Home > Gaming Wednesdays > The Cheap Ferret’s Top 15 PS3 Titles

The Cheap Ferret’s Top 15 PS3 Titles

November 20, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Last week saw the release of the PlayStation 4 in North America, with the European release looming just a week away, and while I don’t personally own one yet since I’m waiting for more games to come out for the thing, I figured I’d tie in an entry to it all the same. I can’t offer any opinion on the new console, so here are my thoughts on the last generation.

Here are my top 15 PlayStation 3 titles. Feel free to argue with me about my terrible tastes, but I stand by this list no matter what anybody says. Some may feel there are missing entries here, but I either didn’t play them or they simply didn’t win me over as much as anybody else.

Let’s goooooo!

15 – Gran Turismo 5 (Sony, Polyphony Digital)

Gran Turismo 5 is a game about cars. If you don’t like cars, chances are you won’t particularly like Gran Turismo 5. If you like cars, Gran Turismo 5 is right up your street, revving its engine seductively.

I’m not a massive petrolhead who understands the nuances of a properly weighted drive belt or a fully calibrated carburettor gear stick. The fact that sentence was literally a jumble of car terms I’ve heard the many times my real life car has broken down strung together to make myself sound intelligent should be an indicator of how much I’m interested in cars.

That said, there’s something rather fantastic about Gran Turismo 5. Perhaps it’s the sheer scale of it, with the ability to collect all the cars and constantly upgrade and tinker and play around as if it’s some kind of bizarre RPG where all your party members are Nissans. Perhaps it’s because there’s so much to do. Perhaps it’s because I can drive a DeLorean around and shout out Emmett Brown impressions while I play and amuse myself for hours. Whatever the reason, I like Gran Turismo 5. I think it’s good.

14 – Folklore (Sony, Game Republic)

Folklore is Pokémon made by an Irish Tim Burton. That should be enough to recommend it, if it weren’t for the fact that Tim Burton simply isn’t very good these days. So instead, this is Pokémon made by Tim Burton circa Edward Scissorhands.

Folklore is an early PS3 exclusive that stars a girl named Ellen who travels to a remote Irish village after receiving a letter supposedly from her deceased mother. No, it doesn’t turn out that she smothered her mother with a pillow. Instead, she somehow ends up in the Netherworld and becomes a Pokémon trainer.

The game is an action RPG where you collect strange creatures known as Folks, each of whom has a different attack, and when Ellen (or the sarcastic journalist sidekick Keats) attacks, the Folk attacks for her. It’s a rather fun system, and the game as a whole is quirky and entertaining, and it’s definitely a hidden gem from the PS3’s dark days.

13 – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots (Konami, Kojima Productions)

Metal Gear is an interesting series, largely because while others might approach it as a top-notch stealth game that tries to talk about dark political issues and the ramifications of being a SOLDIIIIIERRRR, I enjoy the Metal Gear franchise because it’s utterly silly.

While MGS4 wasn’t quite on the same silly level as MGS2 with the cheesy romance angle or the babbling colonel, or MGS3’s Snake Wrasslin’ and Ape Escape crossovers, it had its moments, and did a fine job of trying to bring the myriad storylines of the game together in one big package. At times it succeeded, at times it didn’t, but ultimately you get to pilot Metal Gear Rex and fight Ray so as far as I’m concerned it’s the best game of 2008.

I vote it down for Kojima’s writing and directing, which could really use an editor, and the fact that you couldn’t control Cyborg Raiden until five years later when Rising was released. And that’s about it, really.

12 – Assassin’s Creed II (Ubisoft)

Yes, OK, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has become a cash cow franchise much like Call Of Duty, pumped out annually to line Ubisoft’s pockets regardless of quality or necessity. The recent release of Black Flag, despite the game’s overall storyline essentially ending in AC3, is proof of this.

But this doesn’t stop Assassin’s Creed II from being genuinely awesome. After the first game proved to be incredibly repetitive and boring after a while, AC2 took everything and made a much more well-rounded and complete package that was enjoyable for hours.

Ezio was a cool character I actually liked, the gameplay was engaging and fun, and the storyline was still at an interesting point before it started disappearing up its own arse and getting too weird. Basically, Assassin’s Creed II is the perfect Assassin’s Creed game, and anyone who tries to tell me otherwise is a fool, and it’s enjoyable enough that it made my top 15.

