2010 has been a great year for video games, in fact I would say stellar. The big surprise of 2010 wasn't necessarily a particular game that made the list but instead the release date for most of the Top 10 being in the first half of the year. In years past these sorts of lists have been focused more around the Holiday season; however this year saw a much more evenly spread distribution of "AAA" titles.
10. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Mario may never be what is used to be, but that’s OK because in 2010 Nintendo once again showed what makes them such special game developers. They have taken a series that really is one of the key faces of the industry and continued to improve it in a way that makes it still feel fresh and new. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not only a great game, it’s a great Mario game which is saying a lot.
9. NBA 2K11
Sports titles are often overlooked on year-ending lists, but it’s hard to pass up a game with his “airness” himself Michael Jordan putting his likeness on the cover. What is even more impressive about NBA 2K11 is that not only is it an extremely well developed game of basketball it is one of the most full featured and real to life sports experiences I have had in a video game.
8. Alan Wake
There is talk that the industry may be going away from completely narrative games and onto multiplayer experiences. Alan Wake is just another reminder why narrative games can be so special. Although not technically perfect, the game has such heart and such an interesting narrative that it’s a tough game to put down. A long time coming, Alan Wake actually proved to be worth the wait.
7. Heavy Rain
Too many change can be scary and often times we avoid change. Heavy Rain is a game that definitely went against the grain and in my opinion it succeeded and providing an engaging and stimulating experience that I have not had before. It took sometime to get used to the mechanics and the back and forth storytelling but when it was all said and done this proved to be an exciting action adventure game.
I was not a big fan of the original Mass Effect; however Mass Effect 2 took what I liked in concept about the original and made it into an excellent game. Mass Effect 2 became a much more combat focused game while still maintaining an amazing story tree that had me enthralled all the way through. With plenty of great DLC and a ton of replay value, Mass Effect 2 was not only a lot of a fun it is full of value.
Strategy buff? Well the guys and gals over at Firaxis have an amazing game for you. Sure a lot of the talk going in was the “hex grid”, but really when it boils down to it, Civilization V was all about the strategy and boy did it deliver. You could literally spend days playing one game. I have to say the investment might seem high to get into the game, but the payoff is an amazing strategy experience.
Although many worried that Black Ops may be the start of the series beginning to feel tired, it actually turned out to be a pretty great Call of Duty experience. The single player was actually much better then Modern Warfare 2, and the multiplayer expanded in a lot of innovative ways that really pushed the franchise in the right direction.
3. Starcraft 2
I have always been a huge RTS fan, and Starcraft 2 is really a RTS fan dream come true. Blizzard did such an exceptional job with this game that it’s hard to believe it could have been any better then the final product. Although I am not where near the level of skill as many, I enjoy playing it with the millions of others that just love the great game that is Starcraft 2.
Going into 2010 I never expected an Assassin’s Creed title to be hitting the Top 10 list. Last year’s game, Assassin’s Creed 2 was one of my favorite games of all time and was on my top games for 2009. Brotherhood takes what was great about Assassin’s Creed 2 and makes it even better. Brotherhood ends up being an amazing single player experience and then adds a very enjoyable multiplayer experience that makes for an amazing game.
I look at John Marston as kind of the Michael Jordan or Joe Montana of Red Dead Redemption. Without MJ or Joe Montana the Bulls and 49ers would have never been nearly as successful, and in my opinion the same could be said about Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar really nailed Marston’s character and when you combine the amazing storyline with what is the best open world game of this generation, you have the top game of 2010, Red Dead Redemption.
Honorable Mention: Halo: Reach, God of War 3, Dance Central, Splinter Cell: Conviction, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.