Back in August of 2012, I released my Top 25 PlayStation 3 games list Link: The Top 25 PlayStation 3 Games. Promises were made and subsequently broken, and I have digressed in delivering my much anticipated PSN version. Well, the wait is over, and without further ado, I present the Top 25 PlayStation Network games available, Part One. A few caveats:
- Games that also exist in retail form on the PS3 are not up for consideration. HD releases from previous generations are considered.
- Games are ranked based on playable states now, not when they were released. Example: Patches improve games, content added.
- Opinion is unavoidable, but I try to be as objective as possible. Representatives from genres I don’t favor appear on this list.
- PSone and PS2 classics are not up for consideration.
[gn_heading style=”2″]25: Lumines – Super Nova[/gn_heading]
Lights, music, seizure? This addicting rhythm puzzler has been enjoyably confounding players since its inception back in 2004. Catchy and contemporary, Lumines Supernova offers a fix for all of your brain twisting needs. If you want even more, look for its sequel on the Vita: Lumines Electronic Symphony.
[gn_heading style=”2″]24: Guardians of Middle Earth[/gn_heading]
Massive online battle arenas are the most popular games in the world right now, rivaled only by real-time strategy games, so it’s tough to go wrong when you add one of the most lucrative licenses in existence to the formula. Skill, team coordination, leveling, repeat. All the familiar fan favorites are here, plus some characters you wouldn’t expect, and they’re adding more to the mix all the time. Ever improving and one of the best looking MOBAs you can find, Guardians of Middle Earth is one to watch. Just as Gandalf states: “You shall not pass…up this game!”
[gn_heading style=”2″]23: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World[/gn_heading]
Beloved comic and endearing film turned 2D side-scroller beat ’em up. Different? Yes. All sorts of awesome? Absolutely. Movie adaptations be damned, Scott Pilgrim takes the original idea and runs with it, expanding the locale and offering a capable combat system with leveling-up options galore. Multiple characters, online co-op modes, and chip tune music that will have you bobbing your head long after you put the controller down. What’s not to love?
[gn_heading style=”2″]22: NBA Jam-On Fire Edition[/gn_heading]
Almost two decades after the arcade craze disappeared, NBA Jam returns to re-capture the *ahem* fire all over again. Only this time, it’s in your living room. The same addicting 3-on-3, over-the-top ball you covet is here. Backboard shattering dunks, catching on fire after three buckets, as well as a plethora of options both on and offline. Never fear; big head mode returns along with many more twists to tailor this arcade baller to your personal style.
[gn_heading style=”2″]21: Super Stardust HD[/gn_heading]
Spherical shoot-em up and visual porn, Super Stardust HD is a must for testing your reflexes and skill, all while racking up scores we wish reflected our bank accounts. Take your upgradeable arsenal of three different weapons and blast asteroids and enemies with respective weaknesses to said weapons. Sound easy? Give it a try, but just be thankful this isn’t the arcade, or you would be out of quarters quickly.
[gn_heading style=”2″]20: Ratchet and Clank- Quest for Booty[/gn_heading]
Everything you’ve come to know and love from one of PlayStation‘s most recognizable characters in digital form. Whimsical weapons, unique brands of platforming, and a perfectly paced story, this second entry in Ratchet’s future trilogy will familiarize and satisfy newcomers, as well as long-time fans.
[gn_heading style=”2″]19: Fat Princess[/gn_heading]
Fat Princess released in the infancy of the PSN and may have been overlooked. Charm abounds in this cartoony, yet surprisingly violent team-based multiplayer game. You have nine class choices to play as, which all can be upgraded and instantly switched between, so you aren’t pigeonholed once you begin. Up to 32 players can take part in the killing to rescue, or kidnap, the Fat Princess. Servers may be slim pickings now, but at its apex, Fat Princess delivered the fun with icing on top. Cake please!
