December 22, 2011, 14:00

Community Game Of The Year 2011: Best RPG

By Harry Bandell, Contributor

Editor’s Note: We recently asked you, our community to vote for your Games of the Year across a variety of categories. We received a fantastic number of votes, well surpassing last year’s entries, and well, this is just one of many results. Enjoy.

Last year saw some brilliant RPGs fill the gaming calendar, Bioware’s space sequel Mass Effect 2 springing to mind immediately. 2010 promised much for the year following and it absolutely delivered: between the likes of Bethesda, Ubisoft, Game Freak, Eidos, Techland, From Software and CD Projekt all releasing high-quality role-playing games this year has been a fantastic one for those who love their time-sinking adventures.

While I can’t speak for the indie side of things – I haven’t played any I can recall – there have been plenty of big-budget titles to choose from. Not that you’d have a lot of time to play all the ones worth considering mind, as each of these games have offered an enormous amount of gameplay… particularly the winner of this award.

As voted for by the MediaKick community, the winner of the Best RPG award for 2011 is: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Community Game Of The Year 2011: Best RPG

“To the game you stay a slave
Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I’ll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I’ll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I roam.”

Metallica lyrics have never been more poignantly apt for describing something than the experience felt wandering the vast plains of Skyrim. Earning itself a competition-destroying 59.3% of the votes, the fifth Elder Scrolls game provides a role-playing experience that even the most masochistic of Dark Souls fans surely can’t help but want to play. As Bethesda work hard to fix the inevitable problems its game was always going to have, Skyrim becomes the complete package it should and can be; though as Dave remarks in his review, “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim really has raised the bar for just about every RPG in existence.”

We have arguably the best RPG this generation has had the pleasure of seeing sitting on our shelves and while we may have to wait a bit before this statement can be fully justifiable the groundwork is there for you to see: Skyrim when it works is nothing short of spectacular, offering a ridiculous amount of content to match with its compelling story and gameplay. It builds upon the foundations laid by Oblivion and the prequels before it, tweaking the UI and gameplay to keep things fresh while adding extensions left, right and centre in an attempt to give us the biggest and best Elder Scrolls yet. There’s a promise of over 200 hours of gameplay but expect that to at least double as you spends months of your life stripping the game bare then starting from scratch with a new character and a different play style; Skyrim (like Oblivion did for me) should keep you entertained for years.

Runner-up this year was Eidos, who returned to the Deus Ex franchise with a superb title, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It’s not the best RPG to hit the shelves in 2011 but it is indeed one that takes elements of the genre (and 11.7% of the community votes total) and makes fantastic use of them. Character customisations as you progress are superbly balanced to match your play style, the exploration of environments yields a plethora of rewarding quests and that all-important character development is really well implemented in the progression of all key players in the story. While Adam Jensen has his Batman Light moments and David Sarif earns himself a nomination for the most poorly voiced character in a game this year, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an immersive game that is bursting with character; it’s just a shame that its excellence has been overshadowed by such an excellent end-of-year release schedule.

There are no surprises is this award here then: Skyrim takes its second community award affirming it’s never to be over-stated status as the best RPG this year had to offer, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution providing the worthy alternative as runner-up.