The Best Games of 2009

  • Comments: ↓ 186 user comments
  • Publish Date: December 9, 2009

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 (186)

  • 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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