This is happening. Following yesterday's explosive/lengthy rundown of the first 40 of your 50 favourite games of 2010, today we get to the real meat: the Eurogamer Readers' Top 10 Games of 2010. There may be exclusives. There may be surprises. There may be trouble. Thank you to everyone who voted!
10. Demon's Souls
FromSoftware / PS3
What we said: "It's stoic, uncompromising, difficult to get to know, but also deep, intriguingly disturbed and perversely rewarding. You can learn to love Demon's Souls like few other games in the world. But only if you're prepared to give yourself over to it."
FabricatedLunatic says: "Fiendishly challenging but utterly compulsive. I desperately wanted to hate Demon's Souls as much as it apparently hated me, but it just wasn't possible. Every time it knocked me to the ground – and it happened often – I got up with renewed determination to see it through to the end. Twisted genius."
PlatinumGames, SEGA / PS3, Xbox 360
What we said: "A game that exemplifies so much of what commentators claim has died in the Japanese game industry. A blast of creative brilliance, both technically accomplished, strategically deep and infused with rare imagination, Bayonetta represents the pinnacle of its chosen niche."
bigjimbeef says: "Okay, so it's bloody mental, but it also has one of the most refined and well-balanced combat systems in any action game I've ever played. It was a masterpiece of gameplay design from Platinum, even if the story is a mindf*** of epic proportions."
8. God of War III
Sony Santa Monica / PS3
What we said: "A technical marvel, but with all the clever stuff turned towards the aim of very basic gratification. There are no branching paths, no complex decisions, and no multiplayer modes, but this particular game is all the better for it, since the results are rich and focused rather than drawn-out and a little ragged. Ultimately, if you want to revel in old-school pleasures decked out in the very brightest new armour, this is about as good as it gets."
ChanceSplinter says: "Great gameplay and wholesale mastery of technology are one thing, but God of War III further separates itself from the pack with excellent, considered game design and camerawork that ensures the player is constantly seeing the game at its best."
7. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Nintendo / Wii
What we said: "A simple extension of the Galaxy concept, Super Mario Galaxy 2 can't possibly have the same impact. But it does have the same spirit, throwing new ideas at you with gleeful and impulsive abandon, leaving you breathless, scrambling happily to keep up. You can't really complain about more of the same, when the same is the one thing it never is."
Jones says: "Despite looking more than a little similar to its predecessor, Galaxy 2 is packed full of fresh, new ideas in a more streamlined and colourful package. If the first Galaxy was the Mario 3 of the 3D Marios, then Galaxy 2 is the Mario World."
6. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Ubisoft Montreal / PS3, Xbox 360
What we said: "Never before have we seen a game whose open world is so densely packed with things to do while maintaining such high quality. Whatever your particular taste, you simply cannot run from one area to another without encountering something else that you want to stop and do."
ezeeryder says: "45 hours. That is how much time I have put in a game that was initially touted as a cash-in. It would have been very easy for Ubisoft to have gone down that route, but thankfully it chose not to. Instead, it chose to build on an already excellent game and, with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, deliver the best game in the series to date. A fantastic single-player experience coupled with an incredible new multiplayer facet make Assassin's Creed Brotherhood an easy choice for one of the best games of the year."
5. Halo: Reach
Bungie, Microsoft / Xbox 360
What we said: "Reach is an encore, a victory lap, a crowd-pleasing last hurrah for a series that most definitely won't end here, but will just as definitely never be the same again. Halo deserves another game this good, and Reach is a deserving tribute."
bruno0091 says: "Bungie's swansong and the perfection of the series. Graphically impressive, perfectly paced, amazing multiplayer and a good story all combine to make it a joy to play and experience."
4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DICE, EA / PC, PS3, Xbox 360
What we said: "Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is quite simply a superb package, with neither single-player nor online feeling like it's been given short shrift. They come together in the most robust, nuanced and carefully crafted game of its type this hardware generation. Modern Warfare is the obvious benchmark, and Bad Company 2 meets and even passes it with ease. But it's the high bar it sets for a genre mired in complacency that makes it so invigorating."
