The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2009!



  • @e_zed_eh_intern I'm not getting salty I'm just genuinely sorry that I may have ruined the anticipation. But if I'm really honest I think that firstly I was making a prediction about the games to come-I might be wrong about those entries entirely. Secondly it's well known what those top 2 games could be and with a spoiler you have no idea what's to come. I still maintain my apology but I think I was making educated guesses-at least in the future something will be put in place so this sort of mistake doesn't arise again.



  • Batman: Arkham Asylum

    #2. Batman: Arkham Asylum - 64 points

    Votes

    #1: 5 (JDINCINERATOR, Axel, paulmci27, robert7lee, MXAGhost)
    #2: 2 (Brandon_Reister, Capnbobamous)
    #3: 4 (Nimbus, Scotty, bard91, naltmank)
    #4: 7 (Brannox, HappyGaming, Crepe, Hazz3r, E_Zed_Eh_Intern, Sentinel Beach, Exist 2 Inspire)
    HM: 5 (ffff0, Nimbat1003, DIPSET, El Shmiablo, bam541)

    Information

    Release date: August 25 [US], August 28 [EU]
    Developer: Rocksteady Studios
    Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    GT Review



  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    #1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - 80 points

    Votes

    #1: 9 (Brannox, HappyGaming, Nimbus, Jamicov, Scotty, Sentinel Beach, DIPSET, bam541, Capnbobamous)
    #2: 6 (JDINCINERATOR, ffff0, Crepe, DemonPirate, naltmank, robert7lee)
    #3: 2 (E_Zed_Eh_Intern, Exist 2 Inspire)
    #4: 1 (El Shmiablo)
    HM: 3 (Axel, NeoCweeny, paulmci27)

    Information

    Release date: October 13 [US], October 16 [EU]
    Developer: Naughty Dog
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    GT Review



  • Oh, wow, I’ve voted for both of these games. Well…

    Batman: Arkham Asylum is my #5. I’m not a big Batman fan, so Batman: Arkham Asylum was just another 3rd-person action adventure for me. I think I even played its demo, got bored, and dismissed it. Then I’ve bought both it and Batman Arkham City dirt-cheap in 2012. It was OK, but one moment was exceptional (spoilers):

    when I thought I’ve lost all my progress due to a glitch I’ve immediately powered down my PC to avoid rewriting auto-save. Considering that even horror games, like Outlast, usually fail to scary me, I can say only one thing: well done, Scarecrow.

    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is my #2. At that time, I was very impressed with its trailers – marketing a game as a blockbuster movie was completely new for me. And I was equally impressed with game’s set-pieces, particularly the train sequence. It’s a quality entertainment from start to finish. Most likely it will not impress me in 2021, but a decade ago there weren’t anything better.



  • And this is my list:

    1. Dragon Age: Origins
    2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    3. Brütal Legend
    4. Flower
    5. Batman: Arkham Asylum
    6. Assassin's Creed II
    7. Trine
    8. Borderlands

    The only game that didn’t make into top 20 is Trine. Can’t say much about it, and I haven’t returned to the series after 2, but I remember liking it.



  • Damn, look at that jump in points! With 2021 hindsight, I should have expected these two to completely wipe the floor with the votes since both of these games are not only so influential in modern games, but also would lead their respective franchises to great success. ND's formula in the Uncharted games are still going strong, and Uncharted 2 was pretty much the game that really showed what these kind of games can achieve. Meanwhile, many would say that the Batman Arkham games are the best superhero games around, and even if you don't agree (like me), you can at least respect these games for being the frontrunners of the genre. In a way, it's great for both of these games to release in a year where they'll get all the spotlight.

    My first Uncharted game was Uncharted 3, and I only played 1 and 2 after that, so I have a somewhat different experience compared to many of you who played it chronologically. The huge jump in quality from 1 to 2 is so obvious and appreciated, but there's just things that 3 did that 2 did in lesser degrees, and I can't like U2 more than I do because of it. I still love this game though. Although I vastly prefer ND games that doesn't try to be spotless or airtight in it's structure (TLOU Part II and Uncharted 4), I have to respect Uncharted 2's unwavering commitment in maintaining a tight blockbuster-esque story pace. There's also parts like the mountain village and the ice cave traversal that still stucks out to me as very unique moments in the whole franchise.

