Personal Top X 2010 (Now with GOTY voting!)

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Hey folks, since we're dangling precariously on the edge of 2010, we'd better have a Top 10/5/GOTY thread before all those fabulous January releases come out! (FYI: I have no idea what's coming out).

Clockwork House will be running the numbers for this year's GOTY extravaganza!

ClockworkHouse wrote:

[We're] using Sinatar's 10 points for your top pick and 1 point for your 10th pick (and my own addition that anyone who didn't rank their picks gets 5 pts. for each)

Get voting!

UPDATE:

ClockworkHouse wrote:

The results are up!

There's an official voting thread coming. It's a tradition.

CptGlanton wrote:

There's an official voting thread coming. It's a tradition.

If you're talking about Sinatar's annual thread, he decided to pass on it this year.

I predict 98.5% of that thread will be people repeating each other's comments and nominations.

Game of the Year: Starcraft 2

I don't need a runner up, or even a list after that.

The removal of inv management and customability (loot!) is my one gripe of mass effect 2

primer28 wrote:

The removal of inv management and customability (loot!) is my one gripe of mass effect 2

While I like a good loot game, the ME1 implementation to me was a kludge that I didn't miss in ME2. So to me, the streamlining was very much appreciated.

I can understand the other opinion, but inventory was one of the weakest things in ME1 for me.

Thin_J wrote:

Game of the Year: Starcraft 2

Same here (big surprise), followed by Mass Effect 2 and, though i realize it's kind of cheating, Demon's Souls.

My personal best of 2010 list, from what I've played:

AAA/Retail

Heavy Rain

Alan Wake

Pinball FX2

PacMan CE-DX

Mass Effect 2

Indies:

Super Meat Boy

Shank

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

Beat Hazard

Deadmonkeys' Top 5 Games of 2010:

*Robot Voice (Female)*
Number Five - Bioshock 2

Although many people were critical of Bioshock 2, particularly in the story department, I loved it. Clearing an area and setting up traps before fighting a Big Daddy, or putting your Little Sister down to harvest ADAM, forced me to work with what limited resources I had (something I would like to see in more games). It may not have had as many memorable moments as the original, but it still packs a punch.

*Robot Voice (Female)*

Number Four - Mount & Blade: Warband

I'm a sucker for medieval era, trade route, and light empire management games. Mount&Blade: Warband managed to hit almost all of my gaming feel-good spots, offering an excellent combat system balanced with economic and strategic elements. Plus, skewering dudes on horseback never gets old.

*Robot Voice (Female)*
Number Three - Metro 2033

A beautifully crafted game, Metro 2033 presents a gritty, post apocalyptic world where the ultimate currency is clean, pre-war ammunition. You are shooting money. At dudes. Gross. Obvious porn jokes aside, this game's atmosphere and unforgiving combat is reminiscent of a certain anomaly dodging, dude and mutant shooting series set in Chernobyl: a definite plus.

*Robot Voice (Female)*
Number Two - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

I've been a fan of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise since the original, and Call of Pripyat is truly astounding. An increased number of gear customization options means you can build on your personal strengths and outfit yourself according to your play style, making the experience that much more enjoyable. Whether you're roaming the deserted city of Pripyat, the vast swamps of Zaton, or a subterranean laboratory, Call of Pripyat's incredible atmosphere immediately sucks you in, leaving you disoriented when you surface for air many hours later.

*Sexy Robot Voice (Female)*
Game of the Year - Mass Effect 2

I waited a long time before taking the plunge with Mass Effect 2, mostly because I'm a cheap bastard. I don't always regret my decisions, but when I do, I cry. I bawled like a goddamn baby. Bioware learned a great deal from Mass Effect 1: they surgically extracted the inventory management and Mako, revitalized the health system, and pumped the game full of adrenalin, dopamine, and enough polish to kill several elephants. Mass Effect 2 is the ultimate sci-fi experience. Instead of dreading missions outside of the main plot, I found myself pursuing secondary objectives, particularly the loyalty missions (which are faaaabulous!). The characters are brilliant. The gameplay is bad-ass. The universe and scope of the game are breathtaking. It's... it's... perfect.

