The year in video games ended peculiarly, with a number of expected releases jumping to early 2010 release dates.
A few of those games were likely candidates for game of the year, but their absence doesn’t create a huge void. There were plenty of great games this year, beginning with “Killzone 2” back in January and ending with the December release of “The Saboteur.”
It was such a strong year that neither of those two games cracked my top 10 list of the best games of 2009.
10. “Trials HD”: I think “Trials HD” is the most addictive game I have played this year. The downloadable game will have you trying your hardest to navigate your motorcycle through some treacherous terrain.
9. “New Super Mario Brothers”: This is just good old-fashioned, nostalgic fun. Stylistically, it’s the game you remember, with some updated tweaks and multiplayer support.
8. “Guitar Hero: Metallica” and “The Beatles: Rock Band”: Both these games showed just how good a band-specific music game can be when the developers and musicians work together.
7. “DJ Hero”: The game gets high marks for originality and execution. It might not have the replay value of other music games, but it is the most innovative one yet.
6. “inFamous”: A game released in the first half of the year, “inFamous” was one of the more polished games that came out before the holiday season. It had a deep story and would be the second-best PlayStation 3 exclusive this year.
5. “Resident Evil 5”: This game redefined what co-op gameplay in a campaign was all about.
4. “Assassin’s Creed 2”: The developers fixed any bugs or missteps from the original to deliver one of the best sequels ever released in a year full of top-notch sequels.
3. “Batman: Arkham Asylum”: “Arkham Asylum” had the coolest story of the year and delivered the most user-friendly combat system in a long time. It’s the best comic book game ever made.
2. “Modern Warfare 2”: The gang at Infinity Ward delivered a game that measured up to the massive hype. The three different modes feel like three different games.
1. “Uncharted 2”: The game is nearly flawless, and I believe it’s the best PlayStation 3 game released. Top-notch storytelling, exciting action-adventure platforming and great multiplayer mode add up to make the top game of 2009.
Honorable mentions: “Madden 10,” “Left 4 Dead 2,” “Shadow Complex,” “NCAA Football 10,” “Forza Motorsport 3,” “Killzone 2,” “The Saboteur,” “Grand Theft Auto” downloadable episodes and “Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.”