Choosing our favourite games of 2010 was no easy task, with arguments, witchcraft and mathematical equations all being used to take hundreds of games and whittle them down to just 10. Read on for our thoughts on why each game deserves its place and head to our Game of the Year 2010 hub for access to video features and loads of other content.

Tom Orry, Editor

Limbo screenshot

This game made me feel like a genius. I know I'm not that clever really, but for the four or so hours it took me to work through the gorgeous adventure I felt smart. It's brilliant game design, with the puzzles seemingly being completely dastardly on first appearance, but with a bit of thought you get there and progress with a smile on your face. It's also the only game I've talked about in the office by drawing pictures on my notebook, with arrows indicating where certain objects were thrown so as not to spoil the puzzle for everyone else. Limbo is a beautiful game and I loved every minute.

Martin Gaston, Staff Writer

Is Limbo actually clever or just pretending to be? I'm not smart enough to tell, but I certainly liked that bit at the beginning with the spider. And it also looks the part - no colours, no music, no cheesy dialog or vehicle level shoehorned in because a publisher's focus group said it's important to break up the action. Plus it's chuffing devious by design. My favourite puzzle is the one where you've got to tread on two pressure plates one after the other, with deadly results. Is there anybody who didn't fall for that - or Limbo itself, for that matter?

Neon Kelly, Deputy Editor

Limbo screenshot

Like our overall winner for 2010, Limbo has the power to ensnare non-gamers on the strength of its appearance alone. Everyone immediately understands the fear of a tiny, child-like figure, trapped in a sinister forest, and we all feel the horror that bubbles up when he's lanced by a spiny leg, crushed by a falling rock, or viciously severed by a tumbling bear trap. The image of Limbo's anonymous hero, bound in spider-silk and desperately hopping away from a stalking arachnid, must surely rank as one of grimmest gaming moments of the past 12 months - and as one of the best, too.

Jamin Smith, Staff Writer

There was a very interesting thread on the forums a while back that asked whether downloadable, mobile or indie games could ever find themselves in the running for GOTY. With Limbo finding itself second on our very own best of 2010 list – the indication is yes, yes they can. It might not come in a box and it might be over in an hour or two, but Limbo offers an experience that is easily as memorable as anything else on our list. Simple, clever and hauntingly beautiful, Limbo is incredibly hard to fault.

Emily Gera - Staff Writer

An astonishing title considering it was developed by such a tiny Danish studio, this film noir-style 2D sidescroller is one of the few games that manages to be as eery as it is adorably indie. It's one of the most striking-looking titles that's come out in the last year - bringing you to a morbid black-and-white hellscape where giant spiders, brain worms and bear traps are littered through each zone. The minimalist puzzles will often simply involve pushing or pulling objects but that doesn't mean this game is a cakewalk. You will die constantly, and this is possibly the most striking element of the game, even moreso than its art style. Few games approach death as anything more than a failure on the player's part. Limbo, on the other hand, approaches it as a natural element of gameplay. Each death is accompanied by a hilariously gruesome animation, so funny and over-the-top that it feels like a reward. Death is made interesting and fun, and that's a refreshing change in video games.

For more end of year content, head over to our Game of the Year 2010 hub. Amongst other things you'll be able to watch videos in which we talk about each game in the Top 10.

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Highest Rated Comment

mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

We had to take the money out of the hat before we could use it, though. That was my favourite part!

I bought Skittles.
Posted 00:01 on 31 December 2010

User Comments

WhoIsThePresidentNow's Avatar

WhoIsThePresidentNow

I thought it was too easy and short.
Posted 11:21 on 17 January 2011
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993@ SexyJams

I think it was very much poor phrasing on my side, I for one loved the game, I can't quite see why, maybe it was just the whole atmosphere and cute puzzles all coming together. I can't quite put my finger on it.
And that was my point, just that some of the forumites seemed to completely agree LIMBO justified its place in the list, whereas others believed it should never have touched the top 10.
I wasn't condoning anyone for liking it or not liking it, poor wording before, just that I love how diverse the community has become.
Posted 17:00 on 16 January 2011
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

When I said I don't get it, I wasn't saying I don't understand it, and I don't believe GeNeCyDe was ever saying that either. It was a poor phrasing on both our behalves.

