1. Half-Life 2: Episode Two
Half-Life 2 is, when it's all said and done, most likely my favorite game of the decade. But Episode Two has refined the original's formula to a tee, and if the third episode is able to reach a satisfying conclusion, the Half-Life 2 sage will most likely be the greatest journey that a video game has ever taken me on. Oh God, do I love it so.
The cake is a lie, but my enjoyment of the game is not. Cheesy jokes aside, Portal is one of the most well composed game experiences I have ever played. All but three hours long, this genuinely innovative, artfully compacted, experience is filled with a humor and charm few games have been able to express.
3. Mass Effect
Being an enormous sci-fi nerd, Mass Effect is right up my alley. As far as interactive media goes, Mass Effect makes great strides in character interaction and choice, and while the combat is lax in some spots, the game's presentation makes it one of the best sci-fi epics around. It drew me in, and, say what you will about its many faults, I loved being in the world and that is of the utmost importance.
I don't think it's possible to describe Bioshock without the words "art-deco", so I'm not even going to try. Bioshock excels at creating an amazing atmosphere, an underwater, art-deco world with a turn of the century And Rand-ian spin on first person adventures. Suffice to say it is unique and I had an amazing time exploring the world of Rapture.
5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Presentation seems to be the theme of 2007, as I think every game on this list presents its world, story, or concept in a unique and innovative way. But Modern Warfare may take the presentation cake. The campaign is genuinely extraordinary experience and like every great game it did things I had never seen before. CoD4 in one word? Momentous.
6. World in Conflict
World in Conflict vs. CoH. An epic battle of strategy war games. Why is WiC higher on the list. It does just one thing better than the other, its presentation is the best of any RTS game I have ever seen. The gameplay is fun too and the multiplayer is good, but WiC builds characters and presents its world in a truly emotionally touching way. Few games have had the emotional pull on me that WiC has, and to receive that from a strategy game is a very pleasant surprise.
7. Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Opposing Fronts has the best single player campaign CoH has seen yet in the British liberation of Caen, and the addition of the two new armies adds great variety and enjoyment to the multiplayer. With this Relic delivers an expansion that is completely separate from the original game, and is great fun in its own right.
8. Team Fortress 2
If this list were purely multiplayer focused TF2 would easily nab the top spot, but since I usually prefer single player tomfoolery to online high jinks, TF2 sits a little lower on my list. However, this competitive menagerie of cartoony, colorful fun is the most enjoyable multiplayer shooter I have ever played and Valve has nailed the look and feel of the game perfectly. With TF2 I have found a game I can play forever, and I don't think I'll ever need a new multiplayer shooter again.
9. Super Mario Galaxy
Concepts. Super Mario Galaxy is a microcosm of game design, a thousand little ideas perfectly instituted to make a game that is at times both refreshing and delightful, both whimsical and thoughtful, both simple and complex. This is Nintendo at its finest and Mario done better than ever before. While I like most of these games better than Galaxy, it brings a new spin on something I already knew I loved, like the first time chili met the hot dog. This game was enjoyable enough to make me use the word delightful (twice now), and not only that, it was endearing as well. Pure gaming bliss.
10. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl
I still like Pokemon, and this game reminded me of that.