Sony / Media Molecule / PS3
What we said: "Mostly, we're just happy to see a flagship game for a modern system that's about running from left to right and jumping over things. New ideas are great, great old ideas are better, and LittleBigPlanet has both: it's the future and the past of videogames, rolled into one."
afray says: It's a testament to how wonderful this game is that the floaty controls don't ruin the experience. With four players in the same room I've never laughed so much. Full of so much win some of it has spilled out of the PS3 and stained my carpet.
Theorem says: Innovative, fun and huge! The best platformer since Super Mario Bros.
ProjectJAY says: It's games like LittleBigPlanet that keep the revolutionary wheels of the videogame industry spinning; Metal Gear Solid created the stealth genre, Guitar Hero was an instant party hit and Grand Theft Auto III inspired countless games and spawned many fantastic sequels. What does LBP do? It revolutionises a gamer's greatest fantasy...to create a kickass video game. And LBP, pretty much, lets you do just that. It's the ultimate creative tool; the level-creation feature is so deep and so immense that it dwarfs the already fantastic single-player campaign, and the online functionality is just superb.
MrBeast says: Hell, I bought a PS3 just to play this game!
Whatsfor says: I have not laughed as hard as I did with this game for the last few years! I completed it with my girlfriend, who until this point had never played a PlayStation. It just draws you in!
IAchilleasI says: Anything a Wii can offer to a non-casual gamer and more.
Borealis_UK says: For trying something different, and succeeding in every single way.
deaner says: it's everything I'd expect not to like in a videogame. It's colourful, cute and basic - but that's just a surface under which lies the most cunningly clever and imaginative game I've played in years.
therev says: I love games that the wife and I can play together. And I love games where just running, jumping and swinging around are fun. And I love games with huge amounts of charm, wonderfully designed levels and Stephen Fry. It's just a pure joy to play. And that's before you even consider all the online stuff...
Sandbox says: Stephen Fry.
Snarky says: A breath of fresh air in a market saturated with shooters and a user-friendly place for creative people to show their skills.
BrokenRSA says: Always having a new level to play never gets old.
Widge says: I don't think I've played a game which has given me such a beaming smile like this in my life. It's so slickly put together too. You also appreciate the levels in the game more when you're keeping an eye out for how they've been made. Great stuff!
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Konami / Kojima Productions / PS3
What we said: "Guns of the Patriots is a frustrating, fractured game that turns Metal Gear Solid's world upside down several times over, but never changes it. It just burrows deeper into what fans love and detractors hate than ever before, and it will make few converts. It's a crying shame, given how many genuinely classic gaming moments there are here, given the countless exquisite creative touches, but Metal Gear Solid 4 is its own worst enemy. You could not ask for a funnier, cleverer, more ambitious or inspired or over-the-top conclusion to the Metal Gear Solid series, but it's definitely time to move on."
bronze says: It's the first game this generation to blow me away - on so many levels - the graphics, the gameplay, the audio and of course, on an emotional level. The game even has a full multiplayer game included in the box.
Roarer says: Hype and delays shot expectations through the roof - MGS4 simply couldn't deliver no matter how hard it tried. And really - the story is convoluted and Kojima is in dire need of someone to pull his reins and edit the incessant flow of ideas sprouting from his brain. Nevertheless, production values are up there with the biggest blockbuster movies and some of the set-pieces and stages are crafted out of pure brilliance which mostly make up for the (necessarily?) silly plot and stiff dialogue.
philios says: Still a force in the genre. Cut-scene times aside, this is still an fantastic experience with some brilliant design, coupled with top-draw graphics, sound and gameplay.
SenorGrande says: Well the ending was insane and the whole stalking thing in the third chapter really did suck but for the most part this was another terrific entry in the Metal Gear Solid series.
MisterSlimm says: An entirely non-disappointing sequel, a rare thing indeed. Confusing, certainly, but not disappointing.
Snarky says: This is a guilty pleasure of a game that has fan service as its number one priority. Could have used an editor or two and the install times are silly but the ridiculous nature of it is charming much like Gears 2.
funkyd says: A masterpiece.
Widge says: Shockingly epic and awesome. Perhaps only let down by the ridiculous showdown at the end and the baffling speech. All these are forgotten when you get to hit Episode 4 again.
