SLIDESHOW

15 Essential Games of This Generation

Here are this generation's must-have games for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC.

Gaming Headliners

The video games industry is bigger than ever, with hundreds of different games cluttering store shelves. It's easy to get swamped, but we've narrowed down the best games now available for these platforms -- in short, the titles that every gamer should own.

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Dragon Age: Origins (PC)

If you've been a fan of RPGs since the Baldur's Gate era, Dragon Age: Origins is a must-play game. The land of Ferelden is a living, breathing kingdom packed with its own distinct citizens, customs, religions, and legends. Dragon Age is a spectacular experience from beginning to end, and with an enormous amount of choices to make, cities to visit, dungeons to crawl, NPCs to interact with, treasure to find, quests to complete and crafts to master, it is guaranteed to last a very long time.

SingStar (PS3)

Have you ever wanted to be a famous pop star? Or maybe you just want to play karaoke in your living room? Either way, SingStar is the game you've been looking for! Equipped with two wireless microphone controllers and 30 chart-topping singles, the game lets you match your vocal talents against friends and family. You can also buy separate discs and song downloads: in other words, the jukebox hits just keep coming!

Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

If you've ever wanted to be a cowboy, Red Dead Redemption is the game for you. The game puts you on a horse and then sets you loose in the vast, untamed wilderness of the Wild West. You can skin wild animals, rescue damsels in distress and even go treasure hunting – the things to see and do in the game never seems to end. It also has a very compelling storyline with polished cut scenes and acting.

Wii Fit Plus (Wii)

Wii Fit Plus is a fitness video game that comes with a balance board peripheral. It boasts a whole range of balance and exercise games, which attempt to raise your level of fitness. Some of the lessons on offer include yoga, strength training, balance and even kung-fu. If you're worried that video games are making your kids lazy, Wii Fit Plus is the game to own!

Crysis (PC)

When Crysis debuted back in 2007, it was like stepping into a completely new world. In terms of graphics, the game was light-years ahead of its time and remains a grueling PC benchmark to this day. Even without the spectacular technological prowess, Crysis remains a great action game that can stand up against almost any FPS. The innovative Nanosuit makes for an open-ended adventure that is fun from start to finish.

Wii Sports Resort

Wii Sports Resort is the sequel to Wii Sports, which came free with the original Wii console. It provides the player with a collection of sports games, including archery, golf, table tennis, bowling, Frisbee and cycling. Much like its predecessor, Wii Sports Resort is most fun when played with friends and family. Up to four players can compete at the same time.

The Orange Box (Xbox 360)

The Orange Box comprises five brilliant games for the price of one. Included in the package are Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress. Each game in the box offers something different, with the standouts being Portal (an addictive physics-based puzzle game) and Team Fortress (a fun and cartoony multiplayer shooter).

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an action-adventure game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The game follows the adventurer Link as he tries to save the world from an evil parallel dimension known as the Twilight Realm. The game is filled with plenty of jaw-dropping moments.

LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

LittleBigPlanet is an engaging and lovable puzzle game that lets you build your own levels, objects, and characters. The game is divided into three sections; Play (where you run around having fun in the game-world), Create (where you create new levels) and Share (where you can share your creations with other gamers online). LittleBigPlanet is a very original game that is suitable for all ages.

Starcraft 2 (PC)

12 years is a very long time in video game years -- but that's how long Blizzard took to create a sequel to the original StarCraft. Was the wait worth it? No doubt some gamers will be disappointed by the similar gameplay (this is more evolution than revolution), but StarCraft 2 remains an excellent experience, equally playable amateurs and old-school pro gamers. The best RTS of all time?

Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)

Grand Theft Auto IV is a compelling crime-based action game set in Liberty City – a gritty re-imagining of New York. The game follows the story of Nico Bellic, an East European immigrant who moves to America to make his fortune. Grand Theft Auto IV can be funny, sad and darkly violent, depending on where you are in the game. It remains one of the most impressive achievements in video game history.

God of War 3 (PS3)

God of War 3 is a bloody, brutal action-adventure game that pits you against the monsters and demi-gods of Ancient Greek mythology. You take on the role of Kratos; a damned Spartan warrior who has a personal vendetta against the gods. God of War 3 is filled with violent boss-battles as well as intriguing puzzles.

Super Mario Galaxy 3 (Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the latest game in the award-winning Mario Bros. series. Controlling the famous Mario, you must navigate your way through a series of planets which are filled with challenging obstacles and enemies. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of the highest rated games of all time.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360)

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a first-person shooting game that pits you against guerrilla fighters and terrorists in war-ravaged locations around the globe. The single player campaign follows two different soldiers; a US marine and a British special operative, with plenty of plot twists along the way. Despite coming out in 2008, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare remains one of the most visually impressive video games available.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a tour de force in video game storytelling. Few other games (if any) can match Uncharted 2 when it comes to believable acting and explosive action scenes. It really is like starring in you own blockbuster action movie, like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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