The 33 best PS3 games - 2009 edition

New, must-play Sony PlayStation 3 games!

  • 22. Warhawk

    Why It's Great: Players world-wide were skeptical about the Playstation 3's [[xref:|SixAxis|SixAxis]] controller and what it was capable of, and upon the release of aerial combat simulation [[xref:|WarHawk|WarHawk]], the white-knuckled dog-fights and adrenaline-pumping action more than wiped out their fears. Once you've blazed through the skies with the task of protecting your nation from the oncoming Chernovan hordes, gatling guns blazing, there's no going back to Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  • 19. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition

    Why It's Great: "Massive" isn't a big enough word for the fourth incarnation in the popular [[xref:|Elder Scrolls|Elder Scrolls] role-playing series. As you traversed the world of Cyrodil, you could truly create a life of your own - mine caverns, learn trade skills, fight bandits... the scope alone of what's possible in [[xref:|Oblivion|Oblivion]] is simply astonishing, and this amazing adventure is still unprecedented in both size and scale.
  • 18. Super Stardust HD

    Why It's Great: Possibly the most compulsively playable title on Sony's PSN store, [[xref:|Super Stardust HD|Super Stardust HD]] has much in common with [[xref:|Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved|Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved]] on [[xref:|Xbox Live Arcade|Xbox Live Arcade]]. [[xref:|Super Stardust HD|Super Stardust HD]] is a top-down shooter where players twiddle both analog sticks to annihilate overwhelming swarms of enemies. But Super Stardust HD is even more intense than Geometry Wars, as players must destroy gigantic meteors, comets, and other galactic detritus in order to score big points and power-ups. Unlike Geometry Wars, you'll have access to three different weapons (a Rock Crusher for rock asteroids, an Ice Splitter for ice asteroids, and a Gold Melter for Gold asteroids). Thanks to several expansion packs, Super Stardust HD has more modes, more multiplayer, and a more epic feel than Geometry Wars. If you haven't experienced this game, download it immediately!
  • 3. BioShock

    Why It's Great:Why It's Great: Generally, gamers relish the ability to kill, maim and obliterate their enemies and obstacles, but BioShock changed the entire experience with solid, inventive gameplay and a new moral compass. This sleeper hit from 2K Games, a studio formerly known for high-profile but moderately successful strings of PC role-playng games (Jade Empire, Civilization IV, Sid Meier's Pirates), sold Xbox 360s and unintentionally became a flagship title for the console with little buildup and a huge amount of positive press. When it finally made the transition to the PlayStation 3, BioShock also came with a new "Survivor Mode" that made the already tough gameplay even harder than before, which was all the reason we needed to play the game just one more time.
  • 23. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue

    Why It's Great: When you take into account the fact this racing sim's intensity, stellar graphics and amazing gameplay, you might just start wishing more games would have Prologues before the final release. In [[xref:|Gran Turismo 5: Prologue|Gran Turismo 5: Prologue]], you can drive any of over 50 customizable cars from various worldwide manufacturers, including famed car companies Audi, Ford and Ferrari. Also, GT Online returns via the PS3's [[xref:|PlayStation Network|PlayStation Network]], so with the console's built in wi-fi adapter, you can challenge your friends anywhere, any time!
  • 1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

    Why It's Great: This is the one. If you're planning to buy a PlayStation 3, or you already have one, [[xref:|Metal Gear Solid 4|Metal Gear Solid 4]] should be at the top of your list. It's an epic stealth-shooter with jaw-dropping graphics and a massively detailed storyline. Sure, the 20-minute cinema scenes can drag on a bit too long, but the game's quality shines through in every aspect of its production. Unlockable rewards, 70+ weapons, and a well-designed online mode will keep you playing months after you've completed the core single-player experience. If you've ever loved a shooter, a stealth game, or an action game, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a can't-miss game.
  • 24. Everyday Shooter

