It’s getting closer. We’re now less than one month away from the proper start of the next generation of gaming consoles! What better way to begin the countdown with our last look at platform specific games, and the Top 5: PlayStation 3 games!
5. Heavy Rain – It may not be a perfect game, and they may not have followed through with DLC and installed Move functionality instead, but the one thing that Heavy Rain has over their more recent title is that the story was truly something that I felt was something outside of David Cage’s comfort zone. Heavy Rain was a story worth telling, and despite all the awkward animations, voice acting, and nonsensical quick time events, I was engaged with finding the Origami Killer from beginning to end.
4. Resistance 3 – When Resistance 2 strayed away from the motif and feel of Resistance: Fall of Man, a part of me flinched. That changed when I saw Resistance 3 and how they completely turned the series around and redeemed it at the last minute. With a better focus on storyline, characters, and gameplay that took the best elements of both Resistance 1 and 2, Insomniac’s last Resistance game will be one for the books. It’s just too bad it got overshadowed by so many other games when it came out.
3. LittleBigPlanet 2 – The original LittleBigPlanet had tons of promise but not enough foundation to execute on its grand dreams. So you could bet that when Media Molecule announced that they were developing LittleBigPlanet 2 that I’d perk up and essentially snag this game as soon as it came out. The best thing about the “Play, Create, Share” concept is how well it worked this time around, weaving seamless multiplayer experiences across both the prebuilt levels in the game and the thousands of levels that users have built throughout its life. And here’s the best part: they’re still expanding the game! And they’ve since built Vita and PlayStation Move functionality into the base game! When will this awesomeness end?!
2. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Was this really a surprise? Metal Gear Solid is one of my favorite series of all time and the alleged conclusion to the Metal Gear saga still has me praising the whole experience altogether. I played the game again recently, though not as intensely as I once did when it came out, and the refinements that they made in the series coupled with the detail that Kojima Productions is known for, made this game a memorable experience for me. And yea, you still got those ridiculous moments that define the series, but I felt that the game served as a fitting conclusion to the trials and tribulations of one Solid Snake.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Out of everything Naughty Dog’s done this generation, no other game on the PlayStation 3 has gripped me from beginning to end, despite my frustration with the enemy AI. In fact, many people consider Uncharted 2 the best in the series with its bombastic set pieces, clever writing, and memorable characters. And while Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception did up the ante in a lot of these areas, Uncharted 2 really set the expectation of what PlayStation 3 exclusives should be in terms of quality, and it’s only rivaled by a few games that came after.
You may notice some significant Cross-Platform games missing from this list, primarily because I played them on other platforms. Anyway, this week’s honorable mentions are inFamous, inFamous 2, The Last of Us, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Mortal Kombat, Flower, Gran Turismo 5, Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, and Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness.
5. Street Fighter IV (and its various upgrades) – Fighting games rarely hold my attention for more than a day or two. Street Fighter IV had me playing for months after it launched, and I still go back and play it again from time to time. If we ever do a Top 5 for fighting games—spoiler alert—this will be my #1.
4. Heavy Rain - This was the first PlayStation 3 game I ever got a Platinum Trophy on. I was so engrossed in the storyline and characters that I just had to experience every plot branch possible and see every ending. Getting the Platinum just kind of came with the territory. To this day, I’m still upset that they cancelled the downloadable content for Heavy Rain in favor of Move support. Ugh.
3. Little Big Planet – I’ll always give Little Big Planet a lot of credit for its creative level design, beautiful visuals and endlessly fun cooperative (and occasionally competitive) gameplay, but it deserves even more credit for unleashing the imaginative power of its fan base. Lots of games come with level editors, but few inspire so much creation.
2. Red Dead Redemption – I played exactly two titles from Rockstar Games on PS3: Red Dead Redemption and Table Tennis. It’s probably not much of a surprise that I preferred the former, but I actually think Red Dead Redemption is one of the best games on the system. The Wild West turned out to be the perfect setting for an open world action game, and though I never played Red Dead Revolver, I found its sequel to be a great representation of the genre. Oddly enough, I never played the Undead Nightmare DLC. I really need to go back and play that…
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – My brother and I decided to do a little experiment. We gave the PlayStation 3 controller to our Mom and asked her to play a bit of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. She’s not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination (though she played more Angry Birds than she likes to admit), but she still managed to play through the intro. The entire time she marveled at the quality of the game, awing at the visuals and worrying for Drake as though she were watching a tense scene in an action movie. And that’s exactly how I would describe Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. A lot of games strive to be like action movies. This one succeeds, and it does so without overwhelming the player (like God of War III).
5. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger – The name says it all. This is the first Call of Juarez game I played and it was great. The story is narrated by bounty hunter Silas Greaves as he hunts down his brother’s killer. The events change in the game as Silas’ memory wanes on particular events. At the end of each level, Silas has to duel different famous old west gunslingers to move on.
4. 3D Dot Game Heroes – I like Zelda style dungeon crawlers and 3D Dot Game Heroes is one of the closest games I’ve seen to it in a long time. For those who have never seen the game, 3D Dot Game Heroes looks and plays a lot like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It plays similar to Zelda but takes everything else to an extreme. The sword extends across the screen when used and everything the player kills breaks into little blocks.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - Playing as Old Snake was funny even though he still had the strength to save the world. The controls slightly changed moving the camera from a top down view making the game an actual third person shooter. This is what the series always needed and finally got.
2. Portal 2 – Using portals to solve room puzzles is fun but what stood out about Portal 2 was the voice acting in the game. Listening to Cave Johnson complain about dying and the steps he went through to live longer was great. Listening to Cave Johnson’s lemon quote can make anyone want to play Portal 2 again just to hear him rant.
