Gaming Nexus Staff's Best of 2007

Article

posted 1/16/2008 by The GN Staff
other articles by The GN Staff
Now that 2007 has passed us by, the staff at Gaming Nexus took a look back at the best games they played last year. 2007 was a banner year for games with some awesome releases. So here's what we thought were the best that we played.


Dan Keener - Staff Writer
Crackdown - This sandbox game was bought by most for the Halo 3 beta, but proved worthy of many hours of play hunting down those ****ing orbs!

Rock Band - While this may not be nearly as fun going it solo as it is with a house full of drunk party guests, it is still worth the $170 for the bundle as long as your Guitar works fine.

Call of Duty 4 - This game succeeded where halo 3 did not,and that is having a topnotch single player campaign that looked and played fantastic. throw in some great multi-player levels and the abundance of class types, and you have yourself a hit.

Mad Tracks - This little party gem on Xbox Live Arcade is the perfect game to bring together young and old gamers into a fun party style game. You don't fully respect it until you again have a houseful of guests.

Mad Tracks


John Yan - Senior Hardware Editor
Rock Band - Can't say I didn't see this coming as playing with it at E3 showed me early on that rocking with toy instruments with a group is more fun than going solo.

Call of Duty 4 - Loved, loved, loved this game even though it didn't do anything really new. Everything was just held together really well and the game flowed smoothly. Glad to see it back on the PC.

Portal - The cake may be a lie but this little gem isn't. Besides a catchy song at the end, GLaDOS was a hoot to go up against and provided some great comic relief.

Team Fortress 2 - The Orange Box scores with two of my favorite games this year. The style is really fun and the updated gameplay to a classic multiplayer game really had me sitting at my computer for many many hours this year.

TF2


Rachel Steiner - Staff Writer
Rock Band - This one will always be one of my favorites as I've never been too great at guitar.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker - Sure, I'm a long time fan of the franchise but at the same time? This one has a solid story to go along with the monster catching mayhem.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - I'm not too big on the tactics based FF games however, the real time element of Revenant Wings has me hooked.


Matt Mirkovich - Staff Writer
Persona 3 - Hands down, my game of the year.

Odin Sphere - This was a contender.

Grim Grimoire - I didn't think an RTS could hack it on the PS2. Good to see I was wrong.

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - It may be a remake but it's damn good with the retranslated script.

Portal - The cake's not a lie.


Randy Kalista - Staff Writer
Lord of the Rings Online-  absolutely nailed it. We're watching the MMO market bubble burst as more and more online role-playing games close up shop or forcibly go free-to-play. But LOTRO will be here for many, many years for all the right reasons.

Portal - my number one game of the year -- even barring the rest of the Orange Box. GLaDOS is the funniest and most emotionally complex end boss I've ever encountered. (You think I'm kidding.) The puzzles are smart without insulting your prefrontal cortex. And, John's right, the end song is an instant (and will eventually be a timeless) classic.

Mass Effect - The exact moment the end credits rolled, only one thought entered my blown-away mind: I must play this again. Now. And so I did. It's just that good. Every individual that completes this game will feel a particular attachment to their particular Commander Shepard.

The Darkness - a game I'll probably be alone in mentioning -- but that doesn't lessen my conviction any. The Gothic Mafioso motif, mobster digital acting, and surprisingly thoughtful moments brought this one sweating into the light.

Assassin's Creed - an experience. The Holy Land has never before been rendered with such beauty and enormity. Platforming any old-fashioned way will never feel as good as this. And the question mark that punctuates every life that Altair takes is as profound as it is baffling.

LOTR


Elliot Bonnie - Staff Writer
Call of Duty 4 - might be on the top of my list. They just got it right and I can't stop playing it.

Mass Effect - had some glitches, but I still couldn't help being swept away in the story. I love games that make me forget I am playing a game... and this is one of them. Very good stuff.

Bioshock - was a nice late summer romp. The atmosphere was perfect and the game play was a lot of fun... even if the ending pissed me off a little.

BioShock


Sean Colleli - Staff Writer
Metroid Prime 3 Corruption - I'm not going to lie, this was probably my favorite game this year besides Portal. Yeah I'm a Metroid fanboy, but it doesn't change the fact that Prime 3 is an awesome game and I had a lot of fun playing it. I wholeheartedly reccomend it to Wii owners who might have overlooked it (Nintendo did a crappy job advertising it).

