With the dawn of PlayStation Now in Beta in the US, PlayStation 3 prices dropping as the PlayStation 4 starts its journey into the 8th generation of gaming, it’s never too late to have a look back and remember all the good times had in the generation before.
The 7th Generation of video games, and PlayStation nonetheless gave us all some memorable games, here’s one mans look at his must haves for the PlayStation 3. … Games, that you quite literally HAD to get a PlayStation system to play them on.. here is the 20 greatest, gnarliest, bestalltime, risky business power sliding PS3 disc-based exclusives … … ever, unless you disagree with the list, then it is indeed, only a selection of mediocre games that just happened to be developed solely for the PlayStation 3, either way, let’s have a rollicking good time.
What better way to start than dividing opinion more than a schizophrenic in a Marmite factory?
Afrika, waka waka as I remember Shakira telling us on more than one occasion (as we all know, her hips would never lie) is a game about… well, Africa. … Africa and everyones favourite, I know nothing about, but I’m the best at hobby: photography.
A’fric-ing photography I hear you say, with a “You like Krabby-Patties don’t you Squidward” look on your face because you was able to get the ‘pun’ in so early. Yup.
The ever so fittingly named studio Rhino… Studios brought Japan this game way back when the PS3 was only just finding it’s feet, much like a baby Zebra in 2008. Later sent to America one year later, much like a baby Zebra.
Afrika, or Hakuna Matata as it’s more colloquially known has many-a-time been called SONYs Pokemon Snap, just without any of the charm or fun gameplay. However, this didn’t stop it pretty much becoming one the most recognisable games and box-arts in the PlayStation 3’s history. Just the name, especially in Europe during announcements of the game eons ago in 2006, it really looked to be a one off speciality, a tech demo showcasing the best of the PS3’s graphics potential and family fun video games you couldn’t pay anywhere else.
What we ended up with was one of the largest disappointments to hit the heart of many-a-gamer. 1950’s Hollywood painted scenery backdrops filled the screen as occasionally a leopard or an elephant you had been waiting for, for hours casually jerked it’s way onto screen like a Daikatana cutscene played on a prototype graphics chip. Then once it had aligned with the sunset you were able to snap a shot, get some cash, gotta get the snap, gotta get the dough, all so you can purchase that high end camera you had
no other choice to buy your eye on since the start.
The game still as a whole sold rather well, and gained a cult following, especially in Japan. And despite it’s very many flaws I still have fond memories of it being the stand-out game during the PlayStation 3’s early years of sixaxis controls and brilliant music soundtrack composing I always wanted, and finally owned a year ago. It’s playable, it’s unique, it’s a rare treasure that for whatever reason I still remember over many, many others.
What are Rhino studios doing now I also hear you say? … Well they’re publishing hit games like Veggy Land for other motion controlled platforms.
In the humble position of 19th we find a quite massive game, featuring plenty of action. … when you could connect to the servers that was. I was seriously debating putting MAG on this list as of January 28th this year it is now quite impossible to play the game, this is the same reason I shall not be placing SOCOM Confrontation on this list, despite that being an excellent, excellent game, whilst you could play it…
Or not actually being that good now I think about it.
Releasing in 2010 by the wonderful Zipper Interactive, may they rest in peace, the geniuses behind the aforementioned SOCOM, it granted a faction based gun slinging, gun shooting and gun customising 256 player-a-thon that had not been seen before on console. MAG brought the computer only possible MMO feel, to the console in ways just about a magtillion more than DC Universe Online did. But what made MAG brilliant wasn’t just the fact you could do battle with 255 other hardened stick twiddlers, it certainly helped, but everything else made the game excellent. It had a short and hard life, but that certainly doesn’t stop it festering away in the memories of its playerbase.
The whole presentation and package you got playing MAG really was unlike anything else. Yes it goes against everything I stand for, yes the majority of the people who played MAG ruined the experience for everyone else… but those times your troop would gather under one commander, spawn at one location, and R2 like you’ve never R2’d before hard into battle across any of the wonderfully designed maps you felt like the future of gaming was genuinely here. A Move Wand wasn’t needed, you didn’t have to spend hours at a PC setting up this and that… just a controller neatly tucked in your palms, readying up the smoke grenades, and you were in business.
