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2009: Game of the Year

It's time for us to sit back and recap on what made this year stand out in terms accomplishments in one of the most popular forms of electronic entertainment. Unlike last year, 2009 brought considerably more to each genre. As much as we enjoy reviewing games and handing out honors to those that deserve them, we also have to navigate through the ocean of gaming crappiness, which usually involves playing a variety of underdeveloped titles, in addition to waves and waves of pathetically mediocre attempts to entertain the masses (yes, movie tie-ins and diverse forms of franchise milkage included).

As always, as soon as next year kicks off, we'll be back to dip into some of the most disappointing releases in 2009.

Meanwhile, our 2009 Game of the Year Awards await.

Dragon Age: Origins
Publisher: EA
Developer: Bioware

It was touch and go for a while, with Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 almost snatching the 2009 People's Choice Award. Eventually, the honor went to BioWare's fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins (rightfully so, I might add). One of the most prominent development studios on the gaming scene, once again, proves it can deliver a gripping single-player RPG experience both on PC and consoles. With a well-written storyline, great atmosphere and old-school RPG gameplay, this title justifies every penny of its $60 price tag.

Runners-up: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision, Infinity Ward), Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft), Left 4 Dead 2 (Turtle Rock Studios, Valve/EA).

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Publisher: Eidos
Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Batman: Arkham Asylum represents Rocksteady Studios' first effort after Urban Chaos: Riot Response. With absolutely no hesitation we feel Batman: Arkham Asylum earned all of its praises and awards, bringing one of the most complete and most engrossing video game experiences this year. Surprises don't happen often in this business, but this game exceeded our expectations in every possible sense. The credit goes to the development team on this one. Not only have they created an exceptionally addictive action adventure with a great narrative and cool characters, but they've also pushed the Unreal Engine to its limits. Apart from offering challenging and well-balanced gameplay, the game engulfs players right from the start and takes them on an intense and brilliantly directed cinematic ride. The best part is, it's not a movie tie-in.

Runners-up: Resident Evil 5 (Capcom), Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft), Dragon Age: Origins (EA, BioWare).

Resident Evil 5
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

Capcom's Resident Evil 5 injects a strong dose of action-oriented gameplay straight into the heard of its popular survival horror franchise. This nearly ended up being our choice for Game of the Year (Batman won, yay!). However, when it comes to choosing the ultimate action game in 2009, Resident Evil 5 is the indisputable winner on all fronts. It has tension, first-rate visuals, non-stop action and possibly one of the best co-op game experiences you can expect to have nowadays. In short, Capcom improved the series in every way imaginable. If they ever plan to launch RE 6, we'll be there to hopefully enjoy the hell out of it.

Runners-up: Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft), Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos, Rocksteady), Modern Warfare 2 (Activision, Infinity Ward).

Dragon Age: Origins
Publisher: EA
Developer: BioWare

Ah yes, the decaying, though not forgotten genre of single-player RPGs, which could've been razed to its foundation thanks to MMOGs, if it weren't for a few efforts from developers such as BioWare. Dragon Age is one of these efforts. As a development team, these guys never cease to amaze us with their incredible ability to create unforgettable role-playing games, with exciting story-driven quests, brilliant dialogue and excellent characterization. The plot isn't the only thing that should keep you occupied here. The game has all the elements you need to immerse yourself in an interesting new fantasy setting. Gameplay wise, it appeals to both hardcore RPG players and causal gamers. Well done, BioWare.

Runners-up: Risen (Piranha Bytes).

Forza Motorsport 3
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Turn 10

Our 2009 GotY Awards have seen the return of the Racing Game genre, largely thanks to Turn 10's racer Forza Motorsport 3. With the decline of popular franchises such as Need for Speed and even DiRT (this year), Forza 3 makes racing enjoyable regardless of what you prefer - multiplayer or single-player. Also, it's been a really, really long time since we gave an Editor's Choice Award to a racing game.

Runners-up: DiRT 2 (Codemasters).

Champions Online
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Cryptic Studios

Since we've had no actual releases from Blizzard this year (What? Oh shut up!), the Award for Best MMOG goes to Cryptic Studios and their latest release Champions Online.

I'll let our buddy Vince Massa fill you in on the details: "Champions Online truly is the next generation hero MMOG. Cryptic Studios took everything they learned from City of Heroes and their obvious love of comic books and superheroes and have delivered a game that allows players to realize their own unique superhero dream. The character creation system has a crazy level of detail, to the point that you very well may find yourself spending as much time tweaking the look of your character as you will cracking bad guys heads..."

Runners-up: Aion (NCSoft).

