By BigLemon 8 Comments
|1. Mass Effect 2|
In my opinion, the top spot could not go to any other game. Mass Effect 2 is built upon a foundation of well executed elements that come together seamlessly in one of the best efforts from Bioware to date. Everything you could want is there: The story, the mechanics, the characters, the atmosphere; every facet is given such care and attention to detail, and the result is the best game of the year.
|2. Red Dead Redemption|
Eloquent story. Intuitive game play. Memorable characters. Everything is there, just like you would expect from veteran open-world developer Rockstar. This game takes the familiarity of a 3rd person open-world action game and plops it down into the less familiar setting of a Western.
|3. Sid Meier's Civilization V|
I am (almost) totally new to the Civilization series, and I never pictures myself as a turn-based strategy game player. However, after sinking 40 hours into this game, I must say that I am addicted. I don't have the best frame of reference of what the platonic turn-based strategy game "should" look like, but I think that may be a good thing. Even though I have no benchmark against which I can compare this, I still know a good game when I see one. And this, GiantBomb, is a good game. A very, very good game. The learning curve is short, the playing options are massive, and the fun factor is through the roof. Deserving of a spot on this list.
|4. Super Meat Boy|
I was late to the party when it came to Super Meat Boy. Not that I was vehemently against playing it, I just didn't... get it. It's a platformer, what could be so special? But Super Meat Boy is one of those titles you have to get your hands on and actually play in order to begin to see the amazing experience that it truly is. Beautifully simple, and (sometimes frustratingly) fun, this game deserves a spot on this list, if not for the brilliant soundtrack alone.
|5. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood|
This game was hindered by its marketing somewhat, being pegged mainly for its multi-player mode. That is not to say that the immensely fun on-line multi-player is without merit, but the marketing focus took away from what is a solid expansion upon the story line within the Assassin's Creed universe. Add on top of that the same "knifin' dudes in the face" game play you have come to expect from the series, and you have got one solid game.
|6. Heavy Rain|
In a word: innovative. Yes, I have heard of Indigo Prophecy. However, this is the complete evolution of that game. This is what video game snobs refer to as "art", but I will not insult this game with such contrivances (or have I already?). Heavy Rain is one of those games that is not so much played as it is "experienced." At the root of this game is an ambitious focus on story-telling, and it is that focus that drives the game forward. It takes a lot of guts to shift focus so unapologetically towards the story, and Heavy Rain does this with such conviction that it cannot be faulted. A must play.
It has been said, but it bears repeating: there should be more games like this. With an over-the-top, absurdly ridiculous model and style, Bayonetta takes all of your preconceived notions about Japanese-style action/adventure games and kindly asks it to go fuck itself. This game oozes gall.
Perhaps a little short but some standards, but I will always take quality over quantity. I am a big fan of this game, and I love seeing small developers put out quality titles
|9. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit|
Having been a fan of the Burnout series for years, I cannot express how happy I was when Criterion picked up this title for development. I am not a huge racing game player, but this game is so much fun that I had to put it on the list. The deep on-line modes will keep you immersed in the game for hours at a time. Plus, stuff blows up real good!
|10. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West|
Rounding out the bottom of the list is an action/adventure game released in Q4. This superbly animated retelling of the Chinese epic "Journey to the West" deserves a special place on this list because of its ability to blend solid action and a driving story line and splash it onto a post-apocalyptic setting.