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Best of 2010 Awards: Action-Adventure

Action-Adventure: Red Dead Redemption

It seems like beating a dead horse, but we keep coming back to Red Dead Redemption for 2010. With an expansive world, fantastic gunplay, and our 2010 Story of the Year, Red Dead Redemption is our pick for best action-adventure title of the year. Competition was fierce this year, but with so much to see and do in towns--and along the way--it was hard not to dust off our ponchos and ride again and again. Rockstar San Diego proved that there is more than one house within the company that can build an outstanding open-world adventure. While some of the in between stuff is removed from calm demeanor Rockstar was going for--as in killing dozens of peons while you attempt to bring in a bounty alive--the game doesn't go overboard unless players wish to be known as a ruthless gunslinger. There's so much to say about Red Dead Redemption but we'll leave it at this: it was the best Action-Adventure game of 2010. Read more »

"i dont know why they have alan wake on almost everything. It was ok but there were many better ..."
- Damann66    See all 6 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Shooter

Shooter: Halo: Reach

Bungie's final Halo game is arguably its best, representing all of the lessons learned from 10 years with the franchise. The campaign tells a great story within Halo's fiction and introduces us to some of the series' best characters. Firefight returns with countless improvements over ODST's incarnation making it a full-fledged mode. Multiplayer, of course, remains the game's strongest pillar with an amazing experience out of the box for both casual and serious players along with a super-charged Forge mode and Forge World, which will ensure that user-created content continues to flow for years to come. Few shooters can capture the pure-fun created by the weapons, vehicles, abilities, and physics of Halo's sandbox. Read more »

"1.) I'm speaking of console gaming. 2.) Half Life wasn't "cinematic" (HL is my favorite ..."
- cell9song    See all 88 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Role-Playing

Role-Playing: Mass Effect 2

In the far reaches of space, one man (or woman, if you'd prefer) holds the key to the salvation and preservation of the human race. In Mass Effect 2 players are introduced to a host of new characters that fight alongside Commander Shepard. While Shepard can be crafted to be as good or as bad as you want him or her to be, the character manages to remain a completely memorable figure in the world of video games for what he or she is able to accomplish. Read more »

"I think it's because none of the Shack staff spends considerable time on handhelds. And with ..."
- Walterbennet    See all 101 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Racing

Related Topics – Best of 2010

Racing: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Ribbons of twisty highways offered up the perfect venue for running the world's most desirable high performance cars at speeds well north of 100 miles per hour, and giving chase in exotic police cruisers, in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. No matter how fast mashing the accelerator all the way down gets a car to go, the scenery smoothly streaming by and controls that seem almost second nature urge you on faster, faster. Perfectly taking advantage of the game's addictive speed, its 'Autolog' system made single-player racing social by pitting friends against each other in a running battle of one-upmanship. And completing the package, the basic premise of cops vs. racers also perfectly set up competitive online racing. Read more »

"It does own with a good FF wheel. Unfortunately, most people aren't going to be able to play it ..."
- Frank_Mackey    See all 22 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Sports

Sports: NBA 2K11

Yearly sports game franchises often get accused of being little more than roster updates coupled with some subtle are often so inconsequential, all but the most rabid fans would be hard-pressed to notice. In 2010, NBA 2K11 managed to handily buck this trend, giving gamers a great reason to keep this year's entry in their gaming libraries long after the 2011 season is over. That reason is Michael Jordon. His host of "Jordan Challenges" allow players to replay some of MJ's most legendary performances, or even rebuild his career from scratch. Read more »

"even the pc version was good this year. holy wow. actually pes was good on pc aswell this year, ..."
- verminer    See all 12 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: New Face We Hope to See Again

New Face We Hope to See Again: Red Dead Redemption

Though it is a spiritual successor to Red Dead Revolver, John Marston is most certainly a new (scarred) face, though similar to the design of Red in Red Dead Revolver. Whatever, Red Dead Redemption is basically its own (much better) game so let's just move along. Marston is the best type of badass in that he's a gentleman until it's time to throw down. You really get the sense that he doesn't want to draw his weapon, but he'll do so when his or the lives of those he is protecting are in jeopardy. Combine Marston with a great, believable world of the modernizing Wild West and some great character drama brought to life with great dialogue and voice acting and you've got a character we'd very much like to see again. Read more »

"Sorry, thought I was hiding the spoiler, but with no preview nor edit or delete, it just looks ..."
- Odacom    See all 13 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Story

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. Read more »

"what do you think should have won? I think that for this catagory, they had pretty good selections."
- Damann66    See all 15 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Plays Well With Others

Plays Well With Others (Best Multiplayer): StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Blizzard's latest real-time strategy game, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, was launched in a tough multiplayer spot with a lot to live up to. Its predecessor was still being played by the hardcore and is a national sport in South Korea. On the other side of the coin, the RTS genre had become more and more niche over the years since the company's last release, Warcraft III. Blizzard succeeded in releasing a game that was eSport ready on day one, but was also fun for more casual players. The innovative leagues and ladder system offers meaningful matchmaking and rankings to all but the most skilled players, while custom games and comp stomps sweeten the deal. With two expansions on the way and more tournaments than we can count, StarCraft II is well on its way to being played for the next ten years just like the original. Read more »

