DualShockers 2010 Game of the Year Awards – The Console Exclusives

By Chad Awkerman

December 28, 2010

It’s that time of year again. The time for us to think back on the games that came out this year and make the difficult decision as to which ones caught our collective attentions the most, which games really deserve to be a “Game of the Year”. We don’t go by sales, popular opinion or take the lazy way out and just let one title run rampant and win the majority of awards. We thought about each category, each game, and made our decision based on that. We attempted to represent all game play styles, both Eastern and Western titles and titles from a wide variety of consoles when deciding on the ultimate Game of the Year. However, before we get to that, let’s check out more specific groupings.

First, we’ll start with our individual console exclusives and check out the best of the best from the following categories…

Best Xbox 360 Game

Nominees: Alan Wake, Fable III, Halo: Reach, Left 4 Dead 2, Mass Effect 2

Winner! Mass Effect 2

From our review: “The switch in game play focus to more of a shooter than an RPG isn’t a travesty, but a blessing. Bioware once again goes outside the box and proves that a game can have a cinema-like feel, well written characters and an intricate, involving story that will entice you and draw you in so that everything else around you fades away.”

Best Nintendo Wii Game

Nominees: Donky Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Monster Hunter Tri, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, Super Mario Galaxy 2

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Winner! Super Mario Galaxy 2

From our review: “Super Mario Galaxy 2 looks beautiful, plays great, and the ambition is all there. It is a true joy to play as Mario once again in what could be the finest adventure for the plumber to date.”

Best Nintendo DS Game

Nominees: Dragon Quest IX, Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Super Scribblenauts, Warioware DIY

Winner! Dragon Quest IX

From our review: “It is actually a fascinating story that has fewer cliché elements than most games in the genre. Typically I can predict with near perfect accuracy what is going to happen around the next bend, but it is rather difficult in this case, and that’s a great thing.”

Best PlayStation 3 Game

Nominees: God of War 3, Gran Turismo 5, Heavy Rain, MAG, Sly Collection

Winner! Heavy Rain

From our review: “Overall I have to say that even though Heavy Rain isn’t without its faults, it is probably one of the most engrossing experiences you can have on a console this generation. Quantic Dream, has taken a tech demo and turned it into something truly special whose story can rival the screenplay of any big budget Hollywood thriller with some of the best visuals around to boot…I think that this is something that all PS3 owners need to experience at least once.”

Best PlayStation Portable Game

Nominees: God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Persona 3 Portable, Valkyria Chronicles II

Winner! Persona 3 Portable

From our review: “This game exudes charm, contains believable characters that you really start to care about and spins a wild, wonderful and uncharacteristically dark story that just begs for you to take the next step in unraveling. It may be a bit too “visual novel” for some, but when it is all said and done, it reaches into us the same way more popular, mainstream RPGs like Mass Effect do – it gives us choices, relationships to pursue and characters to get to know and feel for, all the while maintaining its solid JRPG foundation that fans of the genre will know and love.”

Best Personal Computer Game

Nominees: Civilization V, The Sims: Late Night, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Amnesia: Dark Descent

Winner! StarCraft II

After over a decade, Blizzard finally released the follow-up to its iconic title, StarCraft. The single-player story and game play is outstanding, and the multi-player will keep gamers hooked for years to come. There’s no denying that, even though there are other great titles in the genre, StarCraft II stands above the rest as a truly great game.

That’s it for this installment. We have much more in store, which shows you exactly what we thought were some of the best games this year, so stay tuned over the next week or two for the rest of our Game of the Year awards!

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Chad Awkerman

Chad joined the DualShockers staff in mid 2009 and since then has put much of his time into covering RPGs, with a focus on the Japanese side of the genre, from the obscure to the mainstream. He's a huge fan of iconic games like Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI and Persona 4 yet enjoys the smaller niche titles, as well. In his spare time he enjoys experiencing new beer, new foods and keeping up with just about every sci-fi show on television. He's married to an intelligent, beautiful Southern Belle who keeps his life interesting with witty banter and spicy Cajun cooking.

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