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Insomniac’s Favorite Games of 2010

James Stevenson's Avatar + Posted by James Stevenson on Dec 29, 2010 // Community Lead, Insomniac Games

As part of our fantastic year-end takeover of the PlayStation.Blog, we wanted to share with you some of Insomniac’s favorite games from 2010. At first, we got a wide variety of responses… as you’ll see below.

ModNation Racers (Sackboy)

ModNation Racers
My choice would have to be ModNation Racers. I played that game all night long, collected all the outfits, stickers, and whatnot, and made a ton of characters. I also posted a few tracks online – “A Night On Bald Mountain” and “Alice In Wonderland.”
-Giac Veltri, Engine Programmer

Rock Band 3
I really enjoy the challenge of playing songs in pro mode. The new keyboard, cymbals, and pro guitar are great additions to a game that was already amazingly fun.
-Herman Miller, Senior Programmer

MineCraft
The experience it gives you, you can’t get anywhere else.
-Joe Valenzuela, Engine Programmer

Super Meat Boy
It is unforgiving, unrelenting and unapologetic. It’ll grind your nose to the ground and make you feel insignificant. It does all this while staying fair to the player, no cheap deaths, and the feedback system showing the player where they jumped, landed and were mutilated by massive-death-blades(TM) creates a comforting and addicting “no, I can do this” feeling in the player.

It not only revels in a past era of super hard games, it refines it to near perfection. Super Meat Boy is everything anyone could ask for from a pure run-and-jump platformer.
-Chaz Wilke, Scripter

Starcraft II
I’m kind of embarrassed that it’s so mainstream, but Starcraft II. This was a surprise for me, since I’d always considered myself no good at RTS games, but apparently that’s all changed as I continue to charge through the Platinum 2v2 league 6 months after its release. It’s definitely an intense yet enjoyable challenge for me, and I love playing Zerg! (I chose to play Zerg for a highly strategic reason: they are adorable.)
-Lisa Brown, Designer

Bejeweled Blitz
My favorite game of 2010 was Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook. Despite a weekly @$$ kicking by my wife I keep coming back for more. (Lead Designer Jake) Biegel bows before me.
-John Fiorito, Chief Operating Officer

bayo_famitsu_0909_004


Bayonetta
Bayonetta, easily. The game really surprised me with its amazingly fast combat and unique (and kickass) soundtrack. It also had some of the best boss battles I’ve seen this entire generation.
-Scott Michalek, Engine Support Technician

Norman Jayden - Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain
Although other games like Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead Redemption captured me for longer periods of time this year, Heavy Rain is the game that most stands out in my mind. I really loved its depiction of fatherhood, a rarity in games. Heavy Rain gave me a new type of experience I hadn’t had before in any other game, and it made me really excited about the possibilities for interactive fiction in future games.
-Joel Bartley, Gameplay Programmer

If you guessed that our writer’s favorite game from 2010 would be the game where you played a writer… well, you’d be right:

Alan Wake
My favorite game of 2010 was Alan Wake. It was dark, atmospheric, with a compelling narrative and a really unique combat mechanic. It also satisfied my insatiable hunger for lumber mill-centric gameplay. As an added bonus, Alan Wake brought to light the gritty truth about writers: that we are all badass action heroes you want to align yourself with should possessed beings ever invade your tranquil summer burg. Unless you’re married to one of us – then you should probably run.
-TJ Fixman, Senior Writer

Sometimes we don’t get to play new games during the holidays, and they slip to the next year. That’s the case with the next couple of selections:

rooftop jump

Uncharted 2
I liked the platform/parkour aspects of the level design. If Uncharted 3 has more of the platforming and jumping around I’ll be calling in sick until I complete it.
-Frank Lafuente, Lead Programmer

Dragon Age: Origins
Primary reason is that on my list of favorite game titles it was one of the only new titles, the others being sequels/new installments of a previous franchise.

