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...
Last year, the 360 seemed a dubious prospect with its short list of launch titles, limited availability and confusing 'Core' versus 'Premium' models, making this holiday season a 180 degree turn for the better. With an awesome library, reasonable price tag and tons of movies, TV shows and demos available on Xbox Live!, this system is hitting its stride at just the right time.
Gears of War
Genre: First-person shooter
The cream of the 360 crop, this game rises to the top of our list for its bloody visuals, innovative controls, excellent cooperative play and, of course, chainsaws. Fickle online matchmaking is the only thing that stands between this game and world domination.
In spite of its name, this game is far from a gamble. With even better mechanics than Gears of War, the best online versus play for the 360, and a cool face-mapping system, Rainbow Six Vegas is a sure bet.
This is the closest you can get to actually playing a televised game of basketball. Lifelike animations, photorealistic graphics and a roster full of modes, features and options combine for the video game equivalent of the 1992 Dream Team.
Think you have a high threshold for the shambling dead? This game will put your devotion to the test, with more zombies than you can wave a hockey stick at, or an electric guitar, or anything else you can find in the mall. We just couldn't get enough.
Sam may be getting a little long in the tooth, but his latest is still one of the season's best for the 360. With a solid campaign and revamped online multiplayer, Double Agent is another Mission Accomplished for Ubisoft's veteran voyeur.