Seeing as everybody's making a straight list, I decided to put a bit of a spin on this.  From today until the 16th, each day I'll put up a game on my favorites list.  It might grow a bit tedious, and I don't blame you if you don't completely follow it, but it's my blog, so whateva!  I'll do what I want! (yay South Park)

12) Banjo-Kazooie (Nintendo 64, Xbox Live Arcade)

I've got so many fond memories of this game from when I was a kid, be it stealing Conga's oranges and giving it to the annoying little chimp on the log, to traversing an oily pollutant of a ship's insides.  While it isn't really a whole lot different from Super Mario 64, what sets it apart is the goofball antics of the characters.  Every person, event, area, and puzzle is reminiscent of something off of Looney Toons, and oftentimes left me gasping for air from laughing so hard.  In fact, many a time, I would get game over on purpose so that I could see the cutscene at the end. 

I got it off of XBLA a little less than a year ago, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it still holds up.  If you haven't tried it yet, then I encourage you to see Rare at one of its finest moments since Goldeneye and the original Perfect Dark.  If not, Tooty may never see her big lazy brother again!

11) Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (Game Boy Advance)

I've played Pokemon since the days of Red and Blue, and yet, for some reason, I can't find another Pokemon game as captivating as this one.  Nintendo got something to click on this version, from the newfound abilities (god, I hated Pressure) to the increase in steel and dark type Pokemon, and brand new kick[butt] moves such as Sheer Cold and, one of my personal favorites, Muddy Water.  I never explored in the other games very much, but for some reason, I couldn't help venturing off the beaten path every chance I got.  Finding the Regis was probably one of the coolest moments I've encountered in handheld gaming.

Another thing that sticks out here is the 2 vs 2 battles.  While Ruby and Sapphire didn't have close to as many as Emerald (yes, I'm that much of a geek that I got every version), each one introduced me to new tactics to experiment with, and I cackled with glee every time I got a malicious idea.  Protect + Earthquake, anybody?  Love it or hate it, you have to admit that it made you think more than the traditional one-on-one battles.

While many say that Gold, Silver, and Crystal are the heydays of this franchise, I would like to heartily disagree and say that this is the pinnacle of Pokemon for me.  300+ hours are logged into my Sapphire file.  Oh, plus Jirachi.  Top that last one, I dare you to.

10) Rock Band (2) (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Playstation 2)

While most people started their music gaming with Guitar Hero, I got a late start with the first Rock Band.  I'd never really wanted to play Guitar Hero because of how pitiful I did the first five or so times I tried Carry On Wayward Son at a friend's house.  A couple years later, I nervously picked up a plastic axe and played Should I Stay Or Should I Go on easy.  The rest is history.

I don't need to explain the gameplay mechanics, but I will say this: whoever thought of this idea is a flipping genius.  Addictive songs mixed in with innovative gameplay is a winner in my book, and is the main reason I still play it today.  While obviously there are songs that you won't like (especially when browsing the massive 1000+ store today), the majority are pretty dang good.  As a matter of fact, a lot of bands I listen to today were bands I never even would have approached before.  On a semi-related note, Judas Priest rules.

To be continued December 7th