Best of 2010
My favorite games of 2010.
My favorite games of 2010.
I don't want to get it twisted: Deadly Premonition is on this list because I absolutely love it. I love the characters, I love the story, I love the feeling I get when I play it, and most of all: I love what it is. It's a game that has soul. I know that may sound corny and absolutely ridiculous in a lot of ways, but Deadly Premonition feels like it was designed by someone who loves video games. After reading more about Swery (coolest guy ever, he follows all of his fans on twitter!), I can confidently say that Swery is exactly that guy. I love him and I love Deadly Premonition. Like a lot. Isn't that right, Zach?
I would have called BS if you would have told me that Mass Effect 2 would have ended up on my list of favorite games in 2010. I loathed the original. It was clunky, it had some of the worst performance on the 360, and I had zero interest in exploring the game. Mass Effect 2 is the exact opposite for me. The combat is significantly better. The game looks and runs much better. The world, exploration, and new characters all added to what I feel is by far the most improved sequel of the year and probably the whole generation. ME2 is what the original should have been. In fact, I enjoyed the game so much that after my 5 day rental was finished, I went to the store that night (in a snowstorm, doing 40 on the highway) and bought it. Simply an awesome RPG.
Something about Alan Wake always keeps me coming back. I'm not the type of person who replays games over and over again, but I really like going back and playing Alan Wake. The campy feel, the great characters, and the original gameplay mechanics make it a game that I don't think I would ever get tired of. It's not surprising that it comes from Remedy Ent., a developer that I hold in high regard. I'm still hoping that a sequel is in the works, but until then, I'm fine coming back to Alan Wake. The two DLC packs that were released were also a fine example on how to do downloadable content. I can't wait to see what Remedy does next.
A GTA style western? Yes, God yes. Red Dead is a fantastic game with some really good characters and a fun world to play around in. I spent way too much time just hunting, collecting flowers, and playing hold 'em in the bars. I specifically want to mention the expansion pack: Undead Nightmare. Not only did it add the best quest line in the game, but it was literally laugh out loud funny. It's rare that a game can be (intentionally) funny, but Undead Nightmare has some of the best humor of any game in recent memory. Oh, and what an ending!
As a huge fan of Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain was one of my most hyped games coming into the year. I couldn't have been more angry when I had the ending spoiled for me. I was successfully able to suspend my belief and still had a great time playing HR. I thought the set pieces were done really well and David Cage does an excellent job of ratcheting the tension. I have fond memories of several specific scenes that were unbelievably heart-racing. The lizard trials and the care going the wrong way are just a couple of levels that that were really well done. I sometimes wonder how high the game would have been if I hadn't known who the Origami Killer was going in, but I don't worry about it too much anymore. Either way, Heavy Rain is great at what it does and I enjoyed my time with it.
I know a lot of people will probably scoff at seeing a sports game included in any GotY lists. After all, they're the same game every year...right? No, that's ridiculous and Madden NFL 11 is proof of that. Movement and character speed are essential in my enjoyment of any sports games. Madden '10 was bad at this, and as I'm going back and editing this, I can assure you that Madden '12 is a step backwards. But 2011 is great. It feels as if I have absolute control over the man that I am controlling. I've put in 100s of hours in this game and it continues to be challenging and fun. At the toughest difficulties, it really makes you pay for your mistakes. I'll never forget the dynasty league me and all of my Rainbow Six buddies joined. Just an awesome game of football.
Is Silent Hill: Shattered Memories even a 2010 game? Though it was released in December 2009 for the Wii, I waited around a month to get the PS2 version. While playing, I couldn't help but wanting a next gen version of this gem. Though I only have a little bit of experience with the series prior to this game, I enjoyed every bit of Shattered Memories. The game creates a really chilling atmosphere and I enjoyed the creativity in the way in which they dealt with combat. It was a bold move to create a game in which you simply run away the whole time, but I think it holds up really well. If nothing else, it doesn't get in the way of the things I loved most about the game: exploring the haunting world.
Swat! I love swat. It's such a fun and intense game mode and I played a bunch of it in Reach. Actually, I played a lot of Halo Reach in general. According to the Bungie website, I've logged in almost 85 hours worth of total playtime and over 5,000 kills in multiplayer alone. Halo always keeps me coming back for just one more game.
BioShock 2 is unfairly judged. Being a sequel to Bioshock is admittedly a tough act to follow, but I feel Bio 2 did a lot of things to actually improve on the game. The core gameplay was much better. I'll agree that the experience was somewhat dulled because Bioshock was so fresh when it released just 2 years earlier, but the sequel is a great game in its own right. Additionally, Bio 2 has a really fun, and totally overlooked multiplayer component. There is a lot to like here, and while it may stand in the shadow of the original, it is still a great game.
I like things that are fun. Doritos Crash Course is super, super fun. Being free, and having both online head 2 head and leaderboards, made this an easy choice for me and my XBL buddies to try when it came out. Doritos Crash Course is easy to jump into and tough to master, and that is exactly the template arcade games like this should follow.
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