Six games that will define 2010

Which titles will this year be remembered for? Edwin drops a few hints.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, January 8, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox 360)

The Japanese role-playing game’s future in the West hinges on that of Final Fantasy XIII. To put things bluntly: if Square Enix’s showboat of a franchise can’t make it here, the genre at large probably won’t either. This year will be remembered as the year in which quasi-turn-based, statistical battling returned to relevance, or the year in which it finally exhausted its stock of Phoenix Downs and disappeared into the history books. If SE’s CEO and president Yoichi Wada is to be believed, the writing may already be on the wall. (And if Gamasutra’s Christian Nutt is to be believed, the move to new genre territory has taken place already.)

Medal of Honor (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

With Infinity Ward’s latest project firmly over the horizon, EA has the much-coveted contemporary shooter genre more or less to itself for 12 months. Viewed one way, Medal of Honor is shaping up to be a depressing exercise in artistic theft, grafting Modern Warfare’s sand-churned special ops vibe onto the old PSX-era framework of spawn points and sandbags. Viewed another, it’s the ultimate comeback kid, and one which diverges from its newfound inspirations in subtle but, even at this stage, pressing ways: stylised, white-on-black artworks, the intriguing absence of an obvious main character. Will the old warhorse be King of the Hill 12 months from now?

Project Natal (Xbox 360)

Or rather, games built around it. Project Natal will make or break Microsoft’s 2010 – probably not in a financial sense, though the precise extent of the company’s R&D costs is still unknown – but certainly in terms of popular perception. On-going RROD debacle aside, the big M has managed the expansion of its console hardware and service portfolio with admirable grace, opting for tested concepts and incremental revisions rather than huge, risky, experimental leaps. The recently announced Games Room is a case in point, appropriating many of PlayStation Home’s best features but burning off much of the dead air. Natal, by contrast, is well outside Microsoft’s comfort zone. Its reception will prove or disprove the Xbox 360′s claim to the Wii’s leftovers and, perhaps, shape the technical priorities of the next generation of consoles.

The Legend of Zelda (Wii)

We know next to nothing about the latest Zelda project, other than that it will be closer to Twilight Princess in visual style than Wind Waker, and that it may call on Wii MotionPlus. Regardless, Link’s next and possibly last Wii outing is an intriguing prospect. The Zelda series has long made up the more adult end of Nintendo’s offering, alongside Metroid Prime, and “adult” gaming – be it the starkly satirical MadWorld variety or the chunky creativity of Zak & Wiki  – seems to be in recession on the Wii. Will the new game re-cement the console’s hardcore cachet? Or will it continue the slow shift, palpable in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, towards the family-friendly sphere?

Runners-up: God of War III, MGS: Peace Walker, Call of Duty Vietnam, The Last Guardian, Red Dead Redemption, Monster Hunter Tri, Halo: Reach, LEGO: Universe, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Bayonetta, Star Trek Online, MAG, Super Mario Galaxy 2, StarCraft 2.

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20 Responses to “Six games that will define 2010”

  1. K says:

    Not a single mention of Mass Effect 2? I find it hard to believe that a game of that caliber would be omitted from a list like this.

    • Edwin says:

      Mass Effect 2 will be great, in all likelihood, and I look forward to squabbling with the lads for our review copy, but in the absence of major new features I can’t see it knocking the industry sideways.

  2. crap says:

    what a crap article….get your shit in check. natal is the only thing worth mentioning regarding gamin in 2010

    • David Macphail says:

      Natal is garbage, only non – gamers would be interested in it. Waving your arms about like a loon isn’t going to make Halo: Reach’s last – gen graphics look any better.

  3. Dale says:


    They failed to include the greatest RTS game to ever grace PC known as Starcraft 2

    As far as multiplayer FPS goes, if sure BFBC2 will take the crown in 2010

    They also included a need for speed game over GT5

    Project Natal…really?

  4. nutbear96 says:

    TYPICAL! Just another fanboy website hyping up Eyetoy. WHOOPS I mean Natal! In the next COD game do you want to wave your hands around like a retard?
    My 6 are:
    Mass Effect 2,
    Gran Turismo 5,
    Heavy Rain,
    Medal of Honour (yes I speak ENGLISH not American!,
    Splinter Cell Conviction,
    God of War III (GOTY isn’t it?)
    Super Mario Galaxy 2,
    BioShock 2,
    Call of Duty Vietnam (Look how many units MW2 sold? And look at how many WAW sold? This will sell alot!)
    And finally The Last Guardian

    If you don’t agree with me then you are a 360 fanboy that still thinks Halo is good (I’ll admit its good but since COD4 it has’t been the same) or if you think that Project Natal will actually work! HAHAHAHAHA!!!! :P

    • Show me where I say Natal is going to be an unqualified success! This article is about games I feel this year will be remembered for, the hits as much as the misses. If Natal shits itself inside out on release, it’ll be big news for the industry. If Natal blows our minds on release, it’ll be big news for the industry.

      I’m as English as Buckingham Palace, by the way, but Medal of HONOR isn’t :p

  5. Herbman82 says:

    A good list in terms of originality.

    To the other douchebags who disagree, you should really learn to read the opening paragraphs first. This isn’t meant to be a list of the best games of 2010. idiots.

  6. LevelHead says:

    Project Natal, The Last Guardian, Heavy Rain, Alan Wake, new Zelda and Sony’s Sphere should be the six on there. Not things like Medal of Honor.

  7. The Truth says:

    This ‘article’ is ass.

  8. Doc Robotnik says:

    Erm… The article seems to not realise that DICE are only doing the Multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor. The Single Player is being done by the same team that made MOH: Airborn.


  9. Razi says:

    i think halo: reach deserves to be in tht list

  10. Shannon says:

    OMG PLZZZZ dont let this new zelda be the LAST ONE this is the best vid game EVER!!!!

  11. Bro says:

    Metroid: Other M should have been the #1 game on this list

  12. DR Jam says:

    I really don’t get why only mention six games, and why games like GT, GoW3, Mass Effect 2, and Halo Reach haven’t been mentioned. At least Mass Effect 2, since everyone already knows how awesome it is and how success is being, and it’s already having people say that it will be the GoTY.

  13. Stuff says:

    red dead redemption…. anyone, no ok………. PUT IT ON THE FRIGGING LIST

  14. Cuc Hailey says:

    Rattling instructive and great bodily structure of written content , now that’s user pleasant (:.


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