Every gamer knows that the summer time is hands down the worst season to play games. Generally we get stuck with summer movie blockbusters turned in to poorly rated games and have to search for a mediocre game that will tie us over till fall’s big hits. Hopefully here at ripten.com we’ll make that search a little easier. So we bring you the “Top Ten Summer games that will be good.”

The rules are simple. It must come out between May 22 and July 31 and while it can be a port from a last generation game, it can’t be a port from this generation. Example: XBOX 360 to the PS3 does not count, but XBOX to XBOX 360 counts.” Now without further ado, let’s get to the list!

10.) Mario Party 8, (May 29, 2007. For: Wii) Rated E
Mario Party 8 I’ve stopped using the earth’s orbit around the sun to judge a year. I now use Nintendo bringing out a Mario party to know another year has come and gone. Nintendo’s eighth installment is promising to rejuvenate their milking of the franchise, and we mean that in the nicest way possible.

By using the Wii’s controller you’ll have the character that your control yell at you when it’s your turn and you’ll be swinging your arms and jump up and down through 65 mini games. Though it probably won’t be a very deep title, get a few of your buddies, better known as the homeless people you pay to be your friends, together and this game has good time written all over it.

9.) The BIGS (June 25, 2007. For: PS3, Xbox360, Wii, PSP) Rated E
The BIGS To quote David Cone, “Chicks dig the long ball”, and it’s true, everybody that watches baseball loves homeruns. Throw in 98mph fastballs and unbelievable diving catches and you have The BIGS. Sure, It’s way over the top baseball much like MLB slugfest or NFL Blitz was to football made by Midway a few years back, but unlike Midway, 2K Sports is the developer and has a proven track record for sports titles.

This marks 2K Sports first attempt at creating an arcade style sports game so there are some question marks. They are going to try to put a “superstar” type mode were you create a player and strive to make him a great. No word yet as to whether or not you can take steroids to “upgrade.”

8.) Manhunt 2 (July 10, 2007. For: Wii, PS3, PSP) Rated M
Manhunt 2 The first Manhunt was known for its chilling graphic kills, which inevitably caused Jack Thompson (lawyer in the news protesting violent games) to bite through his teeth. The sequel will be known for its, well … chilling graphic kills and probably cause Mr. Thompson to bite through his gums.

Three execution kills (hasty, violent, and gruesome) are featured in the game this time around, however for the first time the game will include “environment kills” such as a face smashing a poor souls face into a fuse box, or using a phone wire to choke your enemy … now that’s taking the slogan “reach out and touch someone” to the next level. If that isn’t enough Manhunt 2 also gives gamers the option to use guns to kill people execution style. With the game set to debut on the Wii, stabbing your enemy will never feel more real … we hope.

7.) Ninja Gaiden Sigma (June 26, 2007. For: PS3) Rated M
Ninja Gaiden SigmaOkay, Okay, I know this a remake of an older game again from last generation. But Ninja Gaiden was not only one of the best games to come out for the Xbox, but it was hands down one of the best games that came out on a last generation console period.

Sigma is pretty much the same game as Ninja Gaiden Black with the addition of some new weapons and a few other “extra features”, but the big difference will be that this time around the game will be running in 1080p at 60fps. This is a graphic whores dream come true!

Oh, and the game play is not only addicting, it’s one of the most challenging ever made. So sharpen your blade, turn out the lights, and start practicing your stealth attack maneuvers on your sister’s stuffed animal collection…you are going to need it.

6.) Resident Evil 4 (June 19, 2007. For: Wii) Rated M
Resident Evil 4 When Resident Evil 4 came out for the Gamecube two years ago it was greeted with rave reviews. So much so that Capcom decided to re-release it on the Wii. The game is pretty much a port of the Gamecube version with the added advantages of the Wii controller.

The red laser that graced Leon’s gun will be replaced by a curser that blinks red when pointed at an enemy and green when it’s not. You will have to point the Wiimote towards the screen, much like a light gun game, and shoot with the Z button.

If you have played previous releases of the game and enjoyed obliterating zombie after zombie (as did I) then prepare yourself for a freakishly good time. If you haven’t played any of the RE titles and own a Wii get up off your mound of flesh and pick this gem up when it hits the shelves.

