As the year comes to a close I would like to reflect on some of the games that have made an impact on 2011. Today we reveal the first few games on Mike's "Best of 2011" list. Game Design Center will also pick one game for our 2011 Game of the Year. (more on that later) Though we are not a review or awards site, it's always fun to look back on releases and see how they stack up against each other.

Here is the first part of Mike's Best of 2011: 11-15.

15. Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 Dead Space was a spectacular game that redefined how horror action games could be designed, as well as retooling how HUDS and UI systems worked in games. It was a unexpected critical hit that will rightfully be known as a classic of this generation. Dead Space 2 doesn't quite set a new standard for horror games, but it does have a few insanely designed moments that are truly worth interacting with. (Wikipedia)

GD Highlights
• Intuitive UI/HUD
• Intense Action Horror in a third person perspective
• Unique weapons and upgrades

14. Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat Netherrealm Studios have easily crafted the best Mortal Kombat game and possibly the best fighting game of this generation. The single player campaign sets a new standard for fighters to follow and the x-ray power moves give players that unique flavor of MK that has been missing for quite some time. (Wikipedia)

GD Highlights
• Unique narrative driven campaign
• X-Ray Power Moves
• Exhaustive alternative game modes

13. PS3 Exclusives

PS3 Exclusives From Uncharted 3 to Little Big Planet 2, PS3 saw a healthy amount of exclusives that could only be found on PS3. Little Big Planet 2 is undoubtedly great for teaching newcomers about level design and game creation. Uncharted 3 is doing things with storytelling that are still amazingly spectacular, even if they still can't get a fun combat system working. Also we saw a slew of HD releases that introduced a new generation of gamers to some of the most celebrated games of years past.

GD Highlights
• Uncharted 3: Spectacular action sets, still has lackluster gun combat
• Little Big Planet 2: Playful platforming with an expansive level building tool set
• Ico/Shadow of the Colossus - Gaming classics with brilliant puzzling mechanics

12. Catherine

Catherine I think most people will easily dismiss this game for easily falling into typical Japanese anime storytelling, but the subject matter makes it incredibly intriguing. The nightly bar interactions and the Q*Bert-esque puzzles make this one of the most oddly entertaining games of the year. (Wikipedia)

GD Highlights
• Adult themed storytelling
• Q*Bert inspired puzzles
• Multiple story arcs and character stories

11. Binding of Isaac

Catherine Edmund McMilen, of Super Meat Boy fame, gives us a perma-death game that is more twisted than anything Super Meat Boy offered. This is a must play for any aspiring game designers . Harking back to the days of NES, Isacc will challenge your skills as a gamer. (Wikipedia)

GD Highlights
• Top Down Zelda inspired dungeons that are randomly generate with every play through
• Perma-death (No continues, checkpoints, or extra lives)
• Seemingly never ending upgrades and weapons

Our picks for #6 thru #10 can be found here