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Winner: Gears of War
Microsoft | Xbox 360
Who knew slaughter could be an art form? In Gears of War, it is. Forget the sheer volume of blood and guts on display... though we're pretty sure this tops every other game made by, oh, a few hundred gallons or so. No, Gears will be remembered - and played - for years to come because of the creativity and gusto with which it delivers all that gorgeous gore to our eager eyeballs.
The camera spins triumphantly around your victorious soldier as he casually crushes an opponent's head into the dirt. Hunks of flesh soar through the air after being burnt to an unidentifiable crisp by satellite-controlled laser beams. Gooey red drops splatter on, then drip down, the screen as an effin' chainsaw carves someone in two. What could be more satisfyingly visceral than that? Try sticking said saw to the muzzle end of a machine gun. There you go.
After years of gaming, we thought we'd become desensitized to violence. Thank you, Gears of War, for proving us so painfully wrong.
Honorable mention: Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Atlus | Wii
The gore here leads more to tension than satisfaction, but there's no denying that when this excellent, off-kilter surgical thriller starts spraying blood and giblets, it has a huge effect on you. The game wouldn't be the same without that ever-present tension.