Every year, Eurogamer staffers compile their best-of lists for the preceding 12 months, and using magic and glue we put together our Top 50. This year, Portal triumphed over all, with Super Mario Galaxy and BioShock in close attendance.
But end-of-year lists are nuanced things, and different sample groups often disagree. Eurogamer's panel may consist of professional games journalists, but we're a little narrow-minded in some areas, or unbalanced by our backgrounds in others. Even with nearly two-dozen contributors, the most interesting thing about our Top 50 was what it said about our habits and preferences.
Far more interesting, then, to see what a group as large and diverse as the Eurogamer readership made of 2007. And despite hiccups and revolts along the way, we've done just that - or rather you have. What follows is your very own Top 50 Games of 2007, as voted for by you, and with comments from you. Thanks very much for taking the time to contribute, and may I just be the first to say that I haven't read the article yet but I disagree.
50. World in Conflict
Sierra, Massive / PC
What we said: "The ability to unleash monitor-rattling nuclear destruction at will is what will inevitably garner the most attention, but thankfully World in Conflict has the steak to go with the sizzle. Combining bite-sized accessibility and formidable depth in a genre as established as real-time strategy is no mean feat, but Massive has pulled it off. An absolute beast of a game."
krokomkiller: "It's Battlefield 2 with ten times the units."
finkmachine: "The graphics are okay, the combat's dull, the background fairly hackneyed but dammit I can't stop playing the ******* thing!"
49. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
What we said: "Oblivion is a staggeringly ambitious game that successfully unites some of the best elements of RPG, adventure and action games and fuses them into a relentlessly immersive and intoxicating whole. If the irresistibly picturesque visuals don't draw you in, then the ability to engage in a massive, unique and above all hugely entertaining adventure ought to tip the balance for anyone doubting how good this game could be. If ever a game was worth the full asking price, Oblivion is it - to miss out on it would be tantamount to a dereliction of duty."
superfurryanimal: "As a childhood-role-player, this game was the answer to my prayers. GTA with swords and orcs, but more open and more stats. Amazing graphics, missions etc, but for me it was just the ability to actually role-play. Character creation and tinkering is as much fun as the game itself. My favourite game ever."
48. SEGA Rally
What we said: "Not since Burnout 2 has a driving game stood out as so completely different to everything else, and provided so much instant, moreish entertainment to such a high technical standard. To find a game that strips out the pointless and unnecessary padding and gets back to, you know, making the actual racing the fun bit is worthy of celebration on its own, but to then underpin the whole thing with deformable tracks is a masterstroke."
Cryguy: "Back to pure, arcade-style, and most importantly, fun racing! Thanks, SEGA, hurry up now with Daytona! There's a good corporation."
47. Wii Sports
Nintendo / Wii
What we said: "Whatever line Nintendo takes with its promotion of Wii Sports - and everything up to now has positioned it as a sideshow - what it's actually got here brilliantly embodies the Wii's dramatic premise: that this kind of control can appeal to people who don't play games and people who used to play games as well as people who've been playing them for as long as we have."
jimbob101: "My most played game of 2007. My brain may have said other games were better, but this was the one that ended up in the drive most."
46. Supreme Commander
THQ, Gas Powered Games / PC
What we said: "The overwhelming sense from SupComm (apart from the need to sleep for a week after a bout of it) is that its design brief was mega-war first, player sympathy second. The mega-war it gets absolutely right, but this is an RTS that could have bagged itself a 10 if it had reigned itself in a little, had tweaked its flow just enough so that there wasn't quite so much exhausting struggle."
45. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
Codemasters, Turbine / PC
What we said: "If you're deeply ensconced in an active WoW guild and enjoying the game, then LOTRO's improvements probably aren't significant enough to drag you away. However, there are many players for whom Azeroth (and Outland) are simply starting to feel tired, and we would whole-heartedly recommend that those players give Middle Earth a shot. What's more, it's absolutely no exaggeration to say that this is far and away the best game for anyone who hasn't played an MMOG before to cut their teeth on."
Wendelius: "A superb implementation of the world of Middle-Earth that keeps bringing a grin to our (mine and my wife's) face with all the nice little touches, the exciting Epic Book fights and the satisfaction of completing deeds."
44. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations
Capcom / DS
What we said: "It's agony not to just enthusiastically tell you about the scenarios, the cases themselves, but I hate reviewers that get to experience something completely freshly for themselves, and then rob that opportunity from all who read the review. So believe me, if I told you you'd want to play, and then be cross I told you. So just skip to the wanting to play."
43. Excite Truck
Nintendo / Wii
What we said: "Built on a moreish achievement system, around mechanics that satisfy more and more with each passing day, it's a game maligned for the usual reason: reviewers wanted to move on, and weren't being offered any incentive to redo things beyond simply enjoying the activity. If you can reconcile yourself with that, and like the sound of the game, this is 35 pounds well spent."
ZeroAX: "It's just pure fun. This is the way video games are supposed to be made. For fun. A lot of developers and even gamers have forgotten about this it seems. Also it's the best racing experience ever on a game console. Even a wheel couldn't emulate the fun in driving by tilting the remote. Too bad there are no new stages or on line mode in general. Still it's the most fun game of the year in my opinion."
42. God Hand
Capcom / PS2
What we said: "Initially all the attacks that come in from off camera or that interrupt your slow moves feel as unfair and low as the ball-busting kicks you frequently employ, then at the end when the difficulty really ramps up cracks in the control system start showing and you start cursing the clumsy running and cheap tricks you have to resort to. But the plateau in between is long and it's really, really good gaming, assuming you don't let the game push you around like a playful big brother with little a superiority complex. God Hand just wants to have fun. And so do we."
