The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2009!

  • 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.



    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.

  • @hazz3r I remember being super hyped for it because of its setting, but the reviews were pretty disappointing.

  • I regret not putting Cursed Mountain higher. :(

  • My list

    1. Demon's Souls
    2. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
    3. Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
    4. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
      HM. Wolfenstein
      HM. inFAMOUS
      HM. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
      HM. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

    Demon's Souls is still one of my favorite From games. I just love the level design in this one. Plus is this game is also a bit "weird" and I love it.

    A Crack in Time is the only Ratchet game post the original trilogy that I hold in high regard. Truly a great action platformer.

    GTA Episodes from Liberty City is a fantastic expansion. It's way better than GTA IV and more in line with the PS2 GTA games.

    I'm sad to see I'm the only one who voted for Wolfenstein. It really is one of the most underappreciated shooters of all time. It's just as great as all the other Wolfenstein games.

  • My Marvel picks didn't make the cut, nor did The Saboteur from my eternal love, the Pandemic Studios.

    #1: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    #2: Infamous
    #3: Assassin's Creed II
    #4: Batman: Arkham Asylum
    HM: Flower
    HM: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2
    HM: The Saboteur
    HM: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    Thanks for the list @Axel! Please participate more, people.

  • @phbz Well you and @sheria atleast brought the came to my attention :D

  • @axel As always, I love these, but not going to lie, seeing Retribution being in the top group that JUST missed out hurts.

  • @brannox I feel the same way but for GTA Chinatown Wars. Also, shoutout to my fellow The Sims 3 voters.

  • Since it's been a couple days and it appears the thread has run it course...

    .....Hall of Fame?