Top 5 Xbox 360 Games of 2009

2009 proved to be another solid year for the gaming industry battling with economic recession right at the apex of the console cycle. Itsí also a blessing in disguise in some cases as the cycle would probably be extend and developers will have to work overtime to make sure their games are worth forking over the 60 bucks for (for the goras anyway). The year was dominated by sequels for block buster franchises which again managed to garner both critical praise and sales $s. In retrospect, 2009 didn't turnout to be the epic best year of all as it was predicted to be due to some important delays, it did have its fair share of gems and diamonds in the rough.

Below are PG's picks for top 5 games released on the xbox 360 along with honorable mentions.


Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City

DLCs havenít really fulfilled their promise; good ones are few and far between. It was a surprise then that a developer like Rockstar decided to risk its biggest franchise with 2 DLCs.

These DLCs to GTA IV catered to the almost insatiable desire amongst the gaming populace for more Grand Theft Auto shenanigans. Rockstar is not known for forsaking their characters and the amount of effort that went into GTA IV was just incredible. Common sense dictated that the characters and the setting could be used over multiple games and Rockstar duly obliged with DLC releases during the year. In the end it all comes down to the fact that they can stand as 2 very respectable games on their own. In times when an average action game lasts 8 hours, the DLC's provided as much value on a fraction of the price.

The Lost and Damned was almost treated by apprehension but the result was emphatic, the narrative and its delivery were made possible by pertinent tweaks in the gameplay and made for a satisfying side story to the main arc for any GTA fan. Ballad of Gay Tony took the more risky route fleshing out the concept of living a life in Liberty City and was equally appealing.

With these two games Rockstar has reiterated its reputation a top quality developer that delivers amazing games with unbelievable value and content.



Batman: Arkham Asylum

Straight out of left field, not many would dare to deem the caped crusader an outsider but he hasn't really established his writ on the gaming world. This is all in the past now, Arkham Asylum is a surprising competent action brawler that catches you off guard straight away with its top notch production value and graphics and substantiates its claim with engaging brawler mechanics with a little bit of everything sprinkled in between. We don't blame you for being a bit skeptical but Arkham Asylum does not require bedding in, pick up a copy and you wonít stop till itís finished. Itís a pleasant rarity in these days to see such a polished game coming from a relatively unknown studio. Donít let that sound like charity; Arkham Asylum can mix it with the big boys.



Assassin's Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2 is the ideal sequel. Bigger, better and more bad ass in every way, Assassin's Creed fixes several key problems that the first game suffered whilst providing an interesting plot and narrative to drive the player forward. Set in 14th century Italy, the game is dripping with atmosphere and immersiveness the likes of which is rarely seen. The gameplay has been refined to the point of perfection; all the little niggling issues like repetition have been axed completely. The game is just chock full of content. There are just so many things to do and they're all varied and paced so the experience never gets dull. The story picks off immediately where the first one ended and takes the player through a tour de force of both 14th century and present day lives of the Assassins, with enough twists and turns to leave to leave the player at the edge of his seat and a conclusion that leaves you begging for more, this is one game that should not be missed.



Forza Motorsports 3

DE-FIN-I-TIVE (adj.)

Authoritative and complete.

Very few developers would dare use this word with their games but this is not an ordinary team. Turn10 hit the ground running from day 1 and was responsible for an upset of wildest imaginations when Forza1 usurped GT4 to claim top honors for simulation racers. The rookie studio didnít stop there, putting out 3 full title release in the time their honored competitors have managed just one. Forza 3 is the logical conclusion of the journey started in the first game. The cars have never looked better, the physics have never been more enjoyable, the multiplayer never so engaging and the customizations deserve a honorable mention on their own. Turn 10 has managed to create a whole universe inside a game. If you ever wanted to try out a racing simulator, make sure this is it. Definitive, justified.



Modern Warfare 2

If people thought Infinity ward did a fantastic job at Call of Duty 4, then those people will be left picking their jaws and cleaning their drools off the floor when they're done with Modern Warfare 2.The longevity of the campaign of MW2 is the only thing it has in common with its predecessor, while the rest of it pretty much blows almost every other FPS out of the water. An Epic storyline with extremely bold characters, a level of action and intensity that will leave you at the edge of your seat and holding your breath till the level finishes, frequent scripted sequences of magnitude that make the nuclear explosion in COD4 pale in comparison, excellent original score by the Oscar-winning Hans Zimmer, the new co-operative and addictive Multiplayer mode called Spec-ops and a handsomely tweaked Online Multiplayer component of COD4 - It is a game that leaves an impression on the player that he surely won't forget until the next Call of Duty game.

You want to play this game...Trust me.

Honorable Mentions: Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV, Skate 2, Shadow Complex, Halo: ODST and Halo Wars