Best of 2010
My 20 favorite games of 2010.
My 20 favorite games of 2010.
Mass Effect 2 feels like the middle chapter of BioWare's space opera, and that's not a bad thing. It's tense and satisfying as a narrative driven third person shooter, epic and engaging as a choose your own adventure, and kind of hard to classify when it's not clearly doing either of those things. There's so much memorable characterization, dialogue and fiction on display that it elevates the Mass Effect universe to rival the best of Sci-Fi in any medium.
While John Marston's story isn't completely free from Rockstar's signature tone and tricks, it still easily manages what it sets out to be - gaming's first great Western. Content filled, beautiful, confident and plenty fun to play.
It's better than the first, so that's something. You're constantly bombarded with variety and innovative concepts and the game continues to both look and sound incredible. A high water mark for platformers and Nintendo.
Spent a lot of time with Civ V over the year. A worthy evolution of the series that will get better with expansions. (Ed. Note: It did!)
A Pac-Man endorphin rush, over and over again. With a variety of modes and customization options available, CE DX is an instant classic that should probably be in everyone's collection.
Haunting and engrossing, with some interesting storytelling mechanics and heavy atmosphere. You'll want to see it through multiple times to find out what's really going on.
No other game this year empowers the player more - when you are Ezio at full strength with crew in tow, you are as badass as they come. Even the multiplayer is worth getting into. Though the core story beats lack oomph this is the finest AC title in many ways.
From the distinctly Commodorean look and sound to the core one button mechanic and open level design, the deceptively modest VVVVVV succeeds at nearly everything it attempts without wearing out it's welcome.
Lightning quick, batshit insane action that's both absurdly Japanese and just plain absurd. A huge moveset and deep combo system makes for rewarding and spectacular combat.
The adventure game format gets twisted around almost as much as the plot does, Telltale's engine is much improved over earlier titles and there's vintage Sam & Max dialogue and situational comedy throughout.
One of the best investments you could make for your DS. Addictive and packed to the brim with puzzles, it's the most entertaining representation of Picross I've played.
Super Meat Boy is a motherfucker. A smartly designed, plentiful, and good looking motherfucker with great music and controls precise enough to do the job - but still a motherfucker.
The yarn based world Kirby gets into is Nintendo's most striking 2D work in years. So downright pleasant that it would make even the most cold at heart feel warm fuzzies.
Blistering arcade action that Sega unfortunately doesn't make on a regular basis anymore. It's unlock system ensures that repeat plays are rewarded with increasingly over the top presentation.
More moves, more characters, everyone unlocked, improved online options and cheap as hell to purchase.
Lots of variety in this one, and the most interesting story of the series yet. Using the Wii remote as a surgical tool feels natural, it's a good use of the tech.
Something to play nonstop for 2-3 days, build the best game company ever, and then never pick up again.
Balanced and satisfying real time strategy. It's so engaging that even folks like me that traditionally avoid the genre can appreciate it's strengths.
My First RPG mechanics aside, Costume Quest successfully evokes feelings of being a kid let loose on Halloween night through the lens of Double Fine's signature style and imagination.
A master class in atmosphere and tension, at least during the first third of the adventure. Smart puzzle design and memorable high contrast visuals.
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