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Best of 2010

A lot of this is transposed from a list that I wrote on the Idle Thumbs forum. Some of the placements might be weird, but there are a lot of games that deserve props way more than others that I know will receive a ton of votes. For example, Sam & Max is such a marked improvement over the last game in that series, while Mass Effect 2 did some things that I think made it worse. These are the games that deserve these props, and it's from the heart.

List items

  • This game just knocked my socks off with how it improved on the original NMH's progression. Although a lot of people praised the mundanity of it, gone was the fairly annoying open world and instead there was a map menu? In 2010? Good on you Ubisoft! That and fun retro minigames, so many clothes customization options, weapons you can change on the fly and great and tough bosses!

  • Great perfectly solid platforming with 100s of levels and no pauses between deaths! This game has the perfect combination of bite sized accomplishments and larger incentives to go find bandages and finish dark world levels.

  • I was blown away. I really didn't expect that much of a leap in graphical fidelity, or that many mechanical changes, both for the season and episode to episode, and for the ending to be as poignant as it was. Story-wise actual things happened in this season, like losing characters I really enjoyed, and introducing new ones that I thought were really great and very much in the S&M vein.

  • After the incredibly derivative Sonic 4, it was great to play a new Sonic game that felt new and still played great! Amazing music, fantastic settings, fun powers are coupled with incentives to S-Rank levels and find all the Red Rings meant I spent a lot of time poking the nooks and crannies of these levels. They even made a couple changes to current Sonic homing attack controls to make it more manageable in a 2d setting, something Sonic 4 failed to do completely. Also the tone of the characters was great! Makes me feel good about Sonic again, and that's a tall order.

  • I've played a ton of this game, just on the strength of it's team multiplayer and that doesn't happen often. Spent many a night staying up too late with friends, trying to crack a strategy on how to beat the next pair or trio. Tons of fun, although I haven't gone back in a while.

  • Great game for the story, but it's also been significantly cut down in it's RPG feature list and exploration. Then there's the planet scanning. I love Mass Effect 2, but I hope they go in the opposite direction for 3.

  • I probably put more time into this game just grinding basically the same actions, because it is so much fun to do! This game for me, above all other games, deserves it's open world, because the amount of ridiculous things you can do is staggering. Not only do you have the shoot something build wanted level mechanic, but you can also fly jets and helicopters, jump from cars on the freeway to others, and generally be a badass who doesn't look at explosions. Also, best title ever.

  • A fun sequel to a series I loved back in 16 bits. Hard.

  • Great great game, that I experienced a huge bummer campaign in and haven't gone back to since. When I do choose to jump back in, it will be glorious.

  • More fun platforming. I guess I just have a love for this genre with it making up 4 of the 10 games on this list. This game has fantastic music, an easy to navigate world and tough platforming puzzles to provide challenge.