Mass Effect (360)
The first great science fiction event of the 21st century is here—and why shouldn’t it be a videogame? Mass Effect features a fantastic character creator, hundreds of aliens and other folks to interact with and a vast universe to explore. The only downside is that when it's over, you’ll have nothing to do but play it again as a new character and relive all those unforgettable moments. Hmmm...come to think of it, there is no downside.
Rock Band (360, PS3, PS2)
Take what's cool about Guitar Hero—the guitar controller—and multiply by four: microphone, drums, guitar and bass. But just trying to get your pals to agree on a band name will make you realize why so many bands break up: too many egos!
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (Wii)
This Wii title uses intuitive control in a crazy all-new tale of pirates...and bunnies. You’re a little pirate out to solve puzzles in a quest to find a legendary treasure. Basically, this is a point-and-click PC game, but the puzzles are ingenious and the logic of those mind benders requires the player to think outside the box, which is just what the game designers did when they came up with this.
Bioshock (360, PC)
This got some of the year's best reviews, and the praise is all deserved. In this heady adventure set in an underwater city gone wrong, the only way to survive is to alter your genetic code. There are consequences to this, but hey, you do get powers, like lightning bolts and swarms of bees.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
Games aren’t usually the place to find unforgettable characters, but we love Nathan Drake. Voiced by Nolan North, Drake’s a charming, sarcastic mix of Indiana Jones and Mal from Serenity. The gameplay is a mixture of Tomb Raider meets Gears of War, but that doesn't do it justice. Drake can jump, brawl and use a whole bunch of guns as he makes his way through a jungle rain forest and a lost city of gold. And did we mention this is also the prettiest game on the PS3?