Best of 2010 Awards: Story

BOOM widget 347209 Story: Red Dead Redemption

In most cases, Rockstar has a knack for getting us to root for the bad guy. While Red Dead Redemption follows the same general landscape as the Grand Theft Auto series, the Rockstar San Diego-developed game is much more than an offshoot of that franchise's core mechanics.

Telling a rich, detailed story with memorable characters is one of the developer's strongest abilities and in Red Dead Redemption we're introduced to one of the finest the company has ever produced.

A tough as nails, family man with a soft side for those in need, protagonist John Marston is on the hunt for his former crew of rabble-rousers to bring them to justice. With one of our favorite video game endings of this generation, Red Dead Redemption weaves an incredible story of one man fighting for good in a wild world full of evil.

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Runner-up: Mass Effect 2

From the moment it begins, it was clear that BioWare was holding no punches in terms of the story of Mass Effect 2. Including everything--and a few space-age kitchen sinks--Mass Effect 2 ties up loose ends from the original (if you completed that quest), introduced fantastic new characters, and revealed the war of good versus evil is muddled with as many gray spots on land as they are in the stars. Although it may be forgotten since it launched in January, Mass Effect 2 was one of the finest games to launch in 2010.

Nominees: Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Fallout: New Vegas, and Halo: Reach.

[Story is part of Shacknews Best of 2010 Awards. For more information, including selection methodology, see this introduction.]