Welcome, to the Extreme Gamer - Game of the Year Awards 2008. Again, I won`t bore you with a paragraph long explanation of the games in 2008. We all know as gamers it has been an exceptional year with the next-generation consoles picking up more steam and the portables chugging along as normal. A few big names have returned to gaming in '08 include a number of first next-gen debuts. Here is the skinny on the best of `08. As always, thanks for all our readers, and contributors in the year that passed... Enjoy our run-down of the BEST GAMES of 2008.

  • Best Action Game
  • Best Racing Game
  • Best Platform Game
  • Best Strategy Game
  • Best Sports Game
  • Best Fighting Game
  • Best Role Playing Game
  • Best Shooter
  • Best Puzzle
  • Best Party/Music
Grand Theft Auto IV | Publisher: Rockstar | Developer: Rockstar North

Grand Theft Auto is no stranger to over-the-top action, and in 2008 Rockstar Games returns to the ultra popular franchise with more dedication then before. Focused on hardcore pulse bending action, Nico Bellic, the star of Grand Theft Auto IV, takes out the competition with his no-holds-barred style. Filled with twisting levels of the ultra violence wrapped around a interesting characters and changing game dynamics, Grand Theft Auto IV is what action games are all about. If you want action, drama, and blowing stuff up then Grand Theft Auto IV was your game in 2008.

Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)
Honorable Mentions: Prince of Persia, GOW: Chains of Olympus, MGS4. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

GOTY07: Assassin's Creed GOTY06: Dead Rising GOTY05: Condemned: Criminal Origins

Burnout: Paradise | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: Criterion Studios

Burning up the track in 2008 is Electronic Arts long-running Burnout series. Burnout has seen its ups and downs over the years, however it seems Criterion has hit the freeway by blasting off into new territory with Burnout: Paradise's new open world concept. Burnout: Paradise returns the Burnout back into the good books in this race-utopia. Beyond releasing the game and letting it stand on its own merit, Electronic Arts and Criterion have been working hard gives gamers new downloadable content on a fairly steady rate keeping this racer in gamers machines all year long. This is what customer support is all about, Burnout: Paradise takes the lead in 2008.

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift (Sony/Evolution Studios)
Honorable Mentions: Midnight Club: Los Angeles, GRID, Pure, Mario Kart Wii, GT5: Prologue

GOTY07: PGR4 GOTY06: Test Drive Unlimited GOTY05: Forza Motorsports

Little Big Planet | Publisher: Sony | Developer: Media Molecule

The platforming genre isn't dead, and a little bundle of threat is giving new hope to this abandoned genre. From small English developer Media Molecule comes a platforming game with beautiful vision, deep gameplay and a welcoming sense of fun. Beyond what Media Molecule provides a darling base, Little Big Planet innovates with its stunning level editor. With a full supported community, Little Big Planet's limitation is our creativity. Little Big Planet is the best platforming game of 2008, and one of the stand out titles of the year.


Runner-Up: Wario Land: Shake It (Nintendo/Feel Good)
Honorable Mentions: Braid, Bionic Commando: Rearmed, Mega Man 9

GOTY07: Super Mario Galaxy GOTY06: Loco Roco GOTY05: Conker: Live & Reloaded

Sid Meier`s Civilization: Revolution | Publisher: 2K Games | Developer: Firaxis Games

Sid Meier takes on the next-gen gaming consoles and conquers the translation of his beloved Civilization franchise to the control based platform. What could have turned out to be a disaster was a wonderfully crafted version of the PC classic. Civilization: Revolution might be a little dumbed down from its PC roots, however if had never been there, you wouldn`t have missed a thing. Heavy on strategy, tactics, micro-management and development, Civilization: Revolution is one of the most fun strategy games to ever be released. We loved the revolution and we hope Firaxis Games can give us console gamers a more serious look in the future. Congratulations to the transitional Civilization.


Runner-Up: Valkyria Chronicles (SEGA)
Honorable Mentions: Disgaea 3, Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin, Tom Clancy`s End War

NHL 09 | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: EA Canada

EA Sports acquisition of Peter Moore has made a impact. Even if you not a believer, all you would have to do is fire up an EA Sport product from this year to see the Moore effect unleashed. All their major sports franchise have been boosted in a positive light with noticeable changes to their respected sport. NHL 09 marks the return of the NHL franchise putting up a beautiful cross-check against their long raining trivial 2K Sports. It might be a fluke, but I doubt it, EA has stepped up their game and now its up to the other developers to play catch up. Madden is sure thing, but NHL 09 needs the props this year as they score the winning goal.


