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Elite Beat Agents & Ratchet and Clank

8. Elite Beat Agents

Though portable titles can sometimes be neglected as the big console titles roll into view, Elite Beat Agents was one game that just couldn't be ignored. Arriving in the summer, when the weather was warm and the year's big games had yet to arrive; it filled a bite sized space of time with unbridled fun and pandemonium. Proving that you don't need a fake guitar or a dance mat to create a great rhythm-action game, it used the DS touch screen and stylus combination to great effect.

Not only was the gameplay superb, it also had an oddball premise that couldn't fail to endear. Taking charge of the Elite Beat Agents, you had to aid people in their various travails through the medium of music and dance - with the game ending in an almightily battle against invading aliens. In the EBA world, pop really can save the planet! This felt like the perfect summer game, but even now that it's winter it's as friendly and heart-warming as a decent pub with a big log fire. If you own a DS and you like good games, there's no excuse not to have it.


7. Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

For months we waited for an exclusive game worthy of the Playstation 3, only to see every contender, from Resistance through to Heavenly Sword, fall some distance short of the mark. Then along came Insomniac's next-generation platformer, and we had exactly what we were looking for. While gameplay-wise Tools of Destruction wasn't a huge step forwards from the duo's previous finest hour, Ratchet and Clank 2: Locked and Loaded, the graphics were something else. This was the platform game as re-imagined by Pixar, with dazzling characters and locations rendered with an almost tangible sense of detail, and gorgeous warm lighting that gave the whole thing a glossy, cinematic feel. This was the God of War of 3D platform games, with a first level so packed with spectacle that it put most other games this year to shame. Amazingly, the best was yet to come.

And, let's face it, innovation can be over-rated. Tools of Destruction had its share of ingenious new ideas - particularly when it came to the series signature weird weaponry - but what it did best was streamline and polish its gameplay so that barely a second felt wasted. Were it not for a certain moustachioed plumber, we'd have dubbed this the finest platform game of the last five years. Even now, it's a very close second.

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