I think that Dragon Age is an excellent example of bringing old school DnD style RPGs into the current generation. It was refreshing to see them revamp many of the traditional RPG standards while maintaining many of the same themes. It’s also one of few games that really delivers on content and epic story telling.
-Josue Benavidez, Associate Designer

RSG_RDR_Screenshot_310_L

Despite the wide variety of selections, as the response continued to flow in, it was clear that a vast number of Insomniac’s favored one game above all others during 2010: Red Dead Redemption. As our own (in?)famous cos-playing Senior Animator Ben Van Dyken writes:

  • It was an emotional experience. You had real empathy for the character over the course of the game…. And not just in the main storyline, but I also got very attached to my horse, and when he died, I felt real loss…had to go through almost a mourning period before getting another. And these were never ‘canned’ experiences either…they usually happened so dynamically, that it never felt like an event ‘forced’ upon me by the designer….which gave it that much more impact.
  • I also remember back when the game came out, each morning people would gather in the kitchen and tell their “RDR stories” from the night before. “…and right after that, I was wrestling this bear with only my bare hands…when all of a sudden, a cougar jumped out and mauled my horse…” It was great.

John_Marston_2

-Ben Van Dyken, Senior Animator

Other praise for Red Dead Redemption:
As repetitive as many of the quests could be, they created a world I enjoyed being in. They nailed the visuals and sound design of the west, from the time crickets swap with grasshoppers as the primary insect noisemakers to the way dawn casts nearly white light over deserts. The Morricone-esque soundtrack made me feel like I was in a western movie; It just felt good to ride around and experience that world.

Add to that the sheer number of things to do (skill rankings, outfits, primary story missions, mini games, bounty quests, etc) and amazingly entertaining ambient behavior (watching people get mauled from their horses by mountain lions, hearing the prostitutes around town say things like, “I hate to see a dry pecker” and trying to line-up the perfect sniper shot when suddenly being attacked by a Grizzly…) and you had a game that truly defines an era. Would anyone even want to try to make another western game?

Oh, and their “Undead Nightmare” DLC kind of ruined DLC for the rest of us. Best $9.99 I’ve ever spent!
-Marcus Smith, Creative Director on Resistance 3

My love of Spaghetti Westerns was beautifully recreated in this game. I loved the story lines and the fire fights felt like a cross between the Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. John Marston, the main character is well defined and carries all the emotion needed to connect with him. Rockstar did an amazing job and they continue to set the bar for sandbox games.
-Carlos De La Torre Jr, Tester

From cattle rustling to coyote wrestling to bandit killing, this game really drew me into its world. Playing co-op with some fellow Insomniacs is also a blast.
-Chris Edwards, Engine Programmer

The level of difficulty in making a Western game of the year is epic – yet they managed to nail it. The level of immersion and gorgeous environments leaves me awestruck – it’s a world that I love just being in.
-Joel Goodsell, Senior Designer

My favorite game of 2010 would have to be Red Dead Redemption. I expected it to be GTA4 with horses, but it turned out to be a sprawling, profound, emotionally moving experience centered around one of the absolute best characters in video games (John Marston). Easily the greatest Western video game ever made, and possibly the greatest Western ever made, period.
-Josh Leman, Tester

Sounds trite, but I loved, loved, loved Red Dead Redemption. I love the desert. I love hiking in the desert, camping, and driving through it. I think the Red Dead team nailed the feeling of the lighting, the topography, and the natural plants and cacti. I’m also a huge fan of westerns, and to me, this was nothing less than the definitive western video game–besides Boot Hill, of course. :)

I’m not sure I’ve seen better looking horses in a game either. It’s the kind of game I like playing just so I can ride around watch the sunset… before I smoke some outlaw gang from their shack. It’s truly a world I feel like I can escape into.
-Steve Ratter, Environment Artist

I loved the openness and the fact that you could finally be a bad-ass gunslinger. First western game to really capture that and it was awesome. And let’s face it, who didn’t always want to skin a bunch of bears.
-Tim Salvitti, Web Developer

So Red Dead Redemption is definitely the favorite pick of Insomniac Games for 2010. Congrats to everyone at Rockstar: San Diego for making such a fantastic game, that sucked up so much of everyone’s time here at Insomniac Games. If you haven’t played it yet, we can’t highly recommend it enough.

//Add Your Own

61 Comments   5 Replies

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1

+ Butters360 on December 29th, 2010 at 7:10 am said:

Amazing choices. I’ve yet to play Red Dead Redemption. It’s stuck in my HUGE backlog of games. One day though!


