Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Publisher: Red Octane Developer: Harmonix
Call it a gimmick, but don't call it a hack - Guitar Hero is a monstrous talent and probably would have received a Game of the Year award if we could have figured out where to put it. But as an accessible, fun and rewarding guitar sim with a great selection of music, this solid rocker is in an arena all its own.
Publisher: Sega Developer: Monolith
Platform: Xbox 360
The best Xbox 360 launch title that doesn't involve wheels, this creepy crawler from the mad masters at Monolith r0x0red our b0x0rs, while scaring us out of them. Unusual for its slow pace, gruesome melee combat and twisted plot, this gore-fest kills the competition, then eats it with a nice chianti and some fava beans.
And we know you do, too, so we just had to give it an award. No, it didn't come with a bigger ball or a more complex control scheme, but it did unfold the hilariously operatic saga of the King of All Cosmos, while giving us exactly what we wanted from the original ï¿½ more Katamari. Plus, the songs. THE SONGS.
Publisher: Rockstar Developer: Rockstar Toronto
Platform: PS2 | Xbox
Perhaps the most surprisingly great game of 2005, The Warriors evades the curse of the movie license by deftly ducking into its namesake's backstory. Instead of simply telling you what you already know and showing you what you've already seen, it provides a glimpse into the everyday lives of these vested hooligans. Can you dig it? We sure did.