Best of 2010

It feels like only yesterday that I found myself continuing to invest absurd amounts of money into a hobby with no real benefit other than keeping me from going plum loco in America's latest economic depression.  I feel like I've come away from 2010 ultimately a winner thanks to some carefully chosen rentals and buys motivated by my premier video game website.  After much deliberation between myself and the voices in my head I have finally decided what games were completely worth the ungodly amount of hours I've sunk into video games this year.

List items

  • While most of my top games have explored many fascinating historical settings, the game that made the biggest impact on me this year looked to the future. Mass Effect 2 is a science fiction tour de force that wrung out every little bit of my salivating inner nerd over the course of several of hours. Not only are the universe and characters masterfully crafted, but the game play has been given a much needed overhaul. Speaking as someone who may never make it to space in my life, the Mass Effect series makes me think that I may never need to.

  • Bringing the western style into video games has proven to be sticky business throughout the years. Leave it to the guys at Rockstar to make the open range of the wild west feel so authentically ludicrous. Red Dead Redemption is not about historical accuracy but rather it is about how we think an old west style entertainment piece should feel. Western movies may not hold up particularly well in this day and age but Red Dead proves that it might still have a place in gaming.

  • I intentionally held off on buying the original Street Fighter IV when this game was announced and it was well worth the brutal wait. Super iterates on all the things it needs to in order to make this the total package. As long as the Street Fighter series has been around I find it incredible that it has re set the bar for modern fighting games which ironically seem to require old-school conventions. You know you've made something special when people can have fun even when they lose a match. The only reasons this isn't my top game of 2010 are the poorly conceived character endings and the continued tradition of charging money for extra costumes.

  • Like everyone else I had given in to the popular theory that this game was merely adding multi-player to the existing game. My expectations were soon shattered when I realized that the single player is the best that it's ever been for the series. The ending may not have resonated as much as the previous entry but one thing is made abundantly clear: stabbing dudes both online and offline, is still incredibly satisfying.

  • If someone had told me that this was going to be the ONLY game that I would reached 100% completion I would've called them crazy. As a grown ass man I typically don't play my DS on my commute but this game kept those dual LCDs lit for a long time. The only bad part is running out of puzzles to solve...

  • A few people may forget to put this on their list because it might not necessarily live up to it's predecessor. While the story may ultimately fail in that regard the great improvements in graphics and overall make it an experience that is more fun and manageable than the first game. What really pushes this game up in my ranking however is the presence of a rock solid multi-player element as well as the simply amazing addition of Minerva's Den. All the hours I've sunk in Rapture make me more excited in seeing what they can do with Columbia.

  • While the single player experience is mostly forgettable in Battlefield Bad Company 2 I couldn't help but stop in my tracks whenever the hilarious Bad Company characters open their mouths. Add that to the fact that I probably put 100 hours into the enormous scale of the multi-player mode. My advice to everyone is to always bring a tank. Great explosions and sheer buggy goodness elevates this game to my number 7.

  • I remember resisting the urge to buy an XBLA game with a deep difficulty element, because things like Trials HD or N seemed lacking personality. Along comes Super Meat Boy which is a game that I want to both give a big hug and punch in the face. It's a game of pure masochism both in premise and execution. Yet it also managed to make me smile on more than one occasion. Making it to the last boss has made this my number 8 for this year.

  • While some games rely on deep story telling and mundane game pacing, Bayonetta makes it's own identity through sheer insanity. This game stands out by throwing all of those standard design conventions out of the window of a building flying through space on fire. Rather than having the arbitrary nature of a video game get in the way of enjoying it Bayonetta embraces every aspect of it's design from the fast paced but surprisingly functional nature of the combat to the weird throwback sequences of Sega stuff like Space Harrier and Hang-On. This is a game that is in love with itself which makes it number 9 on this list.

  • I couldn't help myself from falling in love with the grandly scaled story arc of the God of War. It has been a long and epic franchise that quite literally ends everything in its story arc. It's a shame I couldn't put it higher on list due to a game play structure that is also a half-decade old. The story ended well enough but having to plod through arbitrarily placed platforming and puzzles is no fun at all. All I really want is to kill dudes! Still this game manages to be my number 10 for satisfying my blood lust with a meaty character action game.