Games of the Year: 2010

It’s been a good year for video games. And while I didn’t get around to playing all of the new games that I would have liked to, here were some of my highlights (and lowlights) for the year.

Highlight: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption has been a top pick for game of the year for many folks, and with good reason.  It raises the bar for immersion in video games.  It’s as close as you can get to jumping into a time machine going back to the wild west.

Lowlight: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Shattered Memories is not without its merits, but it’s twist on the series’ brand of survival horror was overwrought and boring.  It’s hard to fear for your life when there’s no chance that you will die.

Highlight: Deadly Premonition

Like Red Dead Redemption, Deadly Premonition offers to immerse you in an entirely different world.  But instead of taking you back in time, you are taken to alternative, David Lynch style universe.  Swery65’s bizarre vision ranges from knee slapping comedy to white knuckle survival horror.

Lowlight: Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII boldly tries to remix the JRPG formula, but the result was tedious echo of the series’ past.  At times it was gorgeous, but for a 60+ hour adventure, it was startlingly lacking in depth.  It was a red flag for JRPGs that suggested that if Final Fantasy couldn’t transition to the HD era, then no JRPG could.

Highlight: Minecraft

Minecraft lit a fire in the gaming community this year.  Initially a one-man effort, it is an adventure sandbox where each player’s world is uniquely their own, and you’re only limited by your imagination in what can be created there.

There have been a ton of great games this year, and this list is certainly not all-inclusive, but these were the most notable ones I encountered.  I’m sure I will continue to play this year’s games well into 2011, and possibly even longer.  Happy New Year!


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