In Review: Top Video Games of 2010

​As we bid farewell to the year and look ahead to 2011, Jackalope Ranch contributors will bring you some greatest hits from 2010. We started with film, (with the help of the Midnite Movie Mamacita) and today we bring you a different kind of on-screen entertainment: Video games.

The Illusive Man, voiced by Martin Sheen, from the Bioware game Mass Effect 2.
The Illusive Man, voiced by Martin Sheen, from the Bioware game Mass Effect 2.
Photo by buttonMasher

10. Halo: Reach (Bungie) This game is the final culmination of almost a decade of fine tuning, refinements and drastic gameplay changes to Bungie's winning formula that all began with Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2001. Also, it has jet packs.


9. Limbo (PlayDead)
In Limbo you play as a young boy traveling through a bleak and dreary forest in search of your sister.  Along the way you encounter a giant spider, hostile children, and crazy puzzles that often end in gruesome deaths. The atmosphere will pull you in, the puzzles will keep you coming back for more.


8. Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar)
In Rockstar's second outing in to the Western genre, you step in to the well traveled and blood splattered boots of John Marston, an outlaw blackmailed in to being a government stooge to pay for his sins. The story, voice acting, and gameplay are all top notch and the first time you cross the border in to Mexico is one of the best moments in gaming this year.


7. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda Softworks)
A follow up to 2008's Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas takes the same bleak and often hilarious post-apocalyptic setting and drops it in to the Mojave Desert.  Playing as the mysterious Courier, Fallout: New Vegas pits you against super mutants, giant praying mantises, demented robots, and warring factions.  From start to finish, Fallout: New Vegas is a crazy, irradiated, and very satisfying romp through the Mojave Wasteland.


6. II: Wings of Liberty (Blizzard)
Twelve years in the making, StarCraft II delivers in every area. Legions of fans the world over treat this game as if it were a religion and Blizzard managed to bring something new to the table while pleasing their core fans.  The sequel holds true to the original game with incredibly balanced factions, refined gameplay and addictive multiplayer, all set in a sci-fi universe space opera.


5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision/Treyarch)
Part Michael Bay movie, part Lost, Black Ops is an explosive ride through time starting in 1960's Cuba and ending in the present day.  Sam Worthington, Gary Oldman and Ed Harris all lend their voices to the characters in the game and their acting gives the characters considerable weight and believability.  But, come on, multiplayer is where it is at. Also, zombies.


4. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Blizzard)
Ok, so this one might be cheating a little bit as it is an expansion and not a brand new game. But, the only reason it is on here is because this expansion changed everything, literally. The whole world (of Warcraft) got a massive facelift. Besides, 12 million players can't all be wrong.


3. Splinter Cell: Conviction (Ubisoft Montreal)
Sam Fisher returns faster, leaner and much, much meaner. Sporting some fancy new take downs, sonic goggles and a plan for revenge, Fisher eschews the more stealthy approach for gratuitous violence and general bad assery.  Plus, you can stab a guy with the American flag.  What's more bad ass than that?


2. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
The third installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise finds our hero Ezio in Rome, looking to take down the powers that be. The sequel boasts a new fighting mechanic, new weapons and a posse of assassins at your beck and call. It also has a crazy cat-and-mouse multiplayer mode sure to please all of you fledgling assassins out there.


1. Mass Effect 2 (Bioware)
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. The cool thing about Mass Effect is that your decisions from the first game have consequences in the second, and with the third game just announced, Mass Effect 2 is a must play.


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