Machetazo: "This is fast-paced action, in a turbo-charged seventies martial-arts vein, in the most delightful of ways. Which only helps it along in its goal to being staggeringly fun to play, when I'm not being further entertained lmao at its comedy. But, there's a lot more. An imposed move-set in a brawler might get samey, so GH lets you choose how you want to attack. You can select and unlock new strikes and kicks to bring defeat to enemies. There are also wonderfully OTT speciality moves, that you can earn, that can be strategically employed at the right moment, to devastating, or hilarious effect. But, it doesn't devolve into a button-masher, and you have to remain alert, because you must watch patterns of the enemy, and also keep an eye out for context-sensitive windows of opportunity to gain a slight upper hand."
Grumbler: "It's funny, original, perfectly conceived and with a beautifully crafted move system that allows massive amounts of creativity."
CaoSlayer: "Seriously, I haven't played another game for a longer time. It is hard, it is fair, it is simple, it has deep, it is perfect. God Hand is the kind of game you played at an arcade at 199X, silly, fast and fun."
41. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Square Enix / PSP
What we said: "Gorgeous, complex, well-written and beautifully presented, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions has been polished and refined to make it into the best version of one of the best games of the 1990s. For old fans, it's a welcome return for a beautiful game that's been gone ten years; and for those who didn't import, all those years ago, we can only say we're jealous that you get to experience it all afresh."
Blacklodge: "It's a ten-year-old game, finally finding its place as the perfect handheld experience. It has all the strategy of chess and shogi, wrapped in the beauty of Final Fantasy. It really is a Desert Island game, you could play it endlessly with different iterations of team rollout and never see the same game twice. Choosing careers is a game in itself, rigging out your characters is a full time job, and the balance of gameplay is just perfection. And once more I say it - its ten-years-old and still the best game on any of Sony's currently supported platforms, PS3 included."
40. Puzzle Series Vol. 5 - Slitherlink
Hudson / DS
What we said: "It's taken over my life, and it's currently taking over Tom's, as he pops up in IM windows to alert me to his latest speedy solving times. It's so perfectly implemented, never fiddly, always smooth. It does, it must be noted, start to struggle once you're at the very end of a 36x20, when managing all the data on screen, but that's the most minor of gripes. While the Hudson Puzzle series has contained some gems, especially the joyful Honeycomb Beat, none match Slitherlink's ease of use, intuitive controls, and blissful perfection in puzzle design."
tentonipete: "Making the loop fit around the numbers." [We assume he was responding to our question about why it was his number one.]
39. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
What we said: "Twilight Princess is an incredible game on the whole, with so many peaks, so many magic moments that will live long in the minds of millions of gamers. Sure, there are times in the game when you want to shake Miyamoto and co by the lapels for including elements of the game which remain dogged by old-school convention, but they represent a flea bite on what is just a stunning and relentlessly enjoyable game."
Eregian: "The ongoing influx of new ideas [persuaded me]. Nintendo doesn't milk its gameplay, it just bestows more and more extra equipment and landscape at you."
Kyle: "You may think me an idiot for putting a game released in late 2006 above others such as BioShock or Portal, but as good as these titles were, I hadn't been waiting for something like them for verging on five years. I, like many others I assume, didn't get a chance to play this superb game until February of last year due to the shortages of Wiis at launch. It truly is a culmination of everything that makes the Zelda series so fantastic. When you make something that consists of all the best bits from a series spanning twenty years, it really doesn't matter that it doesn't do much new. If it ain't broke and all that."
disussedgenius: "Yes, I know that it's basically the same game again. Yes, I know that it's way too easy. But damn it, it's lovely."
38. Tomb Raider: Anniversary
What we said: "It takes the inspirational level design of the original, improves upon the atmosphere, and makes the whole thing so much more fun thanks to the hugely refined control and camera system. Far from being a tired, cynical cash-in exercise of a brand past its prime, Tomb Raider Anniversary goes back to its roots and shows how remakes should be done. As such, it has ended up being one of the stand-out games of the year so far, and also one of Eidos' best ever. It's a must buy for any Lara fan, simple as that."
stepneg: "Going back to playing one of my favourite games of all time with a new,(improved) control system and spruced up graphics - I loved every minute of it and just hope that an all new Tomb Raider game based on puzzles not shooting will be out this year. I would even love to see 2, 3, Revelations and Chronicles all remade with this engine!"
Triggerhappyt: "Crystal Dynamics have really re-invigorated the series over the last couple of games, and it's great to see them return to the ideas of the legendary original with this superb remake. Evoking senses of isolation and discovery like few games have ever managed, Anniversary is a triumph of superb level design partnered with blissful controls and outstanding technology. Let's hope CD understand that the series is at its strongest when Lara is utterly secluded, and that they keep these principals at the forefront when developing Tomb Raider: Underworld.
37. Guitar Hero II
What we said: "You can never have too much of a good thing and as far as good things go, Guitar Hero II is right up there with cakes and funny looking animals. For those about to rock... we salute you."
epic_wandere: "My first Guitar Hero. I haven't played a game this much to the exclusion of all else since Civilization II."
36. The Darkness
What we said: "I'd concur with Rob and suggest that any fan of first-person shooters needs to play this game, even though the occasional duff level, and the slightly pedestrian AI disrupts the quality at times. Once The Darkness gets its tentacles around you, resistance is futile."
Leinad: "I really loved The Darkness. Sure, it's far from being a perfect game, the gameplay's not perfect, etc. But the story...the way the story is told...all the drama and emotion behind the game mechanics is just mind-blowing! And the ending...man....I loved the ending so much! One of those endings where you just stay put in the couch, watching the final credits roll, while you think about what you have just experienced...amazing!"
35. Resistance: Fall of Man
Sony, Insomniac / PS3
What we said: "Put bluntly, the combat and AI is merely average, the visuals don't really wow, and the much-vaunted weaponry makes little difference to how it plays. To say we're underwhelmed is the understatement of the year."
