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Top 5 of 2010

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This week, Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee lists his top 5 best and worst games of 2010.

Transcript Edit

Ho, ho, et cetera, and let me welcome you back to reality after the hopefully satisfactory completion of your respective annual rituals. Personally, I consumed roughly my weight in chocolate and crashed like a hypothetical blowjob-powered motorbike, so now I'm ready to face the new year. And the best way to face the new year is arse-first, with eyes drunkenly half-focused on the year just passed. Rather than going through my tissue-thin awards charade this year, I thought I'd just cut to the chase and give my top five and my bottom five of 2010 - almost like a real critic! You'll know when I switch from one to the other because during the top five I'll speak with breathless enthusiasm like I've cornered you at the buffet table at the most excruciating party of your life and then when I'm doing my bottom five my voice will drop in pitch and become filled with disgust like my sandwich just farted in my mouth.

Fifth Best: Pat on the head and a biscuit

My number five best game may come as a surprise in that it's on the cuhs-blah [XBLA], but I feel restricting the top list to the overpriced, AAA, Unreal Engine, dummy box in EB Games for the entire six months before release big boys club would send the wrong message to the bloated, uncreative, technocrat design committees that control the industry!

Sorry, wrong voice. Top five, top five enthusiasm rapture!

So number five is Limbo from Playdead Studios, a short but stark physics platformer as genuinely unnerving as Eastern European animation and best analogized as LittleBigPlanet visualized by a suicidal depressive.

Fifth Worst: Banging your shins on a coffee table

Appropriately, number five on my bottom list is a product of the very bloated, uncreative big boys club I railed against mere sentences ago. Namely, BioShock 2.

It had one gunshot wound to the kneecap even before it left the gate, being a hasty sequel to a game that had no opening nor need for a sequel, and proceeded only to stumble through incomprehensibility, with its only bright moments being its occasional resemblance to its infinitely better predecessor. At least it didn't have the Pipe Dream minigame, but that's like saying "at least my horse costs less to feed now that it's dead."

Fourth Best: Flirtatious kiss on the mouth

Getting back to happy, enthusiastic Smileytown, number four is counter-intuitively another dismal, traumatizing experience, Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

In a mainstream industry where "survival horror" now means "action adventure wherein monsters from the back page of H. R. Giger's teenage sketch diary do the Charleston under neon disco lighting," Amnesia showed everyone how horror is done: unspeakable monstrosities half-glimpsed out of the corner of the eye, no means of self-defense besides a sprint function, and dolphin-unsafe tuna occasionally extruding from the walls.

Fourth Worst: Fingers trapped in a hinge

From the far, far, far other end of the spectrum comes my fourth worst game of 2010, Final Fantasy XIII, a game to which subtlety is as alien a concept as smart casual.

The message Square Enix now seem to be bringing across is: "We just want to make films! How much more gameplay do we need to remove before you'll figure that out? We've pared it down to the point where all you do is clop down linear hallways and their A.I. subroutines do the combat for you. Now stop expecting us to make games so we can remake Spirits Within!" But you just can't take the hint and stop buying Final Fantasy, can you, you cruel bastards.

Third Best: Putting your face between two massive knockers and going bbl bbl bbl

Back in the top five, the prevalence of indie games so far may make you wonder if I've become so pretentious I won't give the time of day to anything that costs more to make than an egg and cress sandwich. But that changes with number three, Red Dead Redemption.

Rockstar's Old West odyssey might have suffered a little from a bit of kitchen sink approach to gameplay, a kitchen sink full of brown washing-up, but overall was like throwing yourself onto a mattress made of soft meringue: unstructured, but oddly satisfying.

And now you can play it with zombies in, which still baffles me. Do you get a tax break if you make a zombie game or something?

Third Worst: Weedkiller martini

The third worst game of 2010 demonstrates that there is no once-profitable franchise so dead that you cannot jump on its stomach and sell whatever liquids come out of its nose: The Force Unleashed II.

With Star Wars almost at the point where putting its name on your product might actually reduce sales, the last thing it needed was this, a game both exhaustively padded and insultingly short, and therefore must have been entirely developed over a bank holiday weekend. With an inconsequential plot in which characters desperately try to out-emote a Christmas pudding, I'd call it the last nail in Star Wars ' coffin, but we won't even be able to put the lid on before people start queuing up to rape its corpse.

Second Best: Jumping off a rainbow onto someone you hate

Just to make me a hypocrite, my second best game is a zombie game, or rather the zombie game, Dead Rising 2.

Ironing out Dead Rising 1 's sizable wrinkles of unreasonable difficulty and A.I. on the level of a bucket of retarded pies, Drising 2 is, on one level, a uniquely colorful take on sandbox gameplay, and on another, a game in which you plow through crowds of squishy antagonists with many varieties of sharp things on the ends of sticks.

It is rather dumb fun, but dumb people are a great lot to have around because you can make them eat bugs and touch fences that you suspect might be electrified.

Second Worst: Mistaking a deep fat fryer for an eye wash station

Now, if I were doing mock awards this year, number two in my bottom five would win the "Farting the Moonlight Sonata Award for Desecration of Classics." I mean none other than the execrable Metroid: Other M.

Team Ninja gave Samus Aran a voice just so she could simper at all the boys. Making Metroid heavily story-based was the first mistake, and mistakes two through seventy-five all involve turning one of gaming's toughest female icons into an shrieking mimsy in a submissive relationship with a bell-end in a fancy cap. Which perhaps could have eventually been overlooked, but the gameplay was just kinda shit.

Best game of 2010: Making love inside a chocolate eclair

And so we move to number one, my game of the year. There were no completely faultless games in 2010, least of all this one. But after three years of a new game every single week, riding the game criticism rails like the shoutiest hobo, my attention span has degraded to the point that there were only two games this year that I wanted to keep playing after I'd reviewed them. Dead Rising 2 was one. And the other, comma... stalling tactic... was Just Cause 2, an almost Garry's Mod-like bundle of free-roaming fun tied up in a loose but still involving gameplay structure in a world about twice the size of the entire universe. Any criticism I might have given it is drowned out by the terrified scream of an enemy soldier with one leg tied to a harrier jet.

Worst game of 2010: Consumed from within by giant space wasps

But to the yin must come the yang, to the cream must come the cheese, to the giddy high of new love must come irritable bowel syndrome. The worst game of the year, a game less substantial than a fart in a lift but no less unpleasant for those caught in its wafting cage, a game that killed its franchise so thoroughly that the only acceptable sequel would be a box containing nothing but an apology letter and some chocolates.

I refer, of course, to Halo: Reach.

Burrrned, had you going there for a second, didn't I? Actually, it's Fable III.

Burrrned again. No, seriously now, a game I found literally as headache-inducingly unpleasant as impacted wisdom teeth surgery in the middle of a rave. Step forward, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. Step onto your first-place podium, then put a rope around your neck so we can kick it away.

AddendaEdit

Well frankly it wasn't that much of a year: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Yes, my top 3 are all sandbox games, perhaps this is one of those phases I'm going through

It's the chocolate milkshake that gets you fucked up


ScreenshotsEdit

Best and Worst 2010 1

Rockstar's Old West odyssey might have suffered a little from a bit of kitchen sink approach to gameplay

Best and Worst 2010 2

The Farting the Moonlight Sonata Award for Desecration of Classics

Best and Worst 2010 3

The list(s)

TriviaEdit

Yahtzee is seen riding on a Harley Davidson with his dick showing during the phrase "blowjob-powered motorbike".


External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5

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