Eurogamer's Top 50 Games of 2007: 20-11
Where it usually starts going wrong.
20. Earth Defence Force 2017
D3Publisher / Sandlot / Xbox 360
Simon Parkin: Who'd use ant powder when you can call in EDF! EDF! EDF!
Kieron Gillen: Even above Portal, the game I loved most this year. You know - actual love. Affection. Cuddles. Kissing on the lips and holding hands and skipping. I remember finding myself in Paris, talking to someone who reviewed it for one of the mainstream mags and sharing stories of Enormous-Ant-Love, talking about setting up some kind of fansite full of fan-fiction and art and slash/fic (HOT! Spider/Ant stories) and whatever. And he only gave it 7. Everyone who played the game loved it, but most of them only gave it 7. Because they are all BLOODY COWARDS or their bosses SMELL FUNNY and don't like HAVING FUN or SOMETHING. I mean, how can you give a game that's just fun a high score? That sounds suspiciously like crazy talk and... oh, God, just read my review already. MEN WITH GUNS VERSUS GIANT ANTS. It's a VIDEOGAME.
Dan Whitehead: This is my litmus test game. I recommend it to every friend who buys a 360, fully prepared to disown them should they fail to recognise its clunky brand of brilliance. Amazingly, absolutely everyone who played it has laughed at how technically inept it is, and promptly fallen in love with it regardless. Include online co-op play in the sequel and it'll be the best game of all time. This is scientific fact.
Jim Rossignol: EDF 2017 is the greatest gaming achievement of our time.
Kristan Reed: Now come on, it's a fun game and all that, but this is trendy voting gone mad. 20? Better than The Darkness, God of War 2, Crysis, Ratchet, HL2 Ep2? Cuh'yeahRIGHT. It's the sort of game you can play in half-hour doses and have a blast at the sheer relentlessness of it all, but beyond that it grates. Also, the graphics really are irredeemably bad at times, and although that's not the primary consideration, my brain can't ignore the cheapness of it all. Clearly an acquired taste.
Matt Martin: Goddamn mother[fluffing -Ed] bugs must die!!! Cheap, quality, trash.
Matt Martin: Who says EA can't do subtle? The controls are almost perfect. I'd grown tired of the punch-in-the-face presentation of Tony Hawk's games but Skate brought me back to the beauty of simple lines across objects, tabletops and gaps. It's the most relaxed gaming experience I've played for years. Lovely stuff.
Jim Rossignol: I don't even like skating nonsense and I still played this obsessively for months. Hell, if EA designed a "walking down the street just not really doing anything" game called "Pedestrian", and it was done like this, I'd play it.
Kieron Gillen: Who could have known that falling over repeatedly could be so much fun?
Rich Leadbetter: As a debut title to challenge the all-conquering Hawk, this is a very impressive offering. I love its heavily processed visuals, its context-sensitive use of EA Trax audio, and its control method - a logical progression from Hawk's dial-a-combo interface. But its low-slung 'life thru a lens' camera angle really put me off, making even the most basic grinds difficult to get to grips with. Considering how important accessibility is to the average EA game, I was surprised at just how ultra-tough this was. Alas I wasn't so surprised at the shambling PlayStation 3 conversion.
Keza MacDonald: A friend of mine loved this because it has a point button. He seemed to find pointing whilst falling over endlessly entertaining.
18. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Nintendo / Retro Studios / Wii
John Walker: Good heavens, I love this game. It's exquisite. The level design is just astonishing. But better than HL2 Ep Two? No. Clearly not. Sigh.
Oli Welsh: Unreasonably, I hate this game. Unreasonably because it's beautifully finished, nails first-person controls on the Wii to perfection, and generally delivers most of what a Metroid should. But there's something weary and overdeveloped and by-the-numbers about it; it keeps getting the tone wrong, the design isn't twisted or mysterious or organic enough, it's too Americanised and goal-oriented, and just not bloody scary enough.
Kristan Reed: The best use of the Wii controls so far, in my humble opinion, and one of the three must-have games on the console so far. If you're into shooters, this is up there with Call of Duty 4 and BioShock, and about three times more engaging than Halo 3. Really.
