Time Magazine Game of the Year: Alan Wake

This article is over 13 years old and may contain outdated information

Alan Wake has been placed atop Time Magazine’s list of the Top Ten Videogames of 2010.

With 2010 drawing to a close, the traditional top-ten lists are beginning to pop up, including at Time, which has published its usual huge collection of year-end roundups. Among them, unsurprisingly, is a list of the year’s ten best videogames, but what is a little surprising is the title in the top spot: Remedy’s Alan Wake.

Alan Wake didn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire but it did, according to Time, have a heft that mega-hits like Red Dead Redemption and Halo: Reach just couldn’t manage. “Lots of video-game covers have a bold M on their lower left corner, but none have felt as mature as Alan Wake does. Its unsettled titular character carries adult concerns – a stalled career, a troubled marriage – into a psychological thriller set in a town taken over by a shadowy occult force,” the site says. “Its mix of meta-awareness and Hitchcockian suspense make Alan Wake a unique and fun experiment and one of the best games of the year.”

It’s an interesting choice, but is it a valid one? I like to think that it reflects the fact that Time isn’t a gaming mag and thus isn’t as susceptible to hype or the need to cater to the mainstream gamer demographic as other magazines and sites, giving it the flexibility to take a bolder and perhaps more enlightened approach to determining the “best.” Then again, I have a certain bias: I said nearly the exact same thing about Alan Wake’s predecessor, Max Payne, more than two years ago.

The rest of the list is a mix of big-budget blockbusters and indie hits, with Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2 rubbing shoulders with Limbo and Super Meat Boy. I’m not sure I agree with every entry, but that’s what year-end lists are for: something to argue about on the internet. Check out Time’s complete Top Ten Videogames for 2010, and any other Time Top Ten that turns your crank, at Time.com.

Recommended Videos

The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy