With the release of Xbox One today it is safe to say that Generation 8 has officially begun. Therefore this seems like the perfect time to share with you all my 20 favorite games of Generation 7. I owned a PS3, Wii, 360, DS, and PSP so I could have played any game that came out during the generation. Because I owned all the consoles, that clearly makes my game of the generation list the definitive game of the generation list. However, I feel it is worth mentioning that I did not get the chance to play Beyond: Two Souls, Puppeteer, and Gran Turismo 6. Timing is such that I will likely not get to these games until some time next year and by then generation 7 will be but no more relevant than the Amiga or the ColecoVision.
Now, without further ado I present my top 20 games of Generation 7.
I love superheroes, and Spider-Man is one of the greatest superheroes ever. Unfortunately, Spider-Man games are not always great. In fact it seems like we only get one good Spider-Man game per generation (Spider-Man on PS-One, Ultimate Spider-Man on PS2). This generation the good Spider-Man game arrived fairly early but man oh man was it great. Swinging around the city was perfected in this game and the good/bad morality system with powers and allies corresponding to each was nearly identical to inFamous which arrived the following year. The story was the best kind of goofy comic book nonsense and the differences between the good and bad powers made multiple playthroughs feel varied. If you have any affection for Spider-Man or the Marvel Universe in general and skipped over this gem I highly recommend you find a copy and enjoy one the most overlooked games of this generation.
Once again, let me just say that I really like superheroes. For those of you who are unaware, The Super Hero Squad Show was a lighthearted kids TV show that followed a team of Marvel heroes getting into shenanigans while also stopping bad guys. The show features lots of lesser known characters from the universe and introduces you to the gist of them in a cheeky way while having winks and nods to the people who really know there Marvel. The game pulls from a lot of the second season of the show and plays about how you would expect. It is mostly beating up bad guys with some light platforming and puzzle solving along the way and a handful of shooting gallery sections. The games campaign is fully playable with two players and I had an absolute blast earning the platinum trophy in this with my younger brother. There is a very solid variety of characters and they control in unique ways. The game also oozes charm. If you have any young family members who are Marvel fans then I cannot recommend both the game and the show enough (the entire series is on Netflix). With the current cinematic universe that is unfolding there is no better way to introduce children to who some of the more obscure Marvel characters are and what they do.
18. Resistance 3
Resistance 3 has the greatest single player campaign in any first person shooter to date. Fact. The variety of enemies that range from giant monsters to zombie aliens and everything in between are quite impressive. Equally impressive is the number of different locations you visit throughout the campaign. All this variety is great but what Insomniac is known for are their weapons and this game does not disappoint. While the story (which is fantastic) takes itself seriously the developers did not let that impede the fun of the actual gameplay. As the weapons get upgraded there attacks become more and more bonkers. These upgrades along with the ability to switch to any weapon keep the gameplay feeling varied throughout. I also appreciate that you need to find health pickups instead of just having regenerating health. It adds to the tension and keeps you moving in combat. This game is a must play for anyone who considers themselves a fan of first person shooters.
17. The Last of Us
Nobody does story quite like Naughty Dog. The Last of Us delivers another great story from what has become Sony's most prestigious studio. The campaign will make you feel all of the feelings and is extremely well done. The score is also quite exceptional, one of the best this generation. However, the really great thing about this game is the multiplayer. More specifically, Interrogation mode. Having a team where everyone is communicating and coordinating makes it one of the best online multiplayer experiences you can have. Both crafting and listen mode translate beautifully into the multiplayer and there are a wide variety of viable play styles you can adopt. The small team sizes keep the matches feeling intimate and the fairly low health each person has leads to several instances where there will be a firefight and both sides back off because neither feels confident in moving forward. It is a huge breath of fresh air from the countless other multiplayer shooters where as soon someone sees you they run at you guns blazing until one of you dies and then the process begins again. I have seen plenty of people praising the single player for this game but if you ask me the real star of the show is the multiplayer.