Runner-Up: Madden 09 (Electronic Arts/EA Tiburon)
Honorable Mentions: Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2, FIFA Soccer 09, Skate It

GOTY07: Skate GOTY06: Tony Hawk Project 8 GOTY05: Winning Eleven 8

Soul Calibur IV | Publisher: Namco Bandai | Developer: Project Soul

Soul Calibur's next-generation debut was a long time in the making, and like they say, it was worth the wait. Soul Calibur IV is an exceptional fighting game complete with solid gameplay mechanics, customizable characters and addictive online multiplayer. That's only the tip of the sword as Soul Calibur's graphics showcase some impressive character driven visuals. Like that wasn`t enough Namco Bandai also teamed up with LucasArts bringing over a few familiar faces from Star Wars into the mix. Fueled by the force, Soul Calibur IV is another triumphant win for the Soul Calibur franchise standing tall as the one the best versions of the game, and the best fighting game in recent years.


Runner-Up: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo)
Honorable Mentions: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, SSFII: Turbo HD Remix

GOTY07: Virtua Fighter GOTY06: Tekken: Dark Resurrection GOTY05: Dead or Alive 4

Fallout 3 | Publisher: Bethesda | Developer: Bethesda

2008 Role-Playing game of the year was the hardest head-to-head battle when summing up this years list of games. This is because 2008 had two big hitters with Lionhead Studio's long await return of Fable on the Xbox 360, and the longer awaited reboot of Fallout 3. Both titles are exceptional and deserve their due attention, however their can only be one statistical adventuring masterpiece and in 2008 it is Fallout 3. Fallout 3 is what role-playing games are all about, and where Fable II starts to take on more diversified approach, Fallout 3 keeps the game loaded up with impressive story-telling moments, rich characters, dynamic landscape all built on a fantastic engine with tight visuals and impressive sound. Fallout 3 is a game all role-playing fans should check out along with all the Honorable Mentions in 2008.


Runner-Up: Fable II (Microsoft/Lionhead Studios)
Honorable Mentions: Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia

GOTY07: Mass Effect GOTY06: Elderscrolls: Oblivion GOTY05: Jade Empire

Gears of War 2 | Publisher: Microsoft | Developer: Epic Games

Microsoft's second most popular franchise returns in its second run in 2008. Gears of War 2, second only to Halo comes in guns blazing with a bigger and badder experience then before. Gears of War 2 had some stiff competition with a few smashing shooters from Ubisoft with their next-generation debuts of Brothers in Arms and Far Cry 2, they also came back around with another campaign in the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas. From Vegas, Germany, and Africa, and then more competition came from two original I.P's in Dead Space and Left 4 Dead. Let's forget our runner-up Call of Duty: World at War which rocked WWII with the Call of Duty 4 engine running the show. Even with all this long listing of excellent shooters, Gears 2, lead by Marcus Fenix jumps knee deep into a bloody landscape to fight the volatile Locus Horde. Gears of War 2 is more of everything you like from the original with the volume turned up to 10. Gears of War 2 is one of the best games of the year, and our Best Shooter of 2008.


Runner-Up: Call of Duty: World at War (Activision/Treyarch)
Honorable Mentions: Far Cry 2, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, BIA: Hell's Highway, Left 4 Dead, Dead Space

GOTY07: Bioshock GOTY06: Gears of War GOTY05: BIA: Road to Hill 30

World of Goo | Publisher: Independent | Developer: 2D Boy

2008's best puzzler is a interesting title from the independent game studio 2D Boy. Their immaginative, hand drawn World of Goo is one the more interesting titles that we have seen in sometime. World of Goo is avaliable on the Nintendo Wii, Mac, and PC, and one of top independing games of the year. If you enjoy physics driven puzzles then World of Goo will give your brain a run for the money over the games five levels. Single handedly, World of Goo might be the best reason to fire up your WiiWare channel on the Wii. Hopefully 2D successful run will mean more Goo in the future, and possible a full disc version of the game, or sequel.


Runner-Up: Boom Blox (Electronic Arts/EA Los Angeles)
Honorable Mentions:Tetris Party, Puzzle Quest: Revenge of the Plague Lord, Brain Challenge

GOTY07: Portal GOTY06: Lumines II

Singstar | Publisher: Sony | Developer: SCE London Studio

Picking Singstar as our Best Party/Music Game of the Year might be our most controversial award this year. The competition is more fierce then ever with Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour rocking up the full band experience. However, what about the singing in those games? Bang for buck, Singstar along with the multiple
add-on discs including everything from country (Singstar Country) and disco (Singstar Abba) you have a huge line-up of songs that can be rocked out in the best Karaoke experience around. Singstar might be a little more judgmental, but that is a good thing. If you can sing in Singstar then you could give it a shot in real life-- why not, right!.
Then you have to add in its fun and cooky Youtube like service that lets the community get in the game by uploading their own musical performances to a specialized server. This might not be for everyone, but anyone who has got on the bandwagon will find a wonderful online community with lots of great moments to be had profile surfing and sharing in the experience.

Runner-Up: Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision/Neversoft)
Honorable Mentions: Rock Band 2, Scene It? Box Office Smash, Buzz! Quiz TV, Lips

GOTY07: Rock Band