Far Cry 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Ubisoft Montreal
Far Cry 2 is perhaps the most authentic gaming experience I've had in years. At every point during this game I fully believed I was a dude looking for the Jackal in whichever way I thought was best. There were certainly some frustrations--for example, getting run over by some random dude in a Jeep after spending fifteen minutes driving to a destination--but the rest of the game transcends those frustrations.
Derek Springer
This is a game filled with annoyingly oft-filled checkpoints, but the core gameplay embodies the concept of emergent game design by encouraging players to deal with shit however they see fit. Great atmosphere, heft to all of the weapons--it's just a remarkably well-designed game.
Score: Eighteen llamas out of four euchidnas.
Trent Polack
Having owned and played every major iteration of a FarCry game that exists (namely the original Far Cry PC game, the two Xbox games Instinct and Evolution, and now Far Cry 2), I feel confident in recommending Far Cry 2 for FPS Game Of The Year. Far Cry 2's gameplay could have gone in so many different ways, and instead the team chose to ignore the original games, still managing to keep the feeling of the original inspiration but in a new setting, with gameplay that makes playing other FPSs feel less fulfilling.

Far Cry 2 has already ruined the old Far Cry games for me.
Matthew Phillips

Grand Theft Auto IV (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Rockstar North
'Cause the PC version is made for the future and stuff!
Matthew F. Foley

The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (Wii)
Wow Entertainment / Sega
Yeah. Straight up, The House of the Dead is some of the most fun I've had on a console this year. The year has been so full of giant, epic releases with twisting narratives. Much as I love all those, and I do, you can't play those all the time.

Realistically, as a full time student who also works, when I want to sit down for a gaming session, I rarely want it to be a seven-hour Fallout 3 marathon. I do those every month or so, and I enjoy it, but usually if I have more that forty-five minutes to myself it's a goddamned miracle. Grabbing a friend, a couple of beers, two zappers, and blasting away a few ghoulies is quite often exactly what I need to do at the end of the day.

I could have easily named any one of the countless big budget story-driven games I've loved this year, but y'know what? Sometimes you just need to fuck up some zombies and suffer like G did.
Pete "miffy495" Worthington

Imagine Party Babyz (Wii)
Virtual Toys / Lexis Numerique / Ubisoft
It was my step-mother and second cousin Regina that told me about Imagine Party Babyz for the Wii. I was hooked!

First impressions: You know the game is good when the name ends with a Z. This game is no exception.
Graphics: Pushes the Wii hardware to the limits. The graphics are like Final Fantasy VIII but upscaled to 480p!
Box quote: "Crisp engine oozing with charm and personality. " - IGN.
Tilt: 10/10 - Best Wii party game of the year with NO DOUBT.
Overall: 9.5/10

This has been my review and nomination for Imagine Party Babyz, Game of the Year.
Sergey Kutserubov

JellyCar (iPhone)
It's fun, it's tricky, it's addictive, it's fucking free.

Initially, I was turned off by this game, as it definitely felt like a freebie. The icons for the levels were tiny, in no particular order, and you had no idea what you were getting into when you tapped one. It could be the intro, it could be the hardest level in the game. Who the fuck knows?

Then, a couple of weeks ago, they patched it. Suddenly I'm barely touching Galcon, which is also great. Now, the icons are bigger and better yet, the levels are separated into three difficulties. I suddenly know why I thought I sucked at that game, I only ever tapped the hardest icons. Now there's a sense of progression, and I know that I'm at least good enough to finish all of the medium difficulty stuff. I'm always shooting for best times.

It's a game on the iPhone that actually nails the goddamned controls. It's brilliant. And, at the risk of repeating myself, it's free.
Pete "miffy495" Worthington

Left 4 Dead (PC, Xbox 360)
Valve / Valve South
Shooting a ton of zombies with three other friends (or random internet strangers, if you are brave) is obviously going to be fun, but then letting four other people play as zombies? Finally, a game where it is my sole purpose to annoy the shit out of the other team! When you're a zombie you don't have to be powerful or do a ton of damage, but it's always annoying when a zombie snags you. And I take solace in the fact that I'm annoying people over the internet.
Mike "Michael O'Cyberdemon" Watson
This is one of the best times I've ever had playing games. Point in case: during the final stand on Death Toll while playing with two friends and one random douche that joined, the douche kept messing things up while being worthless and an asshole, so when the Tank cornered him and knocked him down we all simultaneously decided to throw our molotovs on the two of them. The douche flipped out and quit, but wouldn't you know, we ended up winning. My friends and I still talk about that "one time."
Derek "One of the Benchguys" Springer