Was 2009 a vintage year for games? Yes and no. It’s been a year of towering triumphs, some entirely unexpected, but also a year where whole months went by without much sight of a decent game. With the 360 now a mature platform, and definite signs that developers are finally getting to grips with the PS3, we’ve had some of the defining games of this console generation. And while it hasn’t been such a great year for Nintendo, a few Wii and DS games have shown that the company hasn’t entirely lost its touch. Along the way we’ve had some great indie titles, some quirky, original releases, and a handful of impressive, epic flops.
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that, with so much happening in the wider world of tech, games coverage on TR dropped slightly this year. That doesn’t mean, however, that we haven’t been playing the biggies, discussing them, and battling over which ones deserve glory, and which deserve infamy or obscurity. As always, the list that follows won’t please everybody (or, indeed, everybody in the TR office). It is, however, our Games of the Year 2009.
10. FIFA 10
Received wisdom used to be that FIFA was the football game for the style-over-substance loving casual gamer, while Pro Evo was the football game that real fans and real gamers went for. Well, if FIFA 09 put that opinion in question, then FIFA 10 destroyed it, utterly and decisively. FIFA has always been the better-looking game, but now the killer combination of 360-degree control and a fantastic, truly realistic physics system makes FIFA 10 at least as good as Pro Evo to play – and arguably better. This is a slick, fluid and precise game of football, where there's room to display real skill and goal-making flair. What's more, it's a deeper game than ever before, with the new Virtual Pro mode adding significantly to FIFA's long-term draw. Meanwhile, the excellent modelling and animation of the players, not to mention superb online play, put FIFA comfortably ahead of the Konami competition. FIFA used to be the year's best-selling sports game. In 2009 it was simply the best.