We here at Arbiter's Judgement are not an official gaming site, we're simply a blog that reports about what we care about. That includes movies, DVDs, and music, but mostly that means games 'cause gaming = yes.
Now because we're not an official gaming publication, we don't get free titles for review purposes from anybody. Thus, the only way we can review and properly comment on titles is buy either purchasing, borrowing, or renting them.
In creating a "Game of the Year" list, like this one on this site, the thing to keep in mind is that since we don't get freebie titles, we're basic consumers like you, and we tell things as we see them, as regular Joe-Shmoe customers see them. Thus, the best way to make a year end award list for anything is simply to see what we, as customers, liked enough to go spend our cash on and based on those titles, which we felt were the best.
Keeping all this in mind, I present to you the Arbiter's Judgement Xbox Game of the Year Awards for 2005. The top three titles from third to first are:
3) Star Wars: Republic Commando. This game is fun. Plan and simple, it is an intense, action packed FPS with simple squad-based elements to enhance the gameplay set during the Clone Wars from the prequel Star Wars trilogy. Instead of a Star Wars title based around the Jedi, Star Wars: Republic Commando follows a small group of Clone Commandos, Delta Squad, as they undertake various missions against the separates. Packed with great humour between the squad members, simple controllers, and challenging gameplay, Star Wars: Republic Commando takes third place.
2) Jade Empire. Master RPG developer BioWare is back, and this time they bring us a tale set in mythical China. While generally more simplistic than their previous RPGs, Jade Empire non-the-less has a very strong story, great characters/voice acting, and enough combat to shake a stick at. Packing in around 30 hours of gameplay, plus multiple character classes and different paths that each player can take, Jade Empire has a great amount of replay value, and it's certainly a game players will want to experience a few times.
1) Doom 3. id Software's horror masterpiece takes our Xbox Game of the Year. Originally a PC title, the Xbox version was streamlined for better pacing on the console, and still packs one of the top graphics engines in gaming today. Simply a beauty to behold, Doom 3 using its excellent lighting and sound mix to create a great sci-fi/horror atmosphere as the player battles to survive and invasion of horrific demons. With Doom 3, id Software achieves what it set out to do, recreate the classic title that started it all with great graphics and more up-to-date gameplay. While Doom 3's gameplay isn't as cutting edge as its graphics, its pacing is solid and combat situations varied and enjoyable enough that things never get boring. The Limited Collector's Edition also comes with full copies of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II, which provides an excellent trip down memory lane. As a complete package, Doom 3 delivers the best experience on the Xbox this year.