Best of 2009

2009 was certainly an interesting year for me when it comes to releases. A lot of releases generated an awful lot of buzz that really did nothing for me, I'm looking at you Batman and Borderlands. If you were to find me this time last year and confront me with this list, I'd probably call you a madman, (Whilst a genius for perfecting time travel) because this list contains a lot of stuff that was totally off my radar only being brought to my attention from word of mouth. But looking back, I definitely appreciate the diversity offered this year. To 2010!

List items

  • Really, you're suprised? I love zombies. I love Valve's quirky sense of humour. I love co-op. Perfect. This one shouldn't come as too much a surprise to anyone who knows me, it took L4D's already winning formula (which I've sunk well over 130 hours into. ...Not including the 360 version) and ran with it, adding some much needed diversity to the VS. and Survival modes. And seriously, how can you not love Ellis?

  • As someone who's generally avoided the Call of Duty series for it's arguably overrated multiplayer offerings, this one came as a surprise to me. Whilst I still find it aggravating at times, Infinity Ward really hit the nail on the head this time when it comes to giving the player choice in how they actually want to play the game. Spec Ops is a great addition, taking the intense firefights of the single player campaign and adding another player into the mix is such a simple but brilliant thing. ...Even if I did finish one mission by the cheapest possible option.

    p.s. Please fix the dual shotguns.

  • As a UK citizen, this IS technically a 2009 release! And really, it's quality cannot be understated, a solid story, strong combat and a cast that keeps you enthralled the entire time. As someone who's primarily a Final Fantasy guy, I was wary of this at first, but I'm so glad I picked it up. Going through it at my own pace, each revelation was genuinely shocking (A rare thing in games) and even if you've watched the entire Endurance Run, you'd be doing yourself a favor by picking this one up.

  • Truly, this is the age of lists. Dragon Age almost immediately made it clear I'd need to play this again. ...And again. With a strong set of characters and a great selection of answers to the moral (and sometimes ridiculous) questions offered, I found myself immersed in a deep and interesting world. Sadly, having come straight off of WoW and onto this, I often found myself forgetting you can't just run in and mash heart strike...

  • Admittedly, Brutal Legend fell short on the gameplay department. But had it where it counts. Heart. Every other line spoke during this game evoked some form of emotional reaction, ranging from laughing at Eddie's tactless demands to make out to feeling genuine sadness about loss.

  • I didn't actually get around to this one until very late into the year, but god am I happy I got around to it. I'm a man who likes choice! And the unhealthy desire to see both versions of a given scenario! Which is why after finishing inFamous for the first time, I immediately felt myself compelled to play it again if I'd chosen to be a dick say... the entire time. ...I wasn't disappointed.

  • Now this is one that definitely caught my surprise. Assassin's Creed didn't have a great start and it's repetitive nature certainly didn't do it any favours, but I always found myself intrigued with the broader scheme of things. The 'real' world. Assassin's Creed II delivered on just about every level I feel it needed to, offering a diverse set of tasks with a greater emphasis on the true story of the series. ...It helps my girlfriend's teaching me Italian aswell. What held this one back is that gameplaywise it plays it maybe a little too safe with it's missions. But I definitely look forward to what the future holds for this series.

  • 'Splosion Man's a dude. A dude who explodes. When he explodes near scientists, they turn into ham. I cannot convert how ridiculous this game is into word format. If nothing else, I demand you witness the ending because good lord, I laughed. Hard. The only thing holding this one back was it's fairly short length (which comes with being a XBLA title) and somewhat repetitive nature. ...Though I could hug those doughnut dudes all day.

    ...And might.

  • As someone who's never been that big a fan of the 2D Mario adventures (RPG's aside) I find this one to be worthy of recomendation for one reason and one reason only. Multiplayer. ...I cannot stress enough how fun it is to intentionally throw your friend off a cliff. Over and over and over and over...

  • Alright, this is cheating a little bit. But really, 3 of the greatest first person games of all time. One box. Refined controls. Could you really need more of a reason to go back and check these out? Admittedly, this is a remake of games from across the decade, so I don't really feel justified to put it any higher. But god, what a collection.