Shacknews 'Best of 2011' Awards

We put 2011 in the history books, and with that the time comes to recognize the best from the impressive collection of videogames released over the year. Before even getting to the nominees, though, we took a good look at the awards themselves. When we brought them back for 2010, we took a pretty standard approach, recognizing best of's for genres and platforms, special awards for unique attributes, and, ultimately, a game of the year. The result created confusion and dissatisfaction over what games qualified for which awards and, despite having so many of them, only calling out a few titles which then won multiple times.

For 2011 we're taking a different tack. Rather than dilute things across a wide range, we put everything in contention for the grand prize of Game of the Year. Each member of the team cast a ballot of their top five games of the year, which we used on a weighted scale to determine our top ten games of the year.

Starting this week, we'll be working through that list, beginning with five honorable mentions, one each day. We chose not to rank this second half of our top ten because the difference between their scores was rather insignificant. Each of these games found its way onto more than one list, but they didn't receive the same consensus as our top five award recipients.

The following week we'll dive into the top five. We'll be awarding fourth, third, second, and first runners-up each day. Finally, the series culminates in the Shacknews Game of the Year, to be named Friday, January 20.

While the order might be a source of debate, we're excited about how the awards turned out this year. 2011 offered a variety of excellent games and we feel like these represent the very best of them. There's sure to be a lot to talk about with each selection and the awards as whole when all is said and done. We look forward to being a part of those conversations with you.

And with that, let the 2011 Shacknews Game of the Year Awards begin! Hope you enjoy them.