Midyear Report: The Best Games of 2010 So Far

  • Publish Date: July 2, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 69 user comments

PC games

Image
Metascore Breakdown
Good / So-So / Bad:
57,40,3
2010 Releases (1/1 - 6/30)
Avg. Metascore 73.7
vs. 2009 Avg. * 68.6

* Through 6/30/09

2010 has been a relatively unremarkable year for PC gaming so far; while there have been a healthy number of well-reviewed titles, computer gamers haven't been treated to many great new games. Only the sequel Mass Effect 2 broke the 90 barrier, and the best-reviewed PC-only title this year -- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising 85 -- is simply an expansion of an existing game.

If you notice a few unusually low user scores in the second table below, blame unwieldy DRM: fans weren't happy with Ubisoft's decision to require a constant connection to their servers for several of their 2010 releases, and punished the games accordingly.

Best PC Exclusives, 2010 (through June 30)
1 2 3 4 5
Image Image Image Image Image
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising VVVVVV Napoleon: Total War S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom, The
Critics: 85 Critics: 81 Critics: 81 Critics: 80 Critics: 79
Users: 9.2 Users: 7.5 Users: 7.8 Users: 8.8 Users: 4.5
Best-Reviewed PC Games, 2010 (through June 30)
  Game Publisher Genre Metascore Users
1 Mass Effect 2 Electronic Arts Action-RPG 94 8.8
2 BioShock 2 2K Games Shooter 88 7.9
3 Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Electronic Arts Shooter 87 8.8
4 Borderlands: The Secret Armory of
General Knoxx
2K Games Shooter-RPG 86 8.1
5 Assassin's Creed II Ubisoft Action-Adv. 86 2.8
6 Warhammer 40,000:
Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising
THQ Strategy 85 9.2
7 Just Cause 2 Eidos Interactive Action 84 5.9
8 Shatter Sidhe Puzzle 84 8.1
9 Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse
Episode 2 - The Tomb of Sammun-Mak
TellTale Games Action 83 8.6
10 Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Electronic Arts RPG 82 7.4
11 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Ubisoft Action-Adv. 82 2.5
12 VVVVVV Distractionware Platform 81 7.5
13 Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer Funcom / Deep Silver MMORPG 81 8.3
14 Metro 2033 THQ Shooter 81 8.2
15 Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse
Episode 1 - The Penal Zone
TellTale Games Adventure 81 8.7
... and the worst:
54 Vancouver 2010: The Official Videogame
of the Winter Olympic Games
Sega Sports 57 3.0
55 Dark Void Capcom Action 57 4.7
56 Greed: Black Border Meridian4 Action-RPG 55 6.5
57 Prison Break: The Conspiracy Deep Silver Action-Adv. 45 5.0
58 Scourge Project: Episodes 1 and 2, The BITBOX S.L. Shooter 44 4.8

Note that games are ranked prior to rounding. Only games with 7 or more reviews included.

Nintendo DS

Image
Metascore Breakdown
Good / So-So / Bad:
60,40,0
2010 Releases (1/1 - 6/30)
Avg. Metascore 72.6
vs. 2009 Avg. * 68.6

* Through 6/30/09

For those of you keeping score at home: yes, the DS was the better of the two handhelds during the first half of 2010, at least in terms of new game quality. That said, it would have been nice to see at least one great new game for Nintendo's portable; take away the twin Pokemon titles, and not a single game scored above 84. But the DS was the only one of the six current gaming platforms we track to have zero poorly-reviewed games in the first half of 2010.

Back to those Pokemon games: combined, they've sold almost 2.5 million copies so far this year in the U.S. alone (best among all DS games), and that total grows to 8 million units when you include worldwide sales dating back to the games' release in Japan last fall. In 2010 to date, DS games have been outselling PSP games by a ratio of three to one.

Best DS Exclusives, 2010 (through June 30)
1 2 3 4 5
Image Image Image Image Image
Pokemon SoulSilver Pokemon HeartGold Picross 3D WarioWare D.I.Y. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Critics: 87 Critics: 87 Critics: 83 Critics: 83 Critics: 82
Users: 9.7 Users: 8.6 Users: n/a Users: 8.9 Users: 9.8
Best-Reviewed DS Games, 2010 (through June 30)
  Game Publisher Genre Metascore Users
1 Pokemon SoulSilver Nintendo RPG 87 9.7
2 Pokemon HeartGold Nintendo RPG 87 8.6
3 Dark Void Zero Capcom Platform 84 9.5
4 Picross 3D Nintendo Puzzle 83 n/a
5 WarioWare D.I.Y. Nintendo Action 83 8.9
6 Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Atlus USA RPG 82 9.8
7 KORG DS-10 Plus XSEED Games Music 81 9.2
8 DodoGo! Neko Ent. Puzzle 81 n/a
9 Save the Turtles Sabarasa Puzzle 80 9.5
10 Mega Man Zero Collection Capcom Platform 78 9.0
... and the worst:
26 Deca Sports DS Hudson Ent. Sports 57 n/a
27 Rooms: The Main Building Hudson Ent. Puzzle 57 n/a
28 Globulos Party GlobZ Sports 56 9.0
29 Ragnarok DS XSEED Games RPG 53 5.0
30 Again Tecmo Adventure 51 n/a