16. Alan Wake
You know what show is pretty damn awesome? Twin Peaks. It is one of the greatest TV shows you will ever watch. Alan Wake takes some very heavy inspiration from the show and it made me immediately fall in love with the world. This game absolutely nails atmosphere and while it is never scary it is always unsettling. The faux Twilight Zone show in the game is also very well done and adds to the overall feel of the world. The combat that always has you searching for more sources of light is neat and keeps you moving. The story is great and keeps you guessing the whole way through. By the time I finished the game I was not exactly sure what the hell had happened but it was a fantastic ride while it lasted. Unless you are a total chicken poop that is scared of anything even remotely resembling horror there is no excuse for you not to go play this game.
15. Gran Turismo 5
Cars are awesome. Gran Turismo has always been the go to game for car aficionados and despite a good effort by Forza there is still no one that does driving simulators with the same level of excellence that Polyphony does. The sheer number of cars available is ridiculous and the driving has a great feel. Maybe I am crazy but I even enjoyed some of the ridiculously long endurance races that were hours long. I would download some podcasts onto the PS3 before hand, put them into a playlist, and mesh it in with the in game audio to create a very zen experience. The variety of racing types was great and had Nascar, go karts and everything in between. If you love cars you probably already know how great this is. If you didn't have a PS3, you missed out.
14. ModNation Racers
ModNation Racers has the greatest customization tools of any racing game to date. The tools are very deep and allow you make just about any person and any vehicle you can think of. The community for this game was fantastic and has created tons of copyright infringing characters and karts. United Front Games gave this game a good amount of dlc support and the best part about it was that any karts or characters that were created using payed DLC could be downloaded and used for free by everyone. The racing was great but almost equally entertaining was simply waiting to get the match started in the lobby and seeing what creations others had come up with. I was beyond bummed when I found out United Front was working on LittleBigPlanet Karting and after the success of Sleeping Dogs (which is also really good) I fear that we will never see another ModNation again. :(
If you couldn't tell, I really like racing games. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is great in that it gives you a large city to explore and cops to try and avoid while also giving you the ability to trick out your car in the most ridiculous way possible. The polish and attention to detail help set it apart from similar games like Need for Speed. Both Forza Hoizon and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit came very close to scratching the same itch as this game but they lacked the detailed world and customizable vehicles. Running from the police in a car that is rocking neon and a body kit while burning through nitrous is simply a different level of goofy videogamey fun. Much like with ModNation Racers, I worry about the future of this franchise after the success that Rockstar San Diego had with Red Dead Redemption.
Co-operative 2D side scrolling Mario. If you had told me way back when I got my Super Nintendo that one day you would be able to play these games with multiple people I would have called you a dirty liar. Even as I played though this game with my brother I had trouble believing that it was actually happening. I really do believe that two players is the sweet spot at which these games are best enjoyed as once you start adding in more characters it simply becomes chaos. I don't understand why so many people strongly dislike the New Super Mario franchise, there is something magical about the care and craft of these games that is Disneyesque and it still manages to put a smile on my face.
I don't think I have ever been as hyped up for any game as I was for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. After the initial reveal I was completely solid on the game. I would constantly check the dojo for updates and any new information that could be found. When I finally got my hands on it it did not disappoint. Playing through the story mode was similar to watching The Avengers for the first time. I am seeing this happening but I am still having trouble believing it is real. This game was absolutely packed with content. I spent tons of time creating new stages to battle on and spending way too much time trying to decide which particular song was just right for the stage. Multiman Brawl was also where a lot of my time went battling through hordes of robots. As good as all this extra stuff was the most fun was always had by getting some people together and battling it out. Also they made Charizard a playable character. CHARIZARD!
