2010 Game of the Year Media Picks Thread: Updated 1/4

Feb 14, 2005
Kyoto, Japan
If you find a new GOTY, please post in this thread. Thanks!

Archive: 2009, 2008, 2007

Current standings:

Mass Effect 2 - 44.5**
Red Dead Redemption - 35.5*
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 11
Heavy Rain - 5.5**
Bayonetta - 2
Minecraft - 2
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - 2
Alan Wake - 1
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - 1
Bioshock 2 - 1
Fallout: New Vegas - 1
Halo: Reach - 1
Super Meat Boy - 0.5*

* Why the half-point?
RipTen said:
The RipTeam was deadlocked between Red Dead Redemption and Super Meat Boy. However, once we really thought about it - both of these games represent everything that is right about gaming today, and they both deserve to be Game of the Year.
** Why the half-point?
Lucas Siegel said:
Here, Seth and I team-up to lay out our favorites of the year, and declare two "Best of 2010."
[360] Alan Wake

Evan Narcisse said:
Lots of video-game covers have a bold M on their lower left corner, but none have felt as mature as Alan Wake does. Its unsettled titular character carries adult concerns — a stalled career, a troubled marriage — into a psychological thriller set in a town taken over by a shadowy occult force. Alan Wake's biggest triumph lies in turning metaphor into game play. Yes, you fight the possessed townspeople of Bright Falls with the typical pistols and shotguns, but only after shining light on them to burn the darkness off. Its mix of meta-awareness and Hitchcockian suspense make Alan Wake a unique and fun experiment and one of the best games of the year.
[360][PS3] Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

That Gamer Hub
Brandon said:
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood had a lot to contend with, namely the fact that people were sceptical that Ubisoft could create a full sequel within a year. But boy did they pull it off. The main storyline alone kept the players engrossed for hours, with copious amounts of sub-stories to keep us enthralled in the universe. The multiplayer was a risky step, but one which paid off exponentially, as it’s overwhelming success and innovative execution is one that keeps us all coming back for more. Truly the stand-out game of the year.
[360][PS3] Bayonetta

DarkZero (UK)
Ian Dickson said:
...Bayonetta is one of the most beautifully crafted videogames of all time. To most it’s either too bizarre or simply a platform for filth (very few people can get past the idea of a semi-nude woman fighting demons with her hair) but for the ones that ‘get it’ Bayonetta is a triumph – the end result of near forty years of videogaming history.

[360][PS3][PC] Bioshock 2

Tom Chick said:
I'll just say that of all the videogames to come out this year, none had something as important to say as Bioshock 2. That it says it in the context of a richly atmospheric and consistently surprising follow-up to my favorite game of 2007, with a nifty multiplayer game to boot, is just gravy.
[360][PS3][PC] Fallout: New Vegas

Andrei Dumitrescu said:
The great triumph for New Vegas is that it delivers a world which is closer to feeling alive than any other delivered in video gaming this year, including that of Mass Effect or that of Fable III.
[360] Halo: Reach

Yahoo! Games (UK)
Paul Davies said:
We have rarely, if ever, encountered a game so finely tuned as ‘Halo: Reach’. Technical considerations aside, you really feel like a Covenant conquering Spartan hero after setting down the controller.
[PS3] Heavy Rain

Scott Steinberg said:
An interactive thriller that raises the bar for adventure gaming by injecting genuine choice and emotion into its suspenseful nonlinear narrative. It features storytelling that's every bit as gripping and cinematic as anything Hollywood produces.
Seth Robison said:
Unlike a lot of games that claim to expand your gameplay choices with false morality path dialog options that ultimately lead to you the same place, choices in Heavy Rain have permanent storyline implications, including character death. Visually and audibly, the game couldn’t be much sharper without being done in FMV, and even the loading screens, which force you to look into the eyes of the PCs as they stare back or shift around nervously, builds their connection with the player.

Total Video Games
Gwynne Dixon said:
Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain is not just a great game, it's a game that's pioneering a whole new genre. Where the gameplay behind other third-person titles puts the impetus on surviving - slavishly avoiding that game over screen or, by modern standards, restarting from the last checkpoint - Heavy Rain challenges gamers to see how they can guide a storyline based on their actions as a character or interactions with other characters.

