1. Just Cause 2
Haven't beat this yet, I've spent a good 12 hours just futzing around with the open world. My progression through the 'story' has been minimal. I am still playing, which is more than I can say about Final Fantasy XIII, which I stopped at the 12 hour mark for.
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Playing through this again, man is this game good.
3. Final Fantasy XIII
Having played more of this game, I can safely say it feels like being stuck in a traffic jam on a freeway surround by pretty fantasy illustrations. The pace of the game is plodding, slow moving with very frequent halts with painful monotonony only alleviated by distractions found outside the windows or on the radio, so to speak. This is not good game design. If Square-Enix wanted to take inspiration from the likes of Lost and Call of Duty, then they should have borrowed the elements that worked. Instead they just stole the worst parts of both, the hackneyed incorrigible pollock-painted plot of Lost and linear monotony of Call of duty respectively. FFXIII feels much like standing in line at the gamestop to blow 60 bucks on a gamefranchise long devoid of charm would, a huge waste of time and money.
4. Heavy Rain
This game feels like they took Indigo Prophecy, stripped the last third of the story, tweeked a few plot points and then shifted around the roles of various character archetypes. Plus new graphics. It's a good game.
5. God of War III
I just beat this game over the weekend. Thought it was a nice and tidy package, with just the right amount of boss fights, locations & cinematics thrown in for an 8 1/2 hour package. The story was the usual single minded non-character driven action set piece spectacle expected from the franchise, and the attempt at humanizing Kratos by introducing Pandora to serve as a surrogate symbol for hope was a bit ham handed. While most are fooled into thinking the god of war games have good stories by the flashy environments and stylized greek mythology, I would not prescribe myself to falling under the spell of crafty design.
What makes God of War good is not the story or any charactars in particular, it is the venue of addictive hack & slash gameplay layered with beautiful and whimsical dark fantasy that make it so appealing. Just don't be fooled into thinking there may be substance to this game or any other in the franchise, they are fun to play, have memorable action sequences and have cool art design. This leaves an indelible impression upon you after setting the game aside, and may account for why people misremember what it is that makes the games so great.
God of War is not about an Epic Story, its about an Epic Battle across Epic Battlegrounds with Epic Music and Epic visuals.