List items

  • The year started out strong with this amazing entry from Bioware, and it has ended with "Mass Effect 2" still emblazoned in my mind as the best game of the year. No game this year actively involved me in its world and characters as "ME2." Whether it was my old friend Garrus, the singing scientist genocider Mordin or new love of my life Thane, my lady Shepard was always surrounded by characters both she and I care deeply for. Driving the Reaper narrative to its eventual conclusion "ME2's" story may have lacked in some spots but her expanded world continued to be the most diverse and interesting in all of gaming.

  • Only one thing can be said about this game to accurately quantify its significance: It made me pick up my PSP. While the system has provided a number of quality titles throughout its life span, I could rarely get over my relative dislike of the system's form for more than a few hours per game. "MGS: Peace Walker" changed this, as Konami and Kojima Productions cleverly figured out a controller configuration that easily adapted to the third-person nature of MGS while still feeling fluent and accessible on the PSP. "Peace Walker" also packed each mission into a hand-held friendly time period of roughly 20 minutes per outing. The story of "Peace Walker" also feels incredibly relevant to the overall "Metal Gear" universe and focuses on my favorite "MGS" character, Big Boss. Adapting the "Monster Hunter" style multiplayer and adding in an addictive unit-leveling metagame through the Porptable Ops features added to the longevity of this amazing title.

  • The West has finally been won, and it was won by Rockstar Games and their astounding tribute to one of America's most iconic moments, "Red Dead Redemption." Flipping between hilarious, if blunt, social commentary and deeply studious archetypes of the Western mythos "Red Dead" never failed to entertain while navigating its series of fascinating side-quests. Added into this was the amazing "Undead Nightmare" expansion pack that transported the characters of "Red Dead" into a schlocky zombie movie atmosphere "Red Dead Redemption" was certainly one of my most played games of 2010.

  • A quick follow-up to last year's fabulous "Assassin's Creed 2" further served to refine the series' gameplay and add to the story of Ezio. Calling in the Brotherhood may be the most satisfying gameplay experience of the year, as a quick tap of a shoulder button descends a face-stabbing mercenary. Tack on an inventive multiplayer mode and "AC: Brotherhood" was my most unexpectedly awesome game of the year.

  • Simply put, "Super Mario Galaxy 2" is the definitive platforming experience. No game this year had me audibly saying "Wow" this year due to level design more than this one. Yoshi only further served to add to the overpowering force of Mario's charm.

  • After "The Beatles: Rock Band" I was relatively sure that my plastic instrument itch had been thoroughly scratched. But the geniuses at Harmonix captured me once again with the addition of Pro Keys and a brilliantly streamlined Career mode. Bravo.

  • The exact opposite of the studios "Limbo," "Super Meat Boy" provides ridiculous challenge with tightly tuned controls. "Super Meat Boy" had me foaming at the mouth, seething rage from every orifice at its sadistic difficulty and I loved every minute of it. Now for those Dark World stages...

  • Atmospheric, minimalist and hauntingly beautiful; any of these could be used to describe "Limbo." Regardless of this common, but accurate, praise "Limbo" asserts its value through the simple but satisfying gameplay.

  • I love open-world games, and "Just Cause 2" provides the most satisfying game world to run a muck in. Causing widespread chaos by jacking dirt bikes, jet planes and helicopters along with the amazing parachute/grapple mechanic was an equation for pure joy.

  • While my lady-friend rarely strays from the various Lego games to grace her DS, she has proven herself time and time again in the Co-op of many a downloadable title. This year that game was "LC: GoL." Satisfying twin-stick shooter combat infused with challenging puzzle design led to an amazing experience that we conquered together.