E3 2013 Trailers.

Best Story of 2011

Posted by The Controller Online Staff | 14 Dec 2011 |

Sit down and let me tell you about this one.

During this age of multiplayer shooters and short campaigns it’s easy to overlook one of the most important parts of a great game. The story. The thing that keeps you going for hours and hours just because you want to know what happens next.

A great story is more than just the dialogue between characters, it’s the setting, the events, the theme and the backbone of a great game. A few games stood above the others this year and it was hard to choose just one. Here’s what we thought was the best story of 2011.

Dragon Age 2

Publisher/Developer: EA / Bioware
Release Date: March 8th
Our Review: 9/10

Bioware’s Dragon Age 2 had a story that wasn’t even close to your typical fantasy tale. Rather than defeating the demon to save the world, the main character, Hawke, simply has to escape his or her war torn homeland with the rest of the family. Hawke must raise the family from penniless refugees to some semblance of their former life. During this time there are many political forces at work in the city of Kirkwall and Hawke may or may not get mixed up in these.

This sweeping, rags to riches story gripped us from the start and never failed to intrigue us with its twists and turns as well as the way it was presented. As far as stories go, this was one of our favorites of all time.

Runner Up

Batman Arkham City – with one of the best cast of characters in any game of 2011, Batman Arkham City told one of the greatest Batman stories, video game or not, ever. It wasn’t, however, quite enough to take out Dragon Age 2 for the title.

Other Nominees

Portal 2

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tgc.gaming.5 Tgc Gaming

    sigh… another article written by someone who hasnt played any of these games, if they had they would know what the players have been saying DA2 sucked PERIOD shouldnt even be on this list all the other games mentioned were better…

  • sigma

    you got paid to say this openly in your webpage didnt you

  • Xags

    What the f***… Dragon Age II didn’t HAVE a story! It was an embarrassment to BioWare. I mean.. is it really so hard to give the award to The Witcher 2 or something that actually had good writing?

  • Heather Dry

    Um… a “sweeping, rags to riches story?” What game were YOU playing? After the first act, the “rags to riches” thing is over and it all become about the entire city being torn apart by two opposing factions, leading to the destruction of the city and the start of a MAJOR WAR!

    If you’re going to claim that this game had the best story of the year, you could – at the very least – get the actual plot of the story right.

    Personally, I think you should have chosen Arkham City – if for no other reason than the huge shocker at the end of the game.I knew about what was going to happen before I actually got to that part (thanks to a friend who couldn’t keep his mouth shut) and it STILL had me sitting there like, “OH MY F’N GOD!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY DID THAT!”

  • Triss

    Not the worst game in the video gaming history but, seriously?

  • Dark Almasy

    I lol’d as soon as I saw this article.

  • Reaver

    Good to see that smaller, simpler, or individual games are also being considered… NOT. Seriously, DA2, Batman: AC, Skyrim, and Portal 2 are great games but not because of their stories. Try “To The Moon” by Freebird Games. It’s story line could wipe the floor with the ones listed.

  • gta 5

    fuq the author.DA 2 was the worst game of 2011..my opinion

  • Max

    I felt the game was fun to play, the character graphics were way better than the first, the romance choices were pretty decent but could have been better. I found the over all game play of Origins to be boring in comparison. You click on a character- and sit and watch him or her hack away. (unless of course, if you were a mage) Origin hit some pretty bad cliches- the dark never ending dwarven tunnels pissed me off- and were NOT scary at all. But their take and satire of religion was wonderful. Over all i think what pissed people off was the watering down of the dungeons, gay characters( im guessing), lack of plot explanation( like what the hell happened to Morrigan), and over all change in game play (no strategy necessary ). Over all the plot was okay, EA was cheap in many ways that really needs to be worked on. I liked it better than the first game for a whole hosts of different reasons. But i can see why people were upset

  • Sam

    well , Dragon age 2 was not a bad game on its own . but comparing to Dragon age : Origins we expected something so much better and bioware disappointed us. come to think of it bioware has been all about disappointments lately . Mass effect 3 , Dragon age 2 clearly did not live up to their predecessors . this games are called RPG short for Role Playing Game meaning the story of the game should be the main focus of bioware . the people who liked dragon age 2 or ending of mass effect 3 clearly have not played previous games of the series and are not interested in the story at all . i did not play 3 mass effect games nearly 3-4 days of gameplay to see commander shepard’s fucking death ! and to be honest skyrim’s story was so much better than Dragon Age 2 .

