The Best Games of 2009

  • Comments: ↓ 186 user comments
  • Publish Date: December 9, 2009

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.

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Comments (186)

  • Omega2k3  

    How come the total percentage of PC and 360 games are 101%? DS is 99%?

    What the hell?

  • francisco  

    And to say that PS3 has no games. Xbox 360 with the head start only has 50 more games. Pretty sad how Halo:ODST ended up all the way in the bottom.

  • Troy  

    The 360 rules. I don't know why all the hate for the 360 all of a sudden.

  • Randy Moorhead  

    Why is Braid up there if it was released on the 360 last year? Is it really that much better on the Ps3? I don't think that Braid should count towards the PS3's overall score unless it significantly improves on the 360 iteration. Also, why is that God of War re-release up there?

  • Video Game News Week  

    [...] Meta Critic: Best Games 2009 Details click here [...]

  • Grey  

    These all need to be taken with a grain of salt, and the inclusion of Braid is obviously a bit silly since it's been on XBLA for over a year. But PS3 deserves some props this year, finally getting a killer app in Uncharted 2. Wipeout HD is another exclusive that adds a lot of value to the machine, even if it didn't factor into this list. That said, most of the games here are non-exclusive, and calling a "victor" is stupid. When duplicate cross-platform titles eat up such a good portion of the top-10 list, it only takes the one exclusive Uncharted 2 to throw the whole thing off.

    On an unrelated note, I'm sad to see the Wii fall so far behind. If nothing else, Punch Out! deserved much higher reviews than it received. I know it's cool to rag on the Wii, but it has some good stuff for hardcore gamers (Muramasa is another great exclusive), and deserves more respect than it gets.

  • man1985  

    Nice list and all but why is the 360 version of MW2 at #4 and the PS3 version is at #2. Don't they both have a score of 94? Why is the 360 #4 eventhough the User grade is higher than the PS3's.

    My question is what makes the PS3 MW2 that much better than the 360. Biased much?

    I admit PS3 had a better year this year in gaming, espiacially in the exclusives, but MW2 is the same game no matter what platform it's on. That sort chart just makes you look biased when it isn't even necessary. Everybody knows PS3 had better games this year.

  • Biggre  

    I find it funny that with all the "fanboy" acusations being thrown around, this article is being flooded 10:1 with "OMG PS3 **** in my pants!" comments. I'm not being a fanboy, I'm just advocating that everyone grows up a little bit. Well a lot.

  • Video Game News Week  

    [...] Meta Critic: Best Games 2009 Details click here [...]

  • Phil G  

    Counting a re-release of two PS2 games from several years ago, and a port of a year old 360 title? That doesn't seem like a particularly strong sign of PS3 dominance when a lot better titles could be cited (maybe not in reviewers eyes, but certainly in player's).

    Furthermore, with the sheer quantity of PC indie titles and such that likely go unreviewed, is it credible to give any kind of quality assessment to the PC? The problem is compounded when you factor in the technical difficulties that would prevent some people from playing the PC version (example: The Saboteur not running for those with ATI cards), thus creating an uneven experience with the game.

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