Well, I was originally going to postpone the top ten until December because of a busy school schedule for the rest of December, but my small town just outside of Buffalo, NY is currently being sacked by a record snowstorm. There's 48 inches and rapidly counting. Roads are closed and schools are cancelled, so I'm left with some time on my hands. Here's the first half of my top ten favorite PlayStation 3 games. From here on out, there are only games that I love and hold near to my heart. Here's the list so far:
33. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
32. Far Cry 3
31. Grand Theft Auto V
30. MLB 13: The Show
29. Call of Duty: World at War
28. Assassin's Creed III
27. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
26. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
25. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
23. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
22. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
21. Infamous 2
20. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
19. Bioshock Infinite
18. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
16. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
15. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
14. Assassin's Creed II
13. Heavy Rain
12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
11. Fallout: New Vegas
10. Battlefield: Bad Company
Developer/Publisher: EA DICE/EA
Genre: Military FPS
Last blog, I got into why I think Battlefield: Bad Company is an outstanding military FPS series in a marketplace full of them. The teamwork, the large maps with shifting objective areas, the vehicles, the humor, the characters, and the equality among weapon classes. BFBC2 may be the crowing achievement in the Battlefield series, but it's Bad Company 1 that will always be my favorite multiplayer shooter and military FPS. I have so many memories of playing this game online with friends that I truly cherish to this day. Sneaking up behind enemies (and occasionally friendlies) and launching them 45 feet into the air with C4, finally getting a four-man squad into a helicopter, ready to unleash havoc before realizing that not one of us knew how to fly a helicopter and spinning out to our digital deaths, waiting for hours for the new free map pack to release including a map set on a golf course, etc. Through the excellent multiplayer alone, I have so many memories with this game. Then there's the campaign, which is still the funniest that I have played through. Hearing Haggard and Sweetwater joke back and forth during the lengthy sections of the game that had you transport your squad on a number of vehicles was always hilarious. EA DICE dared to be different with this game against the likes of Call of Duty, which had all the buzz back then. Not only did they succeed to be different, in my opinion, they created a more memorable game.
Favorite memory: When I was was a young warthog back in the 7th grade, COD4 was all the rage. I played it at my friends' house when I didn't a have a next gen console of my own and I was hooked on it. It was unlike anything I have ever played. So when my brother and I finally saved up enough money to buy a $500 PS3 at Best Buy, it was time to pick my first PS3 game. I wanted to go with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Since it was rated "M for Mature - 17" and I was only 15 at the time in 2008 (my brother was 12), my parents refused to let me get it. Distraught, I went with Bad Company instead. I loved it. I ended up getting COD4 for Christmas later that year ("I better not see your 12 year old brother playing it"), and while I loved that game too, it didn't quite match Bad Company for me. Thanks, mom and dad.
Favorite map: Oasis
9. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Rocksteady Studios/Eidos Interactive
Before this game, Batman videogames were mostly garbage fare. Then came this game from a rookie developer with an ambitious vision: a 'metroidvania' Batman game set in an open for exploration Arkham Asylum. I still remember looking at the pre-release screenshots here on Gamespot and just thinking to myself, "this game is too good to be true" just like Batman: Vengeance, which had the style but lacked substance. Then, the game came out and I picked it up on launch day. From that point on, my experience with this game exceeded my high expectations. The 'metroidvania' game design fit right in with Arkham Asylum, which was home to some of Batman's most famous enemies. You unlocked pieces of the Joker-taken-over asylum through gadgets and unlocked doors piece by piece. Like Kingdom Hearts and its Final Fantasy and Disney characters, you did not know which Batman villain you were going to run into next. Victor Zsasz. Killer Croc. Bane. Poison Ivy. SCARECROW! Even when you weren't face to face with a member of Batman's rogues gallery, you were finding well placed easter eggs throughout the corners of Arkham Asylum alluding to almost every Batman villain you could think of from a poster for the Penguin's Ice Berg Lounge to the Ratcatcher's costume stashed away in the vents. Arkham Asylum's open world was creepily realized with such authenticity to Batman's lore. Every corner of this game was deigned with such detail. What glued this game's cool story, great characters with classic voiceovers, and atmosphere together was its combat system. In this game, you were either freestyle brawling with awesome animations and gadgets or stealthily taking down enemies one by one. This game brought Batman to life.
Favorite memory: The Scarecrow encounters were some of the very best moments from last generation. Especially the last one. I remember freaking out, thinking that my game was glitching.
8. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Naughty Dog/Sony CE
When it comes to action games, Uncharted 3 is currently the gold standard. While it may not be as special to me as Uncharted 2 was at the time that it came out, it is as good, if not better. It had more unexpected turns. Nobody saw the chapter where you played as a young Nathan Drake coming between chapters of the awesome set piece missions that Uncharted has come to be known for. And make no mistake, this game's set pieces are the most insane of any Uncharted game. Unforgettable moments like the ship chapters, the burning down castle escape, and the cargo plane liftoff and fight stand out in particular. It's cinematic, sure, but it's also very interactive, perhaps more so than its predecessors in the series. You're climbing these walls while looking down and up, shooting and jumping your way through levels just like Indiana Jones would. But here, you're playing as Nathan Drake through a movie-like production with the best story of the trilogy.
GOTY Awards to its name: Best PS3 Exclusive 2011
7. L.A. Noire
Team Bondi/Rockstar Games
Here's a game that probably wouldn't wind up on many people's top ten, but I believe that L.A. Noire is an often neglected masterpiece and it's certainly one of my favorite games. I've plugged in 200+ hours into this game, unlocked the rare platinum trophy, had this game's data corrupt with my old PS3 and replayed the lost progress over again, drove every car in the game, etc. If you could do something on this game, I've probably done it, maybe twice. I only unlocked this game's platinum last year, after three years of first playing it. That said, I am still not sick of this game. I could pick it up right now and have a blast. Don't let this game's publisher and open world setting fool you, L.A. Noire is nothing like Grand Theft Auto, which maybe turns some people off. Instead of pulling off bank heists, listening to crude jokes, shooting 100 people in the face, killing anybody you want with anything you want, you'll be playing as L.A. police detective Cole Phelps. As Cole, you get to play the game in so many different and sometimes unique ways. You'll get assigned a case, drive to the crime scene with one of your partner cops, investigate the crime scene, interview and interrogate witnesses and persons of interest, and from then on, anything could happen. A witness could flee and you'll be in a car chase in pursuit. You could get a location, drive there, and find more clues and interview more people. Or you could get to the location and enter a giant shootout. The diversity of this game's gameplay is unmatched. And in my opinion, it's all great and interesting. The story takes many unexpected turns and is great and all, but the highlight of this game has to be its open world. It's actually unbelievable. I really cannot imagine how people created its massive open world which is PACKED with detail. The random houses that you pass on your way to an objective is just as detailed around its corners as the crime scenes that you investigate. Even more unbelievable is how authentic it is to 1940's L.A. There are well over 100 cars that are detailed after cars that existed in that time period. The outfits that the NPCs wear are just like they would look if you went in a time machine and went back to 1948. There are entire real life buildings that are faithfully recreated. It's an achievement in game design. And the sad thing is, because Bondi didn't give you many side missions that made you experience their high level of detail, many people missed out when playing it. But for people like me who always take their time and explore every inch of a game's map, Team Bondi's controversial work ethics didn't go unnoticed.
Favorite memory: While the story was great and had many cinematic twists and turns, nothing beats just driving around in the 1940s cars, listening to 1940s jams on the car radio, and taking in all the game's sights.
GOTY Awards to its name: Runner-up GOTY 2011, Best Soundtrack 2011, Best Graphics (Technical) 2011, Best Innovation 2011, Best New Character (Cole Phelps) 2011
6. Mass Effect Trilogy
So here's the cheat pick that I hinted towards last blog. While I have a clear ranking of which games are my favorite in the trilogy (ME1 is by far my favorite while ME3 is by far my least favorite), splitting these games up feels wrong. Because while the games progressively felt more shooter than RPG which I didn't really like, they are all the same overall Mass Effect experience. Your actions that you make in the first game will carry over to the third game. So essentially, everybody who played this trilogy had a different experience with it. For some people, ME1 characters played a major role in ME3. For others, they didn't even make it past the first game because of the decisions that you made. It's brilliant really. Unprecedented. But for every played of the game, you still experienced the same ME universe. Through both story progression and reading those little codex pages, you learned about the different races, planets, space stations, galaxies, important characters, and historical events that Bioware carefully created. They created their own lore and its all so interesting. As a player in this universe, you know firsthand why the Salarians talk so fast, why there are so few Krogan, why the Quarians where masks, etc. The overall story of the trilogy is great and so are the characters involved, but it's the gameplay options that make Mass Effect 1 my favorite in the series by far. In ME1, a mix of RPG elements and third person shooting made for a perfect one-two punch and both applied to the game's story wonderfully.
Favorite memory: Exploring the Citadel was awesome, first fighting Harbinger on that planet where everybody was frozen was eerie, using the Mako in ME1 is now nostalgic. But the memory of Mass Effect that I love the most is simply just talking to your different allies on the Normandy like Garrus, Tali, and Liara and learning more about them and forming a bond between these characters is what's unforgettable.
GOTY Awards to its name: Best RPG 2012, Runner-up GOTY 2010, Best RPG 2010, Best Sci-fi Game 2010
It's still snowing hard by the way, probably up to 5 feet now :P. The finale is next! All five of the games are masterpiece 10/10's in my opinion. Thanks for reading and please comment :)