The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2006!

  • Twilight Princess is such a mixed bag. Some areas of the game are big and beautiful, such as Lake Hylia and Hyrule Castle. There are some excellent dungeons such as Snowpeak Ruins, Temple of Time, and Goron Mines. Some truly awesome boss fights (perhaps the best single aspect of the game). And the soundtrack has some serious hits on it such as Hyrule Field, Hyrule Market, Malo Mart, Falbi's House, Death Mountain, Hyrule Castle, and the boss battle themes.

    However, the look and structure of the game is kinda lousy. Brown/waxy and linear. Hyrule Field is chopped up into little chunks and doesn't have anything in it anyway. The story objectives are sectioned off into little pockets. Like, you generally can't just drop what you're doing and go somewhere else. A lot of the character faces are ugly, including Link's. None of the minor enemy designs are memorable. And City In The Sky is a godawful dungeon, with a haphazard/unfinished feel, blank beige colour palette, and the most irritating so-called 'tune' I've ever experienced in a video game.

  • The only experience with Twilight Princess I have is playing my cousin's copy on her Wii and I got to the first dungeon and I think I messed up somehow right before the dungeon's boss and got stuck. Afterwards, she took her Wii back to her place and I've never had an opportunity to replay it.

    I remember the Allies playing Twilight Princess at EZA's launch stream, but as far as a full playthrough, I don't think they have and I would be down to watch a full one from whichever Ally would do so, if ever.

  • 0_1643218617815_Gears of War.jpg

    #3: Gears of War - 22 points


    #1: 1 (Bigdude1)
    #2: 1 (Axel)
    #3: 2 (Phbz, brunojoey)
    #4: 3 (Shoulderguy, Brannox, kindiman)


    Release date: NA: November 7, EU: November 17, AU: November 23
    Developer: Epic Games
    Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
    Genre: Third-person shooter
    Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows


    GT Review

  • I wasn't really that into Gears. I didn't understand the appeal of cover, shoot, cover, shoot x1000000 as the core gameplay. It just seemed way too repetitive for me.

    I'd like to go back and play it however. I've seen enough from the non-Epic Games sequels to understand some of the small details that made the original great. I enjoy GTA IV over GTA V and have been saying that for a decade now and it's mainly in part to the small details of GTA IV and it's weighty gameplay which creates a dynamic experience every single time you play it.

    The same can be said about Gears of War. This game just has a lot of attention to small details that create a pretty high impact overall package. Small details that games choose to skip nowadays. Details like really gross, crunchy, crackly audio design. Blood FX that add layers of depth as it sprays on the screen, on the characters, onto objects. Gunplay that results in debris flying everywhere with chunks of concrete and glass shattering.

    It feels like... war I guess...

    Gears 5 lacks weight and intensity
    Youtube Video

    I think Gears lost that attention to detail. I think GTA lost it. I think Battlefield 2042 has lost a lot of that detail. So in hindsight, I get why Gears stood out despite having a pretty rinse and repeat gameplay formula.

  • Gears of war is goat. Best third person cover based shooter series to date. The campaign has so many great scenarios and story beats. The multiplayer occupied my time for years. Instant classic when it came out and it still holds up today.

  • Gears of War was a fantastic showpiece for the Xbox 360 and thoroughly deserves its place comfortably nestled inside the top 3. Carving locust innards like a Christmas turkey is one of the greatest feelings in videogames and the visceral nature of the story and the pacing of the campaign was magnificent. Gears of War pretty much the measuring stick of third-person shooters going forward.

  • Gears making the top 3 is fantastic. This is, by far, my favorite Xbox franchise bar none. When I was gifted a 360 for my 17th birthday, I went to my local GameStop and they were having a buy 2 get 1 free sale. I had grabbed SoulCalibur IV (because Yoda) and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (more my dad's thing than me), but when browsing the shelves, I saw this and remembered, "Hey, it's that game with the chainsaw on the weapon. Looks cool."

    And I had no idea what I was getting into.

    To say it grabbed me is an understatement. I fell in love with the premise and world, the hopelessness of overcoming monstrosities that feel like they've already won, and the very first thing that happens is your character is getting busted out of a practically destroyed and completely abandoned prison. I was captivated from the start and compelled until the very end.

