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Best of 2010

Floppypants: Best of 2010

List items

  • The universe of Mass Effect is quickly becoming my favorite Sci-Fi setting across any medium. ME2 trimmed off all the fat of ME1 (like its clunky, unnecessary inventory system), and distilled the rest into pure RPG moonshine. The game is perfectly paced with its mixture of RPG and shooter elements. One moment you're coordinating your squad's biotic powers to blow up a Geth Prime, and the next you're sharing a glass of brandy with your ship's doctor. I had an enormous amount of fun playing through the game repeatedly. Each time I'd see the story unfold slightly differently, and also experience combat with a different selection of biotic powers. My initial playthrough as a Sentinel was fun, but my next playthrough as an Engineer felt like a whole new game. I also learned to love the game's Insanity difficulty, which forces you to take your time and use your biotic powers wisely. In a rare feat, even all the DLC released over the course of 2010 was of exceptional quality. If any game deserves the crown of Game of the Year, there is no question, that game is clearly Mass Effect 2.

  • How could anyone make a sequel to what's practically the national sport of South Korea? If the game isn't perfect, it would cause a freaking international diplomatic catastrophe. But...Oh, wait, we're talking about Blizzard. They nailed it. The single player campaign for StarCraft 2 is great fun, ladder games are as competitive as ever, and there are tons of custom maps to make this $60 well worth spending. To really put it in perspective though, all you have to do is compare this to EA's effort at Command & Conquer 4, which turned out to be one of the worst games of the year.

  • While this doesn't make a lot of people's lists because it's an expansion pack, everyone who plays WoW knows that this has more content in it than the vast majority of stand-alone games. Along with all the new content for level 80 players (which would be expected in a new expansion), Cataclysm's overhaul of the original 1-60 experience is astonishing and over the top. It gives veteran players a strong incentive to create new characters, and makes for the best time ever for new players to try WoW.

  • Heavy Rain has its share of flaws, but it's easy to forgive them given how different the game is than anything else on the market. Many game studios still keep the classic adventure genre alive, but Quantic Dream has been the only studio clearly trying to evolve it. Heavy Rain's cinematic qualities were able to immerse me in a way no other game this year did. There were some key moments during the game that made me literally put down the controller and debate with my family about what I should do. The game left me with a memorable experience that makes me ever eager for whatever game Quantic makes next.

  • God of War 3 improves in every way over the previous games in the franchise. The combat, for the first time, includes secondary weapons that were a lot of fun to use. Each weapon was paired with its own specific magic attack, and I got a lot of use out of all of them. The default difficulty was also extremely well tuned, giving me (a veteran GoW player) *ample* challenge without feeling punishing. Story-wise, the cast of characters in GoW3 makes the previous games in the series seem empty of any noteworthy characters. GoW3 is a who's-who of Greek mythology, as Kratos rampages up Mount Olympus and kills all of them.

  • Assassin's Creed 2 was my 2009 GotY, and more of that good stuff is hardly bad. I was burned at first because I simply wrote the game off as a multiplayer focused game with a throwaway single player campaign, so I didn't buy Brotherhood until recently. I haven't finished the game yet (blame Cataclysm), but it's obvious that Brotherhood deserves to make this list. If the game has any faults, its simply the fatigue of playing another AC game so quickly after the last.

  • While it was undoubtedly a God of War ripoff, the setting of this game was one of my favorites of 2010. I was quickly tired of the repetitive enemies, but otherwise I had a lot of fun with the branching experience system, the awesome art design that changed circle by circle, and the simple fun of killing dudes with a freaking scythe.

  • You know everything that was bad about Scribblenauts? Super Scribblenauts fixes all that. If Super Scribblenauts matched the level of hype the first game had, people would be giving this Game of the Year awards. It's easily my DS GotY, as its given me many hours of fun as I scratch my head and try to think of clever ways to solve its many puzzles.

  • Another game I wasn't supposed to enjoy, yet did. While the game's story definitely felt poorly tacked on, I had fun regardless stomping around as a Big Daddy. I particularly enjoyed the sections where I was tasked with protecting my Little Sister as she gathered ADAM, rigging rooms floor to ceiling with traps and sentries.

  • The main campaign for Just Cause 2 is freaking awful, but it doesn't matter. I haven't had as much fun dicking around in an open world like this since Crackdown. In Just Cause 2, they hand you the keys to the helicopter and you make your own fun.