5. No More Heroes [Grasshopper Manufacture /// Wii]
challenging Wii masterpiece No More Heroes may be the first game in history to satisfy the video-store junkie and the video-game burnout in equal measure.
4. Braid [Number None Inc. /// Xbox LIVE Arcade, PC]
This time-warping 2D sidescroller uses a gorgeous hand-drawn style, playfully references 8-bit NES classic Super Mario Bros. and contains wistful, impressionistic prose capable of putting a lump in your throat. Best indie game of the year.
3. Fable II [Lionhead Studios /// Xbox 360]
With a staff of more than 70 toiling for four straight years, Peter
Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios has created a game that possesses
unbelievable heart. Albion is a gorgeous, idyllic world where uilleann
pipes moan in the distance at twilight and a beguiling quest awaits.
2. Gears of War 2 [Epic Games /// Xbox 360]
big-budget Hollywood action films and sidesteps all the cringe-inducing
lameness. Invite friends over to watch you play. Microwave them popcorn.
1. Fallout 3 [Bethesda Softworks /// Xbox 360, PS3, PC]
Pastethe story’s outer layer. Liam Neeson contributes marvelous voice
acting, and every character you encounter in your journeys across the
D.C. wasteland has uniquely personal motivations and emotional depth.
Pitch-black comedy and pointed social commentary only deepen the
experience. Play it before the world ends!