11 – Dead Space (EA, Visceral Games)

Ignoring the rather depressingly action-oriented and microtransaction-riddled Dead Space 3, when the original Dead Space came out, it was great news. Dead Space took elements from movies like Alien, Event Horizon and The Thing and smushed them together to make a gory but atmospheric horror smoothie.

Dead Space was the right blend of tense atmosphere and action, showing that survival horror is still a viable option in the video game world. It was tense, it was exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I have yet to fully play through the second game, but I’m looking forward to it. The third game…not so much.

10 – Tomb Raider (Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

At this point, some of the more rabid Tomb Raider fans are going to come rushing at me with pitchforks and torches, ready to burn me on a stake made from a support column nicked from the former Core Design office. I have seen so many complaints in the Tomb Raider community that Tomb Raider 2013 is pure blasphemy and we need to destroy everyone responsible.

To those fans I say shut your faceholes. I’ve been a Tomb Raider fan since the late 90s. I dropped my controller in terror when a T Rex burst around the corner in the first game. I was there when Angel Of Darkness happened and ruined everything. I watched those Angelina Jolie movies and was massively disappointed by how utterly dull Cradle Of Life was. I read Douglas Coupland’s pretentious published fanfiction. I’ve seen it all, I’ve been there. My Tomb Raider credentials are sound. AND I SAY THIS!

Tomb Raider 2013 is actually pretty good. No, it did not destroy Lara Croft’s character. No, it did not lose sight of what made Tomb Raider good. No, Core Design do not need to reform and reboot the series again and give us another AoD.

I enjoyed every minute of Tomb Raider. It gave the series the kick up the arse the series needed. It took the focus off Lara’s body and onto the game mechanics. It re-introduced tricky puzzles (and don’t say Survival Instincts made it pointless since you didn’t have to use them). It gave Lara a real sense of character, and ultimately I can see her growing into the Lara we all know and love.

My only gripe with Tomb Raider 2013 is that it felt rather short, and maybe Lara’s drift from innocent university student to friggin’ Rambo was a little too sudden, but otherwise, I liked the game and I eagerly await a sequel.

9 – Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction (Sony, Insomniac Games)

Of all the Ratchet & Clank games released, this is not only my favourite of this gen, but also my favourite overall. It’s very much the definitive Ratchet & Clank game in my eyes. It took all the best elements of the first three games on the PS2, dropped all the deadweight like the collect 100 trinkets in this big empty area challenges and the Holovid diversions, ramped up the comedy and the graphical quality and offered up a huge dose of pure space-jumpy-shooty anyone could ask for.

In fact, it’s so good that it’s clear Insomniac had no idea what to do next. After this, we had the short PSN side-story A Quest For Booty, which was just more of the same. A Crack In Time tried to be too serious-face and featured the titular heroes separated for way too long. All 4 One and Q-Force tried too hard to be something the franchise isn’t.

But never mind. I’m hearing Into The Nexus might not be too bad, but in my eyes, Tools Of Destruction is still the best Ratchet & Clank game, and for this I need to include it.

8 – Mirror’s Edge (EA, DICE)

 

Mirror’s Edge is a game about running and it divided many people on release. It didn’t sell very well, and the concept of the game, which essentially took everyone’s least favourite part of any first person game and built an entire game around it.

But Mirror’s Edge is a game that keeps drawing me back in, time and time again. It’s an incredibly addictive game that I’m glad I didn’t skip over. It’s a game that initially seems flat and too linear for its own good, but then turns into a challenging monster of a game that taunts you with its tricky speedruns and time trials and demands that you keep trying until you beat it.

I still have not beaten it, but I absolutely want to, even if it kills me, and if that’s not the sign of a good game, then I don’t know what is.

7 – Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch (Namco Bandai, Level-5)

Studio Ghibli is an amazing animation studio and they make excellent films that I could spend hours talking about because they’re so good. So naturally when top JRPG developer Level-5 announced they were working with Ghibli, you bet I was all over that.

I was not disappointed. Ni No Kuni is an excellent JRPG that’s both challenging but accessible. It has quirky characters and a great sense of humour. Drippy is my new favourite character. I love it just as much as any Ghibli movie. I want to hug the game because it’s so wonderful.

There you go, Level-5. Use that quote for your box.

