The Best Games of 2009

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

The best Wii games of the year

ImageThe top Wii game of 2009

Nintendo dug into its own past (as it so often does) and came up with a hit in 2009, bringing back the GameCube sci-fi action-adventure series Metroid in the form of a new Wii compellation, Metroid Prime Trilogy. Make that two hits; platformer New Super Mario Bros. Wii also scored with the critics in its new incarnation.

However, Wii once again struggled to match the other platforms in terms of critical acclaim, and the platform was missing creative breakout hits like 2008's Okami and World of Goo. Metroid was the only title to score 90 or above this year, and three of the top 10 (and four of the top 11) Wii games were in the music genre -- not a good sign in a year in which music games generally were considered to be retreads of the previous year's entries.

In the platform exclusives category, the Steven Spielberg-created puzzle/party game Boom Blox Bash Party went down easy with critics, much like its acclaimed predecessor. Critics also found "cutesy" strategy-adventure game Little King's Story rewarding, and downloadable WiiWare title LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, a sequel to last year's LostWinds, also scored generally strong marks.

Wii Top 40 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Metroid Prime TrilogyFirst-Person Shooter919.2
2Beatles: Rock Band, TheMusic899.4
3Guitar Hero 5Music896.6
4Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10Sports, Golf889.5
The best-reviewed sports game for Wii in 2009 ... and all time
5New Super Mario Bros. WiiPlatform879.2
6DJ HeroMusic87 6.0
7Little King's StorySimulation, Strategy, Adventure87 9.0
8LostWinds: Winter of the MelodiasAction, Adventure, Platform869.2
9Boom Blox Bash PartyPuzzle, Action868.6
10Punch-Out!!Sports, Boxing868.8
11Guitar Hero: MetallicaMusic857.4
12Pro Evolution Soccer 2009Sports, Soccer849.4
13New Play Control! Pikmin 2Strategy848.5
14Pro Evolution Soccer 2010Sports, Soccer849.5
15Swords & SoldiersStrategy848.3
16NyxQuest: Kindred SpiritsAction, Platform829.3
17Dead Space ExtractionAction, Adventure, Horror828.1
18Bit.Trip VoidRhythm, Music81 10.0
19Dawn of DiscoveryStrategy, Simulation819.3
20EA Sports Active More WorkoutsFitness819.8
Who said it's just a gaming machine? "More" is the first of three fitness titles in the Top 40
21MadWorldAction81 9.0
22EA Sports ActiveFitness818.7
23Muramasa: The Demon BladeAction, RPG819.8
24Wii Sports ResortSports808.2
25Rune Factory: FrontierRPG80 9.0
26Wii Fit PlusFitness807.6
27Bit.Trip BeatAction, Arcade809.6
28Boy and His Blob, AAction, Platform809.3
29Bit.Trip CoreArcade808.7
30Band HeroMusic79 6.0
31Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming NarwhalAdventure799.2
32Mini NinjasAction, Adventure799.2
33You, Me, and the CubesAction, Puzzle79 4.0
34NHL 2K10Sports, Hockey798.6
35Rabbids Go HomeAdventure799.4
36Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner CayAdventure79n/a
37House of the Dead: Overkill, TheFirst-Person Shooter789.3
38WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010Sports, Wrestling789.2
39MySims AgentsAction, Adventure789.6
40New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle BeatPlatform, Action789.5

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

The best PC games of the year

ImageThe top PC game of 2009

Street Fighter IV, the latest installment in the venerable fighting franchise, was the best-reviewed PC game of the year, although the hit Dragon Age: Origins was nearly as heralded. The latter is a role-playing game that serves as a successor to the classic Baldur's Gate series, and it features robust downloadable content additions (which should keep coming for the next few years).

PC gamers in the market for vowels can also pick up the most unusually titled game of the year: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, which, if reviews are to be believed, may be as much fun to play as it is to type, thanks to its addictive, arcade-style action.

