The 2011 Golden Minecart Awards – The Results

It is that magical time of the year once again. We look back on the games that wowed us over the last year, try to grab a copy of those hidden gems, and ultimately decide which games should remain spinning in our PlayStations and which ones need to go on the skeet shooting practice pile. This year the Golden Minecart Awards (GMA) saw a great turn out and a list of winners that represent the best the PlayStation systems have to offer. We proudly present your winners and include the PS Nation staff’s, both podcast hosts and website writers, winners as well (feel free to tell us how wrong we are, we love that). As a bonus we’ve included links to our reviews of select games, just click on the title to see the review. If you want to hear want we had to say about the GMAs this year check out this week’s podcast.

PS3 Best RPG

GMA Results
1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Mass Effect 2
3. Dark Souls
Honorable Mentions: Disgaea 4, Dragon Age 2, and Two Worlds 2.

The hulking juggernaut that is Bethesda’s latest sojourn into Tamriel was able to shout down Sheperd and his suicide mission, and in the process claimed the coveted number one spot. Dark Souls got plenty of light, and enthusiasm, shined on it this year and took third. The list of honorable mentions and write-ins was vast and ran the gamut from the almost infinitely replayable strategy of Disgaea 4 to the story heavy fantasy of Dragon Age 2.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Mass Effect 2
3. Dark Souls

Oh my gosh! Am I seeing a consensus between staff and community? That’s unheard of! That’s inconceivable! That…can’t possibly last. Let’s keep moving.

PS3 Best Sports Game

GMA Results
1. MLB 11: The Show
2. FIFA 12
3. NBA 2K12
Honorable Mention: NHL 12

The PlayStation-exclusive baseball franchise retains its deathgrip on the number one spot for another consecutive year. Even virtually kicking people in the shins and dunking can’t compete. Though it should be noted that there was actually a pretty tight race for the number three spot, with Canada’s sport of choice barely getting edged out.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. MLB 11: The Show
2. FIFA 12
3. NBA 2K12 & NHL 12 (tie)

We are clearly on the same wavelength with our community when it comes to sportsball.

Newcomer of the Year

GMA Results
1. L.A. Noire
2. Catherine
3. Shadows of the Damned
Honorable Mentions: Rage, Bulletstorm

The newcomers this year ranged from gritty crime drama, to ridiculous western themed shooter, to a supernatural take on relationships via a puzzle game. However, when all the votes were tallied Rockstar’s latest claimed over half your votes and the top spot on our list. Proving that gamers love to see if people are lying to them.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. L.A. Noire
2. Catherine
3. Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm ended up with a little more love from the PS Nation staff, but not enough to unseat L.A. Noire or Catherine. Oddly none of the staff took much notice of Shadows of the Damned, even though it’s packed with penis-based double entendres.

Blast from the Past

GMA Results
1. Mortal Kombat
2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
3. Rayman Origins
Honorable Mentions: Driver: San Francisco, Alice: Madness Returns

The glorious return of MK was able to eviscerate the competition, making it so that Blade Runner-y cybernetic heroes and adorable platformers didn’t stand a chance.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Mortal Kombat
2. Rayman Origins
3. Hard Corps Uprising

The PS Nation staff also loved the return of Raiden and company, but couldn’t deny the pure delight of Rayman or the Contra-esque shooting of Hard Corps Uprising.

TWO!!

GMA Results
1. Infamous 2
2. Portal 2
3. Mass Effect 2
Honorable Mentions: LittleBigPlanet 2, Dead Space 2

Even expanding on one of the most critically acclaimed games of this generation Portal 2 still couldn’t maneuver past the passion play of Cole to claim top honors. It should be noted that only a handful of votes put Sheperd and Mass Effect 2 in the third spot, just easing out that lovable burlap scamp Sackboy and LittleBigPlanet 2.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Infamous 2
2. Little Big Planet 2
3. Batman: Arkham City

In addition to Cole and Sackboy we couldn’t forget about Batman: Arkham City, even though it technically lacked a TWO in its title it is one of the best sequels of the year.

