GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2005 awards kick off

Nominees for the top--and bottom--games of the year announced, winners to be revealed from December 20-25.

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Did you spend 2005 on a remote Peace Corps assignment, totally cut off from all gaming news and reviews? No problem. Now you can catch up, as GameSpot has announced its nominees for the Best and Worst of 2005 awards. Categories range from Special Achievement Awards like Best Original Music and Most Outrageous Game to Dubious Honors such as Worst Trend and Most Long-Winded Game Title. The best games in each genre and on each platform will also be honored, as will the overall best game of the year.

Starting at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on December 20, GameSpot will begin bestowing honors on 2005's most famous (and infamous) games, beginning with the Special Achievement Awards. Each day, the winners of a new category will be announced, culminating in the Christmas Day crowning of GameSpot's 2005 Game of the Year. Past Games of the Year include World of Warcraft (2004) and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003).

A complete schedule of events is as follows:

--Tuesday, December 20, 5 p.m. PST: Special Achievement Awards
--Wednesday, December 21, 5 p.m. PST: Dubious Honors
--Thursday, December 22, 5 p.m. PST: Genre Awards
--Friday, December 23, 5 p.m. PST: Platform Awards and Game of the Year finalists revealed
--Saturday, December 24, 5 p.m. PST: Game of the Year winner
--Sunday, December 25, 5 p.m. PST: Readers' Choice voting opens
--Monday, January 23, 5 p.m. PST: Readers' Choice winners revealed

I. SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Best Original Music
God of War (PlayStation 2)
Indigo Prophecy (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Perfect Dark Zero (Xbox 360)
Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2)

Most Surprisingly Good Game
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox)
Mercenaries (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Racing Gears Advance (Game Boy Advance)
Star Wars Republic Commando (PC, Xbox)

Best Licensed Music
Amped 3 (Xbox 360)
FIFA Soccer (PSP)
Guitar Hero (PlayStation 2)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360)
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (PC, Xbox)

Best Story
Amped 3 (Xbox 360)
Cold Winter (PlayStation 2)
Indigo Prophecy (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Killer7 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)
Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

Best Sound Effects
Call of Duty 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox 360)
Resident Evil 4 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360)

Best Graphics, Technical
Battlefield 2 (PC)
F.E.A.R. (PC)
Guild Wars (PC)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360)
Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

Best Voice Acting
God of War (PlayStation 2)
Gun (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube)
Indigo Prophecy (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube)
Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

Best Graphics, Artistic
Guild Wars (PC)
Oddworld Stranger's Wrath (Xbox)
Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)
Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2)

Best Use of a Creative License
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox)
Lego Star Wars (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
Star Wars Republic Commando (PC, Xbox)
The Warriors (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)

Best Artificial Intelligence
Call of Duty 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
F.E.A.R. (PC)
Forza Motorsport (Xbox)
NBA 2K6 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
SWAT 4 (PC)

Most Outrageous Game
Amped 3 (Xbox 360)
Killer7 (GameCube)
The Matrix: Path of Neo (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Need for Speed Most Wanted (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Xbox)
Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

Best Budget Game
Dai Senryaku VII (Xbox)
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (Xbox 360)
NHL 2K6 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Phantom Dust (Xbox)

Best New Character
Buck Wad, Amped 3 (Xbox 360)
Harman Smith, Killer7 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)
Kratos, God of War (PlayStation 2)
Raz, Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Stubbs, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (Xbox)

Funniest Game
Amped 3 (Xbox 360)
Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)
Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Raze's Hell (Xbox)
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (PC, Xbox)

Best Use of Sweat
FIFA 06 (Xbox 360)
Fight Night Round 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
NBA 2K6 (Xbox 360)
NBA Live 06 (Xbox 360)

Biggest News
360s unleashed at Zero Hour
PlayStation 3 revealed, confirmed for 2006
TGS 2005: Miyamoto unveils Nintendo's Revolution controller
Spot On: The US PSP Launch
San Andreas rated AO, Take-Two suspends production

Best Multiplayer Game
Battlefield 2 (PC)
Guild Wars (PC)
Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS)
Perfect Dark Zero (Xbox 360)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360)

Best Use of Upset, Disheveled Men
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox)
Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox 360)
Resident Evil 4 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)

Most Innovative Game
Guild Wars (PC)
Indigo Prophecy (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Killer7 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)
Trace Memory (Nintendo DS)
Trauma Center: Under the Knife (Nintendo DS)

Best Original Game Mechanic
Guitar Hero (PlayStation 2)-- "playing" guitar
Indigo Prophecy (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox) -- rhythm-based puzzles
Lumines (PSP) -- timeline
NBA 2K6 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360) -- shot stick
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (PC, Xbox) -- eating brains

Most Metal
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (PlayStation 2)
God of War (PlayStation 2)
Guitar Hero (PlayStation 2)
Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes (Xbox)

Most Improved Sequel
Blitz: The League (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Devil May Cry 3 (PlayStation 2)
Dragon Quest VIII (PlayStation 2)
Need for Speed Most Wanted (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360)
Resident Evil 4 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)

