X-COM: Enemy Unknown

The ageing turn-based strategy series gets a spectacular console reboot

This next-gen reboot of the turn-based strategy game that made a name for itself on the PC back in 1994 has emerged as a strong contender for the title of the best videogame release of 2012. Not only does XCOM: Enemy Unknown transform a rather niche genre into something that can appeal to all gamers (including those who ordinarily would never touch a strategy game – such as Team HCC), it also succeeds in mapping the complex PC control scheme perfectly to a console gamepad – arguably a first for any developer.

In basic terms, the game is essentially the same as it was back in the mid-'90s. Earth is under attack by sinister aliens and you've been put in charge of XCOM, a planet-wide military defence force. As reports of alien incursions arrive at your HQ, you pick a squad of troops, tool them up and send them into action. This leads to the heart of the game, a tense round of strategy and combat where you and the ET baddies take it in turns to try and out-flank and kill each other. It's then back to the HQ to manage the resources you capture from the alien forces, develope new weapons and increase the size and functions of your base. It's simply been refined, wrapped up in charming B-movie graphics and made even slicker and more accessible than ever. Absolute genius.

2K Games, Xbox 360/PS3/PC, £45 Approx, On sale now