The Best Games of 2009

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

The best Wii games of the year

ImageThe top Wii game of 2009

Nintendo dug into its own past (as it so often does) and came up with a hit in 2009, bringing back the GameCube sci-fi action-adventure series Metroid in the form of a new Wii compellation, Metroid Prime Trilogy. Make that two hits; platformer New Super Mario Bros. Wii also scored with the critics in its new incarnation.

However, Wii once again struggled to match the other platforms in terms of critical acclaim, and the platform was missing creative breakout hits like 2008's Okami and World of Goo. Metroid was the only title to score 90 or above this year, and three of the top 10 (and four of the top 11) Wii games were in the music genre -- not a good sign in a year in which music games generally were considered to be retreads of the previous year's entries.

In the platform exclusives category, the Steven Spielberg-created puzzle/party game Boom Blox Bash Party went down easy with critics, much like its acclaimed predecessor. Critics also found "cutesy" strategy-adventure game Little King's Story rewarding, and downloadable WiiWare title LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, a sequel to last year's LostWinds, also scored generally strong marks.

Wii Top 40 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Metroid Prime TrilogyFirst-Person Shooter919.2
2Beatles: Rock Band, TheMusic899.4
3Guitar Hero 5Music896.6
4Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10Sports, Golf889.5
The best-reviewed sports game for Wii in 2009 ... and all time
5New Super Mario Bros. WiiPlatform879.2
6DJ HeroMusic87 6.0
7Little King's StorySimulation, Strategy, Adventure87 9.0
8LostWinds: Winter of the MelodiasAction, Adventure, Platform869.2
9Boom Blox Bash PartyPuzzle, Action868.6
10Punch-Out!!Sports, Boxing868.8
11Guitar Hero: MetallicaMusic857.4
12Pro Evolution Soccer 2009Sports, Soccer849.4
13New Play Control! Pikmin 2Strategy848.5
14Pro Evolution Soccer 2010Sports, Soccer849.5
15Swords & SoldiersStrategy848.3
16NyxQuest: Kindred SpiritsAction, Platform829.3
17Dead Space ExtractionAction, Adventure, Horror828.1
18Bit.Trip VoidRhythm, Music81 10.0
19Dawn of DiscoveryStrategy, Simulation819.3
20EA Sports Active More WorkoutsFitness819.8
Who said it's just a gaming machine? "More" is the first of three fitness titles in the Top 40
21MadWorldAction81 9.0
22EA Sports ActiveFitness818.7
23Muramasa: The Demon BladeAction, RPG819.8
24Wii Sports ResortSports808.2
25Rune Factory: FrontierRPG80 9.0
26Wii Fit PlusFitness807.6
27Bit.Trip BeatAction, Arcade809.6
28Boy and His Blob, AAction, Platform809.3
29Bit.Trip CoreArcade808.7
30Band HeroMusic79 6.0
31Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming NarwhalAdventure799.2
32Mini NinjasAction, Adventure799.2
33You, Me, and the CubesAction, Puzzle79 4.0
34NHL 2K10Sports, Hockey798.6
35Rabbids Go HomeAdventure799.4
36Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner CayAdventure79n/a
37House of the Dead: Overkill, TheFirst-Person Shooter789.3
38WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010Sports, Wrestling789.2
39MySims AgentsAction, Adventure789.6
40New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle BeatPlatform, Action789.5

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

The best PC games of the year

ImageThe top PC game of 2009

Street Fighter IV, the latest installment in the venerable fighting franchise, was the best-reviewed PC game of the year, although the hit Dragon Age: Origins was nearly as heralded. The latter is a role-playing game that serves as a successor to the classic Baldur's Gate series, and it features robust downloadable content additions (which should keep coming for the next few years).

PC gamers in the market for vowels can also pick up the most unusually titled game of the year: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, which, if reviews are to be believed, may be as much fun to play as it is to type, thanks to its addictive, arcade-style action.

PC Top 40 Best-Reviewed Games, 2009
  Title Genre Metascore Users
1Street Fighter IVFighting918.7
2Batman: Arkham AsylumAction, Adventure918.8
3Dragon Age: OriginsRPG918.5
4Left 4 Dead 2Action, First-Person Shooter908.8
5BraidPlatform908.8
6Empire: Total WarStrategy906.6
7DiRT 2Racing, Driving90 10.0
8Football Manager 2010Sports, Simulation889.4
9Plants vs. ZombiesAction, Strategy889.2
10EVE Online: ApocryphaMMORPG888.7
11Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxRacing, Driving878.1
12Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2First-Person Shooter862.1
13Resident Evil 5Action, Adventure, Horror868.1
14Sims 3, TheSimulation867.5
Although it falls short of its predecessor, it's the top non-sports sim of the year
15Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, TheAdventure869.7
16Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War IIStrategy858.2
17MachinariumAdventure849.3
18Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly AcademyAdventure84n/a
19TorchlightAction, RPG849.3
20AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for GravityAction848.6
21Time Gentlemen, Please!Adventure849.1
22Out of the Park Baseball 10Sports, Simulation838.3
23Need for Speed SHIFTRacing, Driving835.1
24Red Faction: GuerrillaThird-Person Shooter838.8
25Dawn of DiscoveryStrategy, Simulation828.7
26King's Bounty: Armored PrincessAdventure, Strategy, RPG829.2
27BorderlandsFirst-Person Shooter, Action, RPG82 8.0
28Football Manager LiveSports, Simulation822.9
29Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the LeviathanAdventure829.2
30Gridrunner RevolutionShooter828.4
31DCS: Black SharkSimulation827.7
32Battlefield 1943First-Person Shooter827.7
33OsmosPuzzle81 9.0
The best-reviewed PC puzzle game of the year features a hypnotic score and can't-miss price
34Sims 3 World Adventures, TheSimulation81 9.0
35Fallout 3: Broken SteelRPG816.8
36League of LegendsMMORPG819.5
37Mirror's EdgeAction, Adventure818.3
38Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, TheFirst-Person Shooter807.2
39Left 4 Dead: Crash CourseFirst-Person Shooter, Action806.2
40AI War: Fleet Command Strategy808.8

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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