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)

  • Omega2k3  

    How come the total percentage of PC and 360 games are 101%? DS is 99%?

    What the hell?

  • francisco  

    And to say that PS3 has no games. Xbox 360 with the head start only has 50 more games. Pretty sad how Halo:ODST ended up all the way in the bottom.

  • Troy  

    The 360 rules. I don't know why all the hate for the 360 all of a sudden.

  • Randy Moorhead  

    Why is Braid up there if it was released on the 360 last year? Is it really that much better on the Ps3? I don't think that Braid should count towards the PS3's overall score unless it significantly improves on the 360 iteration. Also, why is that God of War re-release up there?

  • Video Game News Week  

    [...] Meta Critic: Best Games 2009 Details click here [...]

  • Grey  

    These all need to be taken with a grain of salt, and the inclusion of Braid is obviously a bit silly since it's been on XBLA for over a year. But PS3 deserves some props this year, finally getting a killer app in Uncharted 2. Wipeout HD is another exclusive that adds a lot of value to the machine, even if it didn't factor into this list. That said, most of the games here are non-exclusive, and calling a "victor" is stupid. When duplicate cross-platform titles eat up such a good portion of the top-10 list, it only takes the one exclusive Uncharted 2 to throw the whole thing off.

    On an unrelated note, I'm sad to see the Wii fall so far behind. If nothing else, Punch Out! deserved much higher reviews than it received. I know it's cool to rag on the Wii, but it has some good stuff for hardcore gamers (Muramasa is another great exclusive), and deserves more respect than it gets.

  • man1985  

    Nice list and all but why is the 360 version of MW2 at #4 and the PS3 version is at #2. Don't they both have a score of 94? Why is the 360 #4 eventhough the User grade is higher than the PS3's.

    My question is what makes the PS3 MW2 that much better than the 360. Biased much?

    I admit PS3 had a better year this year in gaming, espiacially in the exclusives, but MW2 is the same game no matter what platform it's on. That sort chart just makes you look biased when it isn't even necessary. Everybody knows PS3 had better games this year.

  • Biggre  

    I find it funny that with all the "fanboy" acusations being thrown around, this article is being flooded 10:1 with "OMG PS3 **** in my pants!" comments. I'm not being a fanboy, I'm just advocating that everyone grows up a little bit. Well a lot.

  • Video Game News Week  

    [...] Meta Critic: Best Games 2009 Details click here [...]

  • Phil G  

    Counting a re-release of two PS2 games from several years ago, and a port of a year old 360 title? That doesn't seem like a particularly strong sign of PS3 dominance when a lot better titles could be cited (maybe not in reviewers eyes, but certainly in player's).

    Furthermore, with the sheer quantity of PC indie titles and such that likely go unreviewed, is it credible to give any kind of quality assessment to the PC? The problem is compounded when you factor in the technical difficulties that would prevent some people from playing the PC version (example: The Saboteur not running for those with ATI cards), thus creating an uneven experience with the game.

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