It is a fully interactive storyline, with the stresses placed firmly on fully and interactive. By going against all of your instincts and allowing your character to get busted by police or perhaps even killing off a character, you can effectively unlock full arcs of storyline that would otherwise remain untold. Subtle dialogue choices then have the capacity to make or break relationships with secondary characters, culminating in a complex plot that weaves its way to a dramatic and startling conclusion to say the least.
The Totally Rad Show

Neon Kelly said:
With hindsight, the game's weaker areas are easy to see, but they're easy to forgive, too. The script may falter on occasion, or the plot take a turn that would be criticised if it appeared in a film or TV show - but it speaks volumes that we're making such comparisons in the first place. David Cage and Quantic Dream have successfully bridged the gap between films and games; the bridge isn't perfect, but it's strong enough that other people will follow in their wake. For the time being, however, Heavy Rain stands alone. It's provocative, hugely exciting, and unafraid to show its true feelings. No wonder it scares the hell out of us.
[360][PS3][PC] Mass Effect 2

All Age Gaming
Craig Cirillo and Danny Yee said:
Bioware brought to Q1 2010 their epic space saga with a more streamlined approach to the gameplay whilst still keeping a strong focus on plot development and engaging characters. The battle gameplay was changed to be more of a 3rd person action shooter with some RPG elements mixed in but the biggest strengths of Mass Effect 2 is how it is able to create a living universe and give the impression your actions really makes an effect on the galaxy.
BioWare's action-RPG sequel's biggest issue probably lies in its reliance on stereotypical cover-shooter level design, but the abilities and powers you could put into your version of Commander Shepard and his/her squad kept things very fresh and exciting.
AV Club
Mass Effect 2 pushes the limits of the traditional role-playing game, jettisoning the fiddly details of loot, stats, and gear into the cold vacuum of space. Good riddance. This streamlining allows players to invest more emotion in the plot and the many decisions they must make as they assemble a ragtag team of allies to confront an alien threat.

The Brutalgamer
Simon Flatman said:
A deserving winner that captured the essence of sci-fi literature and framed it within slick and varied gameplay mechanics. The writing was sharp, the characters made you care and the views were phenomenal. Even mining was enjoyable. Mass Effect 2′s entwining character arcs inspired multiple playthroughs, and although adding morality to games isn’t new, Bioware handled it with grace and intrigue.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Peter Nowak said:
A top-notch game generally offers four things: amazing visuals, great sound and voice acting, varied gameplay and a well-written story. No other release in 2010 nails all four like Mass Effect 2.
Alex Riviello said:
You’ve never played a game like Mass Effect 2. You’ve never carried a storyline across multiple games like this and never have your decisions had so much weight. You’ve never seen such a perfect melding of story and action, character and strategy.
An action/adventure with a strong emphasis on gunplay, abilities both active and passive, plus an impressive cast with a breathtaking range of responses dependant on your own decisions, Mass Effect 2 brought together the best elements of modern gaming and upped the ante in every respect.
Dose.ca (Canada)
Richard Chow said:
An outstanding story, great firefights, fantastic dialogue and compelling, well-developed characters made this sci-fi RPG/shooter a must-play. Your decisions have great consequences, which could lead to a number of story paths as you visit alien worlds full of unforgettable visuals - and to top things off, there is plenty of excellent optional downloadable content to give you opportunity to explore the galaxy even further.
Each member of Shepard’s team fascinates; the world is visually breathless in magnitude, and the enthralling combat and the rewarding RPG elements effortless gel. Rich in mythology, gameplay and visuals, Mass Effect 2 is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Tom Bramwell said:
Other RPGs have built us up from amnesia and sun-soaked castaways to defenders of the universe, and in this respect Mass Effect 2 can't exactly claim any special quality or inspirational breakthrough – but it's a testament to BioWare's superb craft that something so controlled and so deliberately polished can still feel so empowering from start to finish, and that shouldn't be overlooked.
Eurogamer (Italy)
Commander Shepard wins then the third stage and the second gold medal, bringing to light once again the love of you gamers towards what has quickly become a true icon of this generation gaming.
Evil Avatar
lost said:
It offers some genuinely heart-breaking moments, delivered by a cast that, quite remarkably, manages to be more interesting than the original crew of the Normandy. Deeply involving side-quests, and some unique locations ensure that Mass Effect has now carved out its own specific spot in the world of science fiction and fantasy.
David Collins said:
You play once again as Commander Shepard who is about to face one hell of a challenge; save humanity from destruction in a mission he might not survive. Thankfully, however, he won’t be alone. You have to assemble a crack team to help you, choosing from ten captivating characters, each with their own personality, background, range of special abilities and unique quests.

