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The Top 7... Best games of 2010 (so far)

3. Mass Effect 2

GamesRadar's review



The first Mass Effect was a time-devouring trip into a galaxy so fully realized and thoroughly detailed, it seemed like part of a decades-long franchise of books, television and film. In reality, it was only one game, but one so well put together that you could easily overlook the frequent bugs, emotionless faces and occasionally repetitive planet-scouring missions.

All that praise and still Mass Effect 2 completely trumps its predecessor. The focus is tighter, the gunplay is faster and the characters themselves are intensely interesting – no small feat when you’re dealing with a story that puts all biological life on the cutting board. Rather than dwell on this looming apocalypse, the game spends most of its time connecting you to each member of Commander Shepard’s team, creating a very personal motive for each partner to leap into harm’s way and potentially sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

The  universe saw upgrades too. Compare any supposed “nightclub” in the first game to Afterlife, a smoky, seedy watering hole every bit as arresting as Blade Runner. Side quests, instead of continuously repeating the same cave over and over, now took place in unique, one-off locations. The established lore even continued to grow as you learn more about Reapers, Collectors, Batarians, the Krogan genophage and a dozen other hot topics carried over from the original.

In short, Mass Effect 2 is an immensely improved sequel to a game that was already in the 9 and 10/10 range. Mass Effect 3 can't release soon enough.


2. Super Mario Galaxy 2

GamesRadar's review

 

Not everyone was excited for Super Mario Galaxy 2. Some feared a copy-and-paste sequel, one that lazily repeated the tricks of the first game without adding any of its own. Others played the underwhelming, overrated New Super Mario Bros Wii and wondered if Nintendo's originality had dried up.

If anything, though, Galaxy 2 proves that the Mario team was only getting started back in 2007. Here is just a partial list of all the new and wonderful ideas you'll experience: Light Yoshi, Cloud Mario, Rock Mario, bowling with Rock Mario, swimming between floating cubes of water, exploring a half-ice and half-fire planet, rolling giant snowballs, gliding with a massive bird, butt-stomping puzzle pieces into place, reading a supersized pop-up book and discovering that what seems like a brand new world is actually a loving remake of a classic Super Mario 64 level. There’s so much amazing extra stuff going on, in fact, that the old powers barely show up… but when they do, they're implemented in unique and surprising ways as well.

But you know what's best about Super Mario Galaxy 2? The game isn't a Wii stereotype. The graphics are gorgeous, the focus is on pure hardcore platforming and the tutorials refuse to treat you like a helpless child, throwing Mario right into the fray right at the beginning. This is Nintendo at its absolute best.

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132 comments

  • Cloud1Fair3 - December 12, 2010 5:32 a.m.

    Hmmm... not sure about FF13, obviously as my name suggests I'm a huge final fantasy fan. But I'm gonna agree with the Game Informer review that said it isn't a final fantasy feeling game, it's so fundamentally different from any final fantasy that it should be it's own game series. As an rpg it was alright, the combat is what makes it even playable for me, the story, characters and gameplay in general(100% linear???) made me dislike it. It might be biased but God of War 3 deserves to top this list for obvious reasons (I just killed a titan and a god in a matter of 15 minutes=erection lasting more than 4 hours). Anyways, now that the year is almost over, I'm gonna say just off what I've played not neccessarily a for sure, but Assassins Creed Brotherhood needs to be a top 5 of the year if not #1. So get on that gamesradar and maybe you'll earn my respect again as best online gaming site. IGN is a tough competitor.
  • TheTrooper424 - November 11, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    Mass Effect 2 FTW! How can you even compare Red Dead to that? I have both and personally I think RDR is just a GTA sequel with different skin. Instead of stealing cars you steal horses though...
  • Zepaw - October 14, 2010 3:37 a.m.

    I finally got around to playing RDR for real. I gave it a try but got so bored with the driving miss daisy mission I quit about a half hour in. I had too many games I wanted to play more at the time. I still believe Mass Effect 2 is my GOTY, but I can totally stand behind you giving it #1 in this list. Fantastic and deep game.
  • Chojiroll - September 24, 2010 4:07 p.m.

