Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Namco | Developer:
Why it Rocked: Usually a game's soundtrack builds tension, denotes suspense, signals your victory, etc. But what if you aren't commanding armies or ending zombies with a bash to the head? What if you're just kicking back and rolling fences, hapless pedestrians, crayons, and the odd skyscraper up into a ball? Katamari Damacy not only gave us the most original game experience of the year, but the best music. Namco gathered top Japanese artists to create original songs, which blend Shibuya-kei style J-pop with jazz, electronica, and even a dash of hip-hop lite. If you've heard the opening theme just once, you'll hear it a thousand times: walking to work, making a sandwich, or late at night, trying desperately to sleep. The Katamari Damacy soundtrack is as quirky, polished, and addictive as the game. Even better, it stands on its own as great music. Katamari, we want to wad you up into our lives.
Runner-Up: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Readers' Choice: Halo 2 (Xbox)