    I grew to hate Berserkers, Kryll, and General RAAM. While they're sparse throughout the campaign, each time they were a problem was harrowing. The gameplay to this day is still incredible. Staying in cover, flanking while grubs are focused on teammates, then sneak behind to obliterate them with a Gnasher shot or even better, chainsawing them into bloody, gorey bits with appropriate blood-splatter never. EVER. Gets. Old.

    My favorite Acts are 3 and 1, as Act 3 has the least amount of combat, but it's all about VIBES as you traverse through a run down factory to get underground, culminating in both a MASSIVE boss fight and clearing out a pump station. Act 1 is a great introduction and I really enjoyed the urban locales. Act 2's reliance on Kryll is tense but can be frustrating. Act 4 going through the academy eventually winding up at the house is probably my least favorite, from defending the front of the house, the countdown timer at the end, and the layout of the house in general. And because I played the 360 version, I found out MUCH later there was an Act in between Act 4 and what I got as Act 5. So it took until the Ultimate Edition for me to fight the Brumak, something PC players had done in the original launch. To this day I still don't know why they ripped out this Act for 360. And as far as the train, well, it's neat, but there's some things about the Act I find annoying like being locked in a car with waves of wretches, fighting the Reavers, and of course RAAM.

    I really don't like how the Multiplayer didn't have a bot option (and wasn't introduced in Ultimate Edition either), but of the little I played, there were some maps I liked and others I didn't. But Ultimate Edition is THE version to play, so while I'll never go back to the original, I'll still own the physical copy as it's a cherished possession and spawned a collection of seven games, eight books, and a few shirts/hats. And yes. I admit it. I own a pair of COG tags.

    As always, shoutouts to @JDINCINERATOR, @Shoulderguy, @kindiman, @Phbz, @brunojoey, @Axel, and @Bigdude1!!!

  • Gears almost made my list. The campaign was really great. I liked it a lot when it was new though its sequels would outdo it, I think that's why it didn't make my list because looking from a 2022 perspective it is the weakest in the trilogy in my opinion.

  • 0_1643305646837_Bully.jpg

    #2: Bully - 23 points


    #1: 3 (JDINCINERATOR, NeoCweeny, Scotty)
    #2: 0
    #3: 2 (Shoulderguy, DIPSET)
    #4: 0
    HM: 2 (Sentinel Beach, kindiman)


    Release date: NA: October 17, EU: October 25, AU: October 27
    Developer: Rockstar Vancouver
    Publisher: Rockstar Games
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360, PC, Android, iOS


    GT Review

  • 0_1643305725557_The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion.jpg

    #1: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - 42 points


    #1: 7 (Shoulderguy, ffff0, Oscillator, DIPSET, Capnbobamous, Axel, Nimbat1003)
    #2: 1 (Crepe)
    #3: 0
    #4: 1 (Bigdude1)
    HM: 1 (Phbz)


    Release date: NA: March 20, AU: March 23, EU: March 24
    Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
    Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
    Genre: Action role-playing
    Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3


    GT Review

  • Gears of War was my first ever Xbox 360 game. It blew my mind how great it looked at the time and how fun it was to play. Even after this many years, charging at enemies with a chainsaw is still enjoyable.

    Rockstar was killing it in the 2000s and Bully was another banger from them. It was such a great a game and I'm hopeful that we can get a sequel to Bully some day.

    Oblivion is one of the greats. Full stop.

    My 2006 GOTY list:

    1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    2. Medieval II: Total War
    3. Bully
    4. Gears of War
    5. New Super Mario Bros.
    6. Age of Empires: The Age of Kings
    7. Fight Night Round 3
    8. Wii Sports
    9. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
    10. Saints Row
    11. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    12. Dark Messiah of Might & Magic
    13. Resistance: Fall of Man
    14. Kingdom Hearts II
    15. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
    16. LocoRoco
    17. The Godfather
    18. The History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided
    19. Metroid Prime Hunters
    20. Yoshi's Island DS
    21. Pokémon Ranger
    22. 25 To Life

    I'll post the recap in a few days, which will include all the games that received votes but missed the top 20.

