Best of 2010

When I first started thinking about what games I'd put on my list, I wasn't sure that I'd played 10 games that were released in 2010.  It feels like I've spent an enormous amount of time playing games this year, but I think I've been in a bit of a time warp - picking up 2008/2009 games at discounted prices and enjoying them as much as everybody else did when they were new.  Recently, I've been playing a ton of Dragon Age: Origins and I'm still playing Borderlands.  I played Assassin's Creed II over the summer and I also had a blast with Plants vs Zombies (XBLA).  I would've loved to include it on this list, but I think it was technically released in 2009 (even though the XBLA version came out in 2010).  

That said, I spend a relatively large amount of time playing the games that I DO play, so I feel completely confident with my list despite the fact that I haven't played/included several of the games that have received a lot of praise:  Pac-Man CE DX, Mass Effect 2, Halo: Reach, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Meat Boy, Starcraft 2, Bayonetta, etc...

List items

  • I'm always anxious for a new game from Rockstar, and this was no exception. In the weeks leading up to the game's release, I was watching western movies and reading everything I could about Red Dead Redemption. When I finally got to play it, I was not disappointed. From the opening credits on the train all the way through to the ending, I felt completely immersed in the world that Rockstar had created for John Marston. The atmosphere, character design, voice acting, and music were all exceptional. When I asked myself what 2010 games I played and enjoyed, Red Dead Redemption was the game that came immediately to mind.

  • I had a TON of fun with this game. The incredible size of the game world and the variation of the environments provided a nearly limitless playground of destruction. Sure, the voice acting was comical (Bolo Santosi, anyone?), the storyline was a little corny, and some of the missions were a tad repetitive... Did any of that really matter when everything else - the grappling hook, the parachute, the guns, the tanks and helicopters - was so much FUN?

  • I can admit that I'm a sucker for a well-made, artsy-fartsy, indie title. I loved Limbo. The puzzles were never repetitive and they got increasingly complicated and/or difficult as the game progressed. Many point out that the game was short. I'd argue that an occasional short game is a welcome break from the 20, 40, or 60 hours that I usually spend on a game.

  • A beautifully graphic, wonderfully brutal experience. I loved the first two God of War games and the third did not disappoint.

  • The last Need for Speed game that I played was Most Wanted. The last Burnout game that I played was Revenge (I know, Paradise was supposed to be great - I keep meaning to go back and play it). This game is a glorious blend of everything that makes Need for Speed and Burnout games so much fun. The sense of speed, the gorgeous graphics, the exhilaration of running from the law (or chasing down a law-breaker), and the incredible crashes all come together perfectly.

  • I liked the original Dead Rising a lot. I liked Dead Rising 2 that much more. Capcom did a great job of improving everything that needed to be changed about the first game while leaving intact everything that was right. The survivor AI was fixed and the photography mechanic was replaced with a weapon-building system. The multiple endings, multiple playthroughs to get more powerful, and the occasionally silly sense of humor were still in place. Although I felt the multi-player mode left something to be desired, I still really enjoyed this game.

  • There isn't much to say here - I liked Black Ops a lot.

  • I honestly didn't realize that this was a 2010 game until it was mentioned as one of Dave Snyder's Eastern Bloc Games of the Year. I loved this game - it was a fantastic throwback to the adventure games that I enjoyed as a child.

  • Let me first say that I am NOT a hardcore Civilization fan. Although I'm familiar with the franchise and I've played a bit of all the other Civ games, I am by no means a Civ expert. When somebody says that Civ 5 is "broken", I have no idea what they're talking about because my copy installed and played fine. Civ 5 was exactly what I wanted - I liked the feeling of power that came with building up my empire and utterly destroying anybody that stood in my way.

  • I loved the first Bioshock, but when this came out last January, I wasn't sure if I was quite ready to return to Rapture. I was skeptical about whether or not a sequel would be able to offer anything new. I actually just started playing Bioshock 2 a couple weeks go and so far, I've really enjoyed it. The atmosphere, gameplay, and storyline are just as good as they were in the first game. It's safe to say that had I picked this up when it came out, I might have been a little disappointed with the 'more of the same' design. Now that I've given myself a nice long break from Rapture, I'm having a ton of fun with a new experience in familiar surroundings.