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AusGamers Game of the Year Awards 2010 “Game of the Decade”
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:24pm 28/01/11 | Comments
The AusGamers Game of the Year Awards 2010 come to a conclusion with our "Game of the Decade" category - who will walk away number one?

AusGamers Game of the Year Awards 2010 “Game of the Decade”

We took the initiative to allow you to not only vote on your favourite game of 2010, but of the last 10 years as well. This was also an open field, with no predetermined entries, so collating these was a task and a half because there were a lot of random games thrown into the mix, but here we are, with the Top 10 Games of the Decade, counting from 10 to one.

A lot of these were no-brainers, but we were mighty impressed with the level of to-end consistency, and even more impressed at some of the more obscure titles thrown in, so look out for “Honourable Mentions” at the close of this feature.

At any rate, here are the Top 10 Games of the last 10 years as voted by you, counting down from 10.




10. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Bethesda Softworks, 2006



Following on from Morrowind (which garnered quite a few of its own votes), The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion gave next-gen consoles a reason to boast about visuals, and caught them up with PCs of the time. It also expanded the series into more open-world territory and showed that sandbox gaming didn’t just belong to Rockstar.

The game saw a number of expansions released to lengthen its shelf-life and became something of a technical precursor to Fallout 3 for Bethesda Game Studios. Gamers everywhere are rabidly anticipating its follow-up, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which will utilise a whole new engine and hopefully address a number for design woes gamers faced with Oblivion.



9. Red Dead Redemption - Rockstar San Diego, 2010



While the Grand Theft Auto series remained the crowning jewel in Rockstar’s cap, it would be the dark horse, Red Dead Redemption, from sister development studio, Rockstar San Diego, that decrowned the open-world sandbox videogame king.

Taking obvious cues from countless westerns, Red Dead Redemption not only gave players the most coherent and believable game-world ever created, but an accessible character and plight with which to engage it.

Stunning visuals, great voice-acting, the best use of NaturalMotion’s Euphoria yet and those sunsets, oh those sunsets, set Red Dead Redemption apart from anything else on the market. Brilliant.



8. Mass Effect 2 - BioWare, 2010



It’s this year’s overall Game of the Year, and a precursor to one of the most anticipated games of 2011, Mass Effect 3. BioWare know how to tell a story, and while things got off to a shaky start visually and in the action department with Mass Effect, its sequel took the more action-oriented high-road, slimming down the RPG component to create a perfect action/RPG hybrid that oozed polish.

It still has the best sci-fi soundtrack this side of Blade Runner, those all-important sci-fi lens flares and one deeply rich storyline in an equally rich and deep universe. Mass Effect 2 is BioWare at the top of their game.



7. Battlefield 2 - DICE, 2005



It’s important to note that Battlefield 2 was released at a time when the PC was still the undisputed king of online shooters. With recent titles like Call of Duty, and even Battlefield developer DICE’s most recent Bad Company series, the genre has moved towards decreased map sizes and player counts to create more kinetic and somewhat intimate (well as intimate as a shotgun to the back can be) affairs - most notably due to console gaming technical restrictions.

Battlefield 2 on PC was an online shooter of the epic kind. It refined their capture point and vehicle hopping squad based gameplay to near perfection, and it allowed upwards of 64 players to take part in both small and epic scale battles across huge sprawling maps. It was also a game that introduced cutting edge physics (for its time) that led to many hilarious vehicular “accidents” that in turn led to many games being cut short and players left reading “You have been kicked for excessive team killing”. Damn those helicopter controls!



6. Fallout 3 - Bethesda Game Studios, 2008



Taking their open-world RPG experience from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bethesda Game Studios put aside their fantasy lore rule-book, and took players to a fully realised post-apocalyptic wasteland, the likes of which no one had seen in the videogame space before.

Fallout 3 took the popular PC isometric RPG series of the same name, and ushered it into the next-generation, radiating a sense of design maturity few games of the time could equal. The world was literally your play-thing, and with definitively dynamic outcomes based on multiple options of player choice, the game became something of a benchmark for freedom and on-the-fly narrative, as directed by the player.

