3) Mario Strikers Charged (Wii)
My creepy leftfield “outside choice” award this year goes to Charged, mostly because I’ve been saying since about 1995 that the problem with football sims (FIFA vs Pro Evo) is that they fail to capitalise on the fact that they don’t have to conform to real physics. Whatever your views on football (an alcohol-fuelled violence industry) there are few who could argue that the ability to jump thirty feet in the air and split the ball into six wouldn’t make it a bit more interesting. This game has a few flaws, most notably the literally insane AI difficulty, but spiritually it’s right on the money. Also, waluigi is a GOD.
2) Portal (PC)
If anything, it’s only in second as a kind of reaction to the fact that
every computer-nerd and meme-bashing weighted cube companion love site
has been raping the bum off it ever since day one. Naturally none of
this detracts from the actual game, which is lean, mean, inteliigent,
funny, accessible, challenging, different, and more adjectives which
you can come up with by yourself. Its brief length, total linearity and
almost complete lack of replayability are not reasons not to play this
1) Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
I know, I know. But hear me out. This game was my friend and a meaningful part of my life. Like all friends, it has its flaws. There are problems with it. But like most JRPGs and all the Zelda I’ve played, it really rewards you if you’re really prepared to get into it. The control system is almost flawless (a Zelda novelty). Its length makes it approachable. You can play it in bed. The optional minigames are challenging but nearly all physically possible. Max is a character in it. I could go on extolling it all day, but to be blunt there are only two things to say – firstly that this game has the best boss fights of any game I’ve played in about five years, hands down (sharply differentiating it from its predecessor, the Wind Waker), and secondly that whatever reservations you do have about the game you’ll completely forgive by about halfway through the balls-tighteningly brilliant ending (phrase copyright yahtzee 2007). HAHAHA GOTY.
Team Fortress 2
Shadow of the Colossus*
Elite Beat Agents
It should also be noted that at this point I’ve only played about 10 minutes of Stalker and it looks brilliant.
* not released in 2007 but SO good that it is STILL a runner up. It will probably be a runner up in 2008 as well, just to warn you.