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
3PixelJunk Monsters DeluxeStrategy869.7
4Half-Minute HeroRPG859.5
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
19Dissidia Final FantasyAction, RPG, Fighting798.2

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)

  • Jerry Curlan  

    2009 has clearly been the year of the PS3, while I believe that 2008 was a toss-up between the 360 (quality) and Wii (quantity). Now if Sony could just put a push behind quality games for the PSP, they'd be in business!

  • Marie  

    So without Braid which had already been on the 360 for over a year with the same score 360 and PS3 had the same number in the top ten for the year. Worth noting.

  • rumtumtugger  

    "However, Wii once again struggled to match the other platforms in terms of cortical acclaim."

    Indeed they did.

  • bomba2812  

    @marie stop being a fanboy or fangirl ps3 games were obviously better than the 360 games plus there were 50 more games released for the 360 than for the ps3

  • Metacritic’s B  

    [...] you would like to see the top 40 for all platforms, head on over to Metacritic, for more in depth analysis of each platform as [...]

  • VG247 » Blog A  

    [...] has beaten out PC, Wii and Xbox 360 to finish on top of Metacritic’s first annual Game Platform Power [...]

  • Brian  

    Someone goofed. I see a note under MW2 for the PS3 and it says users vented their anger about the game. But it doesn't say it for the 360 version. If users are going to vent wouldn't they vent against the PC version? They're the ones who were mad.

  • Ejsponge61  

    I'm glad to see that the PS3 is finally getting the acclaim it deserves. Now maybe my friends will get one, because none of them do. And I cant believe that ODST got an 83, I thought that it was Microsoft's only big title to compete with Uncharted 2 and Super Mario Bros. Wii, which both scored way higher. And I'm also surprised to see the Wii at the bottom of the list, well, not really, they did only have a few OK games this year. And I'm glad to see the PSP was in a respectable place, seeing as I'm getting a PSP Go for the holidays.

  • major  

    @Marie hahahaah ,There is only one exclusive (not downloadable title) on the Xbox360 which scored 90 or above while the Ps3 had 4 titles scorning 90 or above ,let’s not forget the other ps3 exclusives which scored above 85 ,the Ps3 beat the X360 this year by a land slide it’s not even funny
    2008 was ps3 year; most of the awards were for Ps3 titles not X360

    anyway Keep spinning guys

  • Jason Dietz  

    Brian: Actually, they vented against ALL the versions. Go figure.

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