MAG will never win any awards for gameplay, technical brilliance, graphics, sound or value for money, but for the pure fact it was an adrenaline rush to not only play the game upon release to say you had taken part in that global battle… but also to play it before the life support unit keeping it, and Zipper Interactives games beeping away failed. Letting the echoed shadows of pew pews and trash talk filter through the network streams that once held people from every corner of the globe under one roof carved exquisitely from vectors and polies to befriend and back stab one another, sprinting into cover to rescue a team mate, whilst all the time sat cosily at home.
It’s a shame no one else may experience the thrill of MAG, or SOCOM Confrontation, but Zipper Interactive’s shooting legacy on PlayStation and PS3 will be zipped in our consciousness forever more.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
Next up we have Disgaea 4 from Nippon Ichi Software, a company from, you guessed it Japan famed for their Playstation RPGs. Most famous probably is indeed their Disgaea series that debuted back in 2003 on the PS2 with Hour Of Darkness. 7 iterations later and 2011 saw the release of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten.
Each game in the series, regardless of platform has consistently scored in the 80s from ‘professional’ reviewers for good reason as it holds wonderfully designed combat, beautiful aesthetics and an intriguing set of characters and story arc. Disgaea 4 brought a much more solid experience throughout than the other PS3 release Disgaea 3: Absence Of Justice, some awesome gameplay and unique gameplay elements like filling a pirate ship and wrecking other players worlds, and for followers of the series a completely different plot to follow and universe to explore.
There’s no denying that an absolute plethora of these types of games were made throughout the 7th generation, and whilst Record Of Agarest War Zero was perhaps my favourite, only Record Of Agarest War 2 was an exclusive and didn’t feel it was anywhere near as good, thus Disgaea takes the slot as I only really experienced this type thanks to the PS3. The turn based combat is some of the best I’ve played, add to that the ability to just pick up foes and friends alike and create a tower of impenetrable anime characters.
Yes games like Golden Age hold a big part of my heart from ten or so years ago, but sitting down on a sofa, playing it on the big screen, and getting engrossed in some of the most sublime tactics based story driven gameplay Japan has to offer takes some beating.
I can hear you already, I know it’s a downloadable game… but it was eventually released on disc, so it counts.
PAIN, a psychics based puzzle game (It’s not really) from Idol Minds, a company most known for the lesser Cool Boarders games on the PlayStation 1. However, they truly hit the sweet spot in November 2007 with PAIN. A game showcasing the fun ragdoll physics can have.I’m an absolute sucker for ragdoll physics, and a game about launching a multitude of characters into a multitude of different settings trying to rake that high score up is such a casual idea, that somehow it became my favourite PlayStation store based game.
March forward to June 2009 and it’s released on disc throwing all the environments and characters released that far as DLC into the mix, which was closely followed by some free downloads to boot. There’s no denying that the cost of every game component is a tasty sum, and there are bugs still not fixed, a lacklustre 3D selection and horrificly slow online multiplayer mode is concern for the majority of people. But then, where else do you have the insanely brilliant thrill of launching David Hasslehoff into old ladies. I have used that before as a selling point on this site, to no avail, but by jove it’s good fun.The game is still the main event at any “PlayStation party” or was until Tiny Brains was released, but enough of that.
PAIN serves as reminder that anybody can make a game that will stand the test of time by taking an original idea, and building on it, and building on it. There is now a great amount of content in the game, and despite essentially, doing the same thing over, and over again it has still held my attention all these years, and will do for many more to come. It was the first real community spirit I got involved with on the PlayStation 3, and it only helped build that community in local multiplayer bowling, or horse….Before proceeding to absolutely destroy it with a misplaced bounce of a Russian space monkey, into a mime, up a vent, out the roof, and into a barrage of explosives.
And that people are suckers for buying games again to have them on disc.
