Recently, I had the chance to write the Boston Globe’s 2008 video game and video game accessories gift guides.
Building off that, here is my list of the top 10 video games of 2008.
11. The Honorable Mentions:
Mega Man IX — Platformer
(PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii) Ladies, want to buy your 20-something man a gift that will make him giggle like an eighth grader? Spend 10 bucks on Mega Man 9, a new take on the hyper-challenging classic video game that requires quick reflexes to battle a horde of evil robots and their sinister master.
AND — Final Fantasy IV for DS, Call of Duty: World at War, de Blob for Wii
10. The Witcher Enhanced Edition — RPG
(PC) This Atari title’s beautiful visuals and compelling supernatural story will remind you why you love to play computer games. The Enhanced Edition builds in an already good game, making it a great game.
9. N+ — Platformer
(DS, PSP) Atari had a hell of a year. N+ is a sickly addictive, graphically simple platformer where you do what good platforming good guys do — jump around and collect gold.
8. Resistance 2 — Action
(PlayStation 3) This might be the best multiplayer game on the list, with as many as 60 players getting together online and shooting the bejesus out of anything that moves. There is also a gripping alternate history storyline.
Resistance 2 also boasts the best trailer.
7. Dead Space — Action
(PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC) Electronic Arts stepped way out of its comfort zone of sports games and The Sims to put together a haunting sci-fi action game that will suck you in until you’re completely addicted.
Bottom line: EA’s balls dropped this year, and they put out some sick games that are better than 18 or the last 19 Maddens.
6. Guitar Hero: World Tour — Music
(PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii) This is comparable to the first Rock Band, with players jamming on drums, guitars, and a microphone. There’s one important difference, though: With Guitar Hero: World Tour, you can compose your own songs.
Activision finally made a music game that’s as good as Rock Band, a year later. The jury is still out on the studio mode. I’m just waiting for them to put out a Rammstein track pack so I can relive high school.
5. LittleBigPlanet — Platformer
(PlayStation 3, PSP) Users create downloadable content for this game, in which you guide players called Sackboys through a variety of levels and tasks.
Xbox 360 may be killing PS3 in sales again, but PlayStation has the most best games.
4. Fable II — RPG
(Xbox 360) This cerebral game starts with a magic box that grants wishes to your character – who begins as a poverty-stricken orphan and grows up to be whoever you want him to be – good or evil, even straight or gay.
Ok, here’s where I swallow hard, because we’re at #3 and it’s an Xbox exclusive. Fable II is also one of our highest rated games.
3. Rock Band 2 — Music
(PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii) It looks, feels, and plays a lot like the original Rock Band, the four-player phenomenon with guitar, bass, drum, and microphone. But Rock Band 2 has more than 80 new songs and plenty more available to purchase, plus an 18-song AC/DC concert you can buy or download.
2. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots — Action
(PlayStation 3) The only argument I might find here is that it’s not #1, which GameSpot may insist on. They gave it a perfect 10/10.
1. Fallout 3 — Action/RPG
As my review said, not only is Fallout 3 the best game o f the year, but it’s one of the best games ever made. Blast’s Best Game of E3 is also Blast’s Best Game of 2008. Fallout 3 is the best game of 2008, and may not be beat for a long time.
Missing Wii-only games? Yeah. We are. And it’s not just because I said Wii would fail back in 2006. You can make the case for Mario Kart, and you can argue Brawl into the mix, but 2008 was a disaster for the Wii. Nintendo also did a belly flop at E3, and we were there to see it. Funny thing is that 2007 was huge for Wii, 2008 was a write-off, and 2009 might be another huge year if the Motion Plus takes off, and I do like the Motion Plus.