TIME Names Top 10 Video Games of 2008

TIME has cranked out a feature which serves up Top 10 lists for just about everything you can think of (breakups, foot trends, open mic moments), including video games.

Lev Grossman penned TIME’s list, which starts with GTA IV and ends with Spore. Here’s what Grossman had to say about R*’s controversial, runaway hit:

It’s ironic that GTA became a football in the debate over sex and violence in video games, because where it belongs is in the debate over whether video games count as art… It’s a grade-A shoot-’em-up that doubles as an interactive novel and triples as a sly critique of American consumer culture.

Grossman’s entire Top 10 list follows:

  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Braid (video at left)
  • Little Big Planet
  • Rock Band 2
  • Gears of War 2
  • Dead Space
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Hunted Forever (Flash)
  • Fieldrunners (iPhone app)
  • Spore
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  1. Chuma says:

    And again, another list without Mario Kart Wii… for shame.

    Gotta agree with Braid, GoW2 and LBP.  GTA4 probably deserves a mention but top 10 of the year?   Maybe on hype and level of detail, but not on gameplay.

  2. Immutable says:

    No Mega Man 9? No Brawl? No Street Fighter 2 HD Remix? And in their rightful place an iPhone app and a flash game? I demand a recount and second the whole "Burn the heretic" idea.

  3. Kajex says:

    Here’s something for Lev Grossman to read-

    "Daikatana stands out from the crowd in a one-in-a-million hit, as an engaging, fast-paced shoot-’em up with beautiful, immersive locations spanning across the world, melded with incredible character design and sporting the finest in computer AI."

    … See? With the right words, and a knack for poetry, you can make ANYTHING sound awesome. But guess what? It doesn’t change the fact that Daikatana was UTTER CRAP. And all the suger-coating in the world isn’t going to make GTA any more than what it is. If you want an award for writing poetry, DON’T write for a magazine.

    I call Blasphemy. This heathen included an iphone app, a flash game, and Gears of War 2, but Chrono Trigger, Castle Crashers and Fallout 3 didn’t make the list? BURN HIM. SET A FIRE IN THE HERETIC’S FLESH.

    In conclusion, when I want a Top 10 list that marks up good points, I’ll look at Cracked.com.

  4. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The trouble is I have been burnt out by short sighted,corridoor level design minuim content shooters, hell even FO3  has a ton of issues with balacne and depth in equipment/items/exp grpth IMO its rushed, didn’t care for bioshock becuse its a very boxy limited sandbox shooter….I dunno…I am just gettign pissy in my old age…
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  5. Jahkaivah says:

    I was joking a little on my previous post (though I definatly think it deserved a place in that list).

    I would give it a shot when valve does one of their demo-weekends as it definatly plays better than it looks (especially at expert level where you can get incredibly paranoid). It isn’t for everyone but it definatly has its appeal.

  6. Untouchable says:

    It also points out that TIME kinda had its head up its ass for a bit of it. A glorified tower defense game for the iPhone made it on but not Fallout 3?

    Gears of War 2 yet no Metal Gear Solid 3?

  7. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Not played L4d yet…but I’ll probly hate it… ๐Ÿ˜›
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  8. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    Not a bad list. Usually the mainstream media top 10 video game lists are completely clueless.

    I know racing games aren’t the most popular genre, but Burnout Paradise belongs on that list. It’s a near perfect execution of the genre. Graphically gorgeous, plays like a dream, and the developer is continuing to support it with compelling DLC.


  9. Derovius says:

     L4D is alright, but its losing its kick quickly for me. Maybe its all the ragequitters who get beat down by a well-sync’ed infected team in versus.

  10. saregos says:

    I think about here is the point at which we agree that everyone has their own opinions, and that simply because the list doesn’t contain our own personal choices, doesn’t mean it’s a bad list.

    That said, I would be curious to know the selection criteria here… not because I have issue with any of the games posted, but merely out of personal interest.

    — Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known

  11. Wraith108 says:

    L4D is probably too recent a release to be listed. It is a great game though. CoD: MW and WaW deserve to be listed (though MW may be a 07 game)

  12. Jahkaivah says:

    Only thing worse than no Left 4 Dead in that list is that no one has complained about it’s abscence in the comments yet! Seriously wtf people you are all failures ALL OF YOU!!!! *fanrage*


    That said putting Braid in there would problably earn me brownie points, I say "would problably" because I’m still waiting for the PC release!

