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
2LittleBigPlanetPlatform889.2
3PixelJunk Monsters DeluxeStrategy869.7
4Half-Minute HeroRPG859.5
5TetrisPuzzle859.5
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
18KahootsPuzzle798.5
19Dissidia Final FantasyAction, RPG, Fighting798.2
20EchoesAction79n/a

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.

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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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