It was bloody, it was gruesome, it was cold and it was harsh, but damn if it wasn’t a hell of a lot of fun, too.



5. Deus Ex - Ion Storm Austin, 2000



If the popularity of some titles in this list could be partly attributed to short memories, here's one that most definitely is not. Originally released mid 2000, Deus Ex (pronounced day-as-ecks btw) took genre amalgamation to unprecedented levels, and that it is still so impressed on the minds of AusGamers readers is a well-deserved testament to its quality.

Part first-person shooter, part RPG and part adventure game, Deus Ex offered many layers of player-choice all woven into an immersive cyberpunk universe; realised with the visual strengths of the original Unreal Engine.

The sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War failed to live up to its namesake, considered by many to have been "dumbed down" too much for console gamers, at a time when home-consoles were only beginning to dabble into first-person shooter territory.

In 2011, we find ourselves eagerly awaiting Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel to the original which - despite coming from a French-Canadian studio far removed from the original (disbanded) Ion Storm Austin team - appears very promising.



4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - Infinity Ward, 2007



Against all judgement at Activision in the initial “pitch” staged for the next Call of Duty entry, Infinity Ward got their “Modern Warfare” concept across the line and arguably changed the first-person shooter market forever.

Say what you will of the Call of Duty brand in its current form, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare introduced a legion of console gamers to proper online multiplayer, and created one of the most popular PC online communities of modern times. Moreover, the game’s engine (built off old Quake tech), still holds solid, even today, while the frenetic nature of play is still second-to-none. Infinity Ward knew how to take you on the roller-coaster ride of a lifetime - here’s hoping they’re still capable of that with the game’s third installment, purportedly releasing later this year.



3. Team Fortess 2 - Valve Software, 2007



A team-based shooter that took the concept of player classes to a whole new level, by instilling definable roles and responsibilities into each player (that being you). On paper that may sound a little daunting, and in a sense possibly even boring, but the execution was anything but. The colourful visuals complemented the gameplay perfectly and made what is at its core a strict team-based shooter, incredibly fun.

Coupled with maps that seemed to have been designed by a “Perfect Map Maker 5200” machine (of sorts) Team Fortress 2 feels timeless. All it takes is one good game, where all the pieces fall into place, a good mix of player classes, just the right balance of concise strategy and tomfoolery, and a tug of war struggle to control each territory, and you are instantly hooked. The best part of course was that this happened more often than not, and really what more could you ask for?



2. Half-Life 2 - Valve Software, 2004



The game that introduced the world to the Source Engine, and with it, state of the art visuals, physics and gameplay that not only moved a genre forward, but also helped protagonist Gordon Freeman evolve his arsenal from a crowbar to a gravity gun. Half Life 2 was hotly anticipated before its release and still to this day remains the absolute benchmark for campaign-driven first-person shooters.

Echoes of its core gameplay can be seen in games being released today, but above all of its technical achievements, developer Valve also managed to create an interactive story that was endlessly engaging and incredibly paced without the need for cut-scenes or even a voiced protagonist. It proved that creating an action-heavy set-piece driven game can be achieved without the need to sacrifice intelligence. Oh, and it also introduced a little thing called “Steam”.



1. World of WarCraft - Blizzard Entertainment, 2004



It was almost guaranteed Blizzard’s constant online fantasy world would take the Game of the Decade cake, given its persistent updates to ensure replayability to the nines, as well as the handful of expansions that have accompanied it since its release in 2004.

Hardcore WoW players today don’t just have a character, they have a stable of characters, they’re members of several guilds and plan weekend-long raids, and when you consider the game’s subscriber-base is 10 million strong and growing, its any wonder the game comes in at number one.

There’s also no end in sight for the MMO, with the success of the expansions; most recently evidenced by Cataclysm, an add-on that changed the world of Azeroth forever. If the WoW team can continue to evolve their world in this way, we may have to issue Government warnings to people in the same vain as those for cigarettes.

