Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

I finished RE4 yesterday evening — and at this point in time, me finishing a game is in itself a recommendation. It manages to revive the franchise in so many ways while still staying true to its core, coupled with amazing visuals and sound effects. Most in game cut-scenes look better than pre-rendered sequences used in other games and the game itself is equally well executed with plenty of atmospheric particle effects, good texture work and excellent character models. The only (small) mar is that it always runs in (non-anamorphic) wide-screen mode.
It is a fairly long game (a bit below 22h for me — with 908 enemies killed), but due a variety of nuances in the core gameplay (partner, vehicle, etc.) it manages to stay fresh and interesting throughout with an amazing intensity. The merchants with their different available weapons, upgrades and available mini-games improve replayability manifold as you can take your inventory and excess cash into a new game.

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