Big thanks to Zen for providing a tier list for the contest.
As of now, my list contains all the games I’ve already played, ranked from Classic to Trash, as well as all the games I plan to play and all the ones I might play but am not sure about. Unfortunately, the Tiermaker website is kind of a pain to use so I don’t think I’ll be updating it all that often. I’ll just stick to posting each year’s rankings in this thread. Here they are for 2010, along with 3-sentence reviews.
Civilization 5: It's a huge timesink, which is both a bad and good thing. Even after just one game on a low difficulty, I was in awe of how many strategic decisions there were to make. I think I did okay at learning the ropes and I’m looking forward to improving over time.
Super Meat Boy: It is difficult, but I find that the quick respawns and short levels help ease the pain. 2D platformers are one of my favorite genres and I like that Meat Boy doesn’t mess around. I give it props as well for being one of the biggest indies at the time and showing there was real success to be had.
Super Mario Galaxy 2: Nintendo basically just threw in a bunch of ideas that didn't fit in Galaxy 1, some of which are good (Cosmic Clones, Flip-Swap Panels), some of which are not (Rock Mushroom, Fluzzard). But still, it's freakin' 3D Mario. Everyone has their personal favorite (3D Land), but none of them are bad.
Starcraft 2: Along with Civ, this opened my eyes to a genre that I hadn’t been interested in before. This one’s much harder to improve at then Civ though, since things can go south so fast. Still, I do want to return to it to work on the higher difficulties and bonus objectives.
Bayonetta: Even though I mostly sucked, dodging an attack into bullet time was always a cool feeling. Along with the difficulty, there’s a few annoying mechanics like the QTEs and vehicle segments that dissuade me from replaying it. I will eventually, but I have to properly psych myself up first.
Red Dead Redemption: It’s filled with filler, both in terms of gameplay and story, but it finished strong. I’m just glad I didn’t actually play it. Marston’s a cool character, I’d probably vote for him over Sackboy.
VVVVVV: I keep forgetting it exists. Certainly doesn't feel "of the decade." It's a one-man passion project with a neat gimmick, so I can't hate on it.
Fallout New Vegas: Another strength of this game that's hard to immediately appreciate is the freedom of choice. I'm excited to do another run in which I go as evil as possible and punch everyone to death. After that, though, I don't think I'd be very interested in a third run.
Mass Effect 2: I wasn't expecting these two to end up right next to each other, but it does make sense. They each had one thing I really liked: New Vegas's world, Mass Effect's characters. Now, if a transporter accident led to Shepard's squad becoming stranded in the Mojave wasteland, that would be cool.
Heavy Rain: Ethan getting tortured, Madison getting assaulted, Shelby lying to the player. These things aren't funny in isolation, but the fact that they keep happening again and again creates a pitiful spectacle, a théâtre de l'absurde. Still, I prefer the laugh-out-loud wackiness of a Beyond Two Souls.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Well, Gary Oldman was fun. But what a waste of a cool framing device. At least it changed the scenery often enough to not get too boring, which is more than I can say for...
Halo Reach: The alien planet setting was generic and lifeless, and the squadmates had little of interest to say before they died. This is the game where I probably missed out on the most by not actually playing it. Even then, the gameplay didn't look that great.
Overall, I would call 2010 an unexciting year. My top 4 are classic genres given a fresh coat of paint: Meat Boy is a retro throwback, Galaxy 2 is more of Galaxy 1, and Civ is Civ. It’s a testament to Blizzard’s commitment to presentation that Starcraft 2 is the one that feels most like a step forward, but still the gameplay isn’t too far off from what you got in 1998. To be clear, I’m not hating on these games – I’m all for refining a proven formula – but for a new decade, it doesn’t feel very new. For AAA, it was a year of growing pains: New Vegas and ME2 have grand ambitions limited by the technology, while Red Dead is basically more GTA4 but with horses. And the indie movement has been steadily gaining steam since 2008 or so, but we’re not quite at the boom yet.
Speaking of 2008, I will now take a brief trip back in time to play Dead Space 1. I've had it and its sequel sitting in my library for a while but never touched them.
Toss a win to your azuarc
O guru of GotD