Top PS3 Game Picks
Although the PlayStation 3 had a tremendously rough launch, Sony's powerful console has managed to keep up with the rest of the pack thanks to a sizable list of solid IPs and big ticket franchises. Although it hasn't quite caught up to the Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Xbox 360 in the American market, the PS3 remains a clear powerhouse player in Japan and Europe. Sony claims that the PlayStation 3 is powerful enough to be their frontrunner console for 10 years, and with PlayStation Move, the PS3 is still changing.
With all of the major releases for 2011 out on shelves, a lot of shake-ups have happened in the last few months. Most notably, Batman: Arkham City swept us away, while The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim tore us all away from our mundane lives and told us to go dragon hunting. It hasn't been all about sequels, though, as The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection reminded us just how good Team Ico's first two title were. Hit the jump to see which games were voted by the GamePro staff into our "Top 10" games of the PlayStation 3 right now.
God of War 3
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. Most of all, God of War 3 improves the level of technical polish from the previous title with high-definition graphics, huge character models via the Titans, and battles that have Kratos facing off against dozens of enemies at once. Of course, there are also plenty of the series' trademarks on hand, too--gory finishing moves, huge detailed environments, and (of course) an adult themed mini-game that's both hilarious and steamy. It's ultimate fanservice for series fans, and the graphics really show just what the PlayStation 3 can do.
Having climbed from Hell to Olympus and back, this game details the final confrontation between Kratos and Zeus, as well as the events that eventually lead to the downfall of both the Titans and the Gods. While the Ghost of Sparta lives on in PSP games and other cameos, it remains to be seen if Kratos will return in another PS3 game. Either way, the intense combat, huge action set pieces, and engaging puzzles set up a memorable send off for this trilogy.
As the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls, Dark Souls takes the dark dungeon crawling action of the original and removes the barriers. Its massive world can take up to 80 hours to explore, with tons of secrets crammed in many dark corners. It's an adventure for hardcore RPG fans only, as the insanely punishing campaign will send you packing once than a few times.
But what really makes Dark Souls stand out is its offline and online integration. Blood stains and messages that defined Demon's Souls are still there; but Dark Souls takes it to a new level by allowing you to align with factions that might ask you to help other players out, or kill them outright. With features like these, Dark Souls picks up where Demon's Souls left off as arguably the most innovative game of this generation.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
If you're planning to buy a PlayStation 3, or you already have one, Metal Gear Solid 4 should be in your collection. It's an epic stealth-shooter with jaw-dropping visuals and a massively detailed story-line, following Old Snake across the world as he attempts to stop Liquid Ocelot from taking complete control of the world's military forces. Sure, the 20-minute cinema scenes can drag on a bit, but the game's quality shines through in every aspect of its production.
Even so many years after the fact, Metal Gear Solid 4's graphics alone are on par with today's biggest titles, and the depth of the gameplay invites any replays and Easter Egg hunts. Unlockable rewards, an armory of weapons, and a well-designed online mode complement the unforgettable single-player experience, which is held together with genre-defining action scenes. If you've never played MGS4, know that this Metal Gear is one of the best games that the PS3 has to offer.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Featuring the return of Soap MacTavish and bearded badass Captain John Price, Modern Warfare 3 represents Activision's follow-up to the saga of World War III. Injecting even more cringe-worthy realism into the frantic combat, the various battlegrounds cover plenty of real-life locations like Manhattan and Prague, including explosive cinematics that can sometimes be frighteningly realistic. Of course, the short single-player mission should just about get your feet wet, while the multiplayer could drown you.
Modern Warfare 3 completely revamps the "Killstreak" reward system and re-balances several elements from Modern Warfare 2, including a brilliant new mode that requires you to collect a fallen enemy's dogtags. For the hardcore COD player, this franchise release also introduces the Call of Duty: Elite service, which features tons of exclusive content: free DLC maps (with a yearly subscription), sponsored tournaments, mobile apps for changing your load-out, a TV channel, and frequent content. It's a dramatic and expansive step-up from previous multiplayer offerings in Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2.
Portal wasn't supposed to be as big as it got. It was a pack-in game, something to help fill in space on Half-Life 2: The Orange Box. Instead, the simple first-person shooter puzzle took a life of its own, with GLaDOS, the Companion Cube, and Chell becoming one of the year's most talked about cast of characters.
As a result, Portal 2 has a lot to live up to--and so far, it's doing so without breaking a sweat. Picking up where the first game ended, Chell finds herself once again trapped in the bowels of a now-run down Aperture Science Laboratory, with nothing more than her trusty Portal Gun and Long Fall Boots. GLaDOS is back too, and none too pleased about the fact that she was almost killed in the last game. Luckily, you have some help in getting around this time, and the murderous GLaDOS isn't the only A.I. in town. With new sidekick Wheatley (a dim-witted personality core) in tow, it's a race to survive GLaDOS and her new deadly science experiments.
While the single-player story has its fair share of twists and turns, Portal 2 also ups the ante with a co-op campaign. Working together to solve these rooms is a nice bonus, although quite challenging. Puzzles are harder, the level design is crazier, but GLaDOS thankfully retains her trademark dry wit and blatant disregard for her subjects' lives.
