With a plethora of videogaming websites spouting forth expert, informed, and entertaining opinions on the best of the year and decade, here's a list of 10 to provide you with a best of the "Best Ofs."
Some sites publish their lists before the holidays start to help readers pick out a last-minute gift for a friend or relative, but most stagger their big reveals to start just before or after December 25 and run up to the last day of the year. As 2009 marks the end of a decade, expect both one-year and 10-year retrospectives to be out in force.
1UP's Readers' Choice award vote is open until a minute to noon on January 4, Pacific Time (that's 19:59 GMT), in time for the staff to collate and compile results ahead of their grand reveal.
Crispy Gamer www.crispygamer.com
The staff at Crispy Gamer employed a slightly different method for choosing their game of the decade - a tournament style match-up of 64 games (60 staff choices, four slots for reader's choices), with the victors of each round decided by the site's readership.
Though it was started by the site's creator as a scam to gain access to the 2006 press-only Electronics Entertainment Expo, Destructoid has blossomed into an irreverent news and reviews site, herewith the top 10 of their Top 50 Videogames of the Decade.
Straight out of sunnycoastal Brighton, UK, Eurogamer started in 1999 as an after-school project but is now a pan-European enterprise with witty reviews and features, yearly games Expos, and localized sites across the EU. There's a Reader's Top 50 games of the year vote running until December 21, to complement the staff's own Top 50 picks.
Gamespot's Best of 2009 Awards started on December 17 and traditionally run right through to the end of the year, with three grand prizes up for grabs: Best Of 2009, Reader's Choice, and Game Of The Year, and awards handed out by system, genre, overall best, and the wooden spoon of gaming: the Dishonorable Mentions.
Set up with video game industry insiders in mind, Gamasutra is known for its sales analysis and dissective articles on of videogames productions and products. For the end-of-year festivities they have produced a Best Of 2009 series, including most overlooked games (linked here), top trends, controversies, industry events and handheld games.
Giant Bomb www.giantbomb.com
The chaps at GB had the good humor to title their 2008 awards "the Golden Anniversary Year-End Awards Extravaganza Spectacular" in celebration of their first year in the business. For 2009, expect all the usual categories plus some more unique choices praising the best games they didn't play, characters they'd most (and least) like to party with, and the sarcastically quotation-marked "Game" of the year.
IGN are known for being one of the largest and broadest-appealing gaming websites. Their end-of-year "Best Of" covers all the major platforms and sub-genres, as well as including movies, TV shows, comics, and general consumer electronics.
Spike TV Video Game Awards www.spike.com
Spike TV's VGAs have come and gone and whilst containing no big surprises, they garnered enough interest to become this year's unofficial marker of video gaming's year-ending awards season. Videos of the event are all accessible from the awards website.
Time Magazine www.time.com
Time, the world-famous bastion of news and commentary, produced for 2009 a "Top Ten of Everything," and for which two staff writers from Time subsidiary Techland.com picked their top choices. Techland itself is carrying a "Best of the Decade" for those hungry for more.