You know what? F**k you and your condescending smirk, BOTS was my jam. I played through it more times than any other game this year and it was absolutely riddled with points. Get a friend (who must play as DJ Whoo Kid) to team up with and go have the time of your life.
I lost a bet with my wife when I wagered that the Reader's Digest we ordered from that door-to-door teenager would never actually arrive. As a result, I've had to give her one of my Best of the Rest choices, which she has chosen to split between The Beatles: Rock Band and Drop 7. They're pretty much all she played this year, so I guess it makes sense.
One of my big regrets of 2009 is that I wasn't personally able to generate more hype for this Call of Juarez follow-up, a cool, clever FPS that had more maturity than most video games ever approach. It's a surprisingly grown-up narrative that really resonated with me. Track it down in 2010, if you haven't already.
I know! I'm as surprised as you are. But I found this combination of action, RTS and tactics utterly charming. I saw this get slagged by a few critics, but I think it was the license that triggered a negative critical reaction as much as anything. It's an absolutely worthwhile experience if you haven't had it already.
I'm running out of space, so I'm going to combine these funky, flawed Grindhouse-inspired gems. They may not be perfect, but if you can play these delightful games and not have a blast (especially if you play Overkill with a partner) then you are that rare scientific anomaly that can live without a heart.
Bionic Commando: Man, I love swinging. I also love dreadlocks. But Bionic Commando did literally nothing for me, and I so expected it to blow me away.
Brütal Legend: Sorry, I don't mean to pile on, but this one stung. The creativity and spirit of invention of Psychonauts traded in for a mostly unenjoyable central mechanic? No, thank you.
Killzone 2: It was pretty decent, but after all the hype and hopes pinned to this FPS, it's hard not to walk away from it feeling like it was a let down.
Scribblenauts: "But Justin! You can tie a triceratops to a rocket and shoot it into a birthday cake that Dracula is holding on a firetruck!" Yeah, you know what? Go die in a fire.
The Joystiq staff: For serious, guys? Nobody else voted for 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand? Like, did you even play it?