Gamer Limit
Boasting one of the greatest, dynamic ending sequences of all time, and full, perfectly casted voice acting, Mass Effect 2 is a force to be reckoned with. With a myriad of choices at every turn mixed with high paced hi-tech shooting action, you really can’t go wrong with Commander Shephard and his crew the second time around.
Gamereactor (UK)
It followed the Bioware tradition with its great storyline, and almost everything bad that could be said about the first game had been removed - no graphical glitches, no annoying Mako, no hassle with a million different equipment upgrades - and the action and controls were much tighter and simply more fun this time around. No other RPG, or game, came even close to Bioware’s masterpiece this year.

The Gamers' Temple
Everything about this second entry in the amazing series is absolute gaming perfection. The story and characters are miles beyond anything seen in video games to this point, the graphics, sound and voice acting are equally impressive and, in a departure from the first game, Mass Effect 2's firefights are quick, action-based skirmishes that are more Call of Duty than Final Fantasy.



Geoff Hathaway said:
The improvements over the first game are apparent even at first glance. It is a game that kicks you in the teeth from the opening cutscene and the ride doesn’t end until the final battle. I have never played a console game that left me wanting more than Mass Effect 2...
Rashid Sayed said:
Mass Effect has set the bar too high. It will be interesting to see how Bioware betters it with Mass Effect 3.
Giant Bomb
Mass Effect 2 makes great improvements over the original game, streamlining where necessary and managing to make the action feel, well, a lot more action-y. But it's the universe and the characters that are the stars here, with enough great side missions to let you get to know the entire cast and a main quest that, despite ending with a sort of lame-looking boss, feels intensely rewarding. Even getting your crew together manages to excite, with large portions of the game feeling like some sort of intergalactic Ocean's Eleven as you traipse around the stars, picking up new members of your suicidal running crew and completing tasks for them to ensure their loyalty.
God is a Geek
Asim Tanvir said:
Best described as an epic space opera, this gem from BioWare is a title that just keeps on giving right until its breathtaking climax. Every single aspect of the game is so expertly crafted and put together that you can’t help but be drawn into the amazing sci-fi themed world. Whether you’re taking down a few Reapers on a risky mission or conversing with a team member, throughout the length of the game, you feel like you are Commander Shepard.
The branching storyline is totally engrossing, its characters captivating, and the gameplay is rewarding. Mass Effect 2 is a cinematic experience that teters on gaming perfection.
Hooked Gamers
A tremendous story was brought to the table with the game's release at the beginning of the year. A cast of both new and old characters and a choice driven narrative held our interest from the start and never let go.
Though other great games came later in the year, none carried the emotional power of Mass Effect 2. No other game resonated with us so deeply.
Like Tiger Woods before he got busted, Mass Effect 2 nails absolutely everything. Its combat manages to masterfully cater to both fans of cover-based shooting and RPG spell-casting, its refined conversation system makes character interactions dynamic rather than disjointed, and its assortment of alien worlds rewards exploration with side quests that are actually distinguishable from each other, rather than being a cloned set of menial plot filling tasks and fetch quests.
Ludwig Kietzmann said:
Mass Effect 2 is a game for those of us who like to entertain the rather whimsical notion that a fictional world has some sort of permanence, even when you turn your attention to something else. It's the belief that even while you're standing in front of the mirror, squeezing a pimple, Miranda's doing research and Garrus is still adjusting relays or whatever he does in the bowels of the Normandy. BioWare has made a deliberate, serious and herculean effort to cover up the ugly truth: when you walk away, the universe turns off all the lights, and everyone explodes on a pixel-ecular level.
Kill Screen

Todd Kenreck said:
The one game that pushed the boundaries of gaming like no other this year, they let you create your own story, explore exotic planets with a fantastic cast of characters, actors, music, writing, and addictive gameplay . "Mass Effect 2" is our much-deserved game of the year.
Russ Frushtick said:
Perhaps what's most incredible about "Mass Effect 2" was how willing the developers were to toss what didn't work about the first game and start from scratch. The combat, the mission structure, the inventory, the character advancement. And with all these changes came a far superior game.
Robert Dillon said:
In our review, we heaped praise on the sequel to the also-award-winning Mass Effect. With an immersive story, it’s an epic space sci-fi. The fact that everything works so well together secured that this game was the highlight of 2010.
Lucas Siegel said:
A story that pulls you along for the nearly two full days it takes to play it, and makes it feel like you just watched a two hour movie instead. This is the best game of the year on so many levels, with fantastic, easy-to-access gameplay, a near-perfect story, amazing sound and visuals, it hits all the notes necessary for an awesome video game.
Next Gen News
Filthy Eskimo said:
A beautifully crafted game by a team of passionate and skillful developers. The incredible attention to detail ,in every single element of the game is nothing short of breath taking. [sic]
Phoenix New Times
Tyler Hughes said:
The second act of Bioware's three-part epic space odyssey finds Commander Shepard compiling an enigmatic team for a suicide mission and improves upon the original gameplay formula in every way.
Planet Xbox 360

