Castlevania Lord of Shadows
This game is absolutely outstanding, and if I had to choose my game of the year, it'd probably be this. Firstly, the storytelling throughout the game was brilliant, and the voice cast only enhanced this further; and the ending was really unexpected. Secondly the combat in this game felt really weighted, which is something that I think some Hack and Slashes lack, and the combos/moves you could unlock were just awesome. Finally, need I say anything else really? Awesome storytelling, great gameplay, it's a winner.
I think the fact that I played through Fable III twice in the space of about 3 days is a pretty clear indication that I enjoyed this game. I especially enjoyed playing co-op with TwoSixNine, and seeing how differently our characters developed throughout the story (I went down the path of evil); I also liked the way that those developments were saved as statues along the "Road to Rule". Admittedly the game wasn't perfect, and we had to restart the entire game once when we glitched inside Reavers Mansion, but surprisingly these glitches didn't bother me in the slightest and didn't detract from the enjoyment of the game at all.
The campaign in this game may have been a bit short, but there was so much going on, and so much variation from mission to mission that you really don't notice it. Again the addition of co-op makes the campaign that much more enjoyable (my team: TwoSixNine, Fumetsu Natsu and Saigon). The new armour abilities are a nice addition, and they really mix things up when playing multiplayer.
I decided to overlook the massive plot hole in this game, and commend it for what it really is. It was almost nostalgic playing this game, because it reminded me of the days when I used to play Broken Sword. Admittedly Heavy Rain isn't exactly a point and click game, but the detective aspects and the involvement in the narrative really brought back memories. I liked the way that you played as different characters throughout the story, because it provided some really interesting ideas when trying to work out how the story was going to play out, and I also liked the way that the game could have multiple endings.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
I was originally going to put this in the additional mentions, and not as one of my "Top Games of 2010" but then I realised quite how much it surprised me, and how much enjoyment I got out of it. After playing GT5 till I couldn't handle boredom any longer, it was really refreshing to play an arcadey racing game that didn't take itself seriously. Multiplayer is definitely where this game shines though; when you play with a full party of 8 people (4 cops and 4 racers) and you are driving at top speed trying to avoid oncoming cars, treacherous spike strips and inconvenient road blocks whilst being chased by the cops, the adrenaline really kicks in.
As I said at the start of this post, there have been loads of amazing games this year, and naturally not all of them can fit into a "Top 5", but I just thought I would list a few other games that I really enjoyed this year.
Assassins Creed Brotherhood
Admittedly I would much rather have had AC3 with another new character from Desmond's ancestry, however this game was still really enjoyable. It started off a bit slowly, and the repetitive missions made a slight return, however when you get about 4 chapters into the game, it really starts to pick up. The addition of the brotherhood was a nice feature, especially when you have a full team of assassins that all jump in to help you out. Multiplayer was also a nice addition that actually works really well, when you can actually get into a game; I would probably have played it a bit longer had the matchmaking been a bit better.
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
I played Monster Hunter Tri this year, but out of the two, I felt Portable 3rd was the one to mention. Given that Tri took out a fair few weapons, it was nice to see them return in Portable 3rd. I think this game is definitely a lot easier than Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, given that I haven't had any real trouble fighting any of the monsters yet, which is a shame in some respects given that I liked the challenge, but perhaps it will get harder nearer the end, especially when I come to fight Black Tigrex.
This game may not be for everyone, but I had endless amounts of fun playing this. I think it makes all the difference when you have an awesome group of people to play co-op with (TwoSixNine, Dr McMystery and Agent T) and when you combine that with a game that is so crazy in its own respect, you have the formula for a hilarious co-op experience. The game is most enjoyable when your armour skills are maxed out, and you're all running around throwing cars and trucks at each other while jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
This is definitely one of the best games on the PSP to date, and the inclusion of a Monster Hunter cameo was a nice bonus. My only gripe with this game was how it was so broken up. I completely understand that the game was designed as a hand-held game, so the way that missions were broken up was to lend itself to portable play, but I did find that it detached you from the story a bit. Despite that I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and the art style cut-scenes were awesome.
3D Dot Game Heroes
I haven't actually got round to completing this game yet, but I felt it deserved a mention not just because it's an awesome game so far, but because it was also a big influence in one of the group projects I did last term (we made an RTS with a 3D Dot Game Heroes visual style).
So that's it, that's my top 5 games for 2010, and a few additional mentions. Tune in tomorrow when I talk about my most anticipated games for 2011.