Yup, it's that time again. This year comes to a close, the lists come out everywhere, and well, we're not going to just let it pass us by! So here it is, our Games of the Year 2009.
Best Wii Exclusive Game 2009
You know, when Nintendo wants to do something, when they put their minds to it, they just do it, and it's wonderful. I am of course talking about New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Now this is by no means a perfect game, with some very frustrating sections and multiplayer that sometimes works much more against completion of levels than towards it. At its heart however, it is a through-and-through Mario game. It's everything fans hope for, a side-scrolling, brick bashing, hopping and bopping, power upping game. For classic gameplay with a twist, this game answered the call, and proved that Nintendo still makes the most fun Nintendo games.
Runner Up: Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Best Xbox 360 Exclusive Game 2009
Halo 3: ODST came out in a tough year. With a bunch of great shooters already out or hitting consoles around the same time, and fan expectation higher for this than perhaps any other sequel out there, it had a lot to live up to. The story was more cohesive than any Halo before it, with a multi-faceted group that put a much more relatable face on the franchise. Beyond the campaign, new multiplayer modes meant new ways to compete and new ways to get your butt handed to you. Regardless, it successfully offered not just a new chapter to an incredibly franchise, but a unique experience in a genre that gets more crowded by the day.
Runner Up: Left 4 Dead 2
Best PC Exclusive Game 2009
Nearly ten years ago, a game came out that opened millions of people to the idea of playing a game, not to mention changing the idea of what a game should be. Maxis took a simple idea, that of a dollhouse wherein you control the lives of your dolls to the smallest detail. With this year's The Sims 3, they've nearly perfected the formula. The game is easier to pick up and play, yet has more depth and customization than ever before. With a new "open-world" style that makes the game more seamless, it is easier than ever to get lost in the world of Simlish. The first expansion pack for the game, World Adventures, has showed a completely new side to the series, with exploration and adventuring offering new ways to play. This one-two punch will without a doubt continue the streak for The Sims as one of the top selling PC Franchises of all time. Oh, and it's just ridiculous fun, too.
Best PS3 Exclusive Game 2009
Out of nowhere, the PS3 seemed to come up as a behemoth of exclusives this year. The year started with Killzone 2 shooting its way through the early months, inFAMOUS gave great superheroic (or villainous) fun, the Ratchet and Clank series proved it could get even better with A Crack in Time, and even PSN got in the act with such standouts as PixelJunk Shooter. However, Uncharted 2 was the perfect combination of story, presentation, gameplay, excitement and romance. I've already talked at length about the games virtues, and will be revisiting it again below, but suffice to say, this was a truly spectacular game that should stand the test of time for years to come.
Runners Up: Um, those above
Best Super-hero Game 2009
Just as Hollywood has figured out there is a wealth of properties to dip into out of comic books, so has the video game industry. What's better? They've also suddenly figured out how to make them GOOD games. Aside from the very fun, but goofy Lego: Batman, however, there has never been a good game featuring the Dark Knight Detective. Rocksteady, Eidos, and Warner Bros Interactive changed all that with Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game puts you in Batman's cowl, and lets you use his detective skills, stealth, and fisticuffs against an assortment of his Rogue's Gallery in a gauntlet-style romp through the crazy house for supervillains. Familiar voice actors helped bring Batman and The Joker to life in an all-new way. The sequel is already in development, promising to bring the show on the road and bring in more of the villains that make Batman one of the most consistently engaging characters in the superhero lexicon. Finally, he has a game that lives up to that status.Runner Up: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Game of the Year 2009
Told you we'd be talking about it again.
Uncharted 2 is not just the game of the year on the PlayStation 3.
Uncharted 2 is not just the game of the year 2009.
Uncharted 2 is the best game so far on this generation of consoles.
The single player campaign lasts about 15 hours, but like any good movie, you can play it over and over again without losing much if any of the excitement. The multiplayer is one of the best MP experiences on the PS3 yet; strategy runs alongside simple hand-eye coordination to provide not just a unique experience, but a fun one. The game also pushes the limits of the PlayStation 3, with incredibly lush, gorgeous graphics and sound that immerses you completely in the fantastic worlds. The story is one of the best cinematic experiences presented in a video game. The gameplay improved on the original in every way. This is about as perfect of a game as you could hope for, and makes the PlayStation 3 a must-own system, just for the opportunity to play this game.Runners Up: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum
Now it's your turn: Sound off below and let us know what your favorite games of this year were. As for us? Now we look toward 2010, and more gaming fun in our future...