To keep things casual, these are the Top 10 in no particular order.
Guitar Hero 5
Guitar Heroes past were all about the guitar until World Tour launched last year, allowing an entire band to play. This year, they added the ultimate party feature: a play mode that let you join in and drop out of a song at any time. Not only that, you were able to have multiple players with the same instrument playing. Rock on.
EA Sports Active Personal Trainer
Getting healthy is perennially on our post-holiday “to do” lists. If gyms aren’t your thing or you just don’t have the time to get to one, EA Sports has the answer for you. With activities like dancing, inline skating, tennis and volleyball, they just made your workout both fun and effective.
Wii Sports Resort
Wii Sports Resort is the follow-up to the most popular tech demo of this decade. Included with the game was the Wii Motion Plus sensor that provided greater accuracy and precision when playing the 12 games. Anyone could pick this up and play it, which is what made it such a great casual game.
Lego Rock Band
Rock Band is fun and Legos are fun. It makes absolute sense to put them together. By incorporating the beloved Legos into the popular Rock Band game, Lego Rock Band is a family friendly treat with some great songs to play.
Peggle Dual Shot
This wasn’t the first year we saw Peggle, but it was the first time we saw it on the Nintendo DS – and it was every bit as addictive as it was on the PC. The DS version contained the original Peggle and Peggle Nights, as well as hidden levels that unlocked when you hit enough purple pegs. Extreme Fever!
Plants vs. Zombies
What’s better than pirates battling ninjas? Plants battling zombies! PopCap always delivers great quality games, and they didn’t disappoint with this one. You frantically sow seeds of zombie-fighting plants to defend your territory. I never enjoyed gardening so much in my life.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
The professor and his apprentice, Luke, came back this year with more brain teasers and curious, puzzle-loving characters. The story keeps you so engrossed in the game that you seriously have a hard time putting it down. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep until I finished the game.
If you think you have rhythm, Rhythm Heaven is going to challenge you to prove it. The game has Japanese quirkiness written all over it, and the minigames are fun and sometimes challenging. Be careful, though, as some of those tunes may get stuck in your head for days.
Available as a free download from the DSiWare Shop, Flipnote Studio allows you to create animations, complete with sound, and share them with others. I particularly enjoyed watching others’ animations. There are some really talented people out there. Did I mention it’s free?
Treasure World, while probably not much of a retail success, was one of the most unique video games introduced this year. The object of the game was to collect as many Wi-Fi signals as possible, and exchange them for treasures from a stranded scientist that needed fuel for his spaceship. What made the game remarkable was that it got you out of your usual comfort zone, searching for Wi-Fi signals from your neighbors’ routers.