PC Top 40 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Street Fighter IVFighting918.7
2Batman: Arkham AsylumAction, Adventure918.8
3Dragon Age: OriginsRPG918.5
4Left 4 Dead 2Action, First-Person Shooter908.8
5BraidPlatform908.8
6Empire: Total WarStrategy906.6
7DiRT 2Racing, Driving90 10.0
8Football Manager 2010Sports, Simulation889.4
9Plants vs. ZombiesAction, Strategy889.2
10EVE Online: ApocryphaMMORPG888.7
11Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxRacing, Driving878.1
12Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2First-Person Shooter862.1
13Resident Evil 5Action, Adventure, Horror868.1
14Sims 3, TheSimulation867.5
Although it falls short of its predecessor, it's the top non-sports sim of the year
15Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, TheAdventure869.7
16Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War IIStrategy858.2
17MachinariumAdventure849.3
18Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly AcademyAdventure84n/a
19TorchlightAction, RPG849.3
20AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for GravityAction848.6
21Time Gentlemen, Please!Adventure849.1
22Out of the Park Baseball 10Sports, Simulation838.3
23Need for Speed SHIFTRacing, Driving835.1
24Red Faction: GuerrillaThird-Person Shooter838.8
25Dawn of DiscoveryStrategy, Simulation828.7
26King's Bounty: Armored PrincessAdventure, Strategy, RPG829.2
27BorderlandsFirst-Person Shooter, Action, RPG82 8.0
28Football Manager LiveSports, Simulation822.9
29Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the LeviathanAdventure829.2
30Gridrunner RevolutionShooter828.4
31DCS: Black SharkSimulation827.7
32Battlefield 1943First-Person Shooter827.7
33OsmosPuzzle81 9.0
The best-reviewed PC puzzle game of the year features a hypnotic score and can't-miss price
34Sims 3 World Adventures, TheSimulation81 9.0
35Fallout 3: Broken SteelRPG816.8
36League of LegendsMMORPG819.5
37Mirror's EdgeAction, Adventure818.3
38Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, TheFirst-Person Shooter807.2
39Left 4 Dead: Crash CourseFirst-Person Shooter, Action806.2
40AI War: Fleet Command Strategy808.8

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)

  • kevin  

    you forgot to mention pc, even though its clearly in your chart.

  • DaS.RoT  

    This article is complete nonsense, as is the metacritic website. Great idea in theory, but as you can see it turns to sh!t in reality. Opinion of collections of opinions... Really?

    It also doesn't really matter what console you have, as long as YOU enjoy it, your a winner. I personally can't stand the PS controllers, which is why I won't buy one (not friendly to long thumbs, feels like I'm in a thumb-wrestling match every time I play one). My friends do own PS3's though and I will gladly go over and play some Uncharted and Kill Zone though =D. Find some friends with other consoles and your all winners!

    Also, don't buy a console because of secondary features (Media center, Netflix, Facebook, Home, etc...) they are all half-baked implementations and you could do much better elsewhere.

  • nintendonitis  

    PS3 + Uncharted 2= Gaming Heaven!

  • Dom Sacco  

    Interesting to see PC and PS3 above Xbox 360 - especially considering there were more games on PC than Xbox.

    We ran a top games of 2009 list over at Leet Games Blog:
    http://www.leetgamesblog.com/game-of-the-year-2009

  • Mr. E. Nahn Ehmus  

    I'm not saying Killzone 2 and Halo 3 were similar games, I meant in quality. Personally I like Killzone 2 much better but I guess if I'm using critics' opinions to back up an argument I can't ignore it when it's convenient.

    And when I say Uncharted 2 beats GeOW in that category, I mean in the competition of top rated 3rd person shooters. They also have a similar combat and shooting system, but yes UC2 has many more elements to the gameplay and is uncomparable. The games are completely different but they are both the premiere TPSs of each console, hence I will compare them. And I'd hardly say a decent gaming PC is more of a hassle than the RROD...... of my at least 30 friends with a 360 about 20 of them have had the RROD at least once. When I tell any of them that the failure rate is 54.2% they freak and act like I'm lying. Then I ask if they've ever had it break. They always say yes.... Point is a PC is superior to the 360 and less of a hassle.

    The Wii and PS3 offer much better console experiences, depending on what you want. The 360 apes the PC and ends up inferior.

  • Matt  

    "Uncharted 2 takes Gears of War down in its category (third person shooter, then UC2 has even more than just shooting….)"

    I haven't completed Uncharted 2 yet, but it's very good so far. And having played Gears and Gears 2, I can safely say, from personal experience, that the games are not remotely similar to Uncharted 2. There is shooting, and there is cover. But the entire feel of the game is wildly different. Apples and oranges. Comparing the two is absurd, and only seems to make any sense to the kinds of people who feel driven to prove one console objectively better than another.

