Acrobatic action titles? Check. Genre-defining third-person shooters? Oh yes. More plastic peripheral insanity? You bet! We're into the thirties in our countdown of the best games of last generation, and there are more surprises in store. Were you besotted with Bayonetta? Rabid about Rayman? Bonkers for Bad Company? Let us know what you make of thing in the box below.
Also, if you're yet to check out #50-41, click here to do so now!
What we said: Bayonetta herself might well split opinion - can a strong willed, intensely capable female figure who defies manipulation be taken seriously when she's being manipulated into some of the most suggestive poses this side of Spearmint Rhino's front doors? - but it's incredibly hard to argue against action this stylishly accessible and deceptively deep. Sexy, self-referential, slick and stylish, Bayonetta is an excellent action title to kick off 2010, dodging accusation of being derivative with one of the most finely tuned, and fun to play, combat engines seen in video gaming.
What we said: Rayman Origins is mechanically brilliant, perfectly-paced and drop-dead gorgeous, but can you put a price on happiness?
Probably not. But we've got a score for it. - 10/10
38. Rock Band
What we said: What's better than noodling away to your favourite songs on a plastic guitar and pretending to be a rock god? Doing it with a bunch of friends on bass, drums, and lead vox, of course! Rock Band took what Guitar Hero had started and ran with it, making sure everyone could get in on the action.
What we said: If Lord of the Rings had a bucket of gore tipped over it, it'd probably look like this. Exciting, engaging and thoroughly entertaining, BioWare have done it again. Probably the best RPG since Mass Effect, which isn't surprising really.
36. Battlefield: Bad Company
What we said: Bad Company often gets called "Battlefield for consoles" as if that's some kind of insult. Instead, what we got with this game was a fulfilling campaign with memorable characters that looked fantastic and made us laugh, brought destruction modelling to the home console scene, and came with a fantastic multiplayer offering that kept us playing long after the credits rolled. In a world dominated by shooters taking themselves far too seriously, Bad Company was a breath of fresh air and a mainstay in our disc drives.
35. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
What we said: The £5 game that justified the £400 Xbox 360. Geometry Wars was absurdly accessible, fiendishly addictive, bursting with modes and difficulty levels and leaderboards and challenges. It set a benchmark for downloadable titles, effortlessly bringing nostalgic gameplay back in a big way whilst dazzling the senses. A feast for the eyes, serving up playful indulgences that owed nothing to cinematic convention, Geometry Wars just let you play and work things out for yourself. An utter joy.
34. 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.
What we said: Heavy Rain is a success and has grown into something so much more than a glorified tech demo or one long QTE. It also raises possibilities of how traditional game genres may incorporate elements seen here into their own games. It might not be to everyone’s tastes because of the nature of the gameplay, but everyone owes it to themselves to at least try it.
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.
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.