Third Time’s the Charm

GMA Results
1. Uncharted 3
2. Battlefield 3
3. Resistance 3
Honorable Mention: Killzone 3

With a whopping 61% of the vote Nathan Drake was able to fight his way, with slightly more melee combat than usual, past various impressive first person shooters. While Battlefield is more for the multiplayer gamer, and Resistance tells a more personal tale, both take a long running series and keep the momentum going.

PS Nation Results
1. Uncharted 3
2. Battlefield 3 & Killzone 3 (tie)
3. Dirt 3

Just as Sully and Nate share a bond, so do the staff and the community in our mutual love of Uncharted 3. However, while we weren’t as enamored with Capelli’s tale as all of you, we did include some rally racing with Dirt 3, so we should get some points for variety.

Best HD Remake

GMA Results
1. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection
2. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
3. God of War: Origins Collection
Honorable Mention: Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath

Your list highlighted three long-running, and mostly exclusive, series that helped define the last two generations of PlayStation consoles and handhelds. Ultimately, the simplicity and artistry of Fumito Ueda and Team Ico trumped our buddies Snake and Kratos. Of course, these two legendary fighters battled for the number two spot with Snake edging out Kratos but a slim three-vote margin.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection & Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath (tie)
2. God of War: Origins Collection
3. House of the Dead Overkill Extended Edition

Eschewing the various ballads of Snake the staff bumped up Stranger’s Wrath to the official top three and recognized that one of the top Wii shooters (how often do you see that phrase?) was able to successfully migrate to the PS3 by giving House of the Dead our third spot.

Best Co-op

GMA Results
1. Portal 2
2. LittleBigPlanet 2
3. Killzone 3
Honorable Mention: Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

This year helping a buddy solve a brain busting puzzle and creating and playing in a world with various sackpeople took precedence over shooting our fellow man. Nothing could stop the duo of P-body and Atlas as the orange portal all their fans dropped deposited them at number 1.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Portal 2
2. Killzone 3 & Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (tie)
3. Resistance 3

We too could not resist the siren song of Aperture Science, but also showed love to Resistance 3 and your ability to follow Capelli’s tale with a friend.

Best Multiplayer

GMA Results
1. Battlefield 3
2. Uncharted 3
3. Killzone 3
Honorable Mentions: Resistance 3, Motorstorm Apocalypse

Battlefield 3 was your undisputed number one, receiving more than double the number of votes that Uncharted garnered. Looking at the top 3 is further proof that the multiplayer shooter era is far from over.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Killzone 3
2. Battlefield 3 & Uncharted 3 (tie)
3. FIFA 12 & Mortal Kombat (tie)

The staff choices were a little more eclectic with sportsballs and the ripping out of organs also joining the gunplay-a-thons that the community loved.

PSP Best Overall

GMA Results
1. MLB 11: The Show
2. The 3rd Birthday
3. Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy
Honorable Mention: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

Let’s hear it for stat updates! With 2011’s slim PSP catalog only a handful of titles were even on anyone’s radar this year. Luckily most of them show up in our top 3 with the stats updated, and not much else, MLB 11: The Show was strangely able to come out of nowhere to win this category. Oddly named sequels from Square Enix round out the top three and honorable mention, with Dissidia pushing Tactics Ogre out of the top three by a single vote. Behold democracy in action, where a single vote counts.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. The 3rd Birthday & Ys I & II Chronicles (tie)
2. Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy & Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
3. MLB 11: The Show

While you might confuse this for a complete list of PSP games released in 2011, it’s just our staff picks.