PlayStation Portable

Image
Metascore Breakdown
Good / So-So / Bad:
31,62,8
2010 Releases (1/1 - 6/30)
Avg. Metascore 70.3
vs. 2009 Avg. * 66.3

* Through 6/30/09

There's no way to put a good spin on it: fewer than a third of the PSP's releases so far this year received generally positive reviews from game critics. PlayStation Portable owners looking for a solid new title could choose from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker 88 and -- er, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

Is it any wonder, then, that the PSP's best-selling game of the year so far is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker? That title has not yet topped one million units sold, although it should soon. The next-best seller out of PSP games available in the U.S.? Lunar: Silver Star Harmony 80, with just 124,000 units sold worldwide.

Best PSP Exclusives, 2010 (through June 30)
1 2 3 4 5
Image Image Image Image Image
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Patchwork Heroes Age of Zombies Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake
Critics: 88 Critics: 80 Critics: 79 Critics: 79 Critics: 76
Users: 9.2 Users: 7.8 Users: 9.4 Users: 7.5 Users: 9.8
Best-Reviewed PSP Games, 2010 (through June 30)
  Game Publisher Genre Metascore Users
1 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Konami Action-Adv. 88 9.2
2 BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable Aksys Games Fighting 81 8.5
3 Lunar: Silver Star Harmony XSEED Games RPG 80 7.8
4 Patchwork Heroes Sony Action 79 9.4
5 MLB 10: The Show Sony Sports 79 7.5
6 Age of Zombies Halfbrick Studios Action 79 7.5
7 Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake Sony Action 76 9.8
8 echoshift Sony Puzzle 75 8.0
9 Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess Mediatonic Platform 74 7.3
10 SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 Sony Shooter 74 8.5
... and the worst:
22 Rocket Racing Halfbrick Studios Racing 65 9.6
23 Puzzle Chronicles Konami Puzzle/RPG 63 n/a
24 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 Namco Bandai Fighting 61 8.0
25 Army of Two: The 40th Day Electronic Arts Action 49 6.3
26 Dead or Alive Paradise Tecmo Action 39 4.7

What are your favorites?

What are your picks for the best new games of 2010 so far? What did the critics get right and wrong when first assessing these new releases? Let us know in the comments section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (69)

  • Josh  

    God of War 3 is still the best.

  • lucas  

    i just hope that mass effect 2 wins game of the year, that or littlebigplanet 2

  • John  

    360/PC games better on 360? Paying for online without dedicated servers sure is great!

  • Phil  

    Oh one more thing: How can you say the console with the most games released this year hasn't had a good year for exclusives? Did you read your own article before posting it? You can argue about the 'critical rating' of these exclusives, but that doesn't mean squat if someone enjoys the title. Look at Ninety Nine Nights 2 (which has reviews out that you guys haven't added to its Metascore yet). Reviews for it are terrible, but the user score is 9.8. So someone somewhere likes it.

  • Phil  

    Are you sure that's all Red Dead sold? I had hear 5 mill a couple weeks back. Also, I distinctly remember Kotaku saying BF:BC2 sold 3 million within about a month and a half. And lastly: NPD > Vgchartz for credibility and accuracy.

  • Josh  

    I was so excited for Red Dead I bought it the second day it was released and.... slightly dissapointing but much better then GTA IV. At least Rockstar is maturing and not resorting to countless sex jokes anymore.

  • Josh  

    I was so excited for Red Dead I bought it the second day it was released and.... slightly dissapointing but much better then GTA IV. At least Rockstar is maturing and not resorting to countless penis and sex jokes anymore.

  • David  

    Really? You're going to disclude ModNation Racers on the PS3 list because there was a completely changed, stripped down version released on the PSP with the same name? LittleBigPlanet also has a version on the PSP, but no one would ever say that the two were the same game.

    I think you should separate it by home console exclusives. Yes some games are released on the PS3 and PSP, but they're nowhere near the same game. Also, a lot of games are released on just the 360 and PC, but most people 360/PC exclusives as being an exclusive for 360 (they're better on the 360 anyway). I just don't think this portrays an accurate depiction of the console wars.

  • a  

    SO MANY GAMES THIS YEAR AND WE'RE ONLY HALF WAY DONE!!

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