#5 Portal 2 (PS3, 360, PC, Mac)

Publisher/Developer: Valve

Portal 2 trades the surprise of the first title for anticipation the second time around, but it manages to live up to the hype. While the plot may not be quite as a shocking, it is still funny as hell, with fantastic voice work driving things from start to finish. Portal 2 falters a little in the variety and quality of its single-player puzzles but adds a few new elements to keep things interesting. The real selling point for Portal 2, though, is its new co-op mode. Valve gives us the opportunity to prove that two minds are better than one in a series of much more complex puzzles that involve four portals, rather than two, and seek to drive apart our friendships in the process.



The Grindhouse Award
Shadows of the Damned (360, PS3)

Publisher: Electronic Arts — Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Much like most Grasshopper Manufacture games, Shadows of the Damned has its fair share of flaws, but most of them are negligible in the big picture, which is the colorful story and over-the-top style and gameplay. A third-person shooter with a helping of survival horror on the side, it’s Grasshopper’s penchant for quirky, interesting characters and large doses of humor that really make this game such a joy to play. Starring a demon hunter who travels to the underworld to win his girlfriend back from the ruler down below, it’s a trip to hell like no other — heavy on guns, style, and dick and fart jokes — but that’s a big part of its charm. It’s the immature game that never forgets to be fun.