The Salt Lake Tribune
Vince Horiuchi said:
What unfolds is a truly interactive story that gives the player the power to control Shepard’s fate, all while encountering interesting, fully fleshed-out characters. If only today’s Hollywood science-fiction films could be as compelling.
Snackbar Games
Andrew Passafiume said:
It provides one of the most satisfying gameplay experiences I’ve seen in an RPG, and does shooting better than a lot of shooters. Complete with a lengthy story and plenty of memorable side quests, ME2 is an absolute triumph from start to finish.
Andrea Monza said:
Encased in two DVDs (and also in January on a Playstation 3 Blu-ray), fans of role-playing games have a simply unforgettable experience, thanks to the unique art direction and script worthy of the great masterpieces of science fiction. Need I say more?
Feb 14, 2005
Kyoto, Japan
Ryan Kenward said:
The amount of depth and complexity in every possible regard will likely make this stand out for years to come as one of the all time greatest games. Commander Shepard sets out to save the galaxy once again, and takes you along for one hell of a ride.

Xbox 360 Achievements
Dan Webb said:
Leading the way in both visuals and with its epic score, thanks to BioWare’s save system across the franchise, Mass Effect 2 was not only an in-depth experience for new players, but had a certain personal touch for those who had put the hours in with the original.
[PC] Minecraft

PC Gamer (UK)
Jaz McDougall said:
Minecraft sits among the very best of games, just because you can play so many games inside it. It’s a philosophy taken to its natural conclusion in glorious software. It’s a primal urge – to build a goddamn hill fort – in gaming form. Markus has sold enough copies to create an army of bricklayers. This is why Minecraft is the game of 2010.
Rock Paper Shotgun
It's an amazing demonstration of what can be done by a small team (essentially just Mr Notch) if the ideas are a good. It's both the power of procedural generation and the beauty that can be found in lo-fi presentation. This is very much What We Were Hoping For when this indie revolution started to spool up for real.
[360][PS3] Red Dead Redemption

Ure "Vader" Paul said:
Red Dead Redemption reached the very top branches of the industry, allowing gamers to get involved into an exciting, Western-style open-world adventure with an incredibly detailed environment, amazing visuals, compelling characters and first-rate voice-overs.
Associated Press
Lou Kesten said:
It's more than "Grand Theft Auto" on a horse, and it's all because of John Marston, the repentant former bandit at the heart of this Wild West drama. He's the first Rockstar protagonist with a heart, and his journey toward redemption is the most rewarding trip I took all year.
Cheat Code Central
Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar's latest opus. The simplest description of RDR is that it's Grand Theft Auto set in the Wild West, but even that description doesn't completely do the game justice. RDR has one of the most fully realized environments in a game, along with a colorful cast of characters, enthralling gameplay, and tons of things to do, there is very little not to like about Read Red Redemption.

Critical Gamer (UK)
Matt said:
Games have repeatedly failed to do the Old West justice, but Red Dead Redemption broke the mould, riding into town on a mule-headed woman and shooting the place up. John Marston was 2010's most memorable lead and I was thoroughly invested in his story, charmed by his short attention span and simple approach to life. I was kept engrossed long after RDR's Spring release thanks to impressive competitive and cooperative multiplayer and excellent DLC, including that staple of the Western genre; a zombie apocalypse. But more than anything, I couldn’t shake the simple joys of wandering its beautiful and vast landscapes long after I had taken my final meaningful journey with the Marstons.
Joel said:
I look at John Marston as kind of the Michael Jordan or Joe Montana of Red Dead Redemption. Without MJ or Joe Montana the Bulls and 49ers would have never been nearly as successful, and in my opinion the same could be said about Red Dead Redemption.
Digital Spy (UK)
Matthew Reynolds said:
It's arguably the first game to nail an authentic Western atmosphere, and constructed a place as enjoyable as any of Grand Theft Auto's jam-packed cities, with desolate lands hiding settlements populated by passionate and believable locals. Narratively it's the firm's finest to date, with a truly likeable lead in John Marston, whose story you will want to see until the very end.

