Into the top forty, and today we have some super-slick TPS gunplay for you, a zombie apocalypse, Death incarnate, and somehow...somehow... Nico Bellic.
What we said: Vanquish is a fantastically cool action game that is an absolute blast from start to finish that does what the great games do: make you feel like an absolute badass. I can forgive the grey/silver visuals, but marks have to be deducted for the short length. You should play this game as soon as possible though and hope for a sequel. - 9/10
What we said: Dishonored is, quite frankly, Bethesda's watercooler game of 2012 - the game that all should be talking about come the year's end, with no two narrative anecdotes the same. It does better than simply revive the stealth genre, it makes us wonder why the hell it went away in the first place. Arkane have delivered a blank canvas in Corvo Attano, with a commendably mature approach to player freedom that asks much of you, and delivers ultimate gameplay satisfaction in return. Nothing short of astonishing. - 9/10
What we said: Everything you loved about the previous game is still there – the freedom, the adult adventure playgrounds, pimping out your Renaissance ‘hood’. But it’s all better than before, and augmented with new upgrades, improvements, additions and an incredibly rich multiplayer experience. No, it might not be a definitive next chapter in the series, but don’t let the lack of a number in the title fool you. Brotherhood is an astoundingly good game, and possibly the finest title we’ve seen this year. - 10/10
37. Gears of War
What we said: One of the first must-have titles of the console generation, Gears of War would shape and define the legacy of the Xbox 360 from the very beginning and remain the benchmark by which third-person shooters would be judged for years to come. It didn't invent cover shooters, but it forms the basis upon which the entire genre for this passing generation is built. An utter coup for Microsoft back in 2006 and a big reason why the Xbox 360 flew off of the shelves. - 9/10
What we said: After completing GTA IV, it’s difficult not be left with a sense of anti-climax. Suddenly you start feeling a bit homesick for the tongue in cheek style of the previous formats; the cool radio stations, the vigilante missions, the bright colours, the hilarious comments of passers by. There is little disputing the fact that the game is a fantastic achievement, but even though it comes close, it's still not quite a masterpiece.
What we said: Only slightly improved upon the decent original. However, the combat is much more fun and the random loot does encourage you to raid every chest and smite every enemy. Sadly, there’s a lack of polish to the graphics and the story fails to engage throughout, which is a real shame given the hand-rubbingly good final scene of the first game. - 7/10
What we said: Super Meat Boy is technically perfect, providing instantly responsive controls, precise analogue control and a realistic sense of momentum. Players have everything they need to complete each level in spectacular style... so when you fail, you've only got yourself to blame. This removes most of the frustration factor, turning what could have been a miserable grind into a compulsive quest for self improvement. Just buy it already.
What we said: Fans of both loot grinders and hectic shooters will be in seventh heaven with Borderlands and will be able to enjoy the experience solo and with other players. However, most others will need to seek out company in order to fully enjoy what it brings to the table. Either way, Borderlands is a capable FPS with simple and accessible MMO elements that will still be relevant many months down the line. - 8/10
32. Dead Rising
What we said: "Dead Rising is a great game that everyone should play at least once, if not for the zombie killing then at least for the humour, as you'll be in stitches watching a zombie shuffle around uselessly after outfitting it with a huge novelty head from a toy store to guard against its mouth."
What we said: Like the finest feel-good films, or those books you read again and again until the title on the spine is illegible from creasing, Journey is a game that exhibits pure joy. It plays with it, subverts it, threatens to take it away at times, but the end result is something inherently euphoric, deeply personal and, dare we say, even a little bit spiritual as well. - 10/10