2007 Game of the Year Awards

Portal/portal Cover

Game of the Year

Portal

Hands down the best game I played all year, Portal is an experience gamers should not miss. Everything is pretty much perfect about it: the portal physics are amazingly fun to play with, the voice actor is simply top notch and features the best writing of the year, and the graphics are great. Portal is also FUN to play. From solving puzzles using the portal gun to its awesome twist in the final hour, you will not get bored. Plus the game is only about three hours so it doesn't feel repetitive or too long for its own good. And of course the ending credits song is famous by now and is one of the funniest things I've ever heard while playing a video game. Buy Portal, buy the whole Orange Box. Go do it, now. And while it's downloading from Steam read the rest of my Game of the Year choices knowing you'll have much more fun in a few minutes.

Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare/call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare Cover

Console Game of the Year

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

It didn't take me long to come to this decision. Call of Duty 4 was a blast to play and was a super adrenaline rush the entire way through. I played the entire game in one setting and I think that's the best way to play it. Where Portal only features Chell and the computer, Call of Duty is an entire war, and the writing is superb here too. I said this in my review, and even though the game is beautiful to look at, the game excels the most in the sound category. Explosions, gunfire, intelligent A.I. shouting out intelligent things that actually help you out. Wow. This is a brilliant game and I really feel like it was made for the console experience (not like my PC could play it anyway).

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Justice For All/phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Justice For All Cover

Portable Game of the Year

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All

Yes, this is the second Phoenix Wright game (and yes, it qualifies for 2007, it came out in January on the DS). I just received the third one for Christmas so that may very well be a better game, but I had no time to play it in 2007! If you're not familiar with the Ace Attorney series, I'll give you a short description. You play an attorney, Phoenix Wright, and it's your job to get your innocent clients off the hook. The game has basically two modes, investigation mode and court room mode. Investigation mode has you using the stylus to poke around environments looking for clues and interviewing other people. Court room mode has you defending your client and going head to head with the prosecutor. It's all insanely over the top and is a hilarious series. The translation is the best I've ever seen featuring numerous pop culture nods and in jokes. Justice for All lives up to the first one but if you're going to jump into the series, start with the first one!


Pre-2007 Games that I had never played until 2007

These are the games that did not specifically come out this year but I played for the first time in 2007. Since I am only one mortal and can not possibly play every good game every year, many slip through the cracks. These are the games that did slip through but I had the awesome opportunity to play them this year.

Psychonauts/psychonauts Cover

Older Game of the Year

Psychonauts

Oh Psychonauts, how great a game you are, and how foolish am I for waiting this long to play you? Psychonauts comes from Tim Schafer, who must be a genius or something if you look at his track record, and everything shines in this game. It's a platformer adventure game at heart, has a hilarious story and great voice acting, and has the best level design in a game that I may have ever seen. I seriously don't know what else to say about this game without talking for many, many paragraphs, so go read my review if you need to know more, but you don't. Just buy this game on Steam or Gametap and thank me later.

Mvp Baseball 2005/mvp Baseball 2005 Cover

Older Console Game of the Year

MVP Baseball 2005

This may seem like a really odd choice, but MVP Baseball 2005 is generally known as the best console baseball game ever made. And I would have to agree. MVP gives you realistic baseball that is actually fun to play. Pitching is fun, fielding is fun, and batting is fun. What more could I ask for? How about how easily customizable this game is on a modded Xbox. I can update rosters and even download updated pictures and character models with those. Pretty awesome stuff that keeps this game relatively current years after it was released. Of course it's basically EA Games' own fault that MVP 2005 would be the last MVP game in a while. They bought the exclusive rights to the NFL for Madden and so the MLB put its properties up for sale and EA lost that bidding war. Thus, the MVP series is no more, lost to the greed of corporations.

Elite Beat Agents/elite Beat Agents Cover

Older Portable Game of the Year

Elite Beat Agents

Easily the best music game I've ever played (and I've played nearly them all) with a great song selection and awesome gameplay to go along with it. If you're not familiar with Elite Beat Agents, imagine a game where you play as a group of super secret agents whose job is to rescue people in trouble by singing and dancing to songs. If you can imagine that... you're pretty amazing, but that's what this game is! Gameplay consists of tapping circles on the screen to the beat, which may sound easy but it sure as heck isn't. But maybe that's what is so great about Elite Beat Agents, it's hard but mere mortals like me can actually play and beat it on the hardest difficulty with enough practice (yes, I even beat it on super duper hard mode). If you like music games even a little bit and own a Nintendo DS, buy this game right now. It's a super enjoyable gaming experience that will give you many hours of glee (and some frustration).

Bookworm Adventures/bookworm Adventures Cover

Older PC Game of the Year

Bookworm Adventures

You're probably thinking, "what the heck is this guy thinking?" But then you have never played Bookworm Adventures. This is basically a spelling game where you spell words with your available letters to damage your enemy. It's all turn-based battles so you can take as long as you want to gander at your 16 available letters and make the awesomest word possible out of those letters. The longer the words, the more damage you do to your variety of enemies, which are typically based off Greek mythology and monster tales. You can also use power-ups and special attacks, and our hero has some hilarious one-liners to go along with it. This is a great (and cheap) game from Popcap Games, and you might actually learn something from it too.

Well, those are my Game of the Year selections for 2007. A few honorable mentions I'd like to put forth (they didn't necessarily come out this year) that were fun, but not Game of the Year worthy in any of the above categories are: Gears of War, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and Indigo Prophecy.

And if you're interested, the best book I read all year was Ender's Game, the best movie I saw was The Prestige, the best podcast novel I listened to was The Rookie, the best TV show I saw was Top Gear, and the coolest place I visited all year were the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

See you in 2008, Greg Noe out.

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