From the desk of LMGPR gaming consultant Matt Sarrel:

2010 was a pretty sweet year for gamers.  From super sequels to innovative new games, every gamer was sure to find a treat.  Instead of simply continuing down the same path, publishers found new ways to bring us entertainment.  iPhone and Android are now considered viable gaming platforms.  MMO’s are flourishing in the cloud.  Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move bring motion controls to those who don’t have a Wii.

While I can’t speak for everyone, here are my top 5 games of 2010:

1.  Call of Duty: Black Ops – After setting records for the top grossing single day sales of any game every, COD: BO did not disappoint.  Not only did I love blowing people’s brains out with a gun that said Sally on it, but the story is worth playing through and online multiplayer means there’s no shortage of newbies waiting for my head shot.

2.  Gran Turismo 5 – The king of racing simulations returns, and while not perfect, it was worth the 4 years to get it.  Race over 1000 cars on 26 different locations and 71 different tracks.  And yes, in rally mode you can flip a car.

3.  Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty – Twelve years in the making and we were not disappointed!  This futuristic real time strategy epic was the best selling PC game of 2010 and, time to get excited, is only the first part of three.

4.  Mass Effect 2 – The magic continued with an entire new galaxy of new characters and witty dialogue in this star traveling action RPG.

5.  Civilization 5 – The best turn based strategy game of all time returned to the PC with several innovations to help you dominate civilization as we know it.

6.  Rock Band 3 – Innovative in that there is a mode where you can really learn how to play guitar or keyboards.  It’s not just a game anymore…

7.  Red Dead Redemption – Journey into a spaghetti western and enjoy an open world of outlandish law breaking.

8.  Heavy Rain – An absolutely gorgeous interactive murder mystery that may have redefined story based gaming as we know it.  The game brilliantly intertwined multiple playable story lines that kept me coming back for more.

9.  Fallout: New Vegas – Not exactly a sequel to the successful Fallout 3, yet still a compelling post-apocalyptic RPG worth playing.

10. Tropico 3 – special mention.  I think I’m the only one who played it. This simulation game allows you to take the reins of a banana republic and choose how to run it.  Military jefe or power to the people – it’s up to you.