The Best Games of 2009

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

The best Playstation 3 games of the year

ImageThe top PS3 game of 2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is not only the top Playstation 3 game of the year; it ranks first out of all games for any platform in our database for 2009. Reviews for this PS3 exclusive title were effusive, exceeding the generally positive scores given to its predecessor, 2007's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. This third-person action-adventure follows fortune hunter Nathan Drake on an expedition to find the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala, and critics compared it favorably to a blockbuster movie. It also takes second place on the PS3 all-time list, behind only Grand Theft Auto IV.

Playstation 3 benefited from a strong batch of exclusive titles in 2009, including not just Uncharted 2 but also the God of War Collection, the shooter Killzone 2, role-playing game Demon's Souls, and the latest racer in the WipEout series, WipEout HD Fury, which was released as downloadable content but was as complete as any traditional game, according to critics.

Uncharted 2 was not alone; 35% of games in the Top 40 fell into the action-adventure genre. Sports games were the next best-reviewed, accounting for 20% of the Top 40 titles.

Playstation 3 Top 40 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Uncharted 2: Among ThievesAction, Adventure969.5
2Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2First-Person Shooter945.4
3Street Fighter IVFighting94 8.0
4BraidPuzzle, Platform939.4
5God of War CollectionAction, Adventure929.5
6Assassin's Creed IIAction, Adventure928.5
7FIFA Soccer 10Sports, Soccer91 8.0
The highest-scoring PS3 sports game of 2009 is also the best-reviewed entry in the FIFA series.
8Killzone 2First-Person Shooter918.3
9Batman: Arkham AsylumAction, Adventure919.1
10MLB 09: The ShowSports, Baseball908.5
11WipEout HD FuryRacing899.1
12Demon's SoulsAction, RPG898.8
13BlazBlue: Calamity TriggerFighting89 9.0
14Beatles: Rock Band, TheMusic889.2
The Fab Four score yet another #1: the top music game of the year for PS3
15NHL 10Sports, Hockey888.8
16Fight Night Round 4Sports, Boxing888.2
17Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxRacing, Driving88 8.0
18DiRT 2Racing, Driving878.3
19Critter CrunchPuzzle879.8
20Dragon Age: OriginsRPG877.6
22Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in TimeAction, Platform869.2
23Guitar Hero: MetallicaMusic867.2
24ShatterPuzzle, Action86 9.0
25Resident Evil 5Action, Adventure, Horror868.3
26Guitar Hero 5Music865.3
27DJ HeroMusic868.1
28Red Faction: GuerrillaThird-Person Shooter858.3
29Madden NFL 10Sports, Football856.8
30PixelJunk ShooterPuzzle85n/a
31Marvel vs. Capcom 2Fighting, Arcade858.1
32inFAMOUSAction, Adventure858.8
33Battlefield 1943First-Person Shooter848.4
34Skate 2Sports, Extreme Sports848.3
35Need for Speed SHIFTRacing, Driving847.5
36UFC 2009 UndisputedFighting, Action, Sports848.8
37NBA 2K10Sports, Basketball838.4
38BorderlandsFirst-Person Shooter, Action, RPG838.7
39Brutal LegendAction, Adventure83 8.0
40Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2Action, Adventure837.3

Games must have at least 5 reviews to qualify for the above list.

The best Xbox 360 games of the year

ImageThe top Xbox 360 game of 2009

The 360's best-reviewed game of the year was the highly-anticipated first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which was also released for PS3 and PC. In fact, just three of the top 10 titles in the list below were exclusive to Xbox: the driving sequel Forza Motorsport 3, and two Grand Theft Auto IV spin-offs: The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Even the latter two were not completely new games; rather, they revealed new stories and characters using the existing GTA IV world.

Sequels, spin-offs and tie-ins were a common theme for 360 in 2009, but, alas, there was no Halo 4 this year. (A relatively modest sequel, Halo 3: ODST, proved less popular with critics and fans than its predecessor.) One bright spot for the platform, however, was an exclusive Xbox Live Arcade title, Shadow Complex, a Metroid-esque shooter based on an Orson Scott Card novel that received mostly strong notices.

One-third of the games in the Top 40 fell into the action-adventure category, while sports accounted for another 20% of the top spots. There were also a number of well-reviewed racing games to choose from, occupying 13% of the chart.

