Games Of The Half-Year

Games Of The Half-Year

Today is June 30, the halfway point of the year. I thought I’d look back on the first six months of 2009 to determine just how good a gaming year it’s been… so far.

My first thought when thinking of writing this post was to speculate whether any of the games released to date in 2009 could possibly become my overall game of the year. So, just off the top of my head, I planned to list all the potential candidates, such as…

Red Faction: Guerrilla, Little King’s Story, OutRun Online, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Swords & Soldiers, Sims 3, Riddick, Zeno Clash and… well, that’s about it.

What a peculiar list. Rewind to January and I don’t think I’d have pegged any of those to make their way onto my best of ’09 shortlist.

So do any of these have a chance of taking out top honours come the year’s end? Are any of these games genuine game of the year material?

Maybe they will be. But part of me kinda hopes not. To be honest, I don’t think there’s been one truly great game released so far this year. Not for me, anyway.

The big titles have all left me underwhelmed in varying ways. Killzone 2 was a decent shooter. Resident Evil 5 was about half a good game. Street Fighter IV simply isn’t for me. Halo Wars was OK. inFamous was OK, too. And I’ve barely given enough time to major PC titles like Dawn of War II and Empire: Total War.

(I know that sounds a little dismissive, but just personally, not one of those games has really grabbed me.)

Looking at my personal top ten picks for 2008, only two games from the first half of the year made the cut. They were GTA IV and Audiosurf, and only the latter featured in the top five. The remainder of my top ten were plucked from the madness of those pre-Xmas months.

It left me thinking: is it simply the case that all the best games really do come out in the second half of the year or are those early year releases too often overlooked when it comes to awards time?

So I’m interested to hear about your picks for the Games of the Half-Year. Do you think you might have already played your own personal Game of the Year? Or is it more likely still to come?


  • Not sure I can name 10 but I can name a few.
    1) Dawn of War II – most fun RTS I’ve played since World in Conflict. Damn shame more people dont’ play it :/

    2) Prototype – just pure fun. Sure its not deep but… hurling dudes at choppers as revenge for shooting at you ftw

    3) Pokemon Platinum – I stopped playing this.. it became so addictive I spent all my free time playing it. I have to finish it but after a little break 🙂

    • Yeah I agree about Dawn of War II. I reckon I had more fun playing the campaign in co-op mode with my cousin than anything else so far this year. But the second half of the year looks to be packed with potentially awesome games, some of which I’m sure will surpass DoW II.

  • Resident Evil 5 will probably be my game of the year, if only because I think no other title’s release will be bigger for me personally. While I can understand everyone’s various complaints with the game, I loved it, and I doubt anything else released this year will top that level of excitement and anticipation.

    Other possible candidates will probably be Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Tales of Vesperia, Scribblenauts (if it’s as good as they say it is, and I hope so!), the Tales of Symphonia sequel, and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, if it’s actually released this year.

  • Street Fighter IV is for me though Mr Wildgoose! Game of the generation.

    Outrun Online gets a thumbs up.

    Killzone 2 was great fun but it had the most annoying cast in videogame history. I wanted Rico to die so bad.

    Did Peggle Nights come out this year? If so, it’s up there!

  • Modern Warfare 2 I expect to be the overall winner later this year. Currently Pkmn Platinum is in the lead, closely followed by RE5 and Red Faction: Guerrilla.

  • I just started playing inFamous and so far it’s pretty good. For this year’s titles it’s probably my favourite so far. Gaming has lacked a little lately so I’ve been looking back at getting games I missed out on the first time around.

    I’m pretty certain the best games are going to hit in the next half of the year. Tekken 6 is going to be fantastic, but not GOTY… Same goes for GT5 (if they actually get to release it).

    Starcraft 2 perhaps? To reach GOTY status there has to be massive anticipation, a strong fan base and good pre-sales and THEN actually deliver (though often debated heavily). Starcraft 2 already has a lot of those things going for it.

  • I think a lot of the great games, are released towards the end to get the Xmas rush sales and then also gain sales afterwards, as they gain their IMPORTANT Game of the Year awards and whack a sticker on the cover hoping more people buy it cause it won an award.

    Now you can’t predict a certain game is going to be a Game of the Year and slap it with a November release, but you should get what i mean.

  • ALSO – i haven’t purchased ONE brand new game that has been released this year, this year.

    I’ve played Red Faction which is super fun! Killzone 2, which actually made me appreciate the PS3 and actually praise it’s online. AND Resident Evil 5 which, well i won’t give my full opinion just – we are in the seventh generation of gaming, 2009, not the 90’s.

  • Little King’s Story is actually pretty fantastic. I think it’ll be topped, but it could crack my top 5 at the end of the year.

    Oh, and Chrono Trigger DS has a decent chance of winning but it’s not really a 2009 game.

    • I played the demo and hated it to bits. A good mate wanted it for his Bday so I bought it for him and he sings its praises. A penny-arcade blog rant recently also said the demo doesn’t do it justice.
      Maybe we need to play the full version to understand? NFI :/

      • People like Red Faction because – gasp – it’s a good game! Forget about the earlier Red Faction titles, because Guerrilla is a class above. It’s like GTA with a totally destructible environment. It’s seriously well-designed.

  • It has been a bit of an underwhelming half year. That said my list in no particular order:

    FEAR 2
    Guitar Hero Metallica

    Umm, that’s about it really. That said I’ve got a backlog of games I’m yet to play.

    Do virtual console games count? I’ve downloaded Majora’s Mask because I never actually played it on the N64. Best 1000 Wii points I’ve ever spent. I daresay it’s keeping me busy a lot longer than other games have this year.

    A dishonourable mention needs to go to Dawn of War II. That game was crap. I was a huge fan of the original but Relic decided it would be a good idea to throw away everything that made the first game good and dumb it down to online boredom. Plus they are still adding modes to the game that should have been there on release.

  • COD4 FTW! …. i play that more than any of the games i have bought this year. InFamous is good (albeit short), Riddick was good (because i hadnt played butcher bay), Killzone (was no COD4 … controls were WAY too annoying to fully enjoy). Guitar Hero is fun, but will never be deserving of the GOTY (unless we have a REALLY shitty year)

  • The Read Faction demo really does not do it justice. This game is brilliant and the online comes without any major hiccups for once.

    Matchmaking is quick as, modes are fun, levelling up is rewarding and addictive.

    This is the most fun online since L4D. People should take the plunge and buy this blockbuster game.

  • yeah COD4 is a really good game but i think they are looking for games that are released this year. lol lol lol.

    But modern warfare 2, i think, will have a very good chance. with so much hype over it and the gameplay vids, it looks like it will be quite a good game…

  • I’m a massive fan of Infamous. It’s not really GOTY material but it is incredibly fun to be both a saint and a sinner. RE5 was fun and all but it felt too much 4 to be truly special. I want to give a much deserved shout out to GTA Chinatown wars though. I can pour hours into that thing…(and i do)

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