Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Top Ten Games of 2007

Since it is a new year, I can join with the rest of the world and reflect on what has past and what is coming. When it comes to entertaining oneself some people watch a lot of movies (my sister), some read a lot (my brother in law), others play a recreational sport (my dad), and then some do a bit of all (my brother). For me, it is video games. I play a lot of them, so I feel like I can speak with some authority when I say these are my top ten games this year. Of course for dramatic effect, these are in descending order.

10. Pac Man Championship Edition
I have played this game on 86 unique days since it came out in mid July. The game is a more refined version of the classic pac-man formula, that gives the player five minutes to score as much as possible on a constantly changing map. My score platued just over 300,000, and I still can not get higher than that. However, that score puts me in the top 2% of people who have played the game and when there are hundreds of thousands who have done that, I think that is good.

9. Puzzle Quest
I think Bejewled is a silly game. However, if you take a Bejewled add cliche RPG elements and a magic attack system (which gives a mindless puzzle game strategy) then it becomes incredibly addictive.

8. Ghost Recon Advance Warfighter 2
In a lot of ways GRAW 2 was more of the same, but that was not a terrible thing. The single player story and AI were improved and multiplayer introduced some new maps. However, this game did not really start to shine until the expansion packs came out as free. Terrorist hunts are still fun, and the game walks a fine line between run and gun and tactical which is a good balance.

7. DiRT
I normally do not care for racing games. . .especially realistic ones. However, DiRT is different. Perhaps it is because the game gives just enough give to be overbearing in realism, but I really dug DiRT (ha!). The graphics are incredible (and on an HDTV, maybe the best I have seen). The game is rally racing, and driving from point A to Point B has never been so much fun.

6. Assassin's Creed
In the end the game really, really turned me off with a particular development at the end of the story. This is disappointing, because from a game play stand point I really liked it. Exploring the cities, climbing and silently assassinating guards never ceased to be fun.

5. Medal of Honor Airborne
In my opinion this is the most underrated game of the year. Medal of Honor Airborne is unique from other shooters for a variety of reasons. The game allows for players to parachute into levels, which means the level is open and objectives can be completed in any order. This makes the game feel more like a battle and less like a level. Plus the game has the single best cover system for a FPS ever. I think the only thing that keeps this game from being #3 on my list is the online play fall short by lacking a lobby and proper balancing.

4. The Orange Box
I only recently got this game and I can not speak a whole lot about it, but I recognize the awesomness of the game. Portal is an incredible puzzle game with very clever writing. I can see myself really getting into Team Fortress 2 despite none of my friends playing it and being way behind the learning curve. Finally, I am playing Half Life 2 for the first time, but thus far it has lived up to the hype.

3. Halo 3
Halo 3 was easily the most overly hyped game of the year, and it could not help to fall a bit short of that hype. Despite that, Halo is still a very good game. The single player, while not mind blowing, is fun. The online play is good, but only great if one really likes Halo's floaty, melee bashing style. Where Halo really, really shines is getting together with a group of friends and using the game's versatility to play some extremely unique custom games (like Rocket Race or Shark)

2. Call of Duty 4
COD4 may be the best shooter I have ever played. It is the first game that can truly be said that feel like playing a movie. Not only is it a military shooting game with a good story ( a rarity), but the multiplayer is where the game rocks. The game allows players to level up and unlock new abilities. Amazingly the game stays balanced while doing this and becomes absolutly addictive.

1. Mass Effect
I can not really talk about Mass Effect with out spoiling the game, but it is the single best game I have ever played, ever. Actually, I would go as far to say that after Star Wars it is my favorite universe/story. The game has me hooked hard, and it is truly excellent.


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