Moz: "Just so much fun playing clan games online. Prefer its faster pace over other online shooters for consoles."
reddevil93: "The amazing variety of great weapons where, unlike other games, the newest isn't always the best. The stellar online mode with hassle-free matchmaking, clan options and custom game searches, unlike other games. Cough Call of Duty 4 cough. It was my first taste of network gaming. It had split screen co-op. It had a good original story and setting."
34. Endless Ocean
Nintendo / Wii
What we said: "Endless Ocean is simple to the point of being quite dull, and certainly no masterpiece. But sometimes all a game needs to do is offer you something different, and it's an honest relief to play something that doesn't shout in your ear, set any time limits, or feature a single explosion; a game whose raison d'Ítre is just beauty and peace. Playing this game is almost like taking a holiday from gaming. If you can live with that paradox - and if you can find it reasonably cheap - it's worth dipping a toe in these calm, blue waters."
Lave_from_PA: "Simplistic moralist J.R. Tolkien always whittered on about how Middle Earth was an act of subcreation to make a little real world to explore. And whilst Bioshock and Super Mario Galaxy approached what that means in very different and very excellent ways neither get close to your first trip down the trench."
secombe: "It seems to be universally panned by critics, but universally loved by gamers. Simply, it had more jaw-dropping moments in 10hrs than I can remember in total across the past 5 years of gaming, it reminded me why I actually started playing games in the first place...and all for £17.99."
Agent_Llama: "The love that went into creating this game is undeniable. Taking your first plunge into the Abyss, your first encounter with Sperm Whale, hidden pods of dolphins within ruined temples, penguins leaping and diving into the blue... This game has discovery after discovery to make, filling you with a sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of the ocean with every fathom you explore. I lost count of the times I ended up grinning from ear to ear with this beauty, and have spent hours pootling beneath the waves in utter bliss. A game where you make of it what you want - follow the touching story, set out to discover every species of the Manaurai Sea, or simply spend a bit of time at the end of a hard day's work floating in the reef with your finned friends. Beautiful presentation and a super soundtrack from Hayley Westenra, along with controls that make excellent use of the Wiimote all help to immerse you in the experience. A true gem."
33. Earth Defence Force 2017
D3Publisher / Xbox 360
What we said: "Defence Force 2017's plot would be summed up by its title if you added the rider 'shoots an army of invading ants'."
Rev. Stuart Campbell: "Best awesomeness-to-development-budget ratio on a grown-up console since the 16-bit era. EDF! EDF! EDF!"
PotatoHeadBobby: "Even though Galaxy is the best game I've played this year, I went for EDF. It stands out a mile on 360 because it's so simple. There's no convoluted plot or swanky features, you just kill giant thngs to bits. More outright fun than anything on 360, there needs to be more games like this...and Galaxy of course!"
twmac: "A simple idea done to perfection. Where others get bogged down in complicated controls, schizophrenic game design EDF is pure fun. What should be repetitive is simply sublime. With five levels of difficulty and 171 weapons to collect and also at a bargain basement price this is a must have."
EA, Crytek / PC
What we said: "This is a game that feels supremely engineered, like a precision machine, or a German automobile. It makes Half-Life 2 seem old and frail, but by the same token it does nothing to diminish the imaginative achievements of that series. Crysis is impressive, but not imaginatively bold. Nor does it engage us like some other great shooters - such as BioShock - have done with their world and their personality. It's far better than Far Cry, and it's clearly going to create a rabid army of fans, many of whom I hope will plug themselves into the absurdly easy-to-us level editor and create us more single-player campaigns. Personally I'd like to see where this astounding world-forging technology will take us. And I can't wait to see what Crytek will do next."
MyWifeNowDave: "Graphics a generation ahead of next-gen consoles, and open-ended gameplay for great replayability."
Sony, Evolution / PS3
What we said: "MotorStorm, it turns out, is one of the best new racing games in ages whether you play it alone or with friends. What's more, there's no obvious way it could be done on a previous PlayStation. Believe me when I say I'm as shocked as you are - but not shocked enough to stop me pinching points for a lack of tracks and modes. More please, Evolution. Your name demands it."
Sony, Incog / PlayStation Network
What we said: "Incognito has taken the DNA of Battlefield and crafted a sublime online console game - a virtual battlezone that serves up more than its fair share of wonderful audio-visuals, but more than that, plays beautifully, with every game you play supplying a key gameplay moment that only online gaming provides."
Weebleboy: "Okay, so it wasn't my actual #1, but it seems to have been forgotten in everyone's 2007 lists so I'll give it a wee boost and put it up here. A wonderfully addictive arcade Battlefield clone with a real epic feel, wonderful map design, and great balancing. Probably the most fun I've had playing online so far."
3william56: "Bringing online wargaming to the console masses, with elegance, simplicity, balance and kick ass dog-fighting. And the added bonus of calling an air-strike on half a dozen whining yank teenagers at a time is just the icing on the cake."
Tobydch: "Fantastic online play with no lag whatsoever! Other games like Uncharted and FIFA 08 were fantastic but nothing can beat the replay value in Warhawk - what an online experience."
29. Gears of War
What we said: "In a sense, Gears of War lives up to expectations in that it's one of the most intensely beautiful-looking games ever made, but is one that plays by the rules in the gameplay stakes. If you want to gorge on a next generation audio-visual feast then Gears of Wars is a king's banquet. But what of the gameplay pudding that Peter Moore so often reminds us that he likes? The proof, he says, is in the eating, and in this case Gears of War sticks to a well-worn recipe."
steddyman: "Great single-player and it was loads of fun with my friends in multiplayer. The game had such a feeling of weight, which is missing from Halo."
28. Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction
Sony, Insomniac / PS3
What we said: "Whether Tools of Destruction is for you depends largely on whether you got on with the previous Ratchet & Clank games. If you did, and you loved them, then there's absolutely no reason not to go out and buy this, because it's a beautifully slick revision with some of the best videogame visuals around, and the usual excellent storyline to drag you along."
