The Best Games of 2009

  • Publish Date: December 9, 2009
  • Comments: ↓ 185 user comments

Lists, lists and more lists ... and our platform of the year

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2009 Game Platform Power Rankings
1Playstation 3
2 PC
3 Xbox 360
4 PSP
5 Nintendo DS
6 Wii

Sony's Playstation 3 console has edged out Microsoft's once-dominant Xbox 360 to finish on top in Metacritic's first annual Game Platform Power Rankings.

The Power Rankings combine a variety of factors -- all involving the quality and quantity of titles released during the year -- to rank the six major gaming platforms. Although Xbox 360 finished with the highest number of positively-reviewed titles (88 games receiving a Metascore of 75 or higher), and though Nintendo's Wii had the largest total number of releases (a whopping 362, or almost one per day), the PS3 console showed the best overall game quality for the year. Among other factors, five of the 10 highest-scoring games in 2009 (for any platform) were PS3 titles, including the year's top game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

Note that sales figures are not included in the platform or game rankings; if they were, the Wii, which is expected to sell almost twice as many titles as PS3 this year, would have a distinct advantage. Instead, the popular Wii platform had a poor year in terms of game quality, with critics liking just 28% of games released for the platform. We'll report more on the connection between reviews and sales (or, in this case, the lack of such a connection) in January, after final 2009 sales data is released.

Overall, we did not see quite as many blockbuster releases in 2009 as we expected, even though we are now deep into the lifecycles of the current generation of consoles and handhelds. Many of those expected "AAA" titles scheduled for release during the pre-holiday period (October through Thanksgiving weekend) were pushed into the traditionally calm waters of early 2010, avoiding some of this fall's giants (Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3 ODST) and thus delaying some of the most significant battles in the platform wars.

Below, we list the best-reviewed games for each gaming platform. First, however, let's take a look at how each platform fared during the past year.

Platform Breakdown, 2009
  Platform # Titles # Great Median Metascore % Good
% Mixed % Bad  
1 Playstation 3 228 10 72.0 43% 50% 7% 43,50,7
2 PC Games 306 7 72.5 43% 49% 9% 43,49,9
3 Xbox 360 279 7 70.0 35% 55% 11% 35,55,11
4 PSP 125 1 69.0 36% 57% 7% 36,57,7
5 Nintendo DS 329 3 69.0 27% 62% 10% 27,62,10
6 Wii 362 1 67.0 28% 59% 13% 28,59,13

The table reflects scores for all games in Metacritic's database released between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. All Metascore data is from December 7, 2009. The # Great indicates the number of games released during the year with a Metascore of 90 or higher. The % Good reflects the percentage of games receiving a Metascore of 75 or higher (indicating positive reviews). % Mixed shows the percentage receiving a Metascore of 50-74 (indicating mixed or middling reviews), while % Bad includes games receiving a Metascore below 50 (indicating negative reviews). Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Games with fewer than 4 reviews are not scored and are not included in the percentage or median calculations above.

Sony clearly had a strong year in terms of game quality, with titles for both of its platforms (Playstation 3 and PSP) receiving better reviews on the whole than games for similar platforms. The two Sony platforms also had a fewer percentage of bad releases than any other platforms, so although PS3 and PSP gamers might not have had as many titles to choose from, they were less likely to buy a terrible game. In fact, PS3 owners could choose from some of the top-rated games of the year:

Best-Reviewed Games (Any Platform), 2009
  Platform Title Genre Metascore Users
1 PS3 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Action, Adventure 96 9.5
2 PS3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 First-Person Shooter 94 5.4
Users vented their anger about developer Infinity Ward's decision not to permit dedicated servers for this title by hammering the game on Metacritic.
3 PS3 Street Fighter IV Fighting 94 8.0
4 Xbox 360 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 First-Person Shooter 94 6.0
5 Nintendo DS Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Action, Adventure 93 9.0
6 PS3 Braid Puzzle, Platform 93 9.4
7 Xbox 360 Street Fighter IV Fighting 93 7.4
8 PS3 God of War Collection Action, Adventure 92 9.5
9 Xbox 360 Batman: Arkham Asylum Action, Adventure 92 8.4
10 Xbox 360 Forza Motorsport 3 Racing, Driving 92 8.1

Games must have at least 5 reviews to qualify for the above list. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). User scores represent an average of scores assigned by Metacritic.com site visitors.

Which games received the best overall reviews from top game publications during 2009? Let's check the individual platforms...

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (185)

  • You  

    Looking at the comments all the critics of the PS3 (and 360)say basically the same thing. Same for the fans (of both consoles)out there as well. You all just repeat what someone before you wrote.

  • Micheal Parker  

    I thing Vampire Rain: Altered Species it one the the best game of all time

  • kaveen danushka  

    I think modern warfare 2 is the best cuz it gives the player a real experience and how the soldiers suffer in the war

  • PlayStation Around t  

    [...] PlayStation 3 edged out Microsoft’s Xbox 360 to top Metacritic’s first annual Game Platform Powe... [...]

  • OneDimension  

    cms, yes, Uncharted 2 is massively overrated. Apparently it makes you 'feel like your in a Hollywood movie'. If only I was that simple. What gets me though, is, if it was a Hollywood movie is would've probably got mauled.

  • cms  

    Oh and one more thing... can we stop comparing the Wii to the other consoles? They are not the same class of product.

  • cms  

    Drake part 1 was massively overrated (so safe to assume 2 is also), Killzone 2 was massively overrated, many of the games on both consoles run better on the 360 STILL, so I don't see any possible way the PS3 is the top console. 360 still is. I own both, I got a RROD a few months ago, and my opinion is still the same. PS3 for movies, 360 for gaming.

  • callahan09  

    To quote Mare Marie on 12/10/09 at 11:31am:

    "So without Braid which had already been on the 360 for over a year with the same score 360 and PS3 had the same number in the top ten for the year.

    Worth noting."

    So without Batman Arkham Asylum, which is also available on PS3, the 360 loses one of its titles for the year, as well, and then the PS3 is still up a title. (Weird that the 360 version of Batman has the higher meta score considering most critics even said the PS3 version is the one to buy if you had the choice)

  • PS3-RockZ  

    Im glad to see PS3 at the top, I mean it was the only good console for 2009, and for 2010 it shall be even better with games like The Last Guardian, Bioshock 2 and GOW 3 and hopefully Uncharted 3, Wii had a terrible year in 2009 NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT.

  • Austin  

    @Greg:
    And most of the 360s games were also multiplats. Or expansions. Your point?

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