6. Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC): After loads of success in the sci-fi world, BioWare returned to their roots and put out a fantasy-based, swords and magic, wizards and kings style RPG in 2009, and it is one of the best titles they have produced. Graphically it isn’t as impressive as you would want (except for on the PC, where it’s beautiful and runs smoothly), but you won’t even care as you explore Ferelden with your custom-made character, who, unlike many western RPGs, has their own backstory. Six of them, in fact. The idea of origin stories for different characters, stories that help to shape the main quest and the gamer’s experience, was a brilliant stroke by BioWare, one that has made Dragon Age one of the most replayable role-playing titles in years. There’s so much to do in Dragon Age that a single playthrough cannot capture all of it, and BioWare has been adding downloadable content often, extending the already lengthy and deep experience even further for those that care to do so. –Marc Normandin

The pen is mightier than the sword? Yeah, I don't think so!

5. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii): Think of this game as a Mario Greatest hits. You’ve got enemies, items and locations that are all inspired by or pulled directly from Super Mario Bros. 1-3 as well as Super Mario World (including the return of everyone’s favorite Koopalings). You’ve got the best platforming in the business, courtesy of Mario and Nintendo, who still to this day "get" platforming video games more than anyone else. Most importantly though, you have the addition of multiplayer to the series, in competitive and cooperative forms. Up to four players can race through the levels at once, doing their best to interfere or assist those around them on their way to rescuing Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser yet again. Even without the introduction of the Super Guide, which is beneficial to both your "core" and your "casual" camps in many ways, this game is one to remember. Throw in the fact that it may quietly influence the direction of the industry over the next few years as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo fight for the dollar of the new gamer, and the importance of the title grows. –Marc Normandin

All the four-player mayhem imaginable, and then some

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About The Author

Marc Normandin was gaming editor of Blast from 2008 to mid-2010. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @Marc_Normandin

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