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The Top 20 Games of 2006
Games 5-1
Written by:  Alex Sandell


# 5 Resistance: Fall of Man (Playstation 3)

    Yes, it is currently cool to hate on anything PS3 in gaming circles these days, but the console is built like an electronic rock (in a good way), and while it's still suffering through the graphical growing pains the 360 went through a year ago -- Resistance is a really fun flagship game with the best multiplayer I've had a chance to play, this side of Gears of War and Rainbow Six Vegas.  The graphics are only average (the textures suck like a toothless whore with a Hoover transplant for a throat), but it still destroys the 360's excuse for a shooter at launch (Perfect Dark Zero). Worth buying the console for? No. But the machine could give the 360 a run for its money if you give it a year or two.  Considering the PS3 has free multiplayer, it's sorta sad for the 360 that the PS3's flagship title plays better online than 90% of the Xbox Live Gold online games and allows more players to game lag-free at a time than any of the titles on the 360's premium pay service.  Unfortunately, Resistance is the only decent exclusive the PS3 currently has.  That's sort of a bummer.    

# 4 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo GameCube/Nintendo Wii)

    Who woulda thought that 20 years into Zelda's lifespan Nintendo could create what is the second best Zelda to date? Only Ocarina of Time beats it, and itís only by a small margin. The Wii-mote, while occasionally frustrating, does add to the gameplay. But not enough.  The old-school gamer in me (not to mention the fat, lazy bastard) prefers the GameCube version of the title and loves letting my Cube go out with a bang.  Is the Wii-mote a gimmick?  Perhaps.  Is Zelda: Twilight Princess a great game no matter the console you play it on?  Absolutely!  You cannot go wrong with this game.  And, unlike the last full-fledged Zelda adventure, you won't spend half the time floating around on a talking boat! If I had a gun to my head asking which version to recommend, I'd probably ask the gunman to pull the trigger.  It's great on both systems and both systems have their plusses and minuses.  The biggest plus on the Wii side is the full widescreen presentation.  The biggest plus on the GameCube side is the old-school feel and letting your Cube go out in style that would make Diddy jealous.    

# 3 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360)

    Hundreds of hours of quality gameplay are only hampered by numerous glitches that keep this from hitting the top spot of 2006. It's pretty hard to give the top spot to a game that you (you = me) literally couldn't finish because your save files corrupted after spending well over 75 hours playing the thing.  The game itself -- when it works -- has an involving story and about 1,000 even more involving side quests (turning into a vampire is boner-inducing, which is fitting since boners are caused by blood flow to the penis and vampires drink blood). Despite all the shitty glitches, the biggest hindrance to the game is MS's refusal to allow gamer mods that PC gamers (who paid $10 less for the game) receive in spades. Still, single player campaign mode doesnít get much better than this -- even without the PC mods! But beware that horse armor and those glitches. The glitches in the 360 version of the game are far more fierce than any enemy could possibly dream of being.  One time I fought a glitch so strong, my 360 froze up and the red ring of death came up!  That glitch showed me!    

# 2 Gears of War (Xbox 360)

    The campaign mode is in desperate need of an actual story. Why are the locusts attacking? What happened to Marcus that put him in jail? The story feels like the skeleton of a poorly thought out outline conceived by some guy on a bender without the ability to think (Cliffy B. in a nutshell). The plot's about as deep as Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical. But the gameplay is topnotch and the graphics are the best released on a console to date (or even a PC, for that matter). And then there's that online multiplayer Ė that sweet, sweet online multiplayer. There's also the best co-op play known to man, there's an active reload system that will become the standard in shooters, and its online is the definitive reason I finally sold my soul to online gaming (prior, I had played a few games of Mario Kart DS or Unreal Tournament 2004, but my heart wasn't really in it).  Sure, online's nothing but Team Deathmatch, but itís a blast and works smooth as silk. Now, if Epic keeps those inevitable upcoming maps free, I'll be a happy camper.     

# 1 Dead Rising  (Xbox 360)

    Like the she-male popping out of the oversized cake at Donald Rumsfeld's retirement party, I'm full of surprises.  And one of those sonic zappers is my favorite game of 2006 --Dead Rising.  No, it's not a penis hidden in Rummy's gargantuan cake of sugary failure, but with its gruesomely perverse bosses (that clown in the picture above?  He dies in a bloody fashion that would make the most diehard of horror fans cringe and turn their eyes away from the horror displayed on the screen.), the best Achievement System on the 360 (this was the first -- and still only -- game that felt as though it was created for achievement whores), the awesome replay value and the most camp found without actually pitching tents and unrolling sleeping bags; Dead Rising was the most fun I had playing a game since Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube, way back in early 2005. This game is not only my favorite game of 2006 -- itís one of my favorite games, period.  And thank you Capcom for the FREE downloads.  It's made me a fan for life -- or at least until you start charging like the big, fat corporate slobs at EA!  If you miss this one, you're missing out on a classic.  An instant classic.  A classic so classic it's like that one movie George A. Romero made about the dead walking in a mall.  No, wait.  Scratch that.  Capcom's lawyers said there's no relation.    

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Feeling left out? Stuck with a Last-Gen console in a Next-Gen world?  Not to worry!  Click to read The Best 45 Games You've Never Played (Or Need to Play Again)!  It's the ULTIMATE video game list and many of your favorites will be on it, all at mega-discounted prices!

©2006 Alex Sandell/Cerebellum inc. [All Rights Reserved].  Copy this, without my permission, and I'll drop a PS3 on your head (and those things are huge)!