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The best games I played this year

This year was the first time that I've really devoted a lot of energy to gaming.  I've done a bit, but mostly on handhelds, save for the occasional Tony Hawk game when I was a teenager.  The following lists the 10 best games that I've played for the first time this year.  Please note that this is not a best of 2009 list.  This list is in order from 1-15 (10 was too limiting!). 

List items

  • No story grabbed me quite like this one. The immersion, the characters, and the graphics all made this the best game I played this year. The amazing set-pieces and action made it easy to forget my 160-odd deaths in my play through on Normal. I got to this one late, but I'm sure I'll be tacking on countless hours in 2010.

  • This is the game that I spent the most time on this year. Over 250 total. This is the one game where I've truly enjoyed the online multiplayer. Sure, it has some of the same shortcomings as any multiplayer (you're playing with people, after all), but there's still something special about doing freeburn challenges with a friend.

  • This is the only game this year where I was compelled to play through the main story twice. And on the hardest difficulty. While I am still a few trophies short of the platinum, I loved the game enough to go and collect every blast shard. The story was also top notch, with an ending that should not be missed by anybody.

  • I am shamed to say that I never played God of War 1 or 2 before I picked up the God of War collection (I played Chains of Olympus last year). That said, I really really enjoyed my experience with both games. Sure, some design decisions seem perplexing this long after the games were initially released (hades towers), but that doesn't stop the games from being some of the best action games of all time.

  • Open world jank be damned, this was still an amazing game. There were some frustrating moments, sure, but the immersion in this game is top notch. I need to go back and do some sidequests and the DLC, since I feel like I only scratched the surface in my 25 hour playthrough.

  • Awesome puzzle game, to be sure. The quirky style and the humor of the sign painter made this the game that made me smile the most.

  • Flower is not for everybody. However, I really enjoyed it. It seemed like a fun tech demo until the exhilarating final stage, which really grabbed my heart and my mind.

  • I really dug the wipeout games on the psp, so this game was a natural fit. The stunning visuals and amazing gameplay modes were really what made this title stick with me. There's also something that's amazingly fun about going through a course on phantom class and barely holding on. Don't ask me about the trophies, though!

  • Maybe it's because I spent most of my summer sitting in a fluid dynamics course, but I have a real appreciation for the care that Q games put into their physics in this game. The way the fluids interact with the ship and the environment are just fun to watch and be a part of. The game is a little short, and they'll probably hook me onto extra content, but I'm sure I'll really enjoy all of that, too.

  • I'm a newcomer to the action rpg genre. However, I still really enjoyed my time in Torchlight. I just picked this game up last week and beat it last night. There's just something about finding that piece of rare loot that makes me feel all warm, fuzzy, and badass.

  • I really didn't feel this game as much as a lot of other people did. Maybe because I don't really care for competitive multiplayer, I guess? Other than a few frustrating sections in the story, including a cheap-ass final boss fight, I really did have fun in the single player playthrough. I just wish I got more mileage for my 60 bucks.

  • Another in the Staff's most divisive games list that I enjoyed. While the game has a super super simple premise, it's still a lot of fun to carry and lob a bomb. The game's not quite as deep as I'd like, and there's uptight veterans in practically every server, but it's still an enjoyable game.

  • A competent sequel. This would be higher, but I haven't exactly finished it. I got stuck on the ice wall, and just beat it a week or so ago. it's not high on my priority list right now, so it suffered a bit as a result.

  • A fun little downloadable game with an awesome soundtrack. The only shortcoming that it has is that it's very very short. I beat it in under 3 hours, and haven't had a particularly compelling reason to come back since.

  • You can eat your own ass. YOU CAN EAT YOUR OWN ASS. Enough said?