    I'll be honest: I never finished Arkham Asylum. I played it when I was too young to be brave enough for it's Scarecrow sections, and even when I got through them, I got stuck at Killer Croc's place. I do miss the unfiltered creepy-ness of this game. I also never got to see the final boss that everyone hates, so there's that.

    Here's my full list of games:

    1. Uncharted 2
    2. Dragon Age Origins
    3. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
    4. Gran Turismo PSP
    5. Batman Arkham Asylum
    6. InFAMOUS
    7. Ghostbusters: The Video Game
    8. The Sims 3

    It still bums me out that none of my PSP games got in. GTA Chinatown Wars is one of the most distinct games in the franchise, and it's cool as heck. I love Gran Turismo for successfully cramming a almost full console GT experience to a handheld form, and I really like the dynamic of playing on different days to check out what new cars are available to buy, it really accentuates that handheld experience.

    Based on my hazy memories, Ghostbusters is one of the most underrated licensed-games ever. I played this after watching the two movies, and I remember thinking that everything in this games just fits neatly like a third movie (and that was the intention!). There's some actual creepy moments in the game too, which caught me off guard back in the day, because I never found the movies to be creepy, they're just a good ol' fun time to me (and this game has a lot of those kind of scenarios as well).

    The Sims 3 is still the best game in the franchise. Having access to a living town-sized space that isn't barred by loading screens every time you move to another location is just too good. Also, they added some weird things to the Sims formula in TS4 that I don't quite like.

    Thanks to @Axel for setting this up as always, and thanks to everyone who participated. Once again, y'all have good taste!



  • Only 4 of my 8 votes made it this time. My 2009 ranked list of games:

    1. Dragon Age: Origins
    2. Assassin's Creed II
    3. Empire: Total War
    4. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2
    5. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
    6. Blood Bowl
    7. Resident Evil 5
    8. Demon's Souls
    9. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    10. Batman: Arkham Asylum
    11. Star Ocean: The Last Hope
    12. Borderlands
    13. Left 4 Dead 2
    14. Halo 3: ODST
    15. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
    16. Guitar Hero 5
    17. The Beatles: Rock Band
    18. Guitar Hero: Metallica
    19. Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
    20. Pokémon Platinum
    21. Risen
    22. The Lord of the Rings: Conquest

    My list on GGApp


    Batman: Arkham Asylum almost made my top 8. I played all of the Arkham games for the first time back-to-back a few years ago. Arkham Asylum is a fine game but I much preferred the follow up Rocksteady Batman games more. Although those sequels wouldn't exist without the gameplay fundamentals created in Asylum, so shout out!

    Uncharted 2 also just missed getting one of my votes. It follows the same formula as Uncharted 1 but with greater presentation, while also making improvements in practically every way. It's everything a great sequel should be. Uncharted 4 is easily my favorite in the series but all of the Uncharted games are fun action game thrill rides. All well deserving of the recognition they've received over the years.

    I learned about Blood Bowl from watching internet personality/Youtuber TotalBiscuit. It combines two things I enjoy, football and turn-based strategy games. And while it took me some time to understand all the rules, once I did, I found Blood Bowl to be a very deep and rewarding gameplay experience. Blood Bowl 2 improved on the U.I and presentation of the first game so if anyone was curious about playing Blood Bowl, I would recommend playing the sequel.

    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars wasn't the GTA experience I expected but I enjoyed it just as much. Rockstar was very smart about which elements of GTA to carry over to portable systems and it resulted in one of the best Nintendo DS games I've played. Now, all I need is a sequel for the Switch.

    I haven't played Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 in a long time so I can't say how it holds up, but it is one of my most played games of 2009 and 2010. This was my mindless fun, listen to music, wind down after work game. I played through the game multiple times solo with all the different Marvel characters, and MUA2 was my favorite co-op game from 2009.

    Empire: Total War was a welcome departure from all the medieval and classical Total War games I enjoyed from previous years. The 18th century combat is different from the other titles, but it still has the same deep strategic campaign I've come to expect from this series. Empire is one of my favorites of the series and I would love to see Creative Assembly tackle this era again in a new Total War game.

    I've played through Dragon Age Origins multiple times, played through all of it's different origins stories and had a great time doing it. It's full of so many amazing moments that left me excited and speechless. Along with Mass Effect 2, this is Bioware's finest work. It's one of my top 10 games of all-time, it's my GOTY.

    Thanks again to @Axel for putting this together and I'm looking forward to the 2020 GOTY elections.