  • Ian Carlson

    I agree, Dragon Age II was the worst RPG sequel I have ever played. Hell, even FFX-2 is better. MAINLY BECAUSE IT LINKS HEAVILY WITH THE ORIGINAL.

  • Landeraxe

    Knights of the Old Republic (not the MMO) had the best story in video games, and I’d put Mass Effect 2 over the three you’ve listed.
    Dragon Age was better than Dragon Age 2. Not sure where you’re coming up with best story for your pick…

  • RunninWithScissors

    I whole heartedly agree with this decision, even if I am 7 months late. This game was the most interesting thing I’ve ever played. I quite honestly did not enjoy Origins nearly as much as the mass public did, apparently, and spent the whole thing going “I can’t wait until I’m done with this so I can see DA2. It’s got to be so much better.” The plot was okay in Origins. The storyline was alright, stuff I’ve seen before. Corrupt power was a massive overtone pretty much everywhere I went. It had it’s advantages over DA2 (unique mapping, lack of VA could let you self-insert, many unique backstories for each character) but I believe Dragon Age 2 was LEAGUES better. And that’s neither here nor there, but it’s my two cents.

    Quite honestly, I think everyone was just upset that it was harder to
    pretend you were the kill everything with a flick of the wrist godlike
    Hawke in DA2 and got butthurt over the mapping. Which does not relate
    to the amazing story at all.

    Dragon Age 2 dropped you in the middle of a bickering, fleeing family with many different personalities and relationships, and made you stick with them (where in Origins they got a small spotlight once. Maybe). Your fallen comrades were mentioned often (And not in an obnoxious way, like Alistair gave us, over and over, but often enough to make you regret a loss). Characters you had been with for game time of eight years or more would turn on you or die, and I personally felt that. I felt the betrayal and/or loss. Dramatic, intense storylines and crazily well-done storylines for your companions made them easy or impossible to hate. Merril’s dark secrets and happy-go-lucky attitude about them? Varric’s sincere care for each teammate? The relationships they developed over the /years/– growing to tolerate, like, or hate one another. In Origins, you got flat acceptance, respect, or pure hatred between party members- and think, how much inner-party turmoil did you face after your original Wardening, hm? /Maybe/ the Landsmeet. Whereas Origins gave you one bar of approval, DA2 allowed you the ability to not see eye-to-eye with your partners and still have their respect and support! As a good character, I had the hardest time keeping Morrigan’s approval in Origins, but when I decided I’d rather help the mages out in DA2, Fenris was still as loyal at the end as he would have been had I hated the magickers through rivalry. At first glance, rivalry doesn’t make too much sense, but think. Do you have someone who sees exactly opposite to your point of view on something important that YOU still respect in some way? Maybe politically, or in a social rights issue? That is the mages/anti mages, slavery/anti slavery, bloodmagic/anti bloodmagic standpoint. In DA2 your character built their way up from a loss of a home and a bleak prospective future to an unknown but powerful one and a respectable position. A voice in government, a hand in the undercity, a force of chaotic good, neutrality or evil. Dragon Age 2 had an amazing, strong story, and really does deserve this title, as well as a lot more respect.

    • Hail

      I have to agree with you and the original poster. Yes, yes I love DA:O but as far as the basic story line goes it’s a pretty stereotypical, run-of-the-mill fantasy.

      DA 2 had quite a few gameplay issues but if you look purely at the story it’s new and exciting, something that challenges your morals. In DA:O you where pretty much either a good guy or a bad guy killing pure evil dudes. In DA2 you had to choose between two factions, neither of which where purely good or evil but riddled with shades of gray.

      I don’t know why DA2 gets so much hate, maybe the masses don’t like to be faced with morality challenges in games and would rather just go slay the evil guys. Remember this post is supposed to be about best STORY not gameplay. Geez.


    THE worst sequel i have ever played In my entire life Was both the sequels to fable1 i mean what the hell completely change the gameplay no graphics update and I dont know it just sucked

  • Bahriel

    you just lost any credibility as a games reviewer.

  • Vradar

    One of the worst sequels I have ever played don’t see how anyone could like this story which was bad and basically pointless in the world of dragon age compared to the first one, you stay in the same city the whole game so it doesn’t feel epic at all.

  • Scoobes1

    I actually agree. Dragon Age 2’s story & characters were the only things that kept me playing. The rest of the game was pretty poor. They also took a risk by going for a personal story rather than the generic “epic/save the world” storylines of most RPGs. It worked.

