One of the paradoxes of the games industry dictates that the nearer a console gets to the end of its life-cycle, the better the games for it.
By now, every developer worthy of the name has got to grips with programming for Microsoft's hugely successful Xbox 360 and, while speculation mounts that its successor may make its bow at the E3 Show in June, Xbox 360 owners can lick their lips at the prospect of a deliciously tasty line-up of games due out in 2012.
We've arranged the year's 26 best Xbox 360 titles in alphabetical order, for your delectation and edification.
1. Assassin's Creed 3
The one thing we know for sure about the next instalment of Ubisoft's historical open-world action-adventure franchise is that it will come out on October 30 2012. But strong rumours suggest Assassin's Creed III will be set in the American Revolution, with a storyline centred on Desmond. Let's hope it receives a thorough freshening-up, after last year's Assassin's Creed: Revelations copped some flak for giving the impression it was going through the motions.
2. BioShock Infinite
The return of the great Ken Levine to the innovative, steampunk, plasmid-enhanced franchise has generate a palpable wave of anticipation - BioShock Infinite is, without a doubt, one of the year's most wanted. The action moves to 1912, and a city floating in the sky thanks to airships called Columbia. You play ex-Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, escorting a young woman called Elizabeth with fearsome powers which she must learn to harness.
3. Brothers In Arms: Furious 4
It's reboot time for Ubisoft's previously mega-realistic World War II franchise, this time with Gearbox, the hardest-working developer in the business, at the reins. Furious 4 will take a more cartoonish, larger-than-life approach, with you controlling one of four super-soldiers tracking the Fuhrer and fighting a secret Nazi army. Unsurprisingly, four-player co-op features prominently.