Courtesy of Faroon.
5. Animal Crossing. I first played this on an imported copy on the Gamecube, but it was Animal Crossing : Wild World on the DS that I played every single day for over a year.
4. Bioshock. A critique of the philosophy of Ayn Rand, a perfectly realised art deco dystopian underwater city and a superbly balanced first person shooter.
3. Portal. Short, sweet, gaming perfection. With cake.
2. GTA IV. I wondered for a while about putting GTA:San Andreas ahead of GTA IV and it was a very close call. San Andreas has the wide open spaces, but GTA IV's environment, story, characters and soundtrack combine into a hugely ambitious and genuinely involving game. I've written about this before, but the moment when I looked through the sights of a sniper rifle and had to choose which of two brothers to shoot and which to spare will stay with me for a very long time.
1. Interstate 76. Before GTA 3, there was Interstate 76. Set in an alternate 1976 where the American economy has collapsed and the roads of Texas are patrolled by auto vigilantes, this was a game that pushed the PC platform very hard. It suffered from ugly, pop up landscapes and low-polygon character models but redeemed itself with a highly satisfying simulation engine that really felt as if you were driving a tooled up muscle car along a desert highway. The damage modelling and flexible weapon load outs gave the combat considerable strategic depth, something sadly missing from the lacklustre sequels. The funk soundtrack was simply superb, and it still gets a regular outing on my playlists. Here is the funk-tastic opening credit sequence.