GOONL!NE: The Game of the Year Awards 2009

By Jonathan Cullen.

It’s that time of year, folks.

The time where we sort the men from the boys, the wheat from the chaff and find out which is better: Coke or Pepsi? Daddy or Chips? But in our case, Uncharted 2 or Modern Warfare 2.

These are just two of the game that are in the running for Game of the Year 2009, alongside Batman: Arkham Asylum and Street Fighter IV.

We do have other awards too though, you know. So, let’s not waste any other time, and let’s get cracking. All of the awards are below.

Just one thing though: all of the staff involved in the process, both full-time and freelance, had a clean slate. They were free to pick any game that was on the consoles as their nomination. Basically, you picked Left 4 Dead 2 as a nomination in GOTY, it would also go down as your vote for GOTY. Same for all the other categories.

This could mean you may only see one game completely run away with it in one category, while it becoming very close in others.

Best PS3 Game:

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

This was an outright winner in this category. Only two other GOONL!NE staff picked another game, and that was inFamous.

But what can we say about Uncharted 2. It’s probably the best game that has ever come close to a Hollywood blockbuster. It really is just a spectacular game, from start to finish.

A very worthy winner.

Runner-up: inFamous

Best 360 Game:

Halo 3: ODST

This was a little more hard-fought then Best PS3 Game, but in the end, The Rookie nudged it over Forza Motorsport 3.

It wasn’t the second coming of Jesus in terms of hype, like Halo 2 and Halo 3 managed, but it was still a decent game? Was the price tag too much considering what the content was? Maybe. But for what it was, it was a good game. And Firefight is one of the best co-op modes we’ve seen this gen, probably ever.

We can only hope Bungie makes Halo: Reach completely awesome.

Runner-up: Forza Motorsport 3
3rd Place: Left 4 Dead 2

Best Wii Game:

New Super Mario. Bros.

A Super Mario Bros title was long overdue for the Wii, but to have it with a 4 player multiplayer? That’s an instabuy right there. We loved it a fair bit needless to say. We hope we get more games for the Wii next year that gives us the enjoyment NSMB brought to the table this year.

Runner-up: Madworld
3rd place: Metroid Prime Trillogy

Multi-Platform GOTY:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Okay, it doesn’t live up to the promise of the original MW, but Modern Warfare 2 is still a fantastic game to play: both on the single player side and multiplayer. It’s still a no-nonsense FPS shooter, and it’s why we picked it as our Multi-Platform GOTY.

Runner-up: Assassin’s Creed II
3rd place: Batman: Arkham Asylum

Best Trailer:

The Last Guardian – E3 2009

It was close this one. But in the end, the cuteness for Toriko just edged Lightning to the title of Best Trailer. The Last Guardian, while leaked beforehand with a leaked concept trailer, was shown for the first time at E3 in June, and looked utterly stunning. We are crossing our fingers; toes; legs; and whatever else we can cross, as well as pray, it comes in 2010.

Seriously Ueda-san, it’s been too long. We want this — now.

Runner-up: Final Fantasy XIII (TGS 2009)

Biggest News Story:

Kojima Announces Metal Gear Solid: Rising for 360 at E3

It was a long time in the happening, but in June at E3, it finally happened: Hideo Kojima finally appeared on stage at a Microsoft press conference. Once more, Metal Gear was finally coming to the Xbox 360, but not in the way it was expected to be. Instead of the much expected port of Guns of the Patriots, we got a brand new game instead: Rising.

Even then, and now, we know absolutely fuck all about the game other than three things:

1 – The title.
2 – The main character will be Raiden.
3 – Despite being predicted at first to be an Xbox 360 exclusive, it is a multi-platform release for both 360 and PS3.

The game will get a re-reveal at E3 next year. Consider Rising one to look out for next June.

Runner-Up: Dead Space 2 Uncovering
3rd place: Activision’s PS3 Threat

Best DLC:

Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony

GTA IV was awesome. The Lost and Damned was good. But The Ballad of Gay Tony took out all of the seriousness that made up GTA IV and The Lost and Damned’s moody biker gang, and gave us a piece of DLC that put back in the fun of Grand Theft Auto that we seen in Vice City and San Andreas.

It was an incredible piece of DLC, and one piece of DLC you should buy now if you haven’t already.

Runner-up: Fallout 3: Broken Steel
3rd place: Fallout 3: Point Lookout

Best Game Based on Either Music or Films:

The Beatles: Rock Band

If there was one game that really pushed my love for gaming and music together, and do so absolutely incredibly well, it was Beatles: Rock Band. This was a game unlike anything I’ve experienced in a long time. Yes, it was the same Rock Band formula, but it had incredible dream landscapes, and a soundtrack which is undoubtedly one of the best in music: full stop.

If you haven’t done so already, three words: buy. this. game.

Runner-up: The Chronicles of Riddick: The Assault of Dark Athena

Best Publisher:

Electronic Arts

Arguably, on the games front, it was slightly quieter this year then it was last. Make no mistake, EA really brought it home this year with Dragon Age: Origins, The Saboteur, Need for Speed: Shift, as well as the two big sports titles in the US and Europe respectively: Madden NFL 10 and FIFA 10.

Next year looks just as promising, headlined by the one and only Mass Effect 2. Plus, you also have Dante’s Inferno, Army of Two: The 40th Day, Dead Space 2 and maybe, just maybe, a Mirror’s Edge sequel.

