Best of 2010

I want to say upfront that hey, there are *SPOILERS*.  Really, you should expect this from an end of the year list, but I'll be nice and warn you anyways.  Now that that's taken care of..... 
 
I don't know if you can tell by my list, but I really only played Xbox 360 games this year.  That isn't really because I think the rest of the platforms are shit or anything...  I just didn't have the hardware.  I do now, and I have quite the back log on PS3,  just finished MGS4.  That being said, there was still plenty of candidates that are worthy enough to be included on here only factoring in the Xbox 360.  I really wish I could've played some of the other titles from other platforms, some really good looking stuff there.  Now, that I have a rig that can handle today's games, I'll probably dive into some Starcraft II and Dragon Age: Origins... can't wait.  Well, enough of me rambling about how excited I am for the future and more of me reminiscing of the past like some old geezer.

List items

  • Holy motherfucking shit, Bioware. How do you continue to make awesome games. You're becoming the Blizzard of console gaming. They streamlined the hell out of Mass Effect making the combat engaging and fun(just hitting a button to pop a singularity instead of going through a menu is awesome), and the story takes some very interesting turns, did anyone expect the Collectors to be Protheans...? Or how about them building a giant terminator? Every single member of your team is interesting and flawed (except Zaeed, he's pretty boring). The loyalty missions are some of the best in the game and builds each of these characters so well. Whether it's Mordin feeling the guilt of the genocide he helped caused or Jack figuring out what really happened during her childhood captivity, their pasts are super interesting and worth learning about. By the way, did I mention it's also being supported with some pretty good DLC, Lair of the Shadow Broker being some of the best DLC for any game and if I remember correctly Bioware still isn't done supporting. Hell I know I'll end up playing through Mass Effect 2 once more before the next installment hits.

  • Quite frankly, Rock Band 3 is the game that I've sunk the most hours into this year and that was before I got the crazy ass pro guitar controller. I'm much guaranteed to sink about the double the amount of time in it. Harmonix has streamlined everything around how most people play Rock Band, which is just going to quickplay. There's definitely careers stuff to do and I've spent a bunch of time just checking out my goals and scratching things off my list. In addition, the leaderboard integration is awesome, updating you on how you're doing compared to your friends after each song played. With constant DLC support and me still learning this pro guitar thing, Rock Band 3 is a game I'll be playing a long time from now.

  • I'm a patient man, I try to see that I not be intolerant and short, but goddamn you, Super Meat Boy. SMB is so, so difficult and yet they way that it automatically respawns and the music is unhindered at death just begs you to bludgeon your way through the maze of precision jumps.

  • Hey! Remember Street Fighter IV and how awesome that was? Well this is like that, but way better. You get more characters, levels, ultra combos, better online. What more could you ask for? Well, I could ask for more friends that were into it.

  • Why has no one done this before? Most games crib from some other game, why has no one taken a note from Zelda's book? Reminds me of how awesome Shadow Complex was when it came out (I really hope Chair plans on doing a second one). Darksiders takes the puzzle and exploration from Zelda and inserts some God of War into the combat and makes a truly winning formula. That game made me really thing in a few spots and that what I love about this style of game most. I'm looking forward to the sequel and I'll probably play this one again in 2011.

  • Costume Quest is a Double Fine game through and through, and by that I mean it has lots of charm and humor. I enjoy every second of this game. I love exploring the environment talking to everybody trying to find chests. Getting new costumes and trying them out in battle only to find out you've turned into some horrifying french fry spider. Yeah, the combat could've been a little harder, but it certainly didn't bore me.

  • Alan Wake is one of the best games at telling its story. When you start this game you really don't want to put it down... You want to push through and find out where it's all going. Some people have knocked the combat, I disagree with that. It doesn't have a whole lot of variety, sure, but I think the atmosphere in the Alan Wake serves the combat well, made my heart pound.

  • Brotherhood takes everything from AC2 and cranks it up to 11. Ezio is an interesting, fun character and I'm glad they revisited him. Ubisoft improved the the already improved combat, making the dispatching of foes even more fun and varied. The implementation of the maps and other collectibles makes this game a completionists nightmare and greatest fantasy. Because of that I have yet to finish it, which is why it is so low on my list.

  • This game will suck you in and won't let you go till it's 3 am in the morning. The atmosphere and art style are extremely striking. The only real knock on this game is its longevity.

  • I really like stealth action and this is the first Splinter Cell game I felt was worth playing. Between the interrogations, mark and execute, last known position, and the cover system this game does a lot of things right and was engrossing until the end.