At the end of each year, Time Magazine publishes several top 10 lists which highlight the best-of’s in that year such as top 10 movies, top 10 tweets, and top 10 scientific discoveries. Included in these lists, Time also announced their top 10 video games. While many of the games on their list this year are big blockbusters which nobody would argue deserve to be there, several other entries including the their pick for number one, are quite surprising. Here are the top 10 video games of 2010 as ranked by Time Magazine last week:
10. Mass Effect 2
9. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
8. Super Street Fighter IV
7. Super Meat Boy
5. Super Mario Galaxy 2
4. Halo: Reach
3. Red Dead Redemption
2. Angry Birds
1. Alan Wake
Looking at this list one has to wonder why Mass Effect 2, a favorite contender for 2010 Game of the Year among many gamers, barely made the cut. Should XBLA games like Limbo and Super Meat Boy really rank higher than one of the best RPGs of all-time? A better question might be whether those games even belong on the list at all? Starcraft II should also probably be a bit higher up on the list. It seems like PC-only games always get the short end of the stick on these things.
A couple of other big titles from 2010 are mysteriously MIA. For example, where is Call of Duty: Black Ops or the newly released Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood? Surely God of War III should have at least made the top 10! Not a single PS3 exclusive made their list…
Perhaps most surprising is that Alan Wake was considered their Game of the Year. Alan Wake was a great game, don’t get me wrong. As a game that focused mainly on story, it was a breath of fresh air amongst all the shooters that get released these days but Alan Wake wasn’t highly reviewed or very popular with gamers. The game accrued an 83 aggregate review score on Metacritic, which is only average. According to VGChartz, just 820,000 copies of the game were sold worldwide which is again only average. For a game to be considered the best it should at least post above average numbers in either sales or reviews.
Time Magazine says, “Lots of video-game covers have a bold M on their lower left corner, but none have felt as mature as Alan Wake does.” While Alan Wake’s unique narrative style definitely requires a bit of maturity on the part of the gamer to fully enjoy, I’m not sure I agree with this statement. There are plenty of other games that easily earn their M rating. Kratos bloodily ripping out the innards of his opponents in God of War III seems pretty mature as well.
With games like Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Angry Birds, and Alan Wake in their top 10, whoever compiled this list obviously values creativity and innovation highly.