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Best of 2010

Here it is: my top 10 games of the year for 2010. 
I must mention a few things about this list. 
1. I didn't play a lot of games this year

  • I don't have a lot of free time or spending money so I didn't get around to playing a lot of games that I would have liked to play. For example, I still haven't played Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, Bayonetta, or Alan Wake. I also don't own a PS3 or a Wii which eliminates possible contenders as well.  

2. Some of these games didn't come out in 2010.

  • I don't care. Like I said, I don't play every game that comes out and so it's silly to limit myself to games that only came out this year. This is a list of games I enjoyed and played a lot of in 2010.

List items

  • I know this game came out in 2009 but I didn't start playing it until this year and I've put far more hours into this game than any other game this year by a long stretch.

    I love this kind of competitive gameplay and it's the only game my friends play since none of them own consoles. I've loved this style of gameplay for a long time, playing the Storm The Fort map variation in original Starcraft for several years with friends. While I have been fascinated with DotA for a long time, I was far too intimidated to try getting into it.

    LoL is a "free to play" game and the way the game is structured is really it's strength. There are now over 70 Champions to choose from but only 10 of which are free to play each week. This gives new players a limited list of Champions to learn and grow accustomed to playing with and against. Also, the way the game paces this like Masteries and Runes over a slow build up as you level up as a player, you naturally learn the complexities as you play without being forced to learn it all at once and being inevitably overwhelmed.

    Not to mention it is a fantastic game to play with friends. A tremendous amount of team work is required to be successful and with over 70 Champions to choose from (and growing - a new one is released about every 2 weeks), there is always something more to learn and have fun with.

  • Ok, I know this game came out nearly 30 years ago. Hell, this game is 2 years older than me! But 2010 is the year I got hooked on it.

    In the city I live (Calgary, AB) my two favorite places to eat both have a Ms. Pac-Man machine (Tubby Dog and Boogies Burgers). Every time I go, I make sure to bring a pocketful of quarters to try and set a new personal high score (and the high score on the machine if I can manage it).

    It's addictive, challenging, and intoxicating. The thrill of just barely squeaking out of a tight spot, of eating all four ghosts with a single Power Pellet, with being able to play longer and longer with just a single quarter - it all adds up to Ms. Pac-Man being on of the greatest games ever made.

  • I've never been very big on competitive First Person Shooters. When I tried to play Quake back in high school with friends, I was frustrated by how badly I seemed to be doing. It just wasn't very fun to die over and over again. I tried again a few years later with Counter Strike but didn't enjoy it until I played exclusively with and against friends in college. Venturing online was again the painful experience of just not being good enough to have any fun. I tried with Modern Warfare 2 but after the first few weeks when I would make time to play for hours (including getting up at 5am to play for an hour before work) I again realized that I wasn't having much fun. I didn't have the time to invest to get very good and that wasn't really going to change.

    Bad Company 2 however appealed to me because of it's team focused and objective based gameplay. I didn't have to have twitch reflexes to be effective or to have fun. I actually got to be pretty good at this game.

    Unfortunately, like most online and competitive games it's more fun to play with friends and since my friends don't own consoles and don't really play first person shooters, the love affair of playing this every day after work wore off as the frustration grew with playing with the randoms who insisted on sniping from as far away from danger as they could get.

  • The Quick Look on this website is what convinced me to give this game a try. At first the puzzles seemed daunting and I was worried that the creation of body doubles would eventually get so complex that I would get frustrated and quit playing. But that never happened.

    A fantastic art style and wonderful story telling only added to my enjoyment as I made my way through each challenging level.

  • I think my opinion of this game was shaped a little bit by the hype surrounding it. When I first saw screenshots of this game months before it came out, I knew it was a game I'd want to play. The art style and atmosphere of the game instantly appealed to me. However, when it actually came out I didn't have the time to play it so I ended up playing it a couple weeks after it's initial release. By that time I had heard people say really glowing things about it as well as heard people complain about the length of the game. So, unforunately I think my expectations were a little high going in and so naturally I was let down - but only slightly. This game's atmosphere is one of the best I have ever seen in a video game and I was constantly creeped out and constantly saying things like "Oh God!" when seeing things like a hanging body in the back ground, a giant spider appearing from nowhere, and brain infesting worms. The puzzle platforming was fun but not revolutionary and wrapped up in plenty of time. However it was the emotional payoff of this game that sold it for me. My only complaints are that it didn't quite live up to the hype it received and that it was indeed too short.

  • I love Pac-Man. I love the challenge of staying alive while trying to rack up as high a score as possible. My issue with the original Championship Edition was it's difficulty. I enjoyed it's difficulty but it was a tough game at times. This deals with the problem by slowing the game down when you get too close to ghosts and adding bombs to blow away the ghosts if you get trapped. Personally, I think this makes the game too easy but it does make the focus about the score not survival.

    The music, the look, the speed, the exhilaration of eating an enormous chain of ghosts, all add up to a great experience. It's too bad the achievements were so easy to attain and there wasn't more incentive to keep coming back to this and playing.

  • I've been playing the original Starcraft on and off since it came out 12 years ago. I never played it very competitively except against friends (again the lack of time to focus on one game enough to get good at it excluded me from enjoying competitive multiplayer) but when I did play it with friends, it was some of the most fun I've had.

    So, when the sequel finally arrived I bought it right away. The gameplay was improved but familiar, the story was great, and the missions had a lot of variety.

    Ultimately however, my lack of a great computer limited my enjoyment. My laptop is almost 3 years old and it struggles with this game at Medium setting. When it takes several minutes to load a level, the cut scenes never look great and it's choppy and laggy to play, you just don't look forward to playing it very much. I intend to play more of it when I have the money available to upgrade my computer.

  • Again with the iPhone games. It holds to the statement of "simple to learn, difficult to master" and it's a game that I was instantly drawn to with it's good sound and visuals and it's draw of developing skill in order to acquire higher scores. Easy to pick up and play for a few minutes but just as easy to go through a whole battery charge on the couch.

  • I play a lot of iPhone games because I spend a lot of time on buses getting to and from work. I've never been big on sims or RPGs but the buzz of watching the numbers climb when developing a game or after it's release was truly intoxicating. Too bad the reply value isn't very high and it runs out of steam before game ends.

  • I spent a lot of money on this game. Not only did I buy the game itself but I spent $180 on a fighting stick. The majority of my experience with Street Fighter games were in arcades and I knew I could only seriously play this game if I had one. For the first month I owned this game, I spent hours practicing, reading guides, forums, and websites trying to improve my game. However, when I got online, I never seemed to be very good. I won a little less often than I lost (which was admittidly thrilling) but again, the lack of friends playing this game and the high time requirement to be competitive ultimately led me to stop playing.