Best Non-AAA Shooter of 2011

Without a doubt, 2011 was an outstanding year for gaming. We were bombarded with good games this year, which makes picking the best of them even harder. Luckily, we’ve got you, the readers, to help us out.

Every day this week, we’ll be revealing our staff choices for the best games of the year in a variety of categories. We’ll also be reporting the results of our Reader’s Choice voting. So, without further ado, let’s get things started with the Best Non-AAA Shooters of 2011.

Without question, 2011 was the year of the shooter. All year long, we were bombarded with excellent entries into the genre. The list was so overwhelming that we actually created two lists this year. One for AAA shooter titles and another for smaller releases, just to keep some really deserving games from being excluded. Even with that, the debate raged long into the night before our five finalists in each category were decided.

The nominees were:


Our Picks

5. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is the sequel to the game that earned retail status by winning the Make Something Unreal contest. Its roots are clearly visible to anyone who plays it.The battlefields of World War 2 were a dangerous place, and that’s on full display in RO2. No reviving, no medics, and no ammo counters mean that your life is in your own hands, and you should safeguard it. Complex controls and a ton of confusing maps mean that you need to put some time into the game to master it, but the reward for doing so is one of the most hardcore multiplayer shooters of the year.

4. Section 8: Prejudice

Section 8: Prejudice was a title that didn’t get a ton of attention during the lead-up to its release. The Timegate developed shooter was only going to be $15, so how good could it be, right? Oh, how wrong we were. Prejudice offered up a short campaign mode that trained you up for the meat of the game: multiplayer. Launching from orbit to land on unsuspecting enemies, planting turrets, manning vehicles, and even donning a mech suit were all part of the goodness that Prejudice brought to the table. A host of useful unlocks and added free multiplayer modes have rounded it out to be one of the more underappreciated shooters of the year, all for the cost of some map packs.

3. Serious Sam 3: BFE

Serious Sam 3 is a balls-to-the-wall good time; Croteam holds nothing back in this sequel to some of the most fun shooters we’ve ever seen. It’s not complicated; they simply want to put you in a situation in which you’re fighting dozens, or hundreds, of bad guys all at the same time. At its craziest, Serious Sam 3 blows away the competition, delivering you into arenas so full of bad guys that you’ll start to wonder why other shooters feel so empty. It just goes and goes and goes until you have no more fight left, and then it keeps on going. On top of it all, you’ve got 16-player campaign co-op, and that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. You thought this game was crazy when you played it on your own, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. Serious Sam 3 is unforgettable, unrestrained madness, and you’ll love every second of it.

Go to Page 2 for the top 2 Non-AAA Shooters and Reader’s Choices!

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2 Comments on Best Non-AAA Shooter of 2011

Patrick Olson

On December 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Given that Bulletstorm not only sucked hard and is a tripple A title. I’ll gladly accept that metaphorical status then rather being one.
Clearly one doesn’t have the intellect to properly identify a tripple A title, I’ll let you decide.

Red Menace

On December 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Ugh, Bulletstorm. Section 8 doesn’t get enough credit.