2

+ nbnt on December 29th, 2010 at 7:13 am said:

It’s really nice to see games from other platforms mentioned there, I really liked Super Meat Boy and Alan Wake too, overall great list but missing Mass Effect 2.


3

+ Kchow23 on December 29th, 2010 at 7:16 am said:

pretty sure Uncharted 2 was 2009 unless you count the GOTY edition… surprised no God of War 3, God of War: Ghost of Sparta or MGS: Peace Walker mentions but all around great picks :)


4

+ Kchow23 on December 29th, 2010 at 7:17 am said:

oh and also missing ME2


    James Stevenson's Avatar

     

    + James Stevenson on December 29th, 2010 at 9:07 am said:

    I think everyone at Insom LOVED ME2 (myself included) – but no one picked it as numero uno that participated. A lot of killer games that didn’t quite overcome the tide of Red Dead responses this year.


5

+ junpeai on December 29th, 2010 at 7:18 am said:

all awsome games


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+ DaWolf619 on December 29th, 2010 at 7:20 am said:

Red Dead Redemption is my game of 2010 as well. With GoW3 write on it’s boot heels. heh
But I just love riding around at night and seeing all the stars in the sky, watching the sunrise. Just an amazing game from top to bottom.


7

+ bbonds_007 on December 29th, 2010 at 7:32 am said:

ZOMG PS Blog speaks of a 360 exclusive on here!!

Hehe


    James Stevenson's Avatar

     

    + James Stevenson on December 29th, 2010 at 9:11 am said:

    In the end, we are all gamers!


8

+ shazbot-finubus on December 29th, 2010 at 7:42 am said:

Great picks. I recently bought Bayonetta and while I’ve barely scratched the surface, I can tell it’s going to be a wild ride.


9

+ BlooodyCow on December 29th, 2010 at 7:46 am said:

None of you guys played God of War 3?

As for me, My favorite game of 2010 is God of War 3 :)
Hopefully next year Resistance 3 will be on my favorite game list. Hopefully it’s 99% like Resistance Fall of Man and the other 1% is improvements :)


    James Stevenson's Avatar

     

    + James Stevenson on December 29th, 2010 at 9:15 am said:

    We totally played God of War III, and I think it’d be on everyone’s top 5 or top 10 list. Folks could just share numero uno. :-)


10

+ Globox_82 on December 29th, 2010 at 7:48 am said:

Nice that PSblog didn’t decide to have 360 exclusives removed. Personally i couldn’t care less about them but it is nice to see.
We know that the other side would never permit something like that.


11

+ TwinDad on December 29th, 2010 at 7:51 am said:

I like this take over. It’s nice to see the people that make the games appreciate great games and play them.

Strange that the finance guy is into bejeweled.


12

+ RockToonz on December 29th, 2010 at 8:00 am said:

my favorite game this year is also ModNation Racers!…


13

+ N_8_ on December 29th, 2010 at 8:01 am said:

@TwinDad

A couple of other good fits were the lead writer and Alan Wake and one of the engine programmers and MineCraft


14

+ RockToonz on December 29th, 2010 at 8:01 am said:

and i am still playing it ^^


15

+ ELDeviant on December 29th, 2010 at 8:06 am said:

Glad to see Minecraft on the list it is amazingly fun for such a simple game


16

+ Link01 on December 29th, 2010 at 8:18 am said:

Lol, red dead sure made a dent for my game of the year. I was dissapointed in Alan wake though. I think the stage level compensatedvfor the rest of the game though lol.


17

+ BigRon3400 on December 29th, 2010 at 8:24 am said:

I found Red Dead too damn boring to complete. GOW3 and Fallout New Vegas would be my picks.


18

+ pitythefool852 on December 29th, 2010 at 8:32 am said:

Either the PS Blog editorial staff weren’t in the office today or they just did something quite interesting…

ie. Not editing out exclusives for the other console.

I really like that, and I hope it wasn’t a mistake ;) It shows confidence, a little bit of honour, and a sense of fair play in the otherwise messy world of PR, flame wars and fan boys.

Back to PlayStation though… for me, the game of the year was the new Pac Man game on PSN. That game is so simple, fast and addictive. I love it.


