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Caitlin Cooke avatar 9:15 AM on 01.03.2011
And now, for something completely different
Seems like the cupcake battle has an even distribution of chocolate vs vanilla lovers. Personally, I adore chocolate, but there's nothing like a warm vanilla cupcake with light, whipped chocolate frosting...pure, delicious heaven.

Aaaaanyway, as I mentioned in my previous post I'd like to give you all a blast from the past. I'm not going to talk about the best games of 2010 because I think it's pretty obvious who won (Prison Break: The Conspiracy -- duh). So instead, I'm going to share a list I've been compiling for quite some time but never really showed anyone except for a few friends.

About this time last year, a bunch of blogs and game related sites were talking about the top 10 games of the decade. I thought it'd be fun to make my own list, but not just a boring "top whatever" list. I wanted real categories (with strippers! and hookers!) to put games under, because, well -- don't they deserve it?

So without further ado, here is my completely biased list of games that I feel were the best of the decade (2000-2009):

Best Puzzle Game: Portal

What's not to love about this game? You've got a companion cube, the promise of cake, a kick-ass gun that allows you to hop through portals, and the world's most psychotic AI: GLaDOS. The levels are amusing, and I adore GLaDOS's crazy ramblings while I attempt to solve the puzzles. I personally think the credits song also deserves to win a category of its own (but then again I also think Jonathan Coulton deserves a Grammy of some variety).

Best Cinematography/Artistic Design: Shadow of the Colossus

I'm not even sure if it's possible for a game to have true "Cinematography", but if it is then Shadow of the Colossus would win. The overall atmosphere, lighting, feel...everything about this game takes my breath away. In fact, this game is so beautiful that sometimes I spend hours just exploring the world and riding around on my faithful steed, Agro. Nobody can deny how cool the giant colossi are -- and how sad you feel when you kill one.

Best Shoot-Em-Up Game: Resident Evil 4

Maybe I should have filed this under "Best Stress Relief EVER" because damn I love me some zombie shootin'. RE4 has it all for a shooter -- insane replay value, zombies, an interesting plot, and an annoying sidekick! I don't think any video game greeting has had quite the run as "'ello strangah!" has. Now if they could only do something about that inventory system...

Most Addicting Game: Peggle

This game is so addicting that I bought it twice (well, thrice if you count Peggle Nights). Shoot a ball, it clink clinkity clinks against colored pegs, and finally falls into a pit. I could do this forever. Peggle is like the Tetris of the 00's, you can't get enough and before you know it you see pegs floating around and your brain is looping Ode to Joy . The quirky levels, silly characters, and endlessly frustrating game play makes this the most addicting in my book.

Best Cult Game: Katamari Damacy (& Sequels)

Katamari do I even begin to praise this game and every sequel that came after it? I can't really think of anything else to say besides ROYAL RAINBOW! The soundtracks to these games are absolutely amazing. In fact, and this is going to sound ridiculous, but a third of my senior thesis in college focused on the music from this game alone. I've found that anyone who has picked this game up falls in love; even my mother even finds this game completely adorable.

Most Nostalgic Game: Neverwinter Nights

Ah, NWN...this little gem kept me up until the wee hours of the night throughout high school. For a lot of gamers it was our first in-depth exposure to the D&D world and also a great outlet for creating custom levels that you could share with other friends. The plot, character builds, and graphics were amazing for the time, and Bioware has continued using the engine for many games since (including another classic that I should have mentioned somewhere on this list: Knights of the Old Republic). I find myself crawling back to this game every couple of years or so to feed my late night RPG cravings.

Best Game Overall: Mass Effect

No contest. EDIT: Alright, here is my explanation: This game (to me) is a beautiful blend of RPG and action with a great story, lots of history, and fantastic characters. I felt like if I didn't have a controller in my hand, that I was watching some kind of epic movie. That it hit some kind of peak in my brain -- that "this is it" feeling. ME2 improved quite a bit from the original (especially the combat system) but I can't really rank that here because it came out right at the beginning of 2010.

Honorable Mention: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit)

Indigo Prophecy, created by French developer Quantic Dream, is truly one of a kind. This is the first video game I played that actually made me think hard about the decisions I made, about how they would affect the other characters and what the end results would be. This definitely would have been at the top of my list if it weren't for the rushed release date, resulting in one of those horrible "what the fresh hell just happened" endings..

So, now that you've had a full year to reflect on your own personal list, are your winners still the same? Do you have any categories of your own?

And if you're yearning for some "real" top 10 lists, here are a few:

Bit Rebels
AV Club
SF Gate

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