Winner: Contra 4
Konami | DS
Remember the good ol' days when games didn't hold your hand every step of the way? When you absolutely would not win unless you honed your skills to razor-sharp precision? Well, that's exactly what Contra 4 delivers - impossibly tough shooting action, relentless boss battles, smooth animation and the rockingest guitar riffs this side of KMFDM. It's an unbreakable homage to the way games used to be - inaccessible, unfriendly and intended for the best of the best.
Konami didn't just deliver a kickass new Contra game (which is a feat in itself) - they also made good use of both DS screens and added a ton of bonus content that'll pop the beanies right off any NES gamers' head. Want to play Super C on the go? Just unlock it by completing a series of ultra-bastard-tough challenge missions. All in all, a freaking amazing game for those who feel like they might barf if there's a Brain Age 3.
Honorable Mention: Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
Konami | PSP
Hats off to Konami for not only delivering an outstanding Contra title, but also a tough-as-balls new Castlevania as well. Side-scrolling action with the adventurous Symphony of the Night as bonus content? Hell yes we're playing this.