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Game of the Year - 2011 Nominees

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Published on Dec 16, 2011

These are GameSpot's nominees for the Game of the Year of 2011. Be sure to check back on Monday 12/19/11 @ 3pm Pacific time to see who won!

What does "best" mean? When you're talking about art and entertainment, the answer isn't that easy. Is "best" different from "favorite?" Is "welcoming" more important than "challenging?" These are but a few of the questions we asked each other as we went head-to-head in a GameSpot meeting room, staring each other down and passionately arguing for our personal choices for 2011's Game of the Year.

Each of our nominees for Game of the Year is a worthy winner. The question becomes: What's worthier and why? How do you compare such disparate games as Ghost Trick and Dark Souls? Is it more important for a game to do less but do it perfectly or to be more ambitious but mess up some of the details? The questions are endless. The fact is that there's no formula for this stuff. If there were, we could plug the pertinent information into our review-o-meter, it would spit out the answer, and we could have all gone go-karting instead. But face it: Some of these games are innovative and some are iterative. Some are buffed to a shine and others are a bit rough around the edges. Some focus on world building; others challenge you with devious puzzles. And sometimes, a game does something that defies comparison.

And so we asked ourselves the most important question of all: In a decade, when we look back on 2011, which game will define the year for us? From there, things started to come into focus. The game that defines 2011 may be different for us than for you, but what a testament to a great year in games--that so many games provided us so many different kinds of experiences and with such quality. The next time you think that there's no diversity in gaming, remember our nominees for Best Game of 2011. They tell a very different story.

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