  • Scream

    Please, please, PLEASE say that you’re kidding.  Dragon Age II has to be one of the worst sequels of all time.  It was an EXTREMELY pale comparison to its predecessor, Dragon Age: Origins, which still provides an enticing storyline and great RPG action nearly four years later.  Granted, Dragon Age II provides a nice, somewhat faster-paced action theme than its predecessor, as EA and BioWare tried to make it fit a broader audience, but to give a game with not one, not two, but three time lapses spanning TEN YEARS of unexplained fame and fortune does not the best story of 2011 make.  Skyrim would’ve been a much better choice.  Hell, even Portal 2 had a better story.

    • Ghost

      This article’s focus was on the actual story being told.
      As much as I loved the rest of the game, Skyrim’s story/mainquest was a joke. The ending was less thoughtful than Mass Effect 3’s conclusion and incredibly predictable. Dragonborn saves the world. Kills all the dragons. Whoop-de-frickin-doo. There wasn’t even any sense of reward for doing it. It was just like…”Kay, done. Now what?” 
      Portal 2 was engaging and the characters were interesting, but there wasn’t really much of a plot. Chell has to escape, and we’re only given a tiny bit of backstory about anything. In that regard, it wasn’t much different than Demon’s/Dark Souls, because it pretty much forced you to create your own explanation for Chell’s situation.

      Now, Dragon Age 2…
      Hawke and the rest of the cast were all engaging, memorable characters with well-written dialogue, distinct personalities and more than decent voice actors. 
      The story had a tone not unsimiliar to LOTR; in that it could be disturbing, brooding and yet still filled with levity and genuine moments. 
      Yes, it has its weaknesses. But in terms of sheer plot, there wasn’t a single moment in my initial playthrough where I thought…”Gee. I wish I was playing something else.”
      I totally agree with whoever made the decision to go with DA2.

      • Jaider

        in terms of dialogue and voice acting, it was kinda poor, there were some extremely innapropriate cheesy lines in key parts of the plot. But I admit the story was fantastic, I’m just finishing the game and everything that happens is just so unexpected, and so unlike bioware, there are some really gory parts that reminded me of game of thrones, and it made me feel like my choice made a difference

    • Bo Lee

      The story for DA2 was great, the implementation, not so much. The problem with it was they tried to streamline the interface too much, but storywise, it is a very solid story.

  • Kyle

    Best story of 2011 should have gone to Deus Ex: Human Revoulution

  • perrodelmal

    and where is xenoblade?

  • Aurion

    This is either a very successful troll or it’s written by someone who only played one game in 2011. Dragon Age II didn’t have anything even resembling a story. The game begins with you leading your family away from darkspawn and the story from there consists of little more than “hey, let’s head in this direction. OK, now let’s go this way.”. The game play was more action packed and better paced than Origins in my opinion, but to say this game even had a story, let alone a good one is either a very good or a very bad joke.

  • InternetAnon

    dragon age 2 is an insult to dragon age origin

    • Mattik

      I agree that dragon age 2 was a hug step down from Dragon Age: Origins, but I still feel that the story in dragon age 2 was very well done. The whole world set up from Dragon Age: Origins helped, this. I really was intrigued and wanted to know more about what happened to my old character. What happened to my old companions, and wanting to find out what was going on in this city. The reason I thought this story was well developed was that it got you interested by starting at the end and having the story have a narrator. If there is a dragon age 3 that connects the mysterious followings of what happened if you followed morgan into the mirror and what happened to the champion, then I will definitely have to buy it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andras.kozak.94 András Kozák

      That is true. But because of the console-like features and It still has a great story!

  • Anonymous

    DA 2? and skyrim as nominee for best story? god damn!

  • Imc_isagani

    Best Story in 2011….
    Dragon Age II

    Wait, WHAT?
    Did you know that MOST sites considers DAII is the MOST DISSAPOINTING game in 2011?

    “rags to riches story gripped us from the start and never failed to intrigue us with its twists and turns” – Wow. What happened to Skyrim? 

    DAII cannot even compete to DA:Origins’s storyline. Its a disgrace to DA:O.

  • saddles

    I guess the story wasn’t too bad in DAII, but it wasn’t as good as DA:O, albiet more original.  Even so the gameplay just kills that game for me.

  • Sabeelameer

    dragon age 2 is an insult to dragon age origins

    • Limageariol


  • Asdawd

    you speeled worst wrong

  • Guestypoo


  • H12g

    Wow, this is the best story line in a video game in 2011?
    Did you know smoking cheap crack is hazardous to your mental health?
    The middle chapter, which is practically a 3rd of the game, is a filler with no coherent story line whatsoever.
    As for the rest of the game…the writing is so bad most of the time it’s like reading Robert Stanek. Seriously, please be considerate to the rest of the society and don’t procreate.

