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'être 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."