SB Recommends Playstation Network Games

Downloading games of the PSN can be great, however there are roughly three main stores (US, PAL, Japan) and they all have exclusive content, including their downloadable PS1 games. If a game is exclusive to one of the English speaking regions or Japan it'll be marked as such.

Fortunately it is easy to make three accounts on your PS3 for browsing each store. Buying is a little more complicated; the easiest way is to buy a point card. Unlike the other two online networks this generation, PSN uses real monetary units, and games are subject to tax where applicable (Tax is not applicable in Tennessee or Nevada).

  • After Burner Climax (also on: XBLA)
    • Rudie: Get your blue skies here!
    • Renfrew: Sometimes, all a man really needs is his F-14 Super Tomcat and the infinite blue sky. People often complain about how awful post Dreamcast Sega is. People who have played this and Outrun 2 know that the real Sega never left us, they just went to the arcade.
    • The Blueberry Hill: I know this is a rare opinion, but I think this game is a mess. Stick to OutRun.
  • Battle Fantasia (also on: 360)
  • Battlefield 1943 (also on: XBLA)
    • Kitten ClanClan: A standalone competitive multiplayer game, BF1943 is largely enticing because of its simplicity. There are only 3 classes all with preset loadouts, and nothing is unlocked as you progress in rank. While there are only 3 maps, as well, the game is quite well refined and provides an addictive, competitive experience without being bogged down all the trappings of a modern competitive FPS.
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed (also on: PC, XBLA)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Classy re-imagining of the NES original that actually manages to outdo it. I don't think they updated the clunky level design quite enough, though. Includes some utterly insane optional challenge rooms that require you to stretch the game mechanics to their absolute limits. They could seriously extend your time spent with this, depending on your patience/stubbornness.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Excellent remake that manages to exceed the already outstanding original. Mechanics are tweaked to be more varied and skill-intensive, and the game has an immense amount of content for its tiny price tag.
  • Braid (also on: PC, XBLA)
    • boojiboy7: An amazingly solid platformer with a wonderfully explored time-manipulation mechanic and beautiful artwork. Ignore all the text, though, for your own good.
    • gatotsu2501: That warning's no joke, incidentally. The sophomoric obnoxiousness of the writing pissed me off so much that I actually enjoyed the (fairly inspired) gameplay a lot less as a result. The dismissive label of “pretentiousness” is tossed around a lot these days, but Braid works itself ragged to earn it.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Seconding what Booji has already said, but offering a counter-opinion on the text: I found the game's plot to be very interesting. Its method of storytelling is one that I believe cleverly implores gaming mechanics to tell, and I also believe that the ending of the game is quite thought-provoking.
    • boojiboy7 (again): Man, if you think text blocks that could be written in any number of freshman level creative writing courses are a good way to tell a story, that is a problem. The game could've actually told the exact same story without those text dumps, and would've been much better for it.
    • Kitten ClanClan: To be honest, the only text I really remember is from the ending, but I did feel it left an impact. Come to think of it, the last few times I played it I was speedrunning it.
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (also on: XBLA)
    • Kitten ClanClan: While Harmony of Despair is egregiously disappointing (perhaps even offensive) in its aesthetic design and as a single-player game, it shines like no other game does in how it works as a co-operative lootfest. If you have a few buddies willing to play it with you, you can waste dozens and dozens of hours on this game without regretting it. It's well-balanced, and the absence of levelling, but emphasis on loot means that levels are all designed to be completed incrementally quicker as you get better and better — this makes the game quite addictive.
  • Catan
  • Critter Crunch (also on: iOS, PC)
    • Rudie: I started off really liking this puzzle game and how cute it was. Then it didn't stop adding rules.
    • Mikey: Multiplayer is where it's at with this game — singleplayer suffers the most from Rudie's (valid) complaint.
  • Crysis (also on: PC, XBLA)
    • gatotsu2501: Mashes up some of the best ideas from Halo and Metal Gear Solid 3, and sprinkles in a pinch of Half-Life 2 for good measure (and Far Cry, natch). Not as good as any of those games individually, but the combination and creative implementation of borrowed elements makes for a worthwhile experience. The last third of the game inexplicably does away with the wonderful open-endedness and tactical variety on display up to that point and becomes a typical linear run-and-gun shooter.
