December 29, 2010

Top 10 games of 2010

It’s that time of year again were every gam­ing infor­ma­tion out­let post their top what­ev­er games of the year. This year we saw a large num­ber of great titles right off the bat in Jan­u­ary and they just con­tin­ued on into the crammed hol­i­day sea­son. Now just to note, this is not a list com­piled by all the writ­ers of this site this is just mine but I feel that a lot would agree with some of the choic­es I have made. So here it is my top 10 games of 2010.
10. Dante’s Infer­no (PS3, 360) – This game received more flack for being a God of War clone then any game before it, but it is the best of the bunch. The sto­ry was loose­ly tied to the epic poem and there were large amounts of unnec­es­sary nudi­ty, but the set­ting is what kept me play­ing and replay­ing. The com­bat was sol­id and the sound was haunt­ing, but the absolute best fea­ture of the game was Vis­cer­al game’s twist­ed view of hell. Using the damned as lad­ders; hear­ing and see­ing the awk­ward silence of the sui­cide part of the vio­lence ring, descend­ing into hell has nev­er been more fun or uneasy.
9. Medal of Hon­or (PS3,360,PC) – DICE is the king of mul­ti­play­er mil­i­tary shoot­ers hands down, and this game shows that great pedi­gree as well. Medal of Hon­or has been boy­cotted by the mil­i­tary, yet the mil­i­tary helped to make it one of my favorite games of the year. The sto­ry was more down to earth than Call of duty has been of late, yet some thought it was bor­ing. Dan­ger Close made a great cam­paign that flowed with the nor­mal MoH over­tones like broth­er­hood and fac­ing insur­mount­able odds. DICE con­struct­ed the mul­ti­play­er in the same vain as Bat­tle­field 1943; three class­es to choose from, some great maps along­side the same great team based game play the Bat­tle­field fran­chise is known for. The mul­ti­play­er kept me occu­pied well into Novem­ber and Decem­ber despite Black Ops being released, if it wasn’t for the Bad Com­pa­ny 2 Viet­nam expan­sion I would still be play­ing the mul­ti­play­er.
8. Lim­bo (360) – This sum­mer of arcade title may have been one of the best down­load­able games this year. A small shad­ow of a boy wakes up in a dark and malev­o­lent world with the only plot dri­ving you for­ward is your ongo­ing search for your sis­ter. Is he dead? Is he dream­ing? Are the chal­lenges and foes you face some of the boys great­est fears? These are nev­er answered and the entire game is up to your inter­pre­ta­tion. Great 2D plat­form­ing and some grav­i­ty defy­ing puz­zles made this game the best of the down­load­able bunch. Check out my review I did dur­ing the sum­mer for more on this great title.
7. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) – There were a lot of good hard­core games that Nin­ten­do final­ly decid­ed to put on their sys­tem that was cater­ing more towards the casu­al audi­ence, and this is the best of them. Yes, there were plen­ty of oth­ers that could have made this list and hold a spe­cial place in my heart (Don­key Kong Coun­try Returns) but this is what defines the Nin­ten­do expe­ri­ence. The first Galaxy was one of my favorite ear­ly Wii titles and this game honed in on what made that game great and took it a step fur­ther. The refined 3D plat­form­ing is at per­fec­tion and the bright and col­or­ful Nin­ten­do art style is there for you to love. This is 25 years of Mario con­densed on one disc. If you want a Mario game this is the defin­i­tive one for this gen­er­a­tion, I bought a sec­ond Wii just to play this game.
6. God of War 3 (PS3) – Why wouldn’t this be up here on this list? The first two titles were some of the most defin­ing games on the PS2, and this one is a defin­ing title on the PS3. More than 4 years in devel­op­ment and switch­ing leads well into the dev cycle, this game still came at you like a titan. One of the best look­ing games of this gen­er­a­tion, a vis­cer­al and sat­is­fy­ing com­bat engine, a sense of scale like no oth­er game before it; some of the sequences have to be played for you to believe. The sto­ry falls a lit­tle short towards the end but the game play holds strong. God of War 3 is bril­liant fin­ish for a fabled fran­chise and one that has defined the action genre for years.
5. Assas­sins Creed: Broth­er­hood (PS3,360,PC) – The most suc­cess­ful new IP of this gen­er­a­tion sur­pris­es yet again with the fol­low up to last year’s Assas­sins Creed 2. More refined game play, answers to some of the ques­tions left by the last title, and one of the most mas­sive envi­ron­ments ever in and AC game. The true tes­ta­ment to this title is the mul­ti­play­er, one of the smartest mul­ti­play­er games I have seen. Two teams of 4 hunt­ing each oth­er in a crowd of NPC that start to move as you do a very sat­is­fy­ing and decep­tive game that is paired with a Call of Duty like lev­el­ing and unlock­ing sys­tem, equals one of the most unique mul­ti­play­ers to date. I have nev­er loved throw­ing a spear so much in a game.  
