It’s Christmas day, we at TestFreaks hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.
It’s the end of the year again folks, in case you hadn’t noticed. That white stuff out on the grass – that’s called snow. That horrible dryness causing your skin to itch – that’s from the cold. As we get prepared for the decade to turn over and grant us another year, we can take a look back at some of the best things that came our way in its last 365 days. 2009 was a superb year for technology, gadgets and gaming. Gaming in particular saw a lot of fine releases. Let’s take a look at the last year for Playstation 3, and some of the overall best rated releases on Sony’s powerful console.
The scores utilize our own scoring system from the main site, TestFreaks.com.
The FreakScore or the TestFreaks Score is our overall product score based on a combination of all expert and user reviews we have collected for a product.
You can read more about our ratings system HERE.
TestFreaks Score: 10
Uncharted 2 is one of those rare games that grabs the player and forces them to sit in front of their TV until the game ends. Hanging in there as the #1 game on TestFreaks for PS3, Naughty Dog’s action adventure title is the most critically acclaimed game of 2009. It’s an undeniably good title, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks otherwise.
Auracore MediaWorks says Uncharted 2 “is simply one of the best games I’ve played yet on the PlayStation 3.”
HDR says “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a must buy for the single player alone, much less the new addition of multiplayer modes. It is not very often that a game comes along where you cannot put down the controller until the credits roll. A title that shows polish in every aspect of its design is a rare gem.”
Thunderbolt Games notes that “Uncharted 2 is a supremely confident game, and rightfully so. Naughty Dog know they have something remarkable on their hands and are keen to emphasize its best aspects; whether it be in the immaculate cut scenes, breathtaking action sequences or just wandering around, marveling at the scenery and hitherto unseen presentation and production levels. Naughty Dog really really know their stuff, and Among Thieves could easily be the poster-child for games leading movies, not the other way around.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.6
Last year, we got one of the darkest, and arguably best, Batman movies ever made. This year we got to enjoy the darker side of Batman gaming as we roamed Arkham Asylum, thwarting everyone from Harley Quinn to Killer Croc, solving the Riddler’s riddles and experiencing the Dark Knight as an all-new breed of butt kicker. The game is expansive, often difficult, and a whole lot of fun. There’s plenty to do and even more to love for any action gamer, as its quality makes it a very solid option not just for Batman or comic book fans.
Softpedia said it well, stating “A lot of purists were asking whether a superhero videogame could be delivered without dumbing down the subject matter so that a wide audience gets what it’s about. Batman: Arkham Asylum clearly shows that story, setting, mechanics and atmosphere can be combined to show off characters, create tension, offer opportunities for combat and exploration while also staying true to what the main character and his villains are all about.”
AuraCore MediaWorks was left with no doubts, saying “Batman Arkham Asylum is hands down the greatest comic-book character game and the ultimate Batman experience. Don’t waste another second hanging on the fence about it. Buy this game.”
Game Informer praised nearly every aspect of the game, summing it all up by calling it “An exhilarating quest into the heart of madness. This game explores every facet of Batman’s character, and rewards players handsomely with unforgettable moments.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.6
Modern Warfare 2 is the most talked-about game this fall/winter season. Destroying sales records its first day on the shelves, starting controversy for its gut-wrenching content, it’s a game that FPS fans, hardcore gamers and curious minds alike can’t ignore. Whether or not some of its high ratings are the product of hype is subjective, as others will say it’s one of the best FPS games they’ve played. The fact remains the reviews are generally favorable and it is one of the most economically successful games ever. It’s bound to be filling up Christmas lists this year for those who don’t already have it, and will be a highly played multiplayer game well into 2010.
VideoGamer.com said “Today it’s obvious that gamers will be playing Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer for a very long time. In fact, it’s hard to see the majority of people wanting to play any other multiplayer shooter until the next CoD is released, such is the quality of what’s on offer here.”
GamerNode credited the game, saying “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the greatest FPS games ever made. The emotional and intense single-player game is a thrilling rollercoaster ride of exciting moments, while the multiplayer is truly a definitive experience for online FPS players everywhere. This game lives up to its hype and then some, and won’t disappoint even the most jaded of gamers.”
