Def Jam: Icon
Much like the hip-hop industry that the game stereotypes, Def Jam: Icon occasionally opts for bling rather than depth. The third in a series, Icon drops with an expanded story mode that lets you control record distributions and fight rival labels to sign new artists, but it is the stunningly realistic graphics that make it standout from other fighters. Life-like recording artists throw punches against surreal backgrounds that bump and bounce with the hip-hop soundtrack. Fighting is enhanced by hazardous environments that explode, shock and set characters on fire to the DJ-like maneuvers of the player’s control stick. Players can forgive the slow load screens and limited solo replay value for the chance to set Sean Paul on fire—because really, who hasn’t wanted to do that in their lifetime?