Either way, 2009 was big for EA. 2010 will be bigger.

Runner-up: Sony Computer Entertainment
3rd Place: Activision-Blizzard

Best Developer:

Naughty Dog (Uncharted 2)

Evan Wells and Christophe Ballestra’s team of 80+ people can be properly proud of what they have achieved this year with Uncharted 2. This is incredible that only 80 or so people worked on a game the size of Uncharted 2 compared to near 400 people with Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed II.


Runner-up: Rocksteady (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
3rd Place: Codemasters (DiRT 2, Operation Flashpoint, Dragon Rising)

Best Graphics:

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

This was a two-horse race this one: Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2. But in the end, Uncharted 2 nudged it – just.

Killzone 2 was, and still is, a fantastic looking title. But without question, the depth of how far the graphics goes in UC2 was the winning factor in this category.

Runner-up: Killzone 2

Best Original Soundtrack:

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Yet again, Uncharted 2 wins another award. Don’t get us wrong, Assassin’s Creed II’s OST is fantastic, but the score for Among Thieves was just incredibly brilliant.

We think it was Reunion that did it for us.

Runner-up: Assassin’s Creed II
3rd place: Modern Warfare 2

Best Licenced Soundtrack:

The Beatles: Rock Band

Here Comes the Sun, Helter Skelter, I Got a Feeling, Revolution and Birthday. Just 5 out of a 45 song list which is the strongest licensed soundtrack in any game this year. One of them song titles above pretty much describing the game as it is: a “revolution.”

Runner-up: Guitar Hero 5
3rd place: UFC Undisputed 2009

Best Voiceover Actor:

Mark Hamill – The Joker, Batman: Arkham Asylum

Luke Skywalker has become the most insane citizen of Gotham City, and he is awesome for it. This was in overwhelming favour too, even beating the favourite Nolan North to god knows how many roles he has done this year.

And with the Joker set to return in Arkham Asylum 2 next year, prepare to hear some cackling and more batshit craziness from him. But that’s why we love him.

Runner-up: Nolan North [Nathan Drake, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves]
3rd place: Brian Cox, Scolar Visari, Killzone 2]

Best Voiceover Actress:

Claudia Black – Chloe Frazer, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

We want more of Claudia and “the ass” in Uncharted 3. We’re serious.

Her partnership with Nathan Drake, past and present in the game, as well as the love triangle between her and Elena in the game was one of the reasons why the story in the game was absolutely brilliant.

Black played the role perfectly, and suited it too. We really can’t wait to see where else they take Chloe in the Uncharted universe.

Runner-up: Arleen Sorkin [Harley Quinn, Batman: Arkham Asylum]
3rd place: Jennifer Hale [Opheila, Brutal Legend]

Best Downloadable Game:


It was a close call between this and Trials HD. But in the end, thatgamecompany’s beautiful looking PSN game comes out as winner of Best Downloadable Game. A beautiful and relaxing game that you can easily finish within two hours. Fantastic.

Runner-up: Trials HD
3rd place: Shadow Complex

Best Song Involving Games:

Assassin’s Creed II – JUSTICE – Genesis, Debut Gameplay Trailer

It was a close call between this and Eric Prydz – Pyjano for the debut trailer of GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony, but JUSTICE’s opener from the debut album, +, wins the award. It gave us some serious flashbacks to UNKLE’s Lonely Soul, used in a trailer for the original. Now though, JUSTICE’s epic dance floor filler makes us want to D.A.N.C.E. to the trailer.

Runner-up: Eric Prydz – Pjyano for the debut trailer of Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
3rd place: Eminem and Nate Dogg – Till I Collapse of Modern Warfare 2 launch trailer

Most Anticipated Game of 2010:

Final Fantasy XIII

The game is out now in Japan, but yet again, after the triumph of last year, Final Fantasy XIII is GOONL!NE’s Most Anticipated Game of 2010… just.

It faced some very stiff competition, but in the end, Lightning beat out Commander Shepard to take the title.

Runner-up: Mass Effect 2
3rd place: Super Street Fighter IV

Lifetime Achievement:

Peter Molyenux – Head of Lionhead Studios (Fable, Milo and Kate), Creative Director of Microsoft Games Studios Europe.

We feel this will be a debateable decision among gaming fans, but make no mistake: Peter Molyneux has made a serious contribution to gaming. From all the way back in the Bullfrog days, even earlier from that “business management” game, with Populous, to Lionhead with Black and White, The Movies and Fable, there is no denying that Peter Molyneux has left a stamping point in the industry.

With Fable III and Milo & Kate in development at the studio, and helping out European MGS studios with Project Natal titles in development, Peter Molyneux shows no signs of giving up just yet. And let’s be honest, who would want him to?


And that is it. Of course, there is one more award to go, but that’s in a seperate article… which is linked below.

But let’s get you your nominees:

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward/Activision-Blizzard)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady/Eidos)
Street Fighter IV (Capcom)

And so, the 2009 GOONL!NE Game of the Year goes to…


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves!

Find out why we picked it at the link at the top.

Finally, thanks to all of you who have read the site this past year. It really has been fantastic this year. We’re sorry we’re not doing a user GOTY awards, but time constraints and other things have forced us to put that aside this year. However, we’re sure it’ll be back for next year anyways.

Anyways, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading the site, and the list, this year.