Best of 2010

Yep, another year has come and gone, and so have a whole brace of games that I did (and a bunch that I didn't) play.  It's tough for me to come up with these lists, especially when I tend to look on the bright side of games that oftentimes don't even deserve it.  Furthermore, I didn't even get to play many of the games I truly would have loved to play (Bayonetta, God of War III, Epic Mickey, and many more).  

But, having said all this, I did manage to come up with something that I'm relatively happy to call my top ten games of 2010.  Don't judge it too harshly, because quite frankly I could easily rearrange this thing 20 different ways and be satisfied with it.  This is how it came out, though... and I like it.

List items

  • Bigger. Better. Amazing characters. Amazing story. Excellent shooter gameplay. Ridiculous level of user input. Excellent DLC. Mass Effect 2 is more than what a sequel should be, it's what all great games are. They take things that you've never seen before and combine them with excellently executed gameplay and an experience that both immerses you and makes you care dearly about its outcome. Mass Effect 2 is masterfully done. Plain and simple.

  • As much as I loved the myriad improvements Assassin's Creed 2 made to the series, Brotherhood just made it all bigger and better. Expanding on what is likely to be my favorite segment of the saga and throwing in multiplayer that actually works (even if it's not your cup of tea), this game really just did things that you didn't know had to be done until you actually play the game. Is it derivative? Sure. Is it the best example of derivative that anyone can likely ever produce? Oh hell yes.

  • Solid shooting, amazing atmosphere, and a story that drives it down a haunting rabbit hole that makes this 7 hour game breeze by. Pacing is something that's ridiculously underrated in games, and Alan Wake is one of the most well-paced games of this or any other generation, and when combined with the game's other strengths, it easily was one of my favorites. Say what you will about the potential it held when it was announced years ago, what we have here is an impressive feat by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Wow, this game came out of nowhere to quickly become my multiplayer game of choice. Take two parts Team Fortress 2, one part DotA, and throw in tons of humor and style, and you get Monday Night Combat. The concept is ludicrous, and the execution is fantastic. I look forward to even more from MNC in 2011.

  • By far my most anticipated game of the year lands here because, quite frankly, I didn't get much time to play it. At the making of this list, I've probably sunk about 5 or so hours into it, and have loved every second of it. I understand that the game is really derivative of many games of the genre, but that doesn't stop this from being perhaps the most artistically beautiful game I played this year. It's amazing what they've accomplished and created out of an already established franchise, and the dark and hopeless world and story that evolves from the inside. Again, this is a game that seems greater than the sum of its parts.

  • The best fighting game of a generation gets better. Now I'm not gonna pretend that I was ever any good at SSFIV, but regardless I sunk countless hours in the pursuit of getting my win/loss percentage up. New characters, re-worked soundtrack, improved online, and all at a much lower price. There truly was no excuse not to pick up Super Street Fighter IV except severe aversion to fighting games. I didn't, so I absolutely loved it.

  • Before Black Ops rolled out to sweep away my last remnants of MW2 rage, there was Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Although my thoughts on the single-player aren't... great, it did keep enough of those solid mechanics and humor to make it playable. What was MORE than playable was the fantastic multiplayer, a game that actually stresses teamwork among teammates (imagine that). When combined with the random chaos that ensues, it's truly a game that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels time and time again, especially with the new Vietnam add on.

  • Now, this one probably isn't going to be on many people's top 10, but whether it was on my little brother's PS3 or my Xbox 360, I spent tons of time in virtual Canada with Scottie P and his pals. This game was just fun, plain and simple. Not to mention its soundtrack by band Anamaniguchi probably wins the award for my soundtrack of the year.

  • In my mind, there was no way that Red Dead Redemption was going to be a bad game. It has a pedigree and encompasses a time and place that I think is extremely under-used in video games. And guess what, Red Dead was great. Do I think (as many tend to) that it was the best thing since sliced bread? No. In fact the game has many layover issues from GTA and, despite its masterful story, just lasts too long for its own good. Beside that, though, Red Dead is really a fun and expansive jaunt through the old west with one of the most human-centric stories ever told. If anything, you owe it to yourself to experience that much.

  • This was really the last thing I expected to put on my list this year, but Black Ops managed to nearly erase all the bad taste that Modern Warfare 2 had left in my mouth last year. The thing is that, quite frankly, this is a Call of Duty game we haven't seen before. Not from a gameplay standpoint of course, but this is really the first COD game that actually intrigued me by its story. Throw in a boatload of Easter Eggs, several multiplayer modes, and you have my number 10 on my top 10 games of the year.