The Platinum Chalice Awards 2011, Part 3 – Game of the Year

This article is part three of a three-part series of awards. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

Our sixth annual Platinum Chalice Awards are now in their final stretch. With the rest of this celebration of gaming behind us, there's just one thing left to do: declare a winner for Game of the Year. Once again, we're doing things a little differently this year; where in years past, we'd simply pick a winner and a runner-up, this year is so crammed full of top-tier quality that just singling out two games seems incredibly stingy. So instead, we'll start by ticking off five nominees – which we've teasingly revealed all this week, one at a time – and then declare a victor (and reveal our Reader's Choice winner) on the following page. Sound good? All right then, let's finish this!


Batman: Arkham City

Our review said: “Batman: Arkham Asylum was the greatest superhero game of all time. The sequel, Batman: Arkham City, is five times bigger and about a billion times better. You do the math.”

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Our review said: “Skyrim is sprawling, generous, gorgeous and ambitious. It does what few games can: thoroughly follow through on its ambitions. It could be possible to play only this game for the next year and still not discover all of its mysteries.”

Portal 2

Our review said: “Portal 2 couldn't be Portal, but it's the next best thing. It's a longer, funnier, more emotional plummet through Aperture's perplexing laboratory, and its meticulous detail, perfect pacing, and kinetic, mind-expanding puzzles make it a blazingly memorable experience. It's so damn memorable, already feel nostalgic about it.”

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Our review said: Truly a labor of love, this amazing sequel fortifies the foundations laid down by a flawed classic and creates a brilliant masterpiece. Visceral combat, dizzying player customization and a truly immersive story all come together to create one of the best role-playing experiences of the year.”

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Our review said: A perfectly balanced mix of innovation and classic Zelda gameplay, Skyward Sword truly lives up to the Zelda legacy of excellence, and offers the most variety of any Zelda game to date. Its swordplay and puzzles are some of the best in the series, and seeing Link and Zelda's first story chronologically is a treat for longtime fans.”

Who's going to take it away this year? Find out on the next page, when we announce that the winner is... IS...

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  • iamawesome27 - December 16, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    Thank you so, so much for not putting Skyrim as GOTY. I was very worried, as it is only my third favorite game of the year, behind Portal 2 and Pokemon. It's a good game, but I don't think it's as amazing as everyone has said.
  • BaraChat - December 16, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    That's a strange thing to say. Why would it even bother you if it was first? Would you feel sad or disappointed? It's their choice, not yours. I think it's pretty weird someone would feel worried then relieved by a choice that doesn't have any direct effect on them. Do you really feel the need for someone to agree with you (it's "only" my third favorite game). Well Portal 2 isn't mine (although it is awesome) and I don't give a flying poop it won or not. This is a very mind-boggling approach you have. On Topic, there were so many great games this year (honestly, one of the best years in gaming history) any choice would have been all right with me. So far mine would be Arkham City, but I haven't even finished Zelda, nor have I even slid my copy of Skyrim in my PS3, and there are MANY games of 2011 I haven't even tried yet (Saints Row The Third, Sonics Gen, Rayman, Kirby, Mario 3D, etc). On a year like that, gamers win anyway.
  • bobob101 - December 16, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    I knew Skyward Sword wasn't to win, but it has my love all the same.
  • playswithsquirrels - December 16, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    I was really hoping Portal 2 would win! Not that it losing to Skyrim or Batman or any other nominee would have mattered...or that Portal 2 winning actually matters to my opinion, but I'm glad the one site I read daily gave it to the game I would give my personal vote to.
  • iamawesome27 - December 16, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    Um, you guys put Arkham Asylum instead of Arkham city in the nominee list. This seems like a problem..
  • bobob101 - December 16, 2011 9:29 p.m.

    Good spotting
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - December 16, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    How embarrassing. Thanks for the catch!
  • playswithsquirrels - December 16, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    Is it bad that I have to think hard about which is which as I play the game?
  • ninjaemperor - December 16, 2011 9:29 p.m.

    Great choice guys! I won't say what won, in case I spoil it for someone, but it really was an excellent game.
  • V22Dreamcast - December 16, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    Can't complain...Portal 2 was a fatastic game. Although, I would have chosen Batman: AC. This was just a great year for games and so many deserved to be game of the year.
  • jasoncarter - December 16, 2011 9:36 p.m.

    This is one case where just have to completely disagree. I still just don't get why portal 2 is so great. Good yes, great? No. But hey, to each his own.
  • bitchassafriBLAMamericANTISTA - December 16, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    beat portal 2 in a week. forgot about it by may. and after all this time still no dlc for consoles come on!
  • playswithsquirrels - December 16, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    There is DLC...
  • smashpro1 - December 16, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    Saints Row: The Third was fucking robbed!
  • firelegendmush - December 16, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    I personally couldn't justify spending $60 on Portal 2 since it ends so quickly. Sure, it may be the greatest 10 hours (roughly) of your life, but then it's over.
  • NotBraze - December 16, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    Ok, you guys are making me second guess myself here. I had totally talked myself into calling Arkham City my personal game of the year with Portal 2 as a close second, but I agree with every single one of those gushing words you wrote about Portal 2. Portal 2 was a brilliant game and anyone who argues that it doesn't deserve this has no taste. No I have to face an internal struggle over which is *really* my game of the year.
  • itsgoodtobetheking - December 16, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    I think you guys nailed it on the head this year, Congrats
  • shawksta - December 16, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    Fair enough, Portal 2 didnt just be a better Portal, but Portal 2 is its own and not even close to calling it a Successor to Portal cause it made its own. Heh, I knew you guys just cant put Batman Down, it IS the best Super Hero game of all time until something else comes up thats not batman and did a better job. Witcher 2? No words can express, it was fantastic. Skyrim and Skyward Sword, Both Excellent games that was worth the 5-6 year wait along with Portal 2. and also praise for the awesome games this year that werent GOTY Nominee's! Gears 3, Uncharted 3, Ghost Trick, Pokemon B/W, those 2 shooters people want to have fanwars against, and all the other awesome games that shook 2011! Now, ONWARD 2012!
  • gondarpwns - December 16, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    i cant help but agree, but there should have been some other nominees. Sure they didnt do anything dramatic, but they did provide us for endless hours to waste our time on. Sure its not Skyrim, but i still as content wasting hours on GoW3 MP as anything else
  • sirdilznik - December 16, 2011 11:32 p.m.

    Portal 2 is a good choice. It's #2 in my opinion with Super Mario 3D Land being my personal Game of the Year, but since there seems to be some kind of law stating that a handheld title can't be Game of the Year (not a dig against GamesRadar, it's like that everywhere) then Portal 2 does indeed take the crown with The Witcher 2 being the next best game in my opinion.

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