1. BioShock (PC/X360)
Not since the release of the original Half-Life in 1998 has gameplay meshed so cohesively with its story creating an environment so surreal that it becomes its own character. BioShock, from the minds at 2K Boston, places gamers in the underwater city of Rapture; a safe haven for scientific experiments, war-time pettiness and questionable morality. Taking its cues from such classic literature as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, BioShock melds interesting biotic powers with tight gun-play in a beautiful claustrophobic world. While the ending only creates more questions for the world then it answers, BioShock is one of the best told tales the video game industry has every had the pleasure of featuring. Whether you play it on the Xbox 360 or the PC, BioShock is an incredible artistic achievement this industry rarely produces and is truly the best game of 2007.
2. Portal: The Orange Box (PC/X360)
When creating my top ten list I decided that I would only feature one aspect of The Orange Box on my list and Portal won, and for good reason. Answering the question, that many people still don’t understand, that games don’t need to be epic adventures in order to show its value; Portal is one of the best experiences gamers will have regardless of its platform (Notice: At the time of this writing the PS3 version of The Orange Box is not available). With its incredible sense or humor and solid gameplay mechanics, Portal captures the attention (and hearts) of gamers faster then any other game this year and is paced so well we hold on until the very last slice of cake is revealed (and sung about).
3. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
While the platforming genre hasn’t exactly lit up the sales charts in recent years, one plumber can always be called upon to reignite the flames of old-school gaming conventions and it’s-a-him, Mario. Super Mario Galaxy, coveted as the one true sequel to the N64 classic Super Mario 64, combines elements from previous titles into a artistically gorgeous playground. Perfect 3D exploration, multiple power-ups and Bower’s air fleet are just a few homages to the red and blue bomber’s heyday that will keep fans glued to their seat; but the perfectly tuned control and difficulty will bring in gamers of all generations. While Super Mario Galaxy is easily one of the years best, it will arguably go down as one of Mario’s greatest adventures ever told.
4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC/PS3/X360)
Sometimes a title comes along that showcases how creative a developer can be when they have a passion for their craft, Infinity Ward has done just that with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Leaving behind the age-old World War II setting and adopting a ‘ripped from today’s headlines’ campaign, COD4 shines through as one of the most impressive shooters of the year with an engrossing single-player experience and one of the strongest multiplayer components available on any game ever released.
5. Halo 3 (X360)
While a never-ending stream of hype since the release of its last successful title would cripple some sequels (sup, Devil May Cry 2), Bungie’s Halo 3 was an overall package truly accepting of a game of the year nomination. While the short campaign left something to be desired in the end (namley having it end at all), Halo 3 stands out as one of the best values of the year with its multiple included bonuses, such as: Forge, saved films, shared files and always popular multiplayer. Leaving sales records shattered in its wake, Halo 3 has taken the mainstream batton away from other console mascots and left them spinning in the wind. While we might not agree with the marketing push behind the franchise, Bungie has closed off one of the most compelling stories told in the last decade and left the gaming world salavating for more.
6. Forza Motorsport 2 (X360)
Taking its cues from its critically and commercially successful predecessor, Forza Motorsport 2 raises the bar for customization in the simulation racing genre. With hundreds of licenced cars, over a dozen tracks and millions of options to customize your vehicle, Forza 2 skyrocketed to popularity when it released in North America and overseas. Including both the simulation and arcade modes any racing fan is sure to be drawn in by its incredible detail and perfect performance. Unleashing your creative side by designing your vehicles make-up (with over 4,000 layers available to customize per ride) and auctioning off reveals the meta-game experience as close to what J. Allard promised gamers would have from the Xbox 360 at the outset. With the release of Forza Motorsport 2, developer Turn 10 has solidified itself as one of the most impressive racing teams in the industry.
7. Everyday Shooter (PS3)
Solely developed by Canadian Jonathan Mak originally for PC and then later released on PlayStation’s online network, Everyday Shooter is half Lumines and half Geometry Wars. Mixing the standard formula of a dual-stick shooter and the music puzzle genre, Everyday Shooter is light years beyond any other independent downloadable title available on any platform. While some would argue that a downloadble title doesn’t belong on a “Best of the Year” list, Everyday Shooter is a text-book example of how molding various ideas can shape a timeless experience. For the bargain basement price of $9.99 Everyday Shooter is one of the best values available and is as relevant to the PS3 now as Geometry Wars was to the Xbox 360 at launch.
8. Crysis (PC)
Sometimes a title for the PC comes out that seriously makes your consider a new mortgage to update your gaming rig, Crysis is the latest title to give me the thought. With its incredible production values from German developer Crytek (Far Cry), Crysis was touted as the future-proof game of the decade; promising to be a relevant gaming option years from today. Lower then expected sales figures have forced EA to scale the title back recently, but this will only allow more gamers to experience the title for everything it offers. An incredible array of weapons and abilities are at your finger tips in this title, which is by far the most visually stunning game ever released.
9. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
Touted by many as one of the best reasons to own Sony’s latest home console, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune comes from renowned developer Naughty Dog – the team behind the Jak & Daxter series. As Nate Drake gamers will explore a beautiful world of hidden treasures, exotic locales and detailed conspiracy that promises to suck them in for the entire 6-8 hour experience. What the game lacks in post-completion longevity it more then makes up for in smart storytelling, interesting characters and finely tuned game play. While the Tomb Raider-esque exploration is wonderfully executed, the title does suffer mediocre combat – however, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is an overall experience so entertaining any action fan would be hard pressed not to spend time with.
10. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
Samus’ first-person foray into the deep space began nearly eight years ago and Corruption marks the final chapter in the series. Doing away with conventional Metroid basics and allying Ms. Aran with her fellow bounty-hunter brethren adds a new layer to the storyline and shows gamers just how important the heroine is to the fate of the galaxy. Throw in Wii controls, that only Nintendo could perfect for the world to emulate, and soon-to-be classic encounters and it becomes obvious that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is one of this years best.