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)

  • uttaku  

    Oh my god, all you fanboys shut the hell up. All the systems are good in their own way. The pc will always be the most powerful and the best for fps, but it requires upgrades, installing and the risk of games not working for whatever reason. The xbox and ps3 are both strong consles with in general similar line ups and good excuslives for both. Also it matters little who has a good year this time as the other will almost certainly have a good year in 2010. The wii while underpowered has nintendo classics and is best for silly casual games. Why you all can't see this andhat whatever happens. No system will fail as they are too large to fail. All are good!

  • danny  

    obviously metacritic (who ive only jus heard of) are crap as forza 3 was no.10 and fifa 10 isnt even on there its jus **** games like mw2 no proper fps +they rated it for 2 platforms? its the same dam game and also they included a ds game in the top 10? ds isnt even a proper console hahahaha this site is crap
    ps. ps3 and xbox r the same microsof shud jus buy sony n make 1 console ffs

  • Shona Mesker  

    I have tried to post a comment on this blog but each time I try it times out the screen or gives an error. Do you think the author possibly look into why this is happening?

  • The Best of Everythi  

    [...] The Best Games of 2009 – Metacritic’s Best of 2009 coverage kicks off with Games. [...]

  • songjingjing  

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

    I think that COD MW 2 is a great game too but you don’t get the “real experience” of what soldiers suffer in the war; i don’t think they produced the game because the “real-life” soldiers suffer, it’s a FPS-game ok, not a game with the meaning of telling you the downsides of war…
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  • henrique  

    someone wants **** ??

  • Johanvalvik  

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

    I think that COD MW 2 is a great game too but you don't get the "real experience" of what soldiers suffer in the war; i don't think they produced the game because the "real-life" soldiers suffer, it's a FPS-game ok, not a game with the meaning of telling you the downsides of war...

  • pantazis  

    ps3 for ever.ucharted 2 amazing game.

  • Peter  

    For me the best game is Company of Heroes!

  • You  

    Also why does it matter what consoles best? Why make such a huge deal out of it? Find one you like and stop complaining that the other console stinks or whatever.

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