Blind_Evil's bizarro Top 10 of 2010

10. Mass Effect 2 or Mafia 2 - My head knows ME2 is better, but my heart was more with Mafia.

9. Fable 3

8. MLB 2k10

7. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

6. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

5. Vanquish - If only they'd included some sort of multiplayer, this would have probably been number two. As it is, it was one of the most satisfying, challenging, intense experiences I've had in quite some time. Gears of War is awesome, Gears of War with a speed addiction is called Vanquish.

4. Darksiders - With all the saturation among popular genres, with every publisher having a franchise dedicated to aping each other, it is rather shocking that so few studios even attempt to make Zelda-style games. The fact that Vigil did so well with this game is nothing short of amazing, especially considering it was their first game. Bravo.

3. Bayonetta - The creator of the 3D character action genre came along and redefined it on his own terms, with many kicks to the balls of his competitors and imitators thrown in for extra flourish. Platinum Games had a hell of a year in my eyes, putting out both the best third person action game and third person shooter.

2. NBA 2k11 - Not a whole lot to say here. Do you like basketball and video games? This is the best one ever.

1. Monster Hunter Tri - The lone Wii game on my top 10, it absorbed two months of my life over the course of 330+ hours. Great online, great offline, great art style. It's a shame this is mostly a PSP series.

2010's "A kitten dies every time someone lists this as GOTY" award goes to Limbo. Hipsters!

My best plays of the year (not necessarily released this year):

ME2
The Witcher
Baldur's Gate 1 + 2
Starcraft 2
Cataclysm
Angry Birds
Game Dev Story

Deadmonkeys wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

There's an official voting thread coming. It's a tradition.

If you're talking about Sinatar's annual thread, he decided to pass on it this year.

Huh. I missed that.

Scratched wrote:

I predict 98.5% of that thread will be people repeating each other's comments and nominations.

I agree, 98.5% of that thread will be people repeating each other's comments and nominations.

Clockwork's Bizarro Top 7 List:

7. Nier (360) - Most game's adhere to one genre or another; this one omnivorously consumes ideas from dozens of genres. Not all of them are skillfully implemented, and at times the game can seem like a bit of a mess, but it's innovative spirit is one to be admired.

6. Chaos Rings (iOS) - A throw-back to the great JRPGs of the PS1 era, this game is the only iOS game I've played where I forgot that I was fiddling with touch screen controls on a phone and just played the game.

5. Deadly Premonition (360) - An intentionally anachronistic, off-kilter survival horror game, this was my biggest surprise of the year. It's a niche approach to a niche genre, but it's deep mechanics and inventive presentation make it worth playing.

4. Resonance of Fate (360) - Anchoring an innovative, interactive turn-based combat system to an unobtrusive story, this is the JRPG for people who don't like JRPGs. This game steps back from the tropes of the JRPG genre without moving away from the mechanics that define it.

3. Bayonetta (360) - Stylish, campy, and mechanically flawless, this game was a surprise to me. The game's deep mechanics are a backdrop to level designs that never stop being inventive, and the pace-changing levels are actually fun to play.

2. Metroid: Other M (Wii) - A brilliant example of working within limitations. Team Ninja wrung a buttery-smooth control scheme out of an NES controller and a light gun and made the fastest-paced, most exciting Metroid game yet.

1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - Endlessly inventive and effortlessly creative. Like a compilation of indie platformers, Super Mario Galaxy 2 offers new platforming mechanics on nearly every world but never lingers on anything for too long.

I haven't yet played: Red Steel 2, Epic Mickey, Limbo, Monster Hunter Tri, Vanquish, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Sonic Colors, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn, VVVVV

Biggest disappointments: Alan Wake, Fable III

CptGlanton wrote:
Deadmonkeys wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

There's an official voting thread coming. It's a tradition.

If you're talking about Sinatar's annual thread, he decided to pass on it this year.

Huh. I missed that.

It wasn't public. I PM'ed him about it.

