Like the most recent batch of summer movies, too many video games suffer from an acute case of sequel-itis. Though many of the finest titles of 2006 successfully relive past glories, nearly as many are completely new efforts that show the gaming medium can offer far more than just violence, explosions, and chaos (though fragging alien monsters with grenades will never stop being fun).
Gears of War (Xbox 360)
Crammed with over-the-top weapons, relentless action, engaging online playability, and gorgeous high-def graphics, this meat-and-potatoes third-person shooter represents a new high-water mark for the Xbox 360 and is the envy of PS3 and Wii owners, who longingly see GoW (screen shot above) and wonder how soon, if ever, they'll see a game on par with this spectacle.
Ten titles that earned our high scores, from the latest editions of old favorites to innovative newcomers