Cards on the table, we envy the new adopter. Why? Because there’s never been a better time to invest in Sony’s PlayStation 3. Sure, the hardware may be six-years-old, but the quality of software speaks for itself, and if you’re one of those punters looking to pick up a PS3 this Christmas, then you’re in for a treat. Thanks to the launch of PS3 Super Slim, not only do you get a super sexy new console that consumes less power and doesn’t take up half your living room, but you also have hundreds of fantastic titles at your fingertips.
Of course, it’s a daunting task starting out, with an abundance of deals and titles on offer. As such, and with the holiday season fast approaching, PSU.com decided to cobble together this handy PS3 Game Guide for new buyers, allowing you to get an idea of the cream of the crop of PS3 titles that are sure to provide you with nothing but the best in videogame entertainment. Whether you’re a sports fan, platform fanatic or adventure aficionado, we’ve got you covered.
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FAMILY – SPORTS CHAMPIONS 2 / WONDERBOOK: BOOK OF SPELLS
Sports Champions 2 is one of the better PlayStation Move games out there, and a noticeable improvement over its predecessor. More importantly, it’s perfectly tailored to the family demographic, giving gamers young and old a chance to indulge in a variety of mini-games such as golf, tennis, archery and bowling. Sure, some games work better than others, but the precision afforded by Move in the majority of games makes this a treat to use, and the ideal companion for families looking for some pick-up-and-play, competitive-based gaming.
Meanwhile, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, the J.K. Rowling-fronted augmented-reality treat feast, makes an ideal purchase for those with younger children. The game will keep ankle biters happy for hours on end, allowing them to effectively be transformed into their own magical Harry Potter-esque fantasy land, where they’ll be trained in the ways of the wizard, craft spells and embark in all sorts of hocus-pocus related fun.
MULTIPLAYER – LITTLEBIGPLANET KARTING / PLAYSTATION ALL-STARS
PS3 offers a free online service for competitive and co-op multiplayer, and this year has seen two of the best social-heavy titles on the market. First up, LBP Karting takes the ‘Play, Create, Share’ philosophy of Media Molecule’s celebrated platform franchise and combines it with the accessibility of a kart racer. What you have here is not only a great racing game full of all the barmy power-ups and competitive antics of Mario Kart, but the chance to cobble together your own tracks and share them with other gamers across the globe. With nearly endless replay value, LBP Karting is worth every penny.
PlayStation All-Stars meanwhile is perfect for those of you looking for some competitive brawling. Staring some of Sony’s most iconic gaming characters, Battle Royale doesn’t bog you down with complicated mechanics; both hardcore and casual crowds can get the most out of this little gem with little effort. Aside from local multiplayer, the game boasts a robust online environment that’ll have you addicted for weeks and weeks. With a solid roster, heaps of crazy moves to learn and compelling combat, Battle Royale is one multiplayer title you simply must own.
ACTION-ADVENTURE – UNCAHRTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION / ASSASSIN’S CREED 3
As one of the most technically impressive games of this generation, Uncharted 3 is as close as it gets to taking part in a full-blown Indiana Jones-style epic. With a self-contained plot, there’s no need to play any of the previous entries in the Naughty Dog-developed series, so sit back and lap up one of the finest slices of adventure gaming on PS3. With scrumptious visuals, epic set-pieces and action-packed gameplay, Uncharted 3’s single-player will keep you hooked until the gripping climax, and when you’re done with that, there’s still the meaty multiplayer component to tuck into. Oh, and did we mention Drake himself, the cheeky chappy lead who is among the greatest game protagonist of all time?
Assassin’s Creed III meanwhile doesn’t completely rewrite the rule book when it comes to parkour-fused stabby shenanigans, but it comes bloody close. Powered by Ubisoft’s gorgeous Anvil Engine, ACIII introduces a new hero in the shape of Connor Kenway, and sets the action in the midst of the American Revolution. With a sprawling open-world to explore, heaps of side quests to tackle outside of the main campaign, and stealth-based multiplayer, ACIII is a state-of-the-art blockbuster filled with intricate storytelling and jaw-dropping vistas. Fancy tracking down Big Foot? You can do that. Want to take part in the Battle of Bunker Hill? No problem, it's all here and waiting to be explored.
FIRST-PERSON – BORDERLANDS 2 / KILLZONE 3
The original Borderlands was the surprise hit of 2009, and the sequel delivered everything you could possibly want from a loot-driven shooter. Boasting vibrant aesthetics and brilliant co-op gameplay, Borderlands 2 once again fuses FPS action with RPG elements, offering a 30 hour+ marathon packed with humour and intense gunplay. As mentioned the game has a solid co-op offering, and is unequivocally one of the best of its kind available on Sony’s black box – in fact, we urge you to dive straight in with a friend and give the single-player a wide birth as it’s best enjoyed with a mate.
Killzone meanwhile is one of the PS3’s tent pole franchises, and the latest series entry takes an already polished template and throws in a few new tweaks to spice things up. The premise is simple enough; blast down legions of Helgan troops while engaging in screen-filling boss battles and shoving your fingers into your opponent’s eyes at close range. It’s simple, but as far as adrenaline-fuelled blasters go, you won’t find anything more satisfying on your shiny new PS3. Throw in solid online component and you’ll find this difficult to put down. What, no Call of Duty you say? Nope, and for good reason – these two FPS beasts are better.
FIGHTING – SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV / TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2
Capcom rules the roost when it comes to beat-‘em-ups this generation, with the seminal slugger Super Street Fighter IV the cream of the crop among fighters. An update of the original SFIV, this critically acclaimed brawler combines the fluid, intricate fighting mechanics of the original release and improves upon one of the best online codes we’ve seen to date. SSFIV has it all: a diverse character roster, dozens of combos and special moves to master, and some of the most polished mechanics to grace a console fighting game. In fact, we’d almost advise you to forget about the competition since it’s just THAT good.
Having said that, if you want something a little different, then give Tekken Tag Tournament 2 a go. More accessible than Street Fighter, Tekken Tag packs a whopping 50+ fighters out of the box thanks to a recent title update, and its customisation options – which lets you kit out your combatant in a variety of crazy clobber – is among the most comprehensive of any beat-‘em-up this generation. The multiplayer is also fantastic, and while not quite as perfect as Street Fighter’s, will provide endless hours of entertainment as you attempt to rise through the online ranks. Furthermore, newcomers can enjoy a fancy training session to get to grips with the core fundamentals of Tekken, and there’s heaps of unlockable goodies to tuck into, including some hilarious character ending FMVs.
Stick with our guide and you won’t be disappointed this Christmas. Happy gaming!