10 Great Games You Probably Didn’t Play in 2011, But Should

We’ve seen a huge number of pretty great games in 2011. The triple-A category has been bursting with sequels that are actually good, ranging from solidly awesome multiplayer offerings in games such as Driver: San Francisco, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, to awesome single-player-only campaigns in Deus Ex: Human Revolution and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

With the great titles coming non-stop from Dead Space 2 and Portal 2 straight through to Skyrim, it has been easy to miss even more great games that have been overshadowed by the biggest players in the industry. Smaller downloadable titles, indie masterpieces and the generally overlooked titles were waiting in the wings as the big guys took center stage. So we’ve compiled a list of titles that you might have missed but are definitely worth a look.

10. Puzzle Dimension

The “dimension” part of the Puzzle Dimension title is the key here. On its face, the game is pretty simple: you’ll roll a ball around platform-based levels, attempting to gather flowers that will open a portal to the next level. Some platforms are icy; others break beneath you. There’s no time limit and no hurry — it’s just you, the puzzle, and your requirement of figuring out how to traverse it in one attempt.

But the puzzles of Puzzle Dimension, as you might have guessed, are three-dimensional. Sometimes you’ll roll off the edge of a platform to fall to one below it; other times, gravity will shift beneath you as you roll around a circular path. You’ll really need to flex your spacial reasoning muscles to continue advancing in Puzzle Dimensions, and the game doesn’t make it easy on you, either.

9. PayDay: The Heist

Mix Left 4 Dead’s cooperative-style first-person shooter gameplay with every heist movie you’ve ever seen and you get PayDay: The Heist. It’s a downloadable title from Sony and Overkill Software that borrows liberally from the Left 4 Dead concept — four players, hordes of enemies, objectives to complete — but with a lot of style of its own. You and three friends don clown masks and participate in some pretty intense criminal activity, like bank robbery, hostage-taking, prisoner breakouts and more. If you’ve ever wanted to recreate some of the best scenes from Point Break or Heat, this is your chance.

With a price tag of only $20, PayDay can be a great time when played with friends. A high number of unlockable weapons and abilities allow players to differentiate their styles over time, and the heists always stay tense and exciting. If you’ve got three FPS fan friends, you should definitely get them to pick up PayDay along with you.

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4 Comments on 10 Great Games You Probably Didn’t Play in 2011, But Should

Jeremy

On December 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Cthulu Saves the World is awesome. It’s a shame the Section 8 devs killed their own game.

Colin

On December 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

This is a great article. Thanks for this.

There are a few games in there that I haven’t tried but 2 games that I have played the absolute crap out of are Stacking and Frozen Synapse.

Frozen Synapse has just recently burst the 300,000 sales mark and it deserves all the credit it gets.

Geoff

On December 9, 2011 at 7:45 am

I can vouch for Payday: The Heist. It is as you say, intense, and flows really well. I haven’t played many tower defense games, but Orcs Must Die seems like one of the better ones.

Brutalisus

On December 12, 2011 at 10:40 am

Orcs Must Die is too easy. If you’re good at shooters you’re good at Orcs Must Die. I don’t really think it’s that great, it’s fun if you wanna play it for like 30 minutes at a time.