If 2006 was a springboard year for Microsoft's Xbox 360, then 2007 will be the year it leaps onto a trampoline and pulls off triple spin-flips. This year is thick and juicy with great games no matter how you dice it.
It's actually a little scary. Whether they are first- or third-party games, exclusives, or big-time franchises, this year will bring blockbusters on a massive scale -- Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV are coming out on the same system in the same season. Then there is Mass Effect, Forza 2, Too Human, Crackdown, Assassin's Creed, BioShock, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, The Darkness, and dozens more.
Developers have familiarized themselves with the Xbox 360's three core heart, learned how to appropriately design Achievements, drilled down into Xbox Live, and started making their games look awful pretty. With Gears of War setting the tone for top-level graphics, rival developers will heed the call and step up their games to new levels. Developers will step up gameplay, too, not just graphics. Look for substantial jumps in AI and new gameplay that sprouts from robust physics.
The first three months of 2007 kick it off. In today's feature, IGN picked and previewed the top 10 titles of the winter (January, February and March) to provide you with a head-start on the party. Check our top 10 picks, as well s those games that have already snuck out (Lost Planet and NCAA March Madness 07), while keeping your other eye on Samurai Warriors 2 Empires, Bullet Witch, Earth Defense Force, and Fuzion Frenzy 2