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Dude, Wii U FTW!


Game Profile
 Written by GT Staff  on January 18, 2006

Specials: Midnight Club in the garden of the Most Wanted... in Gotham... yeah, that's it.


Year in, year out, the video game industry keeps on growing. Ever since Pong ushered in the video game industry in 1972, each year brings familiar faces in different places and new and wonderful worlds to explore.

But what if the gaming industry didn't keep churning out new titles for an ever more rabid audience? What if a crash of epic proportions forced us to make due with only the games that were released in the last year? What would we do then?

I'll tell you what we'd do then. We'd take the 52 best games released in 2005 (one for each week of this hypothetical new-gameless year) and gorge ourselves on all the gaming goodness that should be more than one person can handle in a year. So that's what we did. The staff of Gaming Target went back over the 2005 slate of games and picked out the games we'd keep playing for another year if we had to. Of course, we'll play all of these great games in 2006 anyway.

So what if the gaming industry stopped? This is what we would play in 2006...

The First Ten
The Second Ten
The Next Ten
The Last Ten
The Top 12


Madden NFL 06 (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC)
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Tiburon

The Super Bowl is just a few weeks away, but gamers know that football season never ends. When Electronic Arts bought out the exclusive rights to produce NFL football games, gamers grew worried that EA would take the easy way out. Yet to many people's surprise, Madden NFL 06 was bursting with new features and new gameplay mechanics that made it stand out from its predecessors immensely. With this being the Year of the Quarterback, EA introduced new QB Vision and Precision Passing elements that redefined the gameplay and made passing more difficult than it was in years past. The second new addition is the NFL Superstar mode, which allows you to live the life of a NFL player. Pick your parents, get drafted, work your way up to a superstar status ? essentially a new mode to complement the always expansive franchise mode. With a slight graphic overhaul and improved artificial intelligence, Madden NFL 06 will keep the football fans busy throughout the off-season and into 2007. - Vadim Leonov

Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (DS)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: AlphaDream

When Nintendo and Square teamed up for Super Mario RPG way back on the SNES, everyone was amazed that an RPG based on Mario could be such a great RPG. But we all know what happened after that. Nintendo went with the cartridge based N64 and Square married Sony. So Nintendo has had to go the Mario RPG route alone these last few years and in the process they've created two dueling series': Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Nintendo goes to the well again and comes up with another funny and huge RPG that looks it should be busting out of the small confines of the DS. Controlling both the Baby Mario Bros. and the Big Mario Bros at the same time really makes Partners in Time a notch above your standard RPG. ? John Scalzo

Mario Superstar Baseball (GameCube)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo

Lately, Mario has had his hands full with golf, tennis, soccer, a few adventures with his brother Luigi, a few Mario Parties and even some guest appearances in the latest NBA Street and SSX games. Yet this past summer Mario starred in another classic, Mario Superstar Baseball. By combining the Mushroom Kingdom with America's past time, Nintendo was able to pull off another fun sports title featuring everyone's favorite plumber. By creating simple hitting, fielding and pitching mechanics that can be picked up in a manner of minutes, Mario Superstar Baseball turned out to be one of the most amusing games of the year that can be enjoyed by all. - Vadim Leonov

Meteos (DS)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Q Entertainment

In a genre cluttered with Tetris remakes and cheap, online flash games, Meteos was like a blast of fresh air. Its trippy visuals and fast paced gameplay kept me glued to my DS for hours, and the array of unlockables certainly didn't help my addiction.

The controls in Meteos are solely responsible for it's fast paced gameplay. The object of the game is to slide blocks up and down vertical columns and create a line of 3 to launch those 3 blocks and all above them into space. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, you'll be glad you have a touchscreen and aren't busy fumbling around with the d-pad when there are dozens upon dozens of blocks dropping per second. Truly the puzzle game for the completist, Meteos will keep you busy for a long while. - Dave Hulick

Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition (PS2, Xbox)
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego

Rockstar practically single-handedly created the street racing subgenre with the PS2 launch title Midnight Club Street Racing. Since then they've been upstaged by EA's Underground series and several lesser attempts. But the king will not die that easily as Rockstar shook out the poison in their ear and came back with the most complete Midnight Club experience ever in Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition. The game's alliance with tuner bible DUB Magazine brings this point home even more as it constantly strives to create a realistic (but still mindblowingly ridiculous fun) game throughout the large world of DUB. Awesome online options and the almost neverending streets of three world class cities prove that DUB can't be copied by just anyone. ? John Scalzo

