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Number 29


If any single action can compare to jumping as a means to have fun, then it is shooting. Mechanically, Vanquish is the very best third-person shooter in the entire universe.

Vanquish is made by Shinji Mikami, the same guy who brought us God Hand and RE1 and RE4. This guy is pretty much the pre-eminent action director in the business, and Vanquish is his first foray into straight-up third person shooter territory.

Vanquish is hard. Vanquish is fair. Vanquish is fast. Vanquish is chock full of weapons that all fill particular niches, enemies that can be fought in dozens of ways, melee attacks that change according to what weapon you're holding, and meaningful difficulty levels that give you exactly what you want out of them. Are you a total noob who doesn't know his way around a shooter? Very Easy is for you. Are you such a bad-ass that you fart in the general direction of Non-Stop Infinite Climax or Master Ninja mode? Then God Hard is going to kick you square between the legs until you remember what it's like to be challenged.

It's a brutally short campaign with stylistic, weird cutscenes, a serviceable parody and homage of a story, and characters who fulfill their role of being characters rather admirably. But none of that matters. THe game's fights are incredible, the boss fights are sublime, and there are no boring parts. Not one. Every single part of the game is novel, extremely well-made, and designed for sheer speedy insanity.

Vanquish, in terms of mechanics, is peerless. You cannot name a shooter that is more fun to play, deeper, or more satisfying. I will never stop playing it because there is no limit to how good one can be at it. In some ways it is Mikami's best work, and makes me eagerly anticipate his final game.