Don’t call it a ‘best of’ list: my favorite Nintendo games of 2011

Infendo

#5 Xenoblade Chronicles
One of my new years resolutions is to finally finish my import copy of Xenoblade Chronicles which seemed to get lost in the onslaught of end of year holiday titles. I absolutely adore this game, right down to the pretty great voice acting to the incredible visuals. The combat isn’t like anything I have ever experienced in an RPG, and I look forward to continuing my adventure.

#4 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Ok so we all know the deal with Ocarina of Time, it’s a pretty good game. Although the game is well over 10 years old, even today not everyone has had the pleasure of experiencing it. That’s where Ocarina of Time 3D comes in. As found as my memories of games from the N64 are, let’s face it, games from that era just haven’t aged well so it’s great to see Nintendo re-releasing some of the best of them with updated visuals. The 3DS game didn’t do anything radically different from the original or the subsequent Master Quest release on Gamecube, but the game is so good that they really didn’t have to.

#3 Okamiden
I didn’t get in on the whole Okami craze until well after the PS2 title released, but once I finally got my hands on the Wii remake, I have been clamoring for more. While Okamiden doesn’t quite have the scale of the console big brother, the game is full of fantastic gameplay and crammed full of visuals you wouldn’t believe were coming from your DS. While I still prefer the console version, there is something to be said about having the Okami experience in the palm of your hands.

#2 Super Mario 3D Land
I’m going to be real with you for a second, and you might not like me very much for it. The year for 3DS was only so-so, finally gaining steam towards the latter half of the year. This should be expected for any new system finding it’s way into the market, just look at the Japanese numbers for the PS Vita. However, Nintendo finally righted the ship by first lowering the price of entry to 169.99, and finally getting some triple A titles out for the system. The turning point for me was the release of Super Mario 3D Land, an excellent platformer that should be in every 3DS owners library. Although the initial game is short, completionists will spend countless hours collecting every doo-dad and unlocking every level. Nintendo needs more quality releases like 3D Land in the 3DS library, and I can’t wait to see what they deliver for 2012 and beyond.

#1 Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword
If the Wii is on it’s last legs, then Skyward Sword was a fantastic finish to a console cycle. If you don’t like motion controls, then Skyward Sword probably won’t change your mind on the control scheme; but if you have been a Wii owner from the outset and have learned and grown with the controls Nintendo has brought to the table you will have fantastic time with the game. I can wholeheartedly recommend the game to anyone who doesn’t mind a little bit of motion in there games, and anyone who doesn’t mind a whole lot of awesome. Play it.

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.