Things that were not quite as good as Kanye West this year.


1. Heavy Rain
2. Red Dead Redemption
3. Mass Effect 2
4. Singularity
5. Game Dev Story
6. Picross 3D
7. Halo: Reach
8. Minecraft
9. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
10. Limbo

5. Game Dev Story.

I spent more hours in GDS this year than any other game, simple as. I can't remember being so addicted to any game, let alone a handheld game and I can't big it up any more than that. From hiring and firing, to leveling up genres and making it into the Hall of Fame to winning GOTY in game to making my own fucking console.. This game takes my dreams and puts it in my pocket. If you haven't made a Pirate Shooter game you haven't lived so seriously, go get it.

4. Singularity.

I've got a big soft spot for the past two Raven games. I would call Wolverine and Wolfenstein guilty pleasures, fun to play but not particularly engaging or thought-provoking. They always seemed like a dev with potential, one that if given the right IP and the freedom to go nuts would be able to take an idea and just run with it. Singularity is the game I wanted everyone to have played in 2010, it's got my heart. Activision, while saying that they were disappointed with the sales, completely failed to advertise the game at all and left me cursing the injustice of the situation. Don't get me wrong, it's not a perfect game and it's got plenty of game-y tropes and cliches but it tries for an ambitious and unique atmosphere and I think that the weapon designs and shooting mechanics made it the most enjoyable FPS experience I had in 2010. If you haven't got it, find it and at least appreciate what could have been a promising start to a new gaming franchise.

 3. Mass Effect 2.

I was super-hyped for this game before it came out. Every trailer made me even more excited and the slow trickle of news and gameplay made me incredibly eager to play it. While it didn't exactly reach the levels of greatness I had duped myself into thinking it would be, Mass Effect 2 showed that if you listen to feedback, your community and care about making a quality product  you can succeed. 

 2. Red Dead Redemption.

The detail and precision of the physics, the lighting, the animations and the writing in Red Dead Redemption are testament to the polish that Rockstar San Diego put into making this game feel so goddamn good. There is a wonderful balance of things to do in the game, the story is expertly paced and features numerous peaks and troughs as you make your way through it's rich nuanced world and the side missions and stranger quests are numerous enough not to seem sparse. I have finished Red Dead Redemption but I cannot stop going back to it. Curse you John Marston.

 1. Heavy Rain.

I love flawed games. Sometimes, against my better judgement, over games that are almost perfect. I find a strange, almost endearing charm in games that don't quite fire on all cylinders or games with moments of greatness that are just dragged down by other things. I'm not trying to excuse myself for picking Heavy Rain as my game of the year but any argument I could try to make for that game would all about how the game made me feel. Not the gameplay or the quick time events, the emotional reaction it got out of me again and again. How it made me genuinely stop the game and actually argue with myself over the decisions the characters had to make. There was no backing out, I couldn't just turn the game off and not ever come back again. I was too engrossed, too involved to give up. Heavy Rain made the decisions feel physically and emotionally draining, I was deciding on things that would change real lives. For those short moments in February earlier this year, I was making decisions for real people. No uncanny valley or shoddy voice acting could take me out of the intensity of those scenes. For the butterflies in my stomach when I knew I had reunited a father and son, when I knew I had made the right decision and saved lives, when I knew that decisions in game would never be the same for me again.. that's when I knew that Heavy Rain was my Game of the Year for 2010.