Best of 2010
jford: Best of 2010
jford: Best of 2010
No game sucked me in this year like Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar improved their tried and true open world gameplay in every conceivable way, and crafted their best story to date. In 2010, I don't even have a close number two in my choice for game of the year.
I wasn't happy with a number of design choices Bioware made in crafting the sequel to 2007's Mass Effect, and I couldn't help be disappointed in a story that didn't have the grandiosity of Commander Shepard's first adventure. Despite my misgivings, Mass Effect 2 still deserves the silver medal spot on my list. With unforgettable characters, a dramatically improved combat system, and one of the most fully realized universe in science fiction, let alone video games, I truly loved this game, and eagerly await the next installment.
If a game can be called perfect, Halo: Reach is it. No other game in 2010 delivered such expertly crafted single player, cooperative multi-player, and competitive multi-player in a single package. I can think of no better way for Bungie to say goodbye to this tremendous series.
Obsidian took the gameplay of Fallout 3 and dramatically upped the ante in terms of characters and story. I loved that the game has multiple endings, but no "best" ending, so players are actually forced to choose which ending suits them best.
I still play Rock Band more than any other game out there. Rock Band 3 combines a streamlined interface with new instruments and a ton of fantastic songs on disk. Oh, and all your old songs STILL work. A total blast, and a great example of a company thinking creatively and intelligently on ways to improve an already solid franchise.
No one liked this game but me! It's far from perfect, but FF13 has an incredible story, and the best combat system of any Final Fantasy game to date.
Maybe the most underrated game of 2010. This is an incredibly well paced game, blending story beats with action beats in a way that I never got tired of either. It reminded me of everything I loved about Max Payne, with some Resident Evil thrown in.
Limbo is the perfect blend of artsy-fartsy atmosphere and sensibilities and stellar platforming design. Indie games work when mood and story don't come at the expense of gameplay, and no other game is a better example of that than Limbo. Plus, that ending gave me chills.
I could argue that there was no need for a second Bioshock, and that crafting more fiction onto the world of Rapture is a fools errand, but it's impossible to deny how much fun I had playing Bioshock 2. The story isn't great, but the combat was, and all things considered I was glad I had a reason to go back under the sea.
What do you get when you combine DOTA and TF2? A game feels like neither of those games, but a unique multiplayer shooter I keep coming back to. Each class feels viable, and the game is simple enough that I don't feel like I need to put hours into each class to get the hang of it. I'll be checking in on this game in 2011 and beyond.
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