Empire: Total War
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Creative Assembly

Despite some the bugs and other technical problems Empire: Total War had after the game's launch, it remains the best strategy game in 2009. Staying true to the series' tradition, Creative Assembly's game takes the best out of turn-based gameplay and epic real-time battles, providing an effective combo of both; thus delivering a remarkably deep strategy experience. Assuming you've installed all the updates, patches and whatnot, you'll get a kick out of Empire: Total War. It has amazing tactical depth, a lengthy single-player campaign and a solid multiplayer mode.

Runners-up: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 (THQ, Relic), Halo Wars (Microsoft, Triumph Studios).

Guitar Hero 5
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Neversoft

Another year gone by and Activision and Neversoft launch yet another Guitar Hero title, improving upon the familiar gameplay mechanics of the series, in addition to introducing a few cool new features.

To quote Vince on this one: "While the rhythm genre might be on the down side of the meteoric popularity ride, it's nice to see that the title that launched the flurry of rhythm games is still providing innovation and fun at this stage of the game. The excuse to get nice new TV doesn't hurt either."

Runners-up: The Beatles: Rock Band (EA, Harmonix Music)

Hanna Hilton

I'm not in the least bit surprised. Hanna Hilton, born October 31, 1984 in Brookville, Indiana, has been chosen as AT's top babe in 2009. Yep, she's the highest ranking chick, as chosen by you, our faithful readers. From high-school cheerleader to glamour model, Hilton's beauty was discovered online by an agent who brought her to Los Angeles (I'll bet all of those... ehm, err, movie producers, are double-glad he did).

But Hanna isn't the only top girl in 2009. Let's welcome other fine babes, who also made the year more enjoyable for all of us.



28 post(s)
Reader Comments
Vader [STAFF] Dec 24 2009, 07:00 am EST
Now don't forget to drink yourselves to death this Xmas!
Vodoo Dec 24 2009, 07:14 am EST
Batman has a sparkle of creativity about it, you can tell it was made by at least 1 human being and not forged in orbit by a factory of multi-limbed mecha-drones.

i wish i could have the pleasure of playing Forza 3.
  Vader: Aye, twas humans. Luckily those bastard mecha-droids …
Doomsday. Dec 24 2009, 07:33 am EST
Batman: AS as AT GotY was totally not expected! i thought it might be Dragon Age! Ah well, Bats Deserves it, for it was truly awesome!

aah Hannah Hilton!! thank ye Vader, for i knew her not before today!
Un Om Bun [STAFF] Dec 24 2009, 07:36 am EST
Very weak year, with only a handful of gems. Machinarium was by far the most inspired effort. Soul-crushingly difficult, but pure gaming magic !
  Vader: Dude. Last year was worse.
Un Om Bun: It's possible. I don't even remember it.
Vader: Proves my point.
Et3rnal Dec 24 2009, 07:51 am EST
Dragon age deserves this award... i'm glad that cod didn't get the award...
This year was pretty neat, but does it really matter how many good games come out in a year? I mean, people are always gonna go back to wow xD.
  Vader: This is true.
Un Om Bun: I really miss WoW's atmosphere, but not it's gameplay.
dwcw: Likewise...I miss the atmosphere too. Not so much for…
optimus slime Dec 24 2009, 08:08 am EST
Of course Batman. Never doubted the AT and their sense of extreme justice for a second.

Problem fixed, making reply bellow redundant and meaningless :)
  Alchi: Fable 2 was released in 2008, snowfairy.
optimus slime: what?
Vader: This has now been fixed. Thanks fairies.
Nameinuse: What, Fable2 is out allready!? I thought that's still…
Alchi: Omnipotent fairy > snowfairy. :D
PanteraFan666 Dec 24 2009, 09:02 am EST
batman, batman Iam batman, spins a web any size, yeah there goes the batman.
PainZero Dec 24 2009, 09:55 am EST
There's something strange about the awards, I mean if Batman is game of the year shouldn't it also be best action game.

And what's with the babes awards, miss August, miss November etc. don't they have names?
Vader [STAFF] Dec 24 2009, 09:58 am EST
Batman being the Best Game, doesn't make it the Best Action Game.

And we don't post the names of all the babes, just the name of the winner.

End of story.
  Pimpster: i've always wondered what the reason was for this? th…
Vader [STAFF] Dec 24 2009, 10:01 am EST
What's sad to me is that there are no really, really, really good games up there. As in groundbreaking!

