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

#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.

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

  1. Blaise says:

    Great list, I’m glad Solatorobo made the cut. But I totally agree, the dialogue was outrageous at times.
    “Here’s your mission, don’t get hit by traps.”
    “Okay, hey, by the way, how are you?”
    “Oh good, and yourself?”
    “Terrific! Thanks for asking. But again, don’t get hit by traps.”
    “Okay, oh, nice shirt!”
    “Thanks man. Again, the trap thing.”
    “Oh thanks, I forgot.”

    Only game I disagree with is Super Mario 3D Land. I mentioned it in a previous post, but I just thought the game felt rushed, had to many levels consisting of the game’s melody, was too easy, and was just bare bones. 3D effect and its importance in the game was greatly exaggerated by Nintendo.

    I would replace 3D Land with Rayman Origins, though that’s multi-platform.

  2. Richard says:

    Awesome list, Eugene–Great taste in games! I definitely have to check out Return to Dreamland and Solatorobo.

    My own list of favorite Nintendo games I played in 2011 goes like so:

    15. Professor Layton and the Last Spector (disliked the story, loved the puzzles)
    14. Nintendogs + cats
    13. Pilotwings Resort
    12. Pokemon Black/White
    11. Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
    10. Street Fighter IV
    9. Face Raiders
    8. Pushmo
    7. Ocarina of Time 3D
    6. Starfox 64 3D
    5. Freakyforms
    4. Yoshi’s Island VC (still awesome!)
    3. Super Mario 3D Land
    2. Skyward Sword
    1. Mario Kart 7

    Haven’t played Minish Cap yet; it’s next up! 🙂

  3. Eugene says:

    You’re right, Rayman Origins was fantastic. The only reason it isn’t is on my list is that while I played it on Wii, I preferred it on the 360 just because I wanted to get the most bang for my buck visually.

  4. Eugene says:


    You turned me on to Freakyforms and I absolutely love it! It has really been a great year for the eShop.

  5. monkat says:

    Wow! I’m so glad to see some Solatorobo love on here! Such an amazing game! Here’s my list, that I wrote up on my blog, like, two weeks ago? Anyway, we have similar gaming tastes a lot of the time, Eugene!

    ###Not all Nintendo!
    10. Portal 2 (PS3/XBox360/PC)
    9. Cladun x2 (PSP)
    8. Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
    7. Fishing Resort (Wii)
    6. The Binding of Isaac (Windows / OS/X / Linux — potentially 3DS)
    5. Bastion (Xbox360/PC/Chrome)
    4. Corpse Party (PSP — Also on PC in Japan)
    3. Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
    2. Catherine (Xbox360/PS3)
    1. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP) #My new favorite game of all time.

    Back to your list, though, I wanted to talk about Street Fighter for a second. I’m not a big fan, and I think it has a lot to do with the aesthetic. It appeals to late ’80s-early ’90s Japan niches, and it just feels ancient to me. I’m more of a Guilty Gear and BlazBlue kind of guy, but that’s just me.

  6. Job says:

    Fantastic lists to Eugene and Richard

  7. shayminfreak says:

    I thought it was a pretty good list, but there’s one thing that’s been bothering me about everyone’s “favorites” lists. I bought the game Samurai Warriors: Chronicles when I got the 3DS, forgoing Street Fighter in the process. That game blew me away, it was such a fun experience. Street Fighter, in my opinion, can’t compare with the hack-‘n-slash gameplay that Samurai Warriors gave. For this reason, it made my list, and although it didn’t top it (Last Specter), it’s still a game that everyone should check out.

  8. Holly says:

    Thanks for that! Now the pressure’s really on! 😉

    I pretty much agree. Glad to see Lost In Shadow receive its well-deserved recognition.

    Bold move putting Mario Kart 7 above Skyward Sword, but I almost think that’s the way to go! I’m loving Mario Kart 7! It’s the best Mario Kart yet, and that’s saying something!

  9. Jawknee says:

    YES! Skyward Sword is the best game I have played this entire generation. I’m an avid PS3 gamer too. I just love it. I have completed it 3 times in a row now and will be starting a new game just as soon as I am finished playing through Twilight Princess again. Great list. All good games(the ones I have played anyway). Hope Minish Cap is released for purchase soon. Loved that title too.

  10. frstOne says:

    I haven’t played most of the games in the list :(. I think I’ll check out Lost in Shadows.

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