Top 10 Games of 2010

Hey there everyone!  Your officers have decided to post our top 10 games of 2010, so check them out and feel free to put yours in the comments section.

* * *

Andrew Blomquist

I’ll let you know right off that I’m a stickler for story.  I don’t care much for game-play or graphics.  What I look for in a game is story.  Thus, my top 10 games of 2010 are heavily influenced by story.

10) Amnesia: The Dark Descent 
    Why?  Because getting the crap scared out of me is fun.  And this game does a superb job of that:  its immerses you completely.  You have no weapons.  No special abilities.  Just your wits, and whatever you can pick up (like a lantern, or dragging a table in front of a door) .  Haven’t finished it though… something to do with it being scary.  Not the most amazing story, but you might as well play it to scare the living daylights out of you.  

9) Civilization V  
    I’ve always liked the civilization games.  I’m not terribly good at strategy games, but I still like to play some of them.  It had many of the elements I enjoyed from previous civilization games.  Not the best successor to IV, but still good in its own respect.

8) Alpha Protocol
    A very solid action RPG.  Tired of the spacey-ness of Mass Effect?  Try this one out.  Has many of the same elements, but more… our-time. 

7) Metroid: Other M 
    I’ll admit right off: I’m a huge Metroid fan.  So, its almost granted this would make it onto my list.  I borrowed it from a friend, and had to return it early, so I never got the full experience… but something I’m willing to buy myself!  (once I recuperate from paying tuition and books and stuff.) 

6) Mass Effect 2
    I must say, an amazing sequel to Mass Effect.  I was glad there were enemies besides Geth to fight in this game.  Great story (which is what I look for in a game, by the way!), and great gameplay. 

5) Divinity II: Eco Draconis 
    Another game I haven’t finished yet; my graphics card is only up to doing the lowest graphics settings unfortunately.  If you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan of RPG’s, and this is a solid RPG.  The gameplay is nothing new – it’s what we’ve come to expect from PC RPGs like Dragon Age and the such – but the story is great. 

4) Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 
    I’m a die-hard fan of Castlevania.  So, even with the previous let-downs Konami dished out, I still went ahead and played what is supposed to be a restart for the series.  (I’m really going to miss Alucard and the old Belmonts) And, it was surprisingly good.  Had a slight God of War feel, but only because you wield a chain whip, which would have similar properties to Kratos’ sword-thingers.  Great story, and am looking forward to whatever game comes next. 

3) Fable III
    A great continuation of the Fable franchise, and I really liked how the story was more connected to the predecessor than Fable II was it its.  Interesting story, but I’d have a hard time calling it the best.  Certainly the NPC-interaction is lacking what the previous titles had. 

2) Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening 
    I really liked Dragon Age, and the newest, and best (all the others were really lame DLC) expansion to the game isn’t a let-down.  Just like any good expansion, there’s new stuff to do, but I especially liked the extension to the story. 

1) Kindom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
    Oh, my.  You’ve caught me.  I am absolutely, 100%, completely biased in this decision.  Kingdom Hearts happens to be my favorite series (ever!), and the semi-newest (since Re:Coded was released just yesterday) installment doesn’t disappoint.  Amazing storyline, greatly improved gameplay from the previous game, and an amazing soundtrack.  If you haven’t given Kingdom Hearts a try, then I recommend you do (and don’t be scared off by the collision of Final Fantasy/Japanese RPG with Disney.  It works.  It just works).

And so ends my list of top games from 2010.  But I'll have you know, I've been playing games from before 2010 a whole lot more...

And, a word to the wise:  don't copy and paste your post into Blogger from Word, because Blogger just doesn't agree with Microsoft's formatting.

Andrew Blomquist
Game Warden (and if you mistakenly call me Grey Warden, I'll still be happy)

* * *

Joshua Matern

Well, first off, I am going to have to cop out a bit and say that I can't make a top 10 games of 2010 because many of the games I have played have been from last year, so I haven't been able to play that many from this year (it happens when you have limited finances and are on a mission for two years).  So instead, my list is going to be the top 5 games of 2010 and a few honorable mentions.

5. Heavy Rain
Okay, a confession is in order.  I have not actually played this game (not having a PS3 being the main difficulty), but I instead watched videos online of someone playing it.  This was fine because not only did the mature sexual content get skipped, but the game is so much like a movie that you can enjoy it this way.  The graphics are incredible, the story dark and amazing, and the characters feel real.  This game also had some of the most memorable experiences of any game I have played and I would assuredly buy it, if I had the right console, in order to see all of the possible endings.

4. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Multiplayer.  I love the multiplayer for this game.  It is an exciting cat-and-mouse hunt, making you constantly question whether the character walking near you is getting ready to slit your throat or not.  The campaign is also very well done with a good story, lots of extra things to do in the free-roaming world, and an enjoyable system of creating a group of assassins.  I particularly enjoyed the fact that more of Desmond and the conspiracies were developed.

3. Alan Wake
When a game is able to make you constantly ask, "What the heck is going on?" while still keeping you entertained, that is a rare game.  The story for this game is twisting and fascinating while also being downright freaky.  The titular character is lifelike, displaying real emotions, and the gameplay is excellent.

2. Red Dead Redemption
An epic story of redemption and betrayal in the old wild west.  This game has a fantastic world, great gunfighting, memorable characters, great graphics, and a powerful story.  Any game that lets you lasso some desperado and drag him along while you ride on your horse is a must play in my book.

1. Halo Reach
Well what did you think was going to be in the top spot?  Amazing on all fronts: Guns, characters, story, graphics, vehicles, levels, enemies, backgrounds.  It is all there and all glorious.  This was an excellent, even perfect conclusion to one of the best video gaming series ever made.

Honorable Mentions
Innovative, haunting, and artistic.  I greatly enjoyed this game and it's innovative gameplay, level design (it is one huge level), and atmosphere.  Who knew silence was so creepy?  And don't get me started on those spiders!

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Definitely a great game and very fun.  Check out my review for all my thoughts on it.

How cute!  It's a little flower guy and he is going to save the princess! Wait, why is everything getting darker as you progress?  Why are all of the bad guys getting creepier?  And where is that disturbing music coming from?!

Some games from 2010 I want to play: I figure this will answer some of your questions as to why certain games were not on my list.

Mass Effect 2
Odyssey: Journey to the West
Resonance of Fate
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Civilization 5
Bioshock 2
Dead Rising 2
Fable III
No More Heroes 2

That's my list!  Tell me what you think, and I hope that if you haven't played any of these games that you check them out.

Joshua Matern
VGAME Gaming President

* * *

J.S. Lewis

Greetings and salutations my fellow gamers! Hope your new year is off to a wondrous start. Like Sir Matern (and for some similar reasons) I have yet to play many titles from last year, so special thanks to Andrew for actually letting this section be a Top 10 list for somebody. 

What follows are my Top 5 Video Games of 2010:

5. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
(XBOX 360 - Arcade)
WHAT?! Pac-Man?! Ladies and gentlemen, a resounding "yes" is my reply. Celebrating the yellow faced hero's 30th year, "Championship Edition DX" takes the original style, concept, and gameplay and injects it with digital steroids! It quickly becomes fast and furious while honoring  what made the original work so well. You can have dozens of ghosts trailing you at any given time, snack on a power pellet and then hunt them down! This is one of the most powerful moments in gaming history. You have to try it. This isn't your daddy's "Pac-Man"! (Interesting note, I actually convinced my father to sit down and give this one a try... he didn't last long.)

4. Super Meat Boy 
(XBOX 360 - Arcade)
This is a NES-inspired homage, packed to the gills with content, and seasoned with twisted humor. It is universally accepted that arcade platformers are among the hardest games in existence, "Super Meat Boy" channels such titles, bringing its own unique style. This game is unbelievably difficult. There are 350 levels. Some take all but five seconds, others, several minutes. Still, I'm not even close to beating half of them. The puzzles are perplexing and the boss battles are legendary. Writing about this game just makes me want to scream, "Super Meat Boy" (as the game's title menu does so well).

3. Limbo 
(XBOX 360 - Arcade)
"Limbo" was such a pleasant surprise. It is a sidescroller, but that is about as far as classifying this B&W journey can go. The game begins suddenly. You play as a young boy who awakes to find himself all alone in a forest. There is no HUD to offer any idea of an objective or when you'll reach the end. There are no levels. You wander through a seamless world, being haunted and hunted by your surroundings.
It is dark in theme (both visually and conceptually), making the entire package a subtly stark masterpiece. Never before has it been so much fun to die in a video game. My roommate says, "That is so true." Your child character will meet his untimely end again and again in one of many possible ways. This is very much a trial-and-error game. Every player will have exactly the same experience, which isn't always a bad thing (especially when it is as polished as "Limbo"). This game was critically praised, though often noted as being too short. I feel it is much better to leave us wanting more than what the opposite end of the spectrum would bring. I love the tranquil ending and can only hope for more innovation coming from Playdead Studios.

