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The Top 7... best games of 2009 (so far)

The PC version of this saccharine block-puzzler arrived more than two years ago, so how the effing ess does it end up on this list? By releasing four notable additions to the Peggle-verse in the first half of 2009, namely the high-def, rainbow-colored XBLA version, the perfectly translated DS and iPhone editions and the authentically skinned World of Warcraft in-game application.

If you haven’t succumbed to Peggle’s infectiously groovy music or habit-forming gameplay, please, stop fighting and join us. It’s so damn cheerful, uplifting and celebratory that you’ll want nothing more than to sit on the couch, fire off some shots and listen to the satisfying clicks and hums of the Peggle board. And then, when the Extreme Fever hits and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” kicks in with a spray of fireworks, you’ll know you’re a Peggle nerd for life.

And if you have a raging boner for Metacritic:

Each and every version of Peggle out there scores well, usually landing in the mid to high 80 range. We know it’s hard to accept, but there’s no denying Peggle has become the current “it” puzzle game, a title previously held by Tetris, Lumines and Bust-A-Move. With cred like that, even the staunchest hardcore gamer has to take notice.

4) Punch-Out!!

Bashing the sad state of Wii’s lineup is old hat at this point. Praising competent, smartly built Wii games is also becoming a regular “idea” around the webternets, so much so that saying “Punch-Out!! is one of the best games on the system and the best sequel we could have hoped for” seems to lack weight. But for the sake of this stupendously crafted, wonderfully old-school update of a classic series, we’ll say it anyway. Er, we just did.

Unlike most Wii titles, it’s genuinely attractive. It has a sense of humor about its own history. It happily pokes fun at ridiculousstereotypesinstead of using them out of laziness. It offers enough casual fun for off-and-on gamers while simultaneously catering to lifelong Nintendo fans (the Title Defense mode is proof that someone at Nintendo still knows how to treat us). Not much new here, just something old done incredibly right.

And if you have a raging boner for Metacritic:

Further proof that acclaim and sales don’t always match up. Despite being one of the best-reviewed titles for Wii, its first month tally is156,900, not nearly high enough for a game of thiscaliber. However, it was released near the end of May, so maybe sales will pick up as the year goes on.