All right, before I get to the actual list, here are a few honorable mentions:

* Disappointing Game of The Year: I'd have to say Civilization V. Didn't grab me like Civ IV did and feels like only an incremental upgrade. That and the music and voice-overs don't hold a candle "Babu Yetu" and Leonard Nimoy.

* Best MMO that wasn't World of Warcraft: I'm going with Star Trek Online for this one. Fits very well into the license and content keeps coming out every few months to entice people to jump back in.

* The Game You Couldn't Avoid Hearing Spoilers About No Matter How Hard You Tried: Heavy Rain. For about a couple months earlier this year, it was about the only thing anyone was talking about and no amount of jamming your fingers in your ears and yelling "La la la la la" could make it stop.

* Indy Game Of The Year/Game That Isn't Even Out Yet Of The Year: Do I even have to say it? Minecraft.

All right, onto the countdown:

10. Fallout: New Vegas- It only cracks the top-ten by virtue of the fact that the only other new releases I played this year sucked worse. It was a letdown, hands down; combined with an equally if not more flawed Alpha Protocol, Obsidian has clearly defined themselves as not the second coming of Black Isle.

9. Super Mario Crossover - Hey, a browser-based game is still a video game. Imagine playing through the original Super Mario Bros. with just about any NES-era character; well, this is it. Link, Samus, Mega Man, Ryu, Simon Belmont, that dude from Contra. It's a lot more fun than a quarter-century old game should be.

8. DCS A-10C Warthog - Yes, I know it's only in beta, but what isn't with PC games these days? Am I right? Anyway, it's a welcome entry into the modern hard-core combat flight sim, with video card-melting graphics, the best implementation of Combat Air Support I've ever seen, and a series of tutorials that holds your hand so well you feel like you're starting a car instead of a jet.

7. Civilization V - Even though it's not Civ IV, that doesn't stop Civ V from being well done. I guess the franchise has one of those even-odd curses.

6. Mount & Blade: Warband - A fresh coat of paint and a few new features guarantees you'll be sucked in for days once more.

5. StarCraft II - To put it simply, it's a nostalgia trip and the only thing that's holding it back from moving up the list is that once you get past the single-player storyline, the nostalgia kind of fades away and you discover you're playing an RTS like the ones they made fifteen years ago.

4. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - I went into this feeling a little hesitant, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I've been seeing. It's a full sequel, not an expansion pack, though the only knock I have against it is that the single-player gets painfully repetitive after a while. Also, letting you ride horses in town probably wasn't the best idea.

3. Minecraft - Another game that isn't technically released, but honestly I think it's this year's Portal, at least in terms of how gamers have latched onto it. Creepers popping up everywhere are the new "The cake is a lie." And have you seen what people have been building? I just wish I had that kind of artistic talent.

2. Red Dead Redemption - Great atmosphere and setting; although the Wild West has been touched on a few times before, this is the first game to depict the Old West just before it faded into memories and films starring John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. I can't call it #1 for a reason I'll go into with the top game of 2010.

1. Mass Effect 2 - To me, this was the complete package: graphics, story, gameplay. But, what separates this from RDR is probably what should be the metric for determining what is a great game: re-playability. Why do people keep coming back to X-COM, System Shock 2 (if you can make the damn thing work), or Deus Ex? Because playing through them and ME2 for the fifth time is still as enjoyable as the first. It's the one game of 2010 I found myself playing through multiple times from beginning to end and any time the game comes up I have to fight the urge to start all over again. And with Mass Effect 3 coming out later in 2011, you can play through the entire trilogy start-to-finish. Not a lot of games that can do that. ME2's one flaw is that it suffers a little from the "middle chapter syndrome," but I'm not going to hold that against it until the finale is released.

Noteworthy games I've put significant playtime into according to steam (including alt-tab time)

Alpha Protocol 25h
Divinity2 Dragon Knight Saga 62.6h (currently 1/3 off on steam)
GTA4 Episodes from Liberty City 26.2h
Mafia 2 13.7h
Mass Effect2 112.9h (by comparison, my TF2 time is 133h)
STALKER CoP 27.9h

Other games I've played that I liked this year would be BFBC2 which is really the best game of it's kind in recent years, since the last battlefield, and WoW Cataclysm which I took a break from the majority of the year but returned for the fresh content, and Bioshock2 which is more of what most people who played BS1 liked with enough differences to keep it fresh.