27. FIFA 08
What we said: "PES or FIFA? Well, perhaps the most pertinent point here is that FIFA 08 now feels more like an alternative to PES rather than a direct rival, due to its slower, more considered and realistic approach. The two series feel very much like they're on opposite ends of the spectrum now, with both possessing a host of merits, but ultimately providing two very different experiences. Maybe it's time we stopped torturing ourselves about which is better and started thinking about what kind of footy experience we're looking for, then make our decisions based on that instead. Now there's a thought..."
thehipster7: "Its football, movement and passing [are superb]. Takes some getting used to but blows away the school-yard kickaround that is PES. Online even the 5v5 has little lag, if there is some it's down to users connections and/or distance between players. Is fashionable to slate EA but not this time."
FranticUK: "The fact is that it has come from being Pro Evo's mascot to a more complete football package in comparison to Konami's offering this year. It looks to have far more potential going into the future with 5v5 (a brilliant addition), better gameplay and the sheer online and offline game options. Streamed podcasts, arena mode, party play with your mates on a local machine, licensed teams and stadiums all make this my favourite footy game so far."
26. Forza Motorsport 2
Microsoft, Turn 10 / Xbox 360
What we said: "Best of all you needn't have four interlinked TV screens and a bespoke racing chair to get the most out of this game - although that option is there for those who want it. Neither have you to spend hours under the bonnets, reading performance graphs or worrying about which spoiler is more likely to impress a girl and intimidate a boy. Forza 2 really is as universally appealing a sim racing game as one could hope for, and there's not a blue shell in sight."
renzo: "There's lots to love about Forza 2. The weighty feel of the cars, the easy-to-get-to-grips-with handling, the satisfying thunk of collisions, the Performance Indexing and Classing of cars, the car customisation options; that really is a lot of love. Yes, it did look a bit rough graphically, and the selection of tracks was a little disappointing, but overall a solid sim, and most importantly a satisfyingly enjoyable 'car game'."
Macross: "Simply amazing across the board. Yes it has its minor niggles, but I've never had so much fun with the online mode once Id found some decent people to race with. The customisation options are just the icing on the cake. Surely this is as close as you can get to the perfect racing sim!?"
25. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
Nintendo, Capcom / Wii
What we said: "Since it's only £25, you might as well take a punt if you haven't already played it. It's just a shame that one of the best ever action games has become another casualty of the Wii controller. Indeed, for a controller that was supposed to herald a new dawn of inclusive gaming there are a lot of third-party publishers who have yet to get their heads round it. Presumably, when they decided to create a Wii version of Resident Evil 4, Capcom envisaged an even more inclusive version of the best ever action game. What they got is a game that now looks dated, and plays exactly the same but with worse controls. Not exactly a new dawn."
What we said: "As a first stab at something new, EA has landed one hell of a trick for the judges - and those of us who exist outside of this tenuous analogy - to enjoy while they await the arrival of one Mr Tony Hawk to see if the Birdman has finally had his wings clipped. The demo (which went up on Live recently) certainly doesn't wow in the same way that Skate does, making declaring this the definitive extreme sports experience somewhat easier for us. Punishingly difficult but ultimately rewarding, games of Skate's caliber are a rare breed and as far as first attempts go, it's been years since we saw one this accomplished. Just... sick, man."
dadrester: "Flawed masterpiece. Stupid and [GASP SWEARWORD] gameflow design vastly overshadowed by the most perfectly crafted core mechanics in a game I've seen since... well probably Tetris. Level design is amazing too. (Let's hope they fix the gameflow and implement Burnout Paradise's online system for a sequel.)"
Truk: "I can finally cruise around pretending to be a skater without the broken bones and torn face that my unwieldy mass and frightening lack of agility would result in if I tried to ride an actual skateboard."
sickpuppysoftware: "Inventive and challenging. It showed Tony Hawk up for the old set in his ways fool that he is. Online is great fun. It doesn't matter whether the people playing against you are far better or far worse. You either learn something or you have a good laugh. Uploading your videos would be genius if EA had bothered to test the website side of it."
23. The Witcher
Atari, CD Projekt / PC
What we said: "Well-intentioned clickety combat aside, The Witcher doesn't offer much the dedicated role-player won't have already seen elsewhere, but that's not such a bad thing. CD Projekt has taken time-tested elements from across the fantasy-RPG spectrum and tied them to a solidly crafted story that includes elements of racial discord, religious fanaticism and sexual promiscuity in its adults-only mix. Admittedly, these elements are rather crudely introduced and are handled with a rather endearing 'Look! Adult themes!' excitability, but there's certainly more to savour here than in most dungeon-crawlers. One for those who value story and character over technical innovation then, but definitely a game worth trying if the concept has tickled your fancy."
JayG: "The story, the graphics, the fighting way...simply amazing game."
Dynamize: "It's a modern RPG that actually has some tangible consequences to your actions and choices, and hasn't purged its fantasy world of the real world's thorny issues, darkness and unsavoury characters. This is good and to be encouraged. It manages all the previous, while also having solid character stat progression, a huge alchemy system, and satisfying punchfightswordkill situations; along with looking dashed pretty to boot. There may or may not be sexings, boobies and cards in there too. Coverage of this critical aspect of the game is pretty thin on the ground. Perhaps the developers could confirm or deny this?"
22. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
ghearoid: "I've been playing it non-stop for months! My flatmate keeps asking me if I'm still playing the same game, he thinks I'm nuts. Ho-hum!"
Hendo: "I bought it twice. Do I need to add anything to that? Oh okay. Such a brilliant mix of two genres that I don't think have ever been mixed together before, and even if they have not quite as addictive as this, I'd wager. I bought the DS version when it came out and spent the next two months playing the hell out of it everyday. I traded it in when I had a massive clearout and then the XBLA version arrived. What else could I do?"
21. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Blizzard / PC, Mac
What we said: "In a genuinely striking move, The Burning Crusade simultaneously gives World of Warcraft veterans the swathes of new content they've been crying out for, and makes the end-game experience vastly more open to casual players or new players. Rather than merely catering to its hardcore audience, Blizzard has actually extended the accessibility of WoW to bring even more people into the fold."
ken8mac: "Slick, polished, and patched on a regular basis with, mostly, nice enhancements."
yagisencho: "This must be what Blizzard had in mind when they originally set out to make WoW. Not only the new zones beautiful, but the zone-based PvP objectives help make it feel like a real, dynamic conflict. The game is getting much closer to feeling like an RPG/RTS hybrid (at least on PVP servers)."
20. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Nintendo, Retro Studios / Wii
What we said: "Quite unlike the slew of generic first-person shooters crowding out the shelves this year, it's a special game that might take a while to appreciate because of the way it does things differently to other games of a similar nature - but once you do unravel its charms, you'll be glad did. Immersive, engaging and with the kind of gameplay depth that so many shooters lack, Metroid Prime 3 might not represent a huge progression as far as the series goes, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best games I've played all year - and certainly one of best yet on the Wii."
smelly: "I hated the first two Prime games, and indeed hate most FPS games on consoles due to the controller, but Metroid 3 plays like a dream and is hugely underrated/overlooked. Graphics are top-notch, gameplay keeps you playing. And unlike Halo 3, the single-player lasts a hell of a long time (took me nearly 50 hours to complete first run through in easy). It was a toss-up between this game and SKATE, but prime wins the toss just."
Bowser: "Intelligent FPS/adventure with most precize control scheme. Best artistic design, great graphics (even if it is running only in 480p), great music. I was totally immersed. This game is a masterpiece! Way better than Bioshock, COD4, Halo 3 and other over-hyped FPS."
19. Final Fantasy XII
Square Enix / PS2
What we said: "It's not hard to see us looking back in five years time and seeing FFXII as a pivotal, changing moment in how RPGs are designed; a game which drew on the experience of Final Fantasy's branches into tactical strategy and massively multiplayer, as well as on the more mature storytelling of other mediums, and folded it back into the number series, to wonderful result. Fans will, of course, debate the merits of Final Fantasy XII for a long time - but our own experience with this game fully justifies giving it the highest accolade we can award."
groovychainsaw: "Final Fantasy reinvented for those of us who tired of Warcraft. An opportunity to show other JRPGs how to offer the addictive qualities of a MMORPG in a single-player game, whilst keeping story and character at the forefront and providing probably the best plot since FFVII."
18. Project Gotham Racing 4
Microsoft, Bizarre Creations / Xbox 360
What we said: "Freed from the pressures of developing to match a hardware launch, and perhaps steered by the Forza team's strength in simulation, PGR4 wrings the best yet out of an already scintillating arcade racing game. As a swansong for Activision-bound Bizarre Creations, it's more than we could have wished for, and a daunting prospect for whichever developer Microsoft asks to follow it."
OldK1ngCole: "Simply the best driving game ever created IMO. Awesome graphics, balanced gameplay and cracking online features."
17. Half-Life 2: Episode Two
TheGoose: "Storytelling took off in leaps and bounds after the action-heavy episode 1, and the scene with you-know-who surprised the hell out of me. Combined with the most vicious enemy yet seen in HL2 (those fecking Hunters are hard to kill), a Strider fight that had me literally whooping with joy for winning and of course Alyx, this is the direction storytelling in games should go. The fact that the ending worked at all is testament to the emotion and immersion Valve can create with its characters."
16. God of War 2
Sony, Santa Monica / PS2
What we said: "So why isn't it a 10? Perhaps in purely PS2 terms it deserves that sort of hysterical mark, but we can't rate games in a vacuum, so it's a 9, but a 9 that stands up to any other game regardless of the platform. Maybe the one notable down-side of this incredible sequel is that it is 'just' the second part of a game we all loved two years ago, and even die-hards like myself have to acknowledge that. As such, as refined and honed as the gameplay is as a whole, you can never quite replicate the wow factor of the original - even if it ends up being a better game. Lack of innovation or not, the important thing to stress is that God of War II boasts some notable improvements in every area, and is therefore a game that any fan of action-adventures should rush out and buy immediately. Satisfaction guaranteed."
nick_f: "Made Heavenly Sword look like a PS2 launch title. If this had come out in 2001 we would have burnt it at the stake for witchcraft."
Rafeage: "One of the few games that are both rock solid and fair. It requires lightning fast reflexes and total concentration that immerses the player in a way only games like ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry can. This dynamic coupled with the best graphics on the PS2 and an equally epic story makes this my favourite game of the year. On a final note, this is a game aimed at gamers that reassures me that the games industry still caters for us and hasn't just 'sold out' by making super easy games for casual market."
15. Team Fortress 2
What we said: "In an uncharacteristic burst of intelligent observation, the game's Wikipedia entry remarks that the old design of TF2 is 'quite possibly the only game to have spawned a thriving sub-genre without ever being released itself'. For the people who make up that sub-genre, as well as those addressing it afresh, we're confident the reaction will be 'ten years well spent'."
MouzerMalti: "The best game, simply because it's just plain fun, graphics are just wonderful and have their own art-style. Gameplay is just fantastic, simple and fun."
neuroniky: "It's the perfect teamplay online shooter, really - both on PC and on the 360, even if the PC version is better because of better server being currently available."
elredeyegrande: "2fort and Dustbowl. Nuff said."
14. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
THQ, GSC Game World / PC
What we said: "For some people the odd rough brokenness of Stalker will frustrate and annoy. It isn't finely polished, and it's not Hollywood; this is more like an antidote to the Americanised way of doing things. It's a warped behemoth from the Ukraine, and one of the scariest games on the PC. Stalker will remind you of all kinds of prior games, and yet it will also defy your expectations. Like the mythological Chernobyl zone it is based upon, this game is a treacherous, darkly beautiful terrain. Not everyone is going to enjoy venturing into the zone, but some of those who do will find what they've been looking for."
