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Sailing the Blue Skies since 2001.
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Metroid Prime (GC)

Ah, the first 3D Metroid.  The one everyone doubted.  The one many said would ruin the franchise.
Oh, how they were all wrong. ^_^
This is simply a stunning game, in more ways than one.  The graphic wizards at Retro managed to hide items in well modeled destructible walls that looked like it was part of the background and not just tacked on, which impressed me.  Excellent level design combined with a unique control scheme and some of the most beautiful graphics ever make for a great ride and a pleasant surprise.  I originally coughed up my award in 2002 to Metroid Fusion, but I have learned the error of my ways, as this is far, far better.  Seeing Ridley in 3D was awesome too.  The music is also spiffy.  I can praise this game for days...but I'll stop.  It's simply greatness, and stands as Nintendo's best work on the GC.