Valkyria Chronicles takes players back to a fictional 1930s Europe for some highly stylised strategic warfare. The empire is attempting to take control of a neutral country, and it's your job to defend it. The game blends RPGs with tactical gameplay, and presents it all in an eye-catching, painterly art style.
28. Persona 5 (PS3)
The Persona series had been picking up steam, especially with PS Vita's Persona 4: Golden, but Persona 5 is the one that really broke through to the masses. This hugely successful JRPG combines engaging turn-based combat with an incredibly stylish art style to great effect. Charting the adventures of a teenage gang known as the Phantom Thieves, the game also contains a lengthy narrative and a superb soundtrack. With everything combined, you're looking at one of the best games in its genre.
We owe a lot to Demon's Souls, the progenitor of what would become the hugely successful Dark Souls series. FromSoftware's innovative action RPG was vastly different from anything else at the time, giving players a deliberately stern challenge even just fighting regular enemies. Across large, varied levels, the game established many things we now take for granted in modern action games. While Dark Souls did pretty much everything better a few years later, Demon's Souls was the original experiment, and the PS5 remake proves it was a brilliant game that was ahead of its time.
26. Dark Souls (PS3)
What even needs to be said about Dark Souls at this point? Off the back of the successful but underplayed Demon's Souls, this game quickly became one of the most influential releases in gaming's short history. FromSoftware's action RPG presented players with an interconnected world filled with seemingly impossible threats, delivering a difficult challenge that was incredibly satisfying to overcome. Throw on top online co-op (and invasions), deeply customisable playstyles, and an iconic, dark fantasy look, and you have yourself a modern classic.
A transformative title that put British developer Rocksteady among the very best, Batman: Arkham Asylum’s psychological storyline captivated players from start-to-finish. It also introduced a violently compelling combat system, designed around counters and combos, which would go on to be replicated by dozens of other superhero titles, including Sony’s own Marvel’s Spider-Man. But this wasn’t just about fisticuffs and fancy cinematics: the titular Arkham Asylum proved a labyrinthine playground for the Caped Crusader’s gadgets and gizmos, requiring Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego to use his brain just as much as his brawn.
A hefty package that includes the original Ratchet & Clank PS2 trilogy remastered for PS3, the simply titled Ratchet & Clank Collection was a sure-fire hit with fans. With crazy intergalactic adventures spread across three surprisingly distinct games, this was a great way for players to catch up with the wisecracking duo ahead of their various PS3 escapades.
The bigger and apparently better sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City expanded upon the stealth-action-puzzle foundations of its predecessor, serving up one of the PS3's finest titles. The Caped Crusader is once again tasked with putting a stop to the machinations of Gotham's many baddies, which results in some incredible boss fights and memorable story moments. Widely regarded as one of the best superhero games ever made.
Ubisoft's mascot came back in grand style with Rayman Origins. The first to use the publisher's gorgeous UbiArt engine, this side-scrolling platformer is an absolute delight — not only visually, but across the board. Slick platforming, imaginative stages, chaotic co-op, and a fantastic soundtrack all contributed to bringing Rayman back to life in this joyous, well-rounded game. Its success would later be built upon by Rayman Legends, a sequel so big it contained many of the stages from Origins for good measure.
Final Fantasy X was an RPG that helped define the PS2, and so when Square Enix announced that it would be remastering the game for PS3 and PS4 — packaged alongside Final Fantasy X-2, no less — fans were unsurprisingly excited. Final Fantasy X's strengths lie in its ability to tell an intriguing character-driven story, all while guiding you across an often strange but wonderful world. A modern classic reborn.