  13. insanejedi says:

    Mass Effect was experienced by most people last year, and this list kinda shows that 2008 is one of the greatest years in gaming ever, because there are just way too many games that if you were to make a top 10 list it would satisfy no one at all.

  14. Demontestament says:

    Where the hell is Castle Crashers? And I have the agree with the questions from other posters, Why no Mass Effect? GTAIV wasn’t that great, SPORE while able to keep you busy for a while isn’t as great as we thought it to be. And an iPhone app? What exactly was this list based on? Looking over it I cannot really think of what the writers basis was when picking these games aside from complete randomness.

  15. Spartan says:

    GP or GC (sister site) should publish a list of top 10 games.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  16. Chuma says:

    Sorry but Metal Gear Solid 4 was a flat out disappointment.  I still believe that only LittleBig Planet is a valid reason (exclusive) for owning a PS3.  MGS4 might have appealed to fanboys and girls, but to your average gamer it was cumbersome, slow to get going and ultimately boring.  Unless after the first few hours it suddenly changes (And if it does that it is an excellent example of how NOT to pace a game), then I don’t think I need to see any more of it.

  17. KayleL says:

    Too many great games are missing such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Fallout 3, Mass Effect. Yet they have an iphone app? And a flash game?

  18. VideolandHero says:

    They tried to make the GTA series move along, but people keep whining about it.  See San Andreas.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  19. insanejedi says:

    Guitar Hero>Rock Band

    Because of EA? What the hell? EA has been doing a fantastic job with Rock Band so far, remind you, they are the people who will take in your Guitar or Drumset with any physical problems, fix it, and send it back to you all for free. I don’t know where your comming from to say that EA is the reason why Rock Band is half assed, actually maybe I do, like the several people in here people keep thinking EA 2008 is EA 2004 or 2003. Anywhere else in the gaming community will not only say Rock Band>Guitar Hero, they will say EA is awesome and Activision is the new EA, they are milking Guitar Hero and Call of Duty to their death.

  20. Chuma says:

    It could well be that the list was compiled before GH4’s release date, otherwise I agree with RockBand being inferior and them making a mistake.

    GTA4 certainly pushed the boundaries of realism another notch, but in return they lost their soul.  Somehow I just didn’t find it anywhere near as engrossing or entertaining as San Andreas.

  21. Parallax Abstraction says:

    Mass Effect came out last year, for 360 anyway.  That there’s no Fallout 3 on this list but it has Force Unleashed doesn’t give it the highest regard to me.  Force Unleashed was a game with much potential that was just weak in the end.

  22. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    No Mass Effect? Holy shit.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  23. Vake Xeacons says:

     Agreed. The GTA series really hasn’t taken the franchise much farther than it did seven years ago. Spore, I would have said okay if it weren’t for Securom. 

    Can’t argue with LBP. Rock Band’s fine, but EA’s been half-assing the series so I definitely put Guitar Hero above it. I also notice the complete lack of any Wii games (including Rock Band 2) on the list. If you put iPhone up there, then Wiiware also deserves a place on the list. How about SBCG4AP?

  24. Trevor McGee says:

    GTAIV and Spore really shouldn’t be on there. GTAIV was okay, but overall not great. Spore was really a huge let down. I’m also not too keen on the idea of them including flash games and iPhone applications to that list. Fallout 3 should have also been on there for sure. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is also questionable, it was okay but not worthy of a top ten list.

  25. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Top "proformers" or IP brands that can make money, not based on qaulity…and if it was…..F03 would not make it either….FC2 and dead space are better and more polished……..
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  26. Spartan says:

    Most of the games on this list I call shenanigans on.

    I hope they would clearly define the selection choices because I simply don’t see it in the titles.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus


  27. Wraith108 says:

    yeah lack of fallout 3 is bad, also may I be contravercial and suggest Saints Row 2 should be on there. great game, great stories and brilliantly put together.

  28. Freek says:

    No Fallout 3? Gross. Dead Space shouldn`t be there, no offense but there wwere way better games this year.

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