5 Games That Are Actually Worth Playing in 3D

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So you went out and bought a fancy new 3D TV. Good on ya, the economy needs it. Now you can watch all the 3D Blu-Rays and 3D-enabled games you want, provided you’re willing to put up with some really bad implementation of the effect on a regular basis. Because of that (and because we have a nose for gimmicks) we here at GamePro remain fairly skeptical that 3D really is the future of gaming and movie entertainment.

That said, we’ve actually had a couple of great experiences with playing games in 3D, and if you are desperately looking for a good experience to justify that expensive 3DTV purchase, we can help you out. Below are five games that you have to try in 3D mode if you have the equipment. Each one exploits 3D in a different way –- to improve your spatial awareness, to make things more visually dramatic, or to make things feel more appropriately real -– and each of them almost changed our outlook on the whole 3D or not 3D debate. Almost.

Batman: Arkham City

Batman’s graphics –- especially the character design -- already make it seem like you’re playing with the coolest set of action figures ever, and the 3D effects only bring that sensation even more to life. 3D makes the action feel almost tactile, like you could reach out and grab Harley Quinn and then put her on your mantle.

The other advantage of playing Arkham City in 3D, is the better special awareness it gives, especially when you are confronted with a room full of thugs and the gargoyles you need to hang from to set up takedown attacks on them. Assessing your situation, in normal or detective mode, is definitely enhanced by the 3D effects.

Shadow of the Colossus HD

The remade HD graphics for the newly re-released Shadow of The Colossus may feature cleaner lines and smoother animations than the original, but it’s not quite the richly textured visual feast that more recent games have been. That doesn’t mean it’s still not beautiful, if somewhat stark and austere. The addition of 3D makes that starkness stand out even more, and is somehow more effective because of it. You’re even more aware of how lonely Wander and his horse Agro are in this strange land.

But of course, the thing that the 3D really helps bring to life is one of the central elements that define the game’s unique nature. The colossi seem even more huge thanks to the 3D effects, giving you a better sense of how small you are when you are gripped tight to the fur upon them. Playing in 3D only intensifies that sensation, which is one of the cornerstones of that game’s magic.

MLB 11: The Show

Sports games seem like they would make great platforms for 3D graphics, just based on their very nature. Sports games usually employ some of the very latest and most photo-realistic visuals, and the spatial nature of sports (almost every major one involves a ball and a restricted field of play) seems like a perfect opportunity to use 3D to enhance a game’s effectiveness at making you feel like you’re really playing that sport.

I could have put NBA 2K12 on this list, since playing in 3D can really improve your ability to see lanes and be aware of exactly where your teammates are. But the game that really shines in 3D is MLB 11: The Show. Just the pitcher/batter duel alone is a completely new challenge when you have to train your eye for depth perception. MLB 11: The Show is great in 3D, but as a genre, most sports games are made better by the tech.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Uncharted 3 was clearly designed around being played in 3D. The climbing and traversal puzzles clearly benefit a lot when perceived in 3D, and just the fact that the game is a third-person action games means that the 3D really makes the main character Nathan Drake stand out. Like in Batman: Arkham City, you almost feel like you could reach out and touch it.

But it’s the scripted set pieces in Uncharted 3 where you really see how the developers built a scene with the idea in place that it would look even more awesome in 3D. Take for example, the scene where Drake is escaping a burning cargo plane, gets ejected out the back of the fuselage and is saved by hanging on to some dangling cargo netting. Now imagine it without a Subway sandwich in his hand and in 3D. It’s amazing. Scenes like that feel more dramatic and exciting thanks to the added visual dimension of 3D technology, and I think it’s because they were planned that way from the beginning.


Despite only mixed reviews from critics, Bulletstorm had several guilty-pleasure moments that made it worth playing. But the "instinct leash" is ultimately the reason why the game is a "must-have" for 3D TV owners-- with the leash, the world suddenly experiences brilliant depth.

The leash lets you whip enemies towards you and then kick, throw, or shoot their vulnerable rag doll bodies. It's perhaps the game's biggest selling point, and in 3D the enemies really seem to be drawn towards you or thrown away from you. Compared to 2D, the environments around the characters also look much more realized and with real depth to them. Similarly, the iron sight is vastly improved with 3D, as your gun looks like it is physically hovering over the screen. Even the backgrounds, like the occasional waterfall or cliff, really look like part of an expansive, fully navigable world in 3D. In 2D, these set pieces fade into the background. With 3D, the weird world of Bulletstorm isn’t just limited to the howling psychos coming at you with guns.

This story, "5 Games That Are Actually Worth Playing in 3D" was originally published by GamePro.

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