Mass Effect2 is an odd cookie for me. Obviously I liked it enough to play it through 3 times. It does provide an interesting thinking point of how you can change a sequel, which I think comes with pros and cons - not everything was for the better, but the game stands on it's own strengths very well. The great DLC helped a lot.

I spent a lot of time in 2010 playing 2009 games (Dragon Age, Borderlands, Assassin's Creed 2, Forza 3, etc).

My top 4 games from 2010:
4. ilomilo (XBLA)
3. Dragon Quest IX (DS)
2. Rock Band 3 (360)
1. Red Dead Redemption (360)

My top 2 disappointments of 2010:
2. Mass Effect 2 (360)
1. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit(360)

Morrowind.

I think Elemental and Minecraft are the only games from 2010 I've played. I could be wrong.

#1 - Dragon Quest IX

#2 - by a VERY thin margin - Mass Effect 2

That just about covers all I need to list. Special mentions go to Red Dead Redemption, Starcraft 2, Monster Hunter Tri, and Civilization V.

After listening to the podcast, I have to add Heavy Rain to my list. Only one playthrough, but it was a doozy!

Deadmonkeys wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:
Deadmonkeys wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

There's an official voting thread coming. It's a tradition.

If you're talking about Sinatar's annual thread, he decided to pass on it this year.

Huh. I missed that.

It wasn't public. I PM'ed him about it.

Hmm...that's kind of sad, actually. I liked the format and the tallying of votes at the end....though a Personal Top X makes more sense, it's less fun as it's not easily manipulable into a list of winners. I hope we have something like that....

Dysplastic wrote:

Hmm...that's kind of sad, actually. I liked the format and the tallying of votes at the end....though a Personal Top X makes more sense, it's less fun as it's not easily manipulable into a list of winners. I hope we have something like that....

I'm more than happy to run one and tabulate votes, but it would overlap with this thread. (Deadmonkeys, if you want to change the thread title to make it a community vote, I'll do the heavy lifting of counting votes.)

If you're curious, using Sinatar's 10 points for your top pick and 1 point for your 10th pick (and my own addition that anyone who didn't rank their picks gets 5 pts. for each), here's the running:

Mass Effect 2 - 48
StarCraft 2 - 36
Red Dead Redemption - 24
Dragon Quest IX - 18
Bayonetta - 16
Monster Hunter Tri - 15
STALKER: Call of Pripyat - 14
Mount & Blade: Warband - 12
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - 12
Heavy Rain - 10
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 10
NBA 2k10 - 9
Metroid: Other M - 9
Civilization V - 9
Rock Band 3 - 9
Metro 2033 - 8
Minecraft - 8
Darksiders - 7
Resonance of Fate - 7
ilomilo - 7
Bioshock 2 - 6
Mafia 2 - 6
Vanquish - 6
Deadly Premonition - 6
Alan Wake - 5
Pinball FX2 - 5
PacMan CE DX - 5
Super Meat Boy - 5
Shank - 5
Misadventures P.B. Winterbottom - 5
Beat Hazard - 5
WOW: Cataclysm - 5
Angry Birds - 5
Game Dev Story - 5
Chaos Rings - 5
Alpha Protocol - 5
Divinity 2 - 5
GTA 4 Episodes - 5
Enslaved - 4
NIER - 4
MLB 2k10 - 3
DCS A10-C Warthog - 3
Fable 3 - 2
Super Mario Crossover - 2
Fallout New Vegas - 1

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Clockwork's Bizarro Top 7 List:

7. Nier (360) - Most game's adhere to one genre or another; this one omnivorously consumes ideas from dozens of genres. Not all of them are skillfully implemented, and at times the game can seem like a bit of a mess, but it's innovative spirit is one to be admired.

What did you like about it? I have a few thousand points saved up on goozex and I'm looking for games to pick up.

I'll post my on-topic thoughts when I have a bit of time and am at an actual keyboard (instead if this iPad).

