Whether you love them, hate them, or forget they exist until they pop on your screen interrupting your game, achievements and trophies have become a (literally) required aspect of all PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games.

I fall into the love camp, and these are some of my favorites from 2011. The achievements and trophies that I find most interesting aren't the ones that mark your progress in a storyline, or that you get for attaining a certain number of headshots. I like the ones that can be skipped entirely and reward a player for doing something odd within the world of the game. I like the ones that force you to think outside of the normal functions of the game, or simply reward you for doing something weird.

LittleBigPlanet 2

I just found these Trophies to be oddly specific, and easy. There really should have been a trophy for getting the 9am and 9pm Trophies on the same day. That would have been true dedication.

A Game A Day Keeps The Doctor Away: Play LittleBigPlanet 2 on every day of the week.


Who Needs Breakfast?: Play LittleBigPlanet 2 before 9am.


Just… One… More… Go…:Play LittleBigPlanet 2 after 9pm.



Crysis 2

I got this achievement/trophy by setting a reminder in my phone to play the game again in six months. The idea behind it is to get people to continuously play Crysis 2, but my way works, too. I played the multiplayer a total of two times.

Dedication: Play online 6 months after your first time



Batman Arkham City

Pay Your Respects is interesting because it gives player a chance to see where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed, and it's something you can avoid completely. The Base Jumper achievement/trophy is similar to an achievement/trophy in Arkham Asylum, but like most things in Arkham City, it was on a much grander scale.

To get the Story Teller achievement/trophy, you have to visit Calendar Man on holidays that occur throughout the year. There is one outlined holiday per month. The game came out in October, but some people already have the achievement/trophy somehow. Time travel, I assume. [You know you can change the date/time on your console, right, Kyle? –Ed.]

Pay Your Respects: A moment of remembrance.


Gotham Base Jumper: Jump off the tallest building in Arkham City and glide for 1 minute without touching the ground.

Story Teller: Have 12 murderous dates with Calendar Man.



Ms. Splosion Man

Star Road in Ms. Splosion Man exists purely for the sake of the achievement associated with it. There is a road shaped like a star on the level select screen that you can unlock by finding a secret level exit, and beating a new level. It serves no purpose, other than to give you an achievement and hear Star – the character from Twisted Pixel's previous game, Comic Jumper – berate you as well as Ms. Splosion Man and even other game companies like Capcom.

This quote sums up the experience: "So yeah, if you want to keep hanging out here that's cool and everything, but uh, there really isn't anything to do here. Really it's just an achievement. It's the only reason this place exists, honestly. Really nothing more to see here. Not joking. Seriously. Go."

Find Star Road: Found star road.



Dead Space 2

Despite dismembering creatures left and right throughout Dead Space 2, it's still a bit of a welcome surprise when you get an achievement/trophy for dismembering a small child mascot statue.

Lightspeed de Milo: Dismember the Lightspeed Boy Statue.



L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire is a game that prides itself on its realistic city and faces. It's all about immersion. If you stray too far from the main goal and try to go all Grand Theft Auto on Los Angeles, you usually get punished. That is why these two achievements/trophies are great. They encourage you to go just a little crazy. At least long enough to get an achievement/trophy or two.

Lead Foot: Keep the needle above 80mph for more than ten seconds while driving.


Public Menace: Rack up $47,000 in penalties during a single story case.



Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem is full of references to games that are much better than itself, but this one actually rewards you. Hidden somewhere between the muscles and the *** jokes is a barrel with a heart on it. All I got when I unlocked it (other than a few points) was a sad sigh, and nostalgia for that brilliant game I played a few months earlier.

Companion Barrel: Unlock the secret closet at the end of the Forkstop.



The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

These are things you should probably be pursuing in real life instead of playing Skyrim, but achievement points and trophy score is cool too.

Citizen: Buy a house.


Married: Get married.