Following on from PAIN is game that spiritually followed on from arguably one of the most well received games from fans on the PlayStation 3. Starhawk (not the equally spiritually influential / crazy lady from the US, Starhawk the video game. Not the 1977 game that would have killed everyone playing it if not for the invention of cinder blocks. Starhawk, you know the 2012 video game by Lightbox Interactive.
Formed by members of the awesome Incognito Entertainment (who had made the previously mentioned popular-as-popular-things 2007’s Warhawk)… yes that Starhawk.
Starhawk is another multiplayer-centric sci-fi shoot-a-thon. Heavily featuring flying mechs and the ability to drop in buildings to aid your fight, Starhawk took the genre, and really made it it’s own. Despite a lack of sales, the game still blossomed online. The single-player was weak (but still rather awesome), as expected, but the co-op and competitive multiplayer you had more than made up for it. Visually the game was astonishing, and this was only back up the atmosphere you achieved playing it.
Standing atop a dune, your hover bike ticking over by your side, the wind blowing your hipster scarf in the breeze, whilst you watch chaos ensue on the martian plains around you, sniper towers and Gungan shields cascading down from the heavens blowing up dirt and bodies around them. It was a sight that had to be witnessed. Bring this all together with a really interesting menu system, some brilliant controls and music and you had a whole package destined to stand the test of time, even if the servers do not. Again, something I have said before is it won’t capture the same love the original did, but for my tastes, everything the game offered, from the excellent drop in system, to the brilliant co-op survival… it all serves as a much more enjoyable, accessible package.
Possibly a game many people have in their top five. Demon’s Souls takes the 14th position in my list for almost every reason every other person on the planet adored the game for. The combat was excruciatingly brilliant and difficult, the art design throughout was breath-taking and the real sense of “Just ten more minutes” really hit home.
Released in February 2009 for Japan, and just over a year later for the small nation of Europe by From Software who are most well known for their brilliantly misunderstood Armoured Core series. (and eventually the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 2). It stormed the video game hullabaloo with next to no marketing and limited releases, but widely regarded as one of the best RPGs… ever.
That childlike, old school wonder of just wanting to get over that bridge, or just defeat that monster was pushed to its limits time and time again. But you always felt like you were directly in control of what your characters ultimate demise was (unless of course you followed the usual awfully hilarious advice of other players through the well integrated PlayStation Network ghost message system.
The game was hard, but certainly not cheap, and despite being obliterated multiple times by every fantasy encounter, the thrill of getting back to that point overwrite the frustration. The whole atmosphere the game shone around you with its sound and sights complemented the driving force of the game, the plot and the combat so well.Add to all that an intriguing co-op sensation and a dark, desperate fantasy realm we hadn’t encountered in years, Demon’s Souls is a game which holds onto a place in your heart with bloody hooks and won’t be letting go any time soon.…
Well, until Demon’s Souls II comes out… if ever.
Just, skip this bit and read on, it’s not going to be worth the trauma.
I adore Haze, ok. Without a doubt it’s the best local multiplayer game on the PlayStation 3 that you can just start with some friends and finish by everyone angry that you shot them by looking at their segment of the screen.Is it perfect? Heck no.Is it as good as Timesplitters? Far from it. But developer Free Radical, despite it’s many flaws and universal despise knew what they were doing.
A game built primarily to provide split-screen gun pews with friends, wrapped around a universe they created purely to give context and reasoning for the nectar gimmick. Released in May 2008 it was dubbed the new ‘Halo’ killer and was never really meant to be one, or a SONY exclusive. However, as the game hit the shelves and critics realised it was nothing more than a buggy, low resolution R2 fest it caused the fall of Free Radical. The issue here is no one really gave it enough time.
Yes it was weak in all the killer areas like sound, graphics and story… but it more than made up for it in it’s pure gaming fun. Playing the story co-op was such a thrill, the competitive multiplayer had some interesting and brilliantly different game modes and maps at its disposal, and even the bad things like the glitches added to the charm. I am never going to sell Haze to people on these merits, but as taking it for what it truly is, a game that no matter what, will stand the test of time with its bot offline multiplayer is what makes the game great.
