Close, but no cigar
While 2008 certainly brought us some fantastic games, it proved impossible for the industry to top last year’s avalanche of quality titles. That is not to say that 2008 was a bad year, far from it. Some of our favorite franchises such as Gears of War and Metal Gear spawned great sequels and creative new IP’s such as LittleBigPlanet and Spore proved very successful. The gaming year was spiced up with the return of Fallout 3, showing very strong sales that make us believe we won’t have to wait another 10 years for the next one. Ubisoft gave everyone’s favorite prince an ‘extreme makeover’, turning over a much appreciated new leaf for the longstanding series.
It was hard to pick the games that would be honored with our Game of the Year awards, but then again, it always is. In the end we managed to agree on which games were deserving enough, and which should be left out. The results for each platform can be viewed and read about by clicking on the images below. To view the overall winners, simply scroll as we count down to our #1 game for 2008.
Top games of 2008
Best game - Overall
While Nintendo continues to lead in sales, there isn't a single Wii game in our top 5 this year. If you were looking for top quality games only, the Playstation 3 was -the- console to have this year. Two out of the five entrees are exclusive to Sony. Of the remaining three, two are playable on the PS3 as well. Now, if only their sales would pick up too... Will our #1 surprise you? Quickly read on to find out!
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
For over a decade the Metal Gear series has been delighting millions of people all over the world, producing title after title that builds one of the strongest storylines in gaming history. Guns of the Patriots’ arrival this past June finally brought the story to a very satisfying close while at the same time bringing a fully realized multiplayer Metal Gear experience. From the moment you start up and see Snake kneeling before a grave with a pistol in hand to the final destruction of the Patriots non-stop action keeps players on the edge of their seats. MGS4 is a masterpiece game that everyone can proudly own. Now if we can only get Kojima to work on Zone of the Enders 3...
Prince of Persia
One console generation ago Ubisoft revived one of the biggest 8-bit franchises of all time. The Sands of Time trilogy, though not without its flaws, was beloved by fans. When word came that the next-gen title was not going to follow its predecessor’s story fans were immediately skeptical. Oh how they were proven wrong. The new prince, brought to us by Jade Raymond (creator of Assassin’s Creed), proved itself even better than it was in the last generation with amazing fluidity, intense combat, and a semi-open world to explore. Nothing short of a good time is to be had when you sit down with this one.
Left 4 Dead
One of the most popular genres of horror in both film and gaming has to be zombies. Left 4 Dead, built by Turtle Rock Studios, captures the feel of its CounterStrike origins while creating an intense cooperative experience. While there is no overarching story to be had, as the game consists of different scenarios, the basic premise is universal and very unyielding. The first time you experience a horde of zombies running at you is guaranteed to scare the crap out of you and with an AI director that controls the pacing and difficulty no two experiences are alike. With the promise of downloadable content in the future, though the same promise was left unfulfilled with the console versions of The Orange Box, Valve looks to have the makings of a fantastic franchise on their hands.
The flagship title for Sony’s Playstation 3 this year, LBP has been cited as being the beginning of Gaming 2.0. While this is argueable the experience of LBP is all but guaranteed to entice both hardcore and casual gamers alike. The game may not appeal to everyone at first, once you pick up a controller and begin to play you know you are in for a treat. With a very cutesy design direction and an easy-to-learn level editor players will find themselves creating, downloading, and sharing their own creations for a long time to come.
While our editors regularly lose a night’s sleep playing one game or another, few games have had so many of us doing all-nighters as Fallout 3 has. Some of our team members even reported their non-gamer wives playing, and several of our staff picked up and loved the game despite not being big on the genre. The ongoing background story is absorbing, the action is frequently frenetic without being overwhelming, and the graphics are spot on for making you feel like you are actually wandering a Post-Apocalypse world. Fallout 3 has got us completely hooked and we are certain most of you as well. There was only one spot suitable for Fallout 3 and that is #1.