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (PS2, Xbox)
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Paradox Studios (Midway San Diego)

Only in Mortal Kombat would a severed head be your best weapon in the fight against Shao Khan. Literally in this case, as repeatedly throwing Kintaro's decapitated head at Shao Khan is the best way to win the battle against the evil ruler of Outworld. And that's just one item on the very long list of reasons why Shaolin Monks, more popularly known as the Mortal Kombat beat 'em up, is undeniably cool. If you weren't thirsty for video game blood before playing this game, you will be after as it packs more fighting, more fatalities and more ways to disembowel your opponents than any game before it. Paradox Entertainment's goal was to make the ultimate MK action game. And I think it's very safe to say that they've accomplished just that. Shaolin Monks oozes Mortal Kombat-style and I loved every minute of it. - John Scalzo

NBA Street V3 (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Publisher: EA Sports Big
Developer: EA Canada

When it comes to street basketball, EA BIG is the undisputed champion. Ever since NBA Street Volume 2 hit the shelves in 2003, no developer has been able to step up to the table and challenge EA's supremacy. This year, we were treated to the third installment of this classic series, and the third installment took the game in a new direction. More realistic player models, the sickest moves ever, gamebreakers involving all three players, an insane dunk contest and the playable Beastie Boys are just a sample of the new features. And if you have the GameCube version, you can take Mario, Luigi and Peach onto the courts of New York's elite if you wish. With Bobbito Garcia back on the mic, you know that this game is packin' the heat! - Vadim Leonov

Need For Speed: Most Wanted (PS2, Xbox. GameCube, PSP, PC, Xbox 360)
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Canada

You could consider NFS Most Wanted to be a hybrid; it takes the now-familiar Underground concept of street racing and tuning, but combines it with the return of daytime, exotic cars, and of course, the police looking to get you. Regardless of platform, the concept is simple; climb the Blacklist, where the top illegal street racers reside, collect prizes, tune up your car, and otherwise dominate the competition. If you have an Xbox or Xbox 360 platform, the action can be taken online, as well as on the PSP system, which also adds the ability to play as the police in Tuner Takedown, which is a toned down takedown system from Burnout basically. It's the police action that makes the game stand out - just spend 5 minutes evading the cops and you'll understand. Most Wanted is a near-perfect blend of old NFS and new NFS, in an obvious attempt to make both sides happy after losing many fans and gaining even more when the franchise went Underground. It's an excellent return to form for a classic series. - Adam Woolcott

Perfect Dark Zero (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Rare

Once upon a time, people scoffed at Perfect Dark on the N64 because it wasn't GoldenEye. Today, people are scoffing at Perfect Dark Zero because it's not Halo. I think it's safe to say that both sets of people are idiots. Perfect Dark Zero is not the most ?next-gen? game and it hardly pushes the Xbox 360 to any kind of graphical limit. But it's still a fantastic new entry in a series that has laid dormant for far too long. And come on, multiplayer PDZ over Xbox Live, that's just awesome. ? John Scalzo

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Bizarre Creations

Microsoft's premiere racing game for their new Xbox 360 doesn't disappoint; beautiful high-definition visuals, expertly-tuned and refined racing using Bizarre's innovative Kudos system that puts emphasis on style as well as speed, and a huge host of online options - you can even play out the Solo Career online if you see fit. Unlike Project Gotham Racing 2 which dabbled in 'common' cars in places, PGR3 goes after the fastest, sexiest, and most exotic vehicles in the world, from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, and almost every other manufacturer of exotic racers. In short, PGR3 gets right to the point instead of dropping Mini Coopers onto your lap. The familiar Career mode features numerous new gameplay types, whether it's checkpoint racing or a knockout event, in order to freshen up what was already a fantastic driving game. The Xbox 360 is already overloaded with racing games, but Project Gotham Racing 3 is the one you need to have in your collection if you're lucky enough to have a 360 in your game room. - Adam Woolcott

We're up to 30 of the greatest games of 2005 with only the last ten and the top 12 to go. We'll see you tomorrow.



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