Mine:

1. Mass Effect 2: The game that, more than any other SP game I've ever played, calls me back for more. I'm currently in the middle of my fourth playthrough. The characterization that unwinds during the recruiting and, especially, the loyalty missions is pretty special, and the closest that I think gaming has come to being on the same field as television and film (referring here to the better stuff, not the trash but not the top level, either). One of my favorite things is that you spend the game on the side of the bad guys, or one set of them, yet they have their own motivation that's internally coherent, a basic component of good storytelling that's lost on most games' writers. Cerberus actually reminds me of Al Swearingen, actually--'Yeah, I slit throats, but I had a good reason!' As for the gameplay, even though the combat is more of the Star Wars-type stuff that Bioware has done before, I found it a lot more enjoyable and visceral to use the force powers this time around.

2. Red Dead Redemption: Rockstar finally gets the GTA formally right, or at least a lot closer than GTA IV came. The gameplay mechanics are the most polished and reliable they've been in one of the Rockstar games (as many others do, I'm just going to lump Rockstar San Diego in with Rockstar North for this discussion), and the story had more interesting characters, to me, than GTA IV did--and most importantly, it did a much better job of avoiding the staggering contradictions that Niko had in IV's storyline (murdering ever cop in NYC for a bag of money one minute, agonizing over killing one scumbag the next).

3. Halo Reach: The SP campaign had the AI and 'tiny sandboxes' design that they are famous for, and the MP is a major upgrade over Halo 3's while still keeping the very tight gunplay that it all rests on. I never (meaning rarely) feel powerless, or at the mercy of things I can't control, in Reach as I do in Call of Duty: internet hiccups, unlocked weapons and perks, twitch-dependent gameplay that caters to moron-teenager crowd. To me, success in Halo Reach is a result of individual skill.

4. Battlefield BC2: The MP game I've put the most hours in. If Halo is about individual skill, BC2 is about team skill. Yes, it has unlocks, but the size of the maps, the size of the teams, and the variety of classes means that there are real options available to me if someone has X gun and is in Y perch. If DICE spent more time on fixing the little things (and less time making ... we won't go into all that) then this might have been my perfect online shooter. Too bad about the SP campaign, and the fact that (please DICE actually read and take account of this!) those little flaws really, really, really add up over time.

5. God of War III: They took the story in every possible place that was left, even crediting Kratos with the birth of democracy (sort of; hard to tell under all the crap writing!). Gorgeous game with deliciously brutal and engaging combat that, for me, is the 'popcorn movie' version of the Ninja Gaiden & Bayonetta style of 3rd person action. And I mean that in the best possible way.

6. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood: It's more Assassin's Creed II with a very good and different MP mode, and I ate it up.

7. BioShock 2: I liked the SP quite a bit. Even though you can't recapture the magic of the first visit to Rapture, I can't fault them for that. On its own merits, it's a very well-executed game that oozes atmosphere (and I thought its actual gunplay was an upgrade from BioShock), with a very solid MP thrown in.

8. Just Cause 2: Aside from the brutally terrible (and intentionally so, one assumes) writing, voice work, story, backstory, character design ... was an open world that was an absolute blast to screw around in.

9. Enslaved: I think that the gameplay had major problems--the few times they removed the training wheels, the bike fell over. But the story, dialogue, and voice & facial work were top notch, as was the design of the game world itself. Frankly, having the training wheels on let me just embrace what was good about it and keep plowing ahead.

10. Bayonetta: Actually, I'm only about 1/3 of the way through (I think), but I had to give Platinum some respect for what they put together. Excellent, deep gameplay wedded to a bizarrely intriguing aesthetic style. Frankly, this one would have been ranked a few places higher except for a few cheap moments and the lack of a dang block button.

Games that also deserve some love: Darksiders, Splinter Cell Conviction, RUSE, Pac-Man DCWhichever, and especially Heavy Rain, which set out to truly change the field and threw some overwhelming obstacles in front of itself.

Game that has me kicking myself over still not having fixed my video card problems: Starcraft 2.

I've split my top 10 list into two parts because right now I feel only my top 6 games deserve real recognition.

