2008 has been one heck of a year for video games. The industry as a whole continues to see growth, even in the midst of a long recession in the U.S. Individual companies are having issues though, with major layoffs seen at Midway and EA, and several smaller studios closing altogether. Regardless, some of the best games seen yet have shown up this year. While solid new IPs like Dead Space and LittleBigPlanet show a great future for gamers, this was undoubtedly the year of the sequel.
Games like Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2, Super Smash Bros Brawl, and even one of the best iterations of Madden in recent memory showed that a familiar formula can still provide hours of fun. Three sequels in particular stood out thanks to enormous hype, anticipation, and of course payoff.GTAIV Cover Grand Theft Auto IV
It’s already made multiple best of lists, including being named the Game of the Year by TIME Magazine and Spike TV’s Video Game Awards. Its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto III, introduced millions of gamers to the open world environment, along with a mix of shooting, driving, and even a story featuring top shelf voice acting. This edition raised the stakes in its return to Liberty City, offering more high-level action and a deeper story than ever before. While much of the game felt similar to previous games in the series, it still presented them in a bigger manner, not to mention in HD. It has some staying power, too, as Xbox 360 gamers will be getting an expansion pack soon, and PC users are already modding it like crazy.
Metal Gear Solid IV
Four seems to be a magic number. While some critics and fans lambasted the game for having a MGSIV Coverwhole lot of movie imbued in this game, there’s no doubt that it also had the tightest controls of any Metal Gear Solid so far. With those controls came a more fun and involved take down system, a whole host of new and old weapons, and the wacky off-the-wall story the series is known for. Oh, and it’s probably the best looking video game to ever hit a console, with a soundtrack and voice acting to match. This was the first major system-selling PS3 exclusive, and is a definite source of envy for gamers with only an Xbox 360.
A game 10 years in the making (Fallout 2 came out in 1998), this game elicits one response: Wow. That’s the first impression heard every time someone sits down in front of this game, whether playing it or watching it, whether they’re a fan of the series or new to it. A role playing game that takes you literally from birth (you play a scene as in infant), and up through an Fallout 3 Coverincredible journey out of the Vault into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. There is real emotion, real development, and a near infinite ways for the personal player to play this game. None will ever play it exactly the same way, but none will be disappointed, either. Again, 360 owners can be excited as more Fallout is coming their way soon, but PS3 and PC gamers are enjoying this epic adventure as well.
So, Newsarama, of these three games, which one takes home Game of the Year 2008? You don’t have to be a registered member to vote, but if you are, feel free to try to convince your fellow readers to choose the same way you did in the comments section below.