Ready. Aim. Fire!

First-person shooters consistently called the shots among video games in 2007. The excellent "Halo 3" for the Xbox 360 largely lived up to its massive prerelease hype, while "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" (for the Wii), "The Orange Box" (360 and PlayStation 3) and "Call of Duty 4" (for all three plus Nintendo DS) also deserved praise.

But none made waves like "BioShock," the best video game of the year. Another exclusive title for the Xbox 360, "BioShock" placed players deep underwater in a rundown retro utopia whose walls are bursting at the seams. Besides using traditional weapons, players can fight the submerged city's demented denizens with supernatural attacks in which things such as electricity and even bees fly out of your fingers. At the same time, creepy little girls haunt the flooded corridors accompanied by lumbering protectors called Big Daddies, while clever clues lead you to a final showdown with a crazed mastermind.

"BioShock" boasts a brilliantly executed concept, a thoroughly engaging story and highly intuitive controls. It is an essential game for any Xbox 360 owner and worth buying that system just to experience it.

Other award-worthy games:

Best Wii-only game:

  • "Super Mario Galaxy," which seemed to find new, exciting ways to play with every level.

Second-best Xbox 360-only game:

  • "Mass Effect," which rivaled "BioShock" in its ability to spin a story.

Best PlayStation 3-only game:

  • "Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction," which delivered a one-two punch with its equally compelling PSP counterpart, "Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters."

Best DS-only game:

  • "The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass," which took Nintendo's venerable adventure series to new places.

Best PSP-only game:

  • "Jeanne D'Arc," which gave Sony's portable system a role-playing game with an interesting historical angle.

Best PlayStation 2-only game:

  • "God of War II," which proved in a big way -- as in the Colossus of Rhodes coming to life -- that the PS3's predecessor isn't dead.

Best cross-platform game:

  • "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" (for the 360, PS3, PC and DS), a visceral foray into military battle for single- and multiplayer gaming.

Best deal:

  • "The Orange Box" (for the 360, PS3 and PC), which contained the totally mesmerizing "Half-Life 2" and four expansive follow-ups for the price of one regular game.