"You realize it's not out on PC yet, right? So the DRM isn't getting in anyone's way."
- Quaunaut    See all 14 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Audio-visual Experience

Audio-visual Experience: Red Dead Redemption

Among the truly respectable number of great-looking and sounding games this year were a handful titles that used their presentational chutzpah to engage players in truly exceptional ways. Red Dead Redemption's open-world take on the industrialization of the American West was enhanced greatly by beautiful postcard-worthy vistas ranging from scorching deserts to snow-capped mountains. Read more »

"Meant to counteract the steady stream of fancy-boy main characters that have plagued modern FF ..."
- daggot    See all 30 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Retro Redux

Retro Redux: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is something akin to pure fun. It follows up on the great rebirth of Pac-Man that the team at Namco introduced with 2007's Pac-Man Championship Edition. The game and its stages are designed around getting as many ghosts as possible, chasing you as you collect dots from side-to-side until eventually, the glorious power pill appears. Now, it's time to turn around and eat that entire chain of ghosts. Not only is it utterly satisfying to destroy your pursuers, but it has one of the best sound effects in gaming. Throw in an amazing slow-down mechanic when you're about to get hit by a ghost, bombs for bailing out of un-winnable situations, multiple modes, and leaderboards and you've got a near perfect retro game. Read more »

"Pac man was really fantastic. Pure fun is the right description. "
- Monkey0111    See all 5 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Unsung Hero

Related Topics – Alan Wake, DJ Hero 2, Best of 2010

Unsung Hero: Alan Wake

So many games launch within a single calendar year that, sadly, many fantastic titles are left collecting dust on store shelves. The Xbox 360-exclusive Alan Wake is our choice for Unsung Hero--or "Best Game that No One Played."

Developed over the course of nearly five years by the team at Remedy Entertainment, Alan Wake follows a writer who must battle forces of darkness (both internally and externally) as he searches for his missing wife. Although Remedy has expressed interest in continuing the dark adventures of Alan Wake, the developer announced the game's second DLC would be the final downloadable content for Alan Wake. Inquires as to whether it would be the last time gamers ever see Wake, sadly, went unanswered. Read more »

"BOO, BOO Alan Wake is a PC gaming traitor. Just go away Wake, just go away. "
- samduhman    See all 35 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Magic Moment

Magic Moment: Mass Effect 2

We do lots of different things in video games but every so often we find ourselves, controller in hand, experiencing one of those "this is why I play video games" moments. In 2010, the best of these came while directing Commander Shepard through conversations in Mass Effect 2. A refined version of the system in the first game, it perfected the ability to naturally guide the course of conversations being held by the characters without having to break and reason out long passages of dialog to select between. Coupled with greatly improved staging of the scenes and more cinematic camera angles, it became almost impossible not to get completely wrapped up in Shepard's saga. Read more »

"Probably the top five on my list would all be things from Just Cause 2. Despite having no ..."
- House    See all 6 comments

Best of 2010 Awards: Introduction

Related Topics – Best of 2010

We picked a good year to reboot the Shacknews "Best of" awards. Looking back over 2010 to put together the nominees reminded us that award-worthy video games started arriving in the very first week of January, and kept coming throughout the rest of the year. Whatever your favorite style of game or platform of choice may be, chances are pretty good this past year offered up more than a couple titles that really grabbed you.

Through these awards we aim to recognize the best of them for a variety of achievements. Our editorial team, consisting of myself, Xav, Jeff, Alice, and Brian used a three-tier voting system to select the winners. For each category we ranked our top three, with first place getting four points, second receiving two, and third taking one. Points were then tallied resulting in a winner and runner-up. In the case of ties, and there were a couple, the title with the most votes at the highest rank prevailed. So, for instance, a game receiving a first and third place vote for five points total would win over one receiving two second and one third place votes for the same five points. Read more »

"Yes, we want to bring back Shacker's choice as well. Ran into a slight snag when we went to set ..."
- Garnett Lee    See all 7 comments

Weekend Confirmed Episode 40: Best of 2010 Awards

In the first of two holiday specials, the Weekend Confirmed crew reminisces on the best video games and industry trends of 2010. Shacknews editor Xav de Matos and fourth chair all-star Billy Berghammer join Garnett and Jeff in a spirited look back that more than fills the show. Taking next week's Shacknews Best of awards as a template, the conversations include favorites for their story and mulitplayer, best in their genre like role-playing and action adventure, and tops for their platform. And naturally it all culminates in the Game of the Year awards.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 40 - 12/24/2010 Read more »

"Hey, thanks. Are you offering to fly me out on a weekly basis?"
- XAVdeMATOS    See all 211 comments

Top Games

  1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  2. Resistance 3
  3. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  4. MX vs. ATV Supercross
  5. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  6. Hearts of Iron IV
  7. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Batman: Arkham Knight
  10. DayZ

Most Anticipated

  1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  2. MX vs. ATV Supercross
  3. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  4. Hearts of Iron IV
  5. Batman: Arkham Knight
  6. DayZ
  7. Survarium
  8. Kerbal Space Program
  9. R.B.I. Baseball 14
  10. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Top Rentals

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Beyond: Two Souls
  3. Batman: Arkham Origins
  4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  5. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  6. Battlefield 4
  7. NBA 2K14
  8. Diablo III
  9. Madden NFL 25
  10. The Last of Us