    @everyone who thinks ME2 should be top: I'm actually happy people are able to review games fairly. FF13 not being high up or ME2 being top are two good signs.
  • Sleuth - September 3, 2010 1:45 a.m.

    Great list here. ME 2 is certainly my favorite game of all time.
  • thegamer183 - August 5, 2010 3:43 a.m.

    red dead kicks ass
  • freezi42 - July 21, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    top 7 for me are 7.photo dojo 6.poke'mon p&g 5.god of war 3 4.modern warfare 2 3.monster hunter tri 2.Halo 3 1.Left for dead 2
  • awil117 - July 20, 2010 4:06 p.m.

    Yes! I'm going to challenge it! Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Dead Rising 2. :D
  • tayruh - July 19, 2010 8:21 p.m.

    Wow.. maybe I just hate life, but Mass Effect 2 is the only game I like in this list. Though, to be honest, I haven't enjoyed many games released this year, so these probably *are* the best ones this year. That's sad.
  • Bateman666666 - July 6, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    XBOX 360 EXCLUSIVES xbox winner of the year for games...
  • Ashkael - July 4, 2010 4:04 p.m.

    The fact that FFXIII and BioShock 2 are considered to be on the same level as ME2 and GOW3 invalidates this entire list. I have never had a worse time playing a current generation game than I had in FFXIII. And BioShock 2 was a completely unnecessary sequel that added little to the actual gameplay. It was more of an expansion pack than an actual game.
  • MangaPunkSai - July 4, 2010 12:57 a.m.

    Big toss-up between Mass Effect 2, Red Dead, and Bayonetta. I love the Mass Effect series, I liked Red Dead ALOT more than I expected to, and Bayonetta is a unique, campy romp that is fun to play over and over and over.
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - July 4, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    Red Dead Redemption = Batman Arkham Asylam? Game of the Year, calling it.
  • Killadis9 - July 3, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    RDR is the best game of all time. the credit music should be Wanted Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi and the game has traditional online competitive gaming and co-op [DLC] for around 60 dollars. Just Cause 2 should be at least 7th place for amazing graphics and gameplay for 4 stars but it should have multiplayer 4 more quality. assassins creed brotherhood, medel of honor and gran turismo 5 are top quality games to look out for later in the year PS: whoever thinks fat princess should be here is retarded
  • egregious - July 3, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    I eventually grew to enjoy Super Mario Galaxy 2 by the time I reached World 4, but my biggest gripe with the game is the fact that all of the characters that are talking down to the player like you're a four-year-old child. I also can't tell if Nintendo is serious or not trying to actually have a story in Mario games, but can we please get past "Bowser kidnaps Peach?" At this point it's obviously a running joke for Nintendo, but if the goal in the end is simply for Mario to defeat Bowser, you have a nearly endless amount of opportunities for even a slightly better story.
  • bambooshark81 - July 3, 2010 3:02 a.m.

    what no assasins creed
  • th3warr1or - July 2, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    Agreed with the placement of RDR. #1 game of the year IMO.
  • G_R7 - July 1, 2010 11:38 p.m.

    I haven't played Red Dead but thats because I am bored of sandboxes. However, I may give it a go sooner or later. But so far, the best game I have played this year is Super Mario Galaxy 2.
  • Kytl - July 1, 2010 8:43 p.m.

    Monster Hunter Tri should've been on this list somewhere.
  • dxlightning - July 1, 2010 4:17 p.m.

    Absolutely disagree with Bayonetta and FFXIII. Bayonetta is just Devil May Cry with a twist, you might as well have Dante's Inferno on there if you really think this is a top 7 game. If it were me I'd have Monster Hunter 3 at 6, Alan Wake at 7 - though I think it'd be best to just keep it at 5, because as good as those games are I'm sure they'll be surpassed by games in the second half of the year.

Showing 1-20 of 132 comments

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