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gamrReview 2010 Game of the Year Awards - Xbox 360 - VGChartz
gamrReview 2010 Game of the Year Awards - Xbox 360

gamrReview 2010 Game of the Year Awards - Xbox 360 - Article

by Craig Snow , posted on 23 December 2010 / 8,073 Views

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It's tempting to say it every year, but this really does look to have been the Xbox 360's biggest year so far. In sales terms, 2010 has outstripped 2008's hardware sales (hitherto its 'peak' year). This year also saw a stunning and highly anticipated re-design, in the form of the 360 'slim', which, combined with the hyped launch of Kinect, has brought a whole new buzz to the system. But this article is all about software. On that front, its perhaps not its strongest year - that's always up for debate after all - but it undoubtedly had a great line-up, featuring the return of huge console-exclusive franchises (HaloFable, and, at the time, Mass Effect), big-name multiplat franchises (Assassin's CreedBioShockRock Band, and Fallout), and some great new IPs (LIMBOAlan WakeDance Central and Vanquish, to name just a handful).

Anyway, on with the awards:


Best First-Person Shooter: Halo: Reach



After the luke warm reception to 2009's spinoff Halo 3: ODST, Halo is back on top this year with Halo: Reach. Bungie say farewell to the franchise that has truly defined Xbox, leaving behind what many consider to be the best title in the series so far. 343 Industries certainly have their work cut out trying to best this one.

Runner-up:
Bioshock 2

Reader’s Choice:
Halo: Reach



Best Third-Person Shooter: Red Dead Redemption



Rockstar once again managed to craft an excellent open world game, really bringing the Wild West to life in Red Dead Redemption. Taking the core gameplay components from the Grand Theft Auto franchise, refining and polishing them, and adding a few new tricks has really paid off for this title. Red Dead Redemption is our third person shooter of the year.

Runner-up:
Alan Wake

Reader’s Choice:
Alan Wake

Best Action/Adventure: LIMBO



It's rare that a title comes along that's so unique and compelling that you can't help but be drawn into a world; the world of LIMBO just begs to be explored. It's one of those endearing little indie titles that quickly acquires a devoted fan base. Almost as quickly, and in no small part thanks to its burgeoning popularity, it also rapidly acquires its detractors. We fit into the former group, well and truly taking LIMBO to our hearts and wishing the small team over at playdead every success with LIMBO, our action/adventure game of the year. 

Runner-up:
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Reader’s Choice:
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood


Best Fighter: Super Street Fighter IV

Super Street Fighter IV Best Fighter

Street Fighter IV narrowly missed out on winning the fighter category in 2009, but the new and improved Super Street Fighter IV has managed to take the trophy this year. Packed full of extra content, from 10 new characters to improved online multiplayer, and a more accessible set-up, Street Fighter IV got a whole lot better.

Runner-up:
Blazblue: Continuum Shift

Reader’s Choice: Super Street Fighter IV


Best Racing Game: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit



Criterion Games, the developer behind numerous Burnout entries, including the highly-praised Burnout Paradise, took over the reins for the latest Need for Speed game. Ironically, Criterion have managed to both take the series back to its roots and infuse it with new life at the same time. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is our racing game of the year.

Runner-up:
F1 2010

Reader’s Choice:
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit


Best RPG: Mass Effect 2



Mass Effect 2 is a phenomenal game, undoubtedly one of best RPGs this generation and a huge step forwards for the franchise. This award was a no-brainer. Mass Effect 2 is our RPG of the year.

Runner-up:
Fable III


Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 2



Best Strategy/Simulation: Plants vs. Zombies



It may have taken over a year for Popcap's take on tower defence to make it to the 360, but that hasn't made it any less enjoyable. It's quirky, fun and funny, and as one of the most compelling, accessible and enjoyable turret (or should I say 'plant'?) defence games in recent years, it truly deserves the praise it's garnered.

Runner-up:
The Sims 3

Reader’s Choice:
Plants vs. Zombies


Best Music Game: Rock Band 3

Rock Band 3

Facing some stiff competition in the form of Kinect's first must-have title, Dance CentralRock Band 3 nonetheless managed to pick up our award for best music & peripheral game of the year. In a genre that has, at times this year, felt like it was teetering on the brink of a full scale crisis, Rock Band 3 managed to demonstrate why the Rock Band franchise is the premier music game of its generation and why it doesn't deserve to be put to rest just yet.