I simply don't enjoy it as much as people seem to. I don't know what there is to really grasp onto and love either. As CheekyLee said, it was a decent puzzle game with a few interesting things that have been done better by other games. I still have no idea why this should ever be in the Top Ten, let alone Number Two.
Posted 16:54 on 16 January 2011
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993@ CheekyLee

There is nothing to get, I didn't mean to imply that, what I meant was that I enjoyed reading how some people rated it a lot higher than others, its rare for people who know so much about games to be divided on a game like this, I just found it interesting.
Posted 16:50 on 16 January 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ GeNeCyDe1993

So, you're saying that because I didn't fall completely in love with it, that I don't get it? As if somehow implying I didn't understand? Understand what, exactly? Any depth and meaning is entirely inferred; no real reason for it is given at any point.

I saw a game where some of the puzzles were pretty good, but an annoyingly large proportion were only solveable through trial and error. The gravity stuff in the second half of the game was pretty interesting, but I've definitely seen it done better in other games. Ultimately, I took a slight frustration from the game instead of the elation that I was hoping to. I don't think that I didn't get the game, but I certainly don't get why it has received so much love. It is ultimately a slightly-better-than-average indie platformer, which admittedly looks gorgeous but lacks substance in the more important areas.
Posted 11:25 on 16 January 2011
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993

Its definitely a marmite game, you either get it or you don't. It funny to see the contrast between people who seriously enjoyed it and agree with its placing to those who don't understand why its so high. Whatever the reasoning just remember its all peoples opinions :)
Posted 10:28 on 16 January 2011
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams@ Woffls

Totally agree. I really don't get it at all.
Why is it so amazing? Why is it number two of the year ahead of so many other games?
Listened to the recent Is It The Future Yet? podcast and the dude on it completely called you guys out which I found pretty funny :p

Anyway, really well put Woffls, I completely stand by everything you've said.
Posted 09:30 on 16 January 2011
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

I don't get it.

Having to die over and over to learn how to do a puzzle is not good design. Hints should be subtly laid out around you, and if your monochrome visuals make it hard to see, guess what, that's not a get out clause.

Minimalism is great an all, and I've always been a fan of it in architecture, paintings and interior design, but is not a suitable substitute for lack of imagination. Most of the substance in Limbo is put there by the player and their own fears. This is a good idea, but the contribution needs to work both ways, like in Shattered Memories where the game changes based on these fears, otherwise the player is working off of nothing.

There's less audio direction than you might think, because there really isn't much going on. It's all atmospheric, and what you hear doesn't really have any bearing on how you play. It's not like Alan Wake where you're listening out for stuff so you can start running. But when those spider legs do down, it doesn't half set the sub off.

And the ending was just plain terrible, I mean seriously. I was expecting something significant, or at least intriguing, to leave you thinking, but it just stopped. I wanted something to give meaning to the few hours I spent with Limbo, something to give context to my experience, but maybe it is just as straight forward as black and white.
Posted 00:57 on 16 January 2011
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ SexyJams

No space under the telly Jams! Already spent waaaay too much on games recently too, I think the wife would explode if I bought another game let alone another console!
Posted 11:03 on 01 January 2011
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams@ reynoldio

Or just buy a 360! Yay!!!!!

After playing LIMBO I feel I can legitimately say I have absolutely no idea why this is Number 2 GOTY. Literally no idea. I like the game, a lot, but seriously?...

Just my opinion anyways.
Posted 10:26 on 01 January 2011
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ p0rtalthinker

Oh well, it's only short, I'll play it with a friend!
Posted 23:52 on 31 December 2010
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker@ reynoldio

It isn't unfortunately
Posted 22:09 on 31 December 2010
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio

So when is it coming to PSN?
Posted 21:29 on 31 December 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

I've just bought it so I can complain about it legitimately and be all liek "being black & white doesn't make the puzzles cleverererer" :D
Posted 19:10 on 31 December 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams@ pblive

It's now 800 MS Points, I've just bought it and am looking forward to seeing what all the hype is about.
Posted 17:51 on 31 December 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 21/07/2010
Developer: Playdead
Genre: Puzzle
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 981 100
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