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Feature: The best PC games of 2010 (so far) and a couple of disappointments

It's hard to believe but half of the year 2010 has now come and gone. As in years past the PC game industry has seen one or two games released that could be in contention for Game of the Year when 2010 is over. We've also had a number of solid PC games released (not quite up to Game of the Year standard but still worth getting) and we have had some titles that have failed to live up to our expectations.

Today on this US holiday we look back at what we believe are the best PC games released so far this year along with a couple of PC titles that disappointed us. Of course the last half of 2010 is scheduled to be packed with major PC game releases such as StarCraft II, Mafia II, Civilization V, Elemental, Medal of Honor, Fallout New Vegas, Crysis 2, Final Fantasy XIV, DC Universe Online, World of Warcraft Cataclysm and many more. Still if the year ended with just the games that have already come out it would still be a good year for PC gamers. With that in mid here are our picks for the best PC games of 2010 that have been released so far, in no particular order:
Mass Effect 2 - If we had to pick one game released in 2010 so far that might make it to the end and possibly be named as Game of the Year, BioWare's sci-fi RPG sequel would be it. The deep RPG gameplay that BioWare is known for returns for Mass Effect 2 combined with a solid shooter game mechanic. The result is truly one of the best RPG games we have ever played.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Digital Illusions skipped putting the first game in this modern day shooter series on the PC but they solved that issue this year with the sequel. The combination of a solid single player experience and a expansive multiplayer game made some people say, "Modern Warfare what?" Now if we can just get DICE to finally release the PC port of Battlefield 1943 ...

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - This stand alone expansion pack to Relic's 2009 RTS sequel served to give fans of the original some more to chew on including the addition of the Chaos Space Marines and new units and additions to the original game's playable factions.

Metro 2033 - 4A Games' post apocalypse shooter was released by THQ in March 2010. It's an example of a game that not only has solid gameplay but pushed the limit of graphical effects, especially if your PC gaming rig has support for DirectX 11 with all the bells and whistles. It's no wonder that a sequel, Metro 2034, has already been announced.

Just Cause 2 - Want to blow up lots of stuff, drive and fly around virtually anywhere and generally cause chaos wherever you go? You can't do that in real life but Avalanche Studios' open world action game sequel gives that kind of freedom to the player in this fun and deep action tale. Better bring a wet nap.

Gallery: Just Cause 2

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - Croteam once again gives a new graphical coat to their fun arcade first person shooter that was first released in 2001. They also add a bunch of multiplayer modes that were not in the original game. All in all it will keep us busy until the promised Serious Sam 3 comes out.

Split/Second - Black Rock Studios' latest driving game has the unique feature of having the racers trigger massive destruction that can switch the driving routes, cause huge structures to come falling down and make cars explode along with it. That combined with some excellent arcade racing features and solid visuals makes this game one of the best PC racing games in some time.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City - Rockstar Games took a while to get this title to PC gamers but we are glad it finally was released. These two additional episodes to Grand Theft Auto IV (The Lost and The Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony) allowed the fans to explore the fictional open world of Liberty City with some new perspectives.

Supreme Commander 2 - Gas Powered Games' sequel to their solid sci-fi RTS game may have changed some gameplay features compared to its predecessor but the end result was still an entertaining and epic real time strategy game with scope and, of course, nukes. You can't forget them.
Splinter Cell Conviction - We are not a fan of Ubisoft's "always on" DRM set up for this and its other recent PC games but if you can get pass that issue, this new installment in the long running stealth action game series is worth getting. From its movie-like presentation (complete with hints projected on walls like movie credits) to the new co-op gameplay modes, it's clear that after a long absence, Sam Fisher is back and ready to bust heads.


PC Games that Disappointed Us (So Far) In 2010
Dark Void - We had hopes that this third person action game with a bit of a retro feel (jet packs anyone?) would turn out to be fun but the end result was just an average action game that was not memorable at all. It's too bad as we were rooting for Airtight Games' first title to be something special.

Command and Conquer 4 - The final game in the Tiberium timeline for this RTS series came in on a lamb instead of a lion. Combining a lackluster single player campaign with multiplayer modes that tried and failed to do something different for the genre left us thinking that we really had not played a C&C game. We hope that EA's announced plans to revamp the C&C franchise turn out better than this game.


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