1. Dragon Age: Origins
And now we are at number 1, and the game that beats Fallout 3’s DLCs. Well that’s quite simple! Another game that just has huge amounts of land to discover as well as the history of the land you and your party trod on. Dragon Age: Origins is just simply amazing and I still haven’t found everything. As a die hard role player Bioware once again didn’t disappoint me, improving on everything that they had previously done for a RPG Dragon Age: Origins has become one of the best RPGs I have played.
Nothing beats the exhilaration that’s one gets when only just managing to beta back that horde of darkspawn, or the disappoint when you see another wave coming at you when you only have one health potion left. I was wary about the apparent “new experiences” of trying a new race but I have found my current play through with an Elven mage completely different to that of say a Human noble. The ways npcs respond to your character affects what is open to you and no matter how many times I do it I still find the responses of npcs when I threaten them as a mage.
Dragon Age: Origins is by far my favourite game of 2009 and to be honest I am most likely going to play it once I have posted this, already having three DLCs and an expansion on its way (as well as unlockable items if you complete the achievements in Dragon Age Journeys) I can only see the world of Dragon Age growing in size until we finally meet the infamous Tevinter Imperium.
2. Fallout 3 DLC content/GoTY
Ok ok, I kind of cheated with this one. Before you say I know Fallout 3 was released in 08 however the expansion that the DLC content brought the game has to be praised. Increasing everything from new areas to explore to weapons to defend your sorry self from attack to the well awaited continuation of the story, if you hadn’t installed the mod to get around this (sorry console gamers) it kinda sucked that the game ended with still so much more to explore and Broken Steel saved us from this ever lasting fate of not knowing what happened. By far my favourite was Point Lookout, which had a far more interesting area to explore as well as crazy new enemies as well as its own cult to rival that of those in the wasteland. If you haven’t experienced the thrills of the Capital Wasteland yet, then I thoroughly recommend getting the Game of the Year addition (which was released in 2009 so ha!)
3. Left 4 Dead 2
After all the hype and disappointment that the announcement of L4D2 brought I must say that the people who are boycotting (though I doubt anyone actually did in the end) will be kicking themselves. L4D2 vastly improves L4D as a title, new weapons, including the much wanted melee weapons – who doesn’t want to smash a zombie to death with a frying pan? – and new guns, explosives and other niceties like a defibrillator for the much needy spark of life. However the main improvement is the new ways of completing a campaign, giving you multiple ways to reach the safe house and new types of finales instead of the constant “now defend here!” fights. The list goes on, with even more annoying special infected as well as new common infected such as clowns! Left 4 Dead 2 really did over achieve itself having more campaigns than L4D at launch and pretty much more of everything!
4. Red Faction: Guerrilla
As the continuation of the red Faction rebellion enters into 2009 new Guerrilla tactics are put into operation. Red Faction: Guerrilla, being the sequel of one of my most played PS2 games, was a most have. Still it has the explosive nature of the original with much bigger bangs than just holes in a wall. Guerrilla literally allows you to destroy anything, yes anything. I was glad to see Red Faction getting another sequel and back to the appealing nature of the first Red Faction as I remembered it. It even made me go out a buy the original Red Faction on pc to replay the game. Reaching number 4 in my list Red Faction: Guerrilla was a huge success in my books just because I was allowed to continue my little rebellion.
5. Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment
From the conquest of nations to the conquest of worlds, Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment just beats Empire Total War in my top 10 solely because of its awesome multiplayer experience. From total annihilation of your enemies to the slow decay of your own empire allows you great freedom on what you do next and most importantly where. The additions that Entrenchment brings, including the might space stations, brings new light to SoaSE and got me playing once again and once again had my fantasies of space travel going again. The modding community are still busy at work on this brilliant title with such mods as Star Trek and even a Cold War what if scenario. Only just breaking into my top 5 it still has its flaws, once you are losing, oh my how hard it is to get back, often seeing losing players without any hope quitting or just sitting back awaiting their fate once you get too power the real fun starts to fade away.
6. Empire Total War
Ah, Empire Total War from my beloved Total War series. To be honest the period of history Empire portrayed doesn’t interest me as much a previous titles or the next instalment. However the improvements to the series are no doubt held within this game…somewhere. The tech tree is a great improvement and the increase in opinions, a better ai, in the diplomacy department where well embraced by myself in the vain hope it was the end of the one city state refusing to make peace with a world power…However the improvements to the diplomacy ai seem to have reverse affects on the military side and on my first campaign with Prussia I found rival armies standing in their territories sitting there awaiting the rolling thunder of the Prussian Army.
In my opinion it lacked behind Medieval 2 Total War, especially on the modders front. Empire Total War wasn’t the game I was hoping for, now all I can do is hope that Napoleon is all what ETW should have been and more.
7. Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor
Not a game I got when it first came out, in fact I only recently bought the latest Company of Heroes. Tales of Valor (or should I say Valour) adds three new campaigns in its stand alone form, however these ‘campaigns’ are short, real short for them to be called campaigns more like three expanded missions.
However the same greatest the original spewed out is still here and it’s in truck loads once again. Nothing is more fun the blowing the s**t out of a small picturesque town to force your enemies into machine gun fire or into a barrel of a Tiger tank. ToV rolls into my top 10 all ready for action in its awesome seriousness.
8. Killing Floor
To be perfectly honest when I first saw this released I wasn’t all to rushed to go and get it, oh how I was wrong! A part from the vast and amount of ever increasing maps and weapons Killing Floor really gripped me on its focus on the team. Due to the sheer amount of time I put into this game it easily got into my top 10. However you start to see the repetition quite easily as you are forced into the same actions if you play a map to often and it disappointed me that the bosses were all the same crazy guy. Overall Killing Floor is a really fun game to play on a whim but in my opinion not on the same level as Left 4 Dead.
9. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2
I enjoyed Dawn of War 2 greatly the new multiplayer modes being the most well received in every review I have read on DoW2, however even though I can see the attraction to a more squad orientated game I personally much preferred the mechanics of Dawn of War. However I must confess I never actually owned a copy of Dawn of War 2 and my experiences of this game is of playing it on a room mates computer and thus my perspective is not of a full game but the most accessible parts leaving DoW2 lagging behind the rest of group.
10. Football Manager 2010
When it comes to casual gaming for me Football Manager is quite easily the best in my opinion. Back in the day I used to play Championship Manager 2002 quite a lot however these days Football Manager has risen to the top of managing games and stand on a nice little podium. However not all is nice a shiny in the world of football management simulators, FM10 is still produces ridiculous results and while playing multiplayer online I found it to consistently lag even when playing a lan game and for these reason it only just reaches the subs bench in my top 10.
Check out these games at their perspective websites: