Top Ten Video Games of 2010… That I Actually Played

top ten video games

There is no doubt that a list like this isn’t going to please everyone. The truth is that there are probably some really kick ass games released this year that I didn’t even get to play. So I imagine that most people will probably consider this list bunk since I’m not one of the millions of Call of Duty fanboys and I’m not a PC gamer. But I think it would be more unfair to list a game on here that I didn’t even play. With that said, let’s take a look at the top 10 games released in 2010 that I actually got to play.

10

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
XBOX 360

This is one of those really solid games that just completely flew under the radar in 2010. It is a post-apocalyptic story that is loosely based on the series of novels “Journey to The West” by Wu Cheng’en (Buy them on Amazon). Having read them in high school, I knew that the source material for the plot was already solid and it plays out well in the lush cinema’s and character interaction between the games two main protagonists. Much like “Army of Two,” you must use the strengths of each character to help them both get through each area of the game. The control leaves a little to be desired, but the story and vividly detailed world makes this worth a play through alone.

9

Final Fantasy XIII
Playstation 3

This is a game that probably would have been ranked higher if it had come out about a decade ago when I was still an RPG freak. But the truth is that I haven’t really enjoyed a Final Fantasy game since part IX on the original Playstation. The series used to be substance over style, but after the series magnum opus with part VII they’ve struggled to really reclaim their “must play” status for this series. This new offering is enjoyable, but unlike previous Final Fantasy adventures you won’t find yourself caring about the main character…or any of the other ones. The game received a whole lot of hype coming out of E3 earlier in the year, and it isn’t bad. But it failed to meet those expectations in my opinion as they chose to go with the flashy CG videos instead of making a solid story and magic system.

8

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
XBOX 360

Go ahead and laugh all you want, but Warner Bros Interactive continues to make some of the most addictive games ever made with their LEGO series. You don’t even have to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy this game, but like with the Star Wars and Indiana Jones offerings before it, it certainly does help. I blame my Wife for getting me hooked on these games… and I’m happy she did.

7

Rock Band 3
Playstation 3

Rhythm games popularity isn’t even close to dying down and Rock Band 3 made improvements over its previous offerings in every way. They added the use of a keyboard and also the option to buy a new controller that is more like an actual guitar, trying to aid in the quest to teach people who want to really learn to play the instrument. The track list could have been a better selection in my opinion, but being able to import all your songs from parts 2 and 3 make that a smaller gripe. The Rock Band series is making the Guitar Hero brand more and more insignificant every year.

6

Super Mario Galaxy 2
Nintendo Wii

More of the same here. If you played the original offering of Super Mario Galaxy, then you should expect more of the same from its sequel…and that is a terrific thing. This is one of the best platformers I’ve played in years and it is a system seller. For those, like myself, that held off on buying a Nintendo Wii this is the kind of game to buy the system for. Incredibly frustrating at times, but pure elation at others. Buy it.

5

Donkey Kong Country Returns
Nintendo Wii

I wrote a review for this game in one of my first articles here on Gunaxin, so I’ll rehash it here. Basically, if you’re a fan of the originals on the Super Nintendo, you’re going to love this game. And if you missed out on playing the originals, you’re still going to love this game. It will get your temper raised faster than a kid who just won’t listen, but the enjoyment is much higher than not. A spectacular achievement that stays true to the originals.

4

Halo: Reach
XBOX 360

When this game was dubbed as “The Final Halo game,” I said yeah, right. But Bungie studio is sticking by that statement and if they are indeed done with the franchise, this was a hell of a way to go out. I’m not ready to call it the best Halo game ever, but it certainly can compete with any other offering in the series of that title. Everything from the story, the music and the gameplay is absolutely perfect. Working in a team is also a welcome addition to the series that had many saying this might just be the best in a truly amazing series that I’m very sad to see go.

3

Red Dead Redemption
Playstation 3

In a normal year for video games, this one would have been number one in a heartbeat. While it has been labeled “Grand Theft Auto in the Wild West,” it truly is much more than that. Basically this game is what I had hoped for when I shelled out $60 for “GUN” a couple of years ago. The story, the characters, the music and the atmosphere all do an amazing job of capturing the spirit of the time period. And unlike the GTA games, you can’t just go on a killing spree or causing havoc quite as easily because in the old West, everyone was packing heat. Stab a whore and you’re going to get shot. Hell, even point your gun at someone and you’re going to get in trouble. The replay value of this game is almost infinite with all the side quests and bounty hunter plots. It all adds to the challenge and makes the journey through the Wild West a rewarding one.

2

Mass Effect 2
Xbox 360

Simply put, playing a game in the Mass Effect series is like playing an interactive movie. Every time I think that BioWare can’t possibly top themselves, they do so with flying colors. Mass Effect 2 is so good that I actually called in sick to work on release day so I could play it. That has never happened with a video game in my life. But after playing the original through about six times, it’s safe to say that I was anticipating this one just a bit. These games have probably the best voice acting and character interaction I have ever seen. And the way the game changes based off your decisions of being a goody two shoes (Paragon) or a major league asshole (Renegade) makes the replay value even more ridiculous. The option to use your save files from the original to change the story lines here was a stroke of genius as well. I can’t say enough about this game and think it is only a matter of time before we see a big screen adaptation of it, which has a solid enough story to be brilliant. It was tough not to call this one the game of the year.

1

God of War III
Playstation 3

This is the game I bought a Playstation 3 for. I fought off the urge for Metal Gear Solid 4. I resisted the temptation for the Uncharted games. But loving the original God of War games as much as I did, and the fact that I didn’t have a Blu Ray player yet equaled two birds, one stone. And wow, did God of War III ever deliver.

For those who played the series from the beginning, every single story arc from Pandora’s Box all the way to vengeance on Kratos brethren receive a satisfying conclusion. Music, voice acting, graphics, gameplay…they’re all perfect in this final title in the trilogy. Also, if you’re a history buff like myself and love some Greek mythology, this series was made for you. The writers did their homework quite well when they started this story and they sure paid off in the finale. The battle with the Titan Cronos is the most epic thing I have ever witnessed in a video game and worth the price of a PS3 and God of War III alone. If you haven’t played this series yet, you are doing an injustice to yourself. Play it, love it, play it again.

So there we are folks, my favorite ten games I played this year. There are some honorable mentions out there I’d like to bring up. NBA 2k11 was probably the finest in that series and deserves more credit than an honorable mention, but I admittedly haven’t had a lot of time to sink my teeth into it yet. I’ll focus on it more once the NFL season ends. The new NBA Jam was fun as well, but its lack of a current roster was unacceptable and kept it off this list. That was just pure laziness. Fable III looked to be spectacular, but I haven’t had a chance to play it yet. It’s still sitting on my shelf in the wrapper and I’m sure my Wife will be starting that one over Christmas break. Fallout: New Vegas was also something that should be mentioned. While it wasn’t quite the “Fallout 4” kind of game I was expecting, it is certainly worth giving a try. I’d also like to try Alan Wake and Metroid: Other M, but they both fell victim to my budget restrictions this year.

Overall, quite a great year from gaming on all three of the major platforms and 2011 looks to be no different with Mass Effect 3, Uncharted 3 and Elder Scrolls V all coming out next November as well as the next Zelda game.

2011 looks to be another great year for us gaming geeks… thank God.

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