10. Heavy Rain
David Cage once said that Heavy Rain was a game that people should only play through one time. David Cage is full of shit. As someone who has earned the platinum trophy and has seen just about everything there is to see in this game I can confidently say that playing through it multiple times only made me appreciate the game that much more. There are several entire scenes and subplots that can change or be missed depending on how you play through the game. The story is well done and the characters were all interesting to follow around. I can also say without a doubt that this is by far the best game that utilizes the PlayStation Move. The motion controls make the whole game more fun and it feels way better then using the DualShock. The soundtrack by the late Normand Corbeil is second to none and is the best score of the generation. If you have only played through this game once do yourself a favor and go play through it again making different choices. I guarantee you will be surprised how much you missed.
256 players on a map at once. This action game is pretty damn massive. MAG was the greatest online first person shooter of the generation. There was most definitely a learning at first where you had to learn that if your standing in the wrong place, you were going to get killed and never see it coming. Same goes for running at the enemy by yourself. However, once you learned the ropes and decided what role you were going to be playing in the match the game became a thing of beauty. I played this game enough that I had a load out for every class. Playing sniper was my favorite, looking for places to hide in the massive maps and take down other players. Field support was also great as you would go around healing people people and repairing/destroying vehicles, bunkers, and everything else on the field. This game was truly something special and it saddens me to no end that not only was the developer (Zipper) shut down, but the servers for the game are also being taken down in a few weeks. SVER forever! :(
I never played the original Resident Evil games when they came out. Umbrella Chronicles was a fun way to get up to speed on what has happened and who did what in the universe. I have always loved light gun games in arcades and would often wish there was a way I could play these at home. I owned several devices that claimed to "recreate the experience" at home but they would never work right. Playing this game with the Zapper was the arcade at home experience that I had always wanted. I played through the entire game with my sister and we had a blast going through it and learning the ridiculous Resident Evil lore. If you are interested in the back story of the franchise I highly recommend you play this instead of the originals. Trust me, those old games are unplayable pieces of poo, don't let any so called "fans" tell you otherwise.
As I was saying before, the arcade light gun experience is something I had always wanted to have at home when I was growing up. While Umbrella Chronicles was very similar to the games you would see in the arcades these House of the Dead games were actually ports of the arcade games. My uncle and I played this game a ton (specifically House of the Dead 2) but we never did manage to beat it. The furthest we ever got was reaching the headless dude with the little flying creature for the second time. It didn't matter though, we simply enjoyed the experience of playing it. I had a bit more luck with House of the Dead 3 and was able to completely finish that one once (not even sure how, I tried to do it again later and wasn't able to). While obviously this whole list is subjective both this game and Umbrella Chronicles in particular are some of my favorite games of the generation because of the experience playing them with others. They are probably not as fun if you play them by yourself but if you know any people who also enjoy these kinds of games with their cheesy dialogue and violence then I cannot recommend these games enough.
Uncharted 2 has the greatest single player campaign of any Naughty Dog game to date. This game single handedly catapulted Naughty Dog to the front of Sony's first party studios and put them on the level of Bungie and Epic (I would argue that after The Last of Us Naughty Dog has become just as well respected as Irrational and Rockstar). I must have played through the campaign at least 5 times as I earned the platinum. I even played through it in Spanish once (the voice acting is pretty good). The set pieces in this game remain unrivaled in my opinion and the score is fantastic. The set pieces here never felt forced like they do in some other games (that includes you Uncharted 3). While I was never really able to get into the competitive multiplayer, I did have a blast with the coop mode. Fighting off hordes of enemies with two other people was never not fun. Those 200+ game of the year awards this game received were absolutely well deserved.
This games campaign is a slightly weaker one than Uncharted 2's. However, the reason it is placed higher on my list is because of the refinements they made to both the competitive and cooperative multiplayer. I also had a clan to play it in multiplayer making it that much more fun. Behold, the fearsome Chicken Alliance!
