Reviewer after reviewer and website after website will soon be discussing their games of the year for 2010. Instead of just throwing out yet another reviewer’s opinions, lets look at it the top reviewed video games of 2010 according to aggregate review site Gamerankings.com. It’s interesting to see what games were in the top 20 and what weren’t. There were a few indie surprises and several notable big games that did not. In the case of games released on multiple platforms, the top score between the two platforms is assumed. Expansion packs to games are not considered in the rankings.
20) Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)
One of the best selling games of the year, and perhaps most highly anticipated games, had excellent review scores in the upper 80s, but that alone only allowed it to barely crack the top 20 list. While it’s a great game, it just couldn’t live up to the standards of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
19) Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
EA’s attempt to take on the Call of Duty franchise can claim atleast one victory this year, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was reviewed higher than Call of Duty: Black Ops.
18) Heavy Rain (PS3)
Heavy Rain is the latest game that attempts to make a game more like an interactive film. Critics gave Heavy Rain great reviews for its experimentation and desire to push the edge, but the somewhat lackluster script and it “not being game” weighed on many reviewers minds.
17) Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii)
After the success of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Nintendo pushed old school 2D platforming into the forefront by released Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns in 2010. Kirby’s Epic Yarn was the higher reviewed of the two, as reviewers couldn’t help but love the yarn/cloth based puzzles and animations of this platformer. It was just too charming all around.
16) NHL 11 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Following up the acclaimed NHL 10, NHL 11 featured improved physics and faceoffs to simply make the best hockey game on the market even better.
15) Bayonetta (PS3, Xbox 360)
Bayonetta brought one of the more innovative and over the top action games in quite some time. It’s not too surprising given this game came from the creative team behind the Devil May Cry series. While it was a great action game, it’s limited linear storyline proved couldn’t endear reviewers like many of the games listed below.
14) Sid Meier’s Civilization V (PC)
What’s there to be said about one of, if not the best, PC gaming series in history. The newest iteration got high marks for its brand new engine and introduction of hexagonal tiles, contrary to the traditional square tiles, giving the series some new blood. However, many criticized the poor and frustrating computer AI.
13) Super Meat Boy (PC, Xbox 360)
Originally starting out as a Flash game (you can find it on Newgrounds here), Super Meat Boy features innovative platforming, old school difficulty, and a hilarious story that doesn’t take itself seriously. On top of all that, there are many fun unlockable characters from other games, including Tim from Braid, Pink Knight from Castle Crashers, Goo Ball from World of Goo, and Headcrab from Half-Life.
12) Limbo (Xbox 360)
If you haven’t heard of Limbo, shame on you. This Xbox Live download was perhaps most innovative indie hit since 2008’s Braid. While the game received acclaim for its puzzle platforming elements, its dark minimalist graphics simply amazed and shot the reviews upwards.
11) MLB 10: The Show (PS3)
The MLB: The Show series has consistently been the best baseball simulation game out on the market, and this year was no different. With some minor enhancements over MLB 09, the game was able to garner a few more points on their aggregate review score. MLB 10: The Show is also the best reviewed sports game of the year.
10) Super Street Fighter IV (PS3, Xbox 360)
Super Street Fighter IV is the follow up to 2009’s Street Fighter IV. Some might have written this off as a cheap way for Capcom to cash in on Street Fighter IV’s success, however it’s better to view Super Street Fighter IV as a renovated and polished version of Street Fighter IV. An updated online mode, second Ultra Combo for new strategy choices, and 10 new characters to play made the game far closer to a perfected fighting game.
9) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
Persona 3 Portable is the enhanced remake of the critically acclaimed Persona 3 for the PS2. In this enhanced remake, Atlus added the opportunity for the player to play as girl and enhanced the battle mechanics with some elements from Persona 4. Interestingly, Persona 3 Portable is the highest rated portable title to appear on this list, beating out major titles like Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
8) Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3, Xbox 360)
Following up Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood continues the story of Ezio. With the addition of recruitable characters and multiplayer mode, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood received the highest review scores the series has ever received. Ubisoft has taken the time to continually and regularly enhance the game on each iteration.
7) Halo: Reach (Xbox 360)
There’s probably not much that needs to be said about Halo franchise that video games fans don’t know. It’s one of the hallowed franchises in video games, which almost every title getting near universal critical acclaim. Halo: Reach, a prequel to the original Halo: Combat Evolved, is no different. This is the last Halo title that Bungie will be developing, as Bungie is moving onto other projects. The Bungie team produced the best reviewed first person shooter of 2010, beating out major titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
6) God of War III (PS3)
The finale of the God of War series’ current storyline, God of War III delivered exactly what fans were hoping for, an HD version of some of the best games ever on the PS2. The game delivered on all levels and was widely acclaimed for having some of the best HD visuals ever seen in a game to date.
5) Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC)
Over a decade after the original Starcraft was released, the long anticipated sequel was equally good. The game didn’t deviate too much from the original fan favorite formula, but introduced new units, characters, and story to make fans and reviewers absolutely love it.
4) Rock Band 3 (PS3, Xbox 360)
If you thought Rock Band 3 would just be like Rock Band 2, you’d be wrong. With the addition of a keyboard and “Pro” mode that gives players instructions on how to play real instruments, Harmonix breathed new life into the somewhat stagnant rhythm gaming genre.
3) Red Dead Redemption (PS3, Xbox 360)
Rockstar games said they would bring the open sandbox style of Grand Theft Auto into the old west via Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar did not disappoint as it met most people’s expectations for a wild west Grand Theft Auto.
2) Mass Effect 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
While the original Mass Effect was good, it didn’t quite meet the expectations of fans. Mass Effect 2 solved it by updating or enhancing virtually every aspect of the original game, but keeping the core gameplay from the original.
1) Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Super Mario Galaxy was the best reviewed game of the year. While it may not have had as much press or hype as other games listed above (or below), it ultimately did what reviewers wanted. It redefined the platforming genre yet again and pushed the envelope for platforming games in the future.
Notable Missing Games:
BioShock 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The original Bioshock was the third best reviewed game in 2007, garnering huge acclaim and many game of the year nominations and awards. The sequel had excellent review scores hovering in the mid 80s, but just couldn’t quite live up to expectations. Many reviewers felt the game was a little too much like the original.
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox 360)
Final VII, VIII, IX, X, and XII are amongst the best reviewed games of all time on the PS1 and PS2 (let alone in a single year). While Final Fantasy XIII didn’t get horrible review scores, they hovered in the low 80s. A surprising turnaround for one of the industry’s most storied franchises.
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
After six years in the making people were expecting the greatest driving simulator ever created. While the game was very good, it failed on several levels. The car models were absolutely incredible and perhaps the best ever seen, however many of the graphics on tracks were very subpar. Overall, it gave reviewers mixed feelings.
Best Video Game Trailers of 2010
Most Anticipated RPGs of 2011
Best RPGs of 2010
Best Video Game Easter Eggs of 2010