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2009: Games of the Year

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What were my games of the year?

Keep in mind, these are only the best of the games I played.

3: Dragon Age: Origins

No game of the year list, in ANY year, would be complete without a listing from BioWare. They are the best at what they do, and DA:O is the best of what they've done. Now, this ranking is based upon my playing the Xbox 360 version. With lesser graphics and controls (with tuned-down difficulty to compensate for the less intuitive interface), it only merits #3 on my list. Perhaps I would rank it higher if I played the PC version.

2: Persona 4

Okay, I'm cheating a bit on this one. TECHNICALLY, P4 came out last year. However, it released so late in the year, it was left off most lists for 2008. As such, I'm ranking it this year. I've previously written about the game. Bottom line: I'm still playing it ten months later.

1: Modern Warfare 2

I always catch a lot of crap from the internet when I say this is the best game I played all year. I think some people just naturally hate anything that's popular. Though, don't you think there's a REASON things are popular to begin with? The first Modern Warfare reinvented what is expected from a shooter. Much like, Half Life, Halo and Goldeneye before it, Modern Warfare did things that no other shooter did at the time.

Modern Warfare 2 has the same incredible multiplayer DESIGN as the first. Any popular game is going to be filled with jerks that ruin it, but the gameplay itself is some of the best competitive multiplayer I've ever seen, with a plethora of game modes and an almost endless supply of weapon and equipment combinations. You can play whatever game you want, HOWEVER you want. On top of this, Infinity Ward has added the Special Ops mode. This two-player cooperative mode pits you and a friend against an amazing variety of missions. Stealth, assault, defense, escort, driving, flying, name it and it's here. It's not just run-and-gun, though. Tactics and communication are the keys to victory. This alone makes Modern Warfare 2 the best multiplayer game of the year.

In case you haven't heard, Modern Warfare 2 offers a robust Campaign mode, as well. Plenty of games have a good story. MW2's story may be a bit convoluted, but it's pretty good, especially by shooter standards. Yes, there are shooters with better stories, but not many. I will say two things about the story. First, it moves at a very quick pace, advancing the missions structure perfectly. Each mission is just long enough to be fulfilling, without becoming boring. Second, I cared. The way the story is told, the way it interjected me into the story, the events it forced me to live through, it all combined to make me care. I didn't just want to SEE what happened next, I wanted to DO it. By the end of the game, I HATED the villain so much that I actually CHEERED at the end.

So yes, for offering some of the best gameplay I've ever experienced, and one of the most emotionally engrossing stories, Modern Warfare 2 is my game of the year.


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