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemptionhas 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 your hands dirty.
As outlaw-turned-drifter John Marston, you're tasked by the United States Government with tracking down your old gang and putting an end to them. In the rustic 1914 settings of New Austin, Nuevo Paraiso and West Elizabeth -- fictional territory that lies on the border of the U.S.A. and Mexico -- there's a giant open frontier for gamers to explore, with content that stretches as far as the horizon itself. Red Dead Redemption is peppered with gunfights, stagecoach races, quick draw shootouts, and dozens of other activities that fill this expansive sandbox. Depending on how you play the game, other Westerners will either run at the sight of you or worship the ground you walk on, making everything you do in Red Dead Redemption both lasting and important. John Marston's actions are reflected in the game masterfully, and you can make your own reputation as you see fit.
Along with the main story, Red Dead Redemption also contains deep multiplayer modes that encourage you to form a fearsome posse, completely with a variety of match types. If you simply want to mosey along, you can even catch a few rounds of poker, or simply go hunting in groups. And, of course, there's always extra DLC like the Undead Nightmare mission pack, which puts a bit of horror into the Wild West.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Playing Skyrim quickly becomes a bit of a problem. It's an expansive world that gives you the freedom to do almost anything from the moment you create the look of your character. Bethesda's sequel to Oblivion is massive, and with the options at your fingertips, you can spend hundreds of hours exploring the edges of the in-game world.
In Skyrim, much of the game revolves around traversing the amazingly detailed landscape, hunting dragons and absorbing their magical powers. Eventually, you'll have to face the dragon god Alduin in order to save the world, but several quests and smaller adventures pave the road between you and the end of the game. Throughout the course of Skyrim, you can learn dozens of spells and collects piles of weapons, all while collecting literally every single thing you can pick up--books, pots, armor, wildlife pelts, and even other people's clothes.
The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
Ico's original debut saw a cult classic get overlooked by many gamers, while Shadow of the Colossus pushed the PlayStation 2 well past its limits near the end of the console's lifetime. But thankfully, the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection brings some new life to both games. Each adventure, now in glorious HD, gets the proper tribute it deserves on the PS3 hardware, and not a moment too soon--they're just as brilliant as they were years ago.
In Ico, you play the role of a young boy cursed with horns on his head, banished from his village thanks to a cruel ritual. Left alone in an immense castle to die, Ico escapes his bonds and meets Yorda, a mysterious girl with magical powers that can open the various barriers within the castle. What follows is the ultimate escort mission, as you must guide Yorda over dangerous obstacles and through hordes of shadowy enemies in order to escape the dark -- she can't defend herself, and without her, you're sunk.
Shadow of the Colossus, however, is both similar, and yet, the polar opposite -- playing as a young man called Wander, the entire game consists of boss battles with titanic creatures called the Colossi. Armed with only a bow, a magical sword, and your trusty horse, the game makes each boss battle a puzzle, as you must mount, climb, and slay each giant without losing your footing and getting crushed. Although the world is devoid of anything but Wander and the Colossi, it's still somehow rich with life and beautifully rendered.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Stellar graphics, enormous set-piece environments, and great acting compliments Nathan Drake's third world tour, as Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception proves that developer Naughty Dog still has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. Although the game once again follows Nate and his mentor Sully across the world from England to Yemen in search of another lost treasure, the story also takes a dive into the past of both main characters and how they partnered up. Altogether, it's the same "Hollywood blockbuster" type of adventure, but with even better visuals and technology behind it.
Of course, Uncharted 3 also delivers handsomely on the gameplay side, with Drake learning brand-new melee attacks and "shoot at everything while climbing around" combat maneuvers. Uncharted 3's mulitplayer introduces a few new features such as customizable characters and weapons, along with "active maps" that take noticeable cues from the single-player campaign. Several modes additionally round out the mulitplayer, including deathmatches, free-for-all shootouts, and treasure hunting co-op trials, in the franchise's unique spin on capture the flag.
Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City might be the best video game of the year, and it's certainly the best superhero game of all-time. Taking the Dark Knight out of the insane asylum and letting him loose on the streets, Batman: Arkham City's open world invites gamers to really explore every nook and cranny of the criminal-infested alleys. Or, you can deviate from crime fighting altogether and put your brain to task hunt down the elusive Riddler trophies.
Everything that Batman: Arkham Aslyum was, Arkham City is more. It's more exploration, thanks to new bat-gadgets and an incredibly satisfying gliding system that lets you hone in on targets. It's more combat, and not just with Batman, but Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing, thanks to both in-game content and a generous amount of DLC. And it's more of the game great gameplay that we enjoyed from the previous title, stretched out into more memorable boss battles, refined combat, and several exhilarating 30-to-1 brawls. No other game nails the feeling of being the Caped Crusader with such near perfection. Simply put, it's the best Batman game in history.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, BioShock 2, Borderlands, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Crysis 2, Dead Space 2, Gran Turismo 5, Grand Theft Auto IV, Heavy Rain, Infamous 2, Killzone 3, L.A. Noire, LittleBigPlanet 2, Mass Effect 2, Mortal Kombat, Rage, Resistance 3, Rock Band 3, Saints Row: The Third, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Yakuza 4.