Hunam: "There is something about a flawed game that really appeals to me. It has a personality, you develop an understanding with it, and you can see the love and devotion in it. Everything in STALKER screams vision at you, from the wind blowing in the open fields, to tense firefights next to a nuclear meltdown. You can love this game as much as you could see the designers loved making it."
13. Assassin's Creed
What we said: "After each briefing, you travel the same route to the Masyaf border with no way to skip the journey, and it takes five minutes. You will play to the end anyway, I imagine, because it's not very frustrating, it looks nice and the low-level mechanics are engagingly fluid and spectacular to watch. And you certainly want to know what's going on. Or will do, until it stops dazzling to deceive and goes a bit Dan Brown. But while there's no end of potential to the foundations Ubisoft Montreal has set, the game built upon them is ultimately disappointing, and leaves you unfulfilled."
udat: "While the different mission types were a bit repetitive, no other game has had so well realised a game world. The scale of the cities especially just edges out BioShock in terms of level design. Altair had a real sense of momentum and weight behind his movements, the free running was well executed, and the combat was engaging, brutally realistic in places, and the story was intriguing."
louyfitz: "I have never seen a game quite like this before. It's got free-roaming which is made worthwhile by the amazing scenery, but at the same time it never lacks action, with brutal assassinations just a brief horse ride away. In a way, it takes everything that is beautiful about gaming, and the wonderful evil feeling that you get from assassinating a tyrant, then mixes them together then adds touch of back story."
12. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
What we said: "Despite sharing the exact same innards as Guitar Hero II, Legends of Rock is, in every conceivable way, a better product than its predecessors. It's better presented, better put together, more professional, more complete. As the series always has, it brings fantastic music together with challenging, addictive, endlessly rewarding gameplay and a great sense of style - only this time it has flawless co-op, online multiplayer, and a 1980s German-language punk anthem."
Nick: "This game is so good that when my Xbox scratched the disc so badly it stopped working, I went out and bought another one, the same day, for £50. And didn't even feel that ripped off."
Lukus: "It brings out the obsessive in me."
Capcom, Clover Studio / PS2
What we said: "Okami is, without doubt, a landmark game, and one that's beautiful in almost every sense. A few very minor control and camera issues occasionally threaten to gnaw away and the ankles of the design perfection running rampant throughout the game, but even they can't possibly undermine what is a fantastic achievement that may not be topped in the genre for some time. Right from the start it conjures an atmosphere of being something special, but to keep that level of quality up consistently over 60 hours ensures that this will be a game that will be talked about for years to come."
dhenriksson: "There is really no word strong enough to describe the visuals, but I guess 'beautiful' will have to do for a start. Just roaming the lands, feeding animals and reviving nature filled me with a sense of peace and delight like no other game. Also, perfecting a formula that The Legend of Zelda has developed for twenty years is no small feat. All hail the Celestial Brush!"
TelexStar: "This was simply one of the most beautiful and enjoyable games I've played in years! Clover Studios, R.I.P."
Xephon1970: "More than just a Zelda for the PS2, it was awash with ideas, fantastic characters, a story that swept players along, stirring music and one of those things that only comes along every so often - a brand new way to interact with a game. The Celestial Brush was so intuitive that the increasing number of strokes available never threatened to overwhelm the player. And that ending, it leaves you wanting more and you can't really ask for more. Loved the game from start to finish. It was a close run thing between this and FF XII for my personal game of the year."
10. The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass
Nintendo / DS
What we said: "Even among Nintendo's best, Zelda games have a unique ability to capture the imagination in ways that you'll lie in bed and think about, echoing themselves without becoming repetitive, and while this one might be over sooner than you expect, you won't forget it in a hurry, and you won't be left wishing that it lasted longer, but rather that more games were as well attuned to their host console's abilities, and so completely magical. Simply one of the DS' best."
togelius: "Killing critters by touching them with my stylus. The feeling of a huge world of endless possibilities within the DS in my hand. The pimp-my-ship guy at the shipyard. Link's puppy eyes. Everything, really."
FaceOmeter: "It's a paradox of the Zelda series that being relentlessly innovative is one of its stale, generic tropes. I understand the cynics, and this is a game that only puts out if you put in. But if you make the investment, I can't see anyone coming out of the fantastic ending without grinning like an idiot. Also to be considered: best boss fights in any adventure game for YEARS, first Zelda game ever where auto-jump doesn't routinely piss you off (lol at lifetime PC user), 100% completion almost possible by normal humans."
9. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Sony, Naughty Dog / PS3
What we said: "By focusing on keeping things fun at all times, it might not be considered the most expansive or ambitious game out there. It doesn't have a free-form openworld, but this is proof - if it were needed - that making a linear action game is nothing to be sneered at. By starting with a great control and camera system, building on that with excellent combat and a wonderful spin on Ico's platform adventuring, and then topping it off with a decent storyline, Naughty Dog has cooked up one of the most relentlessly entertaining, fat-free games to emerge in ages. Topped off with the most stunning use of the PS3's underused technical prowess yet, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is, for my money, the first must-have PlayStation 3 title."
dudester: "Fantastic story and adventure finally seeing something break away from the plain shooters which been released this year. Best new characters in a new IP and potentially massive series."
manuel_garcia: "In spite of all its flaws (dodgy combat, not enough adventuring, crap vehicle sections), it turned into something far superior to its individual parts. There's nothing quite like a new IP and a new world to get lost in, and Uncharted provided those with a genuine spirit and affection for the audience. If they hammer out all the flaws, this will be one sequel that I absolutely cannot wait for."
caligari: "It has pirates in it. So did the Goonies. That clearly makes this the game of 2007!"
