PS3 2009 Awards
Quick note: Only games that I’ve played / am excited to play soon will be eligible to win awards.
Best Action Game – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 2 – Among Thieves was destined to be a great action game from its inception. The game has astonishing graphics, great fun gameplay and a very engaging story. It’s simply a must play for all PS3 owners.
Also notable: Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, inFamous, Batman: Arkham Asylum (playing soon)
Best Fighting Game – Street Fighter IV
In the past, I’ve never really known a lot about Street Fighter, or really played it much, if ever. I got Tekken 2 bundles with my PS1 back in the day and always just assumed that Tekken was the pinnacle of fighting games. I must admit that I’m not a fighting game expert, and while I didn’t get into the technical side of SF4, I appreciate the 2D nature of the game and the old school gameplay mixed with modern subsystems which allow many different tactics to be deployed.
Best Music Game – The Beatles: Rock Band
Beatles: Rock Band really stands out among a sea of cheap Guitar Hero cash-ins and while the main entrant in the series, GH5 was actually good, and metallica was good for fans of that type of music. The other GH games: Greatest Hits and Van Halen were shameful cash-ins for Activision. New entrant DJ Hero was surprisingly good but despite the fact that I haven’t played DJ Hero, from what I’ve seen of the game, it can’t compete with Beatles: Rock Band’s incredible attention to detail, great setlist and fun gameplay. The game was made with love, it was clear and that’s a great thing to see.
Also notable: Guitar Hero 5
Best Puzzle Game – Critter Crunch
Critter Crunch is an incredibly stylish downloadable PSN puzzle game where you feed critters to larger ones to create chains. Controls are tight, graphics are incredible and the art style is simple irresistible.
Best Racing Game – Dirt 2
While Dirt 2 does effectively insult and ignore the history of Rally and what Colin McRae stood for, the fact is that it is a very well made, very fun off-road racing game in its own right. Despite playing the game on PC, it’s still undoubtedly the best driving game of the year on PS3. The only game to beat it in the genre in my opinion is Forza 3.
Also notable: Need for Speed: Shift
Best Shooter – Borderlands
I’ve been agonising over this award for a while. Borderlands and Modern Warfare 2 are the main contenders although I did also play Killzone 2. KZ2 and Modern Warfare both have single player campaigns which I didn’t enjoy whatsoever. Please note that this is my own personal opinion. Borderlands, even though it’s known as a co-op game, I’ve been playing so far exclusively single player and I’ve been enjoying myself more than I thought I would do. When I go online, I’m expecting it to get even better so I’m looking forward to that.
Also notable: Modern Warfare 2, Killzone 2
Best Sports Game – FIFA 10
FIFA finally got the jump on its arch rival Pro Evo Soccer this year, and in my opinion it’s richly deserved. Konami has sat back while EA have been really working hard to improve their game and make it the definitive football experience. While I’m not a huge fan of real football, I’ve always had a soft spot for the games, despite skipping about 5 years of the FIFA series up until last year. The gameplay is solid and the licenses of all the leagues and teams is a great thing in my opinion, and has always been one of the series strong points.
Also notable: NBA Live 10
Best Visual Quality – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
It’s hard to argue with this, UC2 has mind blowing graphics in both gameplay and cutscenes. I’m sure I’ve never seen better, more real looking cutscenes before anywhere.
Also notable: Killzone 2, Ratchet & Clank: ACiT
Best Use of Sound – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
UC2 has possibly the best voice acting ever in a video game. Nolan North is fantastic as Drake. The whole cast is brilliant. Voice acting aside, the soundtrack is perfectly suited to the game and the mood feels right when you play. Sound effects too are top notch.
Also notable: Ratchet & Clank: ACiT, Killzone 2, Modern Warfare 2
Best Story – inFamous
inFamous is a very impressive open world game. While I found the difficulty to be punishing at around the mid-point in the game, I thought the story was well told and very in depth for a new IP. Other games like Batman had good stories but are less impressive mainly due to there being such a huge pool of stories to draw inspiration from.
Also notable: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Ratchet & Clank: ACiT
Best Multiplayer – Modern Warfare 2
MW2 is probably the best multiplayer game of all time, and that’s not an understatement. The game is impeccably well engineered to offer not just a great gameplay experience, but also by far the best matchmaking and hosting service ever. One of the most important aspects in multiplayer gaming is how fast actually getting into the game is and how the smooth / lag free the gameplay itself is once you get there. MW2 excels in all areas, leading to the massive commercial and critical success it has garnered to this point.
Also notable: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Killzone 2, Battlefield 1943
Best Downloadable Game – Shatter
This category I think is the toughest to call of all of them. It says a lot about the breadth of great games available on PSN in 2009 that I can’t pick one. In the end, I picked Shatter because it offers something rarely seen anymore in modern gaming, and that is a breakout style brick breaking game, with a twist. I could have given this category to Critter Crunch but didn’t because I felt I should share the awards around as much as possible. Flower is also fantastic and a game you can give to pretty much anyone. Fat Princess is less mainstream but very fun nonetheless. PixelJunk Shooter is a recent release and is also very good. All in all, you should get all these games.
Also notable: Critter Crunch, Flower, Fat Princess, PixelJunk Shooter
PS3 Game of the Year – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
I’m sure you know by now, Uncharted 2 is incredible. It;’s won more awards that any other game and deservedly so. Pick this up, and if you don’t own a PS3 yet, now is the best time yet to grab a slim version.
Also notable: Ratchet & Clank: ACiT, inFamous, Batman: Arkham Asylum
Up next: Wii