25 Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)
Kicking, and whipping, the list off is a slight, but welcome, surprise.
Only me and Rocky bought it. And yes, it's just as good as SOTN which nobody else bought either. Completed it. Carried on playing it. And then I lost it. Arse.
The best handheld version of Castlevania. Lots of stuff to unlock and superb animation.
24 GTA: San Andreas (Xbox)
Last year's title contender comes to the Xbox and pops a cap in a whole new audiences' asses.
I'll revisit [my voting] score if it magically turns into the game I wanted and expected after GTA3 and GTA:VC.
23 Rebelstar: Tactical Command (GBA)
Pocket sized tactical genius. Proves that you there’s life left in the GBA yet. A bit anyway. A few months p'raps?
I bought a Micro just to play this on and it doesn't disappoint. Everything that Laser Squad was and more.
It's X-Com! On my GBA! For the WIN! Only on import so far, mind.
22 FEAR (PC)
If great videogames are more about evolution than revolution, then this may be one of the greatest…
A real step towards the kind of AI opponent I've always wanted (and yes, I know theres lot of scripting, but a scripting is AI too you know).
Better than Half Life 2.
21 Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
Progress quest for petrol heads.
I'd be more [points], but it's a bit fucking annoying.
I bought a PS2 just so I could play it, and I wasn't disappointed. Forget the lack of a damage model, the brain damaged AI and instead focus on you vs the track. Here is a game that gives you massive reward for practice and learning. It looks stunning too!
20 Psychonauts (Xbox)
Go and buy this game now. Go on. We’ll still be here when you get back…
Might have stormed its way to the full 10 if it wasn't for the damn idiotic design on the last level. Completely absorbing game which takes a very traditional game style and whips it around, spanks it and throws out something very unique, more to the point - it makes you care. Thats no bad thing.
With it's hilarious dialogue, well-written story, mind-blowingly creative level design and unique art-style, Psychonauts was definitely the Game Of The Year for me. Tim Schafer has once again proved what a creative genius he is. The game had me gripped from start to end ... I'd get home every day from work tired and exhausted, but Psychonauts managed to pick me right back up and put an absolutely loony grin on my face every time. Games that are this fun and this funny don't come around very often.
19 Electroplankton (DS)
It seems churlish even comparing this delightful little musical toy with the rest of this list. An essential purchase for anyone a chance with a heart.
Highly original and taking on something like this must be rewarded.
18 Doukoutsu Monogatari (Cave Story) (PC)
Homebrew hit of the year. The sort of game that they simply do not make any more. Maybe ‘they’ should? Or p'raps they do? I'm not sure - Xbox Live Arcade has got us nicely confused.
No words can quite do justice to how completely it stole my life, simply for being the type of ace little arcade adventure that there's so few of these days.
17 Half Life 2 (Xbox)
Still brilliant. Still in the top 25. Oh and it's Xbox release qualifies it as a 2005 title.
16 Darwinia (PC)
You say you want an evolution, well, there’s nothing like your own…
A glorious package, evoking some great memories. The Cannon Fodder bit was such a nice touch too.
Unique ideas - speccy retro nostalgia.
15 Lego Star Wars (Multi)
Games, even videogames, should be fun? No?
It's Lego, it's Star Wars AND it's fun.
I wanted to give Twisted 10 points, but I had to save one for this. I won't bother typing out why, we've all played it and we all know why.
It's too easy, too short, and would have been better if it had been Episodes 4-6, but fuck it. It's Star Wars and it's Lego and it's fun while it lasts.
I had a great, if short, time with this. It's Star Wars, cute and fun to boot; although I'd like to see one based around the classic trilogy, as that's MY Star Wars when all is said and done.
14 Zookeeper (DS)
Yes, again. This simple, addictive, puzzler is still wowing the crowds. Or, if this sample is anything to go by, possibly the crowd’s female partners…
This game has welded itself into my DS and would score a lot more if I could get the wife off it. They should prescribe this game as a contraceptive.
Simplicity itself, and finally one for the wife too.
It's the only game I can play.
Because it's gotten a ton of play by the whole family, easily the most played game this year at chez the2bears.
The stylus shines.
Don't own a DS, but spent more time playing this on others' machines than anything else.
13 Meteos (DS)
This magnificent slice of puzzle goodness showed us the missing link between Tetris and Street Fighter.
The perfect game for the modern time-limited gamer. Bullet hell intensity in puzzle form.
It didn't take me very long at all. The second I matched three blocks up and watched 'em take off, I knew this was going to be a good game. Then, as those blocks started sinking, I chained them together with two stationary blocks. That's when I knew Meteos was going to be something very special indeed. Best handheld game I've played since Tetris.
For when the world is falling on your head and you need just one more ignition to grasp victory.
This is how puzzlers are supposed to work.
12 Wario Ware Twisted (GBA)
Twisted genius? The game that made playing your GBA on the train more a trial of embarrassment than of skill.
It's as good as the original but with a completely new method of control. I love this game. The addictive gameplay, the cool graphics that go from photorealism to 8 bit NES and back, the songs, the sedan grater, everything. I was kind of thinking the tilt control would be a lame gimmick, but no, I actually prefer it over the dpad control. Whoever thought to make one of the toys a little Mona music box that plays an exact replica of a music box playing Mona's song is a genius.
11 Everybody's Golf (PSP)
Hardly what you’d call the most ground-breaking game on the PSP, but among the most captivating - on any platform.
Oh how I wish I'd bought this when I got my PSP in May rather than Wipeout Pure. I long for good traffic on the way to work so I can park up for 20mins and play it before having to go in. I relish lunchtimes, PC reboots, adverts on the telly and waiting outside shops for the girlfriend all for chance to snatch a quick go. It's portable PSP gaming perfection.
I don't care much for golf in real life but this is just damn lovely in every way. More fun than stealing balls off golfers from your local links. You can keep your Fifa's and your Pro Evo's, this is the game I want to be buried with.
Early on a reviewer said 'I really don't fancy Mario Golf but without characters I care about in it.' Well here's a thing - the transparency, and gentle customisation of those paper-characters adds just the perfect layer of charm to a game that's so addictive I'm getting blood in my stool from straining past go while staying on the shitter too long.
The first golf game I've enjoyed since Leaderboard on the C64.
Results 25 to 11 - Results 10 to 2 - The Winner 2005