In the interest of keeping this list well-rounded, we've included multiplatform games. Also, in the interest of not letting this list get out of control, there are no downloadable games on the list. Besides one.
Platformers that aren't from Nintendo or indies are in short supply these days, which is why it was so nice to see Puppeteer come virtually out of nowhere. The player controls a boy named Kutaro, who has the misfortune of being turned into a puppet and uh, having his head cut off soon after. Kutaro spends the game finding new heads to use, and everything plays out as a wondrous puppet show, complete with curtains, stage and an audience. Though the platforming itself is solid, the real draw here is the art design, which is endlessly creative and a joy to look at for the duration of the game. It's also one of the only games for the system to make a real case for 3D, as the puppet show motif is perfectly suited for the limitations of those goofy movie theater sunglasses.
Nothing could have lived up to that infamous (and extremely fradulent) E3 trailer, but what ended up in the package of Killzone 2 was still worth celebrating. Remember, the original Killzone on PS2 was a soggy mess that was too ambitious for the hardware. But KZ2 had the benefit of being on arguably the most powerful system of the generation, which gave Guerilla Games the headroom for some stunning animation and impressive setpieces. Though the story itself wasn't super compelling, for the most part the campaign was a blast, and the multiplayer still holds a special place in the heart of many fans.
You would be correct in guessing that this is not a great game. Hell, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand might not technically be a good game. At heart, it's a bog-standard third-person Gears of War-style shooter with your typical firefights, upgrades and setpieces. But it's important to note that this game is all about 50 Cent on a vendetta to retrieve the jewel-encrusted skull that is rightfully his. And equally important is the "curse button," which lets you hurl insults at people by clicking in the right stick. This extends your combo meter, along with the pleasure of hearing 50 Cent tell a thug he's "gonna kill your whole fucking generation!" Part of the joy of this game, which is best played in co-op with a friend, is making your way through the game and unlocking new curse button dialogue. And isn't that what video games are all about?
Playstation fans don't really have a Zelda-like series to call their own (outside of maybe Darksiders), and they most certainly didn't have the benefit of a legacy of 8-bit action RPGs. From Software recognized the potential of filling that niche, and what we got was 3D Dot Game Heroes. The Dark Souls developer basically made another Legend of Zelda, albeit with 3D pixels commonly known as "voxels." While the animation was just as stiff as an NES games, the 3D look and neat depth of field tricks gave it a look all its own. And you know, it probably helped that it played like a Zelda game.
Some might call it "Civ for Babies," but Civilization Revolution is actually a pretty elegant solution for playing the series on a console. Everything is streamlined, from the movement to the building to character interaction. It doesn't feel dumbed down, rather carefully pruned to ensure the best parts of Civ games remained intact. Like any good entry in the franchise, it's easy to lose hours of sleep to that familiar mantra, "just one more turn." CivRev might not be as complex as its PC counterparts, but rest assured: Gandhi is still a dick.