Tim: "You can build as many nukes as you want in Supreme Commander. Most games would limit you to one to preserve the game balance. SupCom just doesn't care about you - it says, you made your bed, you learn to lie in it."
Behind the statistics, charts, teletext match reports and tactics, there are stories. Roy of the Rovers tales of heroic last-ditch defensive stands, dream runs towards the cup, and dramatic injuries that leave a team without its star player in the final. FM is the only football management game you'll ever need: just bring your imagination to fill in the gaps.
Graham: "It may seem strange to say it, but FM isn't actually about football - although, yes, it is the best football management simulation around. It's not even about spreadsheets. No, it's all about characters, with their own personalities, motivations and emotions. This is why my left-back means as much to me as Half-Life 2's Alyx Vance, and why knowing nothing about football doesn't stop you from loving Football Manager."
Day of Defeat: Source
The little mod that could. Its Source incarnation puts this team-based WWII ker-bang! into the same league as Counter-Strike. Realistic damage from being shot pushes the challenge into the stratosphere.
Craig: "It's the shooter I took the time to become skilled at. A combination of sound, minimap and intimate knowledge of the level has left me accused of being an aimbot more than once. Screw you, I'm that good!"
The second Doom is when id Software decided to just have a laugh, rather than trying to create intricate space-bases. The result: levels like Barrels of Fun - in which you sprinted away from a chain of exploding containers, set off by a single enraged soldier.
Alec: "A refreshingly cavalier approach to sequel-making: the same game, but really, really silly. Doom 2 is packed with the overwhelming arrogance and inventive wit that made id such a fascinating developer in their early days, and remains an endlessly playable proto-FPS for it."
A party-based fantasy set in the rich world of Britannia, U7 remains the high watermark for RPG interactivity and effortless fun. It boasts a smart story too, where evil comes disguised in deceptively reasonable arguments.
Tony: "Open the curtains in any home in the middle of the night, and an angry little peasant will get out of bed to close them again. Interactive, dynamic and clever, U7 puts later RPGs to shame."
Who knew the end of the world would be this pretty? Inspired by Wargames' computer controlled map, Defcon puts you in command of a global nuclear attack, ordering bomb drops, subs and defence from a protected bunker. Darkly satisfying.
Graham: "The music becomes slow and quiet. A woman coughs and cries in the distance. A low rumbling turns loud and bright as you look closer. It's a rare game that so perfectly captures a mood or feeling. That it's a feeling of emptiness makes Defcon as unsettling as it is beautiful."
Click here to read the Top 50.