3. Gears of War 2
Microsoft / Epic / Xbox 360
What we said: "Like the original, on one level, Gears 2 is a brilliant advertisement for Unreal Engine 3, glorying in soft-body physics, glinting textures, and massive explosions... Yet on another level, the game's a calling card from a developer that continues to mature in design as well as technology."
colliehany says: The scale of the game speaks for itself. Every minor problem from the first game has been fixed in Gears 2. The graphics are incredible and the online multiplayer is executed extremely well. Also co-op is a very good addition.
Petrarch says: More Gears, more Locusts, and the addition of the Horde mode makes this another well-crafted blastathon.
twmac says: In every way an improvement on the original. The cover mechanics have been improved, graphically superior, tighter plot and it has one of the best multiplayer experiences in Horde mode.
Jickle says: This my kinda s***.
Xerx3s says: Is there any other game that literally drowns you in blood?
Mordum says: Xbox Live is where I do most of my gaming, and this has finally ended my COD4 addiction. A great single-player/co-op campaign is a bonus too.
WillyWanka says: Bigger, better and, despite the self cringe that comes with saying this, more badass. Would be higher but for the horrendous online lag/matchmaking.
Crazyreyn says: Everything a sequel should be; a far superior campaign, diverse multiplayer and somehow manages to make it more visually intense than it was first time round.
davebiglife says: Cinematic in a way that Michael Bay dreams of. Ludicrous but all the more awesome for it.
Robyrt says: Gears 2 takes all the greatest moments of the first-person shooter, that most caffeinated of genres, and slows them down to a pace that rewards teamwork, tactics and knowledge of the terrain. It delivers on the promise that could be glimpsed from the single-player campaign of its predecessor, only this time you can take friends along for the ride, or apply those same skills to a competitive multiplayer match. In an industry increasingly fueled by a single standout feature per game, Gears 2 manages to have something for everyone.
2. Grand Theft Auto IV
What we said: "Almost everything you do in Liberty City would be good enough to drive its own game, and the best parts would be good enough to outrun the competition, but the reason it works so well is that Rockstar has made a game that requires no patience to play. This, as much as its usual coherency and the best script in the series, is what makes GTA IV the best openworld game yet, and why it will take something miraculous to rob it of game of the year status."
steoc4 says: They took what was probably already the best game series out there, and methodically improved every part of the core gameplay to deliver a fantastic and memorable experience filled with so many great moments, both scripted thanks to the story and unscripted thanks to the game's limitless possibilities.
ChthonicEcho says: The experience gained through playing Grand Theft Auto IV is indescribable, and the amount of hilarious accidental scenes you will want to share with your friends is immeasurable. Unless you're a jaded gamer or a sour critic, you'll spend hours just driving around the city, continuously discovering a myriad of details the game allows you to unravel.
Kropotkin says: No other game brought out as much emotional reaction from me this year. I cared about what happened in the story and the characters within it. The fact that I wasn't tripping through the forest with a massive sword hitting goblins for once was a breath of fresh air. GTA IV was a magnificent example of how games can cover a modern day setting. Hands down the best game of 2008 bar none.
kkgrandi says: A game that offers a great sensation of the real world, with a plot involving interesting characters and all-around well performed gameplay. The physics engine is a huge leap forward for the series.
oldschoolsoviet says: A masterpiece in fun. From graphics, to physics, to music, to TV, to story, to multiplayer and everything in between. The only way that this became boring was if you played it that way. Me? I'll never forget phoning an opponent in MP, screaming 'MOPED DEATH BABY!' as my friend and I appeared 6ft above him, spraying Uzi death into his ride, having taken a nifty jump shortcut. Priceless.
stealthfinger says: Awesome, but kind of boring at the same time. A technical masterpiece though.
Farzlepot says: Hollywood production values, vastly improved vehicle handling over previous attempts, and a vibrant, living city that one can easily get lost in, this entertaining rampage is let down only by its disjointed, somewhat repetitive missions.
CaptainBinky says: Not my cup of tea, but I can't deny the scope and depth of this game. And the radio is great.
dr_swin says: Absolutely staggering game engine. The attention to detail was mind-blowing. I would have rated it more highly if they had just put some more midpoint saves in. The multiplayer was also fun but never quite took off in popularity like I thought it would.
Move42 says: Early on, GTA4 tells you to take a walk to your next mission objective. Do that, and don't run. Watch as the traffic rushes by and the sun crawls in through the railway tracks above your head. Listen to the chatter, the yelling and the noise all around you. It's morning in Liberty City, the best gaming world ever created. Sure, there will be repetitive missions, an overstretched story and lots of annoying phone-calls later on - but that walk, that moment right there? Game of the year, or maybe the decade.
