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 40 to 31. Missed 50 to 41? Fear not. It's right here.
40. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, EA - 360 and PS3
What we said: It's easy to pick faults with EA's latest Tiger game (the visuals are only marginally improved over last year, AI players still awkwardly glitch into place before each shot, new courses were available to buy the day the game went on sale suggesting they could have been included on the game disc, and items from the store still magically improve player stats) but it's still unquestionably the best golf sim available on consoles. Ramp up the difficulty and you'll find a game that requires dedication and a fair amount of skill. If you've been out of the game for a while there's no better time to return to the links.
39. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Ubisoft - 360, PS3 and PC
What we said: While Rainbow Six Vegas 2 feels more like an add-on than a proper sequel, that shouldn't stop you picking Ubisoft's latest up. The gun-play is excellent, the production values are top notch and the multiplayer game modes will keep you coming back months down the line. As long as you're not expecting a complete overhaul of the gameplay seen in the original, Vegas 2 will provide plenty of terrorist hunting fun.
38. Tomb Raider: Underworld, Eidos - 360, PS3 and PC
What we said: Tomb Raider: Underworld is a visually stunning, epic adventure that continues Crystal Dynamics' excellent run. We reckon it's the best completely original Tomb Raider (Anniversary was, of course, a remake) we've had in years, and is only let down by the odd control quirk and camera issue. If you're looking for a game heavy on exploration instead of gun-play and don't mind looking at a finely toned arse for 12 or more hours, Underworld comes highly recommended.
37. Guitar Hero World Tour, Activision - 360, PS3 and Wii
What we said: Guitar Hero World Tour is pretty darn wonderful. Okay, so the main bulk of it is yet another rendition of a game we all know by now, but it's easily the best rendition of that game that we've seen so far. When you factor in the Music Studio and all the creative doors that it opens, it's clear that this is by far and away the best rhythm game available on the market today.
36. Rock Band 2, EA - 360
What we said: Guitar Hero: World Tour's got a music editing and recording mode called Music Studio, which Neon described as "incredible". Apart from that, it's horses for courses, and your preference will probably come down to the track list (World Tour's list is probably a tad more mainstream than RB2's). DLC offerings from both Activision and EA are excellent and flow constantly. For us, Rock Band 2 is brilliant, just like Guitar Hero: World Tour is. We can't pick between them. Slightly boring conclusion, we know, but the right one.
35. Saints Row 2, THQ - 360 and PS3
What we said: Should you buy Saints Row 2? It's down to what kind of gamer you are really. We loved it, but if you're someone who takes games very seriously and are looking for a nigh-on carbon copy of GTA 4 this won't be for you. If the idea of childishly laughing every time your character speaks in a completely inappropriate voice sounds fun, or you just want a game that positively encourages you to mess around, we can't recommend Saints Row 2 enough. It's more than a little rough around the edges, but don't let that stop you from playing what is a hugely entertaining, often hilarious action game.
34. Spore, EA - PC
What we said: While each individual stage may remind you of other games, we assure you that the overreaching feel and play is like nothing you've ever come across: it's weird, surprisingly thought-provoking and above all else, fun. Of the hiccups we've mentioned, only the difficulty of the Space Stage really narked us - and we hope that's something that Maxis will address via a patch of some kind. At its best, Spore is wildly innovative; it would be a crying shame if a single defect were to deprive the game of the success it so richly deserves.
33. Boom Blox, EA - Wii
What we said: With Boom Blox EA has managed to shame most other third-party Wii developers. Boom Blox is the type of game that innocently eats up time, with you playing with a smile on your face until you realise you've been sat in the same position all evening. The cutesy characters might put off some gamers (although they only really have a strong presence in the adventure mode), but they shouldn't be a reason to ignore the game. If any non-Nintendo Wii game deserves to sell well it's this.
32. Ninja Gaiden 2, Microsoft - 360
What we said: Playing Ninja Gaiden 2 is a very different experience to playing the majority of games. No other game we've ever played is as rewarding so often. Whether it's for simply beating a wave of blood-thirsty bats or for finally slaying a boss you've been tearing your hair out over for more than an hour, the sense of reward and gratification is practically unrivalled. For every level you beat you feel like you're becoming a better gamer and that's a feeling very few games can claim to give. This is action gaming at its very best.
31. Football Manager 2009, SEGA - PC
What we said: Despite some bugs, no problem proved bad enough to significantly tarnish our experience and on the whole Sports Interactive has tweaked an already brilliant game to make something even better. If you want a high stress virtual job on top of your real one, have hours to burn each day looking at an interactive database, and fancy yourself as the next Alex Ferguson, Football Manager 2009 might be the only game you'll need until this time next year.
Continue reading our Top 50 Games of 2008 with our countdown of 30-21 right here.
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.