Welcome to a special series of VideoGamer.com's Top 10, where we bring you the essential genre by genre video game buyer's guide for Christmas and New Year. It'll run every Thursday until the end of the 2007/2008 holiday break, so, whether you're looking for some family video game ideas to get you through those boring Christmas get-togethers or some top sports games to spend that holiday cash on, look no further than VideoGamer.com. In the seventh of the series, we look at the Top 10 Adventure Games. And don't forget, if you need more info on any of these titles, just click on it for a full review.
Please note: This special series of VideoGamer.com's Top 10 is a buyer's guide, and as such only includes modern titles available for the currently supported platforms. It is not a best of all time list.
10. Fahrenheit, PS2, Xbox and PC.
Sometimes it's good to play something different. Fahrenheit brought a near-dead old-school genre to modern consoles and did so with much success. While it had problems, mainly with its story towards the end, it managed to be entertaining and a mature experience. As I said back in 2005: "The visuals, soundtrack, score, voice acting and the rest all blend together brilliantly, immersing the player into the story better than almost any other game available.
9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, DS.
We don't object to this DS adventure game being included as it's brilliant. This courtroom-based adventure is full of clever dialogue and plenty of actual laugh out loud humour. "... it's probably fair to say that I haven't enjoyed a game as much as I've enjoyed Phoenix Wright for a very long time - and I'm not even that fond of the adventure genre," said Iain in his wonderfully positive review back in 2006.
8. Tomb Raider Anniversary, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, PSP and Wii.
Remaking movies is often frowned upon by film fans, but given the huge development in video games over the years a remake can do wonders. Tomb Raider Anniversary took Lara Croft's very first game into the modern era and fans everywhere were happy. As I said in my review: "It makes the most of modern technology to bring a classic game world up to date, throws in simple but intuitive controls and doesn't rely on constant fire-fights to bring excitement."
7. Hotel Dusk: Room 215, DS.
Something about this mysterious DS adventure game got Will very excited in 2007. It's fair to say that he thought it was 'cool': "The kind of cool more commonly seen in a black-and-white film about gangsters; the kind of cool Quentin Tarantino can magic up in a moment. Sure, lots of games have pretty cool effects or gameplay elements, but a human sense of cool that makes you think 'I wish I could be like him'? That is a very rare treat us gamers have almost forgotten we should see more often."
6. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, DS.
The DS features a lot in this Top 10 and The Phantom Hourglass is an excellent portable adventure game that continues the fine Zelda tradition. We were all worried about the stylus only controls to begin with, but we should have trusted Nintendo a little more. As Wes pointed out in his review, "Yes it's a tad short, and yes it's full of recognisable Zelda moments, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun, refined gem of an adventure game."
5. Ico, PS2.
Few games carry as much weight with the hardcore gaming community as the PlayStation 2's Ico. Like it and you're instantly accepted into the fold; dislike it and you're opening yourself up for the inevitable cusses. Elysia agreed when she looked at the game a while back: "What makes this game worth playing is its exceptional and entirely unique atmosphere coupled with its emotionally provocative nature and, these days, its cultural significance."
4. Okami, PS2.
This wolf adventure didn't do particularly well sales wise, but don't let that stop you from adding it to your collection. As far as adventure games starring wolves go, Okami even managed to outdo Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. "The game itself is so vast that playing through once might take you over a hundred hours and it is well worth playing through repeatedly. The world is so lush, visually stunning and complete within itself that you just want to lose yourself in it," said Lesley in her glowing review.
3. Super Mario Galaxy, Wii.
We had to squeeze this one into the Adventure category (it's really a platformer, but the platformer is a dying breed) although in truth the number of new planets you visit more than qualify it for entry. Mario Galaxy is one of the most fun-filled games you'll ever play and it went a long way to proving that the Wii is capable of being home to proper high quality traditional games. It's simply a game that everyone should own - we liked it so much it even made it in to our Top 10 Games of 2007 video feature.
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, GameCube (Wii).
"What have they done?" cried Nintendo fans when the first screenshots of the first GameCube Zelda adventure were released. The cel-shaded visuals were far from the more mature look many hardcore fans wanted, but over time The Wind Waker has proven to be one of the best games in the series, and much better than the more mature Twilight Princess. GameCube games work on the Wii, so all you need is a GameCube controller or a Wii Classic Controller and you're off.
1. Shadow of the Colossus, PS2
Perhaps a controversial choice for No.1, but for our money there's no better adventure game available. Although not an adventure in the same vein as a Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus' sense of exploration and scale is unmatched. Travelling on horseback from colossus to colossus is a stunning experience in itself, but the fights against what must be the biggest enemies ever to grace a video game are often beyond belief. Shadow of the Colossus is our pick of the currently available adventure games and it's simply one of the finest games ever made.