5.) NCAA Football 2008 (July, 17 2007. For: PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox) Rated E
NCAA Football 08 The appetizer for Madden, otherwise known as NCAA Football, options its way on to store shelves June 27. Last year’s NCAA got decent reviews but still didn’t meet the expectations of next gen gamers. It seems as though EA might have put their jockstraps back on and are finally preparing themselves “for some football”.

For starters, EA has given the game a new game play engine and new animation system that will allow for gang tackling and more importantly better control. Last year’s football title ran at only 30fps, but this year NCAA will run a blistering 60 fps. We believe this is in large part due to the developer’s decision to dumb down the textures in the game. While you may not be able to see every hole in a player’s mesh jersey as he dives into the end zone, the upside is that from we have seen, the major slowdown issues have been eliminated.

Another feature making its next gen debut will be “Campus Legend Mode”. You can go in and create your high school and start off as a high school player in the state championship playoffs. Depending on how well you do you’ll have colleges try to recruit you. Where you sign is up to you. Unfortunately, just like your real high school days, dating the head cheerleader will not be an option.

4.) Shadowrun (May, 29 2007. For: Xbox 360) Rated M
Shadowrun Shocking news to report here, Microsoft saw something good and bought it. This time it was the developer FASA Interactive, creators of this innovative FPS title. Before you jump into battle you select from five different races; Human, Elf, Troll, Gnome, and Dwarf each with their own unique powers and abilities. This feature alone adds a level of depth in terms of online play which is very promising. For instance, Humans can equip more guns, while the dwarves suck essence.

Speaking of online play this game boasts a very significant first; it will be the first game ever to allow PC to console play. This could prove to be extremely frustrating for console players’ considering many gamers believe it is easier and faster to play with a mouse and keyboard. Microsoft says this won’t be an issue … you be the judge.

3.) Guitar Hero Encore Rocks The 80’s (July 17, 2007. For: PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) Rated: RP
Guitar Hero 80's Edition Anyone that lived through the 80’s knows that it was the most confusing time in American history, hot colors, a Cold war, and fear … the fear of being attacked by Russia at any moment.

So what did we do? Party! Oh yeah, we partied with mullets blasting, maybe some of the worst hair dos and music known to man, an era that was so bad it was fantastic! That’s where Guitar Hero wants to go, with songs like “I ran” by the Flock of Seagulls, or “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister.

You’ll either remember the 80’s or live through them for the first time. I for one can feel the hair on my head taking the shape of a mullet already. Grow it out, wear it proud, and most importantly Rock on!

2.) Forza Motorsport 2 (May 29, 2007. For: Xbox 360) Rated: E
Forza Motorsport 2 Racing sim Forza Motorsport was one of the most surprising hits of last generation gaming, competing with the likes of Grand Turismo and Project Gothem. Not Only does sequel looks amazing with 220,000 polygons per car running at 60fps, but the level of crash detail could be the best of any game to date.

When you hit a wall or car you might see your bumper, door, or even a mirror fall off and it will stay there for the rest of the race causing debris to be a driving hazarded. FM2 has an astonishing 300 cars to choose from, which along with everything else the title has to offer, might be just enough to cross the finish line in first place as the best racing sim of this generation.

1.) The Darkness (June 25, 2007. For PS3, Xbox 360) Rated: M
The Darkness Based on the comic book character that hit stores in 1996 created by famed illustrator Marc Silvestri and produced by Top Cow Productions, The Darkness makes its video game debut this summer and packs enough of supernatural power to make it one of the most original first person shooters ever.

You start off as a mafia hitman by the name of Jackie Estacado who, on the eve of his 21st birthday, becomes possessed by a power known as “The Darkness”. He can’t legally drink yet but I hear his supernatural entity makes a mean martini. In all seriousness though, the game, much like the comic, immerses you in a world full of ghastly beasts and has all the suspense of a modern day crime drama with a backdrop straight out of a science fiction film.

The feature list includes both first and third person views, non-linear progression, and not one but two highly interactive and destructible environments. Make your way from the rooftops of New York City into the parallel reality crawling with darkness that is The Otherworld this June.

The Darkness might not only be the best game of the summer, it could potentially be one of the best games of the year.

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