MDK 2 (2000, PC)
Three characters for the price of one, MDK 2 offers up as much variety as it does laughs.
A gun-toting Dog, a brilliant scientist and a reluctant janitor. The origins behind the mysterious acronym are mere speculation, but a tentative guess would suggest that the three main characters form the titular name, Max, Doc and Kurt. Three playable characters, and all incredibly different in their own right -- this forms the basis of MDK 2's brilliance, a cacophony of variation as you employ each character's attributes to intuitive effect: Max's (the dog) frenetic firepower, Doctor Fluke Hawkins' harebrained weapon creation and janitor Kurt Hectic's coil-suit.
What an underrated gem it is. Right from the get go the theme song (a catchy tune, I assure you) let's you know that this is futuristic world like no other with humorous fiends and zany weapons. The humor is certainly a standout quality. Kurt's reluctance to "save the world again" belies the traditional hero, and Max's dogged (pun intended) gun-wielding antics provide a suitable change of pace, while Hawkins' ability to combine "traditional" objects adds an adventure element to the game.
There are some dodgy platform jumping sequences and MDK 2 is a bit short by traditional standards, though, that's exactly what it defies: traditionalism. The eccentric nature of the game (and one of the reason's it has likely been ignored by great swathes of the gaming public) is exactly why I love it: It really has no direct rivals.
MDK 2 is a third-person shooter through and through, but the ingenious use of its three characters, intelligent puzzle elements and fun gunplay makes this a standout game in my eyes -- and worthy 9th on my list of favorites.