Entertainment Weekly

Eurogamer (Spain)
Jose Antonio Cabeza said:
Having played Red Dead Redemption, I can not help thinking that the guys at Rockstar brought this game to a point that captures all the essence of a good western. We can safely say they did it too well. Red Dead Redemption is the kind of game that makes you want to live in this era of tough guys outside the law, where survival of the fittest, the fastest revolver, and sometimes, the one with the language and the brain and the weapon. Rockstar has managed to make Red Dead Redemption such that we all want to be outlaws to the end.
Extreme Gamer
While it might be a little slower then some of the other titles on the list, it has character, strong gameplay mechanics and a solid story that is full of surprises. What "Red Dead" accomplished was no easy feat, taking the concept of the first "Red Dead" and totally revamping it to be the ultimate western video-game.
In all, Red Dead Redemption makes our list because it inspires imagination and engagement in players, giving the game a sense of agency and purpose, which is what many (if not all) games aspire to.
Game Informer

Gamer (Netherlands)
Michel Musters said:
Also called "Grand Theft Horse," Red Dead Redemption is more than that. This lively sandbox game puts you in the shoes of John Marston, a cowboy during the winding days of the Wild West, crossing between America and Mexico to save his wife and child. Although the game has the same weaknesses as Grand Theft Auto IV, such as the stiff movements of Marston and the sometimes cumbersome aiming system, they are just cracks the joints between the atmosphere and storytelling. Moreover, it feels very natural riding a horse, contributing to the true feeling of a lonesome cowboy. Further, the story reaches an unprecedented climax, making Red Dead Redemption the best game of 2010.
Blake Morse said:
Out of all the note-worthy titles to grace us with their excellence this year, Red Dead Redemption definitely takes the cake. It wasn't a rootin' tootin' yee-haw cowboy romp; it was a tale of, well, redemption and a dying era in America's history as the West was slowly won over by the Industrial Revolution and cowpokes like John Marston became outdated and obsolete. Sergio Leone would've given his left nut to direct a tale this epic. The visuals were just as impressive with sunsets across the wide open plains of Mexico and bullet time-enhanced gunfights seemed straight out of the The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. This is not only the Western genre done right, but it's also proof that Rockstar is still the uncontested king of the sandbox experience.
It's hard to argue with a game as accomplished as Red Dead Redemption. This is a game with a lot of things going for it--a complete package that offers excellent gameplay, stirring music, memorable characters expertly given life with superb voice acting, and an enthralling story taken from the pages of classic Western films.
Will Tuttle said:
Even though I knew John Marston had a shadowy past and had most likely done deplorable things, it was impossible not to want to see him succeed. Ultimately, he's a simple man (some might even say too simple, given how easily he's talked into doing bad things for bad people) with simple wants and needs. All he cares about is doing whatever needs to be done to save his family. This truly is a tale of redemption in more ways than one. How can you not appreciate that?
Red Dead Redemption is a staggering achievement as a sandbox game, combining a gigantic, diverse world with an exacting attention to detail and character. Every stretch of terrain, from the hills and scrub-deserts of New Austin to the rolling prairies and snowy mountains of West Elizabeth, is uniquely beautiful and liberating to explore, especially on horseback. Sunsets and rainfall can make your surroundings achingly pretty, and everywhere you go, you can bank on there being something interesting to do just around the corner (even if “interesting” sometimes means “getting jumped by six bears at once”).
Good Game
Hex said:
While some may say it's just Grand Theft Horsies, the sum of its parts made it so much more. That sensation of looking out over a vast plain on your mighty stead [sic], seeing your destination way off in the distance and starting the ride to it, only to stop and help or rob some poor souls on the way or hunt some armadillos, it was a truly immersive experience.
The Guardian (UK)
Keith Stuart said:
For me, this was never in question; it was always Red Dead. The first time I played, I saw an outlaw murder a prostitute on the steps of a saloon; I chased him and gunned him down. It was a tiny piece of emergent narrative, but it spoke volumes about what this game was – a universe equally created by the designers and every individual player.
Inside Gaming

