But after much playing, reviewing, and arguing with colleagues, I proudly give you the top ten PlayStation 3 (PS3) games of 2009. As is the tradition, I've tried to include games from as many different genres as possible. You are highly encouraged to voice your support, or opposition, to any of the games in this list.
This simple looking, $10 video game is a triumph in modern game design. It deconstructs the shooter genre and reassembles it with modern takes on physics based puzzles, aesthetic story telling, co-op play, and level design.
As companies have scaled back on disk-based games, I have to ask myself, were any of the games I played this year six times more fun that PixelJunk Shooter? Makes it hard to pay six times more for them.
Rated: Everyone 10+
As a JRPG fan, I hate to admit how much I enjoyed this game. To say it was consuming isn't enough... this game devoured me.
Aside from having a deeper story than most RPGs, and having a dizzying level of customization available through the "tactics" (aka gambit) system the game was so full of surprises, both in terms of content and design, that it never felt like a grind. And that's something for a game this long.
Beautiful and deep, I thought Dragon Age: Origins was going to be too big to be good... I was wrong, this game is large and in charge.
The fan community behind CoD: Modern Warfare 2 is incredible. When you mention to a stranger at a blowing alley that you play games, the first question they ask is, "do you play Modern Warfare?"
There simply is no multiplayer experience out there that matches this one. It is fun, frantic, polished, and busting at the seems with people to play with.
It's the blockbuster than lasts all year long, thanks to online play.
While Nathan Drake may have introduced geekdom to the half-tuck in the first game, he's made sure we all know he is a virtual action hero staring in an epic franchise.
This game is what Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull should have been.
It's nice to know games can pick up the ball when films drop them.
This is the cheapest, and perhaps most exciting, way to see Venice. You get to see the sights, from the streets to the tops of the cathedrals, and you get to meet the locals, very often to kill them.
Assassin's Creed II brings back the assassins vs. templars storyline, but this time there is far less repetition, and many more interesting things to do.
Violent and strangely hypnotic to watch, Assassin's Creed II is a must have for action fans.
Brutal Legend is a hybrid game. It's part action game (but without the ability to jump), part real-time strategy game, part music game.
It may sound like a mess, but it's brilliant. You play a rock roadie, you travel the land completing missions to gather troops (action), to lead into battle (RTS), using your guitar to cast spells (music game). It's a wildly fun and funny romp through the world of 80's and 90's metal. And with Ozzie Osbourne and Jack Black starring it in, it's actually got both humor and street cred.
All the hallmarks of the Resident Evil series are here, including the scarcity of ammo. Grab a friend, as this is a creepy, fun, buddy game. Slow, and sometimes frustrating, Resident Evil 5 succeeds by keeping you right at the edge of feeling like there's no way to win, then suddenly you pull through.
RE 5 is the epitome of the survival horror action game.
Less flash and more football seemed to be the motto of Madden NFL 10. From the overhauled menus and less "extreme" title screen to the improved gameplay and animations, not to mention the excellent online additions, this is one of the better Madden updates to date. It's only glaring fault is trying to sell cheat codes as DLC... note to EA. The C in DLC is content, new content.
Fat Princess is a brilliant game, and at fifteen dollars, it's a steal. This sugar-coated capture the flag game centers around two princesses with poor impulse control and a bevy of knights, workers, wizards and other characters trying to kidnap the poor damsels.
Don't let the fairy tale fool you, Fat Princess is a hardcore capture the flag game. Multiple classes, incredible maps, excellent combat, if you replaced the cute characters with space marines you'd be playing Halo... only Fat Princess is faster and more frantic.
The problem I have with SF4, is the exact problem Fight Night Round 4 solves. I, like many, love to play fighting games with friends. And let's be honest, arcade culture has died stateside, and while online matchmaking works great for shooters, it still stinks for fighters.
With SF4 you're either a button masher or a pro... Fight Night Round 4 takes a more deliberate, thoughtful approach to fighting. One that is both easier to learn and tougher to master.
Like a good chess game, novices get plenty of play and fun, even if they are going to lose. Such is not the case in SF4. Plus, Tyson is far more interesting than Ryu.