19

+ FATHASUN on December 29th, 2010 at 8:50 am said:

How dare you invade this blog with competitor content. Its sacrilege!!!

Seriously, this is why I favor Sony. Most of its success is due to the merits of its own product and not based on mudslinging. Its ok to hit the competition with a few jabs here and there but when you get dirty… you get dirty. Companies get the utmost respect from me this way.

My favorites… Heavy Rain, God of War 3, Gran Turismo 5…. Ect…


    James Stevenson's Avatar

     

    + James Stevenson on December 29th, 2010 at 9:22 am said:

    Oh, I loved both the The Show and NHL… it’s just hard to put those games at your absolute number 1 with all the other killer games that came out this year.


21

+ Wollan on December 29th, 2010 at 9:20 am said:

+1 for MineCraft.


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+ mcbuttz78 on December 29th, 2010 at 9:32 am said:

wow .. no joe danger ? tank battles me.. You guys should give that those 3 a try .. best of the best if you ask me.. ALot ton of psp titles came out this year,, did you i had to buy 4 new memory cards.. i have psp go and its full of games and music and etc forom psn store.. .. If the iso team has the bawls make a new psp title next year. exclusive for psp.. not a racket and clank or resistance titles either . something new..


23

+ Glacier928 on December 29th, 2010 at 9:45 am said:

Interesting to see everyone’s favorite games of the year from you guys. I would say my GOTY was Heavy Rain. It was one of the most unique games I’ve ever played and had one of the most memorable stories in gaming history. Everyone keeps saying RDR was the best game this year but honestly, I couldn’t even finish the game because I was so bored with it. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into the game and I tried really hard to like the game.


24

+ Airwalkinman17 on December 29th, 2010 at 9:45 am said:

so many great games. And yes, Red Dead Rocked!
Haven’t even beat it and can tell you that it was easily one of the best this year.
Next year looks BEAST though. probably best year in gaming ever


25

+ Xeerochild on December 29th, 2010 at 10:05 am said:

@17,

I fully agree. At the end of the day, if a game is great, it shouldn’t matter which console it’s on.

Anyway, I cannot wait for Resistance 3. Resistance 2′s multiplayer was so much fun; I hope you guys have something in store for those of us who got “Killing Machine” and scored 10,000 kills online. Maybe a special skin or something?


26

+ TallCrowe on December 29th, 2010 at 10:06 am said:

Can’t argue with Red Dead. I traded mine in when I was short on cash, and was so relieved when my wife got me another copy for my birthday. Heavy Rain was really awesome too. I keep wanting to go back and see if I can change the ending I got.


27

+ Digital_Phoenix on December 29th, 2010 at 10:10 am said:

For long-time developers of the platform genre, I was expecting to see some Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Donkey Kong Country Returns love (Kirby’s Epic Yarn was mediocre and disappointing). Those two, along with No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer, were my favorite games released this year.

Overall, great list! The only downside of 2010 was its lack of Insomniac games. 2011 is going to be the greatest year in gaming ever.


28

+ GamesPlayer on December 29th, 2010 at 10:17 am said:

great choices peeps :D


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+ poodude on December 29th, 2010 at 10:19 am said:

I’m glad to see you guys aren’t afraid to put 360 exlusives up there :). I personally loved Alan Wake! Shame no one who participated put Metro 2033, that game was amazing as well.


30

+ cobbys2012ps on December 29th, 2010 at 10:19 am said:

Yay! I loved Heavy Rain so much! My personal GOTY.

But I hated Red Dead Redemption. Bored the hell out of me…


31

+ OnePieceAnime on December 29th, 2010 at 10:32 am said:

I am so happy Modnation got on the list. It has THE best online experience that is being offered on the PS3.

For those who haven’t picked up Modnation, it is currently $39.99 in stores. A game that is worth every penny.


32

+ ManaKnight on December 29th, 2010 at 10:52 am said:

I’m very glad to see ModNation Racers make the list. The game is SO fun.


