6. Dead Space (PS3, Xbox 360)
The game itself may not have lived up to the pre-release hype, but if Kanye West's new album has taught us anything, it's that something can be stylish without necessarily being great. The straight up gore elements look excellent, but all of the huge piles of human remains and evil babies floating in tanks of green goo make for a great setting. They're like pieces of flair on the wall of a slightly less-pleasant TGI Friday's.
7. Resistance 2 (PS3)
With enormous bosses that can take up most of the screen and scads of ugly bad guys, most of whom usually decide to attack you at the exact same time, one of the most impressive things about Resistance 2 is its ability to maintain a buttery-smooth frame rate. Combine that with an environment that's so detailed that the images of destroyed US cities are actually a little depressing, and it more than makes up for a few low-res textures and clipping problems sprinkled throughout.
8. Mirror's Edge (PS3, Xbox 360)
Since it didn't have much in the way of story, it's probably a good thing that Mirror's Edge looked so good. Plus, you get to see the environment in a pretty unique way. We're not really used to the first-person view without some kind of enormous, plasma-powered gun jutting out into the screen. We could've done without the pounding techno soundtrack, though.
9. Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
When the original Gears arrived on-scene, it was one of the most beautiful things to happen to the 360 and the sequel is the same way. Most of the boards, especially the one with a very...organic feel (I won't be more specific than that to avoid a serious spoiler) look nothing short of fantastic. What keeps it down this far on the list, though, is the fact that most of the levels feel too familiar. Thanks, but we've already seen enough gray rubble here in '08.
10. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (Xbox Live Arcade)
Those simplistic neon shapes may not be very complex, but we have found that this game can be a great and unique way to show off just how fancy your TV is. The dark black background sets off the super-bright enemies like some kind of turbo-charged Windows Media visualizer. Get enough of them on-screen and the picture will be so mesmerizing that the people watching probably won't even notice how bad you are at the game itself. But again....the techno. Ugh.
11. GTA 4 (Xbox 360, PS3)
We're not afraid to admit that the first thing we did upon throwing GTA 4 into the console-after taking out a few pedestrians, of course-was walk around the city, gawking at the scope of the fake New York Rockstar crafted for their blockbuster. It wasn't without its graphical hang-ups, but all of those custom radio stations could more than make up for a few jaggies.
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