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
21FlowerAction879.4
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
12PeggleAction898.5
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)

  • 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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