4. Red Dead Redemp­tion (PS3,360) – a sequel to a pre­vi­ous gen game that Cap­com dumped and Rock­star picked up and made it into pos­si­bly their great­est open world game to date. I love the west­ern set­ting and clos­est game to get this right was Gun until RDR. A mas­sive, breath­ing envi­ron­ment and one of the best sto­ries Rock­star has craft­ed makes this game the true Wild West (minus Will Smith). To make this pack­age even bet­ter it receive the best DLC for a Rock­star game, the Undead Night­mare pack. There are few games that are set in the late 1800’s to ear­ly 1900’s West­ern Amer­i­ca, there were only two the last gen­er­a­tion and this game makes up for any ground we lost with both of those. If you thought GTA 4 was great, check out this one. RDR is the crown jew­el in the Rock­star crown of games.
3. Halo Reach (360) – What’s this? A com­plete Halo nerd not putting his beloved game at the top of his list? I am a writer after all and what would I be if I was biased? This game is Bungie’s swan song to their fran­chise that made the Xbox and Xbox live. The cul­mi­na­tion of 9 years of evolv­ing game play has brought us the great­est Halo yet. A sin­gle play­er cam­paign that many could argue is the best of the series, a sto­ry that is tense, per­son­al, and heart­break­ing, and new fea­tures make the 8–10 hour fight a blast to play through. But where would this leg­endary fran­chise be with­out the mul­ti­play­er? Halo Reach is the best mul­ti­play­er expe­ri­ence the series has to offer. New addi­tions like load outs and game modes, the return of the­ater mode, and a com­plete revamped forge mode. Bungie sent their beloved series out with a huge bang and was very hap­py to have the chance to review it. Will we remem­ber Reach? Oh yes we will and for years to come.
2. Bat­tle­field: Bad Com­pa­ny 2 and Viet­nam expan­sion (PS3, 360, PC) – Two DICE games on one list? You bet your ass there are! I said DICE is the leader in mul­ti­play­er mil­i­tary shoot­ers, and this game cements that state­ment. The sin­gle play­er cam­paign is not as good as the pre­vi­ous game, but the most work went into the mul­ti­play­er, which is pure bliss. I have stayed up way to late some nights play­ing the best mul­ti­play­er game this year. That’s right you can cer­ti­fy that state­ment. BC2 is a game made of team­work, C4, and many build­ings being brought down on top of the ene­my. Mas­sive maps, 12 on 12 team based game modes, lots of vehi­cles to blow up or be blown up by, and all the destruc­tible envi­ron­ments you can han­dle. Not to men­tion this and Medal of Hon­or have the best sound design in any game, they are the rea­son Dol­by keeps cre­at­ing more chan­nels of sur­round sound. The Viet­nam expan­sion for BC 2 was released just before Christ­mas and is bet­ter and more his­tor­i­cal­ly  accu­rate than all of Call of Duty Black Ops. 15 weapons that are in their cor­rect time peri­od, age spe­cif­ic vehi­cles, over an hour worth of music from the era, and four (one to be unlocked lat­er for a total of 5) unbe­liev­ably well design maps and you have a 15 dol­lar rival to Lim­bo. Hill 137 is per­haps one of my favorite maps of all time and it looks amaz­ing to boot. If you want a mil­i­tary shoot­er that just oozes great­ness out of every ori­fice, then look no fur­ther. This would have been my pick for game of the year if it wasn’t for the next game.
1. Mass Effect 2 (360, PC, and com­ing soon to PS3) – One of the first games to come out this year is also the best. Hit­ting the top of everyone’s list and there is a very good rea­son why. Bioware con­tin­ues to 1‑up them­selves with the sec­ond install­ment to their mas­sive space opera. Shep­pard returns to take on the reapers and their blight against human­i­ty with a new hand­ful of recruits, revamped com­bat sys­tem and the most robust con­ver­sa­tion sys­tem ever to date. How they punched this game out as quick­ly as they did is beyond me. (I guess they learned a few tricks from Naughty Dog) The abil­i­ty to import your char­ac­ters from the first game with con­se­quences intact is mind blow­ing. To run into the reporter I shoved out of the way in ME1 and her have a hos­tile atti­tude towards me or to see Liara and for her to remem­ber we were roman­ti­cal­ly involved in the ships low­er decks was incred­i­ble. Any prob­lems I had with the first game (too many ele­va­tors, late tex­ture pop­ping in thanks to the crap­py Unre­al 3 engine, and con­trol issues in com­bat) all have been fixed and have tak­ing this game to the next lev­el. The writ­ing is incred­i­ble and the sto­ries with in the main sto­ry are just as excel­lent as the main tale. This is a world that can make you wish we were explor­ing the stars; all the diverse and beau­ti­ful envi­ron­ments, and amaz­ing char­ac­ter design can put oth­er games to shame. This is a game I spend at least 20 hours on the first play through and I felt like I rushed it. On my sec­ond play through I am tak­ing my sweet old time and I want to see every­thing. This is a game that sets the bar and you won­der how the third game in the tril­o­gy will be able to pass it. We shall see next fall, until then I give you my 2010 Game of the Year.

