Games are much more than just a whole lot of fun %26ndash; they also offer a vast wealth of gaming challenges. Just think of time-trialling in your favourite racing game, trying to shave seconds off your best lap time (we lost months of our youth doing just that on the Ghost Valley 1 course in the original Super Mario Kart). Or trying to survive 50 waves of Locust bad guys in Gears of War 2%26rsquo;s Horde mode%26hellip; Games always want us to do better, to improve our skills and beat the best of the rest.
Which is where the recently released Guinness World Records 2010 Gamer%26rsquo;s Edition comes in. This impressive book is stuffed with all manner of gaming records in every genre %26ndash; and beyond! %26ndash; and they%26rsquo;ve let us share the very best of them here with you... so read on %26ndash; and enjoy!
Shooters of all kinds are almost custom-made for world-record breaking, especially in terms of competitive play. Here are some fascinating factoids...
Halo is the best-selling first-person shooter series ever, with almost 25 million copies of Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST sold. Can Modern Warfare catch up?
Above: Ikaruga, which uses an inventive light/dark bullet mechanic
2) Best 2D shooter developer
Hardcore gamers still love 2D shooters, but the record holder for most critically acclaimed 2D shooter developer is Japanese outfit Treasure, which hold an average review score of 84% over eight titles, including Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun.
3) Most kills
Remember when Quake was all the rage? People still play it %26ndash; and professionally, too. The record for most kills in an hour of network play is held by Jonathan %26lsquo;Fatal1ty%26rsquo; Wendel, with a massive 671 kills in 60 minutes.
4) Biggest online
Think Halo 3 or Gears of War 2 is the most-played online shooter? Think again. It%26rsquo;s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which has been played by 3 million people since November 2007. 1.3 million people play it every day.
5) Clinical use!
Remember THQ%26rsquo;s Full Spectrum Warrior? It holds the record of being the first game to be used clinically, as it was adapted to treat US soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, allowing veterans to negotiate a %26lsquo;virtual Iraq%26rsquo; to help confront the damaging effects of their military engagements.
6) Clancy rules!
The most prolific tactical shooter series is %26ndash; wait for it %26ndash; the one bearing the name of writer Tom Clancy. The various Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and other titlescover 17 games and 20 expansion discs. Yoinks.
7) FIFA forever
People love football, right? And the FIFA series is a consistently good seller. But do you know which one sold the most? It%26rsquo;s actually FIFA 09, which shifted a whacking 1.2 million units in its first week of release in October 2008.
8) FIFA forever 2
FIFA has also sold over 65 million copies since its launch in 1993, making it the best-selling footy series ever. PES, which debuted in 2001, isn%26rsquo;t far behind though, with 48 million copies sold.
9) Fast painting
Guinness gaming records get really specific %26ndash; check this out for an example. French gamer Guillaume Bertrand holds the world record for completing Artist on the Court mode in Mario Power Tennis (where you paint a wall by hitting balls at it) with a time of just 14.1 seconds.
10) Longest running game
But what%26rsquo;s the longest-running sports game series? That honour goes to the Madden NFL games %26ndash; there have been 20 of them, and it began all the way back in 1988.
11) Basketball billions
There was a time when arcade games %26ndash; you know, games you%26rsquo;d play in an actual arcade %26ndash; were all the rage. The coin-op arcade game that generated the most revenue is, perhaps unbelievably, Midway%26rsquo;s 1993 NBA Jam, which in its first year raked in one billion dollars. Billion.
12) Shigging Hell!
Trust Nintendo%26rsquo;s Shigeru Miyamoto to be a world record holder. He%26rsquo;s responsible for the best-selling game of all time %26ndash; Wii Sports, which has sold 45.7 million copies.
13) Glorious golf
Reckon Tiger Woods has got the golfing game honours? Oooh, no. Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf started gaming life in 1998, but the longest-running golf series is actually Everybody%26rsquo;s Golf, which started in 1997.
UK Pokemon fan Lisa Courtney has collected 12,113 different items of Poke-stuff to set the - you%26rsquo;ve guessed it - Largest Collection of Pokemon Memorabilia record. She%26rsquo;s sourced items from Europe, the US and Japan, making several trips there and sending boxes of Poke-stuff back. Her favourite item is an Absol doll bought from eBay.