Coast writer since 2011
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo) Available on Wii
The Wii's swan song may also be the greatest Zelda title on any platform, even better than the pivotal Ocarina of Time. This is pure adventure gaming at its finest, a real treasure. Dust off your Wii for one of the most magical games ever created. Fully orchestrated score, motion-controls that aren't a royal pain. This is the Zelda we've been waiting for.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda) Available on 360, PS3, PC
An enormous world to discover, unending quests, and yes---dragons! Skyrim is one of the biggest role-playing games ever and could be considered a full-blown virtual vacation, with some of the most dazzling visuals to take in.
Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) Available on PS3, 360, PC
Batman is badass and he demonstrates that fact in Arkham City. An open world to explore and fight bad guys, this is the best superhero video game, period. With lots to unlock you'll feel like the actual Dark Knight.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Sony) Available on PS3
Indiana Jones has met his match, and his name is Nathan Drake. Continuing one of the most entertaining stories in video games, the Uncharted series remains a top performer. Perfect balance of fun, story and sassiness.
Rayman Origins (Ubisoft) Available on 360, PS3, Wii
The 2D platformer has done really well in 2011, and Rayman Origins is the cream of the crop. Beautifully hand drawn animations and tight gameplay make this a must-have. Co-op will be great for friends/families.
Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft) Available on 360
Simply the best racing game there is, Forza has incredible graphical fidelity and realistic physics. Let's you get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin or a Volkswagen and still burn rubber.
L.A. Noire (Rockstar) Available on 360, PS3, PC
A cinematic game that shows off some innovative technology while letting you play detective. A great mix of storytelling, looking for clues and intense action sequences--- single player, hipster and brilliant.
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo) Available on 3DS
Mario is awesome and Nintendo's mascot is even good in 3D. Integrating the third dimension into the level design leads to some amazing moments that will blow you away. No-brainer---if you have a 3DS, you need this game.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square Enix) Available on 360, PS3, PC, Mac
A great science fiction epic that criticizes human greed and lets you kick some serious ass too. Whether you decide to be a stealthy hacker or a no-bullshit Rambo psychopath, there's fun to be had.
Sonic Generations (Sega) Available on 360, PS3, Wii, PC, 3DS
Oh Sonic, it's been so long since you've had a great game, but we forgive you. The blue hedgehog is back to his roots with amazing platforming and speed. Classic levels and soundtracks are back in full form.
Battlefield 3 (Electronic Arts) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision) Available on 360, PS3, PC
I put both games as one because they are essentially the same thing: short and pointless single-player campaigns with a terribly addictive multiplayer mode. Warning: Stupid, annoying, racist children will yell at you through their headphones. Play these games and enjoy them, but remember---there are other better games out there. See above.
Colin's favourite game of all time is Baldur's Gate for the PC. Probably the only person on earth with just a GameCube last console generation. Favourite Pokémon is Gyarados.