It’s hard to dispute that Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the current winner of the console wars. 86 million units have shipped since the console was launched back in November 2013. By contrast, the Xbox One has shipped approximately less than half that amount. Nintendo are highly likely to blast past Microsoft’s flagship console with the Switch in spite of its 2017 release, but even they will struggle to take the crown from Sony, especially if rumours of a similar Playstation hybrid console are true. PlayStation has always struggled to get a foothold in the portable console realm, with Nintendo dominating both the PSP and PS VITA with its dual-screen handheld offerings, but a hybrid might pack the strengths of Sony’s home consoles with the convenience of the Nintendo Switch. Truly, a terrifying thought to behold.
While there are lots of problems with the game industry today, I believe in earnest that we are in the golden age of gaming, and some of the strongest titles are exclusive to the PlayStation 4. Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Journey, Bloodborne and The Last of Us are all essential, contemporary games that can only be experienced on PlayStation. On top of that, Sony offers the only readily affordable VR headset, with strong exclusives like Wipeout and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, as well as VR-optional killer apps Resident Evil VII: biohazard, Thumper and Rez: Infinite.
Without further ado, enjoy the next selection of games in our Top 100 PlayStation Games list!
80 Best PlayStation Games of All Time
80 – Syphon Filter
There’s a bio-terrorist on the loose, and somebody needs to bring him to justice. And since we’re talking about video games, that means there’s going to be an awful lot of running and shooting. But Syphon Filter wasn’t just another brainless shooter. There were stealth options available to the player, and the ability to not just mercilessly gun down every enemy combatant you come across was relatively rare at the time.
Syphon Filter never quite managed to pick up the following that Metal Gear Solid did, but as the other prominent PSOne stealth action game starring an implausibly talented super-soldier, it was worthy of its silver medal. The stealth mechanics weren’t as refined as in MGS, and the game was happy to have you shoot your way out of any given situation rather than sneak through it, but surprisingly competent AI and a slew of clever ideas made Syphon Filter a game that many remember fondly.
Chief among those clever ideas was the fantastically useful tazer weapon that series hero Gabe Logan held in his arsenal. You could fire the barb from the tazer across surprisingly
79 – Sly 2: Band of Thieves
Good games are the sums of the foundation they’re built upon. Some games are good because they have a story that’s easy to follow, yet intriguing; it’ll captivate you and have you coming back for more. Some games are good because of the gameplay, – the sense of being in touch with the character you’re controlling, making the controller more than just a device; it becomes an extension of your very consciousness, and it brings you closer to the game as a whole. Some games are good because of how the different characters of the game appeal to you; how their charismatic ways never fail to enchant you and relate to them on a personal level, as if they’re something bigger than just a virtual companion – they find their way into your everyday life.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves possesses all of these qualities. Continuing the story from the original Sly Cooper, Sly 2 grabs your attention from the very beginning of the game. The cartoonish graphics make you feel completely at home in all of the games different locations, which you are completely free to explore as any of the three main characters of the game. The characters themselves are charming and entertaining, and make a lasting impression on those who take control of them. Heck, one of my good friends does an amazing impression of Murray on a regular basis, and it never seems to get old.
Controlling the characters feels smooth and tidy, and the different qualities of the different characters make both the missions and the free-roaming exciting and captivating. The combat system is simple but has you invested in the on-screen conflict. The stealth aspect makes the exploration even better, as you can reach areas in unconventional methods, and it makes you feel like a proper thief, with a strict moral code of course. Overall, Sly 2 is charming, witty, enchanting, and it makes you feel deeply for all the characters, even the lesser villains and bi-characters involved, and if you haven’t tried it yet, now is the right time to do so. (Johnny Pedersen)
78 – Gravity Rush
Gravity Rush is the kind of creative endeavor that was very much part of PlayStation’s DNA in the heydays of the late 90s and early 2000s, if that same kind of innovation had carried over to today’s technological possibilities in gaming.
Initially released for the PS Vita, and then later ported over as a remaster to PS4, Gravity Rush takes the tired and boring “urban guy with superpowers jump around a city” and turns it into a topsy turvy, physics-based playground, where the player manipulates gravity to get around a world of floating islands and quaint cities infused with the soul of European inspired locales, especially the French Quarter, all to the game’s jazzy, bustling musical score.
