The 24 Best PS3 Games
Where else can you play a game of Bocce but in Sports Champions? Call it the Wii Sports of the PlayStation Move, but that doesn't take away the fact that the ambitious Sports Champions offers a game-changing experience in the motion-controls market. Boasting a collecting of activities including archery, volleyball, and table tennis, this PlayStation Move launch title goes from conventional sports to archaic standouts like "Gladiator Duel" without missing a beat. Not only can you test your skills against a buddy, but Sports Champions also offers a a Champion Cup mode where you can go head-to-head in an Olympic style marathon to see who's the best gamer-slash-althlete in the bunch.
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Be sure to also read: The 10 Best PSP games
Capcom's fifth installment in their renowned zombie-slaying franchise may have placed a greater emphasis on action than your traditional "undead creatures lurking in dark alleys" approach to horror, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? We believe the answer is no, especially with the tremendous success of action titles that are dripping with horror imagery like Gears of War. Resident Evil 5 wasn't exactly leaps and bounds different from its predecessor Resident Evil 4, but it did feature a cooperative campaign, a first for the series, that allowed both you and a buddy to fight together against RE5's hulking axe-wielding killers and the rest of its fearsome cast of adversaries.
A quick follow-up sequel to one of the best fighting games in years, Super Street Fighter IV is everything its predecessor was and more. Ten new characters, improved online gameplay, and new bonus stages all come in this stacked update -- including the good 'ol "destroy the car" challenge from Street Fighter II and III. Moreover, Capcom also gave the fighting engine in SSFIV a bit of a tune-up, with new special moves, new Ultra Combos, and subtle tweaks everywhere else to give the World Warriors just a little more balance.
Bayonetta may be the sexiest video game heroine since Lara Croft debuted back in the day, but Sega and Team Little Angels put forth a stylish and action-packed product with this early 2010 release. Taking a page or two from Devil May Cry (which, like this title, was also directed by Hideki Kamiya), Bayonetta features the titular character in an explosive battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell. After losing her memory following a 500 year sleep, Bayonetta finds herself in a struggle between the Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages -- servants of the dark and light forces in the world, respectively. As she tries to uncover the secrets behind her past and birth, Bayonetta faces off against demons of every size and flavor you can image.
Luckily, Bayonetta's just as deadly as she is sexy, with the ability to wield guns on her hands and feet, along with the ability to summon demons of her own with her magical powers. All of this translates to fast paced, combo-heavy combat, complete with bondage-slash-torture style finishing moves and "Witch Time" attacks that severely test your reflexes and button mashing skills. Bayonetta doesn't let up for a second, and the entire game just gets crazier the further you go.
- Bioshock 2
Big Daddies in the first Bioshock were enough to send chills down a gamer's spine in the first Bioshock. Taking the role of Delta, an amnesiac prototype Big Daddy awoken in a Rapture that has decayed for over a decade, Bioshock 2 puts the power in your hands as you search for your missing Little Sister companion. Just like the Big Daddies in the previous title, you have access to the very things that make the big bruisers a force to be reckoned with such as the iconic arm drill and a rivet gun. Not only that, but Delta can also use Plasmids to take on foes like the Splicers and Big Sisters -- which comes in real handy when you're facing crowds of angry Rapture citizens ganging up on you.
Bioshock 2 also features a multiplayer mode with its own story, detailing the fall of Rapture during its civil war. Not only can you play the role of a BIg Daddy, but you can also play the game as one of several Splicer characters -- each one with the ability to gain Plasmids and extra weaponry. It's a welcome touch to see Bioshock 2 bring multiplayer to Rapture, and with unique modes like "Capture the Sister" and "Team ADAM Grab," it's got an identity completely unique to the game's world.
Every once in while, there's a video game that just wants to kill you -- and Demon's Souls is incredibly ruthless. Set in a doomed mythical kingdom surrounded by a force known as the "Deep Fog," Demon's Souls illustrates a world that has been overrun by monsters and lost souls. Many warriors attempt to infiltrate this kingdom called Boletaria, and just as many wind up dead, their souls now bound to the Deep Fog. From the start of the game, you're place in the shoes of one such warrior who is killed shortly upon breaching the Deep Fog. At that point onward, the game revolves around you slaying various demons, collecting their souls to increase the ablities of your own warrior. As you go further into the game, the stakes of death increase, as Demon's Sould strips you of almost everything you earn each time you die.
Demon's Souls may be merciless in the penalties for death, but it's balanced by robust features like class customization, online co-op gameplay, and combat that changes constantly depending on your class and weaponry. As you grow in strength and tackles bigger monsters, the game consistently tries to top each challenge, with each goal just a hair more difficult than the last. If you're any kind of RPG addict, the kingdom of Boletaria will surely suck you in.
Even if you consider it Electronic Arts' answer to Modern Warfare, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 still offers a lot more than the average war combat game. Pairing its trademark "capture the flag" gameplay with a variety of modes and campaigns, Bad Company 2 further separates itself from the pack with maps that emulate environments from the Panama Canal to the Alaskan Rockies to the dense jungles of South America. If you like vehicular combat that isn't present in realistic first-person shooters like Call of Duty or Killzone, Bad Company 2 also has everything from all-terrain quad-bikes to Black Hawk helicopters at your disposal.
And even that's just scratching the surface of the multiplayer game, as Bad Company 2 also includes a single-player story that takes your squad of commandos from Bolivia to Chile to Colombia. Alongside the plot of an alternate Present Day that sees the Russian government launching a world-wide military invasion of its neighboring countries, it's a wild take on modern war that only Battlefield could do. Come for the multiplayer, stay for everything else.
- Heavy Rain
More interactive story than video game, Heavy Rain is a groundbreaking title from developer Quantic Dream that makes a strong argument for video games being the new standard in interactive fiction. Presented in the style of a dramatic noir thriller, Heavy Rain tells the story of four strangers hunting down a murderer known only as the Origami Killer. Each character has a stake in uncovering the identity of this man, and depending on the actions made by the player throughout the game, each person can either live or die during key points in the narrative.
Along with Quick Time Events and context sensitive sequences, Heavy Rain also makes frequent use of the PlayStation 3's unique Sixaxis control scheme, as players will often have to mimic realistic actions during the game. Whether it's running from an armed assailant or trying to question a suspect, Heavy Rain's constantly-branching chains of events ensure that playing through the story will usually result in vastly different endings. Aside from the gameplay aspect, Heavy Rain also pushes the graphical envelope, with high-tech rendering and motion capture used to portray the cast of Heavy Rain -- making the overall experience feel more real than most other PS3 games can claim to be.
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Talk about bang for the buck: The Orange Box included five hit games from the FPS gurus at Valve Software, making this a must-have for any shooter fan. Not only do you get the award-winning Half-Life 2 and the follow-ups Episode One and Two, but you also get the butter-smooth online game Team Fortress 2. But the real jewel of this fantastic collection is Portal, a mind-bending puzzler that every gamer should experience at least once. Armed with one of the coolest weapons ever devised in the Portal Gun, you run through a series of deviously designed levels while the omni-present voice of GlaDOS gently coaxes you onward. Filled with delicious humor and addictive gameplay, Portal is worth the purchase price alone but lucky for you, there's four other amazing games to keep you occupied long after you've discovered the secret of the cake (hint: it's a lie).
Kratos, the Ghost of Sparta, has been on one Hell of ride, and the God of War Collection is a valuable piece of history for gamers who haven't witnessed his tale of revenge. Since most PS3 owners are hampered by their console's lack of backwards compatibility, the GOW Collection is a bargain -- two discs, one price, and insanely sharp HD visuals on two of the best action games to ever hit a PlayStation. God of War 3 is on shelves now, and if you want a refresher course of the blood-soaked history of this epic series, this is the best place to start. By far, even the very best PS3 games don't get as exciting as this running rampage though ancient Greece.
Usually, when a game makes you choose between good and evil, the paths are so similar or uninspired that playing through a second time seems like a chore. inFamous turned this gameplay element on its head with the Karma System, which actually changed the way you could unleash your electricity-based powers on Empire City. If you're a hero, crowds love you, but if you're a jerk to random bystanders, they'll actually pelt you with rocks or run in terror. Sucker Punch also nailed the exploration mechanics in inFamous, making simple things like getting from one end of town to another fluid and satisfying (as long as you didn't run into a chain link fence). Whether you play the game as a good guy or a total ass, inFamous is a PS3 game that represents sandbox-style gameplay taken to near-perfection.
- Dead Space
Visceral Games pretty much dethroned Capcom's longstanding undead-hunting horror franchise Resident Evil as the king of the survival-horror genre when they released their blood-curdling masterpiece in terror, Dead Space, which featured gruesome beasties reminiscent of those from John Carpenter's The Thing. It wasn't the fact that Dead Space approached survival-horror in an all-new way -- the game actually borrowed quite a bit from Resident Evil 4 in terms of the way you move around and combat enemies -- no, what made Dead Space so terrifying was the dread-soaked atmosphere, the mood of being alone in space, and the disgusting mutated passengers infesting the mining ship you're stuck on... passengers that only get grosser and more frightening as the game progresses.
Whether you choose to classify Media Molecule's delightful PlayStation 3-exclusive game as a user-generated content creator or just a platformer with some fresh ideas, LittleBigPlanet is still one of the most imaginative next-gen games out there. It's not often that modern games encourage the player to be creative, and LBP does a remarkable job of easing you into the creation process in way that has you putting together your own levels and content quickly, without overwhelming you. In fact, one of the reasons LittleBigPlanet has done so well for itself is because it's so accessible. Creating your own levels is a concept that sounds good on paper, but is something that rarely works without turning off the majority of gamers who don't have the patience to learn complicated user-creation tools. And LBP was proved that user-creation can be user-friendly.
- Fallout 3
Bethesda's Fallout 3 presented players with a truly unique concept: the ability to play the game more-or-less however they wanted, allowing for the game itself to play out in an almost infinite number of ways. Sure, this was done before with games like Grand Theft Auto, but never on this scale. You can play Fallout 3 conservatively, carrying out sidequests and trying your hardest to make the best decisions possible. Conversely, if you're in a particularly diabolical mood, you can just run around like a maniac, blowing away everyone you come across, be them good or evil, man or animal. Of course, massacring everyone you meet in the game comes with its price, such as receiving negative karma points and ultimately altering the ending of the game. If you own a next-gen console, do yourself a favor a take this gripping PS3 game for a ride.
Like Rock Band, Grand Theft Auto 4's a tossup. More opponents for online play is great, but we're big fans of better graphics, and the PS3 has an ever so slight edge in that department. Plus, the install cuts down on loading screens, which gives us more time to ram firetrucks into dirtbikes. As if that wasn't enough reason to count this game among the best PS3 games ever, there's always the fact that you can push people in front of trains, saw pedestrians down with helicopter blades, and drive your dinner date off a cliff. Be bad, be wild, and be a menace!
No one expected Batman: Arkham Asylum to be this good. In fact, no one expected it to be one of the most impressive and thrilling action games to ever hit the PlayStation 3. Thankfully, Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros./DC Comics made the invaluable choice of enlisting help from the best talent possible, including big-ticket names like Paul Dini, Kevin Conroy, Arleen Sorkin, and of course, Mark Hamill. For once, a video game developer got everything right in a Batman game, and Rocksteady Studios even went as far as including The Joker as a playable character for PS3 gamers. But most rewarding was the fact that The Caped Crusader fought like a demon from Hell, his tools were inventive and intuitive, and the atmosphere of Arkham Island was as demented and dangerous as its inhabitants. Welcome back, Batman.
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Sure, the original Killzone may have failed to be the "Halo-killer" it was proclaimed to be, but after a painfully long time in development (the sequel was supposed to be a PS3 launch title), Guerilla Games finally delivered a first-person shooter that pushed its console to its boundaries, mostly in terms of graphics. Even stunningly polished shooters like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare lacked the level of detail displayed in Killzone 2's bleak, post-apocalyptic wastelands and war-scorched cities. As soon as you boot up Guerilla's killer FPS sequel, there's no ignoring the mind-blowing lengths that the team behind the game has gone to, bringing the battlefield to life. Killzone 2 remains to be one of the best next-gen shooters, and is one PS3 game that's recommended for those who can appreciate its gritty science-fiction spin on the genre.
Generally, gamers relish the ability to kill, maim and obliterate their enemies and obstacles, but BioShock changed the entire experience with solid, inventive gameplay and a new moral compass. This sleeper hit from 2K Games, a studio formerly known for high-profile but moderately successful strings of PC role-playing games (Jade Empire, Civilization IV, Sid Meier's Pirates), sold Xbox 360s and unintentionally became a flagship title for the console with little buildup and a huge amount of positive press. When it finally made the transition to the PlayStation 3, BioShock also came with a new "Survivor Mode" that made the already tough gameplay even harder than before, which was all the reason we needed to play the game just one more time.
Ubisoft recreated the historic enviroment of 15th century Italy with the same care and attention to detail that Leonardo da Vinci gave to The Last Supper. No matter how well you can build a city, you almost can't do better than Assassin's Creed 2. Taking the stylish and addictive motions of the previous game's protagonist, the near-superhuman Altair, Assassin's Creed 2 went further towards the present with Ezio, the new assassin on the block. Noting both the forwards and backwards steps of the previous title, Ubisoft made sure that Ezio moves in ways that his predecessor never could: wading through waterways, stealing his opponents' weapons, and even flying through the skies with the help of some handy contraptions.
Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption has everything that you'd expect from a traditional western: a gritty hero, nefarious bandits, and tales of honor and betrayal. But this title brings even more to the table with Rockstar's trademark brand of open-world gameplay. Whether you're roping cattle, tracking down bounties, stopping a robbery, or just playing a round of cards, Red Dead Redemption's open wilderness lies at your fingertips, just waiting for you to saddle up and get dirty.
Red Dead Redemption's complex and immersive story revolves around retired outlaw James Marston, a man under the thumb of the government. Forced to hunt down the leaders of his old gang, an infamous outfit that operated from the United States border down into Mexico, Marston treks across a 1911 wilderness that's home to all sorts of memorable characters. Throughout Marston's tale, the game is peppered with gunfights, stagecoach races, quick draw shootouts, and just about anything else you'd expect from a modern Western. Depending on how you play the game, other westerners will either run at the sight of Marston or worship the ground he walks on, making everything you do in Red Dead Redemption both lasting and important. In the end, it's up to you whether you want to be a law-abiding hero or a low-down criminal, but the choices are expansive nonetheless.
Gut-wrenching moments and fast-paced FPS action were the bread and butter of the first Modern Warfare. After taking the Normandy Invasion as far as it could go, Infinity Ward took their coveted franchise into the modern era with amazing results. Since then, Modern Warfare 2 has proved to be a more-than-worthy successor to 2007's Game of the Year, upping the ante with an insanely gripping story, even better multiplayer, and enough controversial decisions to jar any player back into reality, even if just for a split second. Even if you never go back to the solo missions after the first time around, playing online is so deep and incredibly well-polished, you'll have little to no excuse to get tired of Modern Warfare 2.
Bringing an end to the main story of Kratos and his quest for revenge against Mount Olympus, God of War 3 brings everything in the saga to a definite conclusion. As expected, the action in this gruesome and violent title doesn't slow down for a second, as Kratos goes from battling Zeus and Poseidon to tangling with Hades in the pits of Hell. While it may not be the last game in the series to feature Kratos, God of War 3 is unmistakably the biggest production yet from Sony's Santa Monica Studio.
Not only does Kratos pack his trademark Blades of Exile, but an armory of new weapons and abilities are crammed into the game, like the Nemean Cestus and the powerful Blade of Olympus. God of War 3 also boosts the technical achievements from the previous PS3 title, with high-definition graphics, huge character models in the Titans, and battles that will have Kratos facing off against dozens upon dozens of enemies at once. Of course, there's also plenty of the series' trademarks on hand, too -- gory finishing moves, huge detailed enviroments, and (of course) a "special" adult themed mini-game that's definitely NFSW.
When you call any title the video game equivalent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know that the action has to be impressively over-the-top, the characters must evoke unmistakeable charm, and the experience has to rival everything else of its genre. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves does exactly that, bringing back a more flawed, more human Nathan Drake, who's in a bigger adventure than even he can handle in one of the most highly acclaimed PS3 games yet. Even with the memorable Hollywood-style action-adventure in the bag, the multiplayer proves to be a showcase for the vastly improved gameplay. With a cover system that feels refreshingly more natural and spontaneous than Gears of War, and explosive weapons that can tear down the walls around your character, you'll have your hands full trying to stay ahead of the action.
Gamers, this is the one. If you're planning to buy a PlayStation 3, or you already have one, Metal Gear Solid 4 should be at the top of your list. It's an epic stealth-shooter with jaw-dropping graphics and a massively detailed storyline. Sure, the 20-minute cinema scenes can drag on a bit too long, but the game's quality shines through in every aspect of its production. Unlockable rewards, 70+ weapons, and a well-designed online mode will keep you playing months after you've completed the core single-player experience. If you've ever loved a shooter, a stealth game, or an action game, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a can't-miss title.