Picking the ten best games of 2009 was no easy task. This past year has been exceptional for quality video gaming and looking back over the last 12 months yields a list of games that runs 30 deep. So cutting that down to the ten "best" titles has proven harder than expected. But we've done it. And done it without a single hair pulled from our fragile little heads. So, yay us! And yay you because you get to see the fruit of our loins, 2009's best video games...
10. The Beatles: Rock Band (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
While The Beatles: Rock Band doesn't revolutionize the rhythm genre of gaming like The Beatles revolutionized music, its still the most fun you'll have with plastic guitars in quite some time. The entire 45 song tracklist gives a great over-arching view of the most influential band in music history. It's really awe-inspiring to see how much The Beatles accomplished in the ten short years they were together, and The Beatles: Rock Band gives a nice slice of life of the band's musical growth during that time.
9. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time (PS3)
A Crack in Time represents the conclusion of the "Future" storyline and really closes it out with a bang. The game looks incredible (think interactive Pixar film) and features the sharp writing and humor we've come to expect from the Ratchet & Clank franchise. The weapons of A Crack in Time are also some of the most memorable the series has seen, and that's saying a lot. There have been a lot of Ratchet & Clank titles, but A Crack in Time is proof that with each subsequent release they keep getting better and better.
8. Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
When you can log 150 hours into a game and not even be close to completion you know you've found a game that gives you your money's worth. Dragon Age: Origins is a massive RPG that delivers on both the gameplay and story fronts, making it a must own for fans of fantasy, RPGs, or both. Plus, you can have hot Elf sex. And if you're spending 150+ hours in your basement playing DA:O, odds are your chances of hooking up with a real live person are slim to none. Therefore, Dragon Age: Origins is the next best thing.
7. Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Sure, the controls of the Resident Evil series might be out of date by today's standards, but Resident Evil 5 still remains one of the most enjoyable games of 2009. The addition of co-op was a master stroke by Capcom that made blowing your way through hordes of zombie-esque minions with a buddy an absolute blast (pun intended). The "survival horror" angle might have been dropped, but if Resident Evil 5 is any indication, we're all for the new direction the franchise has headed.
6. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo Wii)
Pure fun in a little red case. That's the best way to describe New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The game took our prestigious Game of the Month award in November, edging out Modern Warfare 2, and that's saying a lot. The game is classic throwback and proof positive that a 2D game can still be hella awesome. Plus that penguin suit, hilarious.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Modern Warfare 2 had a lot of hype to live up to as it was the most anticipated title of the year. Luckily, it lived up to it with a super addictive online multiplayer component. Sure, the single player might have been a disappointment, but multiplayer is still being played by millions of people every minute of every day. And while sales aren't everything, becoming the highest grossing piece of entertainment ever has to mean something.
4. NHL 10 (Xbox 360, PS3)
Last year's NHL 09 was heralded as the greatest sports video game ever made. Then NHL 10 came out. Our own Joey Davidson went sex-nuts for this game and for good reason, it's really the complete package for NHL fanatics (he gears up for Penguins' games by dressing in full-on Pens' garb, including pajama pants and a blanket). And every year the folks at EA find new and creative ways of topping themselves to make each year's new offering better and better, something that can't be said for most sports titles where a simple roster update is all that's really tweaked each year. So what could EA Sports possibility do with next year's NHL 11 to make it better than NHL 10? Well, for starters, Joey says he would like the ability to continuously pummel Mike Richards of the Flyers and always come away victorious. That's really all that's needed to make the game an 11 out of 10. That's better than perfect for those who aren't too good with math.
3. Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360)
Best. Racing. Game. Ever. That's pretty much the best compliment we can give Forza 3. The game is that good. It's set the bar mighty high for Gran Turismo 5 which aims to release midway through 2010. The student has become the master. A big congratulations is in order.
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
A good Batman game. I'll give you a minute to let that settle in. Whether it's the amazing hand-to-hand combat system, the silent predator mode, or the cool use of "Detective Mode," Arkham Asylum represents pretty much the perfect interactive Batman experience. Arkham Asylum also features Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively, something we've been wishing for ever since Batman: The Animated Series ended. Batman: Arkham Asylum has everything except the shark repellent bat-spray.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
The first Uncharted was a great game and reason enough to spend the coin on a Playstation 3. Uncharted 2 takes everything great about that first game and makes it even better. A lot better. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is arguably the best looking video game ever made and the gameplay makes you feel like your living a high budget, blockbuster film. Uncharted 2 represents the new benchmark for interactive software. 'Nuff said.