  • http://twitter.com/AzariahR Impolitic and unkind

    First and last time im on this site, too much cock-sucking on EA.

    • Ian Carlson

      Same here.

  • Anonymous

    Have all of you troglodytes been inhaling acetone? Dragon Age 2 was obviously shit and everyone in the Bioware offices should kill themselves. But the games you are pointing out are just as shitty.

    Skyrim was a bland, casualized hack ‘n slash with awful questing and cringeworthy diaglouge.
    and Bastion was an uncultured 2DEEP4U catastrophe. 0/10 would not play.

  • Th4ndar

    april 1st was a month ago

  • Quickly, please

    Kill me.

  • MyofDruids

    stop linking this article around you retards, you are giving him page-views aka money

  • Anonymous

    how does that Bioware/EA cock taste? I hope you got paid enough because you just lost the respect of everyone who goes to your site.

    • Ariol


  • Mike Johnson

    Is this a joke?

  • K-weh

    Seriously how much did EA Bioware pay you?

  • http://twitter.com/sazzrah sazzrah

    http://youtu.be/onr_z45NVyI – I think you would enjoy this Mr. Grant.

    • http://thecontrolleronline.com/ Scott Grant

      The guy in this video nails it! Thanks a lot. 

  • midnightvoyager

    You know, even in the new Dragon Age stories, they basically say “Yeah, forget all that DA2 stuff, that was a dumb thing that happened in a dumb town and it wasn’t really important and it didn’t have any lasting impact whatsoever.” That’s… kinda…. pathetic. Even the game itself is embarrassed of it.

    Oh well. No accounting for taste, I suppose.

  • Dave

    I’m sorry but dragon age 2 was terrible I never even finished it the story was so bad

  • Es Elizir

    Im not in any position to say what the best story was.

    But Dragon Age 2 was an awful game and had very little story besides the few events that happened within kirkwall.

    • Guest

      Well I’m sorry you don’t like the changes from Origins. I like the story, as it’s not the stereotypical “hero comes out of no where and saves the day” rpg, the characters were for the most part interesting, side quests actually add to the story, and the combat doesn’t blow like its predecessor. The only Arguement I can agree with for players who choose Origins over 2 is the reused environments and over used environments. News flash buddy, Dragon Age 3 will probably be Dragon Age 2 with varied environments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Danse-Infernale/100001886377137 Danse Infernale

    Yo, Dragon Age II, Imma let you finish, but Skyrim has the best storyline of all time. Am I right?

    • Gento70

       Of all the elderscrolls games, yes it does have the best story. Maybe the best RPG story. It probably does win best story of 2011. But for the best game story ever, my hat goes to Red Dead Redemption. It was like watching the best Western movie ever that was 15-25 hours long.

    • Mike Johnson

      I should fucking murder both of you.

      Skyrims story is a pile of shit

    • Nope

      You’re a god damned retard.

    • MyofDruids

      If you really think skyrim have a good storyline then you should probably kill yourself

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HYKG5HHMR5ZWCZDTI5SDOA3J3Q Brendan

    come on wheres is deus ex

  • Thomasfranze

    And where is Heavy Rain!?!?

    • Ailodierap

      Heavy Rain was not created or released in 2011, so it won’t be a nominee in a competition titled ‘Best Story of 2011′. If Heavy Rain had come out in 2011, it would have won hands down.

      The real question is: Where is Uncharted 3?!?!?!

  • Asfghk


  • boefje85

    Yeah…no… The Witcher 2 gives any game you mention a beat down. And still DA2 would land below Batman, Portal and Skyrim… in that order.

  • Space Core

    Im not denying these are good, but Portal 2 has got the best story of all.

  • Pepe Frijoles

    This is true. The characters had emotion and depth. In skyrim every character was the same person re-skinned over and over(I even got ulfric confused a few times). I however remember every important character from Dragon Age as being distinct.

  • karu

    Skyrim should have taken this

  • http://twitter.com/sistersafetypin SisterSafetyPin

    You Sir, are one of the rational few who *got* what Dragon Age II was all about, which was namely, its story and and characters

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G66Q3QNQMXVQCCEAMB4VMZOL2I Wesley

     Couldn’t agree more!

  • Sjg

    Why not bastion? WHYYYYY?

    • http://thecontrolleronline.com/ Scott Grant

      I definitely think Bastion had a great story, it just wasn’t as engaging as some of the other nominees. It’s absolutely up there though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andras.kozak.94 András Kozák

    Skyrim and what story…?