10. Puzzle Agent - A quirky little puzzle collection, but not quite as charming or polished as Professor Layton. Overall it felt half-baked and half-done.
9. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - Great graphics and nice destructible terrain, but the single player is a bore. My opinion of the game may change as I play more multiplayer, I only picked it up recently.
8. Recettear - Charming and funny with an interesting concept but the dungeons are repetitive and boring and running the item shop is all about gaming the system.
7. Deathspank - A serviceable game but the humor just didn't have enough of a bite to it and the combat didn't have enough depth.
---
6. The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom - A very well designed game with a great art style, but quite short and mostly a variation on one very narrow game mechanic.
5. Super Meat Boy - I don't normally like pure platformers but SMB is just so polished and rich with content that it's just fun to try and master it.
4. Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse - The best and funniest Telltale game yet. A must play for any adventure fan.
3. Civilization V - A slick new design on an old classic. Not everything is as good as it could be under the hood, but it still purrs.
2. Mass Effect 2 - A vast improvement on its predecessor with a better combat system and streamlined mission structure. The story could be tighter, but Bioware are still kings of the story driven RPG niche.
1. Starcraft 2 - Phenomenal single player campaign and amazing well-balanced competitive multiplayer. A wonderful sequel to one of my all time favorite games. My only complaint would be that the multiplayer is not a very good social experience so I've been pulled away by more social multiplayer games like TF2 and LoL.

Runners Up:
* Poker Night at the Inventory - A funny and well written game that makes you feel like you're playing with the characters, but the dialog runs out after several hours and from a pure poker standpoint playing against the AI is just not the same experience as playing against real players.
* Chime - A fun arcade game with good music, but I found the gameplay to be a bit abstract and never fell into a good groove for getting a high score.
* Elemental: War of Magic - A real disappointment. Even if it wasn't buggy, the underlying game is poorly designed and the world poorly realized. For all the hate that Civ V gets, this is the game that feels like a really bad version of Civilization. For now I'm pretending the game is still in beta and hoping it gets overhauled next year.

Bought recently but haven't touched yet: Darksiders, Greed Corp. Darksiders will probably bump Puzzle Agent off my top 10, but since I haven't played it yet I can't say anything about it.

10.) Costume Quest (360)
It didn't do much to progress the JRPG formula from a gameplay perspective, but the writing and charm and sheer nostalgia value earn it a place on the list. It doesn't hurt that, short as it is, it doesn't overstay its welcome. (Skip the unnecessary Grubbins on Ice expansion, though.)

9.) Super Meat Boy (360/PC)
It brings an unprecedented level of polish and, regardless of its overall difficulty level, an actually intelligent difficulty curve to the usually ultra-niche platformer hell genre.

8.) Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
Squee! Gorgeous, charming, not much to say that hasn't been said. Probably would've ranked higher if I had kids or nieces / nephews old enough to play with me.

7.) Bayonetta (360)
Smacks the tired Devil May Cry formula upside the head with the Awesome Stick. On the Giant Bombcast they like to say that there must have been someone at Platinum Games whose entire job it was to answer every question with "Make it crazier." "Hey Bob, do you think this level's done or should we keep working on it?" "Make it crazier!" "Yo, Bob, this sequence still doesn't feel quite right." "Make it crazier!" "We've got the main character kicking God in the face with a giant stiletto heel made of hair, and--" "CRAZIER, BITCHES!"

6.) Sonic Allstars Racing (360)
A criminally underappreciated gem, coming as it did in the middle of a few months overloaded with arcade racers. Amazing as it may sound, Sonic actually manages to out-kart every Mario Kart game since Double Dash.

5.) Civilization V (PC)
If the AI were just a little better, this could have been a contender for #1. As it is, it's a fantastic game that makes some real improvements to the age-old Civ formula, but it still needs a bit of baking (in the form of patches and make an expansion or two) before it reaches the heights set by previous entries in the series.

4.) Bioshock 2 (360)
Like most, I was all set to poo-poo this one, especially in the first couple hours which were a near-identical retread of the first. Imagine my surprise when the game comes into its own in the back half, complementing the first Bioshock's story of free will and coming-of-age with an equally poignant (if not as mind-blowing original) tale of parenthood. The gameplay improvements are icing on the cake.

