By now you've hopefully seen our Top 50 Games of 2008 and viewed our Top 10 video feature (if not, why not?), but what about the best games made for each individual format or platform holder? Good question. Luckily we've thought about the answer, and put together the Top 10 Xbox 360 exclusives of 2008. Before you get the pitchforks out and rustle up an angry mob, this list deliberately disqualifies titles like Fallout 3 and GTA 4 (and any other games that appeared on another console). These are games that a console gamer could only buy for the 360.
10. Lips, Microsoft
What we said: Lips is the only game of its type on the 360, it's got brilliant microphones and it at least tries to allow you to expand the potential track-list to infinity. If you like karaoke, and you have friends or family that like karaoke, it's a damn sight better in-law entertainment option than charades this Christmas, and for that we should be eternally grateful. Now... can I beat Morten Harket's Take On Me score?
9. Rock Band 2, EA
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.
8. Ninja Gaiden 2, Microsoft
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 that very few games can claim to give. This is action gaming at its very best.
7. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Microsoft
What we said: To paraphrase (and more or less completely change) one of the game's many loading screen tips, if you don't like the sound of vehicle-based gameplay, you'll be better off downloading the Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the original Banjo-Kazooie. For us, though, Nuts & Bolts offers true next-gen gameplay, with user created content being core to the experience. Simply making vehicles is good fun, and with the ability to instantly test them out you can sink hours into one creation alone. It certainly won't be for everyone, but with spectacular presentation, highly entertaining Robot Wars style multiplayer and a lot of good hearted humour, the bear and bird are back.
6. Braid, Microsoft
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.
5. Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, Microsoft
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.
4. Fable II, Microsoft
What we said: The video game industry is often criticised for churning out carbon copy shooters, delivering little more than a different way to mass murder hundreds of identikit enemies. Fable II is different. It's a game that makes you think about what you're doing. It hasn't perfected the RPG, and in truth isn't close to doing so, but it's a massive step in the right direction and a beautiful game to boot. If you think you have what it takes to be a righteous hero, give Fable II a try. You might not be the angel you think you are.
3. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, Microsoft
What we said: When you're talking about games that cost less than £10 you usually have to lower the bar for quality, but in this case we'd easily pay a lot more for Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2. Keeping within the confines of an Xbox LIVE Arcade title and not a full-priced product it's hard to see how Bizarre could have taken the game any further. It's got new game modes, enhanced visuals and multiplayer support. If you love Geometry Wars you'll love this. If you've never played Geometry Wars before then now is a perfect time to do so.
2. Gears of War 2, Microsoft
What we said: Following the most successful original Xbox 360 game of all time was going to be hard, and it seems Epic wanted to make sure no one was left disappointed. Some people will no doubt criticise Gears of War 2 for what it's not. It's not as emotionally deep as other games on the market, it's not a 30 hour + epic and it's not art in video game form, but is arguably the greatest action game ever created. In a year full of incredible games, Gears of War 2 sits triumphantly at the very top.
1. Left 4 Dead, EA
What we said: There are games you want everyone to play, just so they can experience what you've such a good time with, and Left 4 Dead is one of them. It's unlike any other game I've ever played and demonstrates the true power of cooperative gameplay. It's worth noting that the experience is somewhat dulled if played alone, but if you've got online friends or are happy to play with randoms, Left 4 Dead is a game you simply can't pass up. Just make sure you've worked out what you'd do in a zombie outbreak before you start playing, as you won't be able to make anything approaching a sane decision with a screaming witch bearing down on you.
Agree? Disagree? What are your picks for best Xbox 360 games of 2008? Let us know in the comments section below.