Cheat on your console

For sheer junk food pleasure, few games this generation quite match Crackdown, which took the sandbox spirit of Grand Theft Auto III and added mounds more mayhem. Why it’s worth straying for: From throwing trucks at your foes, to leaping from skyscraper to skyscraper, Crackdown delivers murderous superhero-style fun in spades.

Dead Rising

With up to 800 zombies on screen at once, it’s the definitive depiction of a zombie apocalypse in gaming. Until Dead Rising 2, that is. Why it’s worth straying for: Run over 45 zombies with a lawn mower. Snip 15 zombie limbs off with garden shears. Drink a meatball smoothie. Kick a football into a zombie’s face. All in five minutes of play.

Viva Pinata

No blood, no boobs, no bullets; just a bunch of rutting rainbow-coloured papier-mache creatures. Viva Pinata’s cute factor belies deep strategy and resource management. Why it’s worth straying for: There isn’t much family-friendly fare in the same vein as The Sims or Animal Crossing on the PS3 or 360, but Viva Pinata fills the gap nicely.

Blue Dragon

The work of father of Final Fantasy Hironobu Sakaguchi and Dragon Ball Z artist Akira Toriyama, Blue Dragon is one of the few JRPGs that remain exclusive to the 360. Why it’s worth straying for: Next to Fallout and Fable, Blue Dragon is a proper old-school RPG, updated with next-gen bells and whistles, making it something of a curio.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Developers Rare took the brave decision to transform their flagship platformer series into a quirky vehicle construction workshop and racer. Weirdly, it worked. Why it’s worth straying for: Sure, the game helps you with what vehicles to create, but the most fun is found when you let the mad mechanic inside you run wild.