To be fair, it was close between the world’s most popular MMO and most remembered FPS, Half-Lfe 2, for first place, but it turns out people like Blood-Elves and Taurens more than Antlions and Head Crabs.



So that’s the Game of the Year Awards 2010 “Game of the Decade” done. Hopefully this Top 10 will spark much debate and dialogue, which is what it’s supposed to do, but we at AusGamers are very happy with the overall results from the last three days, and thank each and every one of you who jumped into the activity and voted, helping make the whole feature happen.

As for Game of the Decade Honourable Mentions, here are a few: Diablo 2, BioShock, Metroid Prime, Max Payne, Resident Evil 4, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo: Combat Evolved, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Doom 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Shadow of the Colossus, among many, many more.

Stay tuned to AusGamers throughout 2011 and become a voice in our community if you’re not already, and we’ll see you in the Game of the Year space next year, for the GOTY 2011 Awards!



Latest Comments
ravn0s
Posted 04:37pm 28/1/11
wow as no. 1? lame. top 5 for sure but not 1.
Pinky
Posted 05:08pm 28/1/11
Surprised me more than Angus & Julia Stone.

Pretty amusing that I haven't even played the number one game of the decade.
Dan
Posted 04:52pm 28/1/11
I'm not a WoW fan either. But mainly because it stole the collective attentions of so many people that I used to enjoy playing an actual variety of games with and never really gave them back. So it's hard to deny the impact it's had on gaming over the last decade and why I have no qualms about it expectedly ending up at number 1.

As for the rest of the list, I'm pleased to see a good list of games that I've enjoyed and respected over the years - nice voting guys.
MatchFixah
Posted 04:53pm 28/1/11
I wonder where Counter Strike came.. if anything at all.
Eorl
Posted 04:54pm 28/1/11
I dunno bout number 1. Sure it's a great game, and has the numbers to prove it. But it's a whole different beast. If any of the other games had the income that Blizzard has, they'd be able to make their games more shinier and more content ala WoW.
infi
Posted 05:06pm 28/1/11
i thought this was a good list. number 1 for me is cod4 without a doubt, but WoW is a no brainer. i never knew much about red dead redemption but might give it a go after it has been rated so highly in these awards, same for mass effect 2.
fpot
Posted 05:12pm 28/1/11
Fallout: New Vegas or Morrowind were GotD for me. Probably New Vegas due to it being much more polished than Morrowind.

So far my playthroughs in NV have been this-

1) exploring the gameworld with no prior knowledge of locations and bonuses and stuff. I pretty much played it as an energy weapons specialist with medium speech skill. I also played with hardcore mode on and used fast travel as little as possible, so keeping myself stocked with food items and water were essential. I went with a Mr House ending due to the fact I saw that as the most sensible option.

2) for my second playthrough I wikied up and pretty much powergamed my way through it to see how much stuff I could break and change from my last playthrough. This playthrough opened my eyes to how varied the game was, and how many different paths you could take. I went with the Legion for the ending.

3) a******* option playthrough with a 1 intelligence and 1 charisma specced character using explosives and melee weapons. Discovering the low intelligence speech options was really cool. This time I went with Yes Man (the best ending).

4) I maxxed out charisma and intelligence and leveled up my speech and sneak options and did a playthrough where I did not kill a single person, robot or creature. It's amazing that in just about all the missions (including the final one) there is always a peaceful or non-combat way to complete it. Probably the only two missions I didn't complete because of the rules I was playing under were the bounties you get from the NCR dude at Camp McCarren, and the mission at Nellis for the boomers where you have to kill the ants. There may have been a handful of side missions I missed that don't have peaceful options though but I was pretty thorough. This was probably my favorite run through the game apart from my first one.