“I want to hug the game because it’s so wonderful” – L.Haydn Price, The Cheap Ferret

6 – LittleBigPlanet (Sony, Media Molecule)

Speaking of immensely huggable video games, here are the adventures of Sackboy. I’m cheating a little here, because when I say LittleBigPlanet, I mean the entire LBP family of games, although Karting isn’t as interesting as the main two PS3 titles. I just simply cannot decide which of the two is better.

LittleBigPlanet is the antidote to a sea of brown and grey shooters. It’s a game that encourages creativity, does everything it can to make you smile, and all while demonstrating a fun but challenging game engine. And it has Stephen Fry as its narrator, and as such I find it hard not to write about LittleBigPlanet without hearing him speak as I type. And now you’re imagining him reading this too, aren’t you?

But LittleBigPlanet was a wonderful game and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

5 – Bioshock (2K Games, Irrational Games)

When I first heard about Bioshock, I was in the midst of anti-FPS mode. I turned my nose up at the game, convinced it was just some shooty mess of a game with no heart or soul, and just as bad as all the other shooters I find so dull.

I was so very wrong. Bioshock is a phenomenal game. The art design is fantastic, the political themes of the story aren’t heavy-handed and finger-wagging to a ridiculous degree, the storyline was shocking for the most part, and it was incredibly atmospheric. Visiting Rapture was a mixture of joy and terror.

I put this on the list over Bioshock Infinite because Infinite failed to live up to the promise of the first game, presenting a much more linear structure and a less well-constructed storyline. It was good, but Bioshock was better.

4 – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Sony, Naughty Dog)

As much as I’m a Tomb Raider fan, I do have to admit that the Indiana Jones style action adventuring crown has been stolen this generation. Nathan Drake and his band of merry women and one sleazy old man presented a much more complete and entertaining franchise than its breast-equipped predecessor.

And Uncharted 2 is the best of the bunch. Drake’s Fortune was clumsy and finding its feet, while Drake’s Deception tried too hard to do too much and ended up confused and slightly nonsensical. But Among Thieves got it right. It was over the top, it was funny, it had great character interaction, it had great action, fluid gameplay and was simply just sheer fun.

3 – Valkyria Chronicles (Sega)

Valkyria Chronicles did something I never thought possible. It made me like tactical RPGs and it made me like a game about war without needing silly Easter eggs like the ability to make your character masturbate to softcore porn hanging in a locker (see: Metal Gear).

Valkyria Chronicles presents an anime fantasy version of World War II and places you in the role of Switzerland, if the Swiss suddenly found themselves sitting on huge deposits of oil. It focuses on the plucky ragtag band of heroes called Squad 7, led by an inexperienced tank commander and a baker from a border village.

Valkyria Chronicles is challenging, it’s exciting, and it’s actually got a pretty decent plot, despite the incredibly anime diversions such as a day at the beach for no reason other than to see Alicia Melchiott in a skimpy bikini. I loved this game, and spent hours trying to strategize and plot in order to attain victory, and the best part is that multiple strategies will work. It may be mostly turn-based and board-game like, but you do feel in full control of the action. And what more could you ask for?

2 – Portal & Portal 2 (Valve)

Yes, OK, I’m cheating by putting both of them. But honestly, I cannot separate them and decide which one is better. Portal 2 is the natural extension of Portal. It offers more content than its predecessor, but going into it without the first game under your belt is simply sheer madness.

Everything about these two games was perfect. The character of GLaDOS was fantastic, the puzzles were fiendishly difficult at times and the portal mechanic was entirely unique. The sequel introduced brand new types of puzzles and the character of Wheatley, but lost absolutely none of the charm. The co-op mode was also a lot of fun.

But there was only one game that impressed me more than the Portal duo, and that is…

1 – The Last Of Us (Sony, Naughty Dog)

You may have guessed this was going to make an appearance after my gushing opinion piece on the game a while back. Yes, it’s a zombie game and yes, it’s another game with a gruff white male protagonist, but it does a lot with those elements to make a highly engaging final product that made me very happy indeed.

Or sad, depending on which part I was on at the time.

It showed how to do stealth well. It showed how to make a vulnerable character not irritating to play. It taught Quantic Dream a thing or two about how to make an interesting story-driven video game. It’s all these things and is also just a fantastic game that everyone who owns a PS3 should play immediately. I’m serious.

So that’s my top 15. You probably disagree with a lot of it, but it’s what I consider to be the best games of this generation. Feel free to leave comments on my choices, and maybe even suggest your own top 15s, or even games that you felt I overlooked. Or you could tweet me @TheCheapFerret instead if you so wish.

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