6 comments

  1. ScrotusKilmystr - December 30, 2010 3:05 pm

    Although I haven’t played alot of these games I will agree with the 1st 2 for sure even though I have to start me2 all over again (damn microsoft crap­py sys­tems!!!) because I’ve nev­er fin­ished it. and ofcourse bc2 my god yes the games does­n’t get old and even more so now that i’m start­ing to play it on the PC.
    I do love medal of hon­or except for the mechan­ics it needs a patch and ea needs to turn down the greedy with the dlc
    and dan­te’s although I thought it was a great game not sure if I would feel it beat out DA:O but like you said this is your list…
    great list Cab­bie BUT where’s the PC love man haha

    Reply
  2. Strider782 - January 1, 2011 3:50 pm

    Nice list my friend. I com­plete­ly agree with you that Mass Effect 2 is the game of the year and remem­ber well your words a few days ago when we were togeth­er, “I can’t believe Mass Effect 2 is sit­ting on the shelf over there for $20.” I’m glad you list­ed Dan­te’s Infer­no in the top 10, as that became one of my favorites from the year and as you saw inspired a few pieces that I made this year. I am a lit­tle sur­prised that Mario Galaxy 2 made your list though, would you say that it was the best that Wii had to offer over this past year? Any hon­or­able men­tions for games that did­n’t make the top 10? Like Castl­e­va­nia for exam­ple.

    Reply
  3. ScrotusKilmystr - January 2, 2011 6:10 am

    dude Castl­e­va­nia only makes your list of ali time for ONE rea­son!!!! haha­ha­ha­ha

    Reply
  4. T8 - January 3, 2011 1:24 pm

    good games there CAB. I havent tried RDD but i heard it is awe­some. I would­nt have put MOH on that list but it was pop­u­lar.
    Great arti­cle

    Reply
  5. CharcoalCoyote - January 3, 2011 3:24 pm

    I would­n’t have put BC2 quite as high on that list. I think Reach deserves the num­ber 2 spot. I agree whole­heart­edy with Mass Effect 2. And yeah, I was expect­ing lame­ness, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 was epic as hell. Also, these new Castl­e­va­nias aren’t too great. SOTN was the last real­ly mem­o­rable one, the rest are just sor­ta rearranged cas­tles and ene­mies.

    Reply
  6. shapeoverlord - January 4, 2011 10:36 pm

    Amne­sia was one of my favorite games last year. Main­ly because I love hor­ror sur­vival games and there isn’t that many on the mar­ket (FPS shoot­er up games is not scary). Give it a try if you haven’t yet. 😉
    LIMBO sounds real­ly inter­est­ing. Although I don’t have a 360, I’ll use my friend’s 360 to play it next time I have the chance.

    Reply

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