Microsoft, Realtime Worlds / Xbox 360
What we said: "Being so excellent that you obliterate the single-player in a weekend is not enough to stop it being my favourite Xbox 360 game of recent times. You should definitely buy it, because, on this evidence, waiting for Grand Theft Auto IV would be rather daft. This is what it should do anyway."
banjoted: "So many games have tried to snatch the GTA formula and run with it, and more or less all of them have failed. Crackdown, on the other hand, took the GTA template and dropkicked it over a skyscraper into the sea. Realtime Worlds' game is a delightfully energetic take on the sandbox genre, and one that I went in to with no expectations yet found extremely hard to put down. And the excellent online co-op made was the incredibly tasty icing on an already delicious cake."
HSH25: "Agility Orbs."
Etch: "The best co-op game I've ever played. Massive free roaming environment. Compelling achievement targets. Awesome sound effects, physics, weapons... Everything. That's it - I'm playing that when I get home tonight!"
7. The Orange Box
What we said: "The Orange Box offers everything any fan of first-person shooters could possibly want: some of the best single-player gaming ever in the shape of Half-Life 2 and Episodes One and Two; wonderful innovation from Portal, and the most refined, downright fun team-based online FPS currently available in Team Fortress 2. If that doesn't warrant a 10 out of 10, nothing does. Buy it and enjoy one of the must-have releases of this - or any other - year."
6mullet: "Portal is enough in itself to earn number one, the fact that Team Fortress 2 and Episode Two are included is icing on the cake."
SenorGrande: "Five great games for the price of one. Half Life 2 still stands up today as one of the best games in the genre. Episode One and Two, while not perfect, maintain the brilliance that Half Life 2 originally laid out for us. For online multiplayer you get Team Fortress 2. Frantic, class based gameplay at it's finest with enough classes and play styles to satisfy anyone and everyone. Also not to be overlooked it the game's unique visual style that only serves to further enhance its excellence. And finally, the icing on the cake (feel free to use that one). Portal is a worthy GOTY winner on it's own merits. The fact that it's included in an already spectacular collection just a bonus. It's one of the most ingenious puzzle games in years. It's also one of the most charming games of any type I've ever played. If you come away from Portal not in love with GLaDOS then there's no help for you. Turn in your weighted companion cube and hurl yourself into the nearest Aperture Science Disposal Unit."
6. Halo 3
Microsoft, Bungie / Xbox 360
What we said: "Hype machine aside, cutting through the crap about console wars and the like, what we find in Halo 3 is quite simply this - the best game yet in one of the best FPS franchises of the era. Better than either of its predecessors, Halo 3 still can't quite escape the category of flawed masterpiece - but this time around, the flaws are so minor that even the most churlish of reviewers would be hard pressed to mark the game down."
Spiral: "There are things that happen during in Halo 3 during the regular game that trump just about every other game's set-pieces. They're different for everyone, and these war stories are part of what makes Halo so great and are probably what inspired Theatre mode. And the set-pieces themselves are the stuff of legend. I had to stop playing for a while after the Two Scarabs battle because I was on so much of a high. The game did such a good job bringing me into its world it actually felt like I'd brought them down myself. Nothing else like it."
Negotiator: "Every facet of it is polished to almost perfection, from the wonderful score to the online matchmaking and of course Forge. No other game has so much to it that is polished to such a high level, and it's just so much fun."
FinalPenguin: "Fanboy-ish though voting for the obvious Halo 3 maybe, I genuinely found this to be a fantastic game. The campaign was engaging and entertaining, especially on co-op, and well worth several play-throughs. As well as this, the multiplayer is exciting, tidy and offers thrill after thrill, despites the many times you are almost guaranteed you will play it the moment you pop the disk in the 360."
5. Mass Effect
Microsoft, Bioware / Xbox 360
What we said: "Forced to stumble towards a conclusion, I'd say that despite the niggles, Mass Effect is most definitely a great game with an awful lot going for it - but one that doesn't quite deserve unquestioning praise. For what it achieves in delivering a compelling narrative and wonderful atmosphere, BioWare deserves a huge amount of credit, as there are few games that come anywhere near it in this regard."
Ceatlan: "I just loved the story, it kept me playing even though parts of the gameplay felt unfinished."
arjan: "It was the only game in 2007 that made me play the game again as soon as I completed it. The setting is awesome, the voice acting is awesome, game is awesome! Sure there's a few things which could be better (texture pop-in, loading times, uncharted worlds) but it was the most enjoyable game this year for me."
Gallilee: "A well done, open-ended RPG with fully functioning action aspects that doesn't rely on the invisible toss of virtual dice. Your actions actually reflected the gameplay and outcome of the game. It doesn't hurt that it was fully voice acted and had beautiful graphics."
What we said: "The portal gun is the most exciting thing to happen to FPS games since the gravity gun, and it's no surprise to discover that Valve is agonising over whether to give it to Gordon Freeman. Its function is simple: bridging gaps. But, in doing so, it alters the way in which you approach an FPS environment so radically that it's hard to think past it. Give it to Gordon, and Half-Life will never be the same. Better to keep it in the family, but away from the action. That's what Portal does, and the results are interesting."
plok: "Refreshing idea and fun to play. It's been too long since I've said that about a game."
Universal Hamster: "To me, Portal is a giant step forward for gaming. It's short length allowed the developers to fine-tune the game to an insane degree. Its script is razor-sharp black comedy, the acting nothing short of perfect of course, but another source of mirth for me came simply from the concept. There were no end of times that the game made me laugh from sheer head-bending delight as I grappled with the game's mechanics. The levels are subtly designed to allow you through the game without getting irreversibly stuck, but will still have you scratching your head. (Just check the in-game commentary for examples of how.) Of course, the cherry on top is the finale, (Now talked to death, but hey...) which has you calling people into the room, just to say, 'Hey this is how far we have come in videogames.'"
