Yesterday was the most disappointing games of the year so far. With all that negativity is behind us, it’s time to look at the best games of the year. Following are my ten picks for this year’s games that have made me the happiest.

After the jump, let the celebration begin!

10) Virtua Tennis 4
Virtua Tennis continues to honor the fundamentally sound principles of Pong, only with better animation and slightly deeper gameplay. This fourth version’s boardgamey world tour mode seals the deal. Read the review here.

 

9) deBlob 2
A laidback, groovy, relaxing, Kirby-esque platformer with a unique appreciation for color and music. And this time it’s in HD and you don’t have to jerk around a Wii controller.

 

8) Rift
Thanks, Trion, for breaking other MMOs for me by dropping crazy stuff into Rift’s wider world. So what if the design of the wider world is a bit typical and bland? When it’s this hoppin’, it’s the place I want to be. Read the review here.

 

7) Tiny Wings
An adorable little bird that could presides over this harmonious marriage of gravity, speed, colorful 2D graphics, and the iPhone’s touch controls.

 

6) Fear 3
Proof that corridor shooters don’t have to suck. Read the review here.

 

5) The Witcher 2
Ah, so this is how you put good fantasy writing into an RPG! Read the review here.

 

4) Shogun 2
Creative Assembly spectacularly proves that they’re still got what it takes to make an incredible strategy game with a heartfelt appreciation for its subject matter. Read the review here.

 

3) Need for Speed: Shift 2
As good as driving games get. My love letters begin here with the most weirdly erotic one here.

 

2) The Sims Medieval
If you consider that every Sims game has gotten better as the series goes along, from The Sims to The Sims 2 to The Sims 3, this could easily count as The Sims 4. Well, Ye Olde Sims 4. What a great way to not just relocate, but to reappreciate The Sims. Read the review here.

 

1) Marvel vs Capcom 3
For all its shortcomings, this is the game that got me to scratch the surface of fighting games, and therefore discover and appreciate a whole new genre. Full of energy, generously stocked with familiar and/or interesting characters, and built for accessibility and over-the-top powers instead of twenty flavors of punching. Read more here.