December 25, 2005
30 Greatest Games of 2005 part II
16, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
Sly 3 is one of the most endearing platformers to grace consoles this year. The cartooney graphics and Ocean’s Eleven-inspired presentation draw you into this interactive Saturday morning cartoon. The solid mechanics and variety in gameplay ensure that you’re hooked until the end.
17, Gunstar Super Heroes
From top-down shooting to side-scrolling blast-fests, GSH delivers on action and variety, a dozen years after the original debuted on Genesis.
In Psychonauts, you navigate through the physical representation of different peoples’ psychosis. The game’s unique premise sets it apart from other titles, but the execution of the idea is what brings the package together in an excellent original release.
Other notable entries in the platformer genre this year are Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Kirby Canvas Curse.
19, Phantom Dust
Perhaps one of the most under-appreciated titles of the year, Phantom Dust is a strategic card game presented in the form of an action shooter. Memorable music, immersive environments, unique gameplay and robust Live play are this title’s high-points
20, Advance Wars Dual Strike
Outside of the dual screens, Advance Wars Dual Strike doesn’t look that much different than the first two entries. Don’t let that fool you. AWDS is brilliantly simple, exhibiting gameplay that is even deeper and more addictive than before. Tons of Wi-Fi multiplayer elements seal the deal.
21, Civilization IV
Fans of turn-based strategy games already know that the Civilization series is extremely addictive. Civilization IV is as good as ever, thanks to numerous improvements in diplomacy, combat and overall balance.
Other notable entries in the strategy genre are Darwinia, Age of Empires III and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
22, World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International
It’s pretty much a unanimous agreement that the Winning Eleven Soccer series is the premiere soccer franchise, with better AI, even deeper gameplay and a comprehensive training mode.
23, NBA Street V3
NBA Street V3 is EA’s latest tribute to three-on-three arcade-style hoops. The fun and easy-to-learn core gameplay is generally the same as before, not counting a few upgrades. Still, it captures those ideas and presents them in a slick, satisfying package.
24, MVP 2005
MVP 2005 is the last licensed MLB game we’ll see from EA for several years, thanks to Take-Two. This year’s entry sports a franchise mode that includes single-A minor league teams, and plenty of subtle upgrades that balance realism and fun beautifully.
Other notable entries in the sports genre this year are Fight Night Round 2 and Madden NFL 06.
Yes, 2005 did have a lot of sequels and movie licenses, but it also was a year for innovative titles that quenched gamers’ need for something different and original. Whether it was jamming out on a fake guitar or bagging up dog poop, this year had something for everyone. It also showed that the DS really does inspire unique styles of gameplay. In fact, we’re going to name six titles in the “other” category, because there were several very interesting titles that surfaced just outside of the most popular genres.
25, Guitar Hero
Air guitarists and real guitarists alike can appreciate Guitar Hero, a rhythm game with one of the best accessories ever. With the guitar-shaped controller, you can jam out to anything from Ozzy to Franz Ferdinand. Now all we need is Cowbell Hero.
26, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Adventure title Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney boasts an entertaining murder-mystery story, interesting characters, and overall great presentation. With its excellent utilization of the mic and touch screen, this title shows the DS’ potential in jump-starting the adventure genre.
27, We Love Katamari
We Love Katamari is 2005’s premiere rolling sticky ball that picks everything up game. The follow-up to last year’s Katamari Damacy has the same basic gameplay mechanics, but boasts more replay value, an entertaining co-op mode, and more of that weird music. 28, Nintendogs
When it was first unveiled, who would’ve thought that a game like Nintendogs, a dog-raising game, would sell 1 million copies (in the U.S. alone) in three months. The touch screen and microphone are actually put to good use here, and the game’s pooches are cute.
29, Lost of Blue
You’re a castaway on an island (no zombies or guns), and you and another castaway must work together to try to escape. Here, you can experience food gathering, digging, harvesting and hanging out in a cave. Not everyone will “get” this adventure title, but those who do will enjoy this deliberately paced battle against the elements.
It doesn’t look like much at first, but that’s part of the beauty of Lumines. Like any quality puzzler, its concept is simple, but the true depth of the game is discovered once you play this mental exercise in sight and sound.
Other notable entries in the “other” genre this year are Meteos, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, and WarioWare: Twisted!
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