The following is part of IVG’s year-end feature, where each of our writers will highlight their top 5 games of 2009. You too have the opportunity to let us know your top 5 games of the year, and in turn contribute towards picking IVG’s overall Game of the Year for 2009. Click here to participate in the Game of the Year polls.
I’m not really fond of Top 5 lists, or top 10, 20, 25, 50, 100… you get the drift, right? And compiling a list for the top 5 games of 2009 just highlighted my dislike. This year saw some truly fantastic games, and more than choosing five games out of them for this little featuring, putting them in order was nothing less than a Herculean task. However, after putting in more thought than I’m normally used to, I managed to put them in order. A disclaimer here though; I wouldn’t put too much stock in the numbers if I were you. Each of these games is a brilliant experience in itself and your life is meaningless without playing any of them.
Some ground rules before we begin though:
- I do not put much stock in competitive multiplayer, so all you warmongers fueled by unnatural amounts of testosterone can take your “OMFG! No Modern Warfare 2/Killzone 2! List is Failz! LOL!” somewhere else.
- I appreciate a good story driven by interesting characters. All games in my list fulfill those criteria in some way or the other.
- I only own a PS3, so no love for the 360 exclusives. If you want to see me do justice to them, I will accept donations for a new Xbox 360.
- I have not included any games that I have claimed to have played on N4G.
- Finally, for some of our easily-instigated friends, don’t take it too personally if I didn’t include your favourite game. This is MY list! Mine! My precioussssssss…
So without further ado, here are my top 5 games of 2009
5. Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time
“You win again, Technology!” – Captain Qwark
It’s a pity how throughout its life, the Ratchet and Clank series got shafted as a “kiddie” game. It’s a pity because a lot of gamers missed out on a brilliant balance of platforming and shooting (with some of the craziest weapons in gaming, I might add), coupled with some genuinely hilarious characters. The latest iteration added some brilliant features such as open space exploration and time manipulation puzzles, with the icing on the cake being the return of Dr. Nefarious and Lawrence the butler. The end result was a highly addictive game which was played by probably five people on IVG. A pity indeed.
Will you save the world… or burn it? The brand new IP called inFamous told the story of a common man with a perpetual cough turned superhero (or villain, your call) Cole McGrath. inFamous, for me, held an unusual quality – the “just-one-more-mission” syndrome. I just couldn’t put it down for hours on end, seeking out one more dead drop, or completing one side mission, or move the story just a bit more in the explosive sandbox by Sucker Punch.
3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
I’ll be honest… I was very skeptical about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. I always expected it to be good (it’s Naughty Dog after all), just not this good. But the game released and kicked all my preconceptions squarely in the nuts. What we got was probably as close as a video game will get to a cinematic experience, blending various gameplay elements of gunplay, platforming, melee and stealth expertly with unforgettable characters and eye-melting graphics. Oh, and it also had multiplayer!
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum
The last couple of years have been kind to Batman. After Joel Schumacher butchered the franchise which, what will easily fall into any worst movies of all time list, the franchise was first revived and then taken to great heights by Christopher Nolan. The stage was set for the greatest game based on a licensed property. And boy did Rocksteady Studios deliver! Batman: Arkham Asylum was a perfect realisation of the franchise, with the creepy ambience of Gotham’s favourite mental institute for criminals filled with the most accurate depiction of the characters from the Batman universe. But the best part of the game was the fact that it made you feel like Batman. And when you play the game, you’ll realise that being Batman is pretty cool.
1. Assassin’s Creed 2
The first game made me buy a next-gen console, and then made me half regret my decision with a product that was nowhere as good as it was touted to be (the game, not the console, you silly Xbots!). That still didn’t stop me from having high hopes for the sequel. Ubisoft claimed that they had listened, and when I played the game, I was delighted to find out that they really had. I was astounded by the amount of the work that had gone into creating the story itself, not to mention the multitude of tweaks and improvements in the gameplay, the overhaul of the mission structure and such a beautifully realised renaissance Italy. Assassin’s Creed 2 is the absolute best among the best 2009 had to offer. But don’t take my word for it. After all, nothing is true, and everything is permitted – except missing this game.