Which is our way of warning you that your favourites may not be on this list. And we say it every year, but this is very much our own highly subjective collection of gaming treats, chosen and savagely fought over by the Guardian's cabal of reviewers. It is not a dispassionate attempt to scientifically select the greatest games based on some sort of Metacritic algorithm. These are the games we played to death and then played some more. Sometimes they weren't even the best games, they were the games we loved – and love is a weird and important thing.
So anyway, let's get cracking with the first ten. Feel free to debate, criticise and question, but remember, Santa doesn't bring presents to trolls. They are too naughty.