Another year of gaming has gone by, which means it’s time for us to reflect on the games that really made 2010 stand out all its own as one to be remembered. This trip around the sun has produced some clunkers, disappointments, triumphs, wins, fails, works of art and everything in between. We saw quality releases from January through December, and a few surprises that threw us for a major loop in the best way possible.
To create this list, the GamerSushi staff (myself, Nick, Anthony, Mitch and Jeff) all made our own individual top 10 lists. From there, Nick used the powerful science of magicmatics to conjure up a final list, based on some mumbo jumbo he did with a point system. What you see is something like an average of all of our lists together, and one that we’re all happy with, minus a few honorable mentions of course.
So, without further ramblings from myself, I present the Top 10 games of 2010!
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops
Black Ops follows the tried and true method of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…just add a bunch of crazy crap and hope for the best.” Black Ops comes through in spades though, with a single player campaign to rival CoD4 and several new multiplayer modes recalling Counter-Strike matches of old. Welcome to the big boys club, Treyarch.
9. Gran Turismo 5
[Sony Computer Entertainment]
After recovering from your shock that it actually released, Gran Turismo 5 has another surprise in store for you: it’s fun as hell. Featuring graphics so crisp that bystanders might wonder why you are so intently watching a race on TV and so many modes and cars that you literally will always have something to keep you busy, GT 5 has proven to be worth the wait. This game will keep you up until the wee hours with a familiar refrain playing in your head: one more race.
8. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
When people found out that Hideo Kojima was going to act as an adviser for the new Castlevania game, eyebrows were most certainly raised. However, the results of Mercury Steam’s excellent efforts produced one of the year’s biggest surprises. Not only was Lords of Shadow a blast to play for all of the right old-school reasons, it also offered one of gaming’s best epilogues to date. Seriously, play this one to the end.
7. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Although it came so soon after Assassin’s Creed 2, AC:B is a fully fledged title in its own right, bringing another 25 hour single player game on top of a refreshingly cerebral multiplayer mode. It continues the story in an important way, and adds even more gameplay mechanics while fine-tuning old ones. Here’s hoping that the series can keep up this excellent pace. Vittoria agli Assassini!
6. StarCraft 2
Good things come to those who wait, and StarCraft 2 fits that bill perfectly. Coming nearly ten years after the original, SC2 boasts the refined RTS mechanics Blizzard are known for along with a blistering campaign, addictive online multiplayer and a custom map mode that people are only beginning to scratch the surface of. Luckily, we won’t have to wait every ten years for updates to this splendid game of the year contender.
5. Heavy Rain
[Sony Computer Entertainment]
Innovation is something that people always seem to clamor for, but few games actually try something different. Weaving a grim tale of a father dancing to the whim of a serial killer while looking for his son, Heavy Rain takes the player on a journey where you never are sure what choices will have long-lasting ramifications, much like real life. Throw in the best use of Quick Time Events that gaming has seen and you have one of the highest quality games of 2010.
4. Halo: Reach
[Microsoft Game Studios]
It’s become a huge cliche to use the phrase “swan song” in conjunction with Halo: Reach, but it’s so prevalent because it’s true. With Halo: Reach, Bungie created a great close to the Halo series proper, by taking us back to where it all began. It features probably the best Halo campaign to date next to Halo: CE, and its multiplayer is fast, addicting and has far more depth than people give it credit for. Add all of that with co-op and an active community, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the year’s greats.
[Microsoft Game Studios]
We’ve been raving about Limbo since its release, and for good reason. Its brilliance isn’t found in its unique (and gorgeous) art style, but in its pacing, its storytelling, its haunting atmosphere and pixel-perfect platforming. The game will challenge you, scare you and make you do a couple of fist pumps before it’s all said and done. To top it all off, it will only cost you $15.
2. Red Dead Redemption
Step aside, Grand Theft Auto, there’s a new sandbox game in town. This title follows former outlaw John Marston on a quest to save his family across one of the most beautiful interpretations of the Wild West ever. The game also has more excellent characters, moments and crazy DLC than you can shake a stick at.
1. Mass Effect 2
It’s not often that the Game of the Year moniker is thrown out in January, but Mass Effect 2 isn’t a typical release. Building on the setting first introduced in Mass Effect, Bioware has constructed a universe where your choices matter, where no playthrough is the same and where your party members could die based on your actions. Many games aspire to such achievements, but Mass Effect 2 surpassed them.
Honorable Mentions: Bioshock 2, God of War 3, NBA 2K11, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
And there you have it – our picks for the best games of 2010. Give us your top 10 list!