got a ton of big games in 2012 this holiday season. Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4, and Assassin’s Creed III. But was this year as big as 2011? Not in our eyes. Last year, we saw a huge smack down by game companies to release plenty of quality content on every console, and this year, while still superb, just isn’t up the same level.
- Halo 4 – Marking the official return of Master Chief in a new trilogy, Halo 4 also marks the first in 343 Industries’s stewardship of the series. The game blew us away and while it didn’t destroy Black Ops II‘s sales numbers by any means (okay, it didn’t surpass them at all), it was one of the best reviewed games of the year. And with good reason: it was awesome.
Overall, we’d have to say 2011 had the slight edge as a stronger year in gaming, if only because of the stellar E3 showing and amazing holiday lineup. Individual games will never make the difference in an entire year for us, but having incredible showings at the largest gaming event of the year? That definitely will.