The winner of the Ultimate PS3 Showdown is…

From the moment we began our Ultimate PS3 Showdown and embarked on a quest to unearth the greatest PlayStation 3 game ever through our community’s votes, we knew that things would get heated. And heated they became. Discussion and debate raged over weeks of competition as our initial line-up of 32 games was narrowed down to 16, then eight, then four… until only two remained. Those two, as decided by the PSU community of readers, fans, and forum members, were God of War III and Heavy Rain.

These two PS3 exclusives really need no explanation. One is the most epic, ultra-polished action game of all time, and the other is a fresh breath of interactive awesome in a generation inundated with sequel burnout and tired genres. The contenders rose from their respective corners, each ready to fight for the title and your vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Best PS3 Game Ever is… GOD OF WAR III

Or is it simply the most popular? Many would argue that there is no such thing as objective quality; the emotions that build inside each of us and the feelings we develop for a particular game could have nothing to do with its innovation, or visual quality, or even storytelling. No, the mark of "quality" is a bit more personal than the solace offered through numbers and review scores. What about the indie title that helps you deal with the death of a loved one? Or the less-than-stellar summer release whose wiki you pore over because you find its mythology fascinating? Who’s to say that games like these aren’t the "Best PS3 Game Ever" – only you can decide that for yourself.

That said, we here at PSU Towers were happy to put on this tournament for fun and for prizes, and we’re already looking ahead and figuring out how we can make the whole experience better for you. So, drop a line in our contest feedback thread and tell us what we did wrong (or right!). We’re here to serve you, loyal reader, and your input is our most valuable commodity.

‘Hold on a minute,’ you say. "What about the free PS3 game?’ That’s right! Good catch. We promised a free PS3 game or pre-order for the PSU community member who scored the most points with his/her official contest entry. We asked you all to take a stab at predicting the Final Four, Championship Round, and Champion of our Ultimate PS3 Showdown, and you answered the call. We’ve checked and double-checked every entry, tallying points by our tiered scoring system, and we’ve arrived at our winner.

Congratulations to snova34z, who correctly predicted that God of War III would advance to the finals and win it all! snova34z scored a total of 7 points, a good margin above the 3-4 points many of you gathered.

Well, that just about does it for our first-ever Ultimate PS3 Showdown. We’d like to extend a sincere "Thank you!" to everyone who participated by voting or commenting – every one of you made this possible. Remember to drop us a line in this thread and tell us how we can improve!