The Best Videogames of 2010

  • Publish Date: January 26, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 34 user comments

It's still Mario's galaxy

Image
2010
Super Mario Galaxy 2
(Wii)
97
2009
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) 96
2008
Grand Theft Auto IV
(PS3)
98
2007
Super Mario Galaxy
(Wii)
97
2006
The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess

(Wii)
95
Metacritic's Game of the Year
(Highest-Scoring Title, min. 7 rev.)

When Mario heads into outer space, great things happen. Topping our list of the best-reviewed videogames of 2010 is Wii title Super Mario Galaxy 2 97, the sequel to our 2007 game of the year, Super Mario Galaxy. The new Mario title edged out the Xbox 360 sequel Mass Effect 2 96 and two versions of western adventure Red Dead Redemption 95 (for PS3 and 360) to take home this year's title.

Was 2010 a good year for games in general? Not if you go by sales: preliminary reports by NPD reveal that consumer spending on game content was down about 1% last year when compared to 2009. And maybe not if you are looking at quality. While 2009 saw the release of 29 "great" games (with Metascores of 90 or higher), that number dropped to 24 in 2010. More tellingly, the average Metascore for all releases for each console was down last year vs. the averages for 2009.

That doesn't mean there weren't bright spots, with PC gaming shining the brightest. Not only were PC game sales up last year by about 3% vs. 2009, but the average Metascore for a 2010 PC title was up by over a point compared to the prior year. Metascore averages also increased for each of the handheld platforms.

In the following pages, we take a look at the best-reviewed games for each gaming platform. First, however, let's take a look at how each platform fared during the past year. In the console department, though there were slightly fewer "great" games for the 360, the PlayStation 3 had the better metrics in most categories, including the most "good" games (i.e., games with green Metascores), highest percentage of good games, and highest average Metascore.

Platform Comparison, 2010
Platform Scored
Games*
# Great** # Good
Exclusives**
Avg. Metascores Metascore Distribution
      All       Exclusives % Good
% Mixed % Bad
Consoles:
PlayStation 3 231 7 12 70.0 66.2 44% 46% 10%
Xbox 360 260 9 13 67.8 64.0 39% 48% 13%
Wii 156 2 19 64.6 64.8 29% 54% 17%
Other:
PC 182 4 18 71.3 68.6 42% 54% 4%
Nintendo DS 127 1 24 69.4 71.1 35% 61% 4%
PSP 73 1 9 70.4 70.6 33% 62% 5%

* Games with 4 or more reviews in Metacritic's database released between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.
** Excludes games with fewer than 7 reviews; also excludes expansions, collections, and reissues.
All Metascore data is from January 24, 2011. The # Great indicates the number of games released during the year with a Metascore of 90 or higher, while # Good Exclusives indicates each platform's exclusive titles with a Metascore of 75 or higher. The % Good reflects the percentage of games receiving a Metascore of 75 or higher (indicating positive reviews). % Mixed shows the percentage receiving a Metascore of 50-74 (indicating mixed or middling reviews), while % Bad includes games receiving a Metascore of 49 or below (indicating negative reviews). Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Here's another look at the number of good games (titles with a Metascore of 75 or higher) released by platform last year:

Good Games by Platform (Platform Exclusives vs. Others), 2010

And here are the year's best-reviewed titles available on multiple platforms:

Best-Reviewed Cross-Platform Games, 2010
1 2 3 4 5
Image Image Image Image Image
Mass Effect 2 Red Dead
Redemption
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX Super Street
Fighter IV
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Average: 95 Average: 95 Average: 93 Average: 92 Average: 90
360: 96 PC: 94 360, PS3: 95 360: 93 PS3: 92 PS3: 92 360: 91 PS3: 90 360: 89

Releases by platform

On the next pages, we examine the best and worst 2010 games released for each platform, including the top titles exclusive to each platform.

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Comments (34)

  • Simon  

    Good to see PS3 yet again topping the lists. Any owner with all the 3 systems knows the PS3 is where the future lies (regardless of what Microsoft try and tell us).

  • Josephus  

    @Simon: Don´t start this again.
    @Topic: I find it alarming that just about 3% of all released games are worth a buy. Where will that lead?
    And most important: Why don´t the 97% die off?

  • Vervarie  

    Well done. Nintendo never cease to amaze.
    People like talk wonders about mass effect 2, and it really is something. But nintendo set the bar even higher with this one, congrats to SMG2, quite up there with Ocarina of Time and Galaxy 1

  • chris  

    The graphics on the Wii are bad, the Wii games shouldnt even be compared with xbox or ps3. Not to say the games arent fun but look at the cartoon graphics, terrible...

  • Guy Anonymous  

    @chris
    If you want graphics you have the xbox and the ps3, and you say that wii graphics are that bad?Sure ,Metroid and SSBB have bad graphics even when compared to PS3?I guess not, what lacks on Wii is good publishers, not the videogame itself

  • The Dude  

    Lol, only metacritic is still doing best of 2010 when it's almost February.

  • Sean R  

    It didn't have a "good" metacritic score, but make no mistake people: Deadly Premonition was the best game of 2010.

    @Simon: I have all three systems, and my PS3 is my least played video game system by far. Sorry bud. That isn't to say I don't love my PS3 (fantastic multimedia hub), I just find the Wii60 much more fun to play games on.

  • GameRag  

    I would like my PS3 a lot more if it wasn't constantly bust updating and installing. It took me 3 hours before I could play Gran Turismo. I like my 360 best. Lots of reasons, but #1 is the contoller.

  • GameRag  

    The important thing is, though, anybody who says they don't want to play Uncharted, Halo, God of War, Gears of War, or any other top notch title just because the game is on the enemy system is a joke.

  • conditionals  

    Any owner with all the 3 systems knows the PS3 is where the future lies" - I have no alliances to any system, but own all the major consoles. Honestly, I've stopped buying PS3 games except for exclusives like Uncharted. Anything that's cross-platform I'll buy on 360 - I've been burned too many times by worse graphics/major glitches on the PS3 versions (see Bayonetta for example), as well as the downloadable 360 exclusives (eg: Dead Rising 2). I'm not being a fanboy, I'm just stating the facts.

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