[gn_heading style=”2″]18: Mega Man 9/10[/gn_heading]
When gameplay is nearly perfect in execution, visuals shouldn’t matter. That continues to be the case for the blue bomber, and his digital forays on the PSN exemplify this. The tried-and-true formula persists, but as always, Mega Man‘s platforming and simple, yet effective shooting shine through. Capcom‘s oft neglected fan favorite continues to survive, but salivating fans wonder when we will see the next big push for one of gaming history’s greatest pillars. I believe in Mega Man.
[gn_heading style=”2″]17: Dead Nation[/gn_heading]
Another classic from outstanding Sony developer HouseMarque, Dead Nation takes the ever popular apocalyptic zombie setting and stuffs it into a top-down shooter that can be played solo or co-op, online or off. Levels are well designed, and the zombie hoards constantly offer sadistic satisfaction to annihilate. The enemies are varied enough to keep it from ever becoming stale, and your arsenal improves to match the increasing scale of difficulty. Right down to the main menu, the game makes you feel like you are actually in an apocalyptic world where you are just a participant, with breakdowns by country and hypothetical headlines to match the setting.
[gn_heading style=”2″]16: Joe Danger 2-The Movie[/gn_heading]
Accessible and deep, Joe Danger 2 is a side-scrolling stunt racer that carves out a place of its own in the genre. As much platformer as racing game, the world’s most determined stuntman will challenge you to improve, and before you know it, you’ll be pulling off insane tricks you thought impossible. The level design is brilliant, and just when you think it’s done, the track editor will have you spending hours tinkering and building your own to do it all over again. More addition than true sequel, both games are worthy of your attention.
[gn_heading style=”2″]15: Shank 2[/gn_heading]
The first laid the ground work, but this Klei developed sequel really nailed the concept. With visceral and varied side-scrolling combat and an impressive visual style, Shank 2 offers an outlet to deal punishment on an impressive array of baddies. The bosses are unique, as are the levels, and the expanded array of weapons give Shank 2 a “play it your way” feel to the combat. It’s a shame Klei‘s follow up, Mark of the Ninja, didn’t make it to the PlayStation Network as well.
[gn_heading style=”2″]14: Soldner X-2 Final Prototype[/gn_heading]
Regardless of what the term shooter means now, it should always be reserved for the originals of the genre. Top-down or side-scrolling, shooters such as Solder are few and far between now, but are still as incredible and challenging as ever. Kick ass music and weapons, enemies and bullets that offer only a sliver of room to maneuver through, and universes to save, Soldner X-2 is of a dying breed and is the best shooter available on the PSN.
[gn_heading style=”2″]13: Lara Croft-Guardian of Light[/gn_heading]
A bold step for the storied franchise. Ditching the actual Tomb Raider moniker, Guardians of Light refreshes the series into a top-down action puzzle game which can be played with a friend or by yourself. The plot is relatively forgettable, but the new wrinkles in gameplay will have you enjoying Tomb Raider all over again in a new way. Franchise side stories often fail, yet this one hasn’t, and with renewed interest in Tomb Raider, the series marches on to its anticipated reboot in 2013.
[gn_heading style=”2″]12: Flower[/gn_heading]
Thatgamecompany‘s second exclusive offering to the PlayStation Network is what caught the world’s attention. Stunning and beautiful, the simplistic nature of a flower petal and its impact on the gameplay is difficult to explain. It remains the only example of using the six-axis functionality without ever becoming cumbersome: the controls are fluid and on point. Both relaxing and enjoyable, Flower is a testament to true innovation and a showcase for the power of art in gaming.
[gn_heading style=”2″]11: Trine 2[/gn_heading]
Another visual showcase; looking at still shots would lead one to believe that they are concept art, not in-game. You would be wrong, and Trine 2 remains one of the most visually impressive games in existence. A puzzle platformer, you utilize the unique skills of three different characters which you shift through seamlessly with a touch of the L1 or R1 buttons. This sequel offers the ability to again play solo, but also co-operatively, online or off. Trine 2 is a must play.
We will give this a little time to sink in and have Part 2, containing the top 10 PSN games, up in the very near future.