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

Image
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)

  • jccalhoun  

    I find it very interesting that although PC gaming ranked second in number of good games and number of games released, it is not only discussed 4th, after the Wii, but isn't even mentioned on the writeup on the front page...

  • Radz117  

    Why is the ps3 version of call of duty higher ranked on the top ten list than the 360 version when they have the same scores? Shouldn't they be the same? Or 360 higher seeing as it has the same score but more reviews and better user reviews. Seems like an overly bias article to boost Ps3's reputation... maybe metacritic accepted a large cheque from Sony

  • Logical Thinking (De  

    The PS3 is only high up there because game review sites give games with adequate graphics and no/little multiplayer BS like 5/10 and games with great graphics and multiplayer 9.9/10. Story, gameplay and control don't matter with these guys.

  • Metacritic’s G  

    [...] the full list here, including a breakdown of the best of the best for each console: http://features.metacritic.com/features/2009/the-best-games-of-2009 AKPC_IDS += "1941,";Related ItemsNovember 13, 2009 -- Early Metacritic Returns: New Super Mario [...]

  • Jonathan  

    The PlayStation 3 is an outstanding console. It's great to see more developers making solid AAA titles for the platform.

  • daniel  

    I think ps3 is the best of the video games

  • Hawk  

    There's no winner because games are basically all across platform theses days. So in the end it's all a wash. I never understood why console owners feel the need to argue that their console is better than the others. There's so many different factors at play that it's just personal preference in the end.

  • Ricardo  

    My problem with all of this is the number of bad games on a system isn't really important at all, most people don't bother to play them, only the good games are important and then raw totals are more important than percentages; its not people buy and are forced to play random games.

  • [Metacritic] The Bes  

    [...] by meta score. Some very interesting results for those interested. Look for where the PC ranks. Sauce [...]

  • Metacritic Announces  

    [...] more info head over to Metacritic.com and check out their page on it. Filed Under: News, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, XboxTagged: [...]

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/cannes-film-festival-awards-reviews-2017 Image
    Cannes Recap: Critics React to the 2017 Festival's Biggest Debuts
    May 28, 2017 - 1 comment
    1. DanBurrito : Finally, a movie where Adam Sandler gets to do more than fart jokes. He can be so good when he's given the right... Read »
  2. /feature/new-movie-trailers-for-the-week-ending-may-12-2017 Image
    Film Friday (5/12): This Week's New Movie Trailers
    May 12, 2017 - 1 comment
    1. DanBurrito : Blade Runner 2049 looks pretty good. Looking forward to that. Read »
  3. /feature/summer-movie-metascore-predictions-2017 Image
    Your Metascore Predictions for 30 Summer Movies
    May 2, 2017 - 14 comments
    1. timbosabo : what does the winner get? anyone know? Read »
    2. DanBurrito : LOL, I went 50 for Baywatch... not sure what I was thinking in retrospect. Read »
    3. dangers : King Arthur - 42 Snatched - 40 Alien: Covenant - 64 Baywatch - 56 Pirates 5 - 60 Wonder Woman - 66 The Mummy -... Read »
    4. dangers : King Arthur - 42 Snatched - 40 Alien: Covenant - 64 Baywatch - 56 Pirates 5 - 60 Wonder Woman - 66 The Mummy -... Read »
    5. gatts_77 : death note is going to be crap, 56 reflects hope more than reality Read »
  4. /feature/music-releases-for-week-of-march-6-2017 Image
    Music Monday (3/6): This Week's New Albums + Videos
    March 6, 2017 - 3 comments
    1. jeffreyglenn : Did Dietz get fired or something? Read »
  5. /feature/tv-renewal-scorecard-2016-2017-season Image
    2016-17 TV Season Scorecard
    June 2, 2016 - 12 comments
    1. deathbringer70 : so sad to see man Seeking Woman and Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll Cancelled! so so sad Read »
  6. /feature/25-best-ios-games Image
    Quarterly Report: The 25 Best iPhone/iPad Games
    April 2, 2017 - 7 comments
    1. DimitriosT : One of my favorite apps today is Coinnect for the iOS. An addictively fun matching game I can't stop playing. I love... Read »