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Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

Matt Gardner
Best Video Game Awards 2009, Features

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

It almost says more about how hotly contested this list was by acknowledging the games that almost made it. Prototype was just bested by the excellent inFamous on this occasion and Dead Space: Extraction narrowly lost out to the controversy-baiting MadWorld. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was in the running too, yet just fell short at the last hurdle. And so onto the list itself. Amongst others, there were several very exciting high profile returns, from Nathan Drake to Tim Schafer, Grand Theft Auto proved its sticking power with an exceptional development in the portable market and DLC so meaty that it warranted a boxed release, and Batman: Arkham Asylum crept out of the shadows to prove to the world that not only was it in fact possible to create a superhero game that didn't suck, but that such a game could be really freaking good too.

If you're yet to sample any of the contenders below, be sure to click on the thumbnail or game title to look at a price comparison for all available platforms:



Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

Assassin's Creed 2

Ubisoft set out to right all of the little wrongs in the first game and ended up succeeding incredible. Ezio's adventures were prettier and much more varied. The plot was even more nuts than before, but with an assortment of brand new weapons, collectables aplenty, an appearance from Leonardo da Vinci, and an opportunity to play Pimp My Villa, this was even more than we'd hoped for.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

Batman: Arkham Asylum

With its dark and brooding atmosphere, bone-crunching melee combat, and shadowy spectre-like stealthiness, Arkham Asylum gave fans of the Dark Knight a chance to revel in an incredibly realised grimy corner of Bruce Wayne's world. It wasn't just the delight of having Mark Hamill voicing The Joker, every bit of this game struck the right chord.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

Brütal Legend

The gaming world welcomed Tim Schafer back with open arms as he unveiled his paean to all things metal. This fantastic fusion of sandbox action, RTS-style battles, and Jack Black was certainly one of the most creative games of the year. Schafer's stamp was all over this labour of love from the soundtrack to the characters, with Lemmy and Ozzy hopping on board to lend a hand to proceedings.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

GTA: Chinatown Wars

Rockstar ignored warnings that their criminal flagship couldn't really cut it on the portable handhelds by creating a new engine with an isometric camera and cramming all of the best bits about the GTA series into a very small space. From the very first game to the very latest, this was a game in which the GTA legacy all came together. It helped that it was an absolute stormer to play too.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

GTA: Episodes From Liberty City

Downloadable content has been a thorny subject of late, with accusations of developers and publishers withholding already created content to make a bigger buck, but there was no such outcry with the two GTA IV expansions. In fact, they were so comprehensive, they got a standalone boxed release. The characters and stroylines were brilliant, the gameplay top-notch as expected, but these succeeded ultimately because they weren't cheap cop outs, but wonderfully crafted additional episodes for fans who wanted to see even more of Liberty City.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure


An Amon Tobin soundtrack was just the icing on this fantastically action-packed cake. Cole McGrath's superpowers made Emperor Palpatine look like an amateur, and the game's well implemented karma system, the vast playground that was Empire City, and the well developed story helped make this one of the must-have games for the PS3.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure


Nintendo's little white box tried to expand its horizons early on in 2009 with this ridiculously violent number courtesy of SEGA. Everything from its gorgeous stylised artwork to its comically over-the-top brutality was designed to shake things up a little bit and remind the Western market that the Wii wasn't just for your or your grandma, offending a number of puritanical institutions in the process. But boy was it fun! And also really good for stress relief.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

Resident Evil 5

Despite opening an enormous can of worms by blundering into the race issue like a blind elephant, Resident Evil 5 turned out to be a fast-paced, frenetic, edge-of-your-seat zombie-fest. Stunning graphics, and with a chillingly atmospheric soundtrack, only the new control system let down what was otherwise a hugely impressive game.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

A late contender, but an essential one, Spirit tracks was classic Zelda: Pretty. Darn. Awesome. Stuffed with quests, collectibles, train mounted cannons, and a dollop of nostalgia, Spirit Tracks also let you use the DS's microphone as a pan pipe, garnering many an odd look on the bus.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Action/Adventure

Uncharted 2

Nathan Drake returned this year to grudgingly go back to doing what he does best: beating Indy and Lara at their own game. With more twists than a spaghetti junction, a cracking multiplayer mode, some of the best graphics ever seen on the PS3, and all the pacing and set-piece action of several major motion pictures, Naughty Dog outdid themselves.

Add a comment13 comments
MattyPlant  Jan. 15, 2010 at 09:08

Hands down this was the GOTY never mind best Action / Adventure!
What a story, superb level design, stunning lighting effects, brilliant puzzles, and fantastic voice overs!
Cant wait for the sequel!!!!

MattyPlant  Jan. 15, 2010 at 09:08

Duuuurrrr, Batman Arkham Asylum was . . . . . . . lol

ODB  Jan. 15, 2010 at 09:34

Batman FTW...fantastic game! real quality and FREE DLC to boot! not played Uncharted as of yet and I really cant get into infamous and hated 1st Assasins Creed. GTA rocks as always but Batman has to have it, it was near perfection

Triggster  Jan. 15, 2010 at 10:40

Uncharted 2

GOTY has to win this one.

Gunn  Jan. 15, 2010 at 10:50

It was close between Batman AA and Uncharted 2 but it has to be Uncharted 2. It did what sequels should, improve on everything from the original, and truly the best looking game I've seen on a console.

Triggster  Jan. 15, 2010 at 11:03

Have to say though, this was a strong category, espically for PS3 owners.

4 of my favourite games of the year were up there. Infamous, U2, Batman and AC2.

ODB  Jan. 15, 2010 at 12:33

yes but hopefully fanboys wont use this as a platform to say 'my console is better than yours' as other votes have been on other sites but I have a real feeling it will

I still say Batman though

Gunn  Jan. 15, 2010 at 12:42

No but I guess it's more difficult to judge when comparing exclusive titles against multi-platform. I'm sure both 360 and PS3 owners would agree Batman AA was amazing.

derchris  Jan. 15, 2010 at 14:37

I'm missing MW2 here.
Despite all the talk about the features on the PC version, and how bad that is for the community, it is the best selling game of all time on the console.

So my vote goes to MW2

ODB  Jan. 15, 2010 at 14:46


will be interesting to see if AA 2 is as good cause I really cant see them improving on it

ODB  Jan. 15, 2010 at 16:37

but MW2 is a FPS

Chris  Jan. 15, 2010 at 21:51

Batman for me, fantastic game, still yet to finish the challenges and then complete it again on hard, but I will eventually because it's an epic game.

As a 360 owner, I have never played UC2, so Batman wins.

Triggster  Jan. 15, 2010 at 22:30

MW2 is a FPS and they already had that vote this week.

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