What’s more is that while Gravity Rush’s story is nothing amazing to write home about, it still helps flesh out an interesting world, and is chock-full of great ideas, some explored in the game’s sequel. Simply using your gravity powers to zip around the game’s relatively small yet detailed map is a treat; collecting gems is a delight, and something that I could for hours on end if an endless version of the game existed. It’s the kind of controls that very quickly become second nature, especially when playing the PS4 version of the game.
It’s a shame that the gaming culture PlayStation has cultivated these days no longer complies with games such as Gravity Rush, as the game remains a modern hidden gem; hardly ever brought up, despite being a first-party title. For many people, it might appear as a relic of a bygone era, and it’s a constant reminder of an “uncharted” bubble that looms over us that I hope one day bursts. We need more games like Gravity Rush. (Maxwell N)
77 – Jak 3
Amongst the gaming press, Mario and Zelda are hailed as legends – masters of their craft. They are the games an entire generation grew up with. The games that inspired children to go out into the world, with the goal of either covering games media or developing games themselves. They are in many ways childish, geared towards a younger audience, but designed in a way that someone of any age could enjoy themselves.
Over the years these individuals grew up, looking for more mature experiences, but still held a place in their heart for Nintendo’s nostalgic franchises. One day Jak 3 will be viewed in the same way. Upon release, it catered to a young teenage audience. It was kid-friendly, but simultaneously angsty. Many reviewers who grew up with Mario and Zelda turned their noses up at Naughty Dog’s flagship PlayStation 2 series. Criticizing it for catering to individuals younger than themselves. But for video game writers and aspiring game developers of my generation, this is one of the games that we will hail as a masterpiece in years to come. Its Pixar-like animation style meant our parents were willing to purchase it for us, but the grittier tone the series leaned into as it progressed was quite frankly, “awesome,” in the eyes of my 10-year-old self.
Jak 3 took the series from its origins as a simple 3D platformer, and offered two fully explorable open worlds, Haven City and the Wasteland. Gameplay was diverse, with over a dozen unique weapons, with various eco abilities mixed in for versatility and an abundance of vehicles. It was a platformer, a racing game, an action game, and an open world GTA clone, at a time when many of us were too young to know what GTA even was.
Jak 3 was a masterclass in game design, open world design, and storytelling. It inspired a generation. The only reason it is not spoken about commonly with such high praise, is that the generation who loved it have yet to have their voices heard. (Chris Bowring)
76 – Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Take one part Crash Bandicoot, a pinch of 90s manga, a big scoop of Banjo-Kazooie and you’ve got Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, the biggest PS2 platformer until Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank arrived in 2002. Merely a year after Rareware’s wonderful but bloated Banjo-Tooie, developer Naughty Dog abandons the shotgun linearity of the Crash series to create the collect-a-thon to end all collect-a-thons.
With open, detailed levels, no loading screens, and a comic-book art-style all of its own, Jak and Daxter improves in many ways upon its Nintendo 64 inspirations (which also included Super Mario 64 and Rare’s Donkey Kong Country games).
At the same time, the first in the Jak series foreshadows the transitional period that Naughty Dog was going through during the PS2’s life. While still funny and light-hearted, Jak and Daxter’s plot and more advanced character animation resemble less a Nintendo game than an after-school cartoon (almost a year before Nintendo went in a similar direction with The Wind Waker).
It is with this series that Naughty Dog would begin to show an interest in character-driven narrative and slick set-piece design that reached its full flourishing with Uncharted on the PS3. Compared to most of Rare’s 3D platformers, the adventure worlds in Jak and Daxter are linked thematically to their hubs, creating a more cohesive setting. As for gameplay, levels like the grav-zoomer races or the entirely linear Boggy Swamp offer action-adventure without the increasingly sprawling confusion that attracted criticism in Banjo-Tooie.
The Jak series would go on to completely abandon the Rareware-style playground levels in its sequel, but as for Jak and Daxter, there is still plenty of 3D-platforming goodness for old-school fans too. Misty Island, the Lost Precursor City, and Snowy Mountain, in particular, can stand toe-to-toe with Banjo’s levels. Bring on the next one, Sony! (Mitchell Akhurst)
75 – Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga
Digital Devil Saga might very well be the single strongest entry in the entire Shin Megami Tensei franchise, offering up the best the JRPG genre is capable of in regards to both gameplay and story. The Press Turn system makes a welcome return from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, but the inclusion of Atma allows each party member to grow alongside their own skill tree, emphasizing customization on a level other games in the series simply do not offer.
