News Article

Game of the Year: Nintendo Life Reader Awards 2011

Posted by James Newton

Over 6,000 votes were cast in our end of year poll, but what game did you name as the best of 2011?

Did Zelda pull off a double win by netting both Reader and Staff awards, or did Mario impress enough to shut Link out? Did Operation Rainfall raise enough awareness to put Xenoblade Chronicles in the top spot, or is there a real wildcard at number one?

Readers' Ultimate Game of 2011


The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Netting 52% of the votes, Skyward Sword is the overwhelming readers' choice for the best game on a Nintendo platform in 2011. What more can be said about this game? It's a real treasure and gaming highlight of the past 12 months.

Second place: Mario Kart 7 — 11%
Despite missing out in the 3DS GOTY vote, Mario Kart raced to take up second place in the overall poll, beating his platforming companion by just a handful of votes. No doubt buoyed by multiplayer online races over Christmas, MK7 is a silver medallist on our end-of-year podium.

Third place: Super Mario 3D Land — 10%
The plumber misses the top of the flag but still scores some coins.

Final Thoughts

As we approach the end of 2011, what are your lasting memories of the past gaming months? Is Zelda a deserving GOTY, or will you remember this past year for a different reason? Let us know in the comments below!

From the web

User Comments (62)



Late said:

These are almost the same ones I gave my vote. Only 3DS winner is different. I voted for Mario Kart 7.



Pyrodon said:

That's weird how Super Mario 3D land won over Mario Kart 7 in best 3DS game of the year, but then Mario Kart 7 had more percent in overall game of the year...



Reggie4Life said:

Wait, isn't there an official GoTY, with IGN hosting, or something????? Help, please!



JGMR said:

Americans will get their chance to vote Xenoblade as 'Wii game of 2012'..

As I already commented on the staff's choices :
I'm very glad that Xenoblade made it to the second position! LOL



Shiryu said:

Ah, "Xenoblade" and "FAST League Racing" got second place. Was really roting for them, but it was to be expected. Happy new year, everyone! v ^_^



Mahe said:

Skyward Sword is mediocre. Have people played the other games that came out?



Galaxia-Master said:

Skyward Sword really isn't mediocre. It's Super.

I voted Zelda for Wii, Kirby for DS, Mario 3D Land for 3DS, Four Swords for DSiWare and Pullblox for 3DSWare. Nearly everything turned out as I expected. But it's weird dat 3D Land is the best 3DS game and Mario Kart 7 is second best game of the year. I also agree with Kirby97. Ghost Trick deserved a place.

Well, It was a really good Nintendo year.! Hope next year will be good too. Happy New Year!!!



TikiTong said:

Ill remember this year as the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, and all of Nintendo's stars, like Mario,Link,Fox,Kirby and such starring in amazing gmes for the 3DS and Wii



Chris720 said:

Skyward Sword deserves to be in top spot, it's truly outstanding what Nintendo did with that game! Bravo, Zelda, bravo! clap clap clap



Blaze said:

I'm really happy Xenoblade got second despite the fact that the Americans are yet to pay it. In my opinion it pretty much matches Skyward Sword overall, and is well deserving of it's 2nd place. Also, I was surprised that Super Mario 3D Land got 3DS game of the year. I thought it would be MK7.



NintyMan said:

Overall, I'm not that surprised by the results, but that is funny that Mario Kart 7 beat out Mario 3D Land in the overall count. Skyward Sword deserves this year's crown, no doubt about it.



TKOWL said:

Awesome, Pokemon getting first, the best 300 hours of my life.

Shame VVVVVV didn't win, even though Pushmo is fun.



fishman100 said:

I'm surprised that OoT 3D didn't win in the 3DS GoTY, however I am glad that it was beat by 2 fine games, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land.



Crystalking18 said:

This year was a very eh year for Nintendo, but high quality games were still released. Next year we have Xenoblade, Luigi's Mansion 2, Kid Icarus, Paper Mario, and hopefully some other great games announced at E3



Kyloctopus said:

None of my choices won but four swords but these are well deserving. But I will wait for that year when Professor Layton beats Pokemon.
I said but alot lol. (I need a laugh on the holidays)



Monsti said:

Basically what I voted for as well. It was a really good year after all.