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Nintendo / Wii
What we said: "Where Galaxy matches Mario 64 is not quite in its quality of execution - alongside the brilliance of some stars are others which fall a bit flat, and there isn't the overall sense of implacable perfection that that game had - but in its confidence and originality. Another decade needs to go by before we'll know whether it will come to be as revered as 64 did. For now, all that matters is that the waiting is finally over."
JuanKerr: "Incredible level design, imaginative, stunning music, beautiful to look at and a joy to play from start to finish."
JetSetWilly: "It is unashamedly a simple game focused on getting the core gameplay mechanic absolutely spot on."
JonFE: "It's a game both me and my 8-year-old son can equally enjoy, by either playing or just watching and helping each other. I love the way it messes with gravity, the fact that it can be as easy-going or as challenging as you want it to be, the way it constantly surprises with its creative enemy / level design and gameplay elements. In my humble opinion, it succeeds to rewrite the rulebook of platform games (previously held by the mighty Super Mario 64)."
MrMarc: "It's that reminder of why I love videogames so much in the first place, what it was that hooked me into videogames since my very first gaming memory on the NES when I was 4 years old, and above all: the reminder that Nintendo are without doubt the greatest games developer there is. Pure genius and to risk sounding corny, it's a purely magical game to play and amazingly consistent as well. The wonderful and sometimes overwhelming sense of joy from playing the game in it's early levels does not disappear as you play on and only increases more so. Possibly the best game of this generation, and we've a long way to go yet!"
login_name: "It's the first game of this generation to make me feel like I did when I first started playing games. It's pure gaming fun, like it used to be. The industry has become too western and as a result has lost some of that magical spark. I love a good action game as much as the next man but when that's all that's available it gets dull very quickly. Mario Galaxy is a bright, colourful beacon of hope for all gamers of all ages. It proves that games do not have to be all about shooting, crashing and hookers to be enjoyable. From the incredible level design to the moving sound track, it's an absolute masterpiece. If any game can show games as an art form in their own right, Super Mario Galaxy is it and as a game designer, it's the first game this year that truly humbles me. Funny thing about this, I was always a Sonic man."
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
aldo_14: "The most outrageously cinematic single-player in, ooh, yonks, a set of SAS characters who don't sound like they have personal butlers in vast stately homes, and a multiplayer whose clever XP and perks system results in more crumb nibbling addiction than chocolate hobnobs crossed with wagon wheels."
fifthcolumn: "More fun than a box of squirrels. Fabulous single-player campaign backed up by the best online multiplayer ever. I've never felt as close to an NPC in a game as I did with Captain Price - but in a manly, SAS type of way you understand."
Apostle: "Magnificent single player experience, great characters and voice acting. As if being in a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Multiplayer has had me hooked, too. A deep rewards system and great online gameplay make it a winner."
DDevil: "By far the best multiplayer experience on XBL. The single player is fine, and has some great standout moments, but the sheer depth of multiplayer has kept me playing. From the rank system to the well-balanced maps, for me it's the standard all future games will now have to reach."
What we said (at the beginning, anyway - we never bloody well shut up about it): "It takes the tired, worn-out FPS genre by the scruff of the neck, reinvents and bend it out of shape in such a breathtaking fashion that it's going to take something very special to top this in the months and years ahead. For a game to be so outstanding in one department is one thing - to manage to tick every single box from graphics to audio to gameplay depth to atmosphere and innovation is pretty much unprecedented. Seriously - if you don't find something to love about BioShock, we'd recommend a trip to the nearest doctor to check if your heart's still beating."
dickrickulous: "Possibly the best setting for any story, regardless of medium, told in the last decade or so. The plot is pretty clever too, until it tails off near the end."
gogobaka: "It made all the stupid people upset about how stupid they are."
Daymare: "It's not easy to be a smart, unique and beautiful [oh I dunno - Ed] first-person shooter [aha! - Ed] with a heart these days. BioShock pulls it off, makes a living, stays memorable in company of keen last year's competition and gets its very own 'defence' article. It's not perfect but it's definitely Game Of The Year 2007."
nickthegun: "It dared to do something different. Which was, apparently, dumb itself down for a console audience, have the final third be a fetch quest nightmare and still be the most compelling, inventive and entertaining game of last year. I also liked the soundtrack."
BeheretiK: "I initially did not like this game and still do not like some things (like the way Vita-Chambers are implemented) but then, after trying it again in the last two weeks, realized what I fool I was - this game is brilliant. With the following caveat: It is brilliant when played properly! Now that I understand how to play and how to optimally use all your abilities and weapons, I have no problem playing on hard while having no problems with having enough items/cash/ammo. Add to that the incredible atmosphere and great characters it is a game that in my opinion will become a cult game. This one warrants many replays to properly get its magic..."
Jim Bob: "Ken Levine's magnum opus might just be the best game ever made."
HyperShadow: "From start to finish it was an absolute joy to behold, and who could forget that moment with Andrew Ryan? Such a well-written plot twist to make you play through it again because as Lloyd Grossman said, the clues are there. Brilliant."
imamazed: "A watery world of wonderful happenings. Filled with amazing characters, the best twist you've ever seen in a videogame, and atmosphere that could crush a puppy this game if a pure joy, start to finish. It's an intelligent game; one that makes you truly concentrate to get the most out of the story, with multiple playings strongly advised. The gameplay has been criticised by some, with claims of repetitiveness, but it's really very good and there is indeed enough variation in the combat to justify its heavy use. Besides, when the story is so truly engrossing, you don't really mind what comes between!"
Move42: "Yes, the gameplay has its problems. Yes, it dumbs down a lot of its predecessors more fascinating aspects. Yes, the final part sucks. A lot. But it offered a glimpse into what games could do if designers would just start to use the special possibilities of the medium: Games can make us fear and think at the same time, break our hearts and twist our minds, tell a story like no one else, all this while still including the chance to freeze a screaming drugzombie in midair and then hit him over the head with a wrench. No movie, no song and no book can do that, ever."