GamesRadar Editors' Games of the Year: 2010 Edition

The 14 different games that rocked our individual worlds

Tyler Nagata: Every once in a while, a game comes along that defines a genre, setting a new standard for everything that follows in its footsteps. It happened in 1998 when the original StarCraft released. But this year, it happened again when StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty launched over a decade later.

The single-player campaign was awesome. But it’s the competitive and balanced multiplayer that will ensure that StarCraft II will be the definitive RTS game for years to come. It’s just that good. Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of RTS titles, I’d still recommend StarCraft II. The never ending battle between the Terran, Protoss, and Zerg is back and better than ever.

Red Dead Redemption

Mikel Reparaz: At E3, I was privileged to have a chat with InFamous 2’s director, Nate Fox, during which I asked him if his game would have a fast-travel system. He said that if you have to use fast travel, then your game world probably isn’t much fun to get around in. I have to disagree, though, because while I fast-traveled the shit out of Red Dead Redemption’s world, its sprawling Western wilderness is one of the most fascinating virtual spaces I’ve ever explored.

Graphically, Red Dead shames the rest of 2010, rendering everything from its characters’ purposely ugly faces to the shifting muscles in horse haunches in exquisite detail. That visual brilliance is a big part of what makes RDR’s vast prairies, rolling hills and weatherbeaten towns feel convincingly real. And the best part may be the eerie sense that anything can happen, thanks to all the life-threatening (and frequently bizarre) random events that can pop up at any time. It’s all very breathtaking, and when combined with RDR’s deeply compelling action, story and characters, it made for an incredible, unforgettable piece of interactive entertainment.

And then they filled the landscape with zombies and shit got real.

Bayonetta

Justin Towell: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Platinum Games. Bayonetta is everything a gamer could want, especially a Sega fan like myself. It's chock full of references to classic Sega games (and Kamiya's back catalogue too), stuffed with gorgeous iconography and featuring a soundtrack that's been making me feel like Christmas all year long.

The PS3 version may have been slightly borked, but the Xbox 360 version ran like a dream. A dream full of long legs, flowing hair and sensual curves – the kind my teenaged self would have wanted instead of that stupid recurring one about the tsunami. 60 frames per second, sixty outrageously good seconds a minute… and the best direction in any game ever. Some people complained it was a button masher. That's because they're the button mashers – and getting it all wrong. Unlike Bayonetta, which got everything absolutely right.

Civilization V

Tyler Wilde: Civilization V wasn’t the most innovative game of the year. It didn’t “reinvent” anything, or “forever change” any “landscapes.” That’s because Civilization is the damn landscape. Go ahead, show me a bigger, better, or deeper turn-based strategy series. If we’re not sitting in the Oval Office next to a time machine, I’m skeptical.

The Civ V shortcut on my desktop is the only one that hasn’t been moved in the last three months. Not once! I wouldn’t want to fumble around looking for it and accidently click on some ugly, non-essential icon. The desire to start a game of Civilization is fleeting, and if the urge passes, I won’t, because I know what a game of Civ means. It means that, for the next several days, regardless of what I’m doing, I’m going to be thinking about technology trees and city-states.

Crap, now I want to start a game. Damn you Civilization.

And that's our personal favourite games of the year. Can't believe no one picked Super Mario Galaxy 2? Or God of War III? Holy crap biscuits neither can we! Feel free to comment on our choices in the appropriately named comments section.

Dec 10, 2010


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