This is the list of our favorite games released in 2009. It was made from combining picks by myself and Andrew. Just like the 10 Best Films of 2009, this list is in descending order. And instead of trying to re-cap the year in a few sentences let’s just get right to the action.
10 – Resident Evil 5 – The return of Chris Redfield, now accompanied by partner Sheva Alomar. The story is fairly ridiculous, which is par for the course as far as Resident Evil games go, but it’s fun. One of the better looking games to come out in 2009.
9 – Shadow Complex – A very good and very addictive side-scrolling action platformer. If you’re the type of player who loves exploring game worlds looking for secret areas and upgrades, this game is for you. One of the best bargains of the year at only 1200 MS Points($15). This is also the first game on our list to feature/star the voice actor Nolan North.
8 – NHL 10 – Last year’s NHL 09 won many sports game awards. What did EA do in response to that? Put out the same game? No way, they added a playoff mode, play against the boards, and made ‘Be a Pro’ better by adding a prospect game and draft. I think when it comes down to it I played this game more than any other in 2009.
7 – Batman: Arkham Asylum – The Batman game that every Batman fan has been waiting for. There’s finally a dark tone and setting for players to experience first-hand in the Batman universe. The gadgets and fluidity of the combat are great. So, the ending is a little disappointing and not the highlight of the game, but the challenge rooms more than make up for that.
6 – Borderlands - A loot lover’s dream. Borderlands randomly generates guns and loot, so you never know what you’ll find when you go looking. Throw in 4 player co-op and four classes that play differently and you have a sort of “Co-op Diablo-like FPS”. This was probably the biggest surprise hit of the year.
5 – Red Faction: Guerrilla – Fans of realistic destruction and explosions look no further. The ability to destroy anything and bring down entire buildings in this game is unrivaled. The complete destruction of buildings you can cause in various ways coupled with the generally unforgiving difficulty made for a very intense and exciting game. The first time I died because a piece of a building I just leveled fell on me I was more happy about how cool it was that that was even possible than mad. Nolan North does some voices in this game.
4 – Dragon Age: Origins – Bioware, which is one of my favorite studios, released this gem that has one of the longest and most in depth single player experiences of 2009. As a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate they went old school. Your character doesn’t speak what he/she is ‘saying’ and you travel the land fighting Darkspawn. This is purely a fantasy setting (if the title didn’t already give that away) with a great story and dialogue. Would you really expect anything less from Bioware than this great RPG? Nolan North does various voices in this as well.
3 – Killzone 2 – The very long awaited sequel to what was a decent PS2 FPS. Killzone 2 didn’t disappoint. The graphics during the single-player campaign are some of the best ever. The class-based multiplayer’s ranking system kept me hooked all the way to General and beyond.
2 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – A lot of people say Modern Warfare 2′s campaign is inferior to Modern Warfare’s, but I don’t really see that. Sure, it’s very similar to the previous installment, but it still gripped me and made me feel immersed in what was happening. This is one of only two games that I can remember where I wanted to kill the villain so bad, that when I did I literally cheered. The other game where that happened was the first Modern Warfare.
They also stepped it up a lot on the multiplayer with a huge amount of unlocks and customizable killstreaks. The last time I asked Andrew how long he had played the multiplayer he said it was around 3 complete days worth, and that was a few weeks ago. Yeah, it’s addictive. This was Andrew’s favorite game of the year.
1 – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – This is most likely the best action movie I have ever seen. If not ever, then definitely the best of 2009. There are just so many moments that make you go “whoa, did that just happen?”. Uncharted 2 even makes missions where you can’t fight, but are carrying an injured party member exciting. It gets a little weird towards the end, and the main boss fight is one of the worst parts of the game, but everything other than that is amazing. That train sequence has as much action in it as most games do throughout. There were so many missions within this game that I played again after I finished the game. Aside from the action in it, Uncharted 2 also has some great platforming sections and a few puzzles. This is the Indiana Jones game that we’ve always wanted, and the franchise that made Nolan North the star he is today. My personal favorite of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Demon’s Souls, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Punch-Out!!, Trials HD, and Infamous
Just to clarify how this list came to be. I made a list of my top 10 games of the year, then Andrew sent me his top 10. Each game was assigned points based on what number they were (higher point values for a #1 and so on). The points from both of out lists were added up and the result is this list.