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Best of the Rest: Justin's Picks of 2009

Justin McElroy

This was hands-down the funniest game released in 2009, and 2009 was a year in which we got a new Tim Schafer game and the return of the Monkey Island series, so that's saying something. If you missed out, please go buy it, it's cheap as can be and a true delight.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
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.

The Beatles: Rock Band/Drop 7
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.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
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.

Godfather II
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.

Wet/House of the Dead: Overkill
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?

You're welcome.

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