Games are full of special moments. These moments are capable of producing a feeling of frisson, or a passing sensation of excitement—are the defining experiences that give us more reason than any other to play games.
These occasions can happen at any time in multi player, or even in single player. Some of them are completely emergent—in entirely unscripted sections of the game—while others are tightly scripted by the developers to be memorable to players, who will recall them months, if not years after the experience.
We have culled ten of our favorite moments in 2011's games from the multitude of games out there.
#10 Teach me how to Dark Souls
Dark Souls is an utterly difficult game. It's darkly serious and full of death. But that doesn't mean it's bereft of humor. This insane spear dance has to be the funniest thing in the game
#9 Skyrim - Fus Ro Dah
This is something that each and every one of us probably wants to do to Lydia in the course of playing Skyrim. Just remember to quicksave before you do it.
#8 Dead Island - Reveal Trailer
Dead Island may not have lived up to its announcement trailer, but it stands to reason that the cinematic—which was nothing at all like the game itself—was one of the most emotionally moving video game moments in 2011.
#7 Bulletstorm - Hekaton Sequence
Bulletstorm is a vulgar, awesome game. In the midst of shooting so many dudes, in comes a surprise Hekaton for what must have been the greatest moment in the manshooter.
#6 Modern Warfare 3 - Eiffel Tower
It's pretty difficult to spoil Modern Warfare 3 at this point, given how pretty much everyone has played it—but the collapse of the destruction of the Eiffel Tower in the game's Paris mission has to be one of the most awesome moments in an FPS.
#5 MK9 - Noob Saibot Fatality
The Fatality moves have defined every single Mortal Kombat game, and the latest title is no different. Noob Saibot's Fatality move in particular teaches us the value of sharing.
#4 Skyrim - Skill Shot
We've covered this one before in a Skyrim-focused article, but that shouldn't prevent us from watching in awe as that well aimed arrow strikes the ranting preacher of Whiterun square in the head.
#3 Uncharted 3 - Plane Sequence
Uncharted 3 is rife amazing moments, but one section of the game that stands out apart from all the rest is the battle aboard the crashing airplane. This phenomenal set piece is easily the best part of Uncharted 3.
#2 Dead Space 2 - Eye Poke
Dead Space 2 is a gruesome game. I would even go so far as to call it 'visceral', and risk earning the wrath of other game journalists, but the game pretty much defines that term. This one scene will make you cringe.
#1 Battlefield 3 - RendeZook
This video is the reason why so many of us play Battlefield 3. There's nothing more skillful than to fly a plane up into the air, eject, and launch a rocket at a pursuing aircraft, and land back into the safety of the jet following the kill. The A-Team theme song is aptly fitting.