2. Halo: Reach 
(XBOX 360)
If "Reach" had landed during any other year it would have taken my top prize, but this was the year "Red Dead Redemption" came out (see my #1). Bungie finishes the series with flying colors. Upon completion it got "a little dusty" in my living room (if you know what I'm saying). As wonderful as the campaign is, perhaps my favorite part of "Reach" is the online multiplayer and improved editing mode. Forge World is a blast, where you can switch from player to editor on the fly, and make your wildest Spartan dreams a reality. I love you "Halo: Reach."

1. Red Dead Redemption
(XBOX 360)
Words truly fall short. This game succeeds on every technical level of game-making. The graphics come close to photo-realism (especially those gorgeous landscapes), the controls are very comfortable, the score reminds and reveres the best tunes from Ennio Morricone, and the physics add to the naturalism. Being a huge fan of the Western genre, this masterpiece wetted my enormous appetite for a "Wild West simulator." Now, every time I watch a Western I can hardly wait to play more "Red Dead" and experience a similar setting and scenario for myself.  Never before has a video game made me care so much about the characters. John Marston is real as far as I'm concerned and his tale will break your heart. While I hardly ever consider story the most important aspect in a video game, I was gripped by what Dan Houser and team had in store for me. The cinematic cutscenes and detailed gameplay make for a sweeping adventure (complete with tumbleweeds) that every gamer should undertake. After beating the game you can still roam the open world, hunting all manner of game, completing all the side quests, and beating other challenges. You can take the experience on Xbox Live and travel the same massive locales with a posse of friends bringing down gangs of bandits or becoming a fearsome bunch of outlaws yourselves. You can take part in several other multiplayer aspects including death-match, capture the bag, and even a poker mode. As if all that wasn't enough, Rockstar released "Undead Nightmare," an expansion pack that lets you resume the role of Marston who must cleanse the world of its zombie epidemic. "Red Dead Redemption" offers myriad amounts of gameplay possibilities leaving players always with something to come back for. It is wild and it is gritty, but it is a stunning work of art.

Honorable Mentions:

Cut the Rope
Like most games on cell phones, this is simple in style and execution: collect the three stars with your candy piece and then feed it to the frog (all done by, you guessed it, cutting ropes). In-game physics are a welcome factor and each passed stage (100+) makes you feel like a champ.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane
(XBOX 360 - Arcade)
I missed this game when it first came out on the N64, but I am currently digging this 2010 re-imagining. "Hurricane" features fun-filled boat racing action across myriad locations (many with fantasy elements, which I dig like Diglett).

Just Cause 2
(XBOX 360)
I am a sucker for open world games. I cherish the freedom presented in such "go anywhere, do anything" escapades.  I have only played the demo (several times in fact) and cannot get enough. The full game enjoys an insanely vast 400 square mile realm for players to cause chaos in, which is, in the humble opinion of this gamer, a very just cause. 

Mafia II 
(XBOX 360)
The first "Mafia" is one of my personal favorite games. The sequel is made by the same studio, though set in a different city and era. Again, I only played the demo for this one, but played it several times. It looks great, plays great, and, judging from the chunk I experienced, boasts a thrilling yarn.

Plants vs. Zombies
(XBOX 360 - Arcade)
I know, this game came out a couple years ago, but the re-release on XBLA is so high and mighty it deserves acknowledgment. It features the same castle-defense action myself and millions have come to love and then goes one step further by introducing co-op and versus modes.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Played a round as the Zerg, the graphics were bloody awesome. There are some new features, but all Blizzard needed to do was give the original (one of the greatest games ever made) a pretty facelift and they did. If I had computer for gaming I would be playing much more of this gem.

Here are some other games from 2010 that I have yet to personally experience, but look very forward to:

Alan Wake
Bioshock 2
Civilization V
Disney's Epic Mickey
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Fable III
Fallout: New Vegas
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Picross 3D
Pinball FX 2
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
The Sims 3
Splinter Cell: Conviction
WarioWare D.I.Y.

2010 was a joyous year for gaming.

J.S. Lewis
Online Steward


  1. Dragon Age...I really need to play that one

  2. I'm willing to bet that Steam (and a lot of other companies) will be selling Dragon Age once the sequel comes out in... oh, I believe mid-to-late-2011.

    Btw: Blogger really hates accounts that aren't Google >:(

  3. That is because Google is like Sony, if you know what I mean. And Apple for that matter.

  4. I still want to try Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.

    Haha. Nice lists.

  5. I'm dying to play red dead. That's where my next paycheck is going for sure. Nice picks.