1. “BioShock”: My AP colleague Matt Slagle called it the game of the year, and I have no argument. Ken Levine’s undersea epic combines a thought-provoking story, compelling gameplay, dazzling visuals and a lush soundtrack to create one of gaming’s true masterpieces.

2. “Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction”: Everyone’s favorite lombax-robot team returns in this delightful space-faring romp. The animation is movie-quality; the action, whether you’re swinging between platforms or blowing up aliens, is consistently satisfying.

3. “Super Mario Galaxy”: Just about every planet Mario visits in his latest adventure provides a new kind of challenge, giving “SMG” more “how’d-they-think-of-that?” moments than a dozen of its competitors — combined.

4. “Mass Effect”: BioWare’s latest role-playing game lets you explore one of the most elaborate science-fiction universes ever created, in a fascinating galactic chase that requires you to make some real moral choices.

5. “Rock Band”: Add drums and a microphone to the “Guitar Hero” formula and you have the best multiplayer game of the year. Huge props to developer Harmonix for landing songs from an excellent cross-section of real-life rockers, from Metallica to The Clash.

6. “Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3”: I’m a sucker for old-school, turn-based role-playing games, and this was the year’s best, adding a disturbing story and — of all things — a dating simulator.

7. “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare”: The venerable combat series leaves World War II behind and moves into the 21st century — but still sets the standard for first-person shooters.

8. “Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords”: Mixing a puzzle game with a role-playing fantasy sounds like a terrible idea until it’s 4 a.m. and all you want to do is just fight one more ogre.

9. “Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure”: Don’t let the cute characters fool you: This throwback to the graphic adventures of the ’80s and ’90s offers some of the toughest brainteasers around.

10. “The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass”: Nintendo showed everyone else how to make a great DS game with another brilliant chapter in its “Zelda” cycle.