Games Xtreme presents our 10 Best Games of 2010 list, in no particular order.
Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Bioware managed to take the formula of Mass Effect and the shooter/rpg and totally wrap it in an epic adventure that created one of the truly great action/rpgs of 2010. With a cast of diverse and likeable characters, excellent shooting mechanics and a stripped down rpg element Mass Effect 2 raised the bar not only for this genre but for Bioware's games themselves - we cannot wait for Mass Effect 3 this year!
Rockstar have proven (with GTA IV) that they are truly the Kings and Queens of the open world sandbox game genre. Turning their attention this time to the Old West they have managed to craft one of the best game protagonists and tell a truly epic tale of the death of the Old West, the march of progress and one man's struggle to free himself from his past. Red Dead Redemption has some of the best cooperative team-based multiplayer out there and is packed with content thanks to the inclusion of a stand-alone disc: Undead Nightmare, which adds a zombie themed horror element to the game and is the closest we'll ever get to a Deadlands themed 3rd video game.
Truly one of the great games of 2010, God of War 3 is the capstone on Kratos' war against the gods and sees some amazing set pieces, titanic boss battles and outright gore-ridden action on the PS3. The game is smooth, the controls are excellent and the protagonist is just as brutal and unforgiving as we remember him. Kratos' weapons and move list have been expanded but the game retains that God of War feel that has kept the series solid since we originally saw it. With the chance to pick up the re-released previous games in HD, God of War 3 shines as an example of pure blood soaked action combat and adventure.
Rocking out early in 2010, Darksiders took us by complete surprise and managed to inject a fresh dose of Zelda-like puzzle solving and adventure into the 3rd person platformer/hack-slash combat. With a larger than life rich visual theme, apocalyptic story and stoic protagonist Darksiders captured quite a fanbase, including those of us who adore God of War and Devil May Cry. Darksiders is also a hard game even when played on the easiest difficulty and is also awesome because of Ruin, War's trusty demon-steed that plays a huge part in the late game sections.
Xbox 360, PC
Sam Fisher returns and taking a leaf out of Arkham Asylum's book, he's back with a grittier format and fast paced stealth. Ubisoft took the hide and seek and managed to make it dynamic, with several additions to the genre that made Conviction one of our favourite games of 2010. With the choice firmly in your hands you're allowed to use stealth how you want, play cat and mouse with your enemies and rely on the shadows as a weapon not as a place to hide. Ubisoft also took the cooperative multiplayer and crafted a short but fun prologue story to back up Sam's core adventure. Combined with their Denied Ops modes and DLC support - Conviction remains the only game that I have ever managed to bother with a 1000GS for.
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
No game list of 2010 could be complete without this excellent RTS addition. Blizzard taking Starcraft into 2010 but managing to keep to its roots was a fantastic achievement. Not only that but they managed to inject a great single player experience wrapped with lite-rpg elements and even some great dialogue and characterisation. Jim Raynor remains one of our favourite game characters and the campaign for Starcraft 2 is excellent. The multiplayer has many layers and it takes quite a while to master the various strategies.
For Bungie's swan-song, Halo Reach manages to take the Halo franchise up a notch and provides a great story and some memorable characters. Noble team will live on in the memory of fans for a long time and having a central role to play in the battle for Reach is an exhilarating feeling. Bungie also created Forge 2.0 and put together a suite of multiplayer options that allows you to craft the kind of game you want to play, how you want to play it. Digging into Halo Reach's multiplayer component is a huge chunk of the experience and the game plays smooth over Live.
Lionhead are often much-maligned and even through its flaws, Fable 3 is still a good game packed with a tonne of fun. It has been patched a few times and most of those flaws have been eliminated by Lionhead leaving an interesting adventure with some truly dark moments that sneak up on you unawares and there's at least one great disturbing scene in the game. The co-operative gameplay is now spot on and Lionhead seem to have eliminated their fair share of co-op bugs. The biggest change to the co-op gameplay from 2 to 3 has been the removal of the idiotic locked camera and enforced leash that kept your characters too close together. Add to this a weapon system that evolves weapons as you play the game and the inclusion of a non-2d GUI called the Sanctuary, you have something worthy of our 2010 list.
Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Taking only 12 months to craft a sequel to Assassin's Creed 2, Ubisoft stunned us with Brotherhood. This is my personal GotY with Mass Effect 2 close behind it. Brotherhood continues the story of Ezio from 2 and manages to add in a massive amount of new content, brand new combat moves, tweaking everything that we had issue with in the previous game and sending us on an incredible swashbuckling journey across Rome this time. Both in the past and present - Ezio's story should now be done and Brotherhood is a fitting capstone to it. Not content with just presenting single player content (a lot of it as well) Ubisoft added a well crafted, unique multiplayer experience that offers some of the best multiplayer stabbing for solo or team play.
No 2010 list could be complete without CoD: Black Ops. It's not often that Treyarch manages to usurp Infinity Ward's crown when it comes to the CoD games but in the case of Black Ops, they managed to do just that. Black Ops offers a story that has been seen before but presents it in a solid and action packed way. There are moments in the story that are truly epic and leave you pretty breathless, there are a few twists and turns that you might not see coming and whilst it is a short campaign there's also multiplayer to look forwards to. Black Ops multiplayer is king over CoD: MW 2 and presents new options and a fresh take on the standard crafted by Infinity Ward in their previous two Modern Warfare games. Treyarch managed to get this one right and anyone who disliked World at War, but loved Zombies need not fret. Treyarch also put in Zombies mode to Black Ops and even added Dead Ops Arcade, an unlockable old-style Commando style arcade shooter. (Plus there's also a full version of Zork in the game, yeah, that old text adventure)
So there you have it, that's our top 10 best games for 2010 across the PS3, the 360 and the PC. You might wonder why the Wii has been left out of this list - there's only so much room and we'd probably only mention Super Mario Galaxy 2 to be honest as anything of note.
Let us know what your top 10 are and if you agree, disagree or think another game deserves to be on this list.