In 2007 there were a plethora of great video game releases. I decided to give my take on the best games of the year, and which one stands out among the rest. I originally
wanted to write this article with another opinion to ballast the perspective, but unfortunately J.M. Lucci is a little bitch. Without any further ado, I give you the 2007 Video Games of the Year.

Halo 3

I'm going to kick things of by taking on perhaps the most anticipated title of 2007. The release date and all that came with it for Halo 3 was one of the most amazing events in gaming history, and I think it is indicative of where we are headed in the near future as it relates to big budget titles and their releases.

As for the game-play itself, I found it to be well-balanced, with one of the tightest sets of movement and strafe controls I've ever encountered on a console first-person shooter (FPS). The weapon selection is simply exquisite, from the mid-to-close-range prowess of the battle rifle to the sheer carnage of close encounters with the power bat. The reintroduction of the machine gun as the default weapon and its upgrade to a titan of close-range combat is great to level the playing field when respawning.

“Blowing the shit out of a bunch of little worms all over a trippy landscape never gets old.”

On top of all this, the stat keeping on is second to none in its depth. It shows how many kills and deaths you have, and by what weapons. As mundane as it might seem, knowing that you've had 5 bulltrues, 15 triple kills, and 1298 melee's can really put a little pep in your step. The map selection is somewhat lackluster however, and the inability to change the roster in Team Doubles or Team Tactical is simply inexcusable. Did I mention there's a single player campaign? No, actually I didn't ‘cause it sucked.

If this game was a PIC writer it would be: Nate Degraaf, ‘cause for the most part it totally kicks ass.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The Call of Duty series has been a benchmark within the genre of WW2 FPS titles. So when I saw that the upcoming Call of Duty 4 was set in modern times, I was a little concerned. That was, until I actually played the game for the first time.

Coming off my experience with Halo I almost jumped right onto Live when I first got the game. But since I hadn't messed with Call of Duty since Big Red One, I figured I could use a warm-up, so I cranked the campaign on Hard. Three days later I had beaten the game, and I must say it was one of the most riveting first-person shooter experiences I have ever had the occasion to play.

The storyline itself was well-constructed, and the missions varied widely in their game-play styles. From your standard team-based combat levels, to a two-man sniper team assassination mission, to manning an AC-130 Spectre Gunship laying down cover fire for your fellow soldiers on the ground, I never once was anything but totally immersed in the levels I played.

The integration of the bullet-penetration system is a much needed step in the world of FPS when it comes to realism. This system basically allows you to shoot through walls, fences, and buildings, by taking into account the caliber of the munitions you are using and the thickness of the material you're shooting through. Two words: fucking awesome.

If this game was a PIC writer it would be: Nick Gaudio, ‘cause it's fuckin’ deadly.

Desktop Tower Defender

It is a sharp change of pace to go from two of the biggest budget console FPS titles of the year to a flash-based browser game. But there is good reason for it—namely, that DTD is one of the simplest, most addictive, and challenging games in a long time.

A lot of talk has been made recently surrounding the dynamic between simpler more intuitive games like DTD (or maybe Wii Sports) that almost anyone can pick up and enjoy, and the highly technical big budget games like Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. There is a diverging line of thinking that in a sense attempts to juxtaposition these two entities as wholly opposed to one another within the gaming world.

I find this a little overdone in the sense that you find within almost any medium the need for entertainment at both ends of the spectrum. Just like how some people come to to read the thoughtful musings of David Nelson, and some come to read the incomprehensible babble of Kevin Chang. It's the same with gaming: for every ten hours you might spend rifling and grenading your way through terrorists, you can spend the same amount of time attempting to sharpen your virtual bowling skills.

Did I mention that DTD totally kicks ass? ‘Cause it does.

If this game were a PIC writer it would be: Allison Parks, because it’s fun, challenging, and above all, easy.

Worms: Xbox LIVE Arcade

This might seem like a bit of weird inclusion for this list…but that's only if you haven't played it. Back in the day, Worms was one of my favorite games on my trusty Macintosh (before they were cool), and then all over again on Dreamcast. When I saw it on LIVE arcade I knew I had to try it out, and I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded it to find that the game remains very true to its original form.

