2010 Community Award Winners

Posted December 29th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

After tallying over 18,000 votes it is time to take a look at the results and crown the winners of the 2010 Pastapadre Community Awards!

Best Game of the Year: NBA 2K11
It is no surprise that NBA 2K11 runs away with the Best Sports Game of the Year award. The game delivered in every area, from gameplay, to presentation, to features, to even slightly improved online. The amount of advancement and compelling additions made many question why other sports titles can’t do the same on their respective yearly cycles. They also deserve credit for avoiding the trend of milking consumers through downloadable content. NCAA Football got a decent response all things considered but 2K11 dominates not just here but in many of the individual categories as well.

Best New or Non-Yearly Game: EA Sports MMA
Last year it was UFC Undisputed that stormed onto the scene, and this year EA Sports MMA got the best reception of the new franchises and held its own even with some established ones. EA MMA didn’t make much impact in terms of sales, but it was a polished, accessible, and enjoyable game that had some innovative features. Kinect Sports certainly was the unique entry and had high fun factor, while NBA Jam ended up largely disappointing.

Most Disappointing Game: Madden 11
While Madden 11 was a good, but not great, game this year the franchise is held to the highest of standards and it just didn’t meet them. Shifting the focus to casuals and accessibility and ignoring core areas of the game seemed to turn off many of the loyal fans who have stuck with Madden and may have even done some long-term damage. Backbreaker and UFC were disappointing in their own rights, however they didn’t carry with them the same anticipation and heavy scrutiny that comes with being the only NFL game on the market. This isn’t just an anti-Madden push either…remember the community overwhelmingly voted Madden 10 as the favorite game of 2009.

Best Gameplay: NBA 2K11
Impressively NBA 2K11 packed in the new features but still managed to deliver a top notch realistic gameplay experience with improved controls. They have done so without resorting to gimmicks. The Show and FIFA both do an excellent job representing their sports as well but the wave of support for NBA 2K11 continues.

Best Online Play: NCAA Football 11
Much of the credit here probably goes to having Online Dynasty, however online performance was very good all around. The other two games provided excellent online feature sets and online performance but NCAA has the stronger presence here and gets the bonus of having the online element tied into Dynasty.

Best New Feature: The Jordan Challenge (NBA 2K11)
With the biggest margin of victory The Jordan Challenge proved itself as a compelling and worthwhile addition. Michael Jordan wasn’t used as just a figurehead in NBA 2K11 and the most significant implementation was here where the mode was fun and challenging. Real-Time Physics impacted NHL 11 but maybe not to the extent many expected, and the Fight Cards and Live Broadcast of EA Sports MMA was well received but not heavily utilized due to low sales.

Best Franchise or Dynasty Mode: NCAA Football 11
Squeaking by NBA 2K11’s Association mode, the Dynasty mode in NCAA Football 11 probably got the edge here due to Online Dynasty. The web component which made it possible to check up on the dynasty and even complete recruiting was an excellent addition. No sports game has delivered an experience that can even compete with Online Dynasty and its mix of offline-to-online features and social element. If NBA 2K were to provide an Online Association in the future it would seem to have the potential to take over the top spot.

Best Career Mode: My Player/Creating a Legend (NBA 2K11)
This was an interesting one to watch as NBA 2K11 seemed to have the edge going in even though My Player seems to bring about the most discussion centered on gripes related to modes in the game. What set it apart for me was Creating a Legend, which as the Michael Jordan version of the mode eliminated some of the inherent issues. The other two games offer strong career modes but didn’t really change enough from the year before.

Best Presentation: NBA 2K11
This was another category that seemed up for grabs. The improved broadcast presentation, NBA.com, NBA Today implementation, and wide array of animations pushed NBA 2K11 out in front. The Show continued to have authentic presentation and NCAA Football added in the ESPN packages but the commentary probably held them back as they are in desperate need of a refresh there.

Best Browser Game: QUICKHIT NFL Football
QUICKHIT expanded from using five current NFL players, a handful of active coaches, and legendary player pool to bringing in NFL licensed integration. Team logos, colors, uniforms, stadiums and other NFL branding took the game over the top and added more credibility to an already complete but evolving game. Madden Superstars probably got the most exposure being on Facebook, while Tiger Woods has been well received but struggled to gain traction.

Best Mobile Game: Madden 11
Madden on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad has been really well received the past few years. With quality and packing in a lot of content it has made a great transition to the devices. Backbreaker 2 has also been found to be quite fun but isn’t on quite the same level in terms of content. NBA Elite has also gotten good response but the stigma from the console versions probably hurt its viability even here.

Thanks to everyone who voted. Continue to follow along in my countdown of top 10 games of the year and retrospectives, along with individual awards and a year-in-review Padrecast all over weeks to come.