The straightforward GameSpy.com said “Believe the hype: Infinity Ward’s shooter is one of the year’s finest games.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.5
Street Fighter IV hit the PS3 in early 2009 and offered gamers old and new a chance to engage in classic fighting with a modern twist. Older gamers will recognize the feel and control structure from the classic 2D Street Fighter titles, while newer gamers won’t be turned off by the throwback from what they’re used to. It set a new precedent and is held as a marvelous re-introduction to the fighting genre. 2D gameplay, 3D characters and environments and modern technology create a fantastic fourth installment in a classic game series.
The Gamers Temple said “Hardcore fighting fans looking for deep gameplay will most likely find something to enjoy in the game’s focus attack and Street Fighter purists should instantly be hooked by the game’s old-school blend of Street Fighter II and III.”
Fragland gave a great summary, stating Street Fighter IV has “got a nice balance between nostalgia and innovation and thanks to this will certainly appeal to both newcomers and veterans to the series. Forget Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur or Dead or Alive… the King Street Fighter is back.”
Games Abyss hailed the game, saying “There is nothing here that a Street Fighter fan won’t adore. This is Street Fighter at its best. How it manages to outshine every other incarnation in the series is simply remarkable. Out now for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles, fighting game fans owe it to themselves to pick up this title and give in to it.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.5
Killzone 2 is a space-based FPS that was expensive to make, but has been a highly acclaimed title with successful sales. It was released in February 2009 and passed the one million sales mark by April, making it one of the fastest-selling Sony titles to date. In a market increasingly saturated with FPS titles and repetitive themes, Killzone 2 has made its mark as a unique title that establishes criteria for the rest of the genre to follow.
GamePlay Monthly’s overall statement was “People doubted that Guerilla Games could match its infamous Killzone 2 trailer from E3, but not only has Guerilla Games matched that trailer, but they’ve also exceeded it. Even if you’ve played every other FPS to date, Killzone 2 is worth picking up. This game will fulfill my FPS needs for quite some time, and I’m not sure if another FPS game will replace it any time soon.”
D+Pad finished its review with the statement “the end result is nothing short of triumphant.”
Gaming Console Network said “this game is the first big title of 2009 and it can really be in contention for the 2009 Game of the Year… Overall Killzone 2 is a must-have for Playstation 3 owners. The game is quite amazing and well worth the wait.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.5
*This game hit American shelves in fall 2008, but landed in the rest of the world in 2009. Paying respect to our friends across the water, this game falls in place here as one of the best of 2009.
You may remember the days before the market was totally saturated with music video games. Back when Rock Band 2 came out, it was a huge game. It’s still very widely played today and the DLC keeps coming out every week, bringing the total track offering to well over 1,000 songs, and people keep downloading them and rocking out. Though similar to Rock Band, it fixed many of the things that bothered players about the first – like the terrible online play. Rock Band 2 is one of the biggest and best contenders in the music game genre and has maintained during a time when tons of competition has been released.
Playstation Universe said “Rock Band 2 isn’t a “true” sequel, but it’s the best encore we’ve ever experienced. Warn your neighbors – this may be their last proper night of sleep for months.”
Gamer 2.0 made it simple, saying “If you were on the fence about getting Rock Band 2, rest assured that it is indeed worth the money.”
Metacritic praised its upgrades, calling its development “an unrivaled offering of downloadable content and raises the bar by delivering an entirely new level of depth, connectivity, authenticity and features.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.5
The first Assassin’s Creed was a huge success, despite its extremely repetitive gameplay, monotonous and ever-dragging cut scenes and otherwise lackluster side quests. The sequel, released this fall amidst the swarm of anticipated sequels (Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 being two others), has impressed gamers even further than the first. The third-person epic worked to improve the things gamers didn’t enjoy about the first and offers a bloody brilliant game following a brand-new assassin during the Italian Renaissance.
GameSpy.com praises it highly, stating it is “Superior to its predecessor in every way, this Renaissance sequel is one of the year’s best games.”
Now Gamer was very impressed, saying “Our hats are now well and truly off to Ubisoft. The developer/publisher has pulled off what many thought impossible in a series which now, conversely, holds the player aloft while masochistically trampling its own artistic arrogance. An outstanding piece of entertainment that can, and should, tempt its audience away from its exclusive Modern Warfare diet – for a while at least.”
