[GOTY 2010] PlayStation 2

One category: Game of the Year. One true contender. Nobody else stood a chance.
Author: TPS Staff
Published: March 5, 2011
Deciding the game of the year awards wasn't nearly as difficult as putting up features on them. But when it came to our first category (PlayStation 2 Game of the Year), there wasn't exactly an argument to be had. And in some ways, that is upsetting. While we all have since agreed that the PlayStation 2 is a dead platform, we can't help but cherish its history, be in awe of its install base, and snuggle up to its fantastic library of games.

But for whatever reason, this damn system will not die. The death throes are obvious, the twitches are apparent, but a few more games trickle out whenever we turn our backs. The large majority of these games aren't good, but 2010 brought us one game that put the Wii version to shame. Who would have thought that the Wii version, being the lead SKU, wouldn't be as good as the PS2 version?

Without further ado, our pick for the PlayStation 2 Game of the Year:

Winner: Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love
| Review | Overview |

Sam Bishop
Nothing speaks to the quality of a game so much as seeing it take Game of the Year honors when it was actually released almost five years prior in its native country. Such is the case for Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, and though it was one of a very scant few games actually released for the PlayStation 2 as the system enters its twilight years, the fact that it took top honors should by no means be considered a by-product of that limited competition. On the contrary, Sakura Wars even one considered to be the "weakest" of the five main games is one of the best games on the PS2, period, which says plenty when you consider the PS2 has arguably the best library in the history of gaming.

All credit is due to Sega's then-dubbed Overworks dev team, who would go on to create the absolutely fantastic Valkyria Chronicles, and, indeed, you can see a bit of those future games in Sakura Wars's gameplay. What should have been nothing more than a simple dating sim with light strategy elements is instead transformed, again and again, into something greater than its simple premise and gameplay rules would indicate. Almost a decade after the PS2 was launched, it still manages to have releases that are absolutely amazing, and Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love is absolutely befitting of that descriptor.