"Now that video game sales have eclipsed Hollywood box office revenues and sales of music CDs, you can bet your bitmaps some extraordinarily good games were released in 2009.
In fact, therein lies the problem. With more than 1,500 games released each year -- for computers, consoles and handheld devices -- it's hard to narrow them down to a "Best of" list, let alone choose one as a holiday gift.
But how do you know which games are worth getting blisters over and which ones will quickly become drink coasters?
The following are the top picks for the best video games of the year (each of which cost $59.99 unless otherwise specified), divided by genre for your convenience."