And frankly, if you want this type of well executed couch multiplayer, there really aren’t many other games that could grant you it last generation.
Ratchet & Clank:A Crack In Time
Ah yes Ratchet & Clank the series which along with Sly Cooper has tried to recapture the PlayStations excellent platformer pedigree of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Croc. Whilst they both still never quite reached the peak of Crash and Spyro games on the PlayStation 1 Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time is the closest we have come since.
Released late 2009 by fan favourite Insomniac Games (who you may very well get sick of hearing come the end of this list [spoiler alert]). They released the original Spyro games, and hit back on the PlayStation 2 with Ratchet & Clank before heading into darker territory with Resistance and then heading multi-platform, with the mixed received but overall forgotten Fuse. It’s not doubt they are most famed for Ratchet & Clank, and for good reason.
A Crack In Time is the third in the reinvigorated Future series of R&C. It brought with it a more solid overall experience than the other 5-ish depending on how you look at it games on PS3 in the series. It also brought with it some of my favourite updated gameplay variations and weapons to the series. Overall think it’s also my favourite story out of the whole series, whilst keeping true to the games core settings and characters it evolves them enough to merit this new adventure, whilst still keeping the whimsical charm that everyone has come to know and love.
Whilst the game isn’t my favourite platformer ever, or even in the R&C series… it’s such a fun trip, and without a doubt the best from the last generation that it deserves recognition for being a truly great game, in a genre which is struggling at the moment.
This is where is starts getting tough.
Here is Insomniacs other PlayStation 3 series, or at least their final input on the game series.
Resistance 3 follows the same shooty gun blazing, chimera killing sci-fi history lesson action the first two games put out. But goes it’s own way with the story and overall atmosphere in the games universe, and it in no way was a bad decision.Whilst sales of the game were excruciatingly low, it didn’t stop it from being incredibly well received when it was released in September 2011. Nor did it stop it finding it’s way onto this list, which I think we can all agree is a massive achievement.
Resistance 3 took the base game formula that made the originals brilliant, slapped on a grittier story, new character central characters and tried a fresh take on it, and really putting the name ‘Resistance’ to the test. It was a bold move, and as a game, certainly pulled it off. But in particular this game was the first I tried with both 3D and the Move, and frankly that was what made me fall in love with it, having these two… gimmicks really, show that in a post-apocalyptic themed feels-a-thon you can still have a jolly good time.
The game had a distinct visual feel to it, the controls were still still heavy in a good way, the sounds were grungier than ever, and it still had an excellent co-op and multiplayer offering. However, like most things (including the rest of the Resistance trilogy) the online servers will be shutting off in May this year.
Thankfully the co-op has splitscreen, and the campaign mode is an excellent romp through a world PlayStation gamers had known since the launch of the console, but never quite as dark as this.
I hear a small cheer from the select few who remember this near-launch title.
Back in 2007 the PlayStation 3 had a few one-off fantasy games looked to peak interest in the system, Folklore, Heavenly Sword and Lair just to name the big ones, however, Folklore for me stood out as the best, by a long shot.Heavenly Sword had Nariko, Lair had dragons, but Folklore had actual gameplay. Game Republic were the developers, and were really only known for the lackluster Genji series beforehand, and have gone onto creative subsequent lackluster games like Knights Contract and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.
However, that in no way reflects how spellbindingly gorgeous almost everything Folklore had to offer was. Folklore was really the first game I really played on the PlayStation 3, so I am most probably a bit biased in my love for the game, but it was incredibly stunning visually, had a compelling sound design, had unique features throughout and overall played superbly well. Everything the game had to offer was merged into these wonderful artistic theme portrayed throughout, and even today it is still lush, very Trine-like.
Whilst the aesthetics of the game were certainly a major part in its glory, the … … combat (sorry) was superb too. If there’s a game from the first year (for us Europeans) I’d certainly recommend in terms of showing off what can be achieved by the PlayStation 3 in its early years… it would have to be Folklore. The shift from games I had played before, to this system of taking ‘folks’ and utilising their powers, in these two separate dimensions, following the story of the worlds worst leading man, whilst all being captivated by the art design of it all, was such a great experience. And one we may never see again as graphics technology reaches its peak.
