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GamesRadar Editors' Games of the Year: 2010 Edition

Singularity

Dave Houghton: Why has Singularity beaten out every other game for my affections this year? It’s not just the fact that it has the coolest, most inventive and most marvellously fun weapon-set in recent memory. It’s not just the way that its slick, intelligent, free-form combat and boatload of on-the-fly environmental manipulation options strongly put me in mind of Half-Life 2. It’s not even just the way it carefully and shamelessly cherry-picks the best bits of the best shooters of all time and combines them into something fresh, new and exciting.

No, on top of all that, it’s the way that Singularity totally took me by surprise, arriving under the guise of a snuck-out-the-back-door clunker but turning out to be one the very best FPS of the year. Activision sent Singularity out to die this year. That’s why you probably haven’t played it. But it’s also exactly why you should.

Just Cause 2

Nathan Irvine: Technically, I’ve played better games in 2010 than Just Cause 2 – Red Dead Redemption, GoW III and more – but in terms of fun from start to finish, Square Enix’s free-roaming caper provides a steady flow of good times.Perfecting the grapple-hook/parachute transport shouldn’t be entertaining but it is. As is destroying bases with helicopters and watching the world below burst into flames and screams. Panau might also be the most diverse and beautiful open-world I’ve played in too – from snowy mountains right down to lush jungles and sun-drenched beaches.

The mission where you chase a rocket into the atmosphere while piloting a fighter jet is easily one of the most memorable missions I’ve played in a long time. Crucially, Just Cause 2 doesn’t take itself too seriously and gives you numerous ways to cause havoc throughout, which in a world that stinks heavily of increasingly po-faced realism, is a breathe of fresh air.

Red Dead Redemption

Matthew Keast: Red Dead is an amazing game throughout, but what hit me with honest-to-God chills was the kick-in of the song when your grand mission is complete and you can finally ride home to see your wife and son. I thought the game was over then, but little did I know that the best part was just beginning. Some have said the mundane chores around the ranch are boring – for me, they elevated Red Dead to art. Throughout the game, the sense of John Marston’s mission was nebulous: yeah, okay, he’s working to free his family, but who the hell are they anyway? Why should I care?

And then the game did make me care. That was the beauty of the homestead missions. They felt like a relaxing reward for all of the harrowing work that had come before, a chance to live the good life and prosper from the fat of the land. They cemented the imperfect relationship between Marston and his son. They were everything that a real cowboy does: cattle herding, hunting, running troublesome wildlife off the farm. And then, of course, the game was still hiding one beautiful finale up its sleeve.

Mass Effect 2

Joe McNeilly: These days, if a videogame shows you an “inventory screen” or contains “experience points” of any description, it is said to have “RPG elements.” Don’t get me wrong, here. I like me some leveling up. But to me, numbers and statistics are the least interesting part of any role-playing experience, videogame or otherwise. Role-playing is about becoming a character in a story. It’s about entering into a consensual hallucination and engaging with a malleable narrative whose permutations are limited only by the imaginations of the participants.

In the case of a computer RPG, or C-RPG as Gary Gygax liked to call them, the experience is necessarily more structured as the “imagination” of the computer must be fully programmed in advance. Computers are better at crunching stats than processing emotion, which has led to a generation of gamers who think that soulless number crunching equates to role-playing. BioWare knows what true role-playing is about, and Mass Effect 2 is their most fully realized c-RPG experience to date. Easily this D&D nerd's Game of the Year.

Red Dead Redemption

Dave Meikleham: I hate to put on my serious games jarnalist waistcoat and good smoking pipe, but for me, Red Dead was not only an incredible technical achievement, it actually broke boundaries for this medium. Before John Marston’s epic adventure, I’d barely elicited a whimper at a sad scene in a game, let alone have actual beady tears flowing down my face. Yes, Redemption’s narrative had me so involved, I actually cried near the end. Hell, the game’s final half hour is so powerful, it’s lingered in my thoughts almost every day for the last six months.

And let’s not forget its other achievements. More than any other title I’ve ever played, Rockstar’s masterpiece seamlessly captures a sense of time and place in its world that nothing else has come close to. Couple that with a world filled with unexpected events and random encounters, which feels like it exists in spite of you, rather than because of you, and Red Dead is perhaps the most immersive game I’ve ever played. That, and I have the man crush to end all man crushes on Mr. Marston.