Narratively, Digital Devil Saga is a two-volume epic that comments on the nature of humanity through a humanistic and spiritual lens. The first volume itself ends with one of the greatest twists in the genre, re-contextualizing the entire adventure up to that point and paving the way for the second half. This is to say nothing of Shoji Meguro’s masterful score, with tracks that adhere to the setting of each volume, scoring a world painfully on the cusp of apocalyptic collapse.
Digital Devil Saga is that rare RPG where its gameplay and story are equal in quality from start to finish. There is never a dip. If anything, each new dungeon and each new story beat enhances the experience. Both volumes ultimately culminate in one of the greatest final bosses of all time as the protagonists shed away all their worldly baggage and square off in a divine climax that would put any other finale in the genre to shame. Digital Devil Saga is Shin Megami Tensei at its very best. (Renan Fontes)
74 – Spyro the Dragon
Known primarily for the ultra-successful Ratchet & Clank series, Insomniac Games was once identified not by a Lombax, but by a purple dragon – a little guy with the attitude of Smaug but the cool of Fonzie. In late 1998, Spyro the Dragon was released on the PlayStation after the critical hit/commercial disappointment of Disruptor, Insomniac’s first foray into console gaming.
Going from a serious-themed FPS like Disruptor to family-friendly platformer Spyro the Dragon would present challenges to any developer, but young Insomniac Games switched gears to release their first critical and commercial success. For those old enough to remember, Spyro the Dragon was as exciting and addictive as Crash Bandicoot or – and this is borderline blasphemy in some circles – any of the great Nintendo 64 releases in that day. Spyro the Dragon was the first fully 3D success for Sony’s flagship console, and it paved the way not only for two Spyro sequels from Insomniac but all 3D platformers to come.
In Spyro the Dragon, the player is given two weapons to overthrow antagonist Gnasty Gnorc, both common to dragons: dragon horns and dragon fire breath. Becoming acquainted with these weapons is an easy enough task, and you’ll be required to find a combination of both moves to fell the grunts and bosses you encounter. Insomniac outfitted their purple dragon platformer with vast areas to explore – via all fours or gliding with his wings, depending on the situation – and treasures to find hidden in these worlds. Spyro the Dragon was a game that will forever have happy memories in my mind and a game that was exactly what the PlayStation needed in 1998. (Tyler Sawyer)
73 – Infamous: Second Son
The latest effort from Sucker Punch Productions, Infamous: Second Son, has players on the streets of real-world Seattle, a first for the series, and taking the reins of the new protagonist, Delsin Rowe, after the sacrificial death of Cole MacGrath from Infamous 2.
In a big step forward for the series, Rowe, a conduit, has the unique ability to absorb any conduit powers he comes in contact with, the first being smoke. He may then swap back to a conduit power he acquired earlier in the game, such as neon, which he would absorb from a neon sign. To revert to back a previous power, like smoke, Delsin must absorb the emissions released by a recently destroyed car. You get the idea. In total, Second Son has four conduit powers Delsin can use throughout the game, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and ability tree. A diversion from previous Infamous titles, each conduit ability is available for use as soon as the corresponding “element” is unlocked – with the extent and strength of each ability being upgraded from the ability tree.
Second Son follows the morality system of the two Infamous titles previous, for good or ill, giving the player control over the fates of any slain enemies or an innocent bystander. Every good deed notches one point in the blue column, a bad deed in the red, with each point trailing up a leveling system which will make aesthetic changes for Delsin and, ultimately, lead to one of two outcomes. Not an incredibly deep game as far as themes or narrative, it succeeds by the same virtue as the other Infamous games — it’s damn fun. Exploring each ability tree is a blast, Seattle feels alive and varied, and the parkour system is as tight as ever. Second Son is a great addition to the series, not too long, not too short, leaving you satisfied and happy to play more, in the future. (Tyler Sawyer)
72 – Spyro 2
The Spyro franchise was off to a soaring start after the release of the first game, Spyro the Dragon, but there were a few elements of his first adventure that did receive some criticism. The sequel Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, known as Gateway to Glimmer in Europe, is a game that not only acknowledges the flaws of its predecessor, it actively works on fixing them and successfully revitalizes the franchise.
