So, 2008 then? What a year. Everyone thought it would struggle following the stupendous year for quality games that was 2007, but it hasn't. There's been more 9/10 games than we can remember a year having, and even some perfect 10s. Yeah, 2008's been great, but that's not what you're here to be told. You're here for our run down of the top 50 games of the year. We'll be counting down 10 games at a time till Christmas day itself when we'll unleash the top 10 in a special video feature, and reveal what game's nailed VideoGamer.com's coveted best game of 2008 award. Here's 20 to 11. Oh, and in case you missed them, here's 50 to 41, 40 to 31 and 30 to 21.
20. Braid, Microsoft - XBLA
What we said: We've never played a game like this before. Braid looks like just another platformer, albeit an extremely well presented one that could well make "games are art" lovers fall to their knees and cry tears of joy, but it's nothing like you expect. Although a platformer in the most traditional sense, jumping plays second fiddle to the power of time. 1200 MS Points might seem high for an XBLA release but it's a small price to pay for one of the most original games released in years.
19. Crysis Warhead, EA - PC
What we said: When EA and Crytek announced that Warhead wasn't a sequel but an expansion there were a few understandable groans of disappointment. After the success of Crysis people wanted a full-on sequel that would move the series forward in the way Crysis built on the foundations laid in the Crytek developed PC Far Cry. It's fair to say that we didn't expect an expansion to be this good. Considering you can shop around and pick Warhead up for £15 you'd have to be mad (or a psycho) to overlook it. If you've got a modern PC and a longing for some macho man action packed gaming, Warhead is an essential purchase.
18. FIFA 09, EA - 360 and PS3
What we said: FIFA 09 is the culmination of years of tweaks. It is the coming together of a game engine now supremely confident that it is the most realistic representation of the game of football the industry has to offer. And it is the best FIFA game ever made. We had worried that FIFA 09 was going to end up like EURO 08 with a Premiership skin. Luckily for us, we were wrong.
17. Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, Microsoft - 360
What we said: Once you've built a garden with a few piñatas living happily you'll be hooked, with short sessions to check out how things are going quickly turning into mammoth all-day affairs where you simply can't stop until you've managed to entice that smug new piñata into your garden after it's spent a whole day wandering around the edge grinning like the village idiot. Buy Trouble in Paradise, name your piñatas after celebrities, friends and family members, dress them up like fashion disasters and realise you're playing one of the best games of the year.
16. Call of Duty: World at War, Activision - 360, PS3 and PC
What we said: The weight of expectation on Treyarch's shoulders must have been immense. Having seen CoD4 release to near unanimous praise and incredible sales, there must have been a few worried people inside the studio. The WWII shooter suddenly became incredibly dated, yet Treyarch was a year into development. Whether the sheer number of doubters spurred the team on or the extra development time just allowed them to make the game they were truly capable of doesn't matter. What matters is that Call of Duty World at War is a stunning game that doesn't miss a beat from start to finish and includes one of the most feature packed multiplayer components of any game released this year.
15. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Square-Enix - PSP
What we said: At the end of the day, as a FFVII fan it's almost impossible to resist Crisis Core. The familiar soundtrack, environments and fleshing out of back story will delight the game's fanatical army of followers. More importantly, however, is that Crisis Core's overall quality makes it a must buy for all PSP owners, whether you're into your materia or not. Us Brits have once again been forced to wait for a Square Enix RPG, but it's been worth it. Crisis Core is not only a must buy for FF fans, but a must buy for RPG fans.
14. God of War: Chains of Olympus, Sony - PSP
What we said: God of War: Chains of Olympus is at its core a remarkably simple game, but it's presented so well and plays so smoothly that the end result is a must-own PSP title. It'll make you question the visuals of every other PSP game you play and have you longing for more. If you've been after a reason to pick up the PSP this is it. It's only March and the handheld game of the year has probably already arrived.
13. Far Cry 2, Ubisoft - 360, PS3 and PC
What we said: Obviously if you're a shooter fan you should buy this game. A simple glance at the score should confirm in your mind, if there was ever any doubt, that Far Cry 2 is nothing but brilliant. But we're already looking to the future. Our minds are already spinning at what Ubisoft Montreal might come up with for the inevitable Far Cry 3. Just like your options when it comes to tackling a mission, the possibilities are endless.
12. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Capcom - XBLA
What we said: All of the changes, all of the tweaks, all of the graphical upgrades, remixed music and refinements to the online experience make SSF2THDR one of the best remakes of a classic game in recent memory. Despite efforts to make it more accessible, it's clearly been designed for the hordes of Street Fighter fanatics that still pump hours into refining their combos and honing their strategies nearly 20 years after the first Street Fighter II game came out. This is one for the fans, and fans will absolutely love it. Take a bow Mr. Sirlin. You done good.
11. Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Nintendo - DS
What we said: It's not an epic adventure, like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, or polished platformer, like New Super Mario Bros., but in many ways it's better than both those games. The story gets more mature with the solving of each puzzle, the puzzles themselves will have even the brainiest flummoxed and the art design is up there with anything, and I mean anything, on the console. It's the perfect DS game, it's the perfect puzzle game, it's what everyone should be playing on the tube instead of Brain Training, or some generic Sudoku clone. And, however improbably, it pretty much vindicates Nintendo's focus on casual-friendly gaming.
Think we've got them in the right order? Distraught that your favourite didn't chart or appeared far lower than you'd have liked? Let us know in the comments section below. Oh, and be sure to check back tomorrow for VideoGamer.com's Top 10 Games of 2008 Christmas video special, where you'll finally discover which game we consider to be the best of the year.