30 Best Sony PlayStation Network Games

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We take a look at 30 of the best downloadable PlayStation 3 games available on Sony's PlayStation Network. In this guide to the best of PSN, we discuss everything from immensely successful exclusives like Flower and the PixelJunk games to classic PlayStation releases like Twisted Metal 2.

Cost: $14.99
Metacritic Rating: 84
Electronic Arts definitely has a strong pedigree as far as the Battlefield games are concerned. No matter what year the warfare takes place in, there's usually a ton of addictive multiplayer action guaranteed to steal away your free time. For $15, Battlefield 1943 is a quick lunch for gamers without the budget for a full feast, but it's more filling than you'd expect.

Spread out across three islands in the World War II-era Pacific Ocean, Battlefield 1943 lets players enlist with the U.S. Marines or the Japanese Navy as they take to land, sea, and sky in all-out war. There's an impressive amount of ways to join the fight in this budget package, as you can do anything from piloting fighter planes to sniping stray enemies to calling in bombing runs. Although it's light on modes, Battlefield 1943's single "capture the bases" element is a blast with a full crew of 16 players, and the team based tactics quickly become second nature.

In fact, Battlefield 1943 was so popular at launch, EA had to install extra servers to host the matches because too many players were playing it at once.

Cost: $9.99
Metacritic Rating: 87
Retro remakes can sometimes add either too much or too little new content, but Bionic Commando: Rearmed is pitch perfect in its execution. If you've played the original NES title, you'll feel right at home with arguably one of the best PSN games Capcom's offered up yet. Graphically, BCE is incredibly faithful to its roots despite the fresh coat of modern paint.

Playing once again as Federation hero Nathan "Rad" Spencer, Bionic Commando: Rearmed pits the lone warrior against waves of Imperial soldiers. Using the bionic arm as your main weapon, you can grapple between buildings, use enemies as human shields, and toss huge chunks of debris at your would-be assassins. Rearmed does an even better job than the original title of making the grappling gameplay the star mechanic, as the brand-new boss battles require a cunning balance of bionic agility and ballistic brute force.

For the $10 price tag, Bionic Commando: Rearmed is a serious bargain. Aside from the main game, there's co-op multiplayer, challenge levels, and even a free-for-all brawl mode available.

  • Braid
  • Also available on XBLA, PC

Cost: $14.99
Metacritic Rating: 93
While lots of conjecture has been made about the story behind Braid, it all boils down to a common plot often told in video games: you're a man against the world, trying to rescue a princess in a far away land.

However, Braid's special twist comes in the form of time manipulation. As you guide leading man "Tim" through world after world, you'll need to "rewind" time to solve puzzles embedded in every level. Sometimes, you'll need to correct an ill-timed jump off an enemy's head, and other times you'll die by falling into a trap. Luckily, even Tim's death can be fixed by simply turning back the clock a few crucial seconds, and the game quickly becomes more puzzle than platformer.

However, as you play through this wonderfully crafted game -- in several cases, literally turning back time to advance past various obstacles -- it eventually comes clear that the simple story isn't what it seems to be. Is Tim really the hero? What exactly is his relationship with the princess? And why can't Tim remember why he has to rescue her?

Cost: $9.99
Metacritic Rating: 83
Ever get tired of tower defense games that, well, make you do nothing but defend attackers? If you're looking for a more aggressive take on the genre, Comet Crash puts an interesting gameplay mechanic to use: along with building towers and turrets, you can also build up your own armies to harass the computer AI's own base. It's an interesting tug-of-war premise, where planning out a good offense is just as important as shoring up your own base's obstacles.

Comet Crash already has plenty of free DLC content in addition to the main game, including a harder difficulty, new maps, and a time attack mode that dramatically increases the number of troops on both sides of a battle. For $10, that's not too shabby for a game just released last year.

Cost: $9.99
Metacritic Rating: 78
Imagine Halo, repackaged into a side-scrolling platformer and mixed with Contra-style gore: that's Crash Commando in a nutshell. All the game wants you to know is that if you're not killing every commando that isn't on your team, you're not playing it right. Regardless of which in-game faction you side with -- the Grunts or the Jarheads -- you'll have access to a staggering amount of weapons: machine guns, C4, armored vehicles, and just about anything else that can cause some loud and fiery deaths. Paired with purposefully over-the-top blood and violence, Crash Commando is nonsensical fun, and that's pretty much all it needs to be.

Cost: $6.99
Metacritic Rating: 87
Critter Crunch may be adorable, but it's also gross. Much like other saccharine-sweet puzzlers (Puyo Pop, Bubble Bobble) Critter Crunch's gameplay consists of helping the game's mascot eat his way through a variety of Tetris-like puzzles. By doing this, you must devour tiny creatures that pop up in a level's food chain and projectile vomit them into the mouths of larger creatures. Yeah, you read that right.

Once the food chain is satisfied, creatures in a row or group will explode, letting your mascot gobble up sweet rainbow-colored fruit as prizes. Hopefully, some video game historian will confirm that Critter Crunch is the only video game where regurgitation is the main mechanic. That being said, this independent title from Capybara Games is as challenging as it is cute/disgusting, and at $7, you'll definitely get a kick out of this unique gem.

Cost: $9.99
Metacritic Rating: 81
If you've ever been confused by an M. C. Escher painting, Echochrome is a game that will really screw with your head. Echochrome presents very basic-looking puzzles with one goal: manipulate the angles of various three-dimensional platforms so that the in-game avatars can safely walk to a predetermined finish line. Seems simple enough, but then the rules start to get a little weird. If there's a gap on a particular walkway, you have to tilt the level so that gap "appears" to vanish. If two paths aren't connected, you can simulate the connection by simply angling the camera so that one path overlaps another. Really, it sounds complicated, but once you get into it the game becomes immensely addicting.

Over 56 levels are packed into Echochrome, each with an increasingly difficult tree of paths to navigate. But if you're some kind of genius, the game also gives you a canvas for creating your own levels. Want to try out the "disappearing gap" trick for yourself? Build a level, test it out on a friend and see if your take on perspectives can produce a brilliant puzzle.

Cost: $9.99
Metacritic Rating: 83
Even if you're not a huge fan of shoot 'em up games, Everyday Shooter is probably one of the best PSN games around based on music alone. What differentiates it from shooters like Geometry Wars and Super Stardust HD are the levels, which look very much like the rainbow colored equalizers you can find in most MP3 player programs. As you progress though each "track," the music changes to introduce a new swarm of enemies and a new style of gameplay.

For example, in one track, you'll be listening to an angry metallic beat as enemies explode in bright reds and oranges, setting off large chains of points. In the next minute, the game's music can just as quickly shift gears, offering a slower paced level accompanied by a subtle, yet catchy guitar solo. Each track has a unique feel to it, but the fundamental gameplay is the same throughout. Come for the shooting, but stay for the music and graphics.

Cost: $14.99
Metacritic Rating: 79
Capture-the-flag has been done to death, and that's likely why Titan Studios developed such an original take on the game with Fat Princess. Just like the game's title indicates, this PSN exclusive revolves around obese royalty -- in a series of cartoonish medieval maps, each team of knights and wizards must rescue their princess from the other team's castle. However, if your enemies are smart, they'll make your job difficult by fattening up your royal highness with copious amounts of cake: the fatter the princess, the harder she is to carry off and rescue.

Aside from the hilarious tone, the 16-on-16-player mayhem is both colorful and bloody. Unique abilities can be upgraded with little effort, and the action rarely slows down. Moreover, the game gives you a real incentive to work together, if you don't want to end up as a bloody smear on the battlefield.

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