Game Revolution gave it a perfect score, saying “Assassin’s Creed was easily one of my favorite games of the last decade, and I love the sequel even more…This side trip to Italy is a truly fantastic vacation and worth every dollar, euro, or gold Florin.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.2
This fall release is a fantasy action RPG, and the spiritual successor to the King’s Field series. Extremely difficult and thus loved primarily by hardcore gamers willing to dedicate ample time to finishing it, Demon’s Souls has received great critical acclaim from those with the patience. Aside from that, it’s a brilliantly designed, inspiring tale filled with awesome moments and amazing scenes.
GamesRadar summed it up well, saying “For every moment we spent screaming at our TV and throwing our controller we had four moments of awe. Demon’s Souls is the scrappiest, hardest and best RPG released so far on the PS3 – and, in our opinion, it’s one of the best we’ll see on any console this generation.”
Games Abyss loved it and said “Demon’s Souls’ mechanics are nothing if not expertly balanced, meaning if you die it’s your own fault, and there is always another challenge waiting for you. Added flourishes like the ability to invade another player’s world online, recruit phantoms (when you have your physical form) to aid you in battle and even a further increased level of difficulty on Halloween makes this one really something special.”
G4 said “You’ll do your share of grinding to build a character before it’s over, and suffer plenty of heart-breaking deaths. Demon’s Souls has its rewards as well, though – beautiful sights, exciting battles, tons of replayability. They’re more than worth the challenge.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.1
inFamous is every PS3 owner’s favorite comic-style tale about a bicycle messenger thrown into a karma-based blend of puzzle, platforming, shooting and RPG. Praised widely for the character’s immaculate control set, game content, mission structure and uniqueness, inFamous is plain fun. It has now sold over one million copies and was awarded IGN’s Best Story award. A sandbox-style game, complete with a main quest and copious side quests to influence the story, inFamous is considered by many to be one of the most enjoyable titles available for the console.
Games Abyss is a big fan, saying “InFamous caters to the gamer in everyone. The casual fan can pick it up and easily put it down after doing a handful of missions. Hardcore folks will go nuts over the game’s ample amount of content, such as where to spend those hard earned experience points and gathering all of Cole’s upgrades. Sucker Punch has crafted a fantastic gaming experience that is really hard not to recommend. “
The Next Level recommends it, saying “If you own a PlayStation 3, then do yourself a favor and pick this one up. There aren’t too many exclusives that can help sell the system…this is yet another reason to own Sony’s underdog.”
Game Informer considers it a strong title, calling it “A healthy variety of story-based and optional missions ensures you always have fun ways to exercise your superhuman power, and the enemies offer enough resistance to make it satisfying when you turn them into sparks and dust.”
TestFreaks Score: 9.1
Over the past few years, we’d seen a few band-specific releases in the music game genre. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was followed by Guitar Hero: Metallica, soon to be replaced by Guitar Hero: Van Halen. However, none of those compared to Rock Band: Beatles when it came to buzz and anticipation. Anything dealing with The Beatles is a big deal, as their songbook doesn’t get used just anywhere. This September, the game hit shelves and Beatlemania happened all over again. Featuring dozens of Beatles tracks and three DLC packs announced at launch, the game spans their career and has beautiful, customized graphics related to every song as you play. It is a journey through their ups and downs, their rise to fame and the evolution of their music.
HDR commented, saying “The Beatles: Rock Band is high on style and substance making it a must-own product for The Beatles fans and a bold new direction for the Rock Band franchise”
VideoGamer.com found it nearly perfect – “It’s hard to see how this game could have been much better. Every element has been designed with fans in mind – even the loading screens are quite special, since they feature previously-unheard audio of the band warming up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game do such a great job of catering to its target audience, and at every step Harmonix displays a deep understanding and appreciation for the Beatles license.”
D+Pad made a great statement, “The Beatles: Rock Band raises the bar to such a nosebleed-inducing height that we also wonder where the genre is going to take us to next. The rate of acceleration is phenomenal.”