Little more than half of the year has passed, but a number of quality video games have already been released in 2009.
Most of the highest-profile releases don’t come out until later in the year, as is the case every year. But the game schedule has started to broaden over the past few years. “Grand Theft Auto IV” came out in the early part of 2008, and it was arguably the best game released last year. Even more companies targeted releases for the first half of this year.
Back in February, I thought about my mid-year best games list and figured there would be about five noteworthy games. Now, it’s hard to do anything less than a top 10 list of best games (so far) of 2009.
10. “Battlefield 1943”: The downloadable sequel to “Battlefield 1942” is one of the most popular games of the summer. It’s a simple, cheap yet addictive game for Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network.
9. “Fight Night Round 4”: The game is somewhat mired by freezing issues, but the gameplay is outstanding and the selection of boxers is vast.
8. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”: One of the better movie adaptations in recent years, Wolverine gets his chance to wreak havoc in a violent adventure.
7. “Ghostbusters”: The developers did an amazing job of bringing to life the original feel of the “Ghostbusters” movie franchise. It’s also one of the few video games to pull off genuine comedy.
6. “Killzone 2”: I was a little disappointed by the sequel to the PlayStation 2 game, but that’s just because I had such high hopes. “Killzone 2” is still a very strong game.
5. “Prototype”: It’s hard to separate this and the next game because both are so similar. “Prototype” is an open-world game in which you can choose how to build your hero, who is a cross between Wolverine and the Hulk.
4. “infamous”: “inFamous” lands above “Prototype” because it feels like a more refined game. It has more direction and more polish. The PlayStation 3 exclusive also tells a richer story.
3. “Guitar Hero: Metallica”: Easily the best band-specific “Guitar Hero” game, Metallica’s version succeeds because of the time the band spent with the developers. It truly encapsulates the career of one of the best-selling bands in history.
2. “NCAA Football 10”: Everything about this year’s version of the franchise is better, from the small details to making the gameplay more realistic and more challenging.
1. “Resident Evil 5”: I thought this game was very good the first time I played through it. But it became a truly great game through its co-op story mode. Capcom created the game that really requires two players to be on the same page to survive in an African country infected by virus.
Some upcoming fall releases will surely knock some of these titles down or off of the list, but it will be interesting to see how “Resident Evil 5” holds up against the new games.
It should be tough to top.