This year has been a phenomenal year for video games. There have been as many huge let downs as well as some major surprises. Reflecting on this past year, it is easy to see we are in the middle of a great age for gamers. New technologies such as 3D and motion gaming have hit the shelves as well as improvements in graphics, online play, and a slew of great storytelling. Click on the title of the game to read the review!
10. Heavy Rain (PS3, PS4)
This epic story had everyone on the edge of their seat. Trying to figure out the killer was exciting and at times a bit unnerving. The graphics where downright gorgeous, the story was like something out of a well written novella. This game was something fresh and new in a video game world filled with sequels and copycats. Allowing gamers to play a game as close to a movie as had been seen yet, Heavy Rain, jump started the year and is still being talked about.
9. Call of Duty Black Ops (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
I would be insane to ignore the success of this game. Love it or hate it this game occupies a massive amount of gamers lives. The franchise made some much needed tweaks and improvements while keeping its core appeal intact. Building on the success of it’s earlier installments (a little game called Modern Warfare 2), Black Ops created the ultimate first-person shooter. Raising the bar once again, we are all very interested to see what next year’s inevitable release will consist of.
8. Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
This surprisingly massive destruction playground was a real stunner. The game itself was beautiful, diverse, and overall manly to the core. Never in a game did I get so much sadistic pleasure blowing the crap out of an entire country. I have logged 70+ hours in this game and still have countless more hours of destruction to go. The stunts, the vehicles, and enough ass kicking to make Chuck Norris tired made this game a must have.
This was one of the first true sandbox experiences I have ever encountered. You could do virtually anything you wanted. Think it would be cool to tether a truck to the bottom of a helicopter and use it as a wrecking ball through the city? Done. Always wanted to grapple from the bottom of a flying jet and parachute onto a speed boat? Done. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to take a motorcycle to the top of the highest mountain and ramp it off. Guess what? It can be done.
7. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
Oh Final Fantasy XIII, how I do love thee. Most likely the most controversial Final Fantasy game in the entire franchise, fans either hated it or loved it – with what seemed like no in between feelings. Reports of it being overly linear, a 40-hour tutorial, and one of the weaker stories surfaced upon release. As for myself, well, I absolutely love it. I find the linearity a blessing in disguise as it forces you to focus on the story. The 40 hour tutorial is welcomed with open arms as the battle system, leveling system, and Paradigm (party) system are incredibly intricate. Graphics are out of this world, rivaling the greatest games of all time, and each character has their own in-depth back story. I would rate this among the top 3 Final Fantasy games of all time, and just writing this makes me want to play it.
6. Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Yes, this game is hot off the presses. Yes, we waited 5 long years. Yes, it is amazing. This game is a jaw dropping car enthusiast masterpiece. This (thank God) was not your typical arcade zip through ninety degree turns at 180MPH racing game. This game requires skill, patience, a delicate touch, and it’s very easy on the eyes.
Easily one of the more beautiful racing simulations ever created, even with over 1,000 cars, Gran Turismo 5 has set the bar incredibly high. Every car drives like it’s real life counterpart, and despite complaints about damage – just don’t drive your car like an asshole. Tracks are beautifully laid out, backgrounds are photorealistic, both A-Spec and B-Spec modes will have you playing for hours, and the online community is incredibly robust. With enough races, cars, race tracks, and race types to keep your foot on the pedal (literally if you have a wheel peripheral) for an unfathomable amount of hours, this game is one that can’t be left out of any video game library.
5. Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
“It’s a me- Mario! – I’m’a gonna Win!”. If we only knew those classic words were going to ring true even in the year 2018. In my opinion, this could easily win Game of the Year. Attaining perfect scores on more than a few review sites, and building on the already phenomenal release of Super Mario Galaxy, this game will have you playing for hours. With 242 stars to collect, hundreds of levels all built differently and encompassing classic Nintendo details, a trip down memory lane is almost a requirement. My favorite part of Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the inclusion of Yoshi. For me, that brought it from a 9.5 to a 10/10. If you haven’t played this game, you absolutely need to.
4. Fable 3 (Xbox 360)
Here’s a game that surprised the hell out of me. I was a huge fan of the first game and absolutely hated the second. When Fable 3 was released, I was hesitant, to say the least. Hoping they built on the successes of the first, and learned from their mistakes on the second, I hopped into the world of Albion, eyes open wide and a concerned smile on my face. I was absolutely blown away. Taking the story to a whole new level, adding in morality decisions that truly made you think, and topping it all off with enough missions to last you easily sixty hours, Fable 3 is the definition of a complete game.
3. Halo Reach (Xbox 360)
Mmmm… Halo Reach. You, my friend, are a tasty treat. If you haven’t read our review, you definitely should do it right now. This game has everything. An incredible storyline, outstanding graphics, intense firefights, theater mode, forge mode, and of course the online multiplayer (to name a few). In terms of overall bang for your buck, Halo: Reach defines the term. To put over 200 hours into Halo: Reach would be easier than beating Medal of Honor in less than four hours. The game is huge, and a true work of art. Huge props to Bungie for creating one of the best first-person shooters of all time.
2. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)
Mass Effect 2 is an interesting game to summarize. Following the success of the first installment, appropriately titled Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 couldn’t have been more anticipated. Thousands of gamers lined up at their local game store for the midnight release, pounding their Mt. Dews and cramming Cheetos in anticipation for a great night. They were certainly not disappointed. Bioware took what they knew worked well in the first game, listened to the complaints of their fans, and fixed the glaring issues. The ability to import your save file from the first game was brilliant, as it made the game feel like a true sequel. While there are still a few missteps, the game is as close to perfect as you’re going to find in an open-world RPG. Commander Shepherd solidified his spot among the great video game icons of the decade, and the story will forever be remembered. I just can’t wait for Mass Effect 3.
1. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360, PS3)
You take control of John Marston. Husband, father, cowboy, helping hand, and ex gang member on a hunt to find the man that ruined your life. Thrown into one of the largest open worlds in a video game to date, you’ll find yourself spending hours touring the countryside. From the northern most peaks of the great state of Texas to the southern tip of Mexico, this game is huge – and absolutely beautiful.
This game took up my ENTIRE summer. This was a stunner from its well written and exciting story mode to a very unique and brilliant online community. The online portion is enough to go out and buy this, but mix in a story with a slew of rememberable characters and you have yourself one unforgettable masterpiece. The developers also have released an array for DLC to keep the life blood in this game fresh and exciting. The zombie DLC is by far the best and reasonably priced DLC of the entire year. It’s a game all in itself. I recon we will not see the likes of another Red Dead Redemption for a long time. Should easily get Game of the Year 2010 simply due to the immense appreciation for the fans that Rockstar Games has shown after release. Just when the game feels stale, they listen and unleash another furious DLC to keep you entertained for another 100 hours. Man, I love this game.