Everybody’s Golf 5
It may seem like an odd choice for the top ten, but there is no denying that Everybody’s Golf has been a staple of SONYs consoles since its inception in 1997 on the PlayStation 1.
Fast forward 10 years and Everybody’s Golf 5 is released on the PlayStation 3 in Japan, a year later it makes its away across the ponds, and land masses. Made by Clap Hanz, who have been making Everybodys Golf and Tennis games since 2000, and its fair to say, they have always been pretty damn good at making the same game over, and over. But take nothing away from the fact that Everybodys Golf 5 in particular is a masterclass in how to make a successful, fun, accessible and overall golf-y game.
It’s everything you’d expect from a Japanese golf game, think Mario Toadstool Tour (just for a minute, we’re still devoted to everything PlayStation here, don’t worry). It’s a rather standard set-up, but add in some glorious visuals, make everything look so clean and pristine, some great controls, brilliant multiplayer options and you have everything you’d need.
Consistently fun for a couch multiplayer session, Everybody’s Golf, or Hot Shots Golf depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside online multiplayer also made it extremely fun, whilst the choice of courses is rather limiting, today this is still a game I am certainly proud to have played during its heyday, and will constantly be picking it up for local multiplayer whilst we wait for the next sports game which genuinely delivers on every aspect that makes sportsy competition between friends something that just can’t beaten, and what makes video games such an essential part of creating and destroying friendships.
3D Dot Game Heroes
Don those hipster glasses as 3D Dot Game Heroes is taking this spot on the list. A little known game, by little known studio Silicon Studio released in the very well known year of 2009 for Japan, and again just under a year later for the Europeans. It’s a voxel based action adventure game. So yes, it’s a Minecraft clone.
What 3D Dot Game Heroes is, is just wonderful. It’s been called nostalgia ridden before, and it will again here… in fact, just a few words back it was. The game heralds in an era where Legend Of Zelda was the cream of the crop, and takes it’s own satirical spin on it all. A plot revolving around mad kings wanted 2D sprites to be 3D, add to that the delightfully charming script, an awesome voxel character editor, genuinely fun combat, some funky mini-game style quests like tower defense and of course the obligatory water /aqua temple and you have a package anyone should play regardless of your 8-bit gaming heritage.
This is made all the more clear by the glorious soundtrack, the exquisite loading screens showcasing ye olde game box arts in 3D Dot Game Heroes style, the combat mechanics (I have mentioned combat quite a lot recently, I apologise) and constant throwbacks. The dungeons, the transitions, the enemies. It’s just such a brilliant game in every aspect.
It’s a shame a game as beautifully sublime as this will forever be tarnished as a game in the wrong century… but it shouldn’t have to be, we have seen from recent indie developers in particular that you don’t need cutting edge graphics or gameplay to become critically acclaimed, you just need a solid experience throughout, and 3D Dot Game Heroes does it thoroughly.
Ah yes, Yakuza, a series I can’t help but love, even though I picked up each game by accident. Whilst I have never gone out of my way to obtain a Yakuza game (with the exception of Yakuza: Dead Souls (which I adored) but in no way shapes up to the gravity that the main Yakuza series excerpts, it was a good mix, but still didn’t draw me in like the canon games, and especially Yakuza 4 which once it’s got a hold of you, it doesn’t let go. Anyway, whilst I have never gone out of my way to obtain them, I have gradually bought each game, and immediately regretted not getting it earlier.
Made by SEGA, who we all know, Sonic, House Of The Dead, Valkyria Chronicles (oh hello… … nah, only joking.) Yakuza has become a staple of Japanese gaming culture, and for good reason, constantly delivering an exquisite story, brutal combat, (again, I know) the fourth installment was released in its home country March 2010 to critical acclaim before exactly one year later for Europe.