5) and right now I have just started a playthrough where I will kill every single human being on the map. I don't want to kill all the robots and friendly animals though some of them I like (Snuffles!) :S

To me the quality of the writing and the varied nature of the mission structure makes New Vegas an absolute classic game. The bugs are bad but patches have done what they can to fix some of them, and any bugs I have encountered (except for the CTDs... remember to save people!) are easily negated by the console. I pity the fools who play this on xbox 360 or ps3. I really do.
fpot
Posted 05:19pm 28/1/11
Deus Ex (pronounced day-as-ecks btw)
day-oos-ecks
Nerfington
Posted 05:21pm 28/1/11
I'm surprised to see that Half Life 2 was so highly rated. Technically it was impressive (still is), and the anticipation was huge. But I don't feel it held up to the original at all, the feel of the gameplay and the plot were way off for me. I bought episode 1 in the recent steam sales and remembered that the many scripted scenes with alex talking to and smiling at gordon without him answering made for extreme creepiness.

I'm also surprised that Oblivion beat Morrowind, makes me wonder if most would have liked it more, but put something else for their entry (I can't see many people having played both and putting Oblivion first, so perhaps people with more games under their belt had a better contender). In the name of justice I wish to propose an eventual game of the decade multi-vote, or scoring per game in a huge list with an NA for haven't played, or a head to head elimination game. :P

Also no KotOR, Civs, Jedi Knight, Sims, Pokemon, or Total Wars? Bah, bah I say.

edit: WoW totally rocked though and was even too good, twas my entry.
BillyHardball
Posted 05:36pm 28/1/11
I don't think WoW should be number 1, cause my understanding is it only appeals to hardcore geeks. That is, the only people I've ever met (or at least only those who admitted to it) who play WoW are massive computer nerds. On the other hand, I think I've met heaps of people who game regularly now because they got into something like COD4.

That's from my own experience. I'd like to see the numbers of people who got into gaming just for WoW vs any one of those other games.
Khel
Posted 05:40pm 28/1/11
Yeah, they may have been other games which, in the short term, were more impressive than WoW. Like recently Mass Effect 2 absolutely blew me away, but no other game over the past 6 years have I put more time into than WoW, I just keep coming back to it, so it was my vote for game of the decade.

I think it also deserves it just for fundamentally changing the face of MMOs, I mean MMOs up to that point had been grindy, clunky, really niche sort of games, with a market that probably numbered less than a million players all up. WoW blew all that out of the water, cracking the market wide open and bringing a tonne of new players into the fold, as well as showing up on the scene with a level of polish and storytelling and depth previously unheard of in the genre. Love it or hate it, its hard to deny the huge role WoW has played since its arrival.

I'm suprised GTA3 didn't get in there, I mean it pretty much defined its genre too, it started this whole "sandbox" style of game (or at least, in a 3d world, as we know them today). While Red Dead and Mass Effect 2 were good games, I have a feeling they only got in the list cos people played them recently and remember them more easily, or more fondly than stuff they played 8 or 9 years ago. Red Dead was a great game, but its just an evolution, GTA3 was a revolution. And for the same reason I would have expected Battlefield 1942 instead of Battlefield 2.

Not a bad list all up though :P
fpot
Posted 05:41pm 28/1/11
I was just about to post that GTA3 wasn't released this decade newb! but checked and it was released in '01. S*** for some reason I thought it was released 1998. Must have gotten it confused with the original.
Khel
Posted 05:42pm 28/1/11
Also, looking through the honorable mentions, Halo and Resident Evil 4 are good nods. I mean, Halo cos its just a juggernaut, it delivered an experience on consoles that people just hadn't been able to get up till that point, and Resident Evil 4 because it was such an amazing reinvention of a genre and a franchise that was getting old and stale and left behind.
ctd
Posted 05:55pm 28/1/11
lols none of mine made the list. Company of Heroes, Natural Selection, StarCraft 2, CS: Source
Eorl
Posted 06:08pm 28/1/11
What I don't understand is why some of the ground breaking series aren't in there. Mass Effect 2, sure, was nice, but wasn't for everyone. Where as GTA3 everyone played, literally everyone knew it at school. Same with TF2, sure, it's known, but not really "well" known. Even The Sims was pretty ground breaking, compared to TF2 with hats.
VRBones
Posted 06:14pm 28/1/11
That's a lot of first person shooters.
Skitzo_Zac
Posted 06:21pm 28/1/11
Deus Ex at any position other than 1 is a broken list :(
Nerfington
Posted 06:40pm 28/1/11
I don't think WoW should be number 1, cause my understanding is it only appeals to hardcore geeks.