    Why It's Great: All three consoles' game-download services are packed to the rafters with shoot-em-ups, to the point where many great games get lost in the glut. If you've got a PS3, we implore you to not let that happen to [[xref:|Everyday Shooter|Everyday Shooter]]. Part shmup, part rhythm game, part puzzle game, [[xref:|Everyday Shooter|Everyday Shooter]] is an amazingly unique and distinctly stylish title that should be one of the first PlayStation Network downloads you make.
  • 25. PixelJunk Monsters

    Why It's Great: This quirky "tower defense" game first appeared on the PlayStation Network with a few raised eyebrows. Don't let the cartoonish art style of [[xref:|PixelJunk Monsters|PixelJunk Monsters]] fool you, though - beneath the unique and innovative hand drawn art laid an extremely addictive real-time strategy game that to this day, still has us going back to research, build, and upgrade our bases.
  • 21. Flower

    Why It's Great: Not many games use the PlayStation 3's Sixaxis well (if at all), so Flower is a refreshing reminder of what you can do with nothing more than simple motion controls. It's hard to describe just what make the game so darn relaxing, but Flower has the rare appeal that both hardcore and casual gamers easily identify with the second they turn a patch of lifeless landscapes into a colorful burst of greenery. With both fl0w and Flower already proved as legitimate sellers (and generating more than a few imitators and homages), we're hoping the next downloadable project from ThatGameCompany is as mellow and free-flowing as their awesome debut PS3 titles.
  • 7. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

    Why It's Great: [[xref:|Call of Duty 4|Call of Duty 4]] wasn't just another cut-and-dry shooter. In the fourth installment in the popular FPS franchise, the player was sucked into a larger than life story, allowing them to play as both a U.S. Marine or a member of the British S.A.S. while a global conflict ignited. With an astonishingly deep single player mode and an insanely addicting multiplayer mode, [[xref:|Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare|Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare]] was a turning point in the first person shooter genre.
  • 27. Burnout Paradise

    Why It's Great: The fellows across the Pond at [[xref:|Criterion Games|Criterion Games]] continually churn out an excellent PlayStation products, and it's the same with [[xref:|Burnout Paradise|Burnout Paradise]] on the PS3. Lighting-fast auto racing lets you speed through the twists and turns of Paradise City in a flash, and smashing up your precious ride is once again part of the fun. And this time there are no boundaries. Plus, downloadable updates have added to the destruction, dropping in motorcycles and other updates. And rumor has it planes are next!
  • 11. Dead Space

    Why It's Great: Visceral Games pretty much dethroned Capcom's longstanding undead-hunting horror franchise Resident Evil as the king of the survival-horror genre when they released their blood-curdling masterpiece in terror Dead Space, which featured gruesome beasties reminiscent of those from John Carpenter's The Thing. It wasn't the fact that Dead Space approached survival-horror in an all-new way -- the game actually borrowed quite a bit from Resident Evil 4 in terms of the way you move around and combat enemies -- no, what made Dead Space so terrifying was the dread-soaked atmosphere and mood of being alone in space and the disgusting mutated passengers infesting the mining ship you're stuck on. Ones that only get grosser, and more frightening as the game progresses.
  • 9. LittleBigPlanet

    Why It's Great: Whether you choose to classify Media Molecule's delightful PlayStation 3-exclusive game as a user-generated content creator or just a platformer with some fresh ideas, LittleBigPlanet is still one of the most imaginative next-gen games out there. It's not often that modern games encourage the player to be creative and LBP does a remarkable job of easing you into the creation process in way that has you putting together your own levels and content quickly without overwhelming you. In fact, one of the reasons LittleBigPlanet has done so well for itself is because it is so accessible. Creating your own levels is a concept that sounds good on paper, but is something that rarely works without turning off the majority of gamers who don't have the patience to learn complicated user-creation tools. And LBP proved that user-creation can be user-friendly.
  • 16. Assassin's Creed

    Why It's Great: Ubisoft knows awesome stealth ([[xref:|Splinter Cell|Splinter Cell]]). The company also knows amazing acrobatics ([[xref:|Prince of Persia|Prince of Persia]]). Thankfully, that chocolate and peanut butter mixed together to make the delicious [[xref:|Assassin's Creed|Assassin's Creed]]. With crazy parkour moves and devastating attacks, Altair has become one of gaming's most revered heroes in quite some time. We can't wait to see who he kills next.
  • 26. Ninja Gaiden Sigma

