Wii and multi-platform awards wrap up our system awards. Check back Monday for our overall Game of the Year.
Andrew Passafiume: Let’s face it, this is another Legend of Zelda game, but one that proves, above all else, that motion controls can work. And they can work great, in fact. While Twilight Princess was an interesting experiment, Skyward Sword shows that, once and for all, you can still deliver a satisfying gaming experience without a traditional control scheme. The game is also just really fun to play, so that helps.
Justin Last: The Zelda franchise is 25 years old. That’s a lot of Master Swords, bows and arrows, puzzle-solving and fire dungeons to work through, but Skyward Sword manages to feel fresh. Sure, you’re still going to collect a slingshot in the Forest Temple and bombs in the Fire Temple, but your route there is different than it has ever been before.
Honorable mentions: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, Lost in Shadow
Graham Russell: What a year when a game like Skyrim can’t snag its own category award! But it’s Valve’s gem, a sequel we didn’t need but now can’t live without, that comes out on top. The new mechanics are simple but effective, the world of Portal is expanded in a way that I love and without disrupting the game and the PS3-PC cross-platform multiplayer is a thing I want from every multi-platform game.
Andrew Passafiume: Portal 2 makes the original Portal feel like a mere demo in comparison. It’s bigger and better in every regard, and the new mechanics that Valve introduces are pure genius. It also provides with a story that is surprisingly good, right down to the final, jaw-dropping moments of the game.
Honorable mentions: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City