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, and we’re kicking things off with Staff Writer Nathan Michalik’s diverse selection.
While I wasn’t initially impressed with the jump from the last generation to this current one, the strides that game developers have made in the last three or four years have really turned my opinion around. The technology has remained pretty much consistent, but the overall quality and quantity of games really grew with time. Even with dated hardware and a library of over five years' worth of games, PlayStation 3 titles being released today still manage to intrigue me, making Sony's console my go-to gaming device. Looking back, it’s extremely difficult to choose only five releases that made this console so great – I could list at least thirty.
Demon's Souls was one of the first games that truly mesmerised me this generation. It was unforgiving and challenging, yet extremely fair. Every time that I died, it was completely my fault, and it provided me with ideas on how to better survive that next fight. Reading other players' notes while traversing harsh worlds was one of the most unique forms of multiplayer I had encountered, the boss fights were well designed, the game's atmosphere was immersive, and the gameplay was fluid and exciting. All of these aspects made for a masterpiece that I easily put over five hundred hours into.
There's no denying that first person shooters have been one of the most popular and plentiful genres of this generation. MAG was the first multiplayer FPS that stood out to me since the original Unreal Tournament back on Dreamcast and PC – the massive maps and the title's 256-player count really set it apart from the competition at the time. Once, as a platoon leader, I single-handedly ran into a failing base, revived half of my squad, and subsequently lead our team to victory. Put simply, no other shooter has ever given me the amount of joy that MAG has.
I remember sitting down and playing Heavy Rain for about ten hours straight because I simply couldn’t tear myself away, and it's fairly rare for me to play a single game for more than a couple hours at a time. The title's graphics blew me away, and the narrative remains one of my favourites in any game on any platform. While future experiences didn't quite manage to capture the same magic as during my first playthrough, the PlayStation Move patch that was later released is probably my favourite use of the alternate controller. If it hasn't yet been spoiled for you, do yourself a favour and play this masterpiece.
It’s almost impossible to find someone who hasn't enjoyed Sackboy's second adventure. It had elements that appealed to all types of gamers, and an endless supply of content. The platforming controls and physics were spot on and simple enough so that players of all ages could enjoy what the title had to offer. Not only that, but LittleBigPlanet 2's level editor is still the most powerful on the platform to date, allowing some skilled users to remake entire classics such as Final Fantasy VII and Super Mario. Couple this with cross controller PlayStation Vita support, and the creative freedom was almost limitless.
At its time of release, there was much debate as to whether or not Flower was a piece of art or a video game. To me, it didn’t matter – thatgamecompany's title was amazing. It was the first PS3 release that I played which sold me on Sixaxis controls, as well as being the first title that I used to show off the system's power to friends. The colours were vibrant, the physics were awesome, and the soundtrack was one of the best that I’ve ever heard. This is a game that still gets loaded up at least every other month despite its age. Game or art piece, I think it’s one of the best titles of the generation.
Are you singing from the same gaming hymn sheet as our Nathan? Would you include any of the above five titles on your own list? Let us know in the comments section below.