Friday, January 2, 2009

NextGen Player: Top Games of 2008

'Twas the night before New Years, when all through the Den
No sound effects could be heard, not even a Ha-do-ken
The writers were chatting on live, while voting with care,
In hopes that the picks soon would be clear;
The writers were debating from their couches or beds,
While visions of achievements and trophies danced in their heads...

OK OK... enough bad poetry. The NextGen Player Games of the year are finally here! We've broken out the lists into the Top 3 Games by Console (Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Handhelds and PC) and our Top 10 Games of the Year list.

Xbox 360

Starting out on the Xbox 360, the battle was fierce and a heated discussion arose around this Top 3 list. In the end, the group consensus gives the nod to Bethesda's Fallout 3 as best Xbox 360 release of the year. Followed closely buy Gears of War 2, and Fable 2. We couldn't ignore Grand Theft Auto 4 as it was so close to making the list, so the game receives our Xbox 360 honourable mention. You could argue that this was the "year of the sequel" for the Xbox 360 platform with all our top games being the latest in their respective series.

1. Fallout 3
2. Gears Of War 2
3. Fable 2
Honourable Mention:
Grand Theft Auto 4



PlayStation 3

More than just a fancy high powered Blue-Ray player, the PS3 finally emerged in 2008 to be a powerhouse gaming console as well. This year NextGen Player looked at the PS3 releases in 2008 and gave top honours to a trio of exclusives. Our top honours go to Konami's masterpiece - Metal Gear Solid 4 - the final chapter in our dear Solid Snake's gaming career. Following close in second place is the action shooter starring half-human, half-Chimeran protagonist Nathan Hale - Resistance 2. Lastly, we find the cute, cuddly and mischievous Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet irresistable. The game features a vast assortment of customizations and the user generated content has been really impressive thus far. Our PS3 honourable mention goes to Dead Space, fighting with the exclusives for top honours and missing out by a single breath.

1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
2. Resistance 2
3. LittleBigPlanet
Honourable Mention:
Dead Space



Nintendo Wii

For many, 2008 was the year where the Nintendo Wii didn`t seem to matter so much. With the onslaught of fantastic and monumental games that have made their mark on the Xbox 360 and PS3 this past year. The Wii was relegated to backup singer status amongst the overall gaming hype. That said, never to be completely outdone, the Nintendo Wii did put out some memorable and great games. SUDA 51`s No More Heroes is just one of those titles. This is a game that bubbled with creativity, uniqueness and good ol` hardcore gaming fun. It`s good to know that games like this do come out for the Wii amidst the fog of numerous party or mini games. Upcoming 2009 titles like Madworld and The Conduit continue to give us hope. But enough said, here is NextGen Player`s top Wii titles for 2008.

1. No More Heroes
2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
3. Mario Kart Wii
Honourable Mention:
Wii Fit



Handhelds

A recent survey by the NPD Group concluded that the number one location for portable gaming in 2008 was in the home, and quite frankly given the caliber of this year's titles, all of us here at NextGen Player are not surprised.

The developers at Level 5 took our top nods with their infectiously addictive point-and-click adventure game Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Next up we have Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the visual novel game developed and published by Capcom. As the spiritual successor to the Phoenix Wright series of games, Apollo Justice had big boots to fill - and we were not let down. Last but certainly not least, our third place honours goes to the team at Ready At Dawn for their breath-taking God of War: Chains of Olympus. And not to be forgotten, we are giving Trauma Center: Under The Knife 2 as our honourable mention for the year.

1. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
2. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (DS)
3. God Of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
Honourable Mention:
Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 (DS)



PC

Modders and hardware junkies were not disappointed this year with a number of worthy titles hitting the shelves for PCs this year. Fallout 3 takes top honours here as our PC Game of the year, winning a second top spot on our lists for the depth of game play and the engaging story lines. Following this is a zombie invasion that can only be classified as epic, Left 4 Dead. We have heard players are almost becoming zombies themselves after logging in so many hours of game play. Our final selection is also a soon to be big screen "success"?! FarCry 2.

Where is Wrath Of The Litch King you ask? As it is only an expansion pack, we didn't include it in the list - but rest assured - Andrew has come up for air and has made contact with the rest of the NextGen Team. Between WOTLK and our Honourable Mention; Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, we weren't expecting to hear from Andrew for some time. ;)

1. Fallout 3
2. Left 4 Dead
3. FarCry 2
Honorable Mention:
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3



NextGen Player's Top 10 Games of 2008

With so many great games listed above, the decision on game of the year was a tough one, but we think you have waited long enough. So without any further hesistation, here are the Top 10 Games as picked by the NextGen Player Writers and Editors.

10. Dead Space
9. Burnout Paradise
8. LittleBigPlanet
7. Left 4 Dead
6. Resistance 2
5. Grand Theft Auto IV
4. Fable 2
3. Gears Of War 2
2. Metal Gear Solid 4
1. Fallout 3
Honorable Mention:
No More Heroes
Here is to a great gaming year and looking to the dawn of another great year ahead.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

YEah Fallout 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4 are a tough pair to top. In my opinion they are both equally in terms of gameplay, art style, and production values.

Clinton said...

Our collective memories can be short, further overshadowed by the bevy of quality Q4 releases. This is partly why I feel Grand Theft Auto 4 is getting short shrift and even open backlash, on a lot of "year-end" lists. Glad to see NGP giving GTA 4 its due. The revisionist attitude floating around now, which is of the "well, it wasn't actually that great" variety is preposterous in my opinion.

GTA 4 is a very important game, as much for what it strived to do as what it failed to do as well.

Drew said...

Couldn't agree more Clinton. I think you see this with a lot of different types of entertainment media. Something hits a certain level of popularity, and people start feeling like they need to distance themselves from the product or risk becoming "one of the GTA sheep", etc.

Paul Hunter said...

When I think of the year in review I really try my best to distance myself from the fall hype. It can be a little overwhelming at times. This year one of the excellent trends I saw was the smoothing out of great titles. There were literally excellent titles to play each and every month. If you look at our handheld winners, all three of those games came out within a 4 week period in mid-February to mid-March. January also saw games like Burnout Paradise and No More Heroes. Heck our Playstation 3 game of the year came out in June of all months. I definitely see this trend continuing into 2009.

VancityAllie said...

Happy New Year NGP! I'd put GOW2 above Fallout though ;) But that's just me.....

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