4. Fallout 3
I had never been a big fan of RPGs. However, this game generated a lot of positive buzz around its release and I was having it personally recommend to me. I didn't have any cash at the time but as fate would have it I actually won $100 on a lottery scratcher so I was able to get the game. At this time I was doing my video game playing on an old tube tv that was less than 20". This really added to the aesthetic for this particular game and it probably helped me fall in love with it that much more. At first I was having trouble with the game because I kept trying to do all the good things and the game was a pain. Then I restarted and started doing whatever the hell I wanted to. I ended up siding with Tenpenny but before I blew up Megaton I killed the citizens, took all their stuff, carried it all to one of the nearby abandoned houses and put it in a closet (I had to make several trips). After this, I blew up the town, then sold all their stuff over the course of a few days at the shops. The fact that I was able to think "hey wouldn't it be cool if I could do this" and then actually being able to do it blew my mind. This is the first game really felt next gen to me, something that was unlike any video game before it. It was an open world full of personality and new different quests were always just a short wander away.
3. inFamous 2
I mentioned it earlier in the list, but let me repeat it one more time. Superheroes are pretty damn awesome. inFamous 2 took everything that was good from the first game and cranked it up to 11. The story is goofy comic book fun and the two endings show that Sucker Punch has the balls to do what few other studios do. I loved the super powered enemies and monsters that were actually a threat to you in this game. When playing this game on hard (as you should be) a single rocket or shotgun hitting you will put you in danger where if anything else touches you you will die. In any other game this would feel unfair or cheap but here it helps give the combat more weight and consequence. Cole is more than well equipped to handle any of the enemies he encounters, the trick is knowing what to do; when to dodge, when to attack, and what attack to use. Being surrounded by enemies that all have the ability to kill you and zipping around taking them all out is satisfying in a way few other games are. Both the good and the evil powers have a unique feel and make it worth playing through the game at least twice. Me? I have played through it in its entirety like 6 times. This is the greatest superhero game of the generation.
Resident Evil 5 is a really fantastic game and easily the best in the franchise. It took the really good controls from Resident Evil 4 and perfected them. Resident Evil made the full jump into being an action title with the game and that is ok. This game does not even try to be scary so any arguments about the second player ruining the tension are ridiculous. I am a firm believer that coop makes every game better and Resident Evil is no exception. Playing through the campaign on the higher difficulties with random people online and no microphone was made entertaining thanks to the games limited communications functions. Getting things done required a game of charades. This was also the case in Mercenaries mode. Mercenaries was extremely addictive and I spent tons of hours playing through it. I fell into a really deep rabbit hole for a few months with this game as I worked to earn the platinum. My save file was actually corrupted when I was one trophy away from finishing and so I played through everything again reupgrading, unlocking, and collecting everything. This is the last Resident Evil game that had real solid level design and variety. Both Revelations and Resident Evil 6 felt like they lacked the polish that 5 had. Also the scene with Chris punching the giant boulder alone makes this game worthy of being on the list.
If I had to describe LittleBigPlanet in a word, it would be "charming." Sackboy himself is an adorable creature and the primitive tools in the original LittleBigPlanet that allowed you to see the seems of the designs and what was holding the world together added to the charm. I got really deep into this game too and this is where the Chicken Alliance (that clan from the above Uncharted video) was formed. Yes, believe it or not LittleBigPlanet had clans. And besides building levels to show off your groups excellence there would also occasionally be beef with other clans. How would you attack them? Create a false account, befriend them and give them a level bomb glitch. For those of you who are sane and did not dive deep into the darkness that is the LittleBigPlanet community, a level bomb glitch was when you would create a bomb made out of a ridiculous game-breaking amount of tiny explosives, trigger them in a level someone is working on causing the frame rate to go between 1 and 4, and then turn off your system. This would cause the person level to become permanently fucked. Besides that you would also go into all their levels, plaster your logo all over, and upload the pictures to their pages. If this all sounds ridiculous and silly to you it's because it is. The community was all about goofy shenanigans and that is what made me fall in love with it. When you would play levels with others and shit would break down and glitch it was part of the fun to simply laugh at the absurdity of it all. I remember when the water dlc came out just messing around in create mode brought much entertainment as we figured out how stuff would react in water. This ridiculously charming game is the game I had the most fun with this generation and without a doubt the greatest game of generation 7.
Do you agree with my list? Disagree? Find a typo or incoherent sentence? Let me know.