Spyro 2 has a similar set up to the first game in that there are three main home worlds themed around the seasons. However, there is a notable difference in the way that Spyro can get around the world. I always found one of the more frustrating things about the first Spyro game was his limited abilities. He would immediately drown if he fell in water, it was easy to miss a jump completely and die and his glide could only take you so far.
These were all issues that were addressed for the sequel. By unlocking them via gems, Spyro was able to learn new abilities in Spyro 2. He was able to learn to swim and climb, meaning he no longer would die upon putting his toe into the water and the climbing ability made it so he could access higher areas without risking falling to his death. He also could learn the head bash ability, giving him the power to break through tougher objects. In my opinion, the best upgrade from the first game is Spyro’s ability to hover at the end of his glide. I was always finding myself just missing a ledge when I would glide in the first game so being able to add a small hover boost at the end of my glide saved my life more times than I can remember. These new skills improved the overall experience of Spyro and made him more fun to play.
There’s also a variety of new characters in Spyro 2. In the first game, we only really had the other dragons as companions as you saved them. Here though, Spyro is introduced to three new central characters, Hunter the cheetah, Elora the faun and the Professor the mole as well as a new fairy called Zoe. They guide you on your journey and offer helpful hints and tips, much like the dragons in Spyro the Dragon, but they also pop up in certain worlds in different missions. Moneybags the bear is also a new character who grew to be one of the most hated video game characters in history, taking your gems at every turn. The loathsome bear is an infuriating but ultimately memorable addition. There are also the inhabitants of each world you go to, all unique and interesting in their own way with designs based around the theme of the world they live in. Whereas before the worlds were mostly composed of enemies, these new worlds are full of bright, colorful and endearing creatures that make the game more engaging.
Spyro 2 does what every game sequel should strive to do. It takes notice of what wasn’t quite working with its first installment and worked on it to create a more versatile and more enjoyable gaming experience. (Antonia Haynes)
71 – Suikoden II
After years of hearing about how innovative and amazing 1998’s PlayStation cult classic, Suikoden II was, the gaming community was finally able to legally purchase a copy (that didn’t require a small fortune) when it became downloadable on the Playstation Network. Starting the game in 2014, I was skeptical that the JRPG could live up to the enormous hype it amassed over 15 years, but after a few sleepless nights, I was resoundingly proven wrong. Suikoden II is not only one of the greatest RPGs in history but a sweeping saga of a story, incorporating dialogue trees and large scale character recruitment years ahead of modern triple-A titles like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.
The player begins as a measly foot soldier in the grand Highland Army and eventually comes to lead the main faction opposing it, the New Alliance Army. After the villainous prince of Highland, Luca Blight, massacres one of his own squads, he frames the neighboring nation of Jowston and incites a war that goes on to envelop the whole world. Upon rising to the top of the forces defending Jowston, the game opens up exponentially, giving the player free reign of their own castle and encouraging them to explore the world map to raise an army. Discontent with only refining one gaming mechanic, Konami created three distinct battle systems. In typical JRPG fashion, the turn-based combat is a fast and tactical six-on-six brawl that allows for a lot of customization since 40 of the recruitable characters are immediately controllable.
These characters each have their own stats, abilities, and slots for equipable items, skill and magical runes, creating an extremely complex cast to manage. Featuring a staggering 108 total characters to recruit, even those that don’t directly assist in combat often open up new services/minigames in the Alliance Castle; such as the farmer, Tony, the Innkeeper, Hilda, and the Chef, Hai Yo. All the player’s efforts culminate in the game’s Army Battles, massive confrontations that adopt a Fire Emblem style tactical, grid-based battle system. Here, allies can permanently die, giving the game a great sense of emotional weight. Finally, duels occur between the protagonist and notable enemies, playing out in a rock-paper-scissors style one-on-one fights that have a much more personal feeling.