DUFFKING says: "The point where I realised just how great multiplayer is in BC2 wasn't when I took down a tank by diving out of a first floor window, and planting C4 on the top. It wasn't when I gleefully scored a kill by flying a miniature helicopter into someone's legs. It wasn't even when I captured every single objective on the map single-handedly, like Rambo possessed. No, it was in a normal game, right after we captured the penultimate objective. The last cracks of gunfire died down as we cleared the base, leaving a slightly eerie silence. Not a sound but the rolling of tank tracks. In the distance, the defenders readied their fortifications, and we regrouped. And with the final charge, the noises of rockets, artillery, gunfire all built once again into an incredible crescendo. There's no doubt that BC2 would be half as intense if its sound design wasn't far and away the greatest I've heard in an FPS."
3. Heavy Rain
Quantic Dream, Sony / PS3
What we said: "A thrilling mystery, cleverly composed, and unlike anything else you will play this year. It may also be the only game you play this year where pulling the trigger makes you really feel something, and I can think of no greater compliment."
joaomuas says: "An epic thriller with 20 different endings played with four awesome characters. I was wrong: Red Dead Redemption hasn't got the deepest story, Heavy Rain does. Ethan Mars tries to save his son from a serial killer while the other three characters investigate this same thing. These four characters want to find Ethan's son in an adventure with revolutionary gameplay and hard decisions that change the story and... your character can actually die. The game is very realistic, packed with awesome moments and hard decisions that can make the player cry. Soon, mysteries are unfolded and things start making sense..."
2. Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar Games / PS3, Xbox 360
What we said: "An exceptional Rockstar game, one that successfully re-clothes the Grand Theft Auto framework in an exciting, distinct and expertly realised scenario. But just how satisfying the formula remains after the exuberant destructiveness of Red Faction: Guerrilla, or the joyful, ad-hoc player stories born in the freedom of Just Cause 2's playpen, is increasingly under scrutiny."
dadrester says: "It's funny that my top two games for the year (the other is Mass Effect 2) are in the list, not necessarily for gameplay reasons but because they are the first games where I felt the narrative and delivery of it were of a quality that could match other forms of media. For all its shortcomings (with the exception of Landon Ricketts, Mexico could have been cut entirely), Red Dead Redemption had such a strong narrative, and such a memorable and likeable protagonist, that it really is a landmark game for me. The opening, the Bonnie MacFarlane missions, and especially final hours of the game were absolutely peerless in terms of games writing. They never once relied on cheap, game-centric set-pieces. John Marston, humble as he may be (probably because of it), stands as one of the greatest videogame characters ever created." lemonfist adds: "The lasso, that's why."
1. Mass Effect 2
BioWare, EA / PC, Xbox 360
What we said: "Whether or not you come to Mass Effect 2 afresh, and whether or not you ever see it through more than once, your experience won't just have been an acceptable storytelling throughline in a ludicrous simultaneous equation, it will have been fantastic adventure full of memorable characters, places and events that justify its grand scale and sober disposition."
YtheName says: "I felt this was the game of the year because it made me feel genuine emotion for the characters. As I am a sucker for spoiler forums I read that Shepard and/or other main characters could die permanently, so when the final assault came I was holding my breath with anticipation as to my outcome – and it turned out that I saved everyone. The outcome was never in question and the storyline follows clichéd structure but it's how I felt during and well after completion that makes it my game of 2010."
bruno0091 says: "Mass Effect 2 took the wonderful universe already established in the first game, layered onto it improvements in the areas that needed it (party AI, combat and Interface) then turned the story, action and characters up to 11."
evild_edd says: "Big-budget sequels so often lead to disappointment – over-promising and under-delivering, or failing to push gaming boundaries and the licence in to new and interesting areas. Mass Effect 2 just seemed to deliver effortlessly on all fronts."
Commander Shepard says: "Hi, I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favourite game of the year on the Citadel."