It might sound surprising to some that a game designed in the mid 90's would still be fun to play late into the 21st century, but there's something about blowing the shit out of a bunch of little worms all over a trippy landscape straight out of H.R Puffenstuff that never gets old. Throw in the fact it's LIVE enabled and you've really got yourself a winner.

What's great about this game is the fact, much like I spoke to before, that just about anyone can pick it up and have a good time with it. Furthermore, there is a true depth to the skillset one can accrue over the course of time that makes a battle between even the two most experienced of foes a rollicking good time.

If this were a PIC writer it would be: J.M. Lucci, because it’s simple. And the worms have small penises just like him.

Super Mario Galaxy

Nintendo slaps the Mario brand on everything from tennis to soccer games, so when a true platformer comes along, it’s kind of a big deal. Throw in the fact that it hails from the strongest lineage in all of gaming, and you have a set of expectations that any game would have a hard time living up to. Super Mario Galaxy not only exceeds this illustrious set of expectations, it sets a new standard by which they will forever be determined hereafter.

The Wii controls are comfortably designed with just the right amount of motion sensitive control and the movement itself is sharp and has a surprisingly familiar feel to it. Enemies, power-ups, and boss battles are a throwback to the roots of this storied franchise, and anyone who has messed with the fat Italian plumbers before will find themselves smiling as they reminisce about good times while making new memories within this novel gaming world.

But that's where things really take off. The environment of this platform is, simply put, out of this world. The rendering is seamless and provides insight into what the Wii console really is capable of graphically, even at a measly 480p. The laws of physics are defied again and again and again as you run, jump, fly, and sperlunk through entire galaxies full of planets which provide new challenges even for the experienced Mario Bros player.

The perfect mix of nostalgia and novelty come together in one of the most inspiring Wii titles to date, a game which not only pushes the borders of the common platformer to new levels, but also redefines what it means.

If this were a PIC writer it would be: Xavier Holland, because affirmative action dictates that I have to have one black person on this list.

Game of the Year: Bioshock

I know this list is chock full of first-person shooters, but to be honest with you, it's for a reason. This year has seen some of the best games ever in a variety of different genres, none more than FPS. I haven't even gotten a chance to play all of the top titles from 2007, so be aware that this is not an all-inclusive list, it's just the best of the games that I've played throughout the year.

And with that said, there is no better game out there than Bioshock.

Bioshock flips the bird to the other FPS titles by not even including the option of a multiplayer mode. In news releases leading to the release of the game the developer said that it did this in a conscious effort to maintain the quality of the single player campaign… and boy does it show.

Bioshock creates the most immersive fantasy world ever constructed in video gaming in the form of Rapture, an under-water utopia circa the mid 20th century. The 1950's era feel is pervasive throughout the game, and lends a grainy authenticity to the surroundings you inhabit. The weapons are well-balanced, with some of the most inventive ammunition options available on a console FPS, but the game really takes flight with your genetic abilities. Telekinesis, flame-throwing, ice, electricity, and shooting killer bees out of your blood veins are just a few of the ridiculously insane enhancements your character can arm himself with through self-induced genetic mutation.

The baddies are for the most part your typical genetically-enhanced zombies with the exception of the Big Daddy. The look and feel of these mini-bosses makes them one of the most memorable bad guys I've seen in a while. Nothing will stop you in your tracks like the sound of one lurking around the next corner, and actually engaging them with your wide variety of weapons and abilities is absolute carnage at its best.

The best part of it all though is the storyline, which seamlessly weaves the degradation of a near perfect society with the personal struggle of a man desperate to save what is dear to him. The cut scenes are minimal, and most of the story is laid out in the slick advertisements for the products you use, and leftover audio recordings from the key characters involved in the struggle, which lends a certain continuity to the experience, even if half the time you can't hear what's being said because your too busy fucking shit up. The ending is without a doubt in the top 5 best ever for a video game, and I will say nothing more about it besides, go buy this game, even if it's with your last $60.

If this were a PIC writer it would be: Me, because I totally kick ass. Also because much like the game, I like playing with myself.