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The Top 10 Games of 2008

by Logan

December 8, 2008
 #10. Rock Band 2

Rock Band 2

While basically identical to the first game, Rock Band 2 is the complete package. Focusing mainly on expanding where the first game fell short, RB2 perfects the formula and is the best music game out there. World Tour or Rock Revolution can't come close to RB2 in design, gameplay, or track selection. I'm placing this game at 10 simply because of the glut of music games out on the market. They're a money-making machine so I wouldn't look for them to go through any drastic revamps in the future.The formula is going to remain unchanged, which is understandable. Music game commentary aside, RB2 is the best in the genre hands down. If I was doing a developer of the year list, Harmonix would easily be number one. With them releasing quality downloadable content every week, RB2 is the easy choice. Buy the game and some Microsoft points and you'll never really have to worry about buying another music video game again.

 #9. Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4

I was hoping this spot would be reserved for Ninja Gaiden II, but that game managed to be lackluster in numerous areas. DMC4 however, was a pleasant surprise. Combining easy to master controls and some rewarding combat, DMC4 stands out as the twitch action game of this year. It's been out for over 10 months now, so I'm sure you can find this one cheap. Give it a try.

 #8. Super Smash Bros: Brawl

Super Smash Bros Brawl

After a long wait, Brawl released in a big way early this year. Building on the games already solid and accessible controls, Brawl introduced plenty of new modes and characters.The game works incredibly well and is a blast to play with friends. The single player campaign is even a lot of fun to play through. The only reason I place this game so far back is Nintendo's poor online service. I rarely was able to play this game without crippling lag, and in a fighting game based around timing, this just simply ruins the fun. There's a lot of game to be had out of Brawl, but if you're looking for online, steer clear.

 #7. Dead Space

Dead Space

A big surprise of this year is definitely Dead Space. While fairly well hyped and marketed, it managed to stay under the radar compared to larger triple-A titles. Hell, it even received less hype than Mirror's Edge which I don't quite understand. However, Dead Space impresses with staggering production values and an atmosphere that is second to none. It's basically Event Horizon meets Resident Evil 4 in this Sci-Fi creep-fest set in deep space. The game plays brilliantly and looks great too. However, with a campaign that's on the short side (12-14 hours) and no multiplayer to speak of, it doesn't quite have the longevity of other games out there.

 #6. Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV

I'm actually shocked to see this gaming winning GOTY awards. While it's extremely competent at all the things it does, I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed by the game in general. Don't get me wrong, it's the same GTA we all know and love, but something was a little different about this one. Maybe it was the letdown after not seeing another expansive world like San Andreas. I can't quite decide why, but something just didn't seem right. Maybe it's just the GTA formula wearing a little thin on me. Still, the game is large and screams monumental polish. The online is really well done also, although I would've liked more co-op missions.

 #5. Fable II

Fable II

Peter Molyneux was thoroughly grilled for the first Fable's shortcomings, but that didn't stop him from touting that games successor. While people remained leary, Fable II ultimately delivers a very unique experience if you allow it to. It's your standard hack and slash RPG with a standard revenge story and it all thrusts your character into the limelight. The combat works very well and the animations are rather impressive. The character interaction with the NPCs, and more spefically with your dog, is amazing. Molyneux said he wanted the game to appeal to players emotionally, and the game does a good job at that. I found the ending extremely satisfying in this regard. The game is rather short, and there isn't a terrible amount of things to do once you beat the main story. However, with DLC in the near future, this is a game that is certainly worth playing.

 #4. Mega Man 9

Mega Man 9

While this is undoubtedly a personal choice for me, I think it's a game that should be recognized overall. Avoiding all the boring rehashes and straight ports that plague the XBLA service, MM9 is a bonafide sequel to one of the most classic franchises in video games. Sure it looks silly by todays standards, but it still plays exceptionally well. It's almost like a time machine taking you directly back into your childhood. Then again, delightment may soon turn to anger as the game takes a turn for Difficult-Town. I can't understand Capcom's decision to have so much DLC for the game and not just integrating those features into the main game itself, but that's not too much of a concern. For 10 bucks, this game is worth any frustration you may encounter along the way. Bring on Mega Man X9!

 #3. Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2

Definitely this falls blockbuster title, Gears of War 2 hits the ground running. It's an intense game that never keeps its finger off the excitement button. With great gameplay to match superb graphics, Gears 2 is pretty much your complete package. A vastly improved campaign compiled with a robust multiplayer makes GoW2 the game that keeps on giving. What else is there to say?

 #2. Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead is a great example of a hardcore game finding a casual gaming appeal. The gameplay is still centered around quickness and skill, but the overall theme and pacing make it accessible to everyone. The campaigns are always changing and always fun. The versus mode is a pleasant surprise and is actually a lot of fun to play. Just play this game one night with three other friends and I dare you to disagree. This is what co-op gaming is all about.

 #1. Fallout 3

Fallout 3

While the rest of this list was rather hard to compile, number one is a no-brainer. Fallout 3 is one of those games that just sucks you in. You'll be running across the expansive world killing random enemy number 2038 yet it never seems to get stale. The great story combined with even better gameplay just begs you to play this game. The voice acting is stellar and the emphasis on playing as a Good or Evil character pretty much forces you to play through the game at least twice. While it has a few technical hiccups here and there, this game simply cannot be overlooked. It's simply the best game to be released this year and easily one of the best games available for any platform this generation.

So there's my list. It's 360 heavy since that's my primary system, so whatever. I don't think theres any other way to play a console game online other than through Xbox Live. A couple of honorable mentions were probably Far Cry 2 and The Force Unleashed. Like I said this is my list, and being as busy of a gaming year as it was, I'd love to hear games that I missed.