Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead (PC, Xbox 360) - $59.99
With a few notable exceptions, the cooperative mode tends to be neglected in creating a gaming experience. It's often tacked on, misguided or ignored completely in favor of single-player campaigns or multiplayer deathmatches. Left 4 Dead, however, may have singlehandedly changed all that. While the single player mode is pretty standard Zombie-Apocalpyse-Shooter, joining with three of your friends to play online via Xbox Live turns Left 4 Dead into the most fun you can have on a console this year. Left 4 Dead's story device also feels fresh. Instead of one long story, there are several hour and a half-ish episodes, each ending in a dramatic escape. You and your survivor comrades must wander dark sewers, abandoned hospital halls, and a destroyed airport, fending off zombies the whole time. If you don't have Xbox Live, you could easily pass on Valve's latest, but it's a must buy for those with zombie-hating friends and internet connections.