  • I've lost count how many times I've played Uncharted 2 through the years. It's simply a classic. I won't go into details about why this time around in this post, but I'm giving a huuuge shout-out to Greg Edmonson's score which is an integral part of the series. And the title screen of UC2 together with that music is one of the most memorable ones in my whole gaming history. What a time that was, oh man. :')



  • So the kinda expected 1-2 punch but.

    Arkham- enjoy this game quite a bit but arkham City was the one that really got me, think I've only ever played it the one time around launch though I do have it on pc now... Thanks epic

    Uncharted 2- honestly I've always had issues with the gameplay of the modern naughty dog games and while I did enjoy U2 the most out of the uncharted games it didn't quite make the cut, for that reason I enjoy the last of us more because I think the heaver stealth focus lessens some of my gameplay problems(the last of us 2 especially) also from memory this was the peak of "room with waist high walls" type design.

    And yeah while uncharted was not a surprise win its interesting that arkham and dragon age had a similar amount of 1 and 2 votes, arkham just cleaned up on the lower places.



  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves thoroughly deserves the top spot although I ranked Arkham Asylum higher on my list. I ranked Arkham Asylum higher because I gave my 2011 GOTY to Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and I felt that Arkham Asylum was the standard bearer for superhero action games and it arguably still stands to this day even if Spider-Man might be seen as superior. Anyway here is my personal top 8 of 2009:
    My top 8 of 2009
    1.Batman: Arkham Asylum
    2.Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    3.Resistance: Retribution
    4.Rock Band: Unplugged
    HM.LittleBigPlanet PSP
    HM. Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
    HM. Assassins Creed II
    HM.Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time



  • Uncharted 2 was my top game of the year (still in my Top 10 all time) until I finished DQV for the first time this year. By the way @Axel I call shenanigans again - this should have tied for number 20! Anyway, Uncharted 2 is incredible and moved storytelling in videogames forward in a way that I think is difficult to fully appreciate now. I still think it's one of the best blockbuster games of all time. Arkham Asylum is a game that I liked watching more than I liked playing, if only because I got a bit tired of the environment after a while. I still absolutely loved it, though, and think the writing is about on par with TAS, which is really saying something. My list:

    1. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)
    2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    3. Batman: Arkham Asylum
    4. Pokémon Platinum
      HM: Brütal Legend, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, inFAMOUS, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box


  • Once again, another top to bottom solid countdown concludes with two standout games!

    Pertaining to Arkham Asylum - I've said several times about trying this demo on 360 got me into the Rocksteady games and Nolan trilogy, but I guess the new commentary I'll add is that AA does a wonderful job subverting expectations. And yes, all Scarecrow sections immediately jump to mind, but it does more in that area. For example, even before I purchased the game, the demo was built in such a way that doesn't exactly play out the actual game does, so when I got to that point, and started seeing different stuff, it was like the game had me on my toes from that point going forward, from environments to the story. I'll also say is the Asylum is a good example of how a location can be a 3D metrovania, as that genre is typically 2D. Finally, I prefer the other Rocksteady titles to Asylum (particularly the introduction of the plant elements near the end. They're not fun to deal with), but this is still a solid game.

    As for Uncharted 2 - What else is there to say? So many people, in so many conversations across so many years have covered how this game is phenomenal. It's very difficult for me to add anything, because when I try to think of a personal experience that might add to the discussion, it's an echo of so many other points: The presentation, the train, the environments, the last boss being the one thing about the game that's irritating, the characters and story, the score, and so much more.... Truly excellent.

    Now, for my list (including those I couldn't place votes for) and a comment on those that didn't make it from the bottom up:

    1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    2. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
    3. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
    4. Batman: Arkham Asylum
    5. (HM) Left 4 Dead 2
    6. (HM) Borderlands
    7. (HM) Resistance: Retribution
    8. (HM) Dissidia: Final Fantasy
    9. (Didn't make the cut) Halo 3: ODST
    10. (Didn't make the cut) Minecraft (I STILL argue it came out this year, but it's been covered in another countdown, so not worth going into here)
    11. (Didn't make the cut) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
    12. (Didn't make the cut AND the only game I've seen in full but never played from this year) Resident Evil 5
    13. (Didn't make the cut) Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
    14. (Didn't make the cut) Gran Turismo PSP

    Gran Turismo on PSP (for me) just didn't feel right on handheld. I tried it once and after an hour or so of trying to figure out the controls, I guess the need for a Dualshock really messed with because after an hour, I dropped it and never went back, not just for this game, but GT as an entire series.

    Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron also suffers the same issue for me as Gran Turismo in that on PSP, the controls just didn't feel right. I put hundreds of hours into Battlefront II (2005) offline and I was really looking forward to trying out a Battlefront on PSP. I put in just a little more time on it than GT, but still, I was bummed at how it didn't feel good to play.

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy is the one FF game bringing together all the singular heroes and villains of every main game (up to that point), and while it's decent, it's sequel, Duodecim, completely makes this game obsolete, from introducing new characters, an overworld, new cutscenes, and reworking some of the fights to be easier, all while having the entirety of this game included. This is a game that, sadly, needed to have been played at the time to enjoy the bizarre experience of an open arena 3D fighting game, because it's not worth going back to now it's sequel is available.

    Lastly, Resistance: Retribution was the only other game on my whole list that didn't make it, though I'm not surprised. Resistance may be an underrated franchise, but this is the underrated game of said franchise. A completely different cast of characters taking place in a different part of Europe, this did a good job of being a third person shooter on PSP, but what's REALLY special about the game is, once you've beaten it, you can link the PSP to a PS3 running a copy of Resistance 2, and if both games are open, there's an option in the R2 menu to "infect" your PSP. If you do, your main character in Retribution, James, gets infected with the Chimera virus, which not only means your health can now regenerate, but you can now breathe underwater, have new dialogue in certain scenes, access to more weapons, and are able to find more collectible documents in the environment. And, if you wanted to keep up the hassle of all the cords, you can keep the PSP and PS3 connected and play Retribution with the Dual shock. This game is wild.

    I'm actually surprised I could speak to the majority of the above. Typically I can't only really speak on the few of my votes that make it, so it feels real good to be able to give some in-depth thought on games I didn't give a vote for.

    To close my novel of a comment, instead of tagging all my fellow voters (because, again, that's a LOT of names) I'll just tag one in @Axel to add to your notifications and also give my thanks in setting up this countdown. I know we'll be the latest group on the internet to dive into a 2020 list, but I'm excited when we do so all the same.

    Thank you to everyone who participated and in the small chance there is someone who is reading this and didn't participate this go-around, please consider doing so for future lists! More people means more votes which leads to more games to be celebrated and discussed.

    Until the next one!



  • Both #1 and #2 are pretty amazing games.

    I think Uncharted 2 is one of the best action games of all time, and to this day I don't understand the criticism that Uncharted has too many cutscenes when it's quite literally the only game series that allows you to actually fully control the game in these setpiece moments. Games today will make you do 50 QTE's where Uncharted 2 has you in a full blown shootout in a crumbling hotel in which the visual design leads you to knowing you have to jump through the window into the next building yourself. One of the greatest shooters ever and I'll never get sick of playing it over and over and over.

    Per Arkham Asylum—this was a game I didn't even like at first. I thought the stealth was super weak back when I was a stealth purist. I was pretty into Riddick at the time and I thought the stealth in Riddick was a lot better than Batman. I didn't like the little pop in pop out nature of the stealth area rooms. But the Medroidvania nature of the game sucked me in and slowly unlocking areas of the island and getting new gadgets is just so fulfilling to me. Arkham Asylum is by far my favourite in the Arkham series and the more focused "Die Hard in an asylum" nature of the game makes it better than any future open world Arkham. Plus horror.

    My 2009 list (all are GOTYs in my eyes)

    1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    2. Demon's Souls
    3. Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
    4. Assassin's Creed II
    5. Skate 2
    6. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
    7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
    8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

    Shout out to NHL 10 which was pretty much the series peak for me before they slowed down the gameplay with sluggish physics. Also pretty shocked Killzone 2 didn't make the list. It's one of my favourite FPS games and the multiplayer was really fun up until you unlock everything and hit max rank. I think that game doesn't get enough credit tbh.

    --

    @Capnbobamous

    I hear you about playing AC2 after the original. I feel like I'd want to take a break from gaming all together for a hot minute after AC1 because that game is a lot to plough through. Especially the open world areas in between cities.

    --

    As always, thanks to @Axel for putting together these fun threads. I think I played waaaaaay more in 2009 than I realized and it was just a great year for gaming.



  • I voted for Bionic Commando. It was the wrong Bionic Commando. That being said, it doesn't look like my other choice would have effected the outcome, so I don't feel TOO bad. :)

    That being said, the only things I picked that didn't make it were Professor Layton (more niche than I thought?) and Torchlight! I'm surprised Torchlight is nowhere to be seen. Did anyone else play it? Remember it? Care about it at all?



