The previous console generation was full of ups and downs, but here at the start of 2014, we can look back on three machines with healthy, quality catalogues of software.
So if you’ve just recently picked up one of the ‘old’ consoles, or whether your library simply consists of the dull old Call of Duty, FIFA and GTA trio, here you’ll find the 10 BEST games your money can buy.
For the sake of fairness and clarity I’ve chosen 5 multiplatform games, 2 each for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and even a Wii game. Yes, a Wii game is one of the best of the generation. Just trust me on this one. So without further a do, lets start with the best games you can buy on multiple platforms from the last 8 years:
Undoubtedly my game of the generation, Bioshock is absolutely unmissable. A first-person shooter that actually has brains behind it, Bioshock intertwines story, character, place and gameplay like VERY few other games manage. It doesn’t rely on stopping the game and showing a cutscene to move the plot on like other, simpler games would. The story is told through the players actions – you yourself make meaningful choices in the games narrative, such as whether to kill ‘innocent’ children in order to become more powerful.
The shooting is tight, with varied and fun weapons and powers, and its downright scary to boot. And more than enough has already been said about Bioshock’s iconic world of Rapture. A masterpiece.
Portal 2 is hard. Like really hard. Both mentally challenging and an exercise for quick FPS reactions, Portal 2 can have you either scratching your head or screaming at the TV (in the best way possible).
Players are tasked with simply placing two portals, one you enter in to and another you exit out of, to get to the exit of a room. It seems simple at first, using most gamer’s innate knowledge of how to play a shooter to disguise the fact that it’s really a unique puzzle game; but the difficulty quickly ramps as momentum, moving targets and a number of new abilities begin to layer in. Sprinkle on a fine, genuinely laugh out loud story and some of the best voice acting ever, and you’ve got yourself one of the best games in years.
Dead Space is terrifying. I’ve yet to see any film that has scared me even half as much as this video game equivalent of Alien. It’s honestly hugely unsettling. If that doesn’t put you off, buy this game.
It’s tense, the weapons and space-suit powers are great fun, and it will definitely stay in your dreams (read: nightmares) for a long time after you’ve finished playing. Dead Space 2 is equally as great, but slightly tones down the horror and turns up the action, meaning the first Dead Space is the purer piece of work. Don’t be a scaredy-cat and play this game.
The Orange Box
The Orange Box is actually a collection of 3 games and two add-ons, making this the best value game on the list. The meat of the collection comes in the form of a game some people call the greatest of all time, Half-Life 2, and its two additional ‘episodes’ that continue the story. But I actually prefer the two quirkier pieces of the package.
Team Fortress 2 is a class-based online-only FPS, which may sound intimidating, but it’s fun all the way. The great selection of classes, welcoming online community and fun visual style make the game a blast even if you’re always getting your arse kicked.
And rounding out the Box is the original Portal – much shorter than its full-blown big brother of a sequel at about 4/5 hours – but perhaps even more of a memorable experience. It was truly unique for its time, and once you play it you’ll realise why so many immitators have copied its design and aesthetic since. Its fun, funny, challenging and has a great twist half way through that no-one saw coming. Wonderfully rounds out a fantastic collection.
Borderlands is another first-person shooter, but it’s vastly different to most on the market. Firstly, it’s meant to be played with friends (up to 4) and is a much better game with some mates round. It really differentiates itself, though, through its mix on FPS and RPG gameplay.
You’re never trapped into choosing a traditional ‘mission’. Rather, you talk to the hilarious and wacky characters on a huge open-world map to gain ‘quests’. You complete these quests at your leisure, all the while collecting delicious loot from your fallen enemies. Collecting these guns and gold is a dangerously addictive pursuit, but the incredible arsenal you can obtain is more than worth it.
You also gain XP as you go to upgrade yourself in all sorts of ways – from gaining awesome new powers (like rocket turrets, flying robots and killer birds to aid you) to stat-boosts and new types of shields and grenades. It all comes together fantastically and the DLC available is some of the best in class, so try and pick up the ‘Game of the Year’ edition, as most of the extras are included. A brilliant art style, off-the-wall humour, and fun shooting make this a keeper.
So with the best multiplatform games sorted, come back soon for the best console exclusive games! In the mean time, what are your favourite games of the last gen? Let me know in the comments!