BundleExcitement is high when a new video game console launches. For many gamers, this one is long overdue. Sony’s PlayStation 3 was released in 2006. The Xbox 360 has been around even longer. Gamers will be able to get their hands on the PlayStation 4 in time for the holidays. Most gamers don’t believe Nintendo’s recent Wii U launch was the true start of the next generation, so they are anxious for the next console generation to begin.
However, the end of a console’s life brings with it some of the machine’s best games and good reasons to buy the console. This is great news for PS3 owners, as well as those looking to pick one up now that the price is low – and will only get lower. Three recent exclusive titles are plenty reason to believe in the PS3, but they’re not the only reasons to commit to Sony’s big black box right now.
Sly Cooper1. The platformer reborn
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a delightfully respectful and innovative homage to the action/platformers of days past. It is also a cool success story from the notoriously difficult game development business. The folks at Sanzaru Games are big fans of the Sly Cooper series. Sadly, Sucker Punch Productions, which created the series, isn’t in the Sly Cooper business anymore. In an unprecedented move of determination and guts, Sanzaru built a demo level for their vision of a modern-day Sly Cooper game. Sony was impressed enough to ask Sanzaru to update the original games for The Sly Cooper Collection. Then they gave Sanzaru the green light to build a brand new game. After a decade of great games, Sly Cooper and his buddies are back in a family-friendly game that’s also compatible with the PlayStation Vita. And it’s awesome.
It’s hard to find age-appropriate games I enjoy playing with my kids. This is one of those games. We traveled back in time to visit Feudal Japan, Ancient Arabia, Medieval England and the Wild West. Although they weren’t yet born when this series was in its heyday, the game was instantly accessible to them. The story brings you up to speed on previous games and the pick-up-and-play gameplay is a welcome feature for young gamers.
GOW2. Kratos is back
Other reviewers have been critical of Kratos’ latest adventure, God of War: Ascension, and I think I know why. When every other game in a series is amazing, a merely fantastic title can feel like a letdown. This is a good problem for gamers to have. God of War: Ascension is a prequel, letting us meet Kratos as a mortal betrayed by the gods he will later destroy. The series’ famously awesome combat system is as good as ever, the graphics are superb and the spectacle and size of the game is everything you’d expect from a God of War title. And this time, there’s multiplayer.
What I’ve always loved about this series is the pure escapism it offers. When the kids are in bed and it’s my time to unwind, this is the kind of game I want to play. Gods, men and monsters all fall before me.
MLB13 23. The best baseball game ever made
MLB13: The Show, like the previous titles on this list, is a PS3/Vita exclusive. The latest release upholds the series’ reputation as the best in the business; and it adds PlayStation Vita functionality. It continues the tradition of quality while bringing a ton of fan service. If you thought something was missing from previous entries, it’s probably here.
What is most impressive is the way MLB13: The Show lets you experience baseball in whatever way you like best. If you’re a Mark McGwire type, feel free to swing for the fences. Stat nerds will be treated to endless graphs and data to get lost in. And everyone will appreciate the attention to detail, amazing graphics and intuitive control scheme. This is, in my opinion, the best baseball game ever made.
Batman4. Consider its predecessor
PS3 owners are in for some of the best games of this generation. That’s because Sony stands by its consoles longer than any other company. They only recently ceased manufacturing the PlayStation 2 after more than a decade of dominance. Amazing games continued to be released for that system even after the launch of the PS3. This will happen again with the launch of the PS4.
Games already in the pipeline include highly anticipated titles such as The Last of Us, Dust 514, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Grand Theft Auto V. And those are just a few of the titles we know are on their way this year. There’s little doubt that PS3 owners will be enjoying their system for years to come.
PS35. Early adopters beware
Sony whipped the gaming press into a frothy lather with their recent PS4 announcement. But they didn’t show us the system. This may sound like a small point, but it’s puzzling nonetheless. No matter how irrational this is (it’s what’s inside the machine that counts, not the box) people like to see what a new console looks like.
They did show off the controller, which looks essentially like the same Dual Shock controller we’ve been using for years save for a few new motion and touch controls. This could be looked at as a good thing: They’re sticking with what works. Or it could indicate a lack of innovation.
Early adopters should always beware. If you bought an Xbox 360 the day it came out, you know what I’m talking about. The PS4 will likely launch with some decent titles and a lot of excitement, but waiting a few months – or years – to let them work out the kinks is a good strategy for all but the most diehard gamers.