Joystick Division
James Hawkins said:
Everything about it is as close to perfect as a video game can get -- it is strongly written, beautifully conceived, moving, thrilling, atmospheric, original, and most of all, very fun. No other game this year can boast so many qualities.
Nick de Bruyne said:
Today, the cowboy gets to ride away into the sunset as Red Dead Redemption takes our number one spot as the Lazygamer 2010 Game of the Year. A huge story mode, with a great story, tons of fun to be had, great looking visuals and amazing versus as well as co-operative multiplayer are just some of the reasons that Red Dead Redemption comes out on top.
Loot Ninja
Matt Banks said:
Rockstar’s unique take on the Wild West coupled with terrific open world gameplay, a fantastic story, a score to remember, and characters we’ve all come to know and love, Red Dead Redemption deserves all the praise it’s sure to get in the 2010 Game of the Year awards.
Maniac (Germany)
Behrang Ghassemi said:
As a fan of the GTA series and the "open world" concept as a whole, Red Dead Redemption had good cards for me from the beginning. Since I am also a great admirer of cultivated wild-west action, my anticipation was great, as were also my expectations. RDR could fulfill this almost completely and even exceed it in some respects. The action, thanks to the Auto-Aim feature and the ability to take cover, is almost perfectly implemented. The side missions are plentiful and offer plenty of variety. And the randomly spawning mini-quests, such as saving prostitutes from angry customers, horse thieves, or pitting you in the classic duel, is the salt in the savory Tex-Mex stew. Only the slightly effeminate acting by hero John Marston mars a few highlights, but the bottom line is that somewhat boring story leaves a bit be desired. For a sequel, the developers should consult films by Franco Nero (Django) and Clint Eastwood (the "Dollar" Trilogy), otherwise, an improvement in my eyes will be hard. Red Dead Redemption is for me not only the best game this year, but also in recent years.
MTV Game Awards (Germany)
Aaaaaand ... in the main category is-drum roll! - Rockstar masterpiece Red Dead Redemption. Greetings in the dusty plains!
PlayStation LifeStyle
Anthony Severino said:
Normally, games based on the Wild West never properly capture the essence of the era. As Red Dead Redemption has shown, it’s not all about gun-slinging and duels to the death at dawn. No. The Wild West takes on a life of its own: it’s a world filled with wonder, crime, nobility and struggle. It’s a much simpler time, while being much more difficult to survive. Living off the land by hunting and farming is the base of the economy. The measure of a man is through his deeds, good or bad.
Rockstar has managed to improve on a tried and true formula many thought they'd already perfected with Grand Theft Auto IV. What we got instead was a better game, one that not only looked and played better - but delivered more content per square inch than any Rockstar game that has come before.
San Jose Mercury News
Gieson Cacho said:
While "Bayonetta" has the style, Rock Star San Diego's gun-slinging saga has the substance. The studio created a gorgeous vision of the Wild West and filled it with compelling characters and a range of stories. The breadth of experiences is breathtaking and it's all held together by John Marston, one of the best heroes in years. It's the only game this year that's truly epic.
Red Dead Redemption distinguished itself in a number of ways on the road to earning the nod as Game of the Year. Though easy, it does the game a disservice to explain away its success as nothing more than favorable response to the Western theme wrapped around the proven Grand Theft Auto formula. Yes, the romanticism of riding the range as a notorious gunslinger turned out to hold a powerful appeal, but so many parts contributed to creating that experience.

Thunderbolt Games
Calvin Kemph said:
It’s a perfected open-world game with a breathtaking setting, an excellent musical score, a story filled with memorable characters, and a successful attempt at striking an emotional connection with the player. Rockstar San Diego have achieved something spectacular here, creating a modern classic that will be remembered for years to come.
The Times (UK)

