Now that my "Top 35 PS3 Games" countdown blog series is finally completed, I thought it would be fun to break down my list in an analytic light. Here is what I discovered:
*Due to counting the Mass Effect Trilogy as one game on my list, there will be two additional tallies here (accounting for all three Mass Effect games in their respective release year).
**Mass Effect 1 will be counted as a 2012 game, since it didn't come to the PlayStation 3 until that year. Bioshock came to PS3 in 2008.
2006 - 1
2007 - 2
2008 - 6
2009 - 6
2010 - 7
2011 - 5
2012 - 5
2013 - 5
My Thoughts: It does not surprise me to see that 2010 has the highest number of contributions to the list. We are talking about a year that had Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Fallout: New Vegas. All five are in my top 15. The other two 2010 games on my list are LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. In the same year, the PS3 saw fan favorites such as Bayonetta, God of War III, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. 2010 also had an outstanding year on other platforms with Alan Wake, Halo: Reach, Super Meat Boy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Valkyria Chronicles II, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
I also think that it's notable that the PlayStation 3's first two years on the market are not well represented on this list. It wasn't until its third year (2008) that the console finally started getting the great games it will be remembered by. Games like Fallout 3, Bioshock, and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots are considered near masterpieces. LittleBigPlanet, Call of Duty: World at War, and Battlefield: Bad Company also made my list to make 2008 the second most represented year on my list, tied with a stellar 2009. Dead Space, Devil May Cry 4, Valkyria Chronicles, Far Cry 2, and Grand Theft Auto V did not make my own list, but are all considered great games that came out in 2008. My point here is that while 2013 and 2014 may have been a bit disappointing for new owners of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, the third year seems to be the charm. And with games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Halo 5: Guardians, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and Batman: Arkham Knight (to name a few) on their way to a 2015 release date, this year could be 2008 all over again.
*The additional tally is to account for Batman: Arkham Asylum, which was co-published by Warner Bros. and Eidos.
Sony Computer Entertainment - 10
Activision - 4
Ubisoft - 4
Bethesda Softworks - 3
Rockstar Games - 3
EA - 3
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment - 3
2K Games - 2
Eidos Interactive - 1
Namco Bandai - 1
Square Enix - 1
Konami - 1
My Thoughts: Obviously, the glaring number here is Sony's 10 games that it published out of the 35. Whether the games were developed by one of the many developers in their growing collection or through a third party, Sony did a fantastic job supporting their console with their own resources. However, I think it is important to note that they only published 3 games on my top ten, all of which were developed by Naughty Dog. So if you didn't have a PlayStation 3 this past generation, it is safe to say that you still had the opportunity to play most of the very best games.
Ubisoft and Activision are tied for second thanks to their annual workhorse, flagship franchises Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, respectively. However, I would not be surprised if they aren't as well represented on my Top 35 PS4 Games list if I ever decide to make that in the distant future. Reason being, Ubisoft has quickly gained a bad reputation over the past year with some of their actions and decisions such as putting out broken games, misleading fans with trailers, and dropping quality on all versions of their games to provide parity for a lesser platform. Activision, on the other hand, their most recent game on my list was 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. That game is scarily approaching its sixth birthday. While I am excited to see what Treyarch does with their next Call of Duty, I can't say that I'm as interested in their franchises as I was at the turn of the decade. So which publishers do I expect to take their place? I am really excited for Bethesda and Warner Bros. as budding publishers. Both own IPs that I love and own/work with some young, super-talented developers. I am also pulling for EA and Square Enix to get their stuff together and go back to creating working, original games as well as play their IP cards better.
*Due to Rockstar having a myriad of development teams that all help each other, they will be counted as one. I will credit L.A. Noire as only Team Bondi's game even though Rockstar assisted them.
**Although I counted them as one game in my list, I will credit BioWare all three of their Mass Effect games here.
Naughty Dog - 4
Ubisoft Montreal - 4
BioWare - 3
Rocksteady Studios - 2
Rockstar - 2
EA DICE - 2
Infinity Ward - 2
Sucker Punch - 2
Irrational Games - 2 (Defunct)
Insomniac Games - 1
Sony San Diego - 1
Eidos Montreal - 1
Raven Software - 1
Level-5 - 1
Kojima Productions - 1
Obsidian Entertainment - 1
Quantic Dream - 1
Team Bondi - 1 (Defunct)
Bethesda Game Studios - 1
Treyarch - 1
Traveller's Tales - 1
Media Molecule - 1
Arkane Studios - 1
My Thoughts: It's impressive that one developer was able to put out multiple great games in one generation of consoles. It's absolutely incredible that one developer (although they have multiple teams) was able to put out four great games in one generation of consoles. Looking at this list, I see a lot of talent. And only two are sadly defunct. For the current generation, I'd like to see some of the smaller developers on this list spread their wings and create their own ideas. It would be cool to see Treyarch and Raven break away from Call of Duty. I'd love to see Obsidian create more large scale spin-off games in which they pretty much take an engine from a successful game and do their own thing with it a la Fallout: New Vegas. I'm excited to see where young developers Rocksteady, Quantic Dream, and Arkane go next.
*Some games were split into multiple genres with multiple tallies.
Action/Adventure - 20
Action/RPG - 5
Military FPS - 5
FPS - 4
JRPG - 1
Interactive Drama - 1
Survival Horror - 1
Sports - 1
Puzzle - 1
Platformer - 1
My Thoughts: With a high step up in graphics, developers shifted away from cartoon-style action platformers and moved towards games with a more grounded look. Action/adventure games and FPS's flourished this past generation. Sadly, my favorite genres from the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2, platformers and JRPG's were largely absent on the PlayStation 3 or at least in terms of quality. But with JRPG's on the rebound, I would expect to see the genre make a huge impact on the PlayStation 4. We are also in something of a renaissance in the survival horror genre, so I expect to enjoy that genre more as this young generation of consoles advances.
- Highest non-GOTY: Mass Effect Trilogy (6)
- Lowest GOTY: Assassin's Creed III (28)
- Number of single-player only games: 17
- Number of PlayStation 3 Exclusives: 11
- Number of New IP's: 10
- Number of games with open worlds (or extensive hub worlds): 18
- Number of games with non-videogame-originated licenses: 5
- Number of games with playable female characters (in the single player): 10
- Number of games without guns: 4
- Number of games from prior-generation series: 16
I bought a PS Vita last weekend! It made sense to me to buy one because essentially, I'll never have to buy games for it so long as I keep my PlayStation Plus subscription going, which I intend to. For the past year that I've had it, I've been downloading and cancelling every PS Vita game that I thought I might want that was offered through PS Plus, just in case I were to ever buy a Vita. I have a massive free game collection already. I am currently playing the brilliant Limbo and the okay-so-far Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I'm really looking forward to playing indie games and JRPGs on my Vita, two genres that I feel I've been missing out on, don't have the time to sit down and play on my PS4, and that have a slew of great games on the Vita. My experiences so far with my Vita so far are wonderful. I'm shocked with how neat the layout is, how fast you can jump in and out of games/apps, and how easy and fast it is to download games. It's screen looks great, the speakers work well, the touchscreens/pads are advanced, and the pick-up-and-go gaming experience is as fun as it was on my old PSP.
That's it for now. My GOTY Awards will be coming sometime later this month, so come back for those if you want, they are always fun. This year marks my fifth (!!!!!) annual milestone. Between now and then, I'm sure I'll stop back here and post again. Until then, thanks for reading and please comment :)