It’s hard to sum up the year in video games with one adjective. In some ways it was admirable, with megapublisher Electronic Arts betting on new franchises instead of just peddling more of the same. “Tumultuous” is also a fair description, as the economic meltdown left a chink in the industry’s “recession-proof” armor. But mostly, it was good, leaving quite a few “almost masterpieces” on our shelves as the holiday season winds down. Which game rose above these exceptional titles? Read on to, and you’ll find out.