Best of the Rest: Justin's Picks for 2010

Justin McElroy
J. McElroy|12.30.10

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Best of the Rest: Justin's Picks for 2010
I'm just going to tell myself that my esteemed Joystiq colleagues didn't play this moody, flawed FPS, because I hate the idea that I'm the only one with whom it resonated. With a single trek through a post-apocalyptic Russian underground, Ukrainian developer 4A became one of the developers I'd follow anywhere. It's got problems, specifically with a pretty lackluster combat system, but there's also nothing else like it.

I'm a sucker for a high-quality narrative and Enslaved had some of the best performances and writing I can remember from a game. But rather than the showy performances you typically get from Hollywood stars who make the leap to games, Enslaved's success is in the seamless fusion of actor and digital puppet that developer Ninja Theory has created. The gamey parts are ... fine, but its real legacy will be as a high-water mark in creating convincing game characters. Here's hoping others follow in its footsteps.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with WoW. I've spent plenty of time on it in the past, but it was always accompanied by an excessive amount of guilt that I wasn't playing something more ... fun. With the Cataclysm revamp, the game's been populated by so many enjoyable, creative quests that I'm playing not just to improve my stats, but to see what's around the next corner. That's a reason I'll be comfortable telling my co-workers about.

Tilt to Live
I'm really happy Tilt to Live doesn't keep track of play time, because I'm sure the hours I've spent staring at this retro-flavored gem is a touch depressing. Its simple mechanic (tilt your ship into weapons to kill attacking dots), kooky sense of humor and frequent updates kept it on the front page of my iPhone all year long.

Last Night on Earth
Okay, sure. Technically, it's a board game. And it didn't come out in 2010. But some of the most fun I've had gaming this year has been hiding from a horde of brain hungry undead and searching wildly for something, anything to beat them back in the vain hope of seeing another sunset. Get some friends together and play this game.

Joystiq is revealing its 10 favorite games of 2010 throughout the week! Stay tuned for more must-play picks, and take heed as each staffer stands atop a soapbox to defend those games that didn't quite make the cut in Joystiq's Best of the Rest series.

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