The best video games of 2009; Pick your favorite, too

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Sony PlayStation 3. Teen) Naughty Dog/Sony. I’m on the record as saying that this third-person shooter title is one of the best video games ever made. Uncharted 2 certainly could have been a tired sequel and a clone of Tomb Raider, but Naughty Dog got this one right. Just about everything is executed well. The story is compelling and sustains your interest over 26 chapters. Treasure hunter Nathan Drake has to choose between goodness and greed as he hunts down an ancient treasure. He also has to fight off thugs and decide which of two very different women he loves. The art style is hyper-realistic, with vibrant, larger-than-life colors in everything from the characters to the breathtaking Himalayan landscapes. The combat scenes are tough because you’re always fighting your way out of some kind of trap. The train chase scene is unforgettable as you fight thugs from car to car, evade a helicopter blasting at you from above, and make sure you don’t lose your footing as the swaying train rocks back and forth. Those combat scenes, set against lush scenery, are so tough to render that you won’t see them on rival game consoles. You feel like you’re in the midst of a Hollywood blockbuster as you scale dizzying heights and solve riddles as you track down the lost city of Shambhala hidden in the mountains. This game is sharp, polished and consistent from beginning to end, pulling together great elements from good weaponry to awesome sound. That’s why I think this game is one of the finest video games of all time. It’s not enough to single-handedly turn around Sony’s fortunes as the third-place player in the console market, but if Sony can keep on making games like this one, it won’t have to worry.

Multiverse's Remix makes it easy to create Avatar spinoff games

James Cameron’s high profile sci fi movie Avatar, which hits theaters tomorrow, will be accompanied by a ton of accompanying merchandise and spinoff products. And thanks to a small company called Multiverse, two big brands, Coca-Cola and McDonalds, were able to easily create some spinoff web games based on the themes in the film.

Zynga and DST talk about their big funding deal in social games

Mark Pincus is at the center of the social gaming explosion. The chief executive of Zynga has the most popular games on Facebook, and he just raised $180 million from Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies. Since early 2007, Zynga has ridden Facebook’s success and created the most popular games on the social network, from FarmVille to Cafe World.

Intel accused of antitrust violations by FTC

Intel settled its long-running feud with Advanced Micro Devices, but now it faces a new antitrust complaint from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sued the world’s biggest chip maker today, accusing it of using its dominant market position to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly for the past decade.

Reader poll: Vote for the "Gadget of the Decade"

This wasn’t just any decade. It was the decade when smart industrial design spread beyond companies such as Apple and Ideo to the makers of everyday things. It was also a decade of technological innovation, combined with thinking that favored simplicity and making devices more accessible to the broader population. Instead of just hardware, the best companies focused on creating a complete user experience, from hardware to software to user interfaces.

Akamai uses Breach Security to defend the cloud from cyber attacks

As more enterprises come to depend on cloud computing — outsourced web-connected data centers — it’s becoming more critical to protect them. That’s why Akamai, which handles the delivery of highly-trafficked web content for lots of companies, is teaming up with Breach Security today. By combining forces, they say they can offer better protection for their joint customers.