The game blends adventure action segments in an open world-ish Tokyo, complete with plenty of mini-games / arcades/ restaurants. Whilst it will never rival the likes of Grand Theft Auto for pure open city exploration, it more than makes up for it with brilliant story telling and excellent fighting combos. Everything about Yakuza generally sets up such an enticing mix of the best of Japanese culture into a video game which can center around a lost girl child baby, or the boss fights at the top of a skyscraper.
Yakuza 4 mixed all of this excellent presentation, great characters with the power of the PlayStation 3 to create a total package that I have replayed multiple times. It takes something special to have a story driven button masher at heart get played multiple times.
So until I get my hands on Yakuza 5, it looks like the 4th iteration will have to take center stage as the best run / brawl / run game yet.
Insomniac… how do you do it? Resistance 2, the sequel to Resistance: Fall Of Man was released in November 2008 to once again critical acclaim… but actually sold an amount worthy of making heads of businesses happy this time, as opposed to Resistance 3.Was this down the gorgeous graphics? The epic multiplayer components? The compelling story? Or all this and more? … Yeah, it was the 4th option.
Resistance 2 carried on the story of the original brilliantly, and caused outrage at the ending. But this only gave more people reasons to play it… then get engrossed in the epic universe Insomniac had created. Follow that with brilliant arcade like 8 player co-op and 60 player skirmish modes, which was until MAG, a major selling point over every other game on the market at the time.
The game carried on in its ability to blend the historical elements with typical sci-fi shooting fun. Despite the aggravatingly awesome boss fights, deep plot and character development, there was still plenty of fun to be had launching hedgehog grenades into a bunch of chimera and watching them ragdoll all over the place, whilst their tentacle vents shoot steamy steam all over the place, it was a sight to behold.
Not to mention the atmosphere throughout the game, and series, peaking at facing off against the grimms throughout a Silent Hill themed house, it was the beginning of the excellent darker theme appearing in the third game.
Resistance: Fall Of Man
…Why not just carry on from where we left off?
As the most successful launch game for the PlayStation 3 in all territories. The box art in particular, much like Afrika was a staple of my early years of the PlayStation 3, even a year before I finally got the system constantly seeing the image of the chimera skull amongst a war torn Britain started brewing inside me that this was quite the hypest thing to ever exist. And despite not being the first game I owned and played, it was the first game I saw in action at a friends house… and I was blown away.
At the time, the graphics understandably overwhelming, and even today, they still have an edge in some distinct way, the grungy… yet visually clean look is hard to explain, but hits home that it was different, and absolutely beautiful. Not only that, the gameplay was super tight. Running around western England with a weapon wheel witnessing sci-fi WW2 soldiers being launched over cars was a brilliant experience. The story was excellent, the multiplayer was just as good as its sequels, and proceeded to be one of my favourite experiences with friends jumping across church rooftops blowing each…wait, let me phrase this better, exploding each other off… the roof, with grenades. Yeah.
As a launch title, unbeatable. Whilst complaints were raised it really didn’t change the face of first person shooters, it didn’t, it’s a fair comment. But it certainly rose the bar much the same Halo did for the Xbox for all competing games to follow on the system, and very few could contain the same amount of awesome inside.
LittleBigPlanet 2 / LittleBigPlanet
So, the top 5… and what better way than to start it off with 2 games?
This is done so for reasons I shall explain. As everything in LittleBigPlanet can be created in LittleBigPlanet 2, it seems sane to just have LittleBigPlanet take this spot. Except that the campaign in LittleBigPlanet was substantially better than that of the sequel (still wasn’t great), so it’s best to remember them as one ultimately satisfying package, with user content being excellently shared.
Released in 2008 by the newly founded Media Molecule the original LittleBigPlanet immediately became the go-to game for a PlayStation system and gained worldwide critical acclaim for it’s excellent Play, Create, Share ideology. Media Molecule was brought together by geniuses at the Microsoft owned Lionhead studios who had previously worked on the Fable and Black & White series. Both of these series stank, but Lionhead itself was the new Bullfrog, which is the greatest developer of all time.