PSN Best Overall

GMA Results
1. Infamous 2 Festival of Blood
2. Limbo
3. Marvel Pinball
Honorable Mentions: Plants vs. Zombies, Pixel Junk Sidescroller

In a hotly contested category with tons of write-ins Infamous 2 Festival of Blood, and its “What If” scenario where Cole is a vampire, garnered top honors. Limbo with its simple controls and unique art style snuck past Marvel Pinball by two votes to grab the second spot.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Marvel Pinball
2. Infamous 2 Festival of Blood
3. Pixel Junk Sidescroller

The true believers on staff made a not so secret war on the voting and elevated Marvel Pinball to the top of the heap. Cole’s blood sucking tale and Pixel Junk’s latest also grabbed our attention.

PS3 Best Overall

GMA Results
1. Uncharted 3
2. Batman: Arkham City
3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Honorable Mention: Portal 2

In one of the best years of PlayStation gaming yet Uncharted 3 was still able to dominate with 43% of your votes. Naughty Dog has proven once again that they can tell a story like no one else. Gotham’s Dark Knight and the dragon-fearing denizens of Skyrim also got strong support.

PS Nation Staff Results
1. Batman: Arkham City
2. Uncharted 3
3. Mortal Kombat

The PS Nation staff gave the continuing struggle between Batman and The Joker top honors in our picks, with Drake and Co. having to settle for number 2. Not surprisingly Mortal Kombat, as one of the best relaunches of a game series and one of the deepest stories in fighting games, finished in a strong third.

That’s it ladies and gentlemen. You have your winners. If you don’t like the results, then make sure you get out and vote next year to insure your favorites get the love and attention they deserve. One thing that every PlayStation fan can agree on is that 2011 was an amazing year for games and with the PS Vita and some amazing titles on the horizon, like Twisted Metal, BioShock Infinite, and The Last of Us, the future of PlayStation looks bright in 2012.

Written by Justin Spielmann

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  • Damon Bullis

    Great article Justin!  This list reads as a who’s who of my backlog sadly.  I hope that this gets people to try games that are not in their comfort zone and play some great games that came out last year.  I would also like to see another article highlighting some of the games that might have been overlooked by the general public at large that you thing we should be playing from last year.  Things like Children of Eden, From Dust, Hardboiled Chicken, Sideways etc.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks much. Unfortunately, I’m in a similar boat backlog-wise. Your idea for an overlooked article is a good one (e.g., I was a big proponent of From Dust). There are so many great games out there it is hard to play everything you want, especially if you are like me and pick up most games around Black Friday and then spend most of your holiday time in December running around to family functions.

  • something I noticed, dont you think you should have wrote what the award was? all I see is a list of 1-3 not even saying what the award was for like best RPG, best PSN, etc.

    • Anonymous

      Are you looking at it on a mobile version of the site? It is coming through fine on my laptop.

      • nope im on a laptop too and dont see anything that says what the categories are

  • I voted many times for MLB The Show for PSP. lol I didn’t know any of the others (or didn’t care for them) so went with MLB.

  • great show guys, nice to hear Justin and Rey, just a shame Raj couldn’t get his arse out of bed and represent the UK! A deserved list of winners, personally I had Skyrim above Uncharted as GOTY though. As great as Uncharted 3 is I finished it off in two sittings and have no real desire to go back, it’s not like the story’s going to change is it? Skyrim on the other hand has me going back to it for hours on end, two months after it’s release and I’m still not bored of it! Having said that, I have yet to break open my copy of Arkham City, looking forward to that.

    • I didn’t give Raj and the writers much advance notice otherwise he may have tried.

  • A little said All 4 One didn’t make it in the top three. That game is actually really cool. Good graphics, lots of colors, and many interesting weapons.

    I am glad that inFAMOUS 2 won in the Two category. Wonder if they could somehow make a third game. I love the inFamous series. Thanks Sucker Punch Productions for making such great games.

  • Shocked you guys picked Arkham City over Uncharted 3. Glad the community got it right.

    AC has horrible pacing, especially compared to Asylum. I had to force myself to finish it.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t believe no one else voted for the Dreamcast 2! The title of the award was an obvious throwback to the old running joke. 

    Great Job guys!