  • @sazime Layton 2 has an ending theme that low key makes me tear up

    Youtube Video



  • @dipset my only beef with NHL 10 was the lack of weighted passing. It was impossible to go back to after 11 for me.



  • @e_zed_eh_intern

    The series definitely had improvements since NHL 10 but the focus on “realistic physics” which aren’t realistic at all has basically led to the same game getting made over and over again in some pursuit of realism when it ultimately doesn’t play like or even look like real hockey.

    NHL 11 was the last game I played before I stopped buying them. I’ve watched enough Electric Playground to respect the heck out of EA Canada and I know the series is underfunded so I don’t blame the studio but I just personally prefer to play the more fast paced older NHL games over the newer slower one’s. To be fair, I haven’t played once since my roommate had NHL 15 back when.



  • Great list! Thanks @Axel

    1. Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
    2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
    3. Assassin's Creed II
    4. Batman: Arkham Asylum
      HM. Shadow Complex
      HM. Guitar Hero 5
      HM. Demon's Souls
      HM. Skate 2


  • Alrighty, let's wrap up this sucker!

    Sadly, we only had 32 voters this time around, the second lowest participation after 2012 and 2013 (31 voters).

    Despite that, there were 76 games nominated, giving us the second highest games per voter average, behind 2014 (96 games from 40 voters!).

    Some highlights:

    • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves killed it with 80 points, the 5th highest total ever, and an average of 2.5 points/voter, the 2nd highest ever behind the goliath God of War (2.76). 21 people voted for it, that's juuust under two-thirds of the voters, again just behind God of War on that front!
    • It's the second Uncharted game to win GOTY alongside Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in 2016, making it the only series with 2 wins so far.
    • And the third Naughty Dog GOTY win overall, if you add The Last of Us (2013).
    • Batman: Arkham Asylum ends up second, but with 23 people voting for it, more than the winner! Batman: Arkham City also achieved second place in 2011, always the bridesmaid never the bride!
    • Dragon Age: Origins gets 3rd place, a new record for the series!
    • Assassin's Creed II also sets a new record for its own series with 4th place. It's also a new high for a Ubisoft-developed game, but not for a Ubisoft-published game, this distinction remaining with South Park: The Stick of Truth (3rd in 2014).
    • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is also the highest-ranked in its series, but to be fair most of the series was released in years we haven't covered yet.
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (8th) and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (9th) are also the best of their kind (see the pattern here?).
    • PlayStation reigned supreme as usual with 5 exclusives (Flower, inFAMOUS, Demon's Souls, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time and the GOTY Uncharted 2: Among Thieves).
    • Only 2 Nintendo exclusives (Pokémon Platinum and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days), that was a serious slump for the Wii and DS.
    • 2 exclusives for Xbox too (Halo 3: ODST and Forza Motorsport 3).
    • Alright, time to honor those who didn't make it.
    • 5 points: Resistance: Retribution, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Killzone 2, Wii Sports Resort
    • 4 points: Still Life 2, MadWorld, Bionic Commando, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, The Sims 3
    • 3 points: New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Empire: Total War, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, League of Legends, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, Dead Space: Extraction, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, Prototype, Shadow Complex, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Machinarium, Cursed Mountain
    • 2 points: Rock Band Unplugged, Klonoa, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Splosion Man, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Tekken 6, Skate 2, Gran Turismo, Torchlight, UFC 2009 Undisputed
    • 1 point: Blood Bowl, LittleBigPlanet, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Punch-Out!!, Trine, Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, Wolfenstein, The Saboteur, Little King's Story, Zeno Clash, Halo Wars, Katamari Forever, Guitar Hero 5, FIFA 10, DJ Hero, Fight Night Round 4, NCAA Football 10, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
    • 0 point: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, The House of the Dead: Overkill, Sonic and the Black Knight, Need for Speed: Shift, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles...

    I've only played 6 out of these 20 games (7 if you count MW2 Remastered). And for the first time, there isn't a single one in there that I think I'll play in the future.

    Thanks again to everyone who participated! I'll wait a couple more months until I organize the 2020 GOTY, hope you don't mind, I think it's best to give everyone (me included) the chance to play more games especially considering the next-gen consoles shortages.



  • The relief that The Saboteur didn't make the cut. It has a cool mechanic and setting, but as a game it's aged absolutely terribly.