With 2011 drawing to a close, the MTV Geek staff took a look back at the many games that the year brought us. From stories fighting franchises rising from the ashes, to blockbuster shooters doing what they're going to do, I can honestly say it's been a year of more pleasant surprises than disappointments. While we didn't see any big-time experimentation or anything out-and-out strange or new this year among the major releases (no beautiful failures like Mirror's Edge or completely insane masterpieces like Bayonetta), the return of quite a few tried and true titles still provided some pretty spectacular peaks in console and PC achievement.

Here's MTV Geek's 2011 picks for Best Video Games.
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Otomedius Excellent

There once was a simpler time when Konami was known for more than "Metal Gear" and "Silent Hill." The long-established Japanese company was pushing games like "Contra" and "Castlevania" on the newly released Nintendo Entertainment System, making a name for themselves as one of the top developers for the system. Outside of the company's stellar action game line up, there were two games that Konami ported over from their arcade business early on in the NES' lifecycle to help bring the side-scrolling shooter genre home to a whole new audience. "Gradius" and "Salamander" ("Life Force" here in the U.S.) were unlike most games on the market, and their influence was so pervasive, that it can still be felt today, particularly in Konami's latest release "Otomedius Excellent."

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I'm the guy who's going to complain that it was just Halloween and now Christmas is on the way. Retailers are running early Black Friday sales. Early. Black Friday. Sales.

November continues to be the month clogged with so many major releases by the publishers trying to get your attention and remind you that "Hey, we've got some games, you guys. Would you like to try them?"
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Are you digging Assassin's Creed: Revelations and its updated multiplayer? Feel like you need some more character skins and taunts to really make the experience great?

Well, a little under a month after the current game's release, Ubisoft is dropping some new playable characters for the Assasin's Creed: Revelations' multiplayer modes. Curiously, they're opting to start with more characters and no new maps or scenarios for the first round of DLC. On December 13th, the new downloadable lineup, dubbed the "Ancestors Character Pack," will include "the swashbuckling Privateer, the devious siren Corsair, the battle-tested Brigand and the bloodthirsty Gladiator. Each character is personalized with unique taunts, weapons and stylized assassination moves."

So guys, how is the Assassin's Creed multiplayer? I regrettably missed Brotherhood but I have to imagine the dynamics of trying to murder dudes (and ladies, of course) online has to be interesting at least? Also, in your experience, how many of you have been getting these new characters for the previous game? Do they inject anything new into the overall experience? I'm asking here, because I'm curious as to the response to this kind of targeted DLC. Tell you what: you can let us know through our Facebook page or Twitter feed what you think about character packs in DLC.

The "Ancestors Character Pack" DLC will be available December 13th through PSN and Xbox Live for $3.99/320 MS Points respectively. The PC version of Assassin's Creed: Revelations will be available on November 29th.

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There are so many apps, games and accessories available for our iOS devices it's almost disgusting. To give everyone a hand picking out some cool gear and software for the Apple fanatic in their life this holiday season we decided to put together a list of 10 of our favorite iPhone and iPad games and accessories. Enjoy!

Apple Digital AV Adapter - iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
We'll start with the basics. Watching TV shows and movies from iTunes and Netflix on the iPad can be great. But if you're not on the go why confine the entertainent to such a small screen? Apple's Digital AV Adapter lets you connect an HDMI cable to your iPhone 4, iPad and 4th Gen. iPod Touch so you can watch movies and even play games like Angry Birds on an HDTV! You can pick one up for $39 from the Apple Store, though you'll also need an HDMI cable -- Amazon usually has them for a good price. Read More...

Almost a year to the day after the Wii release of the N64 classic, Goldeneye comes to next-gen consoles as Goldeneye 007: Reloaded. A revamped, remixed, updated take on the games based on the original FPS multiplayer extravaganza which turns 14 this year, Reloaded is an interesting attempt to recapture the magic but its odd mix of Call of Duty-style combat with the cramped level design of the original makes for an odd fit.
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Back during the release of Valve's co-op zombie shooter Left 4 Dead, the studio released a tie-in webcomic comic which provided additional story to the Sacrifice DLC. Featuring art by Powers artist and co-creator Michael Oeming, the story provides a shocking reveal about the zombie plague and our quartet of heroes from the first game. Oeming is actually an in-house artist at Valve and is enjoying The Sacrifice being serialized in the November 29th Dark Horse release, Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories Volume 1, which also includes stories from both the Team Fortress 2 and Portal franchises.

We shot a couple of questions over to Mr. Oeming about The Sacrifice, telling stories the Valve way, and what's next on the horizon for Valve comics. And before you ask, yes, I did ask about the Powers TV series, and no, he had nothing new to say/reveal at this time.
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One is a team-based FPS looking to capture every high-octane bank robbery you've ever seen on film and the other is a dimension-twisting side-scroller with a beat. I spent a couple of hours with these two recent PSN releases and here's what I thought about them!

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This week we've got a Big Little Big Twitter Giveaway for a set of Mezco Toyz' Little Big Planet Sack Boy action figures! The giveaway includes: Read More...