MvK says: GTA IV may not have been liked by everyone, but those of us who went in with an open mind came away with a heartfelt tale of war, betrayal, hate, cruelty, revenge, redemption and the immigrant experience. Chastising it for being what it is would be akin to chastising The Godfather II for not being as fun to watch as Goodfellas.
1. Fallout 3
What we said: "Fallout 3 almost effortlessly succeeds in its central aim of reviving a much-loved brand to appeal to the vast majority of players. It's a thrilling, all-consuming experience that will absorb you for weeks, whether you're attracted by the action, the adventure, or the role-playing, as you fall in love with the relentless excitement, incredible atmosphere, sense of place and sheer choice."
johnboy_johsnon says: Expansive without losing you in its vastness.
Rhodri says: Find it difficult to put this second, the game is outstanding, many games talk about the multiple ways you can do something but never deliver. This does, and then some. The story is great, the characters... well there's loads of them but the main ones are awesome. Also, Charon is the dog's bollocks. The game racked up a lot of hours and is amazing value for money, side-quests never felt as if I was doing them for the sake of it they fit in with your exploration during the main quest and are amazing fun. The game is just shit hot.
kkgrandi says: Offers an incredibly interesting view of the future with the locations and people to accommodate it. Incredible depth and many alternatives of action make this a unique masterpiece.
von_Doll says: Oblivion with guns!
TheBrow says: It's Oblivion with guns, innit? I loved Oblivion!
Petrarch says: A worthy game in its own right as well as a fine addition to the Fallout legacy. The feeling of it being Oblivion with guns soon departs with the first view of the landscape and has one of the greatest character creation tutorials ever seen.
Hamflank says: You can punch people's heads off."
Farzlepot says: In the beginning, there was anger. Why was VATS such a hollow experience when they said it was great? Why did the weapons handle like staple guns? Then, seven hours later, I was trapped in a remarkably endearing nuclear wasteland, from which I still haven't escaped to this day.
Kanon says: The world of Fallout 3 is desperate and decaying whilst simultaneously enthralling and beautiful. I got lost in there for ninety hours and will be returning when the DLC rolls round.
CaptainBinky says: Graphically, the world is stunning and amazingly the 'real-time, turn-based combat' that sounded like it'd never work, works really well. Unfortunately, it suffers from Oblivion-style charmless characters, awful awful voice acting, and a world so bleak and depressing that it's impossible to love it more than 4th [in my list].
Luckyjim says: Post-apocalyptic Oblivion with the blackest of black humour. My type of game.
RunningMan says: Great open world game, shame about the end.
Markusdragon says: When most companies try to modernise a classic, they fail miserably. What Bethesda has done, on the other hand, is not merely resurrect a franchise, but to bring it the success and popularity it always deserved.
TardKommando says: Balancing the desires of the fanatical Fallout fanbase with the Elder Scrolls lineage was never going to be easy for Bethesda. That they executed their vision of the franchise so well makes this game all the more remarkable. Character development, entertaining combat, atmosphere and visuals are all present and correct. But these take a back seat to Fallout 3's true strength, the exploration. For those who like seeing what's over the next hill, the rewards have seldom been bettered by any game. Life-affirming brilliance? Confirmed.
xvtc says: Perhaps it's not truly a Fallout game, but still a fantastic RPG nonetheless.
Sorbicol says: The largest, most open and most well-realised gaming world I've yet encountered. The story drives you forward, the characters you meet are well-rounded and believable even when they fall into stereotype, and you always just want to travel that little bit further to see what's over the next hill. Badly let down by bugs though!
vFreak says: Brilliant atmosphere with excellent combat & character progression. The best RPG since Baldur's Gate.
Rayn says: Non-linear mission structure, great dialogue, good plot, epic and atmospheric setting, Dogmeat, good use of the good/evil routes.
orakio says: Hail to the successor of Oblivion and the early-nineties strategic RPGs that were loved and hated by many. Fallout 3 captured the atmosphere of the first game perfectly, while using Oblivion's excellent engine to make the vast scenery of the post-nuclear world come to life. It also steadily improves on the lacking gameplay and broken levelling system that Oblivion had. Many might not like it for various reasons, but to me, this is the game of the year 2008.
udat says: The scope, immersiveness, and sheer amount of choice available to you is astonishing. One of the first choices you encounter is perhaps the biggest I have seen in any game: 'nuke this town or not'. Staggering.
Wrong! Or is it? Find out what we think in the Eurogamer Top 50 Games of 2008, starting on 27th December.