The core idea of Red Dead Redemption is revitalizing, the beautiful scenery and open-world Western exploration is something that rivals a classic Spaghetti Western film, while the storyline is unmatched with anything seen in 2010 open-world titles.
Rainier Van Autrijve said:
Red Dead Redemption is one of the best sandbox games ever released and is an absolute treasure trove of freedom. You can spend your days as a hunter, a gambler, a bounty hunter, or whatever else comes to mind. It only gets better once you go online and play with other people, turning the entire world into your playground. In this respect, Red Dead Redemption has no equal. Fans would do well to pick up what can now be considered the best Western game out so far.
Yahoo! Games
Gamers have been clamoring for a great Wild West game for years, but few could have imagined anything remotely as cool as Rockstar's open-world feast. From its sepia-toned visuals and Morricone-inspired soundtrack to its spectacular gunplay and driving plot, it captured the essence of the Western film genre without sacrificing an ounce of gameplay. Red Dead is a serious tour de force, and our pick of the Best Game of 2010.
[PC] StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Hosni Auji said:
Fans have had to wait over a decade for the StarCraft sequel and that was sure to jack up expectations and mount the pressure but Blizzard proved cool as ice. Wings of Liberty rose to the occasion admirably and provided PC gamers with a fantastic RTS experience that injected a dose of innovation and yet remained true to the essence of its predecessor.
Jason Schreier said:
If 1998's StarCraft revolutionized the real-time strategy genre, StarCraft II perfected it. Everything is polished, clean and user-friendly, whether you're playing against the computer or other humans. Like chess, StarCraft II appeals to an extraordinarily wide range of players, from newbies to professionals. Anyone can play and anyone can get good; even if you don't have perfect instincts for micromanagement, with enough practice you can still learn how to play the game at a competent level.
[WII] Super Mario Galaxy 2

David Sanchez said:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 provided some of the best—if not the best—platforming ever. It crafted its own personality with its addictive, engaging, and totally rewarding brand of running and jumping action, and it managed to feel like a completely different game when compared to its predecessor.
Damn Lag
Steve Bogda said:
It’s one of those rare, perfect titles that leads us to ask our annual question: How can video games possibly get any better?
Chad Concelmo said:
Every colorful, beautifully designed level in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is bursting with more creativity and exhilarating moments than any other game we have played all year. It is almost impossible not to smile with complete joy while playing through some of the absolutely magnificent sequences in Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Remember the first time you burrowed through the ground with the giant drill? Or soared around a planet on the back of Yoshi? These kind of wondrous, jaw-dropping moments populate Super Mario Galaxy 2 from start to finish.
It takes an already great concept and perfects it to the bone. Best Wii game of all time, best Mario game of all time, and best game of 2010.

Gamereactor (Sweden)
When we sat with a grin on his face, we tried to keep track of all three. When we nodded to the beat we turned my head to cope with the weird gravity. Right there was Super Mario Galaxy 2's power: how it developed both feelings of happiness as a game in terms of commitment. Nintendo managed so well with this for all the tasty mix, that one did not have epic storytelling, expensive voice actors or high-resolution textures. Just a lot of damn ingenuity.
Thomas L. McDonald said:
This is just a pure delight, with nary a single element out of place. Thanks to the more gradual learning curve, an in-game helper, and co-op play, this is a good pick for the whole family, even younger gamers.
Games TM (UK) Issue 104, Page 156

The old man proves he's still got it. For sheer game design genius, Shiggy's most glorious creation is still the plumber to beat. Long live the birthday boy, King Mario.
Level (Sweden)

Metro (UK)
A near perfect video game experience, with not an ounce of fat and an absolute refusal to repeat itself. The controls are sublime and there's genuinely a new idea on every single stage.
[360][PC] Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is not so much the game of year in what it does right - which is everything - but in what it does wrong - nothing. Super Meat Boy is a perfect game. The visuals are perfect, the sound is perfect, the controls are perfect. The game is only as hard as you are skilled and you will never blame the game when you fail and will surely exalt triumphantly when you succeed.
Jul 27, 2009
This is the year of Red Dead Redemption. It was a phenomenal game and the best of the high-profile games this year. It's also the first successful game in the Western genre (IMO), which is a bit unbelievable considering how rich the genre is, and how American.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 was great, but too similar to Galaxy 1 to be a real contender in my opinion.


Oh, bitch bitch bitch.
Oct 24, 2007
dvolovets said:
I don't understand why everyone's forgetting about Super Mario Galaxy 2. Admittedly, though, a ton of great games came out this year. RDR and Bayonetta are both right up there...
It used that same old boring gravity and spherical worlds gimmick. Its pretty much just a complete rehash with minimal effort put in.
Dec 18, 2005
HK-47 said:
It used that same old boring gravity and spherical worlds gimmick. Its pretty much just a complete rehash with minimal effort put in.
Well, no that's not true at all. It's actually very different, the level design philosophy.


Doesn't buy fighting games to actually play them
Jun 6, 2009
dvolovets said:
I don't understand why everyone's forgetting about Super Mario Galaxy 2. Admittedly, though, a ton of great games came out this year. RDR and Bayonetta are both right up there...
Because it's on the Wii. As much as I love it, it isn't even best platformer of the year on Wii.