Xbox 360 Top 40 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2First-Person Shooter94 6.0
2Street Fighter IVFighting937.4
3Batman: Arkham AsylumAction, Adventure928.4
4Forza Motorsport 3Racing, Driving928.1
The top racing game of the year exceeded the already great reviews of its predecessor
5Assassin's Creed IIAction, Adventure918.9
6Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and DamnedAction, Adventure907.9
7FIFA Soccer 10Sports, Soccer908.2
8Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay TonyAction, Adventure898.4
9Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxRacing, Driving897.5
10Left 4 Dead 2First-Person Shooter, Action898.1
11Beatles: Rock Band, TheMusic898.8
13Shadow ComplexAction, Shooter888.9
14NHL 10Sports, Hockey888.9
15Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, TheAction, Adventure889.4
16BlazBlue: Calamity TriggerFighting888.6
17Fight Night Round 4Boxing, Sports878.3
18DiRT 2Racing, Driving878.7
19Dragon Age: OriginsRPG867.3
20Trials HDRacing869.4
21Madden NFL 10Sports, Football85 6.0
This year's Madden actually ties 2008's as the highest-scoring installment on the 360
22Guitar Hero 5Music856.7
23Resident Evil 5Action, Adventure, Horror857.8
24Red Faction: GuerrillaThird-Person Shooter858.5
The series transforms into a third-person shooter, and there isn't a better one for Xbox in 2009
25Splosion ManAction, Adventure849.1
26Guitar Hero: MetallicaMusic847.6
27Worms 2: ArmageddonStrategy849.4
28Skate 2Sports, Extreme Sports848.2
29DJ HeroMusic848.6
30BorderlandsFirst-Person Shooter, RPG, Action838.8
31Battlefield 1943First-Person Shooter83 8.0
32Fallout 3: Point LookoutRPG839.3
33Need for Speed SHIFTRacing, Driving836.5
34Halo 3: ODSTFirst-Person Shooter836.3
35Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams CollectionPinball, Arcade839.5
36NCAA Football 10Sports, Football836.4
37UFC 2009 UndisputedFighting, Action, Sports837.9
38Defense Grid: The AwakeningStrategy, Simulation838.9
39Brutal Legend Action, Adventure828.2
40NBA 2K10Sports, Basketball828.1

Games must have at least 5 reviews to qualify for the above list.

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

Comments (185)

  • hik  

    I don't think cross platform games should greatly weigh in on this. Batman favored the PS3 and AC2 favored the 360 (greatly) but the editors of this article should have not have factored this in for the top titles or at least only acknowledge them. Remakes/Rehashes like the GOW series should be excluded and all the rehashes ported for the Wii and DS (which are 1/5 of the games) should also be excluded because it is not original title and no real development and game design was needed. PS3 also looks good for 2010 with GOW3 and Heavy Rain (though i hate QTE). 2010 should also release the Natal for 360 and the motion controller for PS3. Wii will be Wii.

  • Tony  

    A video game review is nothing more than opinion. The critic(s) who reviewed these games clearly like PS3 more, hence GH Metallica getting an 86 for PS3 while 360 got an 84. GH 5 85-84, SF IV 94-93, FIFA 91-90. just a few examples, same exact game, different rating

  • PS3 Tops Metacritic  

    [...] For a more detailed breakdown of the results head over to Metacritic. [...]

  • Bruce Leeroy  

    Uncharted 2 was a pretty fantastic game, far, far from perfect but still damn good. Street Fighter IV though, really? Good game though it was -- it wasn't one of the best of the year. Weird seeing Braid up there, thought that was an '08 title. Kind of a weak year all around. PS3 and 360 are kicking some ass though.

  • john  

    its very simple. PC wins every year and will always win every year. And the old games on the Wii, like twilight princess, metroid, and mario galaxy are so good that they will be played for ever and ever no matter how dated they may get. So whatever these ratings may say on here, PS3 will never be the best. For no other reason than its impossible.

  • Uncharted 2 (PS3): G  

    [...] To see full details on Metacritic’s recent study check out their article here. [...]

  • Albino  

    @Simon. Median is not average. Median score is the score for which 50% of games are rated above and 50% of games are rated below. Average is the sum of scores for all games, divided by the number of games. All platforms have a lot of mediocre trash, but a quick glance at the lists tells you that PS3 has far more games above 85% than the 360. This is what should count the upper n-percentile of games.

    Multi-platform games are somewhat problematic. On the one hand new console buyers simply want to know which console has the best games. In this respect for Braid to count for the PS3 but not the 360 is biased. On the other hand, if the purpose of the ranking is to reflect the current state of the quality releases per platform as an indication of which platform has possibly a brighter future, then it is correct to disclude Braid from the 360. Stepping away from the stats, Uncharted is really something special. Games scoring in the low 90s come out several times a year, but 95+ is very rare and puts it up in the pantheon of the Halo 1, FF7, Ocarina of Time, Metroid 1, Half-Life, BioShock, GTA 3 etc. This game is an ALL TIME great. Personally, the fact that it's a PS3 exclusive steals the prize for the PS3 regardless of whatever else has been released for PS3 and/or 360, much like BioShock did for the 360 a couple of years ago. And like BioShock there might well be a day in that it makes a debut on the 360!

    Disclaimer: I am a 360 owner, but Uncharted is serioiusly making me consider splashing out on a PS3!

  • The Daily Fisting Ep  

    [...] Number 4 story: Metacritic’s Best Games of 2009 [...]

  • Simon  

    Interesting read indeed. Besides Uncharted (which is a good game admittedly) we have Braid, which came out for the 360 a year ago and we have God of War Collection, which is a republishing of old material. These are the Úber games that "win" it for the P$3 crowd. If you are looking the REAL results, look at this tiny fact "XBOX 360 Median score 72.5 and P$3 72" For you ppl illiterate in calculus, this means that on average (which metacritics scores are all about) the Xbox 360 still rules supreme

  • GuardianMode  

    Congarts on the PS3 this year. Im looking forward to a great 2010.

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