The Best Facebook Games of 2010 – Part II

Back in June, we judged the top 10 social games on Facebook for the first half of 2010. Now that we’ve reached December, it’s time for part two of our list, ranking the games launched from July onward.

In our first 2010 list, we gave the top ranking to the Booyah title Nightclub City. Since then a whole slew of new concepts, revolutionary games, and evolutions of existing concepts have made their way onto Facebook.

The games on this list are all titles that have been reviewed since June, chosen by factors like presentation quality, style, originality, level of detail, and the most important element, how fun it is. A given game’s success also factors into the mix, though several picks have yet to acquire significant numbers of users.

Here are our top games for the second half of 2010:

Bar-World10. Bar World

The list starts out with a business sim title from DNA Games. Many games have attempted to recreate the success of Nightclub City, but DNA’s Bar World is the only one to do it well, mixing a hodgepodge of existing game genres and mechanics, along with a few original ideas, into a title that feels both unique and satisfying.

With the premise of making a successful bar, players decorate the space with a much wider variety of decor than most games (at least in their early stages), with spaces ranging from the beach to the city. Following a Cafe World-style, users mix and create drinks to keep patrons dancing the night, or day, away.

But what stands out most is the in-game characters themselves, and the level of interaction that comes with them. Not only do these NPCs utilize the items purchased, but they represent actual friends and other Bar World users. That in mind, players can try to get them drunk or even make them fall in love (complete with cheesy pick-up lines) with each other and post the quirky results to a Facebook feed. Additionally, players can unlock new features and venues by visiting and “Liking” other random users’ bars as well as having do the same for yours.

Bar World is doing well with over 1.6 million monthly active users.

CSI-Crime-City9.  CSI: Crime City

Next up comes a new take on the treasure hunting style of games: CSI: Crime City. Published by Ubisoft, in association with CBS Consumer Products, the game was developed by an independent developer by the name of Area/Code. At its core, CSI is not terribly different from other treasure hunting games, but its tie in with the popular television franchise and its darker undertones (it is about murder, after all) make it appealing to a different audience from the norm.

Beyond an overall high level of polish, it’s the theme that makes CSI stand out the most for us. Though none of the “mysteries” are terribly hard to figure out, there is something infinitely more gratifying about searching for clues rather than sea shells. The solutions must be solved using time and high-tech lab stations that can actually be shared amongst friends. With this social machinery, friends can feasibly work together, creating meaningful social play.

Currently, CSI: Crime City is growing, with almost 1.7 million MAU.

Legacy-of-a-Thousand-Suns8. Legacy of a Thousand Suns

Number eight on our list hails from the role-playing genre. As one of the oldest forms of social games on Facebook, the text RPG is certainly tough type to stand out with. However, 5th Planet Games does its best with, Legacy of a Thousand Suns, which it co-developed with Concept Art House. A mouthful the title may be, but with beautiful visuals, tremendous polish, and an interesting story, this is one of the few text-based RPGs that can really catch our attention.