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Games of the Decade: 2008

Five elite games but only one winner

Full of quality releases, 2008 marked a great year for gaming. A number of big-name franchises like Metal Gear Solid, Fable and Fallout made their highly anticipated current generation debuts, while a host of innovative and accomplished new IPs attempted to overthrow the old guard. There was certainly plenty on offer to choose from and it's been a tough choice narrowing down this list to just five titles.


The Contenders
Dead Space
Grand Theft Auto IV
Left 4 Dead
LittleBigPlanet
Metal Gear Solid 4

The Runners-Up
It says something about the quality on offer in 2008 that the likes of Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2 and Fable II failed to make our top five.

Dead Space birthed a series that has the potential to rival the mighty Resident Evil, while Grand Theft Auto IV is the best sandbox shooter to date and a worthy current generation franchise update. Valve's infectious zombie shooter Left 4 Dead took co-operative gaming to new heights, while PSM3 labelled Metal Gear Solid 4 a masterpiece and arguably the best in the series.

The Winner: LittleBigPlanet

Zoom
Sackboy, the new face of PlayStation

However there can be only one winner and it's... LittleBigPlanet. Going into 2008 PS3 was in need of a platform-defining game. Few expected Media Molecule's physics-based platformer to emerge as the console's killer app and one of the year's most critically acclaimed titles but that's exactly what happened.

Comprising of over 40 beautifully crafted levels, LittleBigPlanet's story mode was a good enough reason alone to purchase the title. Unlockables and the ability to play co-operatively with up to three others - which is a joy with the right partner/s - also offered plenty of replay value. Mike went as far as to hail it 'Mario for the 21st century'.

But LittleBigPlanet was so much more than just a charming, inventive and visually accomplished platform experience. It also provided players with a deep yet accessible level editor that was unrivalled on consoles, a platform in itself that allowed users to realise their creative ambitions, whether making a level they'd always pictured in their head or a homage to their favourite game - tributes to all of the other contenders in this list can no doubt be found among LittleBigPlanet's one million-plus user generated levels, many of which surpass those the developer shipped with the game. Best of all, they're all available to play online for free, meaning there's potentially an endless stream of content to explore.

LittleBigPlanet managed to achieve the rare feat of captivating the full spectrum of gamers, whether old or young, casual or core, and offered them the ability to 'play, create and share', as Sony says, as they saw fit with almost unlimited scope. That's why it was our star of 2008.

The winner:
LittleBigPlanet

Runners-up
Dead Space
Grand Theft Auto IV
Left 4 Dead
Metal Gear Solid 4

Your Shout
Do you agree with our picks, or do you think we've overlooked something? Pick your top five games of 2008, overall winner and why and let us know in the comments section below.

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