With a soaring score by Miki Hagashino, massively open character customization and an incredibly large scale story that still manages to feel intimate, I can’t think of any better way to spend ten dollars than by purchasing Suikoden II. (Matt Bruzzano)
70 – Parasite Eve
A product of the late 1990’s horror boom, Parasite Eve combines action, survival horror, and turn-based RPG into one completely unique package. The game follows Aya Brea, and police officer out to stop a viral infection from taking over the city of Manhattan. The game is actually a sequel to a Japanese science-fiction novel with the same title, and the author Hideki Sena oversaw the development of the game. What really makes Parasite Eve stand out is its gameplay. Survival horror combat is already different from that in your typical mid-90s shooter, and Eve takes it to the next level. You have to bob-and-weave between enemy mutants while your action bar fills up before you can counterattack. And even then, you still have to properly position yourself to attack, as different weapons have different ranges on them, and you can’t shoot something outside your circular range indicator.
Parasite Eve also sports a rather interesting new game plus. In games like Resident Evil you’re given a ridiculously strong weapon to breeze through additional playthroughs, but Eve gives you a 77-story dungeon to explore in the form of the Chrysler Building. In true RPG-fashion, you’ll have to scale the massive tower to fight the game’s real final boss to unlock the true ending. The game is now a cult classic, and stands as an example of how to mutate the survival horror formula out of its typical action/3rd person shooter foundation. (Taylor Smith)
69 – Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
The JRPG genre had found itself in a bit of a slump during the PlayStation 3 days. The Final Fantasy series had gone to hell, and Atlus were milking the Persona series dry in every conceivable way except for the one people wanted – Persona 5. Being the best JRPG of the generation isn’t exactly high praise, but then that shouldn’t take anything away from just how good Ni No Kuni is.
Ni No Kuni was made as part of a joint venture between Level 5 and Studio Ghibli, and the involvement of the latter means that the game is unspeakably gorgeous to look at. Even today some years on, the classic animation style of the game is impressive. It’s as close to playing a Studio Ghibli movie as you’re likely to get.
But Ni No Kuni is not all style and no substance. The game features a surprisingly deep combat system that plays how a home console version of Pokemon might work if Nintendo ever made one, and the lengthy story isn’t quite as childish as the aesthetic might have you believe. With a charming cast of characters, a moving narrative, and beautiful visuals, Ni No Kuni is a fantastic JRPG that will delight all but the most jaded of hearts. (John Cal McCormick)
68 – Infamous
The promise of Kingdom Hearts III kept the PS3 on my mind as I played the well-worn Xbox 360, but it was an Infamous demo I played at Best Buy that led me to the checkout counter.
In 2009, Sucker Punch Productions transitioned from the platforming super thief Sly Cooper series to release Infamous, an open-world action-adventure game that shows what happens when an average Joe stumbles upon the powers of Zeus. Apparently, long-time relationships break and deadly government conspiracies are uncovered when a regular guy suddenly becomes god-like.
Ordinary narrative arcs aside, Infamous was a game that made you feel as powerful as the cinematics between the action sequences made the hero look. We’ve all been disappointed at a game where the protagonist exhibits meta-human abilities in the trailers but is limited to a series of menus and redundant animations when the actual battles ensue. That isn’t Infamous. Of course, that may be due in part to the game’s cinematics being a narrator reading comic-book panels, but that’s not the point. Infamous advertised an experience of harnessing extraordinary lightning powers and not only did it thunderously deliver, but it was also the reason for Infamous’ greatness.
Amid complaints that the game carried a vanilla story and an uninspired cast, playing as Cole MacGrath was a thrilling trinity of destructible environments, fast-paced and large-scale battles, and static-powered hovering between Assassin’s Creed-like wall scaling. Such simple passion can’t be argued against. Keeping with the trend of morality meters in games from that time (no doubt in an effort to make the story spicier) your Cole could be one of vengeful rage while mine was just and righteous. The line between right and wrong is very, very clear in Infamous, but even a perfectly upstanding hero cannot go through his world without consequential choices. I may invest my entire life in pursuing what is good and noble, yet there will be those who take issue. Such is life, and such is Infamous. (Tyler Sawyer)
67 – God of War
The game that started one of Sony’s biggest series (second only to Gran Turismo) is a remarkable feat, combining the hack-and-slash action of Onimusha, the creature designs of Ray Harryhausen and an assortment of adventure influences as diverse as Prince of Persia and The Legend of Zelda.
Decreasing the difficulty level from those inspirations helped the first God of War to bring the cinematic action game to a new audience. With the exception of a rushed and frustrating jumping sequence in Hades, the game is designed for players who don’t want to spend hours and hours mastering a gameplay mechanic. Instead, the puzzles and combat propel the story like a musical score, always showing off new and strange locations – where Kratos can then continue to disembowel mythic creatures.
