Not all video games last year were released on tangible discs. There were also games released via digital means, and some of those games were without a doubt among the strongest titles to hit in 2009.
And not all games are big, and neither are all awards. Kotaku has already listed its choices for the best games to play with your kids as well as the best cutscenes of 2009. Let's have a look at the best digital game of 2009.
Winner: Trails HD
While I enjoyed playing Trials HD when it came out, the more I thought about the game over time, the more I have come to appreciate just how tight the controls are and how enjoyable the experience is. Trails started on the PC, but has brilliantly made the leap to consoles. The game is so straightforward and sometimes unforgiving that it's easy to forget how the developers have pulled off the experience so effortlessly.
What really has sold me about Trials HD is that the game actually gave me the sensation of riding a motorcycle and jumping it through the air, and it has done that through a control pad and not motion controls or even a simulated first person point-of-view. The game is proof that immersion does not necessarily have to be mimicry, but engaging gameplay.
Trials HD is everything I want from the current generation of digital titles: Short, polished and deceptively simple.
Runner-up: Battlefield 1943
Whether it be shooting or sniping, bombing or bulldozing, everything in BF1943 is just so fun and so well balanced. Flying is a good time. Driving in a good time. Battlefield 1943 is a good time.
Before Battlefield 1943 was released, I was so incredibly sick of World War II games. I still am, but I am not sick of Battlefield 1943 — and I cannot think of a higher compliment for a WWII game!
Look for more special-category awards from the rest of the Kotaku team throughout the week.