Ah, the first-quarter doldrums… It’s time of year when the good games spigot stops flowing so torrentially and we can catch up on that backlog of holiday hits. It’s also the time of year when we game journalists put together the obligatory “Most Anticipated Games of the Year” lists. These lists are a lot of fun and a good way to guide coverage and reader interest for the coming year. But what do these lists look like with the benefit of hindsight? Did the games on these lists deserve our anticipation, or were we distracted by the shiny, shiny hype train? In short, how well did our collective expectations conform with our final evaluations?I decided to find out by looking at a bunch of “most anticipated” game lists from 2008, and seeing how they stand up to the test of time. The result is the below list of “Crystal Ball” awards for interesting, confusing or otherwise noteworthy picks made roughly 12 months ago. Enjoy the list, and keep it in mind when you’re reading all those “Most Anticipated Games of 2009” lists.

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