Well, we’re a bit late on this, but that’s because we were waiting to make sure we had all sampled enough of these games to confidently vote on what we felt were the best 10 games of 2009. This kind of list needs next to no introduction, but suffice it to say that 2009 was one incredible year for our hobby. What once seemed barren and unimpressive became, honestly, one of the best years I can remember, and probably was the best year for the whole generation to date in a lot of ways. We saw new IPs, old ones re-vamped, and got some of the same awesomeness from franchises we already loved.
For the list, we put this together by having the GS staff (myself, Nick, Jeff, Anthony and Mitch) vote on our top 10 games, and then associated a point system with each to determine which games came out on top. So, without further ado, scroll down for the GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2009!
Sucker Punch Productions
[Sony Computer Entertainment]
Sucker Punch’s PlayStation 3 debut proves that you can make a successful open world title if you follow one golden rule: getting around has to be fun! InFamous accomplishes this by allowing the player to scale the tallest buildings effortlessly, jump off roofs with abandon and grind along power lines with lighting quick speed. Add in a good/evil morality system that requires two play-throughs to the get the full experience with an explosive combat system and you have one of the most original open world games of 2009.
Borderlands is quite simply the kind of game we need more of. When you combine frenetic first-person shooter action with tried and true RPG stat crunching and throw in a bit of co-operative gameplay, the result is something truly unique and fantastic. Gearbox’s post-apocalyptic shooter provided hours of fun in 2009 and will hopefully continue to do so for the years following.
8. Demon’s Souls
JRPG’s may be on the wane, but Demon’s Souls breathes new life into the genre with tough, but fair gameplay and a unique and innovative online system of play. Gorgeous graphics, haunting music and a challenge for all who call themselves “hardcore”, Demon’s Souls has thrown down the gauntlet when it comes to new JRPGs.
7. Shadow Complex
[Microsoft Game Studios]
It’s not every year that you see a 2D title as fun and tight as Shadow Complex. In fact, apart from the Nintendo DS, you don’t see many releases like this at all these days. Shadow Complex takes the Metroid style of gameplay and pumps it up to the max with Epic’s Unreal engine, making it both gorgeous as much as it is a joy to play. With hours of exploration, awesome gadgets and Hollywood style action, this game provided some huge entertainment. Oh, did we mention that it was only $15?
6. Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins is a multi-platform Bioware RPG that was 7 years in the making, and it shows. The master storytellers at Bioware have given a truly “fantasy” adventure, sporting lords and ladies, dragons and sorcery. The morality choices presented throughout really let you craft your own story, one that results in one of the best gaming experiences of 2009 as well as one of the most promising new IPs that’s landed on the RPG landscape for some time.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
If there’s one game that everyone was talking about this year, it was the sequel to Infinity Ward’s 2007 blockbuster. With a market budget almost as big as its development cost, Modern Warfare 2 was imprinted onto the minds of people everywhere and it has the sales numbers to show for it. While the single player game retained Infinity Ward’s tight level design and attention to detail, the meat of Modern Warfare 2 was its deep and rewarding multiplayer portion and people will be fragging online for years to come.
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Licensed games are hit or miss, usually miss, but with pinpoint accuracy, Rocksteady studios nailed this one. Stunning graphics and gameplay that closely mimics how Batman should play in a game contribute to one of 2009’s biggest surprises. Add in the gloomy setting of Arkham Asylum, with atmosphere that rivals Rapture from Bioshock and you are left with only one complaint: too short!
3. Assassin’s Creed II
Even though the first Assassin’s Creed was ambitious in a lot of ways, it fell short of gaining wholesale acceptance with its repetitive nature and sloppy game design. The second Assassin’s Creed puts those accusations to bed with a fantastic adventure through Renaissance Italy as young nobleman and assassin initiate Ezio Auditore de Firenze. Featuring a great cast of characters, a fully realized world and a revamped combat/assassination system, Assassin’s Creed II stands as one of the premier titles even during a great year for games.
2. Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 took a great deal of flack before its release, but answered back to the doubtful by proving itself to be one hell of a fine game. The not-quite zombie killing 3rd person survival action game, RE5 reminded us of a time when games were more polished, rewarding and replayable. With a fun story, thrilling co-operative gameplay, loads of unlockables and new DLC coming out in 2010, this game will be a memorable pillar for this generation, and easily stands as the runner up for best game of 2009.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
[Sony Computer Entertainment]
The first Uncharted was a respected roller coaster set mainly on one island. The sequel ups the ante, as Nathan Drake spans the globe, adding new friends and enemies along the way. The core gameplay is basically the same as the first game, but refined to a perfect blend of action and story-telling. Uncharted 2 set the bar high for all other games, from gameplay, pacing, graphics and voice-acting. Throw in a robust multi-player component and you have the hallmark game of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Beatles: Rock Band, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Halo: ODST
Now that you’ve seen our list of the top 10 games of 2009, tell us what yours are! Go!