Runner-up:
Dance Central


Reader’s Choice:
Dance Central


Best Kinect Game: Dance Central



Dance Central was obviously the clear favourite to win this award. Widely recognised as being Kinect's first 'must-have' title, Dance Central is Harmonix's attempt to revolutionize the dance and music genre by utilising Kinect, and for a first attempt they did brilliantly well, but there's still room for improvement, something Harmonix themselves have no doubt already begun to address in the form of a sequel.

Runner-up:
Kinectimals


Reader’s Choice:
Dance Central



Best Sports Game: NBA 2K11



It's not often that sports games, let alone yearly sports franchises, manage to generate a fresh and invigorating buzz around them. NBA 2k11 has managed to do that, garnering universal praise that goes well beyond that which usually accompanies such a release, and as the outsider pick for some game of the year awards, this is a sports title to take notice of.

Runner-up:
FIFA 11


Reader’s Choice:
FIFA 11

Best Downloadable Content: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Undead Nightmare

The first title on our list to claim a second prize, Red Dead Redemption picks up the best downloadable content award for its Undead Nightmare. A huge DLC pack which includes a new story arc, new characters, animals, locales, weapons, outfits, multiplayer modes and, of course, zombies, if you buy just one piece of DLC from 2010 then this should be at the top of your list.

Runner-up:
Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker


Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker

Best XBLA Game: LIMBO



LIMBO is such a beautiful, haunting, memorable experience that it will live with you long after you've finished it. This desolate wonder is our favourite XBLA title of 2010.

Runner-up:
Plants vs. Zombies

Reader’s Choice:
LIMBO

Best Graphics: Mass Effect 2



In Mass Effect, BioWare have managed to create a truly interesting and beautiful game world; one that any sci-fi fan should be able to appreciate. Colourful, polished and serene, Mass Effect 2 is our pick for most attractive Xbox 360 game of the year.

Runner-up:
Halo: Reach


Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 2

Best Original Music Score: Mass Effect 2



Mass Effect 2 is a complete package, and that's why we were so impressed by it when we reviewed it earlier in the year, and it's why the game has managed to stay fresh in our minds ever since. An often overlooked, but nonetheless crucial aspect of videogames is sound design, and it's an area where the Mass Effect series truly shines. The soundtrack for the first game was perfectly suited to its sci-fi setting, and Mass Effect 2 is no different in that respect.

Runner-up:
Halo: Reach


Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 2



Most Innovative: LIMBO



'Most Innovative' was a tough award to hand out this year. Kinect as a whole (or some of its better games) would've been an easy pick. Indeed,Kinectimals managed to nab the runner-up prize. But in the end we opted to give the award to our favourite Xbox Live title of the year, for its dashing monochrome art style, for its brutal juxtaposition of children and death traps, and many other reasons. LIMBO is a title that excels because it's different and because it's one of a kind.

Runner-up:
Kinectimals

Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 2



Biggest Disappointment: Dead Rising 2



Even most fans of the original Dead Rising can admit that it has its fair share of flaws, and for those who aren't fans but who absolutely love the concept, those flaws are game-breaking. What better opportunity to improve upon the most widely expressed complaints of a game than with a sequel? But no, Dead Rising 2 is almost as uncompromising and frustrating as its predecessor, leaving many of us with a deep sense of disappointment at an opportunity missed.

Runner-up:
Fallout: New Vegas


Reader’s Choice:
Halo: Reach & Final Fantasy XIII
(tied)


Best Game No One Played: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift



BlazBlue is one of the most critically acclaimed fighting series this generation, and yet for some reason its sales have never managed to live up to that billing. Not enough people know about BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, and not enough people played it, so go buy it! Now!

Runner-up:
Vanquish


Reader’s Choice:
Metro 2033



Most Anticipated Game: Portal 2



OK, so we're all a little sick of smarmy, annoying 'cake' references, but if you played Portal before all that, back when it was just a little jewel in the Orange Box crown, then maybe it holds a special place in your heart. For many of us, Portal is a special game, one of the surprise joys of the generation, and a game that will be remembered for years to come for its ingenuity and dialogue. Can Portal 2 do better? We hope so, and we can't wait to find out.

Runner-up:
BioShock Infinite


Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 3



Game of the Year: Mass Effect 2



There was a fear, with it releasing so early on in the year (January), that Mass Effect 2 would be forgotten come the end of the year, when the time came to vote for our games of the year. It's understandable that those big blockbuster holiday releases would still be too fresh in our minds and too overpowering for us to remember a January release. For most titles that's a justified concern, but not in this case. The warmth of feeling for Mass Effect 2 has only intensified over time. Mass Effect 2 is hands down our favourite Xbox 360 game of the year.

Runner-up:
Halo: Reach


Reader’s Choice:
Mass Effect 2

 

Be sure to check out our other Game of the Year Awards here!


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