3.) Dragon Quest IX (DS)
Addiction, thy name is DQ9. The story is a little pedestrian, but retaining what makes the JRPG formula so lasting while taking some smart cues from the structure of MMOs makes for a charming and vasty experience that continues to keep me coming back for more.

2.) Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
I already gushed about this sucker a bunch over in the Game of the Decade thread, so suffice it to say that I consider it the pinnacle of two decades of platformers from the people what know platformers best.

1.) Mass Effect 2 (360)
Only the second game I can think of that I can honestly say has fantastic writing without qualifying that with "for a video game." A perfect example of how just a little bit of fat-trimming can turn a good gaming experience into a great one.

Notable games of 2010 I haven't played yet: Fallout New Vegas, Vanquish, Ass'Creed Bro'hood, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, anything PS3- or PSP-exclusive.

My Top 10 Favorite Games of 2010

1. Starcraft 2 - For the countless hours of multiplayer and all the extraneous stuff that went along with it (the GWJer tournament, GSL, Day9 Daily etc.) This is a game I will probably be playing for years. Nuclear launch detected!

2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Game design brought to a whole new level with each world exploring new game mechanics and stretching them to new heights. What a joy.

3. Bayonetta - Kamiya reminded me that video games can be just that; games. It loved the fact that it was a game, making items was a game, the credits were a game and it CELEBRATED video games with countless homages bringing back a flood of memories. Just dripping with fun, depth, charisma and creativity. More importantly it begged me to master it and I heeded it's call playing through four times and I plan on going through it many more. A much needed reminder in the sea of interactive movies we "play" these days. Just brilliant.

4. Super Street Fighter IV - Mash that DPM+FP!

5. Mass Effect 2 - The most engrossing game I played all year and the most enjoyable RPG I've played since Skies of Arcadia. Just romping about the galaxy in my ship, exploring planets and meeting amazing characters was so much fun. It's one of those game that makes me wish I could erase my memory and play it again for the first time.

6. Vanquish - When it clicked it made you feel like a dancer executing a beautiful ballet of violence as you pirouetted in slow motion while shooting robots into bits. So damn satisfying.

7. Plants Vs. Zombies iOS - I know this one is cheating but I never played PvZ before and I could not put it down. I was hunched over uncomfortably with my iPhone plugged in (and it felt like it was melting) just overjoyed by the strategy and humor.

8. Rock Band 3 - That's the power of love! Dun dun dun dun dun dun! DUN DUN!

9. God of War III - What a spectacle. Talk about presentation and power fantasy brought to a whole new level. Playing that first level was one of the highlights of this year.

10. Heavy Rain - The voice acting was bad and the story was nonsensical but the unique emotional moments were so effective and interesting. Not a lot of games make me put down the controller and bite my nails as I pace back and forth trying to decide what to do.

Cataclysm doesn't count. It's like Shaq and how he should have won 10 MVP titles in a row but that didn't happen because it would have been incredibly boring and obvious.

Games I didn't get a chance to play and assume I would really enjoy: Nier, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Civ V, Deadly Premonition and Minecraft.

Jeez Halo and Red Dead Redemption not even making the top 10. What a insane year for video games.

10. Fable 3
9. Super Street fighter IV
8. Infinity Blade
7. Star Craft 2
6.Bayonetta
5.Scott Pilgrim
4. Mass Effect
3. Red Dead Redemption
2. Castlevania Lords of Shadow
1. Rock Band 3

Dysplastic wrote:
Deadmonkeys wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:
Deadmonkeys wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

There's an official voting thread coming. It's a tradition.

If you're talking about Sinatar's annual thread, he decided to pass on it this year.

Huh. I missed that.

It wasn't public. I PM'ed him about it.

Hmm...that's kind of sad, actually. I liked the format and the tallying of votes at the end....though a Personal Top X makes more sense, it's less fun as it's not easily manipulable into a list of winners. I hope we have something like that....

It's a lot of work keeping all that stuff straight and after last years anemic turnout I figured the interest just wasn't there anymore.

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