    "Killzone 2 and Halo 3 are fairly close"

    I have to firmly disagree with you here. The games weren't that similar other than the fact that both involved shooting. And furthermore, I just didn't really care for Killzone 2. There was nothing wrong with it exactly. It just didn't have anything, for me, that made it stand out from the crowd... well, it was pretty. But I think the whole draw of Killzone 2 was supposed to be that it was a technical achievement (i.e. the first game to really take advantage of the PS3 hardware). Congrats. I"m glad such things are occurring, because it paves the way for better games. But that doesn't make Killzone II itself special. Co-op campaign would have helped for me, but YMMV. Personally, I was much more a fan of Resistance 2, if I had to pick a sci-fi shooter PS3 exclusive. The graphics didn't match Killzone II, but I preferred the story a bit, and the weapons were some of the most imaginative I've ever seen in a game.

    You are right, I think, that the 360 is ultimately a choice between PC gaming and console gaming. You are also right that PC versions of many of these games are accepted as better. But again, apples and oranges. People don't choose console over PC for the games. They choose console over PC because it is far less hassle. I loved Mass Effect and Dragon Age on console. By all accounts, they are better on PC. Maybe I would have liked them more. But it's hard for me to argue with the convenience of my consoles.

  • Mr. E. Nahn Ehmus  

    Paaradox Eternal-

    Demon's Souls, Killzone 2, Ratchet and Clank Future: ACiT/ToD. Annnnnd those are just the ones I like....

    And by the way, PS3 exclusive AAAE scores- 96, 95, 94, (92 if GoW Collection counts...), 91, 90

    360 AAAE scores- 94, 94, 93, 92, 90

    Well... err... LOOKS LIKE 360 SCORES MUCH HIGHER!

    Fable and Mass Effect aren't exclusive by the way. This thing called the PC exists people...... and multiplats are usually superior on it........ especially RPGs...... and Fable and Mass Effect are both on it. Those don't even require a very powerful PC, fairly average required specs, you could prolly run it on a really basic computer if you just got a decent graphics card that supported 3.0. I don't know where you get your info, I'm guessing you're some uninformed kid who doesn't know what he's talking about, just playing what everyone else does.

    Then get into AAE games. The PS3 has Ratchet and Clank, Demon's Souls (which should be AAAE, no question), inFAMOUS, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Resistance, MLB '08 The Show (not a baseball game fan but hey it's a good game for what it is so I'm countin it), the Pixeljunk games.... and more! The 360 has what? Nothing? Oh right... When Gran Turismo 5 is released and gets just as good reviews as Forza Motorsport 3, the comparative quality won't even be... well, comparable! Uncharted 2 takes Gears of War down in its category (third person shooter, then UC2 has even more than just shooting....), Killzone 2 and Halo 3 are fairly close, Gran Turismo 5 and FM3 should be close, the 360 has absolutely nothing to even answer to LittleBigPlanet, and the same with Metal Gear Solid 4. The only thing the 360 has on the PS3 right now is racing games.... oooooooo racing games great, let's get some real games out there, not driving ones. Also getting down to variety... PS3's AAAE titles, a Third-person shooter/platformer/action-adventure game, Third-person stealth shooter, 2.5-D platformer with fully customizable levels, realistic FPS, and a baseball game. The 360? A space-marine FPS, two space-marine TPSs, and two racing games. Slight lack of variety on the 360 much? The 360 can win in quantity, but it will never beat the PS3's current quality. Actually the only thing it has quantity in is multiplats that are better on PC anyway so that doesn't count for much.... there's just no defending the 360 outside its superior online play, which is partially ruined since it costs $50 a year, which could be another game....

  • Paradox Eternal  

    Let it not be forgotten that the 360 had more high-quality games than the PS3 from 06-08. 1 year does not bring the PS3 up to par. Not yet. i still believe 360 is the better of the two. how are you going to compare the exclusives of Forza 3, Gears of War (both), Halo 3 (forget ODST) Mass Effect and Fable II? The PS3 has, what, Little Big Planet, Uncharted 2, Gran Turismo and MGS4? You've got to remember to look at the entire picture, people. Surely, the PS3 had a much better year than 360 in 09. But quite frankly, it doesn't matter. Unless it can outperform it in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 360 is the better sell. Just compare the top metacritic PS3 exclusive game scores of all time to the 360's top metacritic exclusives of all time. You will see what i mean.

  • Where Would You Be W  

    [...] is therefore not surprising that the list of the top video games of 2009 on metacritic doesn’t contain many things I’m interested in, seeing as this was apparently the year [...]

  • Metacritic Uses Thei  

    [...] How does God of War Collection even count? You can see all of Metacritic’s top games of 2009 here. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Metacritic Uses Their Stupid Logic To Declare PS3 Best Gaming [...]

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