    Why It's Great: Ninja Gaiden II was pretty stinky. Now it seems more clear that [[xref:|Team Ninja’s|Team Ninja]] finest work was the PS3's updated, upgraded, and unparalleled version of [[xref:|Ninja Gaiden|Ninja Gaiden Sigma]]. You really can't go wrong with the intense action of the Xbox classic and the amazing new visuals put forth by the PS3. Normally, we're not fans of developers rehashing old titles, but when this is the end result, we're willing to let it go.
  • 12. Resident Evil 5

    Why It's Great: Capcom's fifth installment in their renowned zombie-slaying franchise may have placed a greater emphasis on action than your traditional "undead creatures lurking in dark alleys" approach to horror, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? We believe the answer is no, especially with the tremendous success of action titles that are dripping with horror imagery like Gears of War. Resident Evil 5 wasn't exactly leaps and bounds different from its predecessor Resident Evil 4, but it did feature a cooperative campaign, a first for the series, that allowed both you and a buddy to fight together against RE5's hulking axe-wielding killer and the rest of its fearsome cast of adversaries.
  • 17. infamous

    Why It's Great: Usually, when a game makes you choose between good and evil, the paths are so similar or uninspired that playing through a second time seems like a chore. inFamous turned this gameplay element on its head with the Karma System, which actually changed the way you could unleash your electricity-based powers on Empire City. If you're a hero, crowds love you, but if you're a jerk to random bystanders, they'll actually pelt you with rocks or run in terror. Sucker Punch also nailed the exploration mechanics in inFamous, making simple things like getting from one end of town to another fluid and satisfying (as long as you didn't run into a chain link fence). Whether you play the game as a good guy or a total ass, inFamous is sandbox-style gameplay taken to near-perfection.
  • 33. skate / skate 2

    Why It's Great: We all owe a debt to [[xref:|Tony Hawk|Tony Hawk]] for helping to popularize video skateboarding games but truth be told, the [[xref:|Tony Hawk series|Tony Hawk series]] has gotten a little long in the tooth. What started out as a fun and enjoyable simulation of skateboarding has now become a cartoonish caricature with increasingly over-the-top scenarios and moves. That's why [[xref:|skate|skate]] was such a breath of fresh air: it put the emphasis on realism with an innovative control scheme that brought a sense of physicality missing from the Tony Hawk series. It also put the focus on actually skating and setting up lines; that meant you couldn't just jump around and pull of 30-trick combos anymore. The learning curve was definitely steep but it helped reinvigorate the skateboarding genre and hopefully forced the developers of the Tony Hawk series to up their game.
  • 14. MotorStorm / MotorStorm 2

    Why It's Great: OMG, those crashes. It's been over a year and a half since [[xref:|Motorstorm|Motorstorm]] released, and the brutal slo-mo crashes are still the best-looking in all of gaming. It also doesn't hurt that the game has exceptional gameplay and a wide variety of courses and vehicles. About the only thing that's missing is split-screen multiplayer, which the sequel should be adding. But for a bargain-basement "Greatest Hits" price, you can't go wrong with Motorstorm.
  • 29. MLB 09: The Show

    Why It's Great: Back in the early PS1 days, Sony's sports games gave EA and other sports developers a run for their money. For roughly the last decade, however, it's been a much different story, with Sony even shedding two of its sports franchises ([[xref:|NHL FaceOff|NHL FaceOff]] and [[xref:|NFL GameDay|NFL GameDay]]). Thankfully, the more focused approach paid off in the form of MLB 09: The Show, which included a slew of welcome additions to the steadily improving gameplay, like a more natural slumping/streaking system as well as a more refined Road to the Show mode. This is a show for all ages.
  • 5. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

