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Top 10 Games of 2011: #1 Portal 2

So this is it.  The big one.  My game of the year.  If you know anything about me in real life it probably doesn’t surprise your that Portal 2 is my game of the year, but why is it my game of the year?  Well if you have to ask that you clearly haven’t played Portal 2 and there is something seriously wrong with you.

Portal 2 does what every game that’s made the top 3 has done; provide a challenge.  The difference between the challenge Portal 2 provides over say Dark Souls is that it is a far more accessible game.  Anyone can play Portal 2 and get through the game, but it requires a good amount of thinking to do so.  Portal 2 is the kind of game that makes you feel like a genius for each test chamber you complete, even if the solution is simple.  It provides the perfect amount of challenge, enough to keep you stuck for awhile but not enough to make you want to hurl the controller at the TV.

What really stands out about Portal 2 is the story, never has a game’s story been so finely crafted, with such a high degree of dialogue and wit.  Whether it’s being berated by GLaDOS or the idiot ramblings of Wheatley there’s rarely a moment where you aren’t laughing at what’s playing out on screen.  The dialogue is only made better by some amazing performances by the likes of Steven Merchant and J.K. Simmons.  The game also has one and quite possibly my favorite endings to a video game.

What really surprised me about Portal 2 is just how much I loved the co-op experience.  Generally I’m not a huge fan of co-op features in games, all they ever really do is put an extra person into the single player experience, with very little actual cooperation needed to progress through the game.  But with Portal 2’s co-op, teamwork and cooperation is essential to make it through the test chambers.  It’s impressive how simply adding two extra portals completely opens up and changes what you can do in the game.  And working together with a friend to solve a puzzle provides a completely different feeling of satisfaction than getting through something on your own.

Portal 2 is the reason I play video games, and it’s an example to what all other games should strive to be.  So I reward Portal 2 the title as my game of the year of 2011 and if you haven’t played it yet I strongly urge you to go and buy it.

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