In a market over-saturated with numbered titles, it becomes a natural expectation for series to fall into sophomore slumps and mindless retreads. So much so that the rare superior sequel can sometimes garner more acclaim for failing to be as terrible as we foresaw. Nonetheless, any numerated gem is cause for celebration, especially in a year as full of amazing continued properties as 2009. There has never been a better time to come with a number attached.
Assassin’s Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward, Activision)
Killzone 2 (Guerilla Games, Sony Computer Entertainment)
Need for Speed SHIFT (Slightly Mad Studioes, Electronic Arts)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog, Sony Computer Entertainment)
Winner: Killzone 2
While some may argue the overall quality of Killzone 2 compared to the other nominees, those that remember the original Killzone recall that there was a much larger gap for the sequel to leap to make it to the AAA status. While not living up to its 2005 CG trailer, Guerilla Games came as close as conceivably possible, making one of the most visually stunning shooters on the market. Coming packed with a punchier story and some heartily-DLC-supported multiplayer campaigns didn’t hurt either. Killzone 2’s impressive triumph over its mediocre origins is more than enough to merit it’s honorable discharge with this medal.