So it comes the time to round up my top five games from 2010. As is always the case, a lot of games I actually played in 2010 were, in fact, from previous years. The result of which means that my Top 5 Games of 2010 is really my Top 5 Games That May Have Come Out In 2010 But There’s A Chance They May Have Been Released At Some Point Previous And For That I Apologise.
Oh yes, and how many games did I complete this year? 35. Down on last year, but with good reason – just see the games at 1 and 2!
5. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
If it wasn’t for the fact that Super Mario Galaxy 1 exists, this game would be higher up my list. As it is, it loses just a little for not having quite the impact the first game did, feeling more like a continuation of the original rather than a brand new, totally different game. Of course, it’s still excellent, and somehow virtually all of the new levels feel new, rather than rehashes of previous ones. It’s big and glorious and Nintendo goodness. Again.
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum (360)
Although I loved it from start to finish (apart from the awful Killer Croc section in the sewers), and even went and 100%ed it as far as hidden bits and collectables are concerned, I wasn’t really sure why I loved it so much. The combat was great, yes. The hide-and-seek bits were, surprisingly, brilliant – I normally can’t stand stealth sections in games. The audio logs of interviews with prisoners added some backstory (I love a good story in games) and the graphics and presentation were both top notch. None of this explained the deep appeal it had… until months after I completed it and it suddenly came to me: Arkham Asylum is a fully realised 3D Metroidvania game. Which explains everything!
3. Dead Space: Extraction (Wii)
I played the demo of the 360 original. I hated it. But the Wii game is different – it’s an on-rails lightgun shooter rather than a third-person game. It’s all action and story, with no wandering round and stuff. And what a story! A story so good (even if it does “borrow” bits of 2001 and Alien) that I then had to obtain the 360 game in order to continue it – Extraction is a prequel, you see. Fantastic game, and one of the most memorable sequences of any game I’ve played when you have to cut off your own arm. Yeah, spoiler. Sorry. Try highlighting that text if you want to read it.
2. Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)
It’s clunky. I got annoyed with it many times. There’s too much grinding for items. Progress is slow. I could never find anyone online who wanted to play with a low level character such as myself. I never completed it in single player mode. But somehow, smashing dinosaurs in the face was so satisfying, and finally getting all the monster parts together to upgrade your weapon or armour was so rewarding, that the 60+ hours I plowed into it just flashed by. In fact, it’s only the release of the next in my list that weaned me off it…
1. Fallout: New Vegas (360)
Was it really going to be anything else? Could it be, really? With over 120 of my precious, precious hours stolen by it’s loveliness, with almost two clear months of playing virtually nothing else, with every ending played for and won, with areas of the Mojave Wasteland still to explore and so many hours remaining for entertaining, New Vegas is far and away my game of 2010. In fact, it’s better than both Fallout 3 and Oblivion, and so is probably the best game of the last decade. Perhaps the best game EVER. Seriously. Until The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is released in November 2011, anyway.
And the rest:
Other excellent games that didn’t quite make it in the top five (which, by definition can only contain 5 games of course) include Bioshock 2 (360) (which somehow managed to be utterly brilliant, even if it was a return to Rapture) and its DLC Minerva’s Den – both of which provided new stories, more reveal on the rise and fall of Andrew Ryan, and each containing an excellent twist. Better weapon handling too, with tweaked controls allowing plasmid/gun dual wielding.
The Dead Money DLC for New Vegas added 10 hours of gameplay which played out in a totally different (if frustrating in parts) way to all other Fallout content, and was well worth a play. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (XBLA) was a genius new-retro fighting game with River City Ransom overtones and addictive replaying, and both Another Code R (Wii) and Rabbids Go Home (Wii) provided two very different, but equally excellent, original Wii experiences.