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The top 25 video games of 2011 in pictures

Chad Sapieha picks his favourite games from the last 12 months, from January's LittleBigPlanet 2 to December's Star Wars: The Old Republic.

1 of 24

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a vast fantasy role-playing game with one of the most immersive virtual worlds ever created. We think it's the best game of 2011

Bethesda Softworks

2 of 24

Batman: Arkham City, an open-world multiplatform game that ranks among the very best super hero adaptations

Warner Bros.

3 of 24

Portal 2, an ingenius puzzler featuring some of the most memorable characters ever to appear in a game

Valve Corp.

4 of 24

Gears of War 3, the gritty and occasionally moving final chapter in one of Xbox 360's best exclusive series

Microsoft

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5 of 24

Minecraft, an indie game for PCs that allows players to create virtually anything they can imagine using materials mined within its virtual world

Mojang

6 of 24

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, an action/adventure RPG for Wii that sees Link questing through cleverly designed dungeons while chasing after the titular heroine

Nintendo

7 of 24

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, a truly cinematic game that feels like a 12-hour movie controlled by players

SCEA

8 of 24

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a powerful new entry in the franchise that remains safely at the top of the heap of military first-person shooters

Activision

9 of 24

L.A. Noire, a period piece detective saga that takes facial animation and performance capture to new levels

Rockstar Games

10 of 24

Forza Motorsport 4 for Xbox 360, the new champion of driving simulation games

Microsoft

11 of 24

The Gunstringer for Xbox 360, a genuinely witty Kinect-only game that puts players at the strings of a cowboy marionette

Microsoft

12 of 24

Infinity Blade II, a sword-slashing iOS game released near the end of the year, provides further proof that Apple's hardware can serve as an effective platform for hardcore games

Epic Games

13 of 24

The Binding of Isaac, a short but provocative independent game for PCs

Edmund McMillan

14 of 24

LittleBigPlanet 2, a game that gives players the power to build their own interactive experiences and share them with others. Exclusive to PlayStation 3

SCEA

15 of 24

Mario Kart 7, a stereoscopic racing game for Nintendo 3DS that's fun for all ages

Nintendo

16 of 24

Professor Layton and the Last Specter, a terrific puzzle game for Nintendo DS with a charming, gentlemanly lead

Nintendo

17 of 24

Star Wars: The Old Republic, an enormous and unusually story-driven MMORPG set in a galaxy far, far away

BioWare

18 of 24

Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS, a short but brilliant platformer that combines the best parts of Mario games old and new

Nintendo

19 of 24

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, a visually sumptuous and decidedly mature role-playing game currently available only for PCs

CD Projeky RED

20 of 24

Bastion, an Xbox Live Arcade adventure with an ever-present narrator whose soothing voice provides a running commentary on game events

Microsoft

21 of 24

Child of Eden, an immersive movement-based shooter for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with kalaidoscopic visual effects and a pulsing soundtrack

Ubisoft

22 of 24

Dead Space 2, a sci-fi horror game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that delivers plenty of shocks as well as moments of chilling psychological terror

Electronic Arts

23 of 24

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a sci-fi role-playing game that provides players nearly unparalleled freedom to play in the style of their choosing

24 of 24

Dragon Age II, a role-playing game that sees players spending much of their time in compelling, branching conversations that mold their character's personality

BioWare

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