I also didn't play a ton of games in 2010. The reason will become clear when you get to my #1 game. On to the list.
This came out on Xbox Live Arcade during the summer. It's a very short game but one of the most original and atmospheric games you'll ever come across. The whole game is in shadow and the puzzles are twisted and brutal. It's a left to right side scrolling game but calling it simplistic misses the mark completely. I also should mention that it's creepy as hell.
This is the first game on the Wii that utilizes their motion plus technology. It's a far superior game to the original Wii Sports in every aspect. There are more sports and they're better implemented. I sunk way too much time into frisbee golf. Also, my daughter, Kaylee, figured out how to Wii bowl which makes this daddy proud.
Another original Xbox Live Arcade title, Shadow Complex shows that there is no limit to what can be done with a downloadable game. It's a cross between Metroid and Castlevania where you have to do a lot of backtracking once you get more powerful weapons. This is a good thing. It's challenging. The shooting is fun and accurate. And, for a downloadable game, it's artistically quite striking.
I covered this pretty extensively already in an earlier post. The game is cinematic and epic in scale. You feel like you are playing an Indiana Jones movie. I would have never thought another game could have beat this for game of the (two) years.
But, then there's Red Dead Redemption. Remember how I said I didn't play many games in 2010. Blame Red Dead. I sunk like 50 hours into this amazing western game. I hunted animals for hours, killed outlaws, watched the amazing story unfold, and just generally became enraptured by the entire world that was created. The ending shocked me. I still can't believe what they did to one of my favorite characters of all time. I got my revenge though! See what I mean? Such a great game and story that it became personal.