A few years later LittleBigPlanet 2 hit the PlayStation 3 to very almost the same success. However, I have a confession to make, I’m not actually a LittleBigPlanet fan. The fact that the story was weak, and the whole game revolved around user content, of which about 10% was worth playing, I couldn’t see the appeal. But eventually I got round to playing some multiplayer levels… and I was sold, I took back everything I had ever said. The cutesy puzzle platforming of the story had been blown up and taking its place in the smoking aftermath was such a wide array of brilliant and side splittingly hilarious games that people had created I had found a true reason to own a PlayStation 3.
Add to the already excellent array of content on offer, over 100 DLC items, and a friend or two and you have evening after evening of such enjoyment and genuine laughs that you just literally can not find anywhere else. As things stand, whilst they are far from my favourite games on the system, it’s easily the series I have the most hope for on the PlayStation 4… but until then, more and more brilliantly fun content is being created daily for all future enjoyment… or at least until the servers are turned off, or if you are actually rather splendid at creating levels…
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
There is a distinct lack of excellent racing games as of late, the PS2 era had plenty, but since the 7th generation they have been lacking. However, in 2008 the newly SONY acquired Evolution Studios released the sequel to the multi-million selling release day Motorstorm… Motorstorm: Pacific Rift.
I was a massive fan of the original, but it was missing the core component of any racing game, decent splitscreen, or even free racing against bots. But Pacific Rift took everything that made the original brilliant, multiplied it by … a large integer, like, 37 or something? And covered in a mirage of colours… what was the outcome of this was a graphical powerhouse of a game, complete with a dizzying amount of content (especially after the excellent DLCs) and just excellent driving.
The controls split fans down the middle, but I loved the feel of every vehicle, the damage was astounding, the soundtrack almost rivaled Burnout: Takedown for the best soundtrack and getting some like-minded individuals to squeeze onto a sofa and start R and L1-ing like there’s no tomorrow was just awesome.
Pacific Rift was far from the perfect racing game, but for what was offered last generation, it excelled amongst a rather dreary display of games that really tried to make the genre their own, but just failed on the basics… making the racing fun. It’s the most simple formula to get right in gaming, (except maybe sports or quiz games) but at the same time, missing out core elements like damage can cause it to be a catastrophic failure… which I might add is just my opinion before the Gran Turismo faithful start throwing steering wheels and accelerators at me.
Whilst the online servers are no more, it certainly doesn’t stop Pacific Rift being consistently played for the pure archaic fun it releases and infuses through every corner and jump in both single player couch multiplayer.
It’s better than Pacific Rim was, I’ll say that.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Aha, this is when we first encounter Naughty Dog eh, with only 3 games left? … (More spoiler alerts!)
So, where to begin? We have reached the top 3… and this is where it starts to hurt the most. The pain of knowing that games this good are so very few and far between. However, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was released at the end of 2007, and was an immediate hit and success. Naughty Dog developed it, and their pedigree for excellent PlayStation games dates back to 1996 with Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation 1.
7 excellent platforming games later they spawned a game series which makes me giddy just thinking of the first time I played it.Whilst it was about a year of the release of Drake’s Fortune (January 2009 to be exact) I first got it, as I wasn’t a fan of Tomb Raider-esque games, the game was still astonishing, just as it is now. I’m not entirely sure there are English words that can sum up the kind of noises I was making playing it for the first, second, third and so on times from start to end.
The graphics were out of this world, the story was epic, and was only expanded upon with the extremely brilliant cast of characters they had on-board. Stick on some great gameplay, tack on some nifty sound design and you have the perfect single player package. Without Uncharted… I doubt I would still be the PlayStation fan I am today. Whilst the other 17 games listed thus far have all been testament to how the PlayStation 3, and the 7th generation in gaming could still deliver some great experiences… the leap in excellence that Uncharted took from the rest is unbelievable in my skewed vision.
I have never been prouder to tell people to actually get a console over another one before, just to play this game, it’s paramount to how much I have used the PlayStation 3 since I first jumped off the boat, and saw the gorgeous, lush visuals I was being blinded by… before immediately falling in love with Nathan Drake, and his hair.
