#5: Left 4 Dead
PC, Xbox 360
You know how horror movies get better with other people around? That’s “Left 4 Dead”. The best horror game of ‘08 is co-op. It’s scarier, and more fun, than “Dead Space” ever was. Plus, when you’re tired of surviving the zombie apocalypse you can play as the zombies.
#4: Gears of War 2
Futuristic marines with chainsaws and fully automatic weapons, a tried and true gaming formula. “Gears of
War 2” is the kind of game that makes you want to beat your chest and mark territory. The “Gears of War” series has deeper gameplay and better art direction than “Halo.” Chainsaws are better than gun butts. “Gears 2” is better than “Halo 3.” Deal with it.
#3: Grand Theft Auto IV
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Let’s not ignore the games that came out earlier this year. “Grand Theft Auto IV” is still the last word on sandbox gameplay. The single player is not only the most enjoyable, but has the most sophisticated narrative in the series. Even without the online play, you’re not likely to wear the fun out of this game. Ever.
#2: Call of Duty: World at War
PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
The “Call of Duty” series has become the most cinematic in gaming. The single player campaign is the gaming
equivalent of a “Saving Private Ryan” or “Band of Brothers.” If all games were like this and the acting was just slightly better, there’d be no reason to go to the movies any more. Plus, it’s one of the best online games of the year.
#1: Fallout 3
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
“Fallout 3,” is basically “Oblivion” with guns, better art direction, and infinitely better writing. It really lives up to its pedigree. The depth of this game means that, even without an online element, it’s worth every cent. “Fallout 3” is the best RPG of the year, and the best game of the year. I can only hope the real post-apocalyptic future will be this fun.
The Worst Game of 2008
Far Cry 2
Yep, my least favorite game of the year is one that’s been getting great reviews. I’m sure it will end up in someone else’s top 5, but I hated it. It’s like the second Matrix movie. Something amazing was followed up by something terrible. The technology was there, the gameplay was there, but the designers failed to produce a fun game. Instead, Far Cry 2 felt like a boring, repetitive shadow of what once was.