    Why It's Great: Yes, Lara Croft did the treasure-hunting, action platforming thing first but have you played a [[xref:|Tomb Raider|Tomb Raider]] game lately? The creative minds of Naughty Dog must have and thought "We can do better than this." And they certainly did by crafting the slick and enjoyable [[xref:|Uncharted|Uncharted], a title that featured interesting level designs, lush jungle scenery and the kind of swashbuckling action that would make Indiana Jones crack a grizzled smile. It was also released early in the PS3's lifecycle, giving PS3 owners something to chew on as they waited for more high profile titles to be released. No matter how you cut it, Nathan Drake's adventure is one definitely worth undertaking.
  • 4. Grand Theft Auto 4

    Why It's Great: Like Rock Band, [[xref:|GTA IV|GTA IV]]'s a tossup. More opponents for online play is great, but we're big fans of better graphics, and the PS3 has an ever so slight edge in that department. Plus the install cuts down on loading screens, which gives us more time to ram firetrucks into dirtbikes.
  • 2. Fallout 3

    Why It's Great: Bethesda's Fallout 3 presented players with a truly unique concept: the ability to play the game more or less however they wanted, allowing for the game itself to play out in an almost infinite number of ways. Sure, this was done before it with games like Grand Theft Auto but never on this scale. You can play Fallout 3 conservatively, carrying out sidequests and trying your best to make the best decisions possible. Conversely, if you're in a particularly diabolical mood you can just run around like a maniac, blowing away everyone you come across, be them good or evil, man or animal. Of course, massacring everyone you meet in the game comes with its price, such as receiving negative karma points and ultimately altering the ending of the game. If you own a next-gen console, do yourself a favor a take this gripping RPG-laced shooter for a ride.
  • 20. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online

    Why It's Great: As a series, Tekken has had its ups and downs. But [[xref:|Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online|Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online]] is the pinnacle edition of Namco's fighter- it's the definitive version of the classic fighter available as an inexpensive PSN download. The massive 30+ character roster features a mix of characters old (Eddy Gordo, Marshall Law) and new (zombie/Communist Sergei Dragunov, the noob-friendly Lili). The 1080-enabled graphics look sharp, but where [[xref:|Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection|Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection]] really shines is in its new Online mode, which features a sleek matchmaking interface and a large community of active players. [[xref:|Tekken 6|Tekken 6]] and [[xref:|Street Fighter IV|Street Fighter IV]] are months away; for the moment, Tekken 5: DR Online reigns supreme as the king of the PlayStation 3 fighters.
  • 10. The Orange Box

    Why It's Great: Talk about bang for the buck: [[xref:|The Orange Box|The Orange Box]] included five hit games from the FPS gurus at Valve Software, making this a must-have for any shooter fan. Not only do you get the award-winning [[xref:|Half-Life 2|Half-Life 2]] and the follow-ups [[xref:|Episode One|Half-Life 2: Episode One]] and [[xref:|Two|Half-Life 2: Episode Two]], you also get the butter-smooth online game [[xref:|Team Fortress 2|Team Fortress 2]]. But the real jewel of this fantastic collection is [[xref:|Portal|Portal]], a mind-bending puzzler that every gamer should experience at least once. Armed with one of the coolest weapons ever devised in the Portal Gun, you run through a series of deviously designed levels while the omni-present voice of GlaDOS gently coaxes you onward. Filled with delicious humor and addictive gameplay, Portal is worth the purchase price alone but lucky for you, you have four other amazing games to keep you occupied long after you've discovered the secret of the cake (hint: it's a lie).
  • 28. Rock Band / Rock Band 2

    Why It's Great: Picking between the PS3 and 360 versions of [[xref:|Rock Band|Rock Band]] is pretty much a toss-up. The 360 has a better online structure, with [[xref:|DLC|Downloadable content]] available days (and sometimes weeks) earlier, as well as a larger pool of opponents to battle against, but those benefits are dwarfed by the PS3's packed-in wireless guitar. You may be able to buy wireless guitars for the 360, but the wired one that came with the game will always haunt you. So do yourself a favor and pick up the PS3 version to avoid all that.
  • 13. Resistance 2

