Regular readers might have heard Wesley mention his "ball and chain", or his "better half". My real name is Alexia, and I'm Wesley's girlfriend of 10 years. During that time, I've participated in (more forced to tolerate) his hobby. I rarely play games myself; I'm more the back seat gamer. So, when Wesley talked me through VideoGamer.com's Top 100 games of the Noughties, I disagreed with some of the choices. I thought the site missed some real treasures, games that had me on the edge of the bed, games I begged Wesley to play and games that were so much fun I even picked up a controller and had a go. So, as a hardcore gamer's girlfriend, here's my alternative Top Ten games of the Noughties list.
10. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, PS3
My top ten begins with Wesley's 2009 Christmas present. The graphics are fantastic and the opening scene of a very sexy man covered in blood captivated me - I was hooked from that moment to the very end. Nathan Drake is the sexiest video game character of the decade. He is the Mr Darcy of the video game world. He's like Spider-Man, but without the silly costume. He is an absolute dream and best of all, he has amazing facial hair. For all of these reasons, Uncharted 2 is my number ten. Normally Wesley plays games and I just sit and watch him. There was a moment with Uncharted 2, however, when I solved one of the numerous puzzles while he nipped off to the loo - but not after he had me given me some words of wisdom. "It's okay, there are no baddies in this bit. You can't die." He obviously has a lot of faith in my shooting abilities.
9. Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Nintendo DS
You will have read from Wesley's review that I loved this game. I enjoyed solving the puzzles and when I did get stuck, I passed over to Wesley for help. We spent many an hour curled up on the bed getting stuck in to completing the quests and being told we were right by Professor Layton or one of the many characters who tested us throughout the game. It had a strange resemblance to Tin Tin; all that was missing was his dog to help along the way. The sketched graphics fit the feel of the game and even though it seemed sinister, you always felt safe. This is probably why I rarely needed Wesley's help. I could also just pick it up and play whenever I wanted - it didn't matter if I completed the game or not, the puzzles were the real fun.
8. Burnout 3: Takedown, Xbox
My number eight might seem an odd choice, because I don't enjoy playing games, really. But Burnout 3: Takedown is the only one that had me yelling down a headset at Americans. I didn't enjoy the racing - because I'm rubbish - I enjoyed the crash mode, the mode in which you literally crash for cash. You didn't have to be great at driving to be good at crash mode. All you needed to know was where and how to crash your car. It was so addictive! Causing havoc on the freeways and seeing how many buses and trucks you could blow up was pure, unadulterated fun. And I made a few American friends competing in the pile up mini-game. The bigger the explosions, the more points I won, and I so badly wanted to beat my newly made Xbox friends. Sat cross-legged on the bed, controller in hand and body twisting and turning in the direction I wanted my car to go in, every time I played I hoped to win the gold medal. Quite often I did.
7. Madden NFL 2003, PS2
Sport games don't appeal; like most girls, being forced to watch the real thing is bad enough, but a sports video game is just torture. Still, I loved Wesley playing Madden NFL 2003. Maybe it had something to do to with all the drama the excellent commentary created, or that the authenticity reflected the NFL programme on late night Channel 4. I loved the fact that they had a reporter on the sidelines that would comment on the fitness of the players, and that they showed the cheerleaders doing their routines. As Wesley played the game I was also given a lesson on the rules of NFL, so as you can probably guess I am a bit of a fan right now. Go Baltimore!
6. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, PS2
Metal Gear Solid 2 was the first game I thought looked more like a movie. Raiden was the real reason I was engrossed - his tight black suit made his nicely formed buttocks more prominent. The stupidity of the guards always baffled me. How could they not tell Raiden was hiding in lockers, round corners and in cardboard boxes? I suppose this added to the game's charm. I don't remember what part Solid Snake played in the game, but I do remember a lot of shooting on a bridge in the middle of the sea, and Wesley getting so frustrated at failing to take down the harrier, that he kept banging his head against the wall - literally. If I fell asleep while he was playing our breakfast conversation would discuss what I'd missed so I could keep watching without losing the plot. I'll never forget Metal Gear Solid 2, not least because we had to cover up the holes in our student flat wall with Danger Mouse posters when we left.