1. The Last of Us – The Last of Us was really sad. At first, the game wants players to feel sorry for Joel but then he quickly turns into an ass I didn’t like. It was hard to feel sorry for him once Ellie shows up. They eventually form a bond at the end of the game and it’s not hard to see why Joel does what he does at the end. If anyone hasn’t played the game, they should; it’s great.
5. Heavy Rain – After playing through Indigo Prophecy I immediately became a fan of David Cage and Quantic Dream. Sure the game was flawed but the ambition and originality couldn’t be denied. Flash forward to Heavy Rain, and Cage and crew did it again. Heavy Rain, much like its predecessor, was flawed, but incredibly compelling and refreshingly original. Ambitious to a fault, Heavy Rain was an unforgettable experience that delivered on it’s promise and never once disappointed me.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Why on earth would a game so fundamentally broken be on my top 5 games list? The answer is easy – while I did experience some issues, they were relatively minimal and I was able to get my first ever (and only) Platinum trophy all before the patch to fix the issues was released. By the time I was done with the game I had put in over 255 hours and now with the DLC available to me, I still have plenty of Skyrim to explore. Truly a marvelous achievement in gaming.
3. The Last of Us – For returning readers you may have seen my review of Naughty Dog’s stunning, haunting masterpiece, The Last of Us. For those that haven’t, The Last of Us presents the absolute best story I have ever experienced in video games and one of the best in all media. Coupled with amazing, realistic performances and genuinely surprising twists, there simply is no better video game in terms of presentation. With this high praise, why isn’t it at the top of my list? Well, simply put, the gameplay doesn’t quite match the storytelling and acting. Playing through on normal broke immersion at nearly every turn when I would constantly be reminded I was playing a game with mechanics like having a full inventory of bullets despite the fact that I had a backpack and bullets take up minimal real estate. It wasn’t until I played the game again on Survivor plus that the world Naughty Dog built congealed with the scavenging mechanics making the game much more cohesive. If Naughty Dog would have made Survivor mode available at the outset, The Last of Us would have been an easy choice for my favourite game on the PS3.
2. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Metal Gear Solid is an odd franchise for me. While I have genuinely loved all of the main games save for Sons of Liberty, the series always seems to fall off my radar until the controller is in my hands and I’m ready to take another insane Kojima production. Perhaps it’s because I felt so burned by Metal Gear Solid 2 that I have always felt a mild trepidation when first going in, but as is the case with Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4, I have come away being incredibly please with the experience.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is by far the most complete, fun, intelligent and ridiculous of all the Metal Gear Solid main titles. The amount of variety of gameplay scenarios is simply staggering. Stealth, gun fights, motorcycle chases, inventive boss battles, a nonsensical story, all the hallmarks of a Metal Gear game are on full display with gorgeous graphics. Constant call backs and pay offs to the previous games in the series, the game just keeps on giving to long time fans. So much so that it delivers the ultimate fan service by letting the player pilot a friggin’ Metal Gear to go metal y metal against another Metal Gear. And the best part of all, Kojima managed to turn me into a fan of Raiden. If the game can do that, its worthy of all kinds of praise. The only game I enjoyed as much in 2008 was Grand Theft Auto IV.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was the reason I finally got the PS3. I was swooned by it’s gorgeous graphics and was enamored with it’s rousing, well executed Summer blockbuster like presentation and story. Once the adventured had wrapped up I was pleasantly satisfied with my time with everyman adventurer, Nathan Drake, his budding romance with Elana Fisher and his mentor, Victor “Sully” Sullivan. Little did I know that 2 years later, Nathan Drake’s next adventure would absolutely floor me.
From it’s harrowing opening moments in which I had to navigate Nathan – shot and bleeding – inside and out of a dangling train car, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves sunk it’s lavishly produced hooks into me and didn’t let up for the next 12 or so glorious hours. With excellent performances, a constantly surprising story, and white knuckle set piece after set piece, Uncharted 2 became not only my favourite PS3 game, but also my favourite game of the current generation.
5. LittleBigPlanet – In an era without mascots, Sony lucked into Sackboy with LittleBigPlanet. Players could create and share their own levels, and as the years passed and the tools matured with LittleBigPlanet 2, players could create some amazing experiences that didn’t even look like traditional platformers. The game franchise is still popular today, and has seen releases on the PSP and PS Vita.
4. Heavy Rain – Sony published this Quantic Dream game with the idea that a David Cage directed game could reach a greater audience than traditional core games. Their last effort, Indigo Prophecy, was quite polarizing, but Sony liked what they saw. Heavy Rain went on to not only critical success, but well over a million in sales, indicating that this title was a hit.
3. fl0w – The PlayStation 3 would eventually be the place to go for independently-developed games. But years prior to that, thatgamecompany would release one of the first notable indie games, fl0w. A game that had simple mechanics, fl0w wowed with its serene presentation and soothing music.
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – In 2009, Naughty Dog released the arguable game of the year contender of that calendar year, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. This was probably the first major title for the PlayStation 3 camp that they could hold up and say, “We’re the place to be.”
1. The Last of Us – The rise of the PlayStation 3 as a worthy competitor to best platform of this generation culminated with The Last Of Us, an action game that married tense combat with poignant narrative. Exclusive to the PlayStation 3, even Microsoft PR’s Major Nelson had to give props to an accomplished piece of entertainment.
One thing for sure we can all agree on; the PS3 has some truly amazing games available for it! So now that we showed you ours, show us yours….your Top 5: PlayStation 3 games. Geez, get your minds out of the gutter and post in the comments below!