At the very start, God of War shows that it means business with the Hydra boss; now burned into the minds of players around the world. The game’s mission statement of “Greek-Mythology-meets-Heavy-Metal-magazine” heralded a different kind of mature video game: a serious epic filled with towering monsters that weren’t afraid to also be fantastical and weird.
With Kratos’ revenge story leading him deeper and deeper into anger and madness, God of War manages to have its cake and eat it too. Like many of Tarantino’s films, the game simultaneously revels in gore and criticizes its protagonist for his destructive actions. More than in any of the other games in the series, Kratos is a human being here, one who went off the deep end, eliciting both sympathy and horror.
Even against the climactic finale of God of War III, the first God of War stands out as an exciting adventure and bloody tragedy for the ages. (Mitchell Akhurst)
66 – Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time
The greatest of the PlayStation 3 Ratchet games, A Crack in Time sends our heroes on one of their most emotional (and yet still hilarious) journeys yet. Following from the cliffhangers of Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty, Clank has been kidnapped by Doctor Nefarious and Ratchet is scouring the Polaris Galaxy to find him.
For the first half of the game, the pair’s reunion is delayed. Both of the title characters are given an opportunity to reconnect with their heritage: Clank with the Great Clock (created by his father and kind-of-God of the universe, Orvus), and Ratchet with his father’s comrade in arms, General Azimuth. All the while, the game gives Captain Qwark, Nefarious and Lawrence plenty of time to crack players up with some of the best and wittiest humor of any game barring Portal.
Gameplay is an evolution of the same jump-and-shoot staples that have served the series for over a decade, combined with a slight cel-shading effect that continues the “playing a Pixar movie” ethos. Adding to the humor are the little limited-animation shorts created to introduce the player to every zany new weapon: this time including a burp cannon and an inter-dimensional portal to a tentacled monster named “Fred”.
With the recent reboot, developers Insomniac Games clearly knew which title to draw the most experience from, and so both the reboot and A Crack in Time are fairly similar – but while the new game simply introduces players to the duo and their villains, A Crack in Time was able to develop them into real characters in a crazy, fun universe. (Mitchell Akhurst)
65 – Final Fantasy X
There’s an extremely niche corner of gaming culture that vehemently argues over which Final Fantasy game is “best.” Although Cloud’s disciples usually cry loudest – and I have suspicions on the first-handedness of some of those screams – one of the smaller groups reveres Auron as being the quintessential Final Fantasy badass. I’m proudly in that camp.
The 10th entry in the series of ultra-popular JRPGs and the first for the PS2, Final Fantasy X released on the console only a year after the masterful Final Fantasy IX, and did not disappoint those looking for a great follow-up. Telling the legend of the young Blitzball whiz kid Tidus, players are swept up in a narrative that transcends time, explores familial ties, and promises to leave you breathless as you witness Christ-like self-sacrifice while managing a light-heartedness that somehow makes the game’s tragedies even more felt.
Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series to utilize voice acting, a monumental advancement for the series, while also vaunting nearly unprecedented graphics, most notably in the cinematics. I have a vivid memory of marveling at such a cinematic – right at the beginning of the game, Tidus is seen playing Blitzball in a giant, physics-defying, spherical pool just before Sin crashes to earth, bringing the apocalypse and prematurely ending the sport. My formative nine-year-old mind was captured by this moment in a way that I hadn’t experienced before from a video game, and I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that I wouldn’t be the games-lover I am today had I not experienced such rapture.
Final Fantasy X was a determinative game for the PS2, Sony, and gaming as a whole, and this is no more recognized than in the fact that this title has received two remasters – one for the PS3 and one for the PS4, the latter having been released in May of 2015. Deservedly so. (Tyler Sawyer)
64 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Hot on the heels of one of the most successful sequels in gaming history, in the form of Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis had a lot to prove when it arrived back in 1999.
Capitalizing on the success of the Tyrant chase sequences from the B scenarios of Resident Evil 2, Nemesis chose to make that the focal point of the game, all the while attempting to wrap up the trilogy in as neat a package as possible by setting the main setting of Raccoon City completely, and literally salting the earth in its wake.
