Shocker: Zynga didn't have the most popular Facebook game in 2011?

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Gardens of TimeFinding things that are hidden was the most popular game activity on Facebook this year, followed by controlling a person's every move and running an entire city. Facebook has released its take on the most popular social games of 2011, and Playdom's Gardens of Time beat out both The Sims Social by Playfish and Zynga's CityVille for the number one spot.

Facebook organized the list based on "which [games] drew the most active users and received the highest user recommendations," according to a post on the Facebook blog. Other than that, it's not 100 percent clear how Facebook came to its conclusions, as AppData's findings (as of this writing) are quite different. Perhaps user recommendations were weighed more heavily in Facebook's list. It's also possible that the recent change to how Facebook calculates monthly active players in its games affected this list.

With The Sims Social and CityVille in second and third place, respectively, the list contains a number of unexpected winners. For instance, DoubleDown Casino, Bingo Blitz and Slotomania all made the overall top 10 list. This isn't to say that these games aren't deserving of such acclaim, but none of these games performed as well as, say, Zynga Poker in 2011.

This leads us to believe that user recommendations were weighed more heavily than active players in Facebook's calculations. Who knows, perhaps recommendations are a better metric than simply the number of players when rating a game's popularity. Facebook made a point to include a bunch of other notable mentions from 2011, so check out the full list below:

Most Popular Games in 2011:
  1. Gardens of Time (By Playdom)
  2. The Sims Social (By EA)
  3. Cityville (By Zynga)
  4. DoubleDown Casino (by DoubleDown Interactive)
  5. Indiana Jones Adventure World (By Zynga)
  6. Words With Friends (By Zynga)
  7. Bingo Blitz (By Buffalo Studios)
  8. Empires & Allies (By Zynga)
  9. Slotomania-Slot Machines (By Playtika)
  10. Diamond Dash (By wooga)

Top Up-and-Comers:
  1. Battle Pirates (By Kixeye)
  2. Dragons of Atlantis (By Kabam)
  3. Gourmet Ranch (By RockYou!)

Top Games with 50,000-100,000 Users
  1. Super Slot Machines (By Davy Campano, David Livingston Kirby and Robby Campano)
  2. WestWars (By Innogames)
  3. MouseHunt (By HitGrab)

Top Casino Games in 2011
  1. Zynga Poker (By Zynga)
  2. Slotomania – Slot Machines (By Playtika)
  3. DoubleDown Casino (By DoubleDown Interactive)

Top Sports Games in 2011
  1. TopEleven – Be a Football Manager (By Nordeus)
  2. Pool Live Tour (By Geewa)
  3. EA Sports: FIFA Superstars (By EA)

Top Fashion Games in 2011
  1. Mall World (By 50 Cubes)
  2. ItGirl (By CrowdStar)
  3. Coco Girl (By Metrogames)


Do you think Gardens of Time deserves to be on top? What do you think of the conclusions Facebook came to? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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