The Best Games of 2009

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

The best Nintendo DS games of the year

ImageThe top DS game of 2009

Although set in the same Liberty City as Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is more than just a mere handheld version of the franchise. The year's best-reviewed DS game was hailed by critics for adding new features to the GTA series, and showcasing the capabilities of the Nintendo DS. In fact, it's the best-reviewed DS game in Metacritic's entire database.

The DS also scored with critics for Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, an RPG using the classic Mario characters, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, a challenging hybrid RPG/strategy game set in a demon-infested Tokyo that's (part of a game series that's hugely popular in Japan).

Nintendo DS Top 20 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsAction, Adventure93 9.0
2Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside StoryAction, RPG919.2
3Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, TheAction, Adventure86n/a
4Might and Magic: Clash of HeroesRPG, Puzzle, Adventure86n/a
5Peggle: Dual ShotPuzzle858.7
This addictive PC game port is one of six puzzlers to land in the DS Top 20
6Shin Megami Tensei: Devil SurvivorRPG, Strategy849.3
7Professor Layton and The Diabolical BoxAdventure849.5
8Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly BrideRPG848.7
9Art Style: DIGIDRIVEPuzzle83 9.0
10Mighty Flip ChampsAction, Puzzle83 10.0
11Art Style: PiCTOBiTSPuzzle838.8
12Rhythm HeavenRhythm, Music839.5
This generally well-reviewed Japanese import plays like a Wario Ware title
13Dragon Quest WarsStrategy83 9.0
14Pokemon PlatinumRPG838.7
15Space Invaders Extreme 2Shooter82n/a
16Dawn of DiscoveryStrategy, Simulation828.5
17Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!Action, Adventure828.5
18Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling AdventureAdventure, Puzzle829.2
19Bomberman IIAction81 9.0
20Fire Emblem: Shadow DragonStrategy816.5

Games must have at least 5 reviews to qualify for the above list. The productivity title "Flipnote Studio," although highly-ranked, is excluded from the list because it is not a game.

The best PSP games of the year

ImageThe top PSP game of 2009

Although it didn't score quite as high as its DS counterpart, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars also finished as the best-reviewed game of the year for the Sony PSP. On its heels was PS3 port LittleBigPlanet, which proved as charming on the handheld as it did on the console.

Four role-playing games made the PSP Top 20 list, including Half-Minute Hero, a comedic meta-game that boils genre standards down into a 30-second essence. Gamers looking for a more conventional RPG can turn to Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days, rated by critics as one of the top strategy-RPG games available on the platform.

PSP Top 20 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsAction, Adventure917.2
3PixelJunk Monsters DeluxeStrategy869.7
4Half-Minute HeroRPG859.5
6Blast OffArcade, Puzzle84n/a
7Disgaea 2: Dark Hero DaysStrategy, RPG84 9.0
8FIFA Soccer 10Sports, Soccer838.2
9Tekken 6Fighting, Action828.6
10Resistance: RetributionThird-Person Shooter818.2
11Monster Hunter Freedom UniteAction, RPG819.4
12Patapon 2Action, Music, Platform818.8
13Pinball FantasiesPinball817.3
14FieldrunnersStrategy80 10.0
15BeateratorRhythm, Music809.6
16Soulcalibur: Broken DestinyFighting80 6.0
17Rock Band UnpluggedMusic798.8
19Dissidia Final FantasyAction, RPG, Fighting798.2

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

For more information

Which games bombed with critics this year? Find the "Duds of the Year" in Metacritic Games. Our sister site Gamespot names its "Games of the Year" on December 17th.

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:

  • 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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