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.

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Comments (185)

  • Metacritic names PS3  

    [...] case, the lack of such a connection) in January, after final 2009 sales data is released. Source: The Best Games of 2009 - Metacritic _________________ There is a ton of more data and such in there but if I posted it all it would get [...]

  • Nintendo Wii »  

    [...] Uncharted 2 is the best game of 2009 Who says so? Science says so. Just look at the numbers in this Metacritic round-up of the year’s top games and it’s pretty obvious that Uncharted 2 is the best. Also, [...]

  • Xbox360 Elite »  

    [...] December 15th, 2009 | Tags: Who says so? Science says so. Just look at the numbers in this Metacritic round-up of the year’s top games and it’s pretty obvious that Uncharted 2 is the best. Also, [...]

  • Luke  

    Shoudln't everyone be more worried that the AVERAGE score accross the industry is 7? I mean doesn;t this make it even harder to get decent scores or for us to get an idea of how much better than average there is if thers only 3 points to go? If the average game doesn;t score a average number (you would expect average to be 5, as its, you know, in the middle of 0 and 10). Currently people have a false idea as they assume that 7 = good, not average.

    Also the wii having a median score that it did with an extra 100 or so releases isn't that bad, especally as online mags love to review random titles that woudln't even be touched when it comes to the 360 or PS3 versions of the random titles (yes, some of the "shovelware" is also out on the other consoles, but they never get review for some reason, only the wii versions?)

  • JimmyZ  

    The median score is not the only thing determining which system wins here. Is anyone noticing the number of games that received a score of 90 or greater? Yeah, the median score of pc may be 72.5 compared to the PS3's 72 for all games; but the PS3 had 4.4% of its games with a score of 90 or above, compared to the PCs 2.3% and xbox's 2.5%. Also, If you read the fine print, you would know why some totals don't add up to exactly 100%.

  • Metacritic Platform  

    [...] aggregation site Metacritic has released its first annual “Game Platform Power Rankings,” which calculates the scores of each of the six most popular platforms’ top selling software. [...]

  • Bill  

    CC99999: I don't think sales (i.e monetary gain) really reflect the success of a system. If you want to get technical, you can look at the billions of dollars that Microsoft has lost in both shipping and repairing broken consoles. Just because a game sold more doesn't mean it is of higher quality and polish. I think the quality and build of a PS3 vs a 360, as well as the exclusives available this year, reflect that fact that just because more people own it, doesn't mean its better (especially when we see how many 360s have broken down).

  • Stewart  

    Brian: The reason PS3 users vented their frustration was because call of duty 4 had dedicated servers on the PS3 and not the 360. When infinity ward decided to abandon these servers for the PS3 version, the players obviously weren't happy.

  • Science: Uncharted 2  

    [...] says so? Science says so. Just look at the numbers in this Metacritic round-up of the year’s top games and it’s pretty obvious that Uncharted 2 is the best. Also, [...]

  • Xbox360 Elite »  

    [...] says so? Science says so. Just look at the numbers in this Metacritic round-up of the year’s top games and it’s pretty obvious that Uncharted 2 is the best. Also, [...]

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