2011 is quickly becoming one of the best years for gamers in recent memory. But it should have been even better.

Game delays are common, especially nowadays where timing is everything. Publishers such as Microsoft and Activision seem to own the fall months with their big holiday shooters every year. You can also count on Rockstar Games to put out a big title every spring, too. But the rest of the year is up for grabs. 

Below is a list of some major titles that were supposed to come out in 2011, but were delayed until next year and beyond.

Kinect Star Wars (Xbox 360)

Then: Kinect Star Wars was pegged as one of Microsoft’s big exclusive titles for the holiday. The company even planned on releasing a Star Wars themed Xbox 360 Kinect bundle. After a recent press event, however, Microsoft decided to delay the title to next year to "ensure the full potential of this title is realized."

Now: Microsoft hasn’t given a new release date for 2012 yet. The length of the delay may depend on how much more development time is needed with the game.

Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)

Then: Believe it or not, Mass Effect 3 was originally scheduled for release this holiday. BioWare decided to move the game to early 2012. Given the success that Battlefield 3 has had so far and next month's release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, it was probably a wise move by EA. “The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone’s expectations.”  said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer Mass Effect series.

MNow: At E3 2011, BioWare announced Mass Effect 3 will release on March 6, 2012. It doesn’t seem likely the game will be delayed further.

The Darkness II (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)

Then: The Darkness II should have been out by now. 2K pushed the game back from its original October release to February 2012. A reason for the delay was never provided.

Now: The Darkness II now ships on February 7, 2012. Parent company Take-Two likes to shift release dates around quite often, so I wouldn’t put this date in stone.

The Last Guardian (PlayStation 3)

Then: The Last Guardian has seen numerous delays since its reveal back at E3 2009. At the Tokyo Game Show 2010, however, Sony said the game would finally be out Holiday 2011. That didn't happen, though. Game Director Fumito Ueda published a statement in April confirming its delay to "provide more challenging and better quality of content to users and to fulfill First Party Studio’s obligations."

Now: No new release date has been announced. It's entirely possible at this point the game may not even come out in 2012. Hopefully we'll get an update on the game in the coming months.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Then: Ubisoft's latest shooter in the Ghost Recon series was originally pegged for release by the end of 2010. The publisher had the game set to come out this fall, but delayed the title yet again due to the crowded holiday months.

Now: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier now hits March 6, 2012, the same day as Mass Effect 3.

XCOM (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)

Then: The somewhat controversial reboot of the classic strategy game was supposed to come out in 2011. Take-Two made the announcement during E3 2010, but the game continued to slip. The following E3, it was announced XCOM would arrive on March 6, 2012, the same day as Mass Effect 3.

Now: During Take-Two's latest earnings call the company announced it was delaying the game beyond March 2012. XCOM will now ship during Take-Two's 2013 fiscal year, which begins on April 1, 2012 and ends March 31, 2013. 

Spec Ops: The Line (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)

Then: First revealed in December 2009, Spec Ops has also seen its share of delays. Similar to XCOM, Take-Two said Spec Ops: The Line would ship in 2011 at E3 2010. This past May, though, the company delayed the game until spring 2012. A reason for the delay was never provided.

Now: Spec Ops is still on course for this spring. A slew of new previews and media recently hit the Net confirming the game's existence.

[Click below for more delayed games]