1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Fun. remember fun? that's what video games used to be. they used to be something you did for fun. Uncharted 2, is the most fun i've had with a game in years. the breakneck pacing, visceral combat, expansive and fun story preformed brilliantly by the strong voicecast and script, and the sheer heft and ambition of it's many memorable moments make Uncharted 2: Among thieves the best game of the year.
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman is probably the most popular and enduring character in pop culture, arguably next to Superman. the problem with making a Superman game is that Superman isn't an action star. what makes Superman interesting isn't what makes video games interesting, and so he's just not condusive to this medium, but Batman, well, he's different. pathos, mortality, and of course gadgets, suck you into the world of Batman and his rogues gallery. a dedicated setting and a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks and treats helped put Rocksteady on the map, and thier game one of the most memorable of the year.
3. Forza Motorsport 3
FMS3 is brilliant. it's one of those games that never stops giving, and the only thing it takes, is the hours you willingly dump into it. wonderful online. a staggeringly large campaign, cars from every corner of the world in great quantity, and some of the greatest real-life tracks. if you've ever fantasized about getting into fast car and taking on the world, there is no reason to skip this game.
5. DiRT 2
Codemasters know racing games. they shit thier pants with everytthing else, but thier racing games are masterpieces. Dirt 2 is no exception. they took everything they learned from Dirt, everything they learned from Grid, and made the best rallysport game ever.
style meets substance in this addictive first person shooter from upstart studio Gearbox. tight controls, ambition and charm drive this game from a more action oriented Fallout 3 clone, to the first game of it's kind fo give Diablo 2 a run for it's money. it's not a perfect game, but nothing with as much character as Borderlands possesses ever is.
it's been a big year for Superheroes and superhero games. Batman shattered the bad rap liscenced games have earned themselves over the years, and a rivalry brewed between activision's Prototype, and sony's Infamous. Infamous won. it's a better game in just about every way, from the way it progresses, to the environments, to the enemies, to the story. it seems almost silly that prototype was even considered a proper rival to Infamous at this point.
8. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
this is my handheld pick. not since Pokemon have i seen a portable title stuffed with so much content, so much to do, and with such an addictive quality to it. this game struck a balance so well with it's solid gameplay and stupendous design and story. what makes it the best handheld game of the year is that you get the best of both worlds, whether you're playing for 10 minutes while you wait for a ride, or 2 hours while you sit on a plane, the game never stops being fun, interesting and uniquely GTA.
9. Assassin's Creed II
a perfect example of how to make a sequel. unexpected departures and fine trimming characterize this game. the first assassin's creed bit of more than it could chew with it's big story and overabundant marketing. while the game did indeed do alot of things new, it was met with design flaw after design flaw, and a sorely unitneresting main character. AC2 is like a fix for al of that. the devs took what they learned from the first game, and finally we have the Assassin's Creed game we deserve.
10. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
No, Seriously. this game is awesome. hilarious kisch plot and concept aside, Swordfish studios first major release defied every expectation and was actually really good. think Gears of War meets The Club with a dash of Black Dynomite. it's like an exploitation film made by Jerry Bruchhiemmer, and it's awesome.