With Game of the Year voting coming to an end very soon, I wanted to take the time to bring forth a few honorable mentions. While the staff as a whole decided our nominees, I feel there are a few other noteworthy titles that deserve recognition for being among the best games released this year. These games fell just shy of Game of the Year nomination.
Very few games this year managed to keep me coming back like Borderlands did. Having beaten the game nearly four times and having reached level 50 with two characters I still feel the need to go back and keep playing. It leaves the sense that you have unfinished business with the world of Pandora as long as bandits still roam the badlands and while the Crimson Lance still control Old Haven. Borderlands is one of the few games from 2009 that I fully intend to invest even more time into in 2010.
Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time
A Crack in Time was the first time I looked at the back of the game case and found everything it said to be true. The game looked great and had a compelling and emotional story that left me satisfied as well as a bit choked up. ACIT is the best game Insomniac has put out on the PS3 and is the best game they have released since Up Your Arsenal. In a year where the PS3 had one great exclusive after another Ratchet and Clank manages to be one of the best.
There is no denying that the market is now flooded with music games and originality has been thrown out the window in exchange for quick cash. That is what makes DJ Hero stand out above its competition. The mixes are great and the venues are flashy and give off a real club feel. DJ Hero is like playing Guitar Hero for the first time and you will lose yourself in the game unlike any other music game out there.
Halo 3: ODST
Halo 3: ODST was one of only a few big name 360 exclusives this year and it delivered a great experience. Many looked at it as DLC with a $60 price tag; however, those who took the time to look deeper found a fantastic campaign along with a fun new survival mode called Firefight. ODST proved that you could do Halo without the ring world and without the Master Chief. If you missed ODST because you thought it was overpriced DLC, I highly recommend you take the time to give this game a shot, you may be surprised.
Demon’s Souls was one of the top RPGs released this year. It was a nod to old school style games with its sometimes-brutal difficulty and unforgiving nature. This one definitely will not hold your hand like most games today. That old school feel made the game so good as well as its fantastic multiplayer design. Demon’s Souls is not for the faint of heart, but those willing to rise to the challenge will find it to be one of the best games released this year.
InFamous was a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns that made an otherwise lacking story into something special. It managed to capture the human aspect of having superpowers and gave you choices that for the most part felt reasonable and not too extreme in either direction. Cole was a person first and the powers were simply a means for him to return his life to normal or create a world where he reigned supreme. InFamous is a game you have to experience to truly appreciate.
2009 will undoubtedly go down as a great year for the industry thanks to many strong releases over the year. In past years there has always been one game that seemed to trump all others, but 2009 proved to be a very competitive year with many titles worthy of the recognition. We here at Gaming Bolt hope you enjoyed 2009 and that you enjoyed both our nominees and our honorable mentions. Check back here on December 31st for the results of the user voting and as always keep it here on Gaming Bolt!