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14. ICO (22)

This is a truly unique and beautiful game and I was so happy to see it get a high definition 3D remake.  Perhaps one of the best things about ICO is how much story it can tell with so little.  The team for this game did an excellent job of telling story without resorting to a mess of dialogue.  The solitary flaw for this game is the fact that the combat seems nothing more than an annoyance.  The idea of having to save another person from being captured is solid but the lack of variety in weapons (not as bad) and enemies (worse) led to most of the excitement being taken a short while into the game.  On the other hand the game's final combat felt like a wonderfully crafted battle that I would love more of.  The platform puzzling in this game is what ultimately shines through.  Unlike many platformers, the next move is usually less than obvious and requires a little thinking to puzzle out where you're going.  Somehow the developers made the destination always seem so far away, even though the entire game world is decently small.  A lot of this could come from the fact that the game flows freely between areas without any sort of modular level scheme.  The castle is beautifully crafted and I wished I could have wandered away from the game and explored the whole building.  This game exceeded all of my expectations, even knowing what other people had thought of it.

Primarily an RPG player but have interest in any game that will make me think.