Winner: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
D3 | 360, PC, PS2, DS, PSP, Wii
On its surface, Puzzle Quest is a simple, almost quaint attempt to merge a generic role-playing game with a generic puzzle game. The problem is, it effing worked. And by "worked", we mean, "took over our lives to the point that we stayed up all night, called in sick, and went without pants because who can really spare the 30 seconds it would take to put them on when only you can beat the griffon and obtain the Eye of Sartek?"
Two things make Puzzle Quest almost impossible to put down: First, the "you took my gems" back and forth makes you instantly hate your opponent, whether it's a rat, a mechanical centaur or a fire-breathing spider. Secondly, a round in Puzzle Quest takes about three minutes, and who doesn't have three more minutes to try and punch that other jerkhole in the jewel-swiping face?
Or maybe it's just that this is a great game. All we know is that we've played it for more than 150 hours on four different systems and there's no end in sight. "Just one more time?" Who are we kidding?
Honorable mention: PAIN
SCE | PS3
Smashing a guy into buildings, panes of glass and moving vehicles is something you'll want to do over and over again by itself, but when you factor in just how much stuff there is to find and ruin in PAIN's single city block, you won't even have to find excuses for not putting the game down.