December 25, 2005
30 Greatest Games of 2005 part I
1, Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 revitalized the stagnant franchise with quicker enemies, more responsive controls and an improved over-the-shoulder camera. It took what we love about the franchise and improved on it, doing away with what we hate in the process.
2, God of War
Incog’s God of War sets the standard for action games, period. With an excellent story, fluid and brutal fighting system, lovely enemies and great visuals, God of War will be remembered many years after ’05.
3, Shadow of the Colossus
Superb boss battles defined Shadow of the Colossus. Forget Bowser and Mother Brain, SotC’s bosses are the most insanely huge and powerful enemies you’ll encounter. Just stop with the comparisons to Ico. SotC is a stellar game on its own merit.
Other notable entries in action adventure this year are Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, Ninja Gaiden Black and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.
4, Jade Empire
From a galaxy far, far away to mystical ancient China, Bioware has proven that its got major RPG chops. Jade Empire combines action and RPG elements and manages to give both aspects due respect. Bioware knows kung fu, and delivered the best RPG on Xbox this year.
5, Guild Wars
Guild Wars gives you much more than what you pay for, which is nothing. Outside of the initial retail cost of the game, there are no monthly fees for the MMORPG. Guild Wars boasts combat that’s actually fun, great graphics and entertaining online play.
6, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Dragon Quest VIII is the latest title from the developers of the Dark Cloud series. The latest game got the full Level-5 treatment with an enamoring presentation, accessible and fun combat, a good story, and dozens of hours of gameplay.
Other notable entries in RPGs this year are X-Men Legends II, Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich and Digital Devil Saga II.
7, Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
Brothers in Arms courageously tackled the cliched WWII FPS genre head-on with its authenticity, intelligent tactical elements, and sharp overall gameplay, both online and off. This is how you shake the dust off a genre.
8, Battlefield 2
It almost seems unfair to categorize Battlefield 2 as an FPS, because it often played like so much more. It retains the same beefy vehicular and FPS gameplay, but adds a compelling and extremely effective team element as well, making coordinating tactics that much more efficient.
F.E.A.R. grabs a hold of gamers with its creep factor, and manages to sustain a relentless tension, keeping you oh-so-close to an anxiety attack. It’s strange, violent and engrossing.
Other notable entries in the FPS genre this year are Halo 2 Multiplayer Pack, Half-Life 2 for Xbox and Call of Duty 2.
10, Forza Motorsport
Microsoft challenged Sony and the beloved GT4, and succeeded on many levels with Forza Motorsport. Forza boasts nearly seamless Xbox Live integration, damage modeling, a killer physics engine and an impressive lineup of licensed vehicles.
11, Burnout Revenge
Burnout Revenge did the almost impossible: It topped Burnout 3: Takedown. The sense of speed is tweaked even higher, tons of ramps and alternate routes grace the tracks for more air and general chaos, and car crashes look even more devastating. This is the definitive arcade-style racer.
12, Mario Kart DS
Nintendo took the best elements of previous Mario Karts, squashed them onto a tiny DS cartridge, added solid Wi-Fi multiplayer gameplay, and saw it was good. Mario Kart DS is undeniably addictive, and the best, most comprehensive Mario Kart ever.
Other notable entries in the driving genre this year include Gran Turismo 4, Project Gotham Racing 3 and Wipeout Pure.
13, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
Street Fighter Anniversary Collection isn’t exactly the most comprehensive “collection” around, but it does have Street Fighter III: Third Strike, which is all that really matters. As a bonus, you can play a version of Street Fighter II that is a combination of the original and its four subsequent progressions, all with Xbox Live support. Yatta, indeed.
14, Tekken 5
Tekken 5 captures the spirit of the franchise with its speed and heavy-hitting action. Beautiful graphics and presentation, convincing sound effects and tons of combo options make this the fighter of the year.
15, Soul Calibur 3
oul Calibur 3 doesn’t bring much new to the table outside of a few new characters, modes, and a decent character creation element. However, the graphics and more importantly the core gameplay mechanics have been further tweaked and polished, making this the best weapons-based fighter yet.
Other notable entries in the fighting genre this year include Mortal Kombat Deception and SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006.