Another fantastic year for me.
Dragon Age: Origins has shown that Bioware still has what it gets to make a good CRPG. It had some of the best written companion characters, and though not without faults (especially mechanical, trying to simulate WoW too much), it was really satisfying experience.
Assassin's Creed II improved on most aspect of the original. I still prefer original for its setting and story, but I liked this one quite a bit as well.
Red Faction: Guerrilla came as a surprise to me. Red Faction is FPS with destructible environment, and somebody decided to seize the day and make GTA clone out of it. On Mars. And it worked. It had destructible buildings, engaging world and "people vs mega Corps" story. As a sucker for Mars Trilogy (Red, Green, Blue Mars), it was right up my alley.
Wii Sports Resort saw a lot of gameplay time in my home. Such a fun collection of minigames.
Trine started in 2009. Beautiful physics based puzzle platformer that could be played in local 3 player coop. Loved it.
Risen was "unofficial" Gothic, since Piranha Bytes at the time lost rights to Gothic, they had to make another world. Which was a blessing in disguise, since they reverted to the more intimate design of Gothic 1/2, instead of the fully open world approach of Gothic 3. A real feast for Gothic fans.
Torchlight was Diablo "clone", but for some reason I enjoyed it more than Diablo. Not sure why, but some of co-designers of Diablo made that one.
Mini Ninjas was something I enjoyed a lot for its gameplay, world, characters and lovely art - I never understood why it didn't get more popular.
Plants vs. Zombies was another game that surprised me a lot - it looked like Flash game, its "story" was about plants defending a lawn from zombies, yet i couldn't get my hands off of it.
My favourite game from that year is Machinarium. I knew of Amanita Design from their short point&click adventure games, Samorost 1/2, but this was their first full length game. It immediately skyrocketed to my all-time favourites for its beautiful art, interesting world and characters, and fun and clever puzzles.
And then there's Demon's Souls. I have to admit, when it came out, I thought "so, like Severance: Blade of Darkness, but with clumsier and slower combat, but with respawns", so I didn't really quite catch on at first. It took me some time to disregard its average (but serviceable) combat and appreciate it for what I came to primarily appreciate Souls for - exploration and rich atmosphere.
But I have to give my vote to Batman: Arkham Asylum. As a kid in the 80s, I didn't care for Batman comics, SpiderMan is where I was, but when it came to games, it was the other way around - there aren't really any Spiderman games that I really loved, but plenty of Batman games. And Arkham Asylum was one that really shown that AAA game can be about superhero and be fantastic. Enjoyed sequels as well, but this one is still my favourite.
Honourable mention goes to Angry Birds. At the time I thought "oh, Crash the Castle ripoff" thinking it won't amount to much - boy, was I wrong.
EDIT: Another causal game launched that year, to become a worldwide phenomenon - FarmVille.
Last edited by HoloDust - on 17 November 2023