Best New Hardware
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core CPU
ATI Radeon X1800 XT GPU
Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX GPU
Microsoft Xbox 360
Sony PSP

II. DUBIOUS HONORS

Most Despicable Product Placement
Burnout Legends (PSP)
SWAT 4 (PC)
The Matrix Online (PC)
NBA 2K6 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360)

Worst Use of Celebrity Voices
50 Cent, 50 Cent: Bulletproof (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers (PC)
Christopher Walken, True Crime: New York City (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
David Duchovny, Area 51 (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

Most Disappointing Delay
Dungeons & Dragons Online (PC)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC, Xbox 360)
Final Fantasy XII (PlayStation 2)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GameCube)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)

Most Aggravating Frame Rate / Best Slide Show
Advent Rising (Xbox)
Half-Life 2 (Xbox)
Quake 4 (Xbox 360)
Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2)
True Crime: New York City (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)

Worst Trend
All the lousy poker games
All the lousy "urban"-themed games
Dynamic in-game advertising
"Next-gen" retail prices
Same title, different game

Most Long-Winded Game Title
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Never Ending Tomorrow (PlayStation 2)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube)
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge (PlayStation 2)
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose (PlayStation 2)
Yu-Gi-Oh! 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005 (Game Boy Advance)

Most Gratuitous Use of F****** Swearing
The Getaway: Black Monday (PlayStation 2)
Killer7 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)
NARC (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
The Suffering: Ties That Bind (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
True Crime: New York City (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)

Most Disappointing Game
FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup (Xbox 360)
Jade Empire (Xbox)
Madden NFL 06 (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
WWE Wrestlemania XXI (Xbox)

Biggest Buster
187 Ride or Die (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
50 Cent: Bulletproof (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Crime Life: Gang Wars (PlayStation 2)
True Crime: New York City (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)

Flat-Out Worst Game
Chicago Enforcer (Xbox)
Crime Life: Gang Wars (Xbox)
Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green (Xbox)
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (Nintendo DS)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Nintendo DS)

Best Game No One Played
GTR FIA Racing (PC)
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident (PC)
Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Racing Gears Advance (Game Boy Advance)
TrackMania Sunrise (PC)

III. GENRE AWARDS

Best Action Adventure Game
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (Nintendo DS)
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (PlayStation 2)
God of War (PlayStation 2)
Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
Resident Evil 4 (PlayStation 2, GameCube)

Best Shooter
Battlefield 2 (PC)
Call of Duty 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
Far Cry Instincts (Xbox)
F.E.A.R. (PC)
Perfect Dark Zero (Xbox 360)

Best Fighting Game
DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (PSP)
Soul Calibur III (PlayStation 2)
Tekken 5 (PlayStation 2)

Best Platformer
Kirby Canvas Curse (Nintendo DS)
Psychonauts (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (PlayStation 2)
Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS)
Tokobot (PSP)

Best Adventure Game
Indigo Prophecy (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Myst V: End of Ages (PC)
Nibiru: Age of Secrets (PC)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Nintendo DS)
Trace Memory (Nintendo DS)

Best Driving Game
Burnout Revenge (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Forza Motorsport (Xbox)
GTR FIA Racing (PC)
Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360)

Best Puzzle/Rhythm Game
Guitar Hero (PlayStation 2)
Lumines (PSP)
Meteos (Nintendo DS)
WarioWare: Twisted! (Game Boy Advance)
We Love Katamari (PlayStation 2)

Best Role-Playing Game
Dragon Quest VIII (PlayStation 2)
Guild Wars (PC)
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GameCube)
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (Game Boy Advance)
Riviera: The Promised Land (Game Boy Advance)

Best Traditional Sports Game
NCAA Football 06 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
NBA 2K6 (Xbox 360)
FIFA 06 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Fight Night Round 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (PC)

Best Alternative Sports Game
Amped 3 (Xbox 360)
Blitz: The League (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
NBA Street V3 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
SSX On Tour (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 (PlayStation 2)

Best Strategy Game
Advance Wars: Dual Strike (Nintendo DS)
Act of War: Direct Action (PC)
Civilization IV (PC)
Dragonshard (PC)
Metal Gear Acid (PSP)

IV. PLATFORM AWARDS

Best Game Boy Advance Game
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Gunstar Super Heroes
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Riviera: The Promised Land
WarioWare: Twisted!

Best Nintendo DS Game
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Animal Crossing: Wild World
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Mario Kart Nintendo DS
Nintendogs

Best PSP Game
Burnout Legends
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Lumines
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo
Wipeout Pure

Best GameCube Game
Battalion Wars
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Killer7
NBA Street V3
Resident Evil 4

Best PlayStation 2 Game
God of War
Guitar Hero
Resident Evil 4
Shadow of the Colossus
Tekken 5

Best Xbox Game
Far Cry Instincts
Forza Motorsport
Ninja Gaiden Black
Psychonauts
Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict

Best Xbox 360 Game
Call of Duty 2
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
Perfect Dark Zero
Project Gotham Racing 3

Best PC Game
Battlefield 2
Call of Duty 2
Civilization IV
F.E.A.R.
Guild Wars

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