Game (not) of the Year 2010

December 20, 2010

We’re human. We don’t always get to every game before the end of its year of release. This is our way of making amends: the best games we missed out on until 2010. Because we can’t go back in time and honor them in a more timely fashion.

Shawn Vermette: Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. I have to say, I love Star Wars. The best Star Wars games are, without a doubt, the KotOR games. However, after finally playing Lego Star Wars, I have to say that it comes in second, by a wide margin. The humor that Lego Star Wars infuses into such an epic and serious series is great, and the seamless co-op makes it a perfect game to play with a spouse. And of course, any game that I can play for hours on end with my wife is an instant winner.

Chris Ingersoll: Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon was a 2009 DSiWare release from the Fuse team responsible for Metroid Prime Pinball on the DS. 500 points earns you a single table packed with awesome, and the option to see how high you can score on a single ball once per day. If you love pinball and own a DSi, this needs to be an immediate purchase. For actual releases, check out the bizarre Atlus RPG My World, My Way and Konami’s point-and-click adventure Time Hollow (both DS) if you can find them.

Andrew Passafiume: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. It’s definitely no secret that I am a huge fan of Insomniac Games and their hugely successful action/platforming Ratchet & Clank series, and this is one of the best platformers I have ever played. It takes everything I’ve loved about every previous entry in the series and manages to expand and improve upon them tenfold. When I played it, I was under the impression it might be the last time we see Ratchet and Clank, so it was a very sad, but great sendoff for two of my favorite game characters. 

Gerry Pagan: Some people would probably murder me for this, but it wasn’t until early this year that I managed to play the oh-so underrated Psychonauts. I’m a sucker for a good platformer, and Psychonauts delivers with extremely well written dialogue, a diverse list of abilities to use as well as incredibly memorable stage design, all of which stand out on their own. Had I played the game when it came out, it would have most likely been my Game of the Year choice multiple times over.

Mike Clark: I didn’t become an owner of the Wii until September of this year. Due to this I was never able to experience all of the excellent Wii games released over its lifetime until now. Being able to sit down and fully play through Super Mario Galaxy three years later was quite a treat. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the 3D Mario games. Yet just from a few hours of playing Galaxy, I was already in love with it. The gameplay was excellent barring a few motion control segments, the pacing was wonderful, the audio was delightful, the visuals were great, and so on. Playing this after a three year drought was a blissful experience and I loved almost every second of it. Because surfing on those manta rays and rolling around the giant balls can go away.

Paul Bishop: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Even though I absolutely loved the original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, I just didn’t feel like buying Uncharted 2 when it came out late last year. It eventually took a deal at the store for me to pick it up this year, and now I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up earlier. It’s amazing.

Justin Last: Torchlight. I picked this up on a whim during a Steam sale one morning and when I looked up it was time for bed. The Diablo formula has been improved on in every way here with easy modding (at least the installation – I’ve never tried to make one), great chunky WoW-like visuals, and randomly created dungeon floors. It’s completely possible to get lost in Torchlight for hours on end, and that’s why I had to uninstall it – other things required my attention.

Graham Russell: I only experienced the cathartic joy that is Red Faction: Guerrilla during the summer dead months. (I found it on clearance. I love clearance.) Shooting people isn’t that great, and the driving controls are adequate but unspectacular. What’s great here is building destruction, be it with explosives or just hacking away at it. There are days when you need that.

What older games did you just discover this year? Let us know in the comments.