@Dragoon: It didn't have a real chance since it's only out in the US!



Knuckles said:

I demand a recount! =) Really was the wuhu loop glitch was enough to keep mario kart 7 from winning 3DS GOTY?



Retro_on_theGo said:

Everything I voted for, except 3DS game of the year, won! Awesome!
Zelda definitely deserved everything it won today and yesterday. It was a great year to be a Zelda fan.



Odnetnin said:

This really is a sad state of affairs for Wii this year, isn't it (especially in North America)? The fact that Kirby got 3rd place is telling.

I'm sure Pokemon would've been my DS GotY if I had gotten it (since I didn't play any DS games from 2011), but I just couldn't let myself get into that series again. I really just don't have the time these days.

Glad Mario Kart 7 was beat by 3D Land, in 3DS GotY at least. For me, mind-blowing creativity and pitch-perfect platforming will beat fun multiplayer racing any day.

Not too surprised my vote for Flipper 2 didn't go anywhere considering it's been out for only 49 hours in EU and not in NA yet at all.

I made a good call in voting for VVVVVV instead of Pushmo, as I knew the latter would win due to VVVVVV being out for the same amount of time as Flipper 2, and only in one country again (this time America). Especially since while Pushmo might be the best puzzle game I've ever played (besides the Portal games, which have so much else going for them anyway), VVVVVV is hands down my favorite "traditional" platformer, and I like platformers better than puzzlers.

I should be happy my FLUX vote counted for something in it getting third place, and I am, but really, it got beat by FAST? This series really is too eclectic for the majority of gamers.

No surprises with the "Ultimate" GotY, but as others have said, interesting Mario Kart 7 took the cake over 3D Land for this award. Maybe people who voted the latter as 3DS GotY felt bad and wanted to give Kart some love too?

Zelda: Skyward Sword is one of the best games that has ever been made and will ever be made, so kudos to Nintendo for proving they still have what it takes to be the best after 25 years.

@Mahe Dood, (in America at least) nothing else came out. Even if Skyward Sword was mediocre it'd still be the best Wii game released this year.



Kitty_hime1 said:

I WAS ONE OF DA 6,000 VOTES!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! lol i think i forgot what i voted for lol but of course i just know i voted for Skyward Sword and 4 Swords for 3ds i think i voted zelda wooooo i did 3 zeldas for 3 categorys!!!!!! lol



KaiserGX said:

Kirby getting 3rd place is WHAT? Is it wrong I prefer Kirby over Skyward Sword (despite loving both). You don't speak for all of us man. Hell I even like Fortune Street after it. Rayman Origins not so much.



Tasuki said:

It seemed to be a slow year at the beginning for Nintendo, with the botched 3DS release and all but towards the end they put out some good games indeed and salvaged the year. Kirbys Return to Dreamland, Skyward Sword, SM3DL and MK7 just to name a few. Hopefully 2012 they will have a good year all around.



Geonjaha said:

Really dont think Pokemon deserves first - that franchise is just getting lazy. All the others were the same as the staff ones, and were pretty obvious choices.



Bassman_Q said:

I really wish Okamiden and escapeVektor Chapter 1 had won at least an honorable mention... those games really made 2011 for me in terms of gaming.



XCWarrior said:

I like this concept, because the fans can't complain. We did the voting, and this shows what the majority of us liked.

Though I think if more people would try more games, the votes might not be so landslide-ish all the time.



NX01Trekkie1992 said:

like @Late said, I voted for all of these except for the 3DS winner if I remember correctly, I voted for MK7, but SM3DL is well deserving of the title too



motang said:

Ah Xenoblade, how I wish I could have played you in 2011! Well 2012 will be the year I play then, and April isn't too far off!



alLabouTandroiD said:

I've only really played 4 of the winning games so i better keep my mouth shut about the winners. But Kirby Mass Attack, Mario Kart 7 and Pullblox are really great. Zelda OoT was nice too but i can't really get excited about a remake of a game i played before.