And Modern Warfare 2 is a great disappointment.
  PainZero: Except for the airport level, and that's groundbreaki…
Vader: Wrong. Machinarium wasn't groundbreaking. It was refr…
BmmB: Groundbreaking??? What the FUCK??? Who cares about g…
im_stardust Dec 24 2009, 10:28 am EST
I think Modern Warfare 2 was fucking amazing as a PURE action game.
The Heart Of Darkness Dec 24 2009, 11:42 am EST
I love this damn place, and I love you guys, except Dex (still didn't get that "edit" button)
Burning Dec 24 2009, 01:16 pm EST
Haven't gotten 'round to Dragon Age yet, still very occupied with Torchlight, which I think is a great game. Other than that, I have to agree with this list, although, I haven't played any MMO this year.
Superastic Dec 24 2009, 01:54 pm EST
Love AT even though the comics are not that great. But that's what 2010 is for.

So i say thank you for the comments, the games we're bashing.
Thanks for all the needless trashing.
Couldn't game without it. Cursing every company, which craps money.
May we see them burn, how happy we'll be.
So I say thank you fellow gamers, for posting here with me.
  Superastic: It appears that I am, indeed, a faggot.
Un Om Bun: Nah, you're alright.
Superastic: Say, so are you, like, seeing anyone?
StormGuy85 Dec 24 2009, 02:39 pm EST
Dragon Age was good, but honestly it didn't hold up to the standard that The Witcher set last year.
  optimus slime: Amen.
fenixfire Dec 24 2009, 03:24 pm EST
I agree. Batman was my choice for GOTY also. Glad they are making another one.

Personally, I think this one was BOTY and I would like to know her name:​mefury/Beautiful/botd_11242009.jpg

Pimpster Dec 24 2009, 08:07 pm EST
i'll agree batman is goty. My only problem with that game was the ending. terrible, terrible ending. Just a rehash of the rest of the boss battles with a subtle twist, and on top of that, its completely unlike the joker to do something like that. very anti climactic.

that said, seems like most game companies these days suck at making good endings.
Copperr Dec 25 2009, 12:01 am EST
It's all rigged , I tell you. Batman was in fact babe of the year. Hanna Hilton is most definitely the game of the year, I would play with her. A lot.
  __nox__: Ha ha ha! I like the way you think :)
Cblue Dec 25 2009, 12:13 am EST
Well, I mean I like Dragon Age and all, but I have agree with the previous comment here, The Witcher is better, luckily we'll get the Witcher 2 next year I believe.

But overall, I think this was pretty much as it should've been
Bigolli Dec 25 2009, 01:17 am EST
Dragon Age for GotY is very acceptable, was really getting worried that the retards were gonna get their way again and have CoD as readers choice, good to see that didn't happen.

I really don't understand how anno 1404 (aka dawn of discovery) didn't even make it into the runners up for strategy. It was at least on par with empire (the fact that it was pretty much bug-less easily let's it take the crown... Empire has many game breaking bugs even after multiple patches).

It's been a fairly good year for gaming nonetheless. Now bring on bad company 2, assassins creed 2 pc, mass effect 2 and c&c4 and we should be in for some fun =D
DungeonRaider Dec 25 2009, 02:51 am EST
Having to choose just one game will mean that games that are consistently 2nd or 3rd choice for players will rank low.
drshabink Dec 25 2009, 02:02 pm EST
I say today's BOTD is BOTY
Myst Dec 25 2009, 05:03 pm EST
awww, so cute. Your game of the year section only covers only Xbox and PC. ah well. what can i say...
  QuickBrownFox: Most of them were cross-platform games that were on t…
Myst: no that's not what i meant. Uncharted 2, demon's soul…
QuickBrownFox: It shouldnt really be all that big a surprise that th…
QuickBrownFox Dec 25 2009, 07:00 pm EST
No best FPS section? You guys suck.
  Alchi: And how many good FPS can you name? MW2. .... …
finaleve: ODST...and Left 4 Dead 2...thats about it.
albundyhere: serious sam HD
QuickBrownFox: Id say they were all good contenders. Problem is, …
QuickBrownFox: BTW I realise that MW2 & L4D2 were runners up in seve…
Alchi: Hmm. I agree. Then to add there was wolfenstein... No…
Vodoo Dec 26 2009, 10:34 am EST
why do people still think this site is about games ?
  Vader: It's mostly about pessimism and babage, with a little…
raingod Dec 27 2009, 06:25 pm EST
AT has more credibility than that stupid G@mespot fuckers! Best voice acting category with no Batman! WTF is that! Keep it up guys. Let us make 2010 a better year!
Amok Jan 08 2010, 05:06 am EST
F.E.A.R. 2, anyone? Hm?... No?... Okay. I'll keep it all to myself; no hair off my back.
Vader [STAFF] Jan 13 2010, 04:25 am EST
FEAR 2 is a good game. On the other hand, it hasn't done anything remotely interesting to warrant a place in the GotY feature.


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