Every year, we put up our Top 50 Games over the course of a week at Christmas. Then a few weeks later, we put up yours, based on the same voting system. This year, we thought we'd let you go first for a change. So here it is: your Top 50 Games of 2008. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and sorry if we were unable to use your comments on the winning games, but there are hundreds, and we've only got so much webspace. Enjoy!
50. Crysis Warhead
EA / Crytek / PC
What we said: "Crysis Warhead is probably the Back to the Future II of videogames: rather than totally transform the story and setting, it returns to the original narrative, exploring it from a different angle; once again, the results are sharper, meaner, and have a lot more for you to think about (although, thankfully, there are no dodgy CGI sharks or Elisabeth Shue performances)."
azurelas_2 says: It set a new graphical standard in videogames.
rowsdower says: A tight, beautiful and frantically action-packed standalone expansion to Crysis, this game was worthy of the title and worthy of being one of the very best shooters on the PC. The game hit the ground running from the very first moment and the pace never slackened until the credits rolled. You couldn't ask for more in a shooter, you really couldn't.
Avaloner says: The game is short in length but definitely not short on excitement. Packs as much punch as any other full length FPS you would care to mention.
49. Ninja Gaiden 2
Microsoft / Tecmo's Team Ninja / Xbox 360
What we said: "The most balletic, explosive combat game we've seen in years - especially if you were a fan of the last one. Just don't expect it to be as good as its predecessor, allow for the fact that sometimes you're going to have to grit your teeth and accept that some bits just aren't fun - and always remember, if you have to throw a controller, your sofa's cushions make a better target than your TV."
Defrost says: Because some games should just be hard.
Ryze says: Very impressive. Not especially better than the original, but they fixed the bloody camera controls! Same they didn't fix the AI for the camera while they were at it.
ParanoidZombie says: As far as gameplay goes, this is one of the best ever. If you manage to master the combat system and the tricky camera, this is also the most visceral, choreographic and stylish beat-'em-up you'll ever play. It's probably the best pure beat-'em-up ever made, but it has nothing to do with a casual game, or an action-adventure one: this is pure, relentless hardcore slice 'n' dice. Despite a few annoying technical issues, NG2 is in my opinion better than Ninja Gaiden Black, one of my favorite games ever.
AceMaCool says: The most intense and exciting game I played all year. Slammed by critics for being 'cheap', this was only apparent on harder difficulties and by the time you get to play at Master Ninja level you should be good enough to handle it.
48. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
KOEI / Atlus / PS2
What we said: "There will always be those for whom story-led gaming and turn-based battles are a complete turn-off, and for those people, Persona 3 is unlikely to be a Road to Damascus experience. For the rest of us, though, this is one of the finest RPGs on the PS2 - and that, in itself, is a huge accolade. If your PS2 has been gathering dust, now is definitely time to bring out the old warhorse - and if this is its last gallop, then at least it's also one of its finest."
von_Doll says: Utterly different, providing you're a MegaTen virgin.
inhabitant says: That great roguelike surprise of the year.
capybara says: Social sim meets dungeon crawler, with both elements excuted perfectly. Nothing beats the ghoulish feeling of exploiting people to gain more powerful persona. The localisation was also a triumph with the script retaining much of its wit and charm.
MJ says: A bizarre mix of a dating game and a JRPG - I loved playing it, my wife (non-gamer) loved watching it. Had not heard of it before reading the EG review - thank you!
The_Inquisitor says: Charming and compelling, you feel a need to do your best and take care of the characters.
Hunam says: I think the worst thing about being a teenager is that you hate the best time of your life, school. Older and wiser we all wish we'd made a better go of it and therein lies the charm of Persona 3. You go to school, chat up all those girls and then go home and study. Sounds fun no? Oh yeah, you also pretend to kill yourself so you can summon monsters to kill other monsters and the devil is hanging around somewhere. A bit like P.E.
47. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Microsoft / Rare / Xbox 360
What we said: "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is not a platform game. The game it has become instead demands thoughtful, exciting challenges that inspire the player to pitch in and help get the most out of each level, but it fails to provide them, and even though it's worth persevering with for the occasional hurdles race, egg-and-spoon and a game-world in aptly Rare form, ultimately it's a brilliant shell with a mostly hollow centre."
