#45: Mirror's Edge
Fall: PS3, Xbox 360, PC Crackdown let us soar from rooftop to rooftop like the Hulk on a rampage; Assassin's Creed let us tumble and sprint and climb with a mastery of free running. But while both games let us control the movement, neither let us experience it. Not like this. Mirror's Edge is one of those games that changes something you thought was unchangeable. It's not about combat, although you'll shoot, punch, and kick your way out of trouble with the authorities. It's not about stealth, either, although you'll be doing your fair share of hiding from the totalitarian government, ferrying messages between resistance fighters. It's not even about freedom, despite the staggering sprawl of the chrome-white cityscape slipping away beneath your feet.
No, this is a game about speed; about looking through the eyes of an acrobatic parkour artisan as she leaps, falls, sprints, and slides across the highest girders and longest cables in the city. There's no over-the-shoulder cam, there's just you: your arms, your legs, your balance, and your ability to traverse any obstacle, so long as you can keep moving. If you thought that the first-person experience couldn't be rewritten, think again. There's a reason why we're so excited about Mirror's Edge. This is something we've never seen before.
#44: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Fall: PS3, Xbox 360 In 10 words: Less blood, no fatalities? No thanks. Wait, Batman? We're there.
#43: Midnight Club: Los Angeles
September: PS3, Xbox 360 This isn't the Midnight Club you remember. The cult racing series has been re-imagined and re-located to SoCal, bringing the famously night-owl racing series into the sunlight for the first time. Midnight Club: LA blends the fast-paced Burnout Paradise with the more cerebral Gran Turismo 5, adding noteworthy features such as a nifty GPS-based overhead map and a go-anywhere, do-anything gameplay philosophy.
Because Midnight Club: LA's development team also worked on Grand Theft Auto IV, you'll see some similarities in the checkpoint-based races. For starters, it doesn't matter how you get to the next checkpoint, so shortcuts are encouraged (and denoted on the map). You can also gain four special driver abilities, such as the slow-mo "Zone" mode. But our favorite feature is the insane visual detail on the cars, down to the glittering paint jobs. Check out those screens!
#42: Neopets Puzzle Adventure
Fall 2008: Wii, DS, PC Neopets is bigger than you think - over 12 million monthly visitors visit Neopets.com, spending hours designing Neopets and interacting with the Neopet community. Puzzle Adventure, though, is more akin to handheld favorite Puzzle Quest. Each player builds a Neopet character with basic stats, magic spells, and clothing. The chief difference between Neopets Puzzle Adventure and Puzzle Quest, however, is the game objective. In Puzzle Quest, you win by matching three like icons in a row. Neopets Puzzle Adventure is based on the strategy board game of Reversi, (or Othello). The end goal is to dominate the board with your colored gems.