Best of 2009

I missed out on the XBL Arcade stuff and some platforms, but regardless here are my favorite games of the year.

List items

  • Fixed most every problem with the last game. The biggest addition for me was the incorporation of Desmond's story and that whole part of the AC universe. In the first game it was really a distraction, popping up every once in a while and interrupting the flow of the game. Here it drove me forward. I wanted to see what happened to Desmond and scoured all of Italy for the whole "truth" video. The conspiracy laden puzzles were just as great as the video ended up being and gave the game's plot an epic feel as it wove historical events and people into this battle between the assassins and templars. The ending was great, it left me both satisfied and very excited to see where the franchise goes from here. Also, Kyd delivers on the music again, best soundtrack of the year.

  • A good multiplayer component was great, but the campaign was just outstanding. The convoy sequence and the battle on the train were unbelievable. Graphically this game can't be touched.

  • Great game, but didn't think it was quite flawless. The boss battles in particular were bad, and that is a shame given how epic Batman's battles with villains can be in other mediums. Hopefully in the sequel the boss fights are Metal Gear-esque.

  • Blew me away. RTS meets a dungeon crawler. Relic continues to impress, my only gripe is that they basically conceded on the multiplayer and made a very traditional experience. Here's to hoping they bring their campaign improvements into the multiplayer next time.

  • Didn't quite blow me away like the first one did, but still a great game. Smart additions but I could have used more. While the campaign was too ridiculous, I did enjoy the feel of the campaign, it was bleak throughout, something different for videogames. The music, the themes, the visuals, and the weapons add up to this: War is not pretty and modern war is especially deadly.

  • Should note I'm not too far into this one yet. This game is obviously gonna be a slow burn, but I suspect by the time I get further in and the story ramps up this could be higher on the list.

  • Not the most polished game but very well done I thought. The brothers were pretty interesting characters and there was a lot of fun to be had in the moment to moment gunplay. Thought it was a very nice looking game graphically as well.

  • There are legs in those old 2D genres yet. Simply update the tech and leave it in the hands of some capable game makers. What a downloadable game. The mix of 3D and 2D within the gameplay is particularly brilliant and it's pretty amazing how well it works in the game.

  • Certainly has flaws and there's much to build upon, but a very promising start to the UFC series. Replaces Fight Night as my real life fighting game series of choice. It'll be interesting to see where MMA games go from here with EA and Undisputed 2010 both in the mix.

  • Overrated at the time it came out I thought but still a good game. Some of the disappointment for me was how the game ended up playing very much like a shooter but without the depth that shooters have, instead giving you only 3 or so "guns". Still, the game has some cool abilities and I appreciate the way the electricity powers really controlled the feel of the game, a welcome change from the typical super strength and agility types we see in these games.