Portal - Like most people on this list I loved Portal. It was great in just about every way, and with Half Life Episode 2 it proved that Valve still has some originality in them (they had me worried after Episode 1, which was short and kind of derivative).

Trauma Center New Blood - I like wierd quirky games and Trauma Center is basically the definition of quirky. New Blood is also the definition of a good sequel, because it fixed most of the problems from the first game and added a lot of substantial content. It's only downside is it's punishing difficulty.

Super Mario Galaxy - It didn't thrill me as much as I was hoping but Galaxy is still a really good game. At least it shows that Nintendo can be creative with the Mario franchise after all these years. I hope they make a stronger, less linear sequel that makes better use of the Wii remote.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition - I loved RE4 when it first came out, and somehow Capcom made it better on the Wii. The game actually felt like it was built for the Wii remote; that's how good the controls were. I know it's kind of lame to have a port of a 2 year old game in my top 5, but with controls so good, it'll be really hard going back to dual analog control when RE5 finally hits the 360.

Portal


Chuck Husemann - Editor-in-Chief
Call of Duty 4- Sure the single player campaign was a bit on the short side but it was well written and very engaging. Tack on the great multiplayer and you've got a fantastic, all around game.

Rock Band - Four instruments and a solid set list make this game the most fun you can have with your friends with your clothes on. What's great about Rock Band is that Harmonix actually came up with a decent DLC plan to support the game after launch.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - If the PS3 has a bigger installed base this would have been the #1 game on a lot of people's lists this year. The game was a joy to play from start to finish with only one or two semi slow spots during the course of the game. Between the excellent voice over work and the amazing writing this was one of the great games of the year and it showed off what the PS3 can do.

The Orange Box - Five best of class games for less than $50 (PC version)? Sign me up. Between the innovative gameplay of Portal, the amazing art direction of Team Fortress 2, and the story telling of the Half Life 2 series this is the game to own for 2007 and beyond.

God of War 2 - This came out in 2007 right? I still can't figure out why this game isn't getting more GOTY love. Great story, good graphics(for the PS2), and all around great gameplay. Sure the last boss was uber-cheap but the rest of the game was a ton of fun to play.

God of War 2


Cyril Lachel - Senior Staff Writer
2007 was an amazing year for video games. I won't go as far as some people who want to say that it was the best year for gaming ever, but 2007 was pretty darn good in its own right. When came to choosing my top five games I was left with a predicament, how on earth would I be able to narrow down my list from 15 worthy games to just 5? Well gang, I did it. This list may not be perfect, but this is as close as I can get to a finalized Top Five Games of 2007 list. If your favorite game didn't make the cut don't worry, I'm sure it was just oversight on my part. And if you're one of those people who hasn't played all of these games, then stop reading the rest of this article and run down to your local game store. No really, close that browser and get in your car, you don't want to miss out on any of these games.

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords - I've made no bones about it; I've been in love with Puzzle Quest for almost a full year now. Ever since I received the preview build of Puzzle Quest for the PSP two months early I have fallen head over heels for what has to be the single most addictive puzzle game I've played since Tetris. In fact the very idea that I'm calling it a puzzle game at all defeats the whole purpose. Puzzle Quest isn't merely some puzzle game; it's the combination of an amazing puzzle game with a compelling role-playing game. It's this marriage that keeps me coming back to the game time and time again. I was addicted when the game was first released on the PSP. I was addicted once again when I played the Nintendo DS version. And then after a few months away from the game, I was bitten by the bug once again thanks to a fantastic (and dirt cheap) Xbox Live Arcade port. No matter what system you buy it for, Puzzle Quest is the kind of game you can play for months on end. While it's not the most high profile game of 2007, Puzzle Quest is the one game I hope that everybody plays. Is it really better than Rock Band, The Orange Box and Halo 3? Maybe not to some, but for me Puzzle Quest defined what 2007 was. Now bring on Puzzle Quest 2!