For me it was SSFIV, amazing game. Technically just an update, so I'd go with Heavy Rain.
Feb 21, 2010
HK-47 said:
It used that same old boring gravity and spherical worlds gimmick. Its pretty much just a complete rehash with minimal effort put in.
:lol How much did you play? Galaxy games can never get old, even if they made a Galaxy 3 because the whole point behind the games is to throw out rules and let the designers put in whatever brilliant and creative level designs they have into the game.
Feb 3, 2009
Doesn't the Level thread says SMG2 is their GOTY?

I don't know how anyone could have a top five that doesn't include ME2 and RDR. If you want to put in a pick like Rock Band 3, Enslaved or Bayonetta at least make the rest of the list respectable.
Jul 16, 2008
Oh boy, this year's GAF GOTY thread is going to be interesting. So many good games from so many different developers. I honestly can't predict which game will win this year. Not like previous years, where the winner was pretty obvious.


Worships the porcelain goddess
Jun 10, 2004
Maybe it is just me, but how the highest rated game of the year doesn't end up with Game of the Year all around is just beyond me. Super Mario Galaxy 2 should be winning the majority of these.

Not to bring up the sham that are the VGAs, but the fact it wasn't even nominated is a crime.
The only way Protect Me Knight is going to win a game of the year award is if I start up a gaming website before the year is out. *sigh*
I also doubt either of my other two picks(Deadly Premonition and Nier) are going to get a nod...unless it's from some smaller outlet that nobody will ever take seriously.

Yay for SMG2 and RDR I guess...hoo ray. I expect those games to dominate.

Mik2121 said:
Man, Bayonetta is sooo looking out of place in-between quality games like SMG2 and RDR :lol
Dude...your avatar is your username? Gag me with a spoon. Oh and get out of here with that mess. Bayo is the action-game of the year.
Oct 31, 2009
Hong Kong
HK-47 said:
It used that same old boring gravity and spherical worlds gimmick. Its pretty much just a complete rehash with minimal effort put in.
That can be said for almost all sequels. Same old war shooting shit for COD, same old hammering the guitar shit with a bunch of peripherals for Rock Band.

ZealousD said:
I expect the media to complete ignore StarCraft II. =/
Just like how the media will ignore the Wii, they will do the same to PC. These two platforms rarely win anything at the end of the year.

Edit: Oh, same thing for the handhelds too. You will never see handheld games win GOTY. All of these platforms for some reason are in default mode for not eligible to win any GOTY, very often they don't even get to be nominated. It's like they are not a proper system to get into the race or something.
Sep 15, 2005
Osaka, Japan
Cheesemeister said:
The voting thread should be posted around Christmas. I'll be handling automated parsing of everyone's votes, and timetokill will MC.
Cool. That will be one fun thread :D

PepsimanVsJoe said:
Dude...your avatar is your username? Gag me with a spoon. Oh and get out of here with that mess. Bayo is the action-game of the year.
Hey, anything wrong with my avatar? First time I ever see anyone complain :|

As for the Bayonetta comment, that's just my opinion. I guess I went a bit too far with what I said, but I still think it looks slightly out of place when compared to RDR and SMG2. Sorry.
Feb 3, 2009
Kintaro said:
Maybe it is just me, but how the highest rated game of the year doesn't end up with Game of the Year all around is just beyond me. Super Mario Galaxy 2 should be winning the majority of these.

Not to bring up the sham that are the VGAs, but the fact it wasn't even nominated is a crime.
Can't explain the VGA's sham, but the way video games are scored leads to wonky ratings sometimes. Sequels are always scored against the previous title and there isn't enough room at the top for awesome titles with issues to separate themselves from great titles that are polished.


tagged by Blackace
Jun 7, 2009
HK-47 said:
It used that same old boring gravity and spherical worlds gimmick. Its pretty much just a complete rehash with minimal effort put in.
Fucking LOL. Do you either hate platformers, or have you not actually played SMG2 and assume it's exactly like SMG1?
Oct 31, 2009
Hong Kong
I am just glad some Japanese games get represented.

These awards are usually Western games heavy. They rather give Game Dev Story and Call of Duty handheld/console GOTY rather than Dragon Quest IX, MGS Peace Walker and Super Mario Galaxy 2. It is no different than how some Japanese outlet will rather give Final Fantasy XIII GOTY than Red Dead Redemption.