Oceadge says: Because it updates a classic game creating something new but bringing back all the characters and wonderful music. The design of the worlds is unique. See those giant cogs in the distance? You can actually swim out, climb to the top and take a photo! Most underrated game of the year in my opinion.
Chinster says: Absolutely brilliant return to form by Rare, deserved to sell bucketloads but didn't. More fun than being let loose in a sweet shop at night with no one around but you.
powderfinger1971 says: As with Fable II, just had so much fun with this game. We sometimes forget we play games for relaxation, not to get even more wound up.
Sam81 says: Very refreshing gameplay and very cool vehicle-building mechanic. I find myself always discovering new things while exploring the world, it looks lush and plays well. My only problem would be the lack of voice-overs...
46. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Sony / Ready at Dawn / PSP
What we said: "It's obvious that Chains of Olympus gets things absolutely spot on in terms of look and feel, and it's quite an incredible achievement in all manner of ways: the absence of loading times, the excellent controls, and the slick visuals contribute to it being one of the best examples of how to make a game for the PSP. It's not quite the full God of War experience, but none of this detracts too significantly from a game that is well worth buying despite its compromises."
coxyclan says: An amazing achievement for a handheld.
zolika says: PSP had a sad year, but this game kicks ass.
peterfll says: Smashing fun, proved you didn't need twin analogue sticks to make it work, and proved how the PSP is being criminally under-used by everyone else when a title like this can make it dazzle.
mezzomorto says: This was the first PSP game that made me feel that I wasn't playing on a second-class platform.
45. MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
Sony / Evolution / PS3
What we said: "Too much of your time is spent grinding second-choice metal in search of elusive pace, or cursing imperious AI and unpredictable catastrophe, and in the battle between the game's infrequent but electrifying highs and its frustrating lows, the result is too close to stalemate to match the first game's understated achievement."
Haggar says: Great fun, great online and Monster Trucks. Monster Trucks.
pickles4uk says: I never thought they would be able to better themselves after Motorstorm, but Pacific Rift was so much more fun. With a wider range of tracks, water, plants and lava this game certainly outdid its predecessor.
jonsaan says: Arcade racing at it's absolute finest. Improve's on all the minor annoyances of the first game to produce a game that shines like a jewel in the PS3's crown.
Machetazo says: It's more MotorStorm! New for '08 is a broader and more diverse track layout, and an extra strategic layer, thanks to the heat and cooling factors added by the effect of driving through water, or particularly high-temperature locales. But, even with the new Bigfoot vehicle, it's still raw, high-impact MotorStorm, and now, you can unlock new visual customiation items, and Trophies while you're racing. The Island creates thrilling varied and fast-paced vehicular conflcts, across rugged and engaging terrain concentration will be tested.
44. Prince of Persia
What we said: "Yet another poor game planted in a bed of fantastic technology and interesting mechanics, which, rather than empowering the player to solve interesting problems in new and exciting ways, merely sends you for a long and elaborate stroll through a beautiful world devoid of challenge or variation, and marred by excessive repetition."
ChthonicEcho says: A phenomenal ending and an enchanting storyline presented via artistically novel graphics overshadow repetitive gameplay, easiness of which allows the player to enjoy the game instead of mashing the buttons out of frustration.
darleysam says: This game is just a sheer joy to play. Yes the platforming feels easier than the previous games, but it is still exhilarating to fling yourself through the staggeringly gorgeous environments. The combat, by comparison, is unquestionably good. It is fluid and cinematic, as fun to play as it is to watch. Having Elika step in to save you instead of a Save/Load screen is a great thing, too. Lastly, the characters were a long way from how they had been portrayed in the previews, as one-dimensional cheese machines. The Prince was, in his own way, a charming and compelling character, and Elika worked well as a foil to this. Ultimately, I felt it ended on a strong note.
TedMoseby says: Simple: the relationship between the Prince and Elika is wonderfully realised - even a simple game of 'I Spy' turned into a laugh out loud moment. Sure the gameplay is a bit repetitive, but I love running around the world with them.
43. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
What we said: "Vegas 2 feels like an incremental expansion, despite the success of the character-creation feature. The annoying thing is that with a bit more investment these quickfire sequels would feel like true follow-ups, which would go a long way with those of us who've been following the series for the past ten years. As it is, we'll still go to Vegas, but we'll be grumpy on the way home."
Iliad says: As a Rainbow fanatic, this is a much more polished game with a multiplayer mode to match the single-player looks... finally. The online modes and especially Terrorist Hunt have ensure this is my most played game... until the next one.
lfc_lad says: Back to its best. A classic shooter.
Putty Man says: The fact I persevered long enough to play through this on Realistic says it all really. Fantastic game with great online modes, Terrorist Hunt being the standout.
Commodore75 says: For those of us who never bothered with the first one (or simply prefer others to work out the kinks before we take the plunge), this is what couch co-op should be like.
42. No More Heroes
Rising Star / Grasshopper Manufacture / Wii
What we said: "In a fight between games as metaphor and games as entertainment, we need to feel like the winners. There are times in No More Heroes when we don't, but there are enough occasions when we do, and by the time you're the best assassin in town you'll either be glad that the destination was always worth it or arguing that it deserves another mark. Either way, you do at least win."
Evolution says: Games by Suda51 probably shouldn't work, but they do. While they are always a bit too left-field to ever be considered great games, they seem to fall into their own category as gaming's own 'arthouse' style.
DGumshoe says: More fun to play with a Beam Katana than in any Star Wars game.
Lujo says: We need more of this. The story makes no sense whatsoever, but I dare you to call it bad. The dialogue is wierd, comical and disturbing, just as the characters. Travis Touchdown is one of the most memorable characters ever created, and as a gamer you will probably find it hard not to identify with him. The only part of the game that doesn't hold up just as well as everything else is the gameplay, but the game never really suffers from that, because no matter how lacking it is, you never get bored, and the story and characters help you keep the motivation up. Otakus, lightsabres, cult references, cel-shading, psychotic assassins, samurai, crotch-lasers, sexually suggestive 18 year-old female, sexually suggesting 60-year-old male, drunken fighting masters, and family connections that fail to make any sense at all? Yup, it's Suda 51.
psychokitten says: A difficult choice, No More Heroes is a game I love, but it's very flawed. A great sense of humour, lots of gore, and some fantastic bosses/characters make it all worthwhile.
SirClive says: One of the only Wii games that gets a look in. Didn't try to tack on too many motion controls and allowed it to become a retro-styled classic.
41. The World Ends With You
Square Enix / DS
What we said: "It's bold, inspiring and bubbling over with dozens of ideas, any one of which would be cause for celebration in most games, but the over-reliance on a daunting sink-or-swim combat system that will leave many players gasping for breath ultimately counts against it. A truly brilliant game, it's just a shame that it couldn't ease off on the information overload and make that brilliance easier for everyone to appreciate."
letmelive says: Unique. A breath of fresh air from Square-Enix after a year of fairly mediocre and standard titles.
Eraysor says: The most original RPG I have ever played. I'm pretty sure an alternate reality version of a Tokyo shopping district in which people fight to the death has never been covered before.
Meho says: Okay, this is a game that uses modern day Tokyo as setting rather than the fantasy/science-fiction ones we have learned to expect. It also forces the characters to change fashion trends in the Shibuya ward if they mean to survive and progress. They also have to be careful what they eat and when in order to be combat-ready. Not to mention that the game demands the player to shout into the microphone for certain combat techniques to be implemented and that this actually does not make you feel like t***. But the biggest thing about it? You are required to fight two different fights, using two different characters, on two different screens with two different control schemes at the same time. The amazing thing about the game is not that you actually manage to do this after some time but that you actually enjoy it immensely and, in the absence of the dreaded random combat, you actually go out of your way to actively look for trouble!
TheMoonRat says: I'm not a collectable kind of person; I play a single-player game through once, finish it, and move on. So why on earth do I now have a back catalogue of DS games to play because I'm sitting through trying to get every pin, every collectable, defeat every monster at every level? It has a deceptively simple story on first play-through that may not make sense, but has a brilliant mechanic for making you go through the game a second time to fill in pieces of the story. The battles at first can be overwhelming with two screens, but you really can adjust it to be as easy or as difficult as you want; and either way you are rewarded.
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