    1. Twilight Princess
    2. Final Fantasy XII
    3. Mother 3
    4. New Super Mario Bros

  • My personal list.

    Xenosaga: Episode III
    Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
    Forbidden Siren 2
    Rule of Rose

    Kingdom Hearts 2
    Final Fantasy XII
    Grandia III
    Suikoden V

    My list. Thanks for the time and effort in the countdown once again OP. I'm still awaiting a year where the number one isn't quite so predictable though ^,^

  • Bully's a neat game, played and platinumed it a few years back. The day cycle works as intended, the school has lots of buildings and places, and the nearby town gives some fresh air to it all. A sequel or a remaster would be welcome, but it still works fine as it is.

    Never played Oblivion, as Skyrim was my first TES game. And I never finished even that.

  • My own GOTY list for 2006 was like this:

    #1: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
    #2: The Godfather
    #3: Hitman: Blood Money
    #4: Okami
    HM: 24: The Game
    HM: Bully
    HM: Final Fantasy XII
    HM: Splinter Cell: Double Agent / PS2 version

    Jack Bauer and Sam Fisher didn't manage to get enough love to make the cut here, but other than those I was pleasantly surprised that my Top 2 made it in.

  • Here is my 2006 GOTY list:

    1. Bully
    2. Rainbow Six: Vegas
    3. Okami
    4. GTA: Vice City Stories
      HM: Scarface: The World Is Yours
      HM: TOCA Race Driver 3
      HM: Gears of War
      HM: Daxter

  • Do you guys think Bully holds up? A 42yo dude playing for the first time nowadays is going to enjoy it?

    Oblivion, honestly my HM was more out of respect because I personally don't like it. It's probably the game I've started more times and quit. Both Morrowind and Skyrim surpass it on their own ways imo, but people obviously love it.

  • My list -

    #1 - TES IV: Oblivion
    #2 - Hitman: Blood Money
    #3 - ​Bully​
    #4 - Dead Rising

    ​Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas​
    ​Tony Hawk's Project 8​
    ​​LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy​​
    ​The Godfather: The Game​


    Honestly, TES IV: Oblivion is one of the greats. Just isn't much more than I can say that. It's still the best in the series and one of my all time favourite gaming memories if not the best memory. My friends and I had a character called "Amico" who was a Khajit stealth assassin. I'd do the stealth stuff, my other friend would do combat, and my other friend liked reading quest logs and stuff out loud for us. We ran that profile from 2006-2008.

    I really look forward to Skyblivion when it releases. The lead developer said he's focused on creating the biomes in the same way Bethesda intended but weren't able to execute on. That's maybe my one main complaint in Oblivion—the world is huge but the weather and climate isn't too different so Skyblivion should be a welcome improvement.


    Fight Night Round 3 was my hard cut. I loved the game for the time, but it doesn't hold up as well as FNR4 or Champion. I do think it needs to be shouted out. EA Canada made Knockout Kings and Fight Night 2004 and Fight Night Round 2.

    Then EA Chicago made Round 3 and completely reinvented the wheel and massively stepped up the graphical fidelity for a new generation. I actually think this game single handedly set the bar for EA / AAA games of that generation. Then for FNR4, EA Canada returned and got to kinda reap the rewards and improve on the design Chicago started but idk if EA Chicago gets enough credit for this game.

  • Oblivion is still my favorite Elder Scrolls game, probably because it was my first and, I think, my entry to the open-world genre. I finished it 3 times on PC and then one more time on PS3 just because I’ve bought PS3 and wanted to play something on it. Looking at it back now, it’s a very outdated game with numerous cut corners, but 15 years ago I knew no better and loved everything in it.

  • @phbz said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2006!:

    Do you guys think Bully holds up? A 42yo dude playing for the first time nowadays is going to enjoy it?

    Yes. I got a nice wave of nostalgia listening to Jones discuss it on this episode of Frame Trap which I think will give you a really good idea of what Bully truly is:
    Youtube Video – [53:04..]

    I'd describe it as a video game John Hughes movie without the wholesome characters like Uncle Buck. But it has that lighthearted cozy world.