Nope, my school friends who aren't in IT nor really gamers (especially not PC) convinced me to get WoW a few years ago, when they somehow became addicted.

As a hardcore geek I've never been able to stay subscribed for more than 2 months at a time, because I burn through the single player content and aren't social enough to play the end game group stuff. :P
Lewk
Posted 07:40pm 28/1/11
Um, where's Portal?

Surely we're all Valve fan boys here...lol
Bertis
Posted 07:42pm 28/1/11
Not sure where all the WoW hate comes from... I guess people are just sick of hearing about it.

I voted for WoW even though I haven't played it for over 2 years now, and won't play it again.

You really have to think back to 2004 to really appreciate how damn good (and incredibly fun) it really was.

Also Oblivion and Fallout 3 in the top 10 is just ridiculous :P Both were way too clunky.

Half-Life 2 and Deus Ex are worthy additions though :)
Shroud
Posted 08:47am 29/1/11
Actually, this makes me wonder if a game 'series' of the decade might be a worthwhile poll?

Warcraft 3 + WoW vs Oblivion AND Morrowind vs Mass Effect 1 + 2 etc.

Which is the better series?

Also - I am kind of glad Halo didn't make the list. As great as the first game was; I always thought the series was over-rated.
groganus
Posted 09:59am 29/1/11
I who heartedly agree with the list, imo they had the most impact and in that order.
Enska
Posted 10:24am 29/1/11
Yeah BillyH most hardcore geeks are too busy playing EVE to bother with WoW.
infi
Posted 10:42am 29/1/11
yes i think company of heroes should have been on there. its far better than starcraft 2. i had to uninstall starcraft 2 after two weeks, what a boring game.
Twisted
Posted 11:52am 29/1/11
I don't think WoW should be number 1, cause my understanding is it only appeals to hardcore geeks. That is, the only people I've ever met (or at least only those who admitted to it) who play WoW are massive computer nerds.
Nerds and geeks play games like Eve Online. Mum/Dad type players and Wii 'gamers' play WOW.
Yeah BillyH most hardcore geeks are too busy playing EVE to bother with WoW.
+1
Eorl
Posted 12:25pm 29/1/11
@grognaus, I reckon GTA had the most impact of any series this decade. as I said everyone knew what it was. It was just such a massive cult classic.
Hogfather
Posted 12:31pm 29/1/11
I don't think WoW should be number 1, cause my understanding is it only appeals to hardcore geeks. That is, the only people I've ever met (or at least only those who admitted to it) who play WoW are massive computer nerds.

You of all people understand how anecdotal evidence works mr BH.
Spook
Posted 01:02pm 29/1/11
wow fpot, thats a pretty keen effort;

i got overwhelmed/bored playing through once
Mordecai
Posted 01:35pm 29/1/11
Out of the top 4 games I have only played one. HL2 and couldn't get in to it.
euphoria
Posted 01:42pm 29/1/11
Is Fallout NV much better than Fallout 3? I really enjoyed Fallout 3, but when New Vegas came out it looked like just more of the same and, considering how much time I spent in Fallout 3, I was pretty much over it by then.
skythra
Posted 01:57pm 29/1/11
I don't think WoW should be number 1, cause my understanding is it only appeals to hardcore geeks.
You're totally wrong. Hence why there are so many subscribers.

It's not hardcore at all, that's how it catches you. Girls i knew who never would have touched a PC otherwise somehow became addicted to it and with its incredibly slow learning curve for even 3rd generation of speds imbreding could even slowly work their way up. By the time they complete levelling they're emotionally invested into that character to not just give up, but then continue to work with their character to continue.

Secondly because its an easy learning curve you have much time to socially network with those you quest with, those other friends you know on the game, or just in talking to people in the game randomly (because it seems safe) and then you are invested in those people too.

In fact the only hardcore bit is right at the end. Even that was dumbed down for donkeys years.

It is the single closest thing that could be a facebook game WITHOUT being on facebook. Everything else is there.

Wow is a social network. Hardcore within wow is a subculture.

(Just on the basis of anecdotal evidence, I'm giving some, not to prove something, but to expand your perception of how people view this, and by doing this if even a couple of people view the game as "not hardcore at all" then it does actually ruin your point.. not to totally prove you wrong in a harsh way though, just as a counter to explain what you don't understand for not ever having experienced the game so probably couldn't know.)
skythra
Posted 01:53pm 29/1/11
I just wanted to put this point separately,

Was this "Ausgamers games of the decade" really "ausgamers"? Or was it "How we perceive the whole world's gaming community's idea of the best games in the world.

I really feel that the best games of the decade don't seem to reflect strongly what the ausgamers community feel.

But then again I didn't vote so I guess that could be why.

(Although my understanding is the voting was only for readers choice anyway)
Nerfington
Posted 02:52pm 29/1/11
It was a vote on the game of the year form I think.
TicMan
Posted 03:25pm 29/1/11
Pretty fair list, I've only played 2 out of 10 games on it but all have been well received, well rated and are still being played years later (TF2, CoD4 for example).

Billy - you'd be surprised the demographic of people who play WoW. I've met (through WoW) more people that are in non-IT jobs (dentists, teachers, tradies, etc), a pretty reasonable split of about 60/40 between male and female gamers and of course covering all ages. Actually most people I regularly play with online are in the 30-45 age range.
Spook
Posted 05:05pm 29/1/11
Is Fallout NV much better than Fallout 3? I really enjoyed Fallout 3, but when New Vegas came out it looked like just more of the same and, considering how much time I spent in Fallout 3, I was pretty much over it by then.


i prefered fallout 3
deadlyf
Posted 05:50pm 29/1/11
I agree with Khel in that it should be more about games that defined a genre than games that refined it. But then if it was a list made by real game critics then that is what I would expect but this was a general vote by the public so of course it will be mostly made up of newer titles or titles still popular today.

That said it's pretty easy to substitute the games chosen with their earlier iterations. Fallout:NV with Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2 with KOTOR, Red Dead with GTA3 and Battlefield 2 with Battlefield 1942. That'd make a much harder list to poke holes through.
Raf
Posted 09:45pm 31/1/11
I'm still hooked on the immersive realism & replayability of BC2.

MW2/WaW/BO are good arcade twitch shooters but lack the above.

Surprised at all the acclaim heaped on ME2 - thought the graphics were poor & recall spending more time looking at cinematic clips instead of shooting stuff.....what did I miss??
Nerfington
Posted 09:57pm 31/1/11
ME2 was perhaps more of a story-adventure'y game than a shooter.

Personally thought it was good, but I don't think it was anywhere near top 10 of the decade, just one of the most recently hyped.
Dazhel
Posted 10:04pm 31/1/11
Is Fallout NV much better than Fallout 3?


Yeah, I got Fallout NV on reports that it was basically more of the same and was pleasantly surprised that they'd improved things like weapon mods, specialised ammo, hardcore mode out of the box, and a radial wheel for interacting with companions. The special companion missions interact better with the overall storyline I think as well.
NV is also smaller in map size and is better for it but there's still plenty to see and do.
It's closer in tone to the originals and plenty of references, Fallout 3's story felt a bit too removed as a sequel because of the west coast setting.
Basket
Posted 12:56am 01/2/11
I liked Hl2 just as much as one, I remember going for about 3 days non stop just playing through hl2/ep1/ep2 was the most fun i had with a game in a long time :D
Mr Pantz
Posted 01:11am 04/3/11
The Top Ten Games of the Next Decade is sure to have Battlefield 3 in it.
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