It was the first time a game had made me buy the sequel upon release… talking of which…
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
So yep. Late 2009 saw the release of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Was it possible for a PlayStation 3 game to tick more boxes than Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune? Apparently so… (well 2 games actually.. ho ho ho.) But Uncharted 2 delivered on everything that made the first special then added multiplayer… At first I was skeptical… but when I realised the story was just as good, if not better, the characters were just as good, if not better, the graphics, the sound, the controls, the gameplay, just everything… and then Naughty Dog somehow had the ability to add a fully fledged multiplayer mode onto it… and co-op… and make all of those brilliant as well?
It was the first time I had really felt like a developer was doing everything right since Ensemble, or Free Radical, or even Bullfrog. Just the pure excellence that emitted from the case as I opened it… inserted the disc and was hanging from a train in the snow covered in blood… I just knew… my stomach was sending me messages that it was going to be an evening to remember.
Whilst Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune needs to be played by everyone, Uncharted 2 literally needs to be played by everyone and their dog. Mostly because it would be hilarious seeing a dog try and use a controller to control a game. But also because as single entities these games are masterpieces of story telling, brilliant blockbuster games through and through, but as a prequel and a sequel, together they make possibly my favourite partnership of games… to ever exist.
So where does this lead us?
KUNG FU RIDER!
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
The Last Of U… oh… Metal Gear Solid 4.
2 for the price of one there.
It would seem Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots has been caved underneath other plot driven brilliance on the PlayStation 3 as of late. But that won’t stop me forgetting it… nothing will, except maybe some serious head trauma.
Metal Gear Solid 4… it had a single player campaign filled to the brim with cutting edge graphics, possibly my favourite ‘story’ ever, one which still makes me cry at roughly 4 points playing it today. (However I cry at least twice every time I watch Inception so, I’ve got that going for me… …ladies?) It had excellent sound design from the music to the voice acting, the actual gameplay was brilliant, the setting, the pacing, the passion, the … … pretty girls. It had everything I could ever hope Kojima could find in a fortune cookie, and more.
And then, to top it all off, they go and trump Naughty Dog by also adding multiplayer, Metal Gear Online… and my lord, is this number 1.5 on the greatest PlayStation 3 exclusives ever. Whilst the servers were still up, they were my second home. I could just not get enough of the action that was found online. Everything ported so excellently to it… I can barely type what made it so brilliant, I’m clutching at thin air trying to find some way to describe the feelings I got when playing it… and now reminiscing about the hours, days and weeks spent rescuing ducks so I can afford those funky purple flared army combat trousers.It was a complete package that just excreted brilliance, and made the PlayStation 3 a console to desire.
It was a game that defined a whole generation… a whole 7 years and counting of my life have been summed up in one piece of plastic… metal… disc amalgamation stuff.
If Uncharted 1 & 2 came together the perfect two games, Metal Gear Solid 4, and it’s online offering came together to make possibly… the perfect game?
…No no, of course not… but it’s close, it’s strong contender for 90%+ but we won’t dive into that now.
So, there we have it, a misleading opening image, and 20 games you have either played, or would never play because you have taste.
Before I leave (as if I am actually going to get up and walk out after you have finished reading this), a few games that deserve some kind of mention.
Dragon’s Crown – My favourite 2D scrolling Japanese button mashy game, but it was on the Vita as well so…
Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 – The first was barely enjoyable, and this kind of was… kinda.
The Eye Of Judgement – It was unique, and worthy of any mention in PlayStation exclusives, but it was also not very good, and I have a life. … with Magic The Gathering.
PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale – It’s not as good as Smash Bros… because it didn’t have any playable characters that I actually wanted to play as.
Katamari Forever – It was excellent fun, and I was going to put it on the list, then remembered the game hasn’t changed for 10 years.
Drakengard 3 / Yakuza 5 – If they were released in the west, most likely they would be present on this list, so hurry up and localise them, I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be on the worlds most legit, supreme list?