124 comments

  • Azure98 - February 6, 2011 7:10 a.m.

    I agree with you Tyler, Civ 5 is AMAZING! It is so addictive. I would turn off the computer to go do something else, and then find myself 5 minutes later back on, cos i need to take Berlin! HAHAHA!
  • jesusfrk15 - January 12, 2011 6:15 a.m.

    wooooot mass II and red dead were freaking amazing games! and way to go brett elston. champ!
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - January 7, 2011 1:42 a.m.

    I loved Red Dead Redemption the best, although I agree with Lizzie that Halo 2 is the best game ever.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - December 19, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    Henry had the right idea.
  • noune - December 18, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    It would be good to see FIFA 11 in there because I myself am a major FIFA supporter, it would be good to see games other than shooting games, because they are starting to get old for me, the same story most of the time but sporting games don't have a story, you pick them up score goals or whatever do a victory lap then get your ass handed to you.
  • inSovietRussiaDatesRecallBrettElston - December 15, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    but what was buttercup's game of the year? and leopold margarine? and lando lakes?
  • MrSigint - December 14, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    I think my game of the year has to go to the Dawn of War 2 expansion "Chaos Rising". I have no idea why, but I cannot stop playing it. Truely a great game.
  • TENAXIS - December 14, 2010 2:38 p.m.

    still TF2, loving everymoment of it with more maps and more weapons and more.. HATZZZ its getting fun and fun-er evryday
  • Samael - December 14, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    Brett your Mass Effect 2 entry is pure perfection. SEX FRIENDS FOREVER! And I'm glad to know Carolyn is a huge Garrus fan. CALIBRATIONS FOREVER! MASS EFFECT 2 FOR-ok I'll stop now.
  • skyline19 - December 13, 2010 3:27 p.m.

    For me it's out of RDR and ME2, but if I had a gun to my head I'd say ME2. I've hammered both games since release, beaten ME2 7 times, and RDR almost 3 times. Both games are an absolute marvel, they make games that are very good indeed such as black ops, reach or Assassins Creed Brotherhood look like rents at best. RDR and ME2 are master of their craft, those games are a piece of art.
  • TJP75 - December 13, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    Literally just completed Singularity and loved every second of it. Especially enjoyed the 3 different endings. Activision have really screwed over Raven Software by letting Singularity die on its release.(same goes for Bizarre Creations).
  • foxyexplosion - December 13, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    wow im so glad someone agrees that the best halo was halo 2. Lockout, headlong and zanzibar were the coolest levels and I have way too many awesome memories playing that game with friends
  • yangsin20000 - December 13, 2010 5:28 a.m.

    Hmmm My GOTY was Medal of Honor (please no flame about it bieng a "CoD rip off MoH Was First 1999 B#tches!) it had a Compelling story great Gameplay and Awesome MP!
  • kachigop - December 13, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    RDR had me when I entered Mexico. Coming over the cliff, staring into the glistening sunrise, all with a perfect musical touch. I got chills. *nerdgasm*
  • K9unittp - December 13, 2010 12:24 a.m.

    I have to agree with the two tylers, mainly because of my strategy game fetish...
  • humpiedumpie - December 12, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    Mass Effect 2 for sure :)
  • BK-201 - December 12, 2010 4:44 p.m.

    Singularity was an incredible game, freaked the hell out of me during parts of it though, it had that over Halo's flood missions honestly. It's one of the few games that makes me jump out of my seat while playing it at times, in fact, I don't think any other game has been able to do that. SCII...I love it, it's fun, addicting, and super hard for someone that only recently got into playing RTS's online.
  • spartann30 - December 12, 2010 5:40 a.m.

    glad that Super meat boy is in this GoTY list. still waiting for it on wii. personal game of the year has to go to halo reach. because im not conected to Live (Yet), i got to judge on single player and it reminded me of games that didn't rely on multiplayer
  • Zepaw - December 12, 2010 5:38 a.m.

    As I expected none have knocked off ME2 for my game of the year. Some wonderfully strong competitors though. I wish Fallout: New Vegas had not been so broken. I loved it so much I played for around 150 hours, but about 50 of those must have been surfing the internet during a load screen.
  • Cheech360 - December 12, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    Great article guys! Love the picks. Will probably pick up Super Meat Boy just because of this.

Showing 1-20 of 124 comments

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