2010: A Gaming Odyssey – Part One

2010: A Gaming Odyssey – Part One
The best (half) year of gaming ever??

Epic. Grandiose. The best year ever. These are all statements that can be made about the state of gaming in the year 2010. So far we have had more top-tier releases than most holiday seasons and the year is only half-way over. It is hard to imagine what the rest of the year will hold, but with this being such an amazing start we felt it would be a cool feature to pick out some of the biggest games so far in 2010, and even throw in some lists as everyone seems to love those. So without further ado I bring you the best games of the (half) year.

Consoles:

This year has been especially good for all three console makers. As far as exclusives go Sony has by far been the king of the castle to date. Titles like Heavy Rain, MLB: The Show and God of War III are only an example of the system’s dominance in the exclusive category. When you factor in that they are finally getting their online up to par with Xbox Live, you begin to see more and more gamers making PS3 their system of choice. The only downside I can see for Sony right now is that most of the awesome titles they announced at E3 are not coming until 2011, the price of the console is still the highest and I am still yet to be sold on PlayStation Plus, but everything else is definitely smooth sailing.


The Xbox 360 may not have been as stellar when it comes to exclusives, but it did have some truly worthwhile titles. Mass Effect 2 remains one of the best of the year so far, and titles like Metro 2033, Alan Wake and Splinter Cell Conviction were definitely excellent experiences. Microsoft’s biggest strength in 2010 has come from its Arcade service, which has seen a plethora of outstanding titles and only looks to continue. Games like Perfect Dark, Toy Soldiers, Snoopy Flying Ace and Zeno Clash show the diversity, as well as the quality that the service has become known for. While the company may have focused on their motion-controlled future, I expect to see more announced core titles at this year’s Gamescom.

When it comes to Nintendo everyone loves to beat down the Wii. But in reality their exclusive lineup this year has actually been pretty outstanding. Titles like Super Mario Galaxy 2, Sin and Punishment, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Monster Hunter Tri have really brought the core gaming audience back to the system. The WiiWare service and virtual console continue to be a hidden treasure chest full of amazing games, and it is hard to deny just how much content is available on the system. Hopefully Nintendo continues their success with the awesome lineup they have scheduled for the rest of 2010 and into 2011.

Portables:

In the handheld market it is definitely a one-sided battle. Sony’s PSP continues to lose steam and the digital download revolution definitely didn’t take off in time for PSPGo to thrive. The new marketing campaign is clever and funny, but in all honesty when you can count the AAA titles on one hand that have been released this year, you have little to backup your arguments. Still games like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 do show that the system has potential to be awesome.

As for Nintendo the DS and all of its iterations are continuing their dominance with an outstanding lineup and unprecedented support from publishers. The Pokemon series continues to print money and the addition of all the new RPGs coming to the system really drive home the need to own one. With the release of the DSi XL Nintendo has proven that they can repackage the same hardware and still outsell every other console nearly combined. With the announcement of the 3DS and its monster library of titles including Metal Gear, Resident Evil, Kid Icarus and of course the slew of Nintendo titles, pretty much solidifies that Nintendo will remain unchallenged in the handheld market for years to come.

The newest competitor in the portable market comes from an unlikely source. The surge of iPhone/iPod games released this year has been astounding and when reviewers praise the phone version of GTA over the PSP incarnation, you know things are good. It has become more of a culture as these time wasters continue to flood our mobile devices and if it keeps up, Apple would be smart to release a games-only version of the device at a lower price to compete with the big boys. While they will likely never take over the market from Nintendo, it may be enough to force Sony to step up their game. And for that I would be extremely thrilled.


The Rest of the Gang.

Outside of exclusive games and fanboy wars we have had one of the best years in gaming for multi-console titles. The western genre has finally been justified with Rockstar’s opus Red Dead Redemption. Our Zelda fix was met in early January with the release of the brilliant Darksiders from THQ. The fighting game genre continues its resurgence with Super Street Fighter IV. Racing games have had an incredible year with such titles as Split/Second, Blur and the more lighthearted, but wildly addicting ModNation Racers. The action game was once again redefined by Kamiya’s Bayonetta while open-world junkies got a pleasant surprise with Eidos’ Just Cause 2. Sequels also impressed with updates to series like BioShock, UFC Undisputed, Battlefield Bad Company and of course Final Fantasy. All of the titles I have mentioned are definitely reminiscent of the holiday season and it is only July.

The bottom line of all of this is that 2010 has definitely been one of the most exciting years to be a gamer and it isn’t even half-way over with. There have been so many top-tier titles so far we could end it now and it would still rank among the best of all-time. This just goes to show you that mindless squabbling on the internet about which console is dominant is purely idiotic and pointless. No matter what flavor of gaming you prefer there is more than enough here to satisfy us all. Here is to hoping the year continues to impress, and with the lineup it is hard to imagine that it won’t. Below you will find a quick breakdown of our editor’s top games so far for 2010. Also if you have some feedback or want to send us your top games feel free to drop a line to [email protected].

Ken “ZeroTolerance” McKown


  1. Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360)

  2. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)

  3. God of War 3 (PlayStation 3)

  4. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

  5. Bayonetta (Xbox 360)

Cathlin “Catastrophe” Sentz


  1. Heavy Rain (PlayStation 3)

  2. Red Dead Redemption (PlayStation 3)

  3. Torchlight (Mac)

  4. Dragon Age Origins: Awakenings (PlayStation 3)

  5. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)

Jason “Gambus Kahn” Gambrel


  1. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)

  2. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

  3. Monster Hunter Tri (Nintendo Wii)

  4. Transformers: The War for Cybertron (Xbox 360)

  5. Sin and Punishment: Star Succesor (Nintendo Wii)

Jeff “Scorched Angel” Borsick


  1. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

  2. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)

  3. God of War 3 (PlayStation 3)

  4. Darksiders (Xbox 360)

  5. Heavy Rain (PlayStation 3)

Greg “Odion” Baronian


  1. Mass Effect 2 (PC)

  2. StarCraft 2 Beta (PC)

  3. Battlefield Bad Company 2 (PC)

  4. Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

  5. Napoleon: Total War (PC)

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

Lost Password