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Top Games ’08

Our list of the top video games in 2008!

2008 was a great year for video games. With three top consoles available in the Indian market (Sony’s PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii) and a plethora of titles available at predominantly reasonable prices, we were brought some of the biggest titles in the gaming business. We’ve picked the top five that we feel shone above all the rest and wasted so much of our time that even while writing this article, we took several coffee breaks. *cough liar!*

GTA IV
The Grand Theft Auto franchise has brought us so many memorable releases in the past decade but with GTA IV, the anticipation leading up to the release was just phenomenal. This was of course rewarded with perhaps one of the best games of all time. Niko Bellic steps into Liberty City and the possibilities are limitless. The storyline has so many intricacies that just exploring them is a rewarding experience in itself. Of course, the game is so much more than just the plot. With hilarious in-game TV shows, radio and adverts, a terrific multiplayer mode and just enough kitsch to keep you playing non-stop for at least a month, and then some more, GTA IV was well worth the wait.

GRID
The much-delayed new instalment of Gran Turismo series left the door open for a multi-discipline arcade racing game to take a dominant position in the market. And that was eaten up by Grid. Grid brought a multitude of racing formats and some ultra-realistic graphics to a predominantly arcade style racing game with its own unique quirks. With one of the best Career modes in the racing genre and real-life circuits in a lot of geographies, the game stood out in a lackluster year for racing sims.

GEARS OF WAR 2
While the debut GOW game was pretty much solid when it came to gameplay and plot, it didn’t have that oomph factor that we’ve come to expect from great looking games of today. All that got taken care of in GOW2. An exciting storyline combined with some great environments and characters brought to life a 10-hour campaign that was just too engrossing for us to put down. Heck, we just replayed one ‘Horde’ multiplayer game right now while getting this article done!

CALL OF DUTY:
WORLD AT WAR

The Call of Duty franchise has probably done more for the propagation of the history of World War II than Alistair McLean. While that may not entirely be true, it is undeniable that Call of Duty has been one of the most vivid WWII experiences in popular culture. This fifth instalment of COD brought us what we knew and loved about the franchise is a fresher package with additional bells and whistles and a bayonet that was simply the weapon of the year in any game. Throw in the Nazi zombies and what we have is a WWII game that’s both engaging and viscerally delightful.

METAL GEAR SOLID 4
Games that have a storyline based plot usually suffer from limited imagination and too many frills. The MGS franchise has always pushed limits with complex storylines and wild characters. With a heavy marketing budget thrown in for good measure, MGS4 was bound to be noticed. But making it legendary was left to the game itself; a task it executed with panache and all the heavy handedness of a Wachowski brothers script. And let’s not talk about the insane number of cool gadgets and weapons this games allows you to tinker with till that becomes a game in itself.

– Arjun

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