1. Alpha Protocol
This game got delayed countless times and has that classic Obsidian Jank(tm). Yet, it delivers on an interactive, dynamic story to an impressive degree.
2. Metro 2033
The first game from a new developer...based on a Russian novel. An amazing engine overcomes all other issues to make this a great atmospheric shooter.
Namco is bringing back what? And then they fired the developers half-way through the project and gave it to an internal team? A surprisingly good entry in the Splatterhouse series that plays just like an update to the older games should. They didn't over-think this.
4. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Mercury Steam went from making Clive Barker's Jericho to somehow getting to reboot one of the most popular franchises in gaming. And then the game was amazing! The definition of a dark horse.
An amazing game in concept and in scope that's almost impossible to play. But it's brought me a great deal of amusement. Hard Truck.
6. Alan Wake
This game started as an open world game that then became a more linear game. It took 7 years. Against all odds it actually came out and is great. I look forward to Alan Wake 2: The Rise of Alan Wake. Get it? Cause he's A.Wake and he's waking up? Rising?
It's actually an apt title, all joking aside.
7. Sports Champions
What looked like a Wii Sports knock-off is actually a well-realized game and contains the most accurate simulation of table tennis I've ever played. Also some incredible 1 to 1 swordfighting that's just what many have always wanted from motion control.
8. Tron: Evolution
This game is a tragedy of awesome gameplay mixed with terrible other stuff. The platforming is the best, the vehicles are the worst. If you like to leap and run, still worth playing.
This game would have been on my GOTY list last year had it made its original release. It's super-wacky, and doesn't hold up so well after first playthrough. It's still a brilliant pile of crazy.
10. James Bond 007: Blood Stone
It had big shoes to fill, stepping in for a movie that didn't happen. It's a great Bond adventure...shame that this is Bizarre's last game.
11. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
The sequel to a game so mediocre it started a fire storm that probably lead to the creation of this site. This sequel is actually a well-executed exercise in style, it's just a shame there's not more of it. The game is a few hours long, and the abrupt ending may not be for everyone.
12. Arcania: Gothic 4
This is one of two Gothic 4's, the other being Risen. Most were mad that Gothic was taken away from its original developers. I think this is a more enjoyable game in every way, precisely because of that decision.
13. Crackdown 2
This game came and went from the public consciousness in about 9 seconds. It was also made in about 8 months. It's the best huge game I've ever played that was made in 8 months, way more fun that it should ever have been.
14. BioShock 2
This had a mad-stupid premise, which they toned down for the shipping product. It actually executes the Bioshock game play better than the original.
15. Deadly Premonition
Lead to an infamous Giant Bomb Endurance Run. This game is kind of terrible, but it revels in that. Like a Hard Truck game, but with more Twin Peaks.