Top Games of 2009

2009 will mainly be remembered as the year Barack Obama became President of the United States, King of Pop Michael Jackson died before he started his ‘This is It’ shows at the O2 Arena in London, and Ulrika Jonsson won Celebrity Big Brother 6. But a lot of stuff happened in the world of video games too.

Current conqueror of all games, Minecraft, was released to an unsuspecting world, eventually going on to spawn not only a successful business but also truck load of YouTube stars. Japanese publisher Square Enix acquired UK publisher, Eidos Interactive, taking hit franchises such as Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Deus Ex with it. And Sony released the ill-fated PSP Go, a handheld so far ahead of its time it failed despite arguably doing more right than Sony’s proper follow-up, the PS Vita.

So what were the best games released in 2009? We’ve compiled the top titles so you don’t have to worry your little head about it.

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  • 30.

    Trials HD

    Trials HD is a game that seems tailor made for Xbox LIVE Arcade and we can't recommend it highly enough. We've probably said it a million times before, but we know a game's got something special when it attracts everyone... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 29.

    Shadow Complex

    Shadow Complex is a triumph, a new standard for downloadable games. Shadow Complex is Super Metroid for the Gears of War generation. Its 2D action mechanics are pretty much lifted straight out of the 1994 Nintendo classic,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 28.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

    Whether you fancy skulking in the shadows, smashing slow motion fists in into a goon's skull, or simply using some cool gadgets, you can do no wrong with what is Eidos' best game in years. Super heroes appeal because they... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 27.

    Colin McRae: DiRT 2

    Wrap up an enjoyable rally experience with the best racing game visuals we've ever seen and DIRT 2 becomes a must-buy game. If review scores were handed out for slickness alone Codemasters' Colin McRae: DIRT 2 would be an... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 26.

    The Beatles: Rock Band

    If you have even a passing fondness for John, Paul, George and Ringo, this game will make you an extremely happy bunny. Rock-rhythm games are an increasingly tricky proposition for your humble games reviewer. Last year VideoGamer... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 25.

    Gran Turismo PSP

    This is Gran Turismo as you remember it but on a handheld. Buy it, spend hours earning credits and buying cars, and try to overlook the glaring omissions without shedding a small tear. I had a strange moment while playing... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 24.

    Red Faction: Guerrilla

    Even with some flaws, though, Guerrilla is a great game that comes highly recommended, in no small part to some superb multiplayer game modes that should see the game gain quite a following. Red Faction Guerrilla is all about... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 23.

    Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2

    This is action gaming at its very best, although with the toned down carnage during combat there's a nagging sense that Sigma 2's not quite the ultimate edition of the game it could have been. We always hear from developers... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 22.

    Halo 3: ODST

    It seems a silly conclusion, but Halo 3: ODST is still Halo. It's still cracking fun. ODST is an absolutely essential purchase if you're a Halo fan. Halo. Microsoft's great Xbox seller. Bungie's tour de force. It knows no... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 21.

    Resident Evil 5

    With a whole heap of content to unlock, a campaign that begs to be replayed and top of the line production values there's very little to be disappointed with. Following one of the greatest games of all time can't be easy.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 20.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

    Whether you fancy skulking in the shadows, smashing slow motion fists in into a goon's skull, or simply using some cool gadgets, you can do no wrong with what is Eidos' best game in years. Super heroes appeal because they... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 19.

    Guitar Hero 5

    The core gameplay mechanics are as good as ever, the presentation has been toned down for the better, there are some brilliant new multiplayer options, and everything is more streamlined than before. It's hard to believe... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii

  • 18.

    FIFA 10

    FIFA 10 is a simulation in the truest sense, and is sure to solidify FIFA's leading position in the two-horse race with PES. Last year I said FIFA 09 was the best FIFA ever created. Now, 12 months on, that statement is untrue,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 17.

    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    The single-player adventure packs in so many incredible moments that you'll be talking about it with friends for months and the multiplayer is rammed with content. A must buy. Don't get me wrong: I really enjoyed the original... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 16.

    Tetris

    he original, maddeningly-addictive gameplay remains intact, but there's also a generous selection of alternative modes and variations. By now even the most casual of gamers must be familiar with Tetris. This was the puzzler... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 15.

    Beneath A Steel Sky – Remastered

    Whether you're an established fan of puzzle adventures or just a newcomer to the genre, Beneath a Steel Sky is an absolute delight. Earlier this year Revolution released a Director's Cut for the highly-acclaimed Broken Sword:... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iPhone

  • 14.

    Pinball Fantasies

    At £3.99 it's definitely worth a download if you're after a commute killer. If you owned a Commodore Amiga, which you undoubtedly did because you're hardcore, then you probably played Pinball Fantasies, the 1992 pinball game... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 13.

    LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias

    Spell-bindingly beautiful, packed full of wonderfully designed characters, and an eerie yet entrancing atmosphere that forces its way under your skin. It's easy to think of LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, the sequel to... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 12.

    DJ Hero

    It may still be finding its feet in the world, and it certainly has room to improve, but for a first effort it's managed to do almost everything right. Just about everyone in the world has at some point attempted to play... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 11.

    Football Manager 2010

    Sports Interactive has produced the best version of FM yet, so it's easy to recommend FM 2010 to anyone with an interest in taking their team to league and cup glory. I used to spend most of my waking hours in front of Football... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 10.

    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

    In parallel with the superlative Chinatown Wars, The Ballad of Gay Tony restores a sense of playfulness to the GTA franchise, cementing Rockstar's status as King of the DLC. "I have a deep sadness in me, Luis. Will you join... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 9.

    LittleBigPlanet

    LittleBigPlanet on PSP is flawed in places, but it's still one of the PSP's best games and an absolutely essential purchase. Rumours about LittleBigPlanet for the PSP emerged before the PS3 game even hit stores, so excited... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 8.

    Assassin's Creed II

    The storyline is intricate, there's depth beyond the main quest, and the action is incredible at times. We've had some stunning games this year, and Ubisoft has given us another to add to the list. Assassin's Creed was a... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 7.

    Left 4 Dead 2

    Make no mistake, this is an excellent sequel that does much to build upon the foundations of the first game. Popular mythology states that the only way to truly kill a zombie is to either put a bullet in the brain, or to... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PC

  • 6.

    Doodle Jump

    For a meagre price there's absolutely no reason why Doodle Jump should be overlooked. The App Store has provided a plethora of premium games, ranging from NBA Live and Madden to Ace Combat and Need for Speed. While these... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iPhone

  • 5.

    PixelJunk Shooter

    PixelJunk Shooter is an enjoyable, quirky game that's yet another successful entry in the PixelJunk series. Japanese developer Q-Games should be sued under the Trade Descriptions Act. Downloadable PSN game PixelJunk Shooter,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 4.

    The Path

    By leaving so much open to interpretation in the mind of the player, The Path shows a maturity that belies its roots in a child’s fairy tale. Are video games art? It's a question that's launched a million threads of incendiary... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 3.

    Forza Motorsport 3

    Never before has there been such a content-packed racing game, playable for people of all skill levels, that feels this good. What would make the ultimate racing game? It's hard to put a finger on the exact ingredients that... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 2.

    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

    Whether you're a GTA veteran or someone who's never played one of these games before, you should know that this is one of the best games available for your PSP. Is GTA: Chinatown Wars my favourite handheld game of all time?... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 1.

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

    With the best multiplayer shooting that money can buy, an incredibly action-packed campaign and plenty of superb two-player co-op levels, this is without a doubt a real contender for game of the year. I felt like I needed... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC