The 24 Best PS3 Games
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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.