Every year post-E3, I like to write about the event and talk about all the things that got me excited. For one reason or another, I didn’t get around to it this year. That’s not to say that I wasn’t paying attention – I had a browser window open with streaming video of each of the big three press conferences as they happened. And that’s not to say that there wasn’t anything significant to talk about. Believe it or not, Sony impressed the pants off me this year! Not only did they have a lot on the table, but their conference was lively and interesting from beginning to end. Normally, it’s dry and dull. Like previous years, the second half of 2008 is chalk full of great games that are set to release before Christmas. I’ve been keeping my eye on the expansive list and have compiled a couple lists of my own.

Here are my “must buy” titles as we close out 2008…

Platform listed for each game is my preference, and the one I will be playing on.

Must buy games of 2008

  • Brothers In Arms Hell’s Highway
    (Xbox 360)
  • Dead Space
    (Xbox 360)
  • Fallout 3
    (Xbox 360)
  • FarCry 2
    (Xbox 360)
  • Gears of War 2
    (Xbox 360)
  • Left 4 Dead
    (Xbox 360)
  • LittleBigPlanet
    (PlayStation 3)
  • Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
    (Xbox 360)
  • MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
    (PlayStation 3)
  • Portal: Still Alive
    (Xbox Live Arcade)
  • Prince of Persia
    (Xbox 360)
  • Project Origin
    (Xbox 360)
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
    (PlayStation 3)
  • Resistance 2
    (PlayStation 3)
  • Rock Band 2
    (Xbox 360)
  • Spore
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
    (Xbox 360)
  • Tomb Raider Underworld
    (Xbox 360)
  • Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise
    (Xbox 360)

I bet there’s a couple of surprises in there. I’ve been watching the development videos on Dead Space and it’s really got me intrigued. The team is really focusing on bringing a terrifying experience to the player, and with a phrase like “strategic dismemberment” being tossed around, how could it not be good?

The MotorStorm sequel is a game I never thought I would be interested in, given the mediocre nature of the first one. But I have a feeling Pacific Rift is going to be essentially what MotorStorm should have been initially. Or perhaps the lack of top tier racing titles for Q3 and Q4 has something to do with it?

And a bunch more that have potential but I’m not totally sold on them just yet…

Potentially great games of 2008

  • Battlestations: Pacific
    (Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty: World at War
    (Xbox 360)
  • Fable II
    (Xbox 360)
  • Fracture
    (Xbox 360)
  • Ghostbusters The Video Game
    (Xbox 360)
  • Guitar Hero World Tour
    (Xbox 360)
  • Lego Batman
    (Xbox 360)
  • Mirror’s Edge
    (Xbox 360)
  • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
    (Xbox 360)
  • Need for Speed Undercover
    (Xbox 360)
  • Saints Row 2
    (Xbox 360)
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming
    (Xbox 360)
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
    (Xbox 360)
  • Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
  • Tom Clancy’s EndWar
    (Xbox 360)
  • Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.
    (Xbox 360)

For the most part, new franchises get thrown in the rental pile. That is unless a demo is released and I can get my hands on it.

Fable II has got my attention, but just barely. I’m not a big RPG fan, but it has a lot to offer. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that they’ve actually got voice acting in game this time. I can’t stand to read every bit of dialog.

Mirror’s Edge could really go either way. It’s so different from what we’re used to. It could be a refreshing change, or could just lead us to say, “Enough of this jumping bullshit, give me a gun already!

Tom Clancy games are never at the top of my list, but I have really enjoyed the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter series. EndWar is looking like a nice change of pace from the usually first/third person gameplay. And H.A.W.X., now that I’ve managed to get over the stupid name, I’m keeping an eye on it. I love that the first mission is a GRAW2 mission from the perspective of the pilot that gets called in for support. That mission (where you first get air support and bomb the shit out of everything in sight) was one of my favourites in the game.

With so many games on the horizon, I’m sure to have over-looked some. So I may go back and make some edits to my lists. What are you looking forward to most this year?


I can’t wait for SW:FU. I’ve been looking forward to this game ever since I first got wind of it about a year ago. I’m such a sucker for unlimited force powers and a kickass lightsaber.

No kidding! I freaked out the over the first tech demos they showed a couple years ago. Now we’re just a few short weeks away!

Matt your list is right on! But, being semi-old school, I’d have to add Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts to that list. I’ve always been a Rare fan and enjoyed most of their titles.

