Welcome to Push Square’s all-encompassing Games of the Generation series. In the lead up to the PlayStation 4’s release later this week, we’ll be rounding up our writers in an effort to look back at some of their favourite PlayStation 3 games. These titles have been hand-selected personally by each individual author. Below are Reviews Editor Greg Giddens' favourites, ready and waiting to be critiqued by you lot.
Despite technological advancements in artificial intelligence, graphics, sound, storytelling, and emotive experiences, this generation wasn't my favourite. Perhaps through the eyes of nostalgia, I'll look back on it more fondly, but for now I still prefer what came before with the PSone and PS2. However, there were still some absolutely stunning games to enjoy. Some of these titles I hope to see survive the generation switch, others I hope to play again as either re-releases or via the PS4's promised Gaikai support. Let me tell you about them.
Heavenly Sword was the first game that I played on the PS3. I wasn't able to pick up a system at launch, and by the time that I could, Ninja Theory's title had become part of a bundle, and it was truly impressive to play. The visuals were exceptional, and the facial capture was remarkable. Seeing Anna Torv and Andy Serkis bring their respective characters Nariko and King Bohan to life both visually and vocally was believable, emotional, humorous, and immersive. And although the hack 'n slash mechanics were repetitive, they were nuanced enough so that skill was required, while the overall story was more than enough to keep me playing through to the end. On completion, you unlocked 'Making Of' features, so that you could see the tremendous cast and crew shape this adventure. It was an excellent introduction to Sony's new console.
I'm a huge fan of the Resident Evil series, and when the fifth numbered outing was announced from Capcom my excitement could barely be contained. Resident Evil 5 was created for a new hardware generation – and it looked stunning. I enjoyed the story, the action orientated experience, the star emblem collectibles, infinite ammo weapon progression – everything about it was terrific. It was a blend of new mixed with old; it felt like a Resident Evil title that had gone through its natural evolution. A good friend and I played through the main story cooperatively on the Professional difficulty level – It was painful at times, but we persevered and conquered it all, until I pressed quit by mistake, and I blew countless hours of hard work while tackling the Desperate Escape DLC. My friend and I didn't talk to each other for a few weeks after that, he could barely look at me. Hell, I could barely look at myself.
Seemingly endless cut scenes, over the top melodramatic storytelling, military-themed conspiracies, action, and espionage. Yes indeed, the Metal Gear Solid series was right up my alley. The fourth title was supposed to be the last; the end of Solid Snake and his clones, but of course, more is still to come with Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain – and I'm over the moon about it. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was an excellent adventure that brought the long running story to a conclusion. Well, a conclusion of sorts. It incorporated elements from all of the titles that came before, and delivered some new, truly stunning set pieces. It was terrific.
Morrowind devoured dozens of hours when I played it on the PC – it was my first Elder Scrolls experience, and it begun my love affair with the series. It was an era when consoles couldn't really compete against the mighty personal computer, but by the time that the next instalment saw release, the HD consoles changed all that. Playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on PS3 was fantastic: gorgeous visuals, amazing music, and hundreds of hours worth of quests. I immersed myself in its splendour for over 130 hours – every quest completed, my combat and magic skills were feared across the land, and my enchanting had crafted a lightweight robe with enough shield spells to make me practically immortal. It did lead to some socially and morally questionable habits, though. A little too often, I would kill people, strip them of their clothes, and place an apple on their naked flesh. The Red Delicious Killer is what I called myself... I am not crazy.
I adore the WipEout series, so when I heard that an HD version was in the works, my anticipation was giddy and intractable. I gleefully downloaded it through my unstable and slow internet connection – which took hours – but eventually I was able to enjoy the high speed anti-gravity splendour of WipEout HD, and it was utterly glorious. However, it was missing my favourite mode from the third WipEout title, the one where you had to hunt down and destroy your fellow racers rather than race them. Fortunately, the Fury DLC came along and re-introduced that very mode, and with it, WipEout HD became truly exceptional. I was devastated when the studio closed, and I hope one day that we'll see the series return somehow.
Have Greg's choices struck a chord with you? Would any of these titles fit into your own list? Let us know in the comments section below.