Rob Fahey: Every other developer take note - this is how you do an FPS on the Wii controller. I suspect many people missed MP3 because it came out right in the middle of a host of other great games; if you're among those people, you should definitely have it on your catch-up list for 2008. It feels like a game that spent ages being tweaked and balanced to make it perfect, and every second was time well-spent.
17. Project Gotham Racing 4
Microsoft / Bizarre Creations / Xbox 360
Kristan Reed: Another on my list of "games to play over Xmas". Looks shiny, but I'm a bit bored of PGR games now, I have to admit. Sequelitis kicking in. Sorry Bizarre Creations, I'll do my best.
Tom Bramwell: Subtlety isn't perhaps the most obvious choice when it comes to reeling people back in for game number four, but we still love Bizarre for choosing this approach - PGR4 is an improvement in handling, track design, structure and reward system. So, almost entirely. And yet at a glance - motorbikes excepted - it's pretty much the same. As the final PGR game to be put together by the chaps in Liverpool (since acquired by Activision, for whom they will now be tasked with making a new racing game from scratch), it's the brilliant destination at the end of a journey that began on Dreamcast with Metropolis Street Racer.
Oli Welsh: I think I've probably played this for longer than any other game this year. I still can't quite make my mind up whether it's better than 2; it really comes down to a corner here, a view there, the Morgan Aero 8 and the Mound versus vintage Minis and Macau. Even if it's not as good, that still makes it the second best racing game in the world, with superb, varied event design that makes a mockery Forza's relentless grind.
16. Puzzle Series Vol. 5: Slitherlink
Hudson / DS
Dan Whitehead: Happy now, Tom? Happy now?
Tom Bramwell: Sadly, I'm not convinced anyone does stalk me virtually, but if they did, then they might have noticed that I was dispatched abroad rather a lot in the period beginning in late May and ending in early September. Indeed, I clocked up enough air miles to officially lick the window to the executive lounge without being tazered, and I only have to eat 4967 more peanuts to qualify for an aisle seat. Anyway, I can honestly say that on one of these flights - a particularly serene nine hours to somewhere American - I turned on my DS at the start and didn't turn it off until landing, and all because of Slitherlink. I've spent more time on it this year than almost any other game, and have sworn at it and grinned at it and recommended it more than any other. I won't recount the concept, because if you haven't picked up on it by now then you deserve the thrill of having it click for you in your very own hands. It will probably never come out here (despite a few deals that almost came off this year that I'm aware of), but the Japanese menus are piss-easy to figure out and it really is the best logic puzzle I've ever encountered. Please buy it. If you regret it, you can always put it on eBay where I will buy it off you so I can make it someone's birthday present for the seventh or eighth time.
Kristan Reed: Shut up about bloody Slitherlink you mentalist!
John Walker: Tom? There's been some sort of mistake. The number one game has appeared at 16. Tom? Kristan? Anyone? Oh no! They've all gone on holiday, and there's no one here to correct this mistake! Readers, you'll have to do the work for them. Cut out this section of your monitor, and glue it over whatever wrongly appeared at number 1 this year. The best puzzle game ever, better than Tetris or Picross or bloody Suckodu, made in the best way possible by the heroes at Hudson, perfectly designed for the DS. 100/10. Slitherlink, congratulations on being the Eurogamer no. 1 game of 2007!
Kieron Gillen: I try very hard to avoid talking to Walker about this. He likes games which involve patterns and stuff, while I like games about Enormous Death Ants. It's a miracle we don't just slash each other to ribbons with ankle-blades.
Simon Parkin: Walker's 10 was an attention-seeking move (in a good way: this kind of obscure Japanese import required a unequivocal, headline-grabbing recommendation to get it noticed) but his unreserved praise was well warranted. This simple puzzle game is hopelessly addictive and that pulse of energy when you finally marry the two ends of the convoluted line is like a shiver down the spine.
Rob Fahey: This feels like a good moment to apologise to my friend Barry, who had to sit next to me on a flight from Tokyo to London on which I played Slitherlink pretty much the whole way. Honestly, at no point was there a real danger that I'd throw my DS Lite across the cabin, and I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. Slitherlink is an emotional experience, you see - and you just got caught up in the emotion. Sorry, Barry.