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'WorthPlaying's Top Games of 2008' - Countdown, 10-1

by Rainier on Jan. 2, 2009 @ 2:11 p.m. PST

So far, we've revealed the honorable mentions, top handheld and downloadable titles, top console/PC offerings, and the countdown of games 11-20. Today we're finishing up the countdown of the top 20 titles, including what WP considers to be the best game of 2008. Read more for the final results!

10. TIE - God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP) and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (NDS)

Players of the original God of War titles will find the PSP version to be scaled-down and lacking in new features. However, if you enjoy the God of War series, you'll gain some satisfaction in owning a portable version of the game. There is very little I didn't like about Chains of Olympus; I would've liked to have more camera control, and although I didn't care for the controlled Quick Time Event attacks, I'll readily admit that they offered a more cinematic experience when you're fighting the bosses. Parents should keep in mind that the game is rated "Mature" for gore, violence, nudity and sexual content. God of War: Chains of Olympus is an extremely entertaining action title that's certainly worth adding to your PSP library.

Order of Ecclesia is a top-notch Castlevania game. It has a few problems with linearity and length, but the flaws are few and far between. The gameplay is incredibly fun, the animations are lovely, and the overall enemy design is some of the best we've seen from recent Castlevania titles. If you're a Castlevania fan, or even just a fan of good action-RPGs, you owe it to yourself to pick up Order of Ecclesia.

9. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)

On the surface, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 may seem like a simple repackaging of Persona 3, but under the surface lies something more. Persona 4 is Persona 3, but better in perhaps every way. Everything — from the story to the combat system to the dungeon crawling and Social Links — has been improved. Considering that Persona 3 was already an excellent game, Persona 4 is a true standout. If you're an RPG fan who owns a PlayStation 2, you owe it to yourself to pick up this game. You won't regret it.

8. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

LittleBigPlanet is a great platformer with incredible artistic direction and sound, and with some great gameplay to back it up. While the main game is short and can sometimes be a little hard to control, it remains a ton of fun to play, and the fantastic level creator means that as long as LBP has a community, there will always be new levels to play, giving this game a seemingly endless replay value. It's not flawless, as the controls can and will frustrate you as you play, but everything else is just so much fun and so well done that you should not hesitate to play this game. This is certainly one of the PlayStation 3's finest titles and an excellent addition to anyone's video game collection.

7. TIE - The World Ends with You (NDS) and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP)

The World Ends with You is a game that every RPG fan who owns a DS needs to have. Jupiter and Square-Enix have done almost everything right in this game to create a solid, fun experience. While the game seems overly complex at times and requires a lot of personal investment from the player, if you stick with it, you'll find one of the best experiences on the DS system. From the terrific soundtrack and visual style to the great story and unique combat system, there's more than enough to make any DS owner proud to add TWEwY to his or her collection.

It's hard to find any reason not to recommend Crisis Core to RPG fans in general and FF VII fans in particular. The lack of an overworld map and button-mashing combat may be off-putting for some, but these are really only minor blemishes in an otherwise flawless package. Just like saying you wouldn't date Cindy Crawford because of her mole, refusing to play Crisis Core based on these small issues amounts to simply being overly nitpicky. More than just recommending the game, Crisis Core is a genuinely great reason to buy a PSP. If you've been on the fence about grabbing Sony's handheld, then go ahead and pick it up and make this your first software purchase. You'll be truly glad that you did.

6. Rock Band 2 (Wii/PS3/X360)

Overall, Rock Band 2 is a game that is completely worth your money. It does a lot to cater to nearly all skill levels and playing styles, and it's one of the most user-friendly rhythm games ever published. The enhanced support for online play makes it easier to find people to play with and gives you more things to do. Rock Band 2 is, basically, an awesome game that's been made more awesome.

5. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Excellence permeates Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The gameplay is as good as ever, and the changes to the system seem to be for the better. The replay value is through the roof, not just because of the wonderful gameplay, but also due to the seemingly endless parade of items to collect. Between the trophies, stickers and unlockable challenges, you'll probably still be unlocking things in Brawl when the next Smash Bros. title comes out. Super Smash Bros. Brawl may not be perfect, but it is definitely a game that everyone with a Wii should own.

4. Gears of War 2 (X360)

Gears of War 2 achieves exactly what it sets out to do: make a better Gears of War. The multiplayer is a nice step forward and nearly worth the price of admission on its own, but the campaign ultimately feels like more of the same, just prettier and shinier. If you loved the original, you're going to eat this one up.

3. No More Heroes (Wii)

Anime otaku and arcade gamers will have plenty to slash at in No More Heroes for the Wii, as they fight through a unique mix of over-the-top action and funky humor. If MIDI music brings a misty tear in your eye and you find yourself fencing against your shadow while watching Ninja Scroll, then No More Heroes could be what your inner swordsman is craving.

2. Left 4 Dead (X360/PC)

Left 4 Dead is a shining example of zombies done right in a video game. It's an action-packed riot with gore galore and is four times as fun with friends. If you have even a minor passing interest in zombies, shooters or horror games in general, you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to play it. If nothing else, think of Left 4 Dead as a virtual zombie plague simulator. When the zombie apocalypse comes, you'll be better prepared than everyone else to deal with the horde.

1. Fallout 3 (PS3/X360/PC)

Fallout 3 feels like a Fallout game, and that is absolutely the highest compliment. Despite the changes, much of the charm and fun of the franchise remains intact, and despite the similarities to Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, you never feel like you're playing anything but a Fallout game. Fallout 3 is a game with a ridiculous amount of value for your money and easily worth the full $60. This isn't Oblivion: With Guns, but an honest-to-goodness Fallout 3, and a fine addition to the franchise.

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