33

+ SykoTech on December 29th, 2010 at 11:06 am said:

I really need to buy ModNation Racers sometime…


34

+ xaos on December 29th, 2010 at 11:15 am said:

There’s something I find really pleasing about hearing folks in the industry praise other games that they like; much more enjoyable than trash talk to me. Now, let’s pwn the competition with R3 :)


35

+ DonnyG on December 29th, 2010 at 11:48 am said:

Props for mentioning 360 games. Major props!


36

+ Blkant on December 29th, 2010 at 12:48 pm said:

@ DonnyG

A: none of those are exclusives any more

B: they left us to make xbox games as well now

So no props for it, it just is what it is…


37

+ DonnyG on December 29th, 2010 at 1:31 pm said:

@ Blkant

Alan Wake?

Insomniac didn’t leave anybody. Lighten up.


38

+ SykoTech on December 29th, 2010 at 2:06 pm said:

I’m surprised Vanquish wasn’t mentioned. I remember you guys raving about it back at E3.


39

+ wocyob on December 29th, 2010 at 2:37 pm said:

nice list and alll of them are great games… still need to pick up modnation tho


40

+ FearMonkey on December 29th, 2010 at 3:20 pm said:

Great list of games. My #1 game of the year was Alpha Protocol which nobody mentioned. I played it on PC but it’s on PS3 also. While it does have its flaws; the story, dialog and multiple endings overcame them. The Choice & Consequence system is by far the best I’ve ever seen.

I also give kudos for mentioning exclusives to other platforms. As was said by someone before me, the competition would never allow something like that.

Personally I never played Alan Wake because I’m waiting for them to uncancel the PC version that was announced 5 years ago. :p

Happy New Year, Insomniac, and thanks for bringing the weapon wheel back. :)


41

+ FearMonkey on December 29th, 2010 at 3:35 pm said:

Why the heck is the blog still showing my U3 avatar? I changed it to Etna last week. :(


42

+ WoshJills on December 29th, 2010 at 3:36 pm said:

Uncharted 2 came out in 2009.
If we are doing games that we played in 2010, then my favorite is Final Fantasy IV (4).

For games that came out in 2010, I choose Heavy Rain, God of War III, Rock Band 3, and Gran Turismo 5!


43

+ WoshJills on December 29th, 2010 at 3:36 pm said:

and Red Dead, of course. Red Dead is a given.


44

+ WoshJills on December 29th, 2010 at 3:37 pm said:

Why the heck is the blog still showing my Sackboy avatar? I changed it to U3 yesterday. :(


45

+ FearMonkey on December 29th, 2010 at 3:39 pm said:

Okay, I figured it out. Had to log out of the blog. Log into the main site and then re-login back to the blog. :p


46

+ digitalman123 on December 29th, 2010 at 4:56 pm said:

Uncharted 2 isn’t a 2010 game, it’s 2009.
I rented RDR twice, but I’m weighed down by too many games to bother with it.
My list:
-ModNation Racers
-God of War III
-Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
-The Sly Collection
Great choices overall!


47

+ PullusPardusUS on December 29th, 2010 at 5:44 pm said:

lots of good games this year! (and a lot more to come) , my favorite would be Amnesia The Dark Descent.


48

+ Elnath10 on December 29th, 2010 at 5:52 pm said:

Guys, I want to congratulate you to giving the credit that RDR deserves. An applause for that!. Trully RDR is the epic title of the year, GOTY in many awards (the most importants). With all the respect that all of the other games deserves (’cause they are a lot of great ones!), RDR was beyond the expectations, that level of gaming is just amazing an none of the rest has what it takes to be competing against it.

Again, Congratulations. and keep the great work coming!, love ModNation Racers :D


49

+ Mattsta001 on December 29th, 2010 at 6:10 pm said:

Really enjoyed RDR. Just a shame PS3 gamers got the inferior versions of both Bayonetta and Red Dead Redemption (as usual for multiplat games) because the devs couldn’t be bothered.

+1 for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. If the PSN staff had a half a clue they would pick this up for a release. But they don’t seem to, that’s why we missed out on Super Meat Boy.


50

+ NotoriousGamer on December 29th, 2010 at 7:11 pm said:

my favorite games are resistance fall of man and quest for booty. you need to support those games with trophies. trophy support to resistance fall of man is needed bad. trophies to quest 4 booty too is needed bad. show some real support for your customers and games.


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