The holiday season is upon us and that means it's time to start searching for that perfect gift. The gamer in your life would probably love some new gear and to make your annual shopping adventure a little easier we decided to put together a list of 10 awesome gaming accessories.

Boomchair Pulse
Every gamer needs a good chair for those late night gaming sessions and what could be better than a gaming chair with built in speakers, vibration feedback and wireless connectivity? For $140 the Boomchair Pulse delivers all of that and folds in half for storage. You can pick one up from Boomchair.com – they also have 19 other chairs to choose from if red isn't your color. Read More...

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

The first few weeks of November are usually reserved for the heaviest hitting game releases of the year, and 2011 is no different. With "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception," and "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" all hitting within just a few days of each other, this year's holiday season is packed with tough choices. Aside from those Game of the Year contenders, there is one first-person shooter that is continuing its trend of annual updates that sets itself apart from the pack by managing to drum up the most buzz amongst its dedicated fanbase: "Call of Duty." Shifting gears from last year's "Black Ops" release, "Modern Warfare 3" returns to the very near future to close out the story that its' two predecessors introduced us to.

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Super Mario 3D Land In Times Square

First, Mario took over MTV Geek, and then, this past weekend, he ventured outside of 1515 Broadway, into the November cold, and took over Times Square. Setting up shop on Military Island, Nintendo celebrated to launch of "Super Mario 3D Land" with a real-life recreation of the game, tumbling Marios, Tanooki tails, and free mushroom pizza.

It all went down Saturday morning at about 10 AM as the public got their first glimpse of a what "Super Mario 3D" would look like, if, ya know, if it was real world 3D. To kick things off, a group of acrobatic Marios went about conquering the level by doing their best high-flying Mario impressions as they tore down Broadway. Avoiding piranha plants and Bullet Bills (as well as precariously placed press), they flipped off of trampolines, and ultimately, reclaiming the flag from Bowser, and triumphantly raised Mario's to the crowd's cheers.

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Thanks to IMDB, Total Video Games, and iGTA5, we might have a heads-up on who'll be playing the lead in GTA V as well as getting a name for the character providing the voice over in the recently-released trailer. I say might because IMDB, while a valuable resources is also on occasion the startlingly inaccurate home for incomplete, speculative/wishful thinking listings for films, TV series, etc. that may or may not have any chance in hell of existing.

Dousing that little bit of cold water on things, introducing the guy in the photo, character actor Ned Luke, who's credited as "Albert De Silva" in the upcoming Rockstar sequel. Luke has a list as long as my arms of stints on TV series and a couple of films stretching back to '84, and I can imagine the appeal of Rockstar to choose someone not especially well-known who's still got some work under his belt.

As for the character of De Silva being the lead in the game, well, again, this is all speculation, based in part on the fact that he's the only credited character on GTA V's IMDB page as well as a recent casting sheet listing some of the roles being filled out for the game. And while some of this jibes with the narration in the trailer--the lead has a family, is an older guy looking to retire--I'm not willing quite yet to peg Albert as the lead in the game, only because its release is so far out but I feel maybe 75% certain TVG is on the money with this one.

We'll see as more news about the game trickles out/is Internet sleuthed like crazy in the coming months.

[Via Total Video Games, iGTA5]

Grand Theft Auto V Debut Trailer

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Nearly five years after our last trip to the Elder Scrolls land of Tamriel and space-time getting ripped a new one into the depths of Oblivion, Bethesda is back to show us another corner of their dark fantasy world with Skyrim. And Skyrim, the Maryland-based developer decided to crank things up a bit: a larger world, more interactive NPCs, locations, and objects, an expanded voice cast, and most importantly, of course: dragons. So just how did Bethesda choose some of the latest additions to Elder Scrolls and what are their thoughts on the evolution of the franchise? To find out, MTV Geek spoke to Bethesda Art Director and Lead Designer Matt Carofano who discussed some of the big ideas behind Skyrim and how Fallout 3 reshaped how Bethesda thought about making their RPGs.
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This just in from an Activision employee I just made up: "This weekend, we're going to do that thing where you swim around in your money like Scrooge McDuck. That's not a thing? Well, we can afford to invent it!"

That right there, that's what what 6.5 million copies of your game in the first 24 hours looks like. That's $400 million in the U.S. and the U.K. alone and what publisher Activision is touting as the biggest entertainment launch in history. To put that into perspective, the biggest movie opening of all time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 was about $170 million. Activision did around two and a half times that in one day. Bobby Kotick, the guy at the top of the money pile (the CEO) is feeling pretty happy with himself right now: "Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time."??

So that happened. I'd ask any of you who wants to go see a movie or something this weekend, but it looks like you'll all be busy. Playing Modern Warfare 3.*

I would use this spot to tell you that Modern Warfare 3 is available on the 360, PS3, and PC, but you probably already have a couple of copies.

*I will also be busy, playing Modern Warfare 3.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Kill Confirmed Gameplay

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