Unfortunately, for all its successes, Resident Evil 3 is actually a step back in a lot of ways, ignoring the fact that the variety of Resident Evil 2 and the interplay between its two protagonists across the four scenarios is a lot of what made it succeed in the first place. With that said, the Resident Evil 3 experience does make one marked accomplishment over its predecessors, and that lies in the grounding of the world through the eyes of one central figure in the form of Jill Valentine.
Whether battling the undead hordes, fleeing the relentless Nemesis, or attempting to escape from Raccoon City once and for all, we rarely leave Jill’s side, and that focus achieves a lot of what makes Resident Evil 3: Nemesis work so well, even in spite of its shortcomings. (Mike Worby)
63 – Kingdom Hearts II
When Kingdom Hearts first arrived on the scene, positing itself as a merging of two beloved franchises (Final Fantasy and the worlds of Disney) to say that fans were skeptical would be an understatement. On paper, it could have been an unfocused disaster but luckily director Tetsuya Nomura kept the game on a tight leash and it emerged as a flawed but impressive action-RPG.
A few years later, Kingdom Hearts II emerged from the gates and was all that much better thanks to the correction of nearly all of the tiny mistakes that held the first game back. The game had matured, with less goofiness and a more focused storyline, and as its main characters all grew into teenagers, it became a lot more believable for the fate of the universe to be resting on their shoulders.
The problematic Gummi ship and platforming sections were vastly improved or nixed entirely, making the gameplay a lot tighter, and combat had diversified past the point of hacking away with the X button while occasionally rolling and jumping. Limit breaks were introduced, the selection of Disney worlds was better, and there was no environment you ever dreaded going back too (okay, scratch that, we all remember Atlantica).
All in all, Kingdom Hearts II is everything you want from a competent sequel and is regularly voted among the best games on the PS2, even topping a few lists here and there. Engaging and endlessly replayable, Kingdom Hearts II is basically the perfect successor. (Mike Worby)
62 – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
When Naughty Dog was tasked with showcasing the capabilities of the PlayStation 3, they decided it would be best to create a new IP instead of continuing their already popular Jak and Daxter series. Uncharted allowed the legendary studio to show-off the new hardware and its features with more realistic character models. Combining action-adventure and platforming elements with a third-person perspective, Drake’s Fortune struck a chord with gamers thanks to the beautiful environments, bravura set pieces, and white-knuckle action. Uncharted was released in winter 2007 and moved 3.5 million copies within its first year. It gave early adopters of the then-pricey PS3 something to be proud of.
Uncharted owes a great debt to matinee movies of the silver screen era, as well as more modern films like Indiana Jones. It also borrowed elements from a number of popular video game series, including Tomb Raider and Gears of War – yet this crackerjack fantasy-adventure shapes its pulp sensibilities and cliff-hanging serial origins into an exhilarating escapist adventure quite unlike anything else in gaming. It is the kind of video game that, even today, gamers immediately fall in love with. It has all the right ingredients: a smart script, a dash of romance, a touch of sly humor, and the most lovable of rogues, under our wing. What was once labeled “Dude Raider” by the press is now considered one of the most consummately entertaining adventure games of all time. (Ricky D)
61 – Ratchet and Clank (2017)
Casual observers may be surprised to hear that the Ratchet & Clank series has nine core titles in it. Cynical observers may label this re-imagining of the original as a rushed attempt to cash in on a slightly baffling movie release. Releasing under a cloud as a glorified port in an over-saturated franchise, it came as a huge surprise that 2017’s Ratchet & Clank was an absolutely gorgeous delight to play.
Far from an HD port, R&C actually serves as an amalgamation of the series’ best elements all squeezed into a triumphant revival for a franchise thought to be out of steam. Insomniac Games brought a number of weapons from around the Ratchet universe into the game, even adding some new ones, while several gameplay elements were also adapted into the framework of the original, making this the definitive experience for fans.
Of course, anyone familiar with Ratchet & Clank wouldn’t be surprised by the huge variety in the gameplay, but it was at its most refined here. Slick combat with fun weapons, puzzles, mini-games, jet packs, races, collectibles, upgrades – it’s all here, and it’s paced brilliantly across huge levels that belie the game’s linear nature. It’s no stretch to say that the Ratchet games exist in a genre that’s been disappointingly barren in the modern generation, but the PS4’s only series entry so far serves as an excellent reminder that they still have an important place in contemporary gaming. (Alex Aldridge)