From blockbusters like Super Mario Galaxy to innovative titles like Rock Band, there was no shortage of great stuff to play in 2007. Here are our picks for the most notable games, characters, and creepy Ayn Rand references.
Most Controversial Game: Manhunt 2(Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable)—Between being banned in Europe and adding new levels of interactivity to removing a penis (with a set of pliers, via the motion-sensitive Wiimote), Manhunt 2 is controversy in disc form.
Most Endearing Inanimate Object: Portal's Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube(Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)—Though it only survives for a few minutes, the Cube attains the sort of symbolic relevance usually reserved for religious prophets and Jim Morrison.
Best Interspecies Sex Scene: Mass Effect(Xbox 360)—While the nightmarish sodomy of Silent Hill: Origins almost locked down this category, we have to give the nod to Mass Effect—if only because tender lovin' between a man and a blue alien (or a woman and a blue alien) is generally more romantic than being raped by knives.
Most Compelling Use of Ayn Rand's Objectivist Philosophy: BioShock(Xbox 360, PC)—BioShock's terrifying Art Deco corridors would have been frightening enough by themselves, but when you realize they're all merely the extrapolated reality of a society built on the ideas posited in Atlas Shrugged, not only do you gain a valuable piece of mental ammunition you can impress cute girls with, you also begin to think that Rand's book would have been WAY better if it had had flamethrowers.
Game of the Year: Portal(Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)—What Portal lacks in pyrotechnics or length, it makes up for in absolutely everything else. From the moment you begin your tests in the Aperture Science Lab to the end credits—which are soundtracked by internet-darling Jonathan Coulton's "Still Alive"—the story is as shocking, hilarious, and moving as any film or novel.