Have A Great One!

I’ve never played any of the Banjo-Kazooie games. Honestly, the characters themselves turned me off. But from the gameplay footage I’ve seen of this new one, building vehicles and such looks pretty cool. Might end up checking it out.

I was just talking it over with my girlfriend this morning about the upcoming games for this fall… thank god for the drought of games over summer so I can afford all of the games this fall.

I’m really looking forward to Little Big Planet and Banjo, I just hope they don’t screw them up.

There really has been a drought these past couple months. I traded in half a dozen games or so for store credit in anticipation of the goodness to come.

I just traded in a good number of games this afternoon at Gamestop to preorder all of the games for this fall.

It seems like publishers would realize the drought of games during summer and would release a game or two so that we have something to play and they make some extra money.

I think PSN and Xbox Arcade games make pretty good money during summer though due to the lack of "real" games.

I would have to agree with the list for the most part, although I think Spore is seriously overrated. And I’d bump Fable 2 in to the must haves. It is really more of an adventure game with RPG elements in my opinion (As well as a social experiment for Peter Molyneux).

Also i’m glad someone other than me still thinks Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway is going to be good.

Yeah, can’t wait for Hell’s Highway! I played the first BIA a few times through and really enjoyed it. Definitely a different style of shooter. With the destructible cover and ability to blow people’s limbs off, I’m sure Hell’s Highway will live up to our expectations.

Tomb Raider Underworld has me really excited, as does Fable 2. A game that I noticed isn’t on your list (not that I’m surprised as you’ve said before you’re not big on RPGs), but is very high on mine, is Infinite Undiscovery. It will be interesting to see if these upcoming J-RPGs improve the 360s sales in Japan.

How great was the E3 TR Underworld trailer? I’ve probably watched it half a dozen times.

There’s a pile of J-RPGs coming out for the 360 now, isn’t there? Saw 3 or 4 announced right around the same time. Damn right I’ll be skipping every one of them. 😛

I agree with the majority of your list Matt, give or take a few.

I can’t wait until the Star wars: Force Unleashed demo comes out this Thursday as that’s something that I’ve had my eye on for some time (force powers + Euphoria engine = hot tamale!).

Also looking really forward to LittleBigPlanet and Gears of War 2. One game promotes creation and one is hellbent on mutilation. Best of both worlds!

I have a feeling I might end up taking a few more "coffee breaks" through-out the day on Thursday. 😉

Great list Matt, a few interesting ones in there.

I was surprised not to see Shaun White Snowboarding up there though? The previews of this game looks fantastic, and while I’m not by any means a boarder myself the open environment and uniqueness of this game has me sold already!

November will be a busy month for me and my Xbox, Gears on the first Friday, CoD5 on the second, Shaun White on the third and the latest Need for Speed instalment on the last Friday of the month! Can’t wait.

I’m not into sports games much at all. I’ve played the Tony Hawk series a lot of the years, and sunk quite a few hours into Skate, but that’s about as sporty as I get. And only because I used to skateboard as a teen. Never got into snowboarding, so I don’t have much interest in it. Might check out Shaun White Snowboarding if it proves worthy, though.

September is looking like a busier month for me, but I have a feeling I’ll still be trying to catch up come November. We all know that everything else takes a back seat to Gears of War 2 on November 7. I’m anticipating nothing but GOW2 for a good 2 weeks or so.

no kidding man, there’s a ton of great games coming out. it hit me as i read through this month’s game informer. crap there’s a ton! gears2 is tops for me, but man did left 4 dead look cool. rockband, spore, star wars. there won’t be much socializing this holiday season (unless my family gets on xbox live)..

So many games, so little cash. Rock Band 2, Force Unleashed and Spore are definitely on my list, Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty World at War and Mirror’s Edge are intriguing too. I’ll probably take a look at H.A.W.X. if a demo comes out.

I’m totally buying a PS3 for Little Big Planet, btu beyond that I’ve pretty much stopped paying attention to what new games are coming out from now through to to the end of the year (dead 360). Likely once I grab a new system I’ll catch up on all I’ve missed.

Looking at your list here there’s a couple games there that jump out at me as ones I’ll likely grab just on the grounds that earlier games in the series were great though, such as Saints Row 2, Need for Speed Undercover (well, maybe), Call of Duty and Viva Pinata, but Portal jumps out at me as something I’ll end up picking up as well (never played the first one though).

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