    Why It's Great: Picking up where the first video game Resistance: Fall of Man left off, in this gripping first-person shooter sequel Nathan Hale continues his battle against the repulsive race of Chimera. While Resistance 2 didn't exactly re-invent the franchise, it did however improve upon many of the strongest aspects of the original. It added new, even crazier weapons, a towering 300 foot tall beast, and best of all support for up to 60 player multiplayer matches, which set a record at the time the game was released. Resistance 2 is far from a perfect game, but it's one of the finest next-gen FPS games we've seen, not only on the PS3 but in general.
  • 15. Resistance: Fall of Man

    Why It's Great: [[xref:|Resistance|Resistance]] stood out amongst an army of first person shooters by taking the tired World War II formula, and throwing an alien invasion into the mix. As U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Nathan Hale, you were thrown into this inventive scenario with gun in hand, and a nation that needed saving. With an extensive single-player mode, split-screen co-op, and a fantastically customizable online gameplay, Resistance proved that it wasn't just another launch title, but a whole new form of shooter.
  • 29. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2

    Why It's Great: What happens in Vegas usually doesn't consist of men with guns rappelling down the side of the [[xref:|MGM Grand|MGM Grand Las Vegas]], tossing smoke grenades as they blindfire terrorists, but thankfully we can live out that fantasy again and again with [[xref:|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2]]. With unprecedented squad-based tactics and adrenaline fueled action from the moment you pick up the controller, you'll never quite look at Sin City in the same light.
  • 6. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

    Why It's Great: The animated Lombax and Robot team gets back to its series roots with [[xref:|Tools of Destruction|Tools of Destruction]], axing multiplayer entirely in favor of a robust and beautifully designed single-player campaign. Like playing along with a Pixar movie, developer Insomniac Games drops you into a witty story, arming you with enough clever weapons to take on anything that comes your way. It's fun, gorgeous and worthy of PS3's best.
  • 32. Heavenly Sword

    Why It's Great: Call it Goddess of War if you like but [[xref:|Heavenly Sword|Heavenly Sword]] has a flair all its own. Chronicling the adventure of the deadly but beautiful Nariko and a cursed blade, Heavenly Sword was one of the earliest hits for the PS3, an action packed title that helped demonstrate what the hardware was capable of. With superb character animation work by WETA Digital-the same folks who worked on The Lord of The Rings-Heavenly Sword was an impressive sign of things to come and laid a solid foundation for future titles like [[xref:|God of War III|God of War III]] to build upon.
  • 8. Killzone 2

    Why It's Great: The original Killzone may have failed to be the "Halo-killer" is was proclaimed to be, but after a painfully long time in development (the sequel was supposed to be a PS3 launch title), Guerilla Games finally delivered a first-person shooter that pushed its console to its boundaries, mostly in terms of graphics. Even stunningly polished shooters like Call of Duty 4 lack the level of detail displayed in Killzone 2's bleak, post-apocalyptic wastelands and war-scorched cities. As soon as you boot up Guerilla's killer FPS sequel, there's no ignoring the mind-blowing lengths the team behind the game has gone to bring the battlefield to life. Killzone 2 remains to be one of the best next-gen shooters, and is one that's recommended for those who can appreciate its gritty science-fiction spin on the genre.
  • 30. Battlefield: Bad Company

    Why It's Great: There's nothing funny about war - but when you're grouped with the renegade, rag-tag bunch of soldiers that make up [[xref:|Bad Company|Bad Company]], you have to find something to laugh about. Featuring squad-mates filled with personality and witty one-liners, Bad Company stood apart from other war titles as it was more akin to "[[xref:|Three Kings|Three Kings]]" than "Medal of Honor", as you lead Bad Company behind enemy lines in search of wealth and revenge. With a simply stellar single player mode and all of the classic Battlefield multiplayer modes available for play, Bad Company was a unique title with an interesting twist on the[[xref:|FPS|First Person Shooter]] war genre.
  • Who says the PS3 doesn't have great games? Like its predecessors, Sony's next-gen console is destined to be the home of some truly awe-inspiring games, and already has a continually growing library of true gems to its credit. Here are thirty-three titles that every PlayStation 3 owner should have in their collection.

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