Saturday, 1 January 2011

Feature - CeX’s Top Titles of 2010

It is certainly hard to believe that another year has flown by in what seems to have been no time at all. Alas, this warrants a nostalgic look at some of the best that 2010 has had to offer, a glimpse back at some excellent games that you may have played or accidentally missed out on. Nevertheless, here are what I categorize in no particular order, as 2010’s top 10 best and must-have games!

Xbox 360’s Halo is an icon on Microsoft’s platform, in fact almost anybody who likes first-person shooters will know of the legend that is Master Chief. Arriving just in time to reinvigorate Microsoft’s aging console, Halo: Reach set the boundaries once again for space aged shooting. With an excellent multiplayer experience, plenty of additions to an already fantastic formula, coupled for the first time with 4-player cooperative campaign mode, this is pretty much a staple in any Xbox 360 catalogue.

Rockstar’s multi-platform cowboy sandbox experience known as Red Dead Redemption is another one of 2010’s greatest highlights. After the poor reception of Grand Theft Auto IV, it was only right that a company as well established as Rockstar brought to the table something as excellent as RDR. This game took the mechanics of GTAIV, improved them in every aspect and threw the resulting masterpiece into the Wild West. The result, an epic tale of one man’s fight for justice through a long and engrossing story that was every bit as engaging as it was exciting.

Arguably the best technical achievement of 2010 should without any question go to Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Nintendo Wii. The Italian plumber had a lot to live up to after the roaring success of Super Mario Galaxy, but the follow-up was considered by almost all critics as a perfect game, a must own title, improving on the original in every way and one of the best things to ever come out for the Wii. Brilliant puzzle design, a wide variety of replay value and fun mechanics alongside what is one of the most iconic casts of characters in video game history, makes Super Mario Galaxy 2 the must own game for the Nintendo Wii this year.

Going right back to the beginning of 2010, I have found many people miss the name of Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360 as one of the best games 2010 had to offer. Mass Effect 2 offered an engrossing role-play adventure, one filled with endless replay value thanks to a brilliantly scripted story that resulted in numerous endings and customization that would have the most die hard RPG fan leap for joy. In fact the game is so good that a Playstation 3 release is set for early next year to make sure as many people as possible get to experience this gem.

The Xbox 360 exclusive Alan Wake is next for an honorable mention. This game sparked with brilliance because of its originality, the narrated story, intuitive game mechanics and foreboding atmosphere helped rocket Alan Wake to instant stardom. It was certainly something special using light to vanquish demons and reminded me almost of a very serious version of Luigi’s Mansion on the Gamecube. The only criticism I have of this game is that it didn’t come out on the Playstation 3.

The best role-play adventure of 2010 was without any question, Demon’s Souls on the Playstation 3. So much hype and talk spread around this so called ‘’brutal yet simply brilliant adventure.’’ Demon’s Souls was the most difficult game of 2010, but also the most rewarding. It had a perfect difficulty curve, never felt cheap and created a perfect atmosphere of abandonment as you traversed the wastelands. With the addition of the amazing bloodstain mechanic that allowed players all over the world to communicate with each other by laying down helpful messages and hints in other players’ worlds, this was the number one title to have for any hardcore role-play fan.

Loved by some, hated by others, Final Fantasy XIII still has to make it onto the list of 2010’s most memorable and best games. The Final Fantasy series is iconic, there’s simply no denying that and what the series does well, is tell mesmerizing stories and accompany them with intuitive turn-based action, both of which were delivered in this installment. Some of the most beautiful graphics to date, a vibrant cast of characters and excellent narration helped propel this epic tale and as a result, made for one amazing experience on both 360 and Playstation 3.

The legendary Dark Knight certainly put on a phenomenal show in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Available for both the 360 and PS3, Arkham Asylum saw Batman undertake numerous enemies including the Joker, Killer Croc and Poison Ivy in what turned out to be one of the best games of 2010. Action hero games can be hit and miss but this one came out on top with great fighting mechanics, an excellent assortment of stealth to action game-play, plenty of amazing gadgets to play around with and an incredible voice cast and narrative that drove this story along.

There have been a lot of excellent game releases for the Nintendo DS this year, but no game had as much hype an anticipation as Dragon Quest: Defenders of the Starry Sky. The marketing campaign was really full out for the new portable adventure and rightfully so as an impressive eighty hours could easily be accumulated in this adventure. Sticking with the traditional Dragon Quest formula, this addition to the series didn’t re-invent the wheel, but added excellent multiplayer dimensions to the game and plenty of customization, making it a keeper in a catalogue of impressive DS titles in 2010.

Finally, we arrive at Call of Duty: Black Ops, with more than 600 million hours of game-time clocked globally and over one billion dollars of revenue made, this is certainly the pinnacle of multiplayer entertainment. Everyone is playing Black Ops and there’s good reason for this, absolutely astonishing multiplayer components including great maps, weapons, upgrades, perks and replay value help rocket this game to the must own game this Christmas holiday. Pick up a pad, load up your weapon and get online for this fast-paced and thrilling experience.

There we have it ladies and gentleman, a list of this years’ top titles, all of which offer something special or unique in their own interesting and intuitive ways. Make sure to get your hands on these great games either at your local CeX store or online at

Igor Kharin, CeX UK Contributor.
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