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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune & Okami

12. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Uncharted was undoubtedly 2007's nicest surprise. Having lost a fair few fans with Jak & Daxter's darker sequels, Naughty Dog made its PS3 debut with a title that initially looked like nothing more than a next-gen Tomb Raider clone. In fact, Uncharted was an ingenious hybrid. While it borrowed liberally from the lovely Lara's back catalogue, it also grabbed elements from Gears of War, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Ico, and mixed them all up for a breathtaking action/adventure.

Visually, in any year that hadn't given us Crysis, Uncharted would have been the brightest highlight: it's lush jungles, rippling water and stunning architecture made it one of the few titles to make you suspect that the PS3's true potential is only just beginning to emerge. The pacing was near perfect, and its set-pieces plain awesome. But what makes Uncharted so very special is Naughty Dog's cinematic prowess. Helped by some great motion-captured close-ups, the game brought us rugged heroes, feisty heroines and heartless villains, and matched them with a script worth speaking and a story worth telling. It is a little short and not the most innovative game this year, but Uncharted richly deserves to be enjoyed by the widest audience imaginable.
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11. Okami

The second PS2 game in our list, and the closest anyone outside Nintendo has ever got to emulating the Legend of Zelda experience. Okami took a distinctive, totally Japanese art style and made it the basis of a brush-wielding adventure through the nation's mythology. The pseudo hand-inked visuals showed that games didn't have to pursue the holy grail of photo-realism if you wanted to cause jaws to hit the floor, while the wonderful, playful sense of humour made you feel that this was a genuine labour of love. From smart-mouthed, lecherous bug Issan to the cowardly Samurai, Susano, Okami had the most amiable cast of characters around.

And beneath all this muscle sat a solid gameplay backbone, clearly based on the classic Zelda structure, but strengthened by a series of comic side-quests and the workings of your magic celestial brush - a mighty tool that could slay monsters, rebuild bridges and bring a poisoned land back to life.

Perhaps it lost a little momentum halfway through, and maybe some of the in-game hinting was over-enthusiastic, but this remains an epic to treasure. Okami wasn't just a brilliant game - it made your life feel that bit brighter for its very existence.

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