“The Sims 3” — Electronic Arts

With the countless expansion packs already sold for the first two “Sims” games, some thought the franchise was out of new tricks. They thought wrong. “The Sims 3” realizes the vision many gamers had when the original game came out back in 2000: The whole neighborhood is an active entity. Your Sims are no longer confined to their homes and lawns by loading screens; they can walk through the neighborhood and even bump into other Sims on the street. The personality system and the improvement of “wishes” also makes “The Sims 3” the franchise’s best offering to date.

—Jamie Block

“Borderlands” — 2K Games

This may very well be the most innovative role-playing game of the year. Set in the desert wasteland of Pandora, this treasure-hunting epic has a fast-paced style that fluidly combines the gameplay fundamentals of other live-action RPGs (“Knights of the Old Republic,” “Jade Empire,” etc.) with cel-shaded graphics that set it apart. The plot development is lacking and the cinematic sequences that are usually used to fill in story details are virtually nonexistent, but it’s pure, cartoony fun, and sometimes that’s all we should want from a game.

—Timothy Rabb

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” — Activision

War games that accurately simulate vehicles, weaponry and the chaos of battle have become an industry standard. Don’t you long for a game that eagerly explores the aberrant terrorism that’s become the forefront of public debate? “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” pushes the envelope by bringing the war a bit closer to home – actually, a lot closer to home. And it doesn’t hurt to mention that the multiplayer gameplay completely kicks ass.

-Timothy Rabb

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.