The year has come to an end, and that can mean only one thing: awards for the best and worst video games of 2010! It has been an exceptional year for gaming, more than most gamers have time to even experience. However, there are only a few games out there that stood out above the rest. What were some of the greatest, most memorable games of this year? What were some of the worst?
Here, we will take a look at everything that went right and wrong in the video game world in 2010. Although there were numerous quality console video game releases this year, remember, only one can claim the top spot.
Best Console Downloadable Game
Super Meat Boy (Xbox Live Arcade, Windows)
Runner Up: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network)
2010 has been one of the best years for downloadable gaming on consoles. However, nothing stands out more thanSuper Meat Boy
, a quirky platformer that is so difficult, yet you keep wanting to go back for more. The game is relatively simple--you play as a small, skinless, cube-shaped boy named Meat Boy, and you have to get to your target Bandage Girl at the end of each level. However, it's the brilliant level design of each stage that keep the game fresh and entertaining. It's also one of those rare games that is addicting for its ridiculously high difficulty. Sure, you're going to die a million times, but that's what will make that single victory so much more satisfying.
Best Multiplayer Experience
Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)
Runner Up: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (XBOX360, PS3)
Sure, shooting guys in the face can be entertaining, but it's been done so many times now. Capcom's Monster Hunter Tri delivers an exceptional multiplayer experience on the Wii, a system that hasn't been too generous with online multiplayer gaming. There's nothing more satisfying than capturing screen-filling
dinosaurs monsters with 3 other friends, all while performing silly dances and taunts. It's a shame this game came out too late into the Wii's lifecycle, other game developers could learn a thing or two about the Wii's online gaming potential.
Most Ridiculous Video Game Name of 2010
VVVVVV (Windows, Mac OS, Adobe Flash)
Runner Up: God Eater (PSP)
Six Vs, that's what makes up the title of this ridiculously difficult puzzle-platformer designed by Terry Cavanagh and composed by Magnus Pålsson. The game features an interesting gameplay mechanic in which the player has the ability to control gravity to traverse the game's environment and avoid various hazards. Everything about the game, from the graphics to the game's soundtrack is designed to feel like a 8-bit Commodore 64 game, which Cavanagh claims that he grew up with. The soundtrack, appropriately titled "PPPPPP," can be purchased separately through Pålsson's site.
The 2010 "R.I.P." Award
Guitar-Rhythm Video Games
Runner Up: Nintendo DS/PSP Games (in favor of iOS games)
2010 can very well be the year in which the guitar-based rhythm game genre can finally be laid to rest. In less than five years, we witnessed this gaming phenomena rise as an overnight sensation, only to eventually burn out thanks to the Activision and Harmonix milking out their franchises.
Activision's latest title, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, sold a measly 86,000 copies during its first week of retail in the United States. Compare that with Guitar Hero 5, which sold 499,000 within the same period of time.
Rock Band 3, while popular among critics for the new keytar instrument, sold a surprisingly low 7,386 copies during the first week of its release. It's no surprise then that Viacom quickly sold Rock Band developer Harmonix, which is considered by many as the nail in the coffin for guitar-rhythm games. People are just tired and done with this genre.
Best Game of 2010 That You Probably Didn't Play
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (XBOX360, PS3)
Runner Up: Alan Wake (XBOX 360)
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has just about everything that a blockbuster needs. It has beautiful graphics with some of the best voice acting on any video game, and it has thrilling set-piece sequences on par with last year's Uncharted 2. The only thing this game lacked is proper advertising, which resulted in game selling below the expectations of publisher Namco Bandai Games.
Portable Game of the Year
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
Runner Up: Dragon Quest IX (Nintendo DS)
They've done it. Kojima Productions has finally accomplished what Sony promised the PSP could do when it was first announced in 2003, and brought a console experience into a handheld device. Peace Walker is unlike any other portable game. There's a tremendous amount of game time, it has fully orchestrated soundtrack, it has a well-written story that continues where Metal Gear Solid 3 left off, and great controls that work around the PSP's limitations (camera controls with the face buttons? Brilliant!). It also takes advantage of the fact that it's a portable game as well, utilizing features such as ad-hoc co-op gameplay and bite-sized missions for those quick bathroom breaks. Sure, the game features out-of-place Japanese pop-music during its final boss battle and the molesting an apparent underage girl, but there's little doubt that Peace Walker is the greatest handheld experience of the year, and one of the best Metal Gear Solid games to date.
Wii Game of the Year
Monster Hunter Tri (Capcom)
Runner-Up: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo)
True, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the second highest rated game of all time, but Capcom's Monster Hunter Tri offers such a unique and satisfying experience that is unlike any other game on the Wii. The game is huge, and the game looks amazing, despite that it doesn't have high definition graphics.
Players can get their money's worth simply by plowing the single-player, but the real heart of the game is in the online community. Here, wanna-be hunters can meet and chat with other players before going on a hunt, and they all have to work together in order to topple some of the most impressive-looking monsters ever seen in any video game. Monster Hunter Tri rewards those who plan carefully. Each monster behaves differently and has its own attack patterns, and players also have to take the environment into consideration.
The game is notorious as a time sink, as well. Each battle can take almost an hour long to complete, which makes each capture/kill so satisfying when it eventually results in a climatic chase between man and beast. You'll eventually realize that you've spent the past 10 hours of game time slaying the same beast over and over again just to complete your armor set. But that's ok, at least your character looks awesome. Your Monster Hunter friends will be jealous.
XBOX 360 Game of the Year
Mass Effect 2 (Bioware)
Runner Up: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Annecy)
When Mass Effect 2 was released only 26 days into January of this year, critics and gamers already decided that it was going be crowned game of the year. Yeah, it's that good. Luckily, Playstation 3 owners will have the opportunity to experience this modern masterpiece when it's released later this year for the system.
PS3 Game of the Year
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Game of the Year Edition (Naughty Dog)
Runner Up: Heavy Rain
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is such an amazing game that it topples every other game released on the PS3 in 2010. The Naughty Dog-developed action game was re-released as a "game of the year edition" on October 2010, which includes all previously released downloadable content, four motion comics, and Pinball Heroes: Uncharted for the PSP.
The experience of Uncharted 2 is unlike any other game. Obviously, all of the action set pieces are extremely satisfying, and you'll often feel as if you're in control of a movie instead of passively watching one. However, it's the charm and personality of the game that sets it apart from others. The talent and humor of voice actor Nolan North, the artists of Naughty Dog, and just about everyone else involved in this project have created a grand, believable world that is a part of one of the greatest games ever made.
2010 Game of the Year
Mass Effect 2 (Bioware)
Runner-Up: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Annecy)
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Television has Star Trek. Film has Star Wars. Now, video game fans have their own space epic: Mass Effect 2. The Bioware-developed game is an amazing experience from start to finish, full of tense decision-making choices and heart-pounding gameplay. There are few games that are as gripping, and fewer still that put so much effort behind a believable world and cast of characters that players will actually care about. Everything else--the writing, gameplay, voice acting, soundtrack, and direction comes together to create an unparalleled experience, and I fear that it will be a very long time before we are able to experience another game of this caliber.
Mass Effect 2 is a modern masterpiece and an staggering achievement in interactive entertainment. There is no other game worthy of 2010's game of the year