5. Halo 2, Xbox
Halo 2 holds a special place in my life. It was the turning point, after which I truly became involved in Wesley's addiction (plus I love the Red vs Blue spoof machinima). After the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2006, he decided he wanted to raise money for the relief. So we organised a Halo 2 tournament at VUE cinema in Leicester Square. My main job was selling tickets in the cinema entrance and drumming up awareness with my fog horn northern accent. But towards the end, the event needed a fourth person to join in one of the multiplayer matches on the big cinema screen. It was so much fun! I played against some young boys who took pleasure in abusing my poor Master Chief, especially when he was stuck in the corner. I couldn't control both thumb sticks, so ended up spending most of the match looking up in the sky and pointing the gun at the floor. Still, it was all in the name of charity - even if I didn't get one kill.
4. Crazy Taxi, PS2
During our student days, I often begged Wesley to play Crazy Taxi. Flying down hills, crashing into lampposts, dodging schools buses and cutting through parks to ensure the passengers reached their destination on time made me laugh so much. Plus, having The Offspring on the soundtrack had me nodding my head as I dropped off my passengers and picked up new ones. Crazy Taxi was hard, but, strangely, it was also easy. It was a driving game, but it wasn't about control, it was about speed and beating the time limit - if you were late, your passengers wouldn't pay the fare. So while it was fun to watch, it was also my game of choice if I fancied playing with Wesley.
3. Hogs of War, PlayStation
Hogs of War, a 3D turn-based army game starring pigs, is the best game I've ever played. The swine floated down to the chosen island in parachutes and the object was to kill all the enemy pigs by finding ammo and looking after your medic so he could heal your army. The rocket launcher was good fun, but getting close enough to place dynamite next to the pigs made me giddy - I felt like I was actually winning a war. I played it on my own against the computer, but most of the time I played against Wesley - and I could actually beat him. He often played as the Japanese, but I always felt patriotic and picked the English. Rick Mayall's hilarious one liners made the game even better. "By gosh, I think I've croaked", I remember he'd say just as one of my pigs died.
2. Fallout 3, Xbox 360
I think I was more addicted to Fallout 3 than Wesley was; I know I like a game when I ask him to play it all of the time. I was so eager to find out how the story ends, I didn't want him to play this game without me. If he did he would always tell me what I had missed and show me what equipment he had found or been given. Whenever he went back to his house in Megaton I always made his robot butler tell me a joke - they were so lame, but they reminded me of my granddad's and they always made me giggle. Some of the side quests were short enough to be completed in one sitting, so I felt I had completed parts of the game with him when he did them - my favourite was the "tree man" quest. I always made Wesley play nice, which I think he hated at times. It's just such an easy game to follow, and even the boring parts were tolerable. I adored the Fifties-style cartoons; the radio DJ helped to keep me in the loop; and the music was great. It was just brilliant fun to watch unfold.
1. Final Fantasy X, PS2
My number one game has to be Final Fantasy X. I was so involved with the characters that I always wanted to know what was going on. Yuna and Tidus' love story was enthralling - at night, when I was missing key scenes, Wesley would wake me up to watch. When Tidus and Yuna finally kissed, I cried. Even now I can't tell you exactly what went on, or who Tidus' dad really was, but it didn't matter. Lulu, with her long black dress and cute dolls, made me want to be able to perform black magic, and Wakka, playing that weird ball game (what was that anyway, Blitzball?) was so funny. All I wanted was for the gang to stop Sin and then rent a house all live happily ever after together, even though I that wasn't going to happen. The quests were fun, the characters were enchanting, the monsters were hard to defeat and the chocobos were so cute. The only part of the game I hated was the grid, in which Wesley would spend ages levelling up his characters. For me, it was all about the story and the drama.