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Feature: Games of the Generation - Nathan's Five Favourites

Posted by Nathan Michalik

Massive decisions

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

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.

MAG

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.

Heavy Rain

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.

LittleBigPlanet 2

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.

Flower

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.

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User Comments (20)

MadchesterManc

#1

MadchesterManc said:

@nathanuc1988 Agree totally on the inclusion of MAG. No shooter this generation has come close to how enthralling that game was. I mustve sunk about 400 hours into that. I dont think we'll get another shooter like that for a good while now so I may pop onto the game a few times before the servers are closed in January. You never get the OIC position? I did once and I can assure you that commanding & leading 127 people into battle was probably one of the most high pressure moments in my life. It was either luck or brilliant leadership that we won that battle....

get2sammybAdmin

#2

get2sammyb said:

@MadchesterManc I also second the nod to MAG. While I wouldn't include it in my personal top five, I definitely sunk more hours into this than any other PS3 shooter other than CoD4 and Killzone 2. It was a fantastic concept that I feel needed a sequel to really realise its potential.

I know for a fact that a follow-up was in development, so it's a shame that it never saw the light of day. Zipper should have focused on that instead of SOCOM 4 in my opinion.

ferrers405

#3

ferrers405 said:

I played Demon's Souls and Heavy Rain and didn't like them, flower i enjoy a lot, i'm currently playing LBP2 but after playing the vita version sounds like a downgrade for me, all said i wouldn't include any of this in my list.

ztpayne7

#4

ztpayne7 said:

When does mag close? We should all have one last go at it before the servers shut down?

Itachi

#6

Itachi said:

Heavy Rain was something special. It was almost like watching a movie, yet you were playing a game. I would like to see more games made in that genre. Perhaps whenever Sony deploys their rumored Virtual Reality helmet it'll open the doors up for more games of that type. I really hope Sony has an Oculus Rift type of device in the works, it just feels like the time is right.

Gemuarto

#8

Gemuarto said:

Gravity Rush is the best game of generation, period.

Mwahahahahaha.... but I also can name Mass Effect Trilogy, Infamous 2 and Dragon's Dogma. Those made me feel like nextgen and never before.

And best indie game I've played is by all means Thomas was Alone.

And best DLC of generation goes to Heavy Rain Taxidermist. It was just best horror game ever.

CanisWolfred

#10

CanisWolfred said:

@FullbringIchigo You're not alone, man. Heck, Half of these games are my least favorite games of this generation. Namely MAG and Heavy Rain. I just made a list of games I felt stood out this gen somewhere else. Maybe I'll post them in the forums...

EDIT: No offense intended towards Nathan. I'm sure it's been obvious for a while that our tastes just don't line up.

JMC

#11

JMC said:

I completely agree with the inclusion of Heavy Rain. The game was gripping and I couldn't stop playing it until I got to the end. After I finished I convinced some friends that it was a really good game and, even though they don't like playing games, they played Heavy Rain to the end.
About the other games the only one I played was Flower and, while I kinda liked it, it would never be on my top 5 list.

NathanUC

#13

NathanUC said:

@MadchesterManc OIC was usually more frustrating than stressful for me. Later in the games life, no one wanted to listen or pay attention to orders making it hard to get anything done correctly. I had a small clan that I'd usually run with to offset this.

@CanisWolfred Absolutely none taken. This generate had such a huge variety of games that I'm sure almost everyone here would have very different lists. MAG had a bit of a higher learning curve compared to most other FPS and Heavy Rain seemed to be a love/hate game for many people.

@Madd_Hatter401 I will admit I never got around to finishing The Last of Us. It was a great and beautiful game, but for some reason I never really felt compelled to finish it.

JamieOStaff

#14

JamieO said:

I really like @nathanuc1988's list, it reflects the diversity in taste between each staff member at Push Square, even early on in our 'Games of the Generation' series of features.

My list is a bit heavy on blockbusters, but I think Nathan's selections cover a greater sense of contrast between each gaming genre. I always have time for the LittleBigPlanet games, and it's interesting that Nathan chose the PlayStation exclusive Demon's Souls over its multi-platform spiritual sequel. It's good to see the original release receive some kudos.

Great stuff Nathan, I look forward to reading the other Push Square staff member's lists, too.

LDXD

#15

LDXD said:

Fully agree with demon's souls it was the game to get me to break down and buy a ps3 in the first place and I don't regret that one bit its the game that actually got me addicted to gaming again and is one of the best games I've played in a long long time

Godsire-

#16

Godsire- said:

I know I am going to get killed for this, but I thought Demon's Souls was terrible. I won't waste anyone's time going on a long rant to explain why, but I just hated that game.

Nice to see a Little Big Planet game to make one of these lists. LBP2 was everything LBP was and much more. Great game.

NathanUC

#17

NathanUC said:

@Godsire- Demon's Souls wasn't for everyone. I know a lot of people who just couldn't get behind the initial learning curve or difficulty of the game. If you can't you're gunna have a bad time.

I don't think anyone could justify calling LBP2 a bad game though :P

CanisWolfred

#20

CanisWolfred said:

@nathanuc1988 I did not like LittleBig Planet 2. Not because it was bad, but I felt like it was trying way too hard to be charming...and failed miserably. In the end it just felt rather bland and forgettable to me, at least in the Story Mode. The game's focus is supposed to be player-generated content, but I don't buy into that kind of stuff, so the story was all I had to play and I just didn't enjoy it. It's not a bad game, but it isn't for me.

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