This sort of acts as a test of sorts since this will be my first real post on my blog. It took me a while to really narrow down what I thought were the best games 0f 2008, but somehow I managed to do so. Being the gaming nerd that I am, I was lucky enough to play a vast majority of the big name games of this year. So without further adieu, here are my choices for 2008 GOTY:
Best Xbox 360 Game:
This game probably surprised me more than any other game on this list…if only because I originally didn’t even plan on playing it. I decided to rent it to “try it out” and ended up taking it back to Blockbuster and heading over to Gamestop to purchase it all on the same trip! The game’s combination of RPG sensibilities with the almost overwhelming task of exploring a nuclear wasteland really set this game apart from other games in the genre as well as other games on the Xbox 360.
Honorable Mention: Fable II
Best PS3 Game:
Every year, there’s one game that feels like it’s a breath of fresh air. Arguably, Portal was that game for 2007, and the game that gave me that same “so fresh and so clean, clean” feeling in 2008 was LittleBig Planet. Out of all the games of 2008, LBP was one of the few I played where I literally felt the passion and creativity of the developer with every new level that I played. Kudos to Media Molecule for knocking it out of the park on the first swing.
Honorable Mention: Dead Space
Best Wii Game:
It was slim pickings for me on the Wii in 2008, but the game I spent the most time with this year (when my Wii wasn’t collecting dust…I kid, I kid) was Brawl. Yes it was little more than an updated version of Super Smash Bros.: Melee, but it did what it set out to do. An addition that I really enjoyed was the The Subspace Emissary which is essentially Brawl’s answer to having a story mode. Despite the crap ending, it worked very well and really extended the game’s playability in my eyes. The only reason I didn’t choose Boom Blox over Brawl was because as much fun as I had with Boom Blox, Brawl gave me a more substantial overall experience.
Honorable Mention: Boom Blox
Best PSP Game:
This was a tough choice for me. Although I really enjoyed Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, I had to give it to Patapon for being so fresh and original (not to mention cheap, $19.99 MSRP). It has the perfect mix of RPG and music/rhythm gameplay. Patapon is highly recommended if you haven’t played it yet.
Honorable Mention: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Best DS Game:
Although my 6 year old son has had a DS for a long while now, I never really started playing it until this year. Still, I don’t think anyone can fault me for choosing this SNES classic as my DS GOTY. I think they added just the right amount of touches to this revision (including cutscenes from the not-as-good PSone version) to make people that have already played this game buy, play, and love it all over again. I mean seriously, I can think of much worse games to play on the crapper?
Best Downloadable Game:
It was a close call between this and Bionic Commando: Rearmed, but I had to give it to Braid seeing as it was a completely original experience with an amazing ending. Some of the mind bending puzzles made me want to break out a FAQ, but I can proudly say that I beat this game FAQ-free.
Honorable Mention: Bionic Commando: Rearmed
2008 Game of the Year:
There’s no other game I was looking forward to more and it not only lived up to the hype I placed on the game, but it also exceeded it in a lot of ways. Overall they retooled the MGS formula to perfection without completely taking out what the fans loved about the previous games. Kojima Productions pretty much guaranteed that I will blind buy any game that they develop from now on. Some of the threads didn’t play out the way I expected which I suppose in some ways is a good thing, but, tying all the games lingering plot threads together was a feat unto itself. This was a surprisingly difficult decision. LittleBig Planet and Fallout 3 made it really hard for me to choose but as far as videogames are concerned 2008 was the year of the Snake.
Honorable Mention: Fallout 3
Best Graphics: Metal Gear Solid 4
Best Artistic Design: LitttleBig Planet, Prince of Persia (tie)
Best Action Game: Dead Space
Best Fighting Game: Soul Calibur IV
Best Adventure Game: Tomb Raider: Underworld
Best Music Game: Rockband 2
Best Platforming Game: LittleBig Planet
Best Racing Game: Burnout Paradise
Best RPG: Fable II, Fallout 3 (tie)
Best Shooter: Gears of War 2
Best Sports: MLB 08: The Show
Best Score/Soundtrack: Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBig Planet (tie)
Best Voice Acting: Metal Gear Solid 4
Best Story: Metal Gear Solid 4
Best Online Multiplayer Game: LittleBig Planet