2008 best in video games: LittleBigPlanet
Games » Sony's new mascot, Sackboy, overcomes Mario as one of the most innovative characters in Game World.
By Vince Horiuchi
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 12/24/2008 01:42:14 PM MST
Best of 2008
Coming off one of the best video game years ever in 2007, 2008 had a tough act to follow.
But to the surprise of most gamers, this year was almost as rich as the previous 12 months with pioneering, eye-opening and just plain fun games. If only Hollywood could be as consistent.
Here are my 10 favorite video games, each offering the kind of experience likely to keep me playing until 4 a.m.
1. LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation 3) » Sorry, Mario. This side-scrolling jump-and-run game starring Sony's newest mascot, the fabric-skinned Sackboy, is the best, most innovative and graphically amazing platformer ever made -- end of story. Thanks to an easy-to-use editor, players from around the world have made
A scene from "Grand Theft Auto IV."
levels every bit as good as the ones from the game's makers. And with downloadable content -- such as new costumes for Sackboy and new levels -- there's no end to the amount of fun to be had from one disc.
2. Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360) » The sequel to the bloody and bold third-person-shooting game is back with better graphics, game-play tweaks and a beefier, more kick-ass attitude. Tearing open a Locust with the chain saw on your rifle is one of the most satisfying experiences in gaming.
3. Grand Theft Auto IV (PlayStation 3, Xbox360, PC) » The latest incarnation to the controversial "GTA" franchise is the deepest, most involving and most graphically spectacular of any open-world game. This time, you play an Eastern European immigrant looking for the American Dream, who instead runs straight into an urban nightmare.
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot (PlayStation 3) » Like an interactive animated movie, "MGS" provides a video-gaming experience like no other. With stellar graphics that take advantage of the next-generation PS3, it allows players to get into the suit of mercenary soldier Solid Snake as he sneaks his way through a war-torn country.
5. Left 4 Dead (PC, Xbox 360) » Imagine starring in your own George A. Romero "Dead" film, and you get the eerie, panic-stricken feeling of this horror shooter. You are one of four survivors in a zombie-infested world trying to reach the nearest safe house. Blast your way through hordes of the undead in this exhilarating and horrifying game.
6. Burnout Paradise (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) » This racing game, which allows you to compete against others online in an open world, is the fastest, most gut-wrenching racer ever. And the game is enhanced thanks to free, downloadable content that adds cars, motorcycles and new game modes to keep the experience of playing the game fresh.
7. Dead Space (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC) » Like the classic science-fiction/horror film "Alien," "Dead Space" is a creepy, heart-stopping tour through a haunted mansion -- or, in this case, a space station. With incredible ambient sound effects that evoke a fear all their own, this action/adventure game is likely to keep you up at night sweating.
8. God of War: Chains of Olympus (PlayStation Portable) » Who says you can't take it with you? In fact, this spinoff to the PlayStation 2 hack-and-slash series starring a brooding warrior was translated to the Sony portable device for on-the-go-gaming with every stomach-busting, flesh-ripping move intact.
9. PixelJunk Eden (PlayStation 3) » This independent game about a tiny "insect" that swings on a string and pollinates a virtual alien garden proves that the best, most inventive games come in small downloadable packages -- and are produced by teams smaller than the cleaning staffs at most other developers.
10. Boom Blox (Wii) » Notice that this is the only Nintendo Wii game in the whole bunch. That's because while the Wii sells like gangbusters, there aren't enough good games to keep it from gathering dust. But this virtual version of the stacking-block game Jenga is a fun and accessible game that makes good use of the hand-waving Wiimote.