One to Watch in 2012: Looking forward the most to Luigi's Mansion 2. Of course i hope Kid Icarus: Uprising to turn out great but i don't wanna get my hopes up too high for this one.
Fanboy moment: The update that contained video recording. Especially being able to pay for just one eShop game was something i never thought i'd ever see. Along with the very Nintendo-like updates to StreetPass this makes me more optimistic that Nintendo really grasps online now.
Biggest surprises: DS going out in style / Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
Disappointement: Capcoms's cancellation of MML3 and how they communicated it. PES2011 (3DS) and Bust-A-Move Universe

PS: It would be interesting to see a full list of the eShop results. I thought Pushmo would get a much bigger advantage.



RevolverLink said:

It's a testament to what a sneaky good year the old DS had that none of my four favorite 2011 DS games (Radiant Historia, Ghost Trick, Okamiden, Solatorobo) cracked the top three in votes and I don't have a problem with it.



Aqueous said:

Nice, love seeing all the zelda and I guessed the winners, except for wiiware (I never played any this year), even if I did not vote for them



Odnetnin said:

@cyrus_zuo Hey, I really enjoyed both of them, and First Flight was actually the best DSiWare game I played this year (besides Antipole, but I think I'll give Airport Mania the edge). Sorry I didn't vote for it on the assumption that my DSiWare GotY was going to come out yesterday, which it didn't.

On an unrelated note, do you have the power to put Airport Mania on sale on the Amazon App Store so I could get it for my Kindle Fire? I think I would enjoy it even more on the bigger, full-touch screen.



fpssoviet said:

@9 arent you the guy who review skyward sword on gamespot cause im thinking theres only one of you



Wildfire said:

Yeah!All the games I voted for, got the 1st place! Well...except the DS game I voted on Solatorobo.But doesn't matter they're all great games!!XD Happy new year everyone!



Mr-X9000 said:

i guessed the 3DS ware, the 3DS, the dsiware,and the ds game of the year right



Mattiator said:

Very little of what I voted for won. Not too surprising, considering I voted Radiant Historia for DS game of the year (Yes, it was better than Ghost Trick and Solatorobo, at least in my opinion.) and Step Up! for WiiWare, since I don't own any Wiiware titles. Though I will need to check out FAST.



Supremeist said:

Didn't get too vote because I was banned at the time.. disappointing. Ocarina of Time 3D deserved 3DS Game of the year though.



StarDust4Ever said:

Sweet! I voted Mario 3D Land as 3DS GOTY, and MarioKart 7 as overall GOTY, and MK7 beat out 3D Land by a hair in the runner up tallies for overall GOTY. I guess I made up one of those handfuls of votes that edged MK7 into the runner up spot. Skyward Sword also had my vote for Wii.

As much as I loathe Pokemon, I'm not surprized that White & black got the DS GOTY title. Oh well...

PS - Hooray for Pushmo!



Dizzard said:

Mario Kart 3DS should have beaten Mario 3D Land.

Also it's a shame Skyward Sword beat Xenoblade Chronicles by such a large margin. I preferred the latter game.



odd69 said:

Im glad everyone enjoyed Kirbys return to dreamland enough for it to get third. I figured skyward sword would win



boob said:

All good,
4 swords in single player would not be good enough to win. Since Xmas however I've had the privilege to play it multiplayer, it is an absoloute blast, all makes sense now.
The first 8 worlds of 3d land are fairly easy, but then the specials are much more of a challenge, good mix imo.



TheBaconator said:

Didn't vote for any of the winners (except Four Swords), which was expected because I didn't vote for the obvious favorites Zelda, Pushmo, or 3D Land in their respected categories. Guess I have different taste. (And there was no way Ghost Trick was going to win Game of the Year, but I'm surprised that it wasn't a runner up in the DS category and Rayman wasn't a runner up in the Wii category.)

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...