Rock Band - From the get-go I knew that Rock Band was going to be amazing. When it comes to making amazing music-related games, Harmonix is the master. What I wasn't prepared for is how fulfilling the whole experience would be. Sure, some can argue that the guitar portions of the game aren't as complicated as what we saw in the Guitar Hero series, but coming together with your friends to successfully capture the awesome power of the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter or My Iron Lung by Radiohead. It wasn't just that the game had an amazing line-up of songs, but the idea that you can download brand new tracks each and every week is enough to keep me excited for many months to come. Rock Band is not the kind of game you can just forget, even if you're playing the game as a single player there's still enough to keep you entertained for some time. The game isn't quite perfect yet (I still need to be able to play the multiplayer "World Tour" mode online), but with all of the music and instruments it's hard to resist the awesomeness that is Rock Band.

BioShock - There were a lot of amazing first-person shooters in 2007 (Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, The Orange Box, etc.), but only one of them was good enough to make my best of 2007 list. The truth is, if this was a top 10 list most of the other five would be FPS games, so I don't feel too bad leaving so many off this list. BioShock was able to do for me what no other first-person shooter has done for years; tell a compelling story that I was actually interested in. It's normal for me to get attached to a certain game world, lord knows how much time I've spent playing hanging out in San Andreas or the Willamette Mall. But Rapture is different; it felt like nothing I had ever experienced before. A lot of it had to do with the time period, which a 1950s world destroyed and revisited in the 1960s. The amazing use of licensed music only helps to make Rapture one of the scariest locations in video game history. But scary or not, Rapture is a fully realized world that tells one of the most interesting stories in video game history. Best of all, the game is full of small nuance and amazing moments, as well as a real sense of wonder. It may not have a dedicated multiplayer mode, but BioShock was easily my favorite first-person shooter of 2007.

Super Mario Galaxy - I'll admit, I held out on checking out Super Mario Galaxy. While I grew up loving the Super Mario Bros. franchise, part of me just can't get as excited about the plumber as I once was. Perhaps it was disappointing turns in Super Mario Sunshine and New Super Mario Bros. that soured me on the whole experience, but whatever the case I just couldn't bring myself to buy Super Mario Galaxy until weeks after its release. But thank goodness I came around, because Super Mario Galaxy is easily one of the best games of the year. I'll skip the part about how it's cute and full of amazing old school references, Mario Galaxy is on this list because of its variety. While it never dips into mini-game territory, Super Mario Galaxy has a surprising amount of different things for you to do. From 2D platforming to racing to collecting coins, this new Mario game has just about everything I could possibly want to do in a 3D action game. And just when I thought I had seen it all, Mario Galaxy continues to impress me with all of the new ideas it's bringing to the table. Even after gathering up 80 stars, there's still a lot of game to be found in this game, all of it done better than just about anything else on the market. And better yet, Super Mario Galaxy has finally given me a reason to turn on my Wii and play it for more than just a couple of minutes. It may not have the best graphics and voice acting, but there's nothing quite like Super Mario Galaxy ... and that's why it deserves to be included as one of the best games of the year.

Crush  - Like Puzzle Quest, I was blown away by the creativity of Crush on the PSP. There's just nothing else like it on the market, it's a completely unique puzzler that has a gimmick that will wow just about anybody. It's not one of those small gimmicks that you barely notice, the moment that somebody sees exactly what the game does they are both amazed and hooked. You see, Crush is a 3D puzzle game that allows you to change the world to 2D in order to solve ingeniously difficult mind teasers. The game starts out simple enough, but by the end of the game you're going to have to use all of your mental functions to figure out the right way to get to the exit. Unlike most portable games released in 2007, Crush was the kind of game you could pick up for a few minutes when you had a short break. This isn't one of those games where you have to invest a lot of time to beating; it's perfect for people on any schedule. But it's the originality of the gimmick that sets this game apart. Until playing Crush I had never seen anything like it, the concept had me so excited that I couldn't wait to beat all 40 levels. The fact that I can still get this excited about a concept after spending thirty years playing literally thousands of different games is definitely refreshing.

Puzzle Quest

So what games were the most popular for the staff?
Rock Band - listed by 5 staff members
Orange Box or game from this set - listed by 5 staff members
Call of Duty 4 - listed by 4 staff members