This past year saw what was arguably one of the most successful times for the industry, which had record-breaking business; it was also an amazing time to be a gamer, as we were literally flooded with great games to play. This left us with some very tough choices, as there are numerous titles that would be worthy of the title. There can only be one, however, so read on to see what games we thought were the most outstanding for each respective console.
Best Xbox 360 game
This year, there were a ton of great shooters released for the 360, including the most infamous Xbox franchise, Halo; however, it was BioShock that really took the plunge when it came to originality. Other shooters carried on the torch for their respective series, but 2K Boston (formerly Irrational Games) chose to tread far from the beaten path and give us something truly unique. BioShock incorporated elements from other genres without drowning the player in complication. It also presented a story that had real literary meaning behind it, instead of offering the tired old clichés of space marines that usually plague the genre. There have been other hybrid genre games in the past, but none that match the same fluidity and quality as BioShock. You won’t find a better game for the 360.
Call of Duty 4
When you have a game that can draw people away from Halo 3 online, you have quite an achievement. Call of Duty 4 came out this year able to stand up to the multitude of other shooters available and gave us one of the best multiplayer experiences on Xbox Live since the heydays of Rainbow Six 3 on the original Xbox. Although it was of impeccable design CoD 4, really didn’t stray out as far as BioShock, and we have all seen the military shooter countless times.
Best PlayStation 3 Game
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune
Since the launch of the PS3, there has been a lot of criticism over its lack of quality exclusive titles. Those cynics obviously have yet to play Uncharted. The game features one of the better storylines written in the past year in games, and manages to have an incredible cast of characters that capture your attention and caring. Uncharted also possesses lush beautiful graphics that makes good on Sony’s claims of the PS3’s raw power, and shows what the hardware is really capable of. Mixed in with all of this is great gameplay with puzzle solving that never gets frustrating and a combat system that keeps you on your toes by changing things up drastically later in the game. Drake has given the PS3 what it really needed, and we can’t wait for the inevitable sequel.
Call of Duty 4
When it comes to shooters, it usually seems like the 360 seems to hog all the fun, but with Call of Duty 4 PS3 gamers were blessed with one of the best FPS games around. Add in fantastic multiplayer and gamers with a PS3 need not look at their Halo-playing brethren with any shred of jealousy. Although CoD 4 is one of the best for the games for the PS3, the fact that is available on two other platforms does lessen its importance for the system to some degree.
Best Wii Game
Super Mario Galaxy
Even though there have already been countless numbers of Mario games made, Nintendo’s longest running franchise continues to prove itself. Mario manages to make a return as the best Wii game for 2007, and it does so with refreshing and ingenious level design, an intuitive auto camera, and just keeps giving in terms of gameplay. The game consistently introduces new tasks so things never get repetitive, and even brings in all new power ups such as Bee Mario, Boo Mario, and Ice Mario. Miyamoto has truly managed to take control of the Wii’s unique control scheme and created a Mario game unlike any other.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Metroid made it clear that although the Wii may not be the most powerful of the consoles, it can still bring it in terms of graphics. The game made great use of the Wiimote by offering articulate and precise controls in areas where shooters on other consoles just don’t measure up. Even though the style and design of Metroid was top notch, it did feel very familiar, and wasn’t the evolution of the franchise the way that Galaxy was.
Best PC Game
If you were able to afford the buff gaming rig to run the game, you were in for a treat with Crysis, as there really wasn’t any other game of 2007 that was the poster boy of PC gaming. Crysis possesses some of the best graphics in a videogame to date, not only giving us beautifully rendered jungles but also intricate interiors of alien vessels, and rugged ice covered landscapes. Crysis wasn’t just a tech demo though, as the game offered a nano suit that allowed you to become the ultimate badass with increased strength and agility, and let you tear apart a very destructible environment. Regardless of what the cynics say, PC gaming’s days are far from over, and Crysis showed that the platform will always possess the technological edge. May the PC games continue to enjoy this gem, while the console gamers continue to pray for a port.
Even though BioShock is available for the 360, its PC counterpart still holds up very well, and should not be left out of your library. All of the same great gameplay is still present, and the PC version has even received the same new content and updates as the 360 game. Perhaps because there is a console version readily available, BioShock’s importance to the PC platform is not as strong as Crysis’. However, if you did spend all that money upgrading your PC for Crysis, it would be a shame not to put some of that power towards BioShock as well.
Although all of the games listed were worthy of this award, and may have gotten your own personal nod, we could only pick one. BioShock not only brought innovation to the game industry, but brought it to a genre that needed it the most. It succeeded in creating an FPS game that also supported elements from other genres, and managed to bend plenty of conventions without breaking itself apart. The player was given an incredible amount of customizable options including a variety of weapon modifications as well was genetic enhancements, all which were easy to assign and control.
The most important choices probably came from the moral aspects, which asked gamers to make a very intimate and personal decision of letting a child live or die, and giving incredibly conflicting reasons for making either choice. Departing from the usual clichés of storytelling in FPS games, BioShock introduced us to a world full of thematic implications that apply to our own, and is probably more intriguing than the plots of most Hollywood films of late. When it came to 2007, no other title offered a better reason as to why games should be considered an art form.
Super Mario Galaxy
Once again the Mario franchise was able to prove to that it still has legs, and showed that the Wii could still deliver hardcore games, rather than being simplly an exercise tool for seniors. Mario showed what was possible with the Wii’s control scheme, and that with some creative design ideas it isn’t necessary to have the most powerful processor on the market to make one of the best games of the year. But regardless of its ingenuity Mario was a continuation in a long running series, while BioShock was an incredibly original new property, the kind of game that this industry needs more of.