  • Dead Nation
    • secret character: Two-player overhead 3D zombie massacre. For the best time, play on the hardest difficulty with a friend, and don't pick the same weapons. Be prepared to talk strategy and/or yell at each other.
  • Divekick (also on: PC)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Positions itself as a novelty game - and it kinda is - but it's also a marvelously sharp deconstruction of the traditional 2D fighter that reveals, in its robust simplicity, just how overcomplicated, obfuscatory and above all unintuitive the average representative of the genre really is.
  • Detuned
    • Rudie: A cheap and neat visualizer/demo scene thing.
  • Eat Them!
    • Lainer: If this had been a Rampage game then they would still be making Rampage games.
  • Everyday shooter
    • Rudie: Lovely, for the price. A love letter to Japanese freeware shooters with dynamic guitar.
  • Final Fight Double Impact (also on: XBLA)
  • Flower
    • CubaLibre: Fatuously referred to by the illiterate as a “videogame poem,” this is nonetheless a gorgeous, contemplative exploration/puzzle game of sorts that casts you in the role of a beneficent wind that blooms flowers and brings color to to a bleak land. Controlled entirely by Sixaxis motion controls. One of the only “art games” that conquers potential sappiness and ineptitude and delivers a legitimately breathtaking experience.
    • Rudie: It's the 3D Sonic game we've always wanted.
    • gatotsu2501: Hallmark nature imagery + “soothing” piano muzak =/= art. I found it boring and wrist-strain-inducing, but I also dislike Sonic games, so I guess take from that what you will.
  • Fl0w
    • Rudie: This is more warning. The game is set on a 2D field, but uses the motion controls. It's a freaking nightmare to control.
  • From Dust (also on: PC, XBLA)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Eric Chahi, creator of Another World/Out of This World and Heart of Darkness created this God Sim masterpiece. While it's extraordinarily hard to recommend “in general,” fans of Populous and kids who grew up with a sandbox should consider this essential playing. The game is basically just moving dirt, water and lava around to sustain and protect a tribe you will eventually need to move to an objective, but it's gorgeous to behold and a delight to play. There's not really anything just like it.
  • Gundemonium Recollection
    • Rudie: All of these are shit. Awful Music, ugly graphics, obnoxious bullet patterns. Hitogata Happa is the only one approaching playable, and there are just much better games out there.
  • Hard Corps: Uprising (also on: XBLA)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Hard Corps: Uprising is a prequel to the original Contra: Hard Corps on Sega Genesis. The levels are tremendous, the attention to detail great and the amount of content overwhelming. It kind of misses the idea of being a Contra game with the absurd length and all the clutter, but I suppose it was titled without “Contra” in the name for a reason. I personally wasn't a big fan of it and prefer my run 'n guns to be concise, but I can respect what they did.
  • Hotline Miami (also on: PC)
  • Journey - forum thread
    • Felix: Incredibly beautiful, focused ninety minutes that has co-op as novel and enchanting as Dark Souls', and manages to cash in on the minimalist aesthetic without seeming like it's disingenuously aping Ueda. Rivals the first Portal for its successful brevity alone; accessible to and deserves a broader audience.
  • The Last Guy
    • Rudie: Pretty neat. I like it as a pass-the-controller game.
  • Linger in Shadows
    • Rudie: A cool way to spend 2.99 for an afternoon.
    • gatotsu2501: This was probably pretty impressive as a showcase for the PS3's hardware capabilities several years ago. The graphics are already dated now, though, and what's left is only a mild novelty that's probably not worth even the meager price of admission.
  • Machinarium (also on: iOS, PC)
  • Malicious
  • Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (also on: XBLA; no longer available from PSN Store)
    • boojiboy7: I'm gonna take you for a ride! So Pringles! Curl-eh MUSTACHE! No game has ever spawned as much joking commentary about it as MvC2, a Capcom Vs. fighter that throws 50+ characters together, breaks all of them somehow, and somehow works just for being really fun. The PSN remake features some optional graphical “improvements” and a downloadable hip-hop mixtape to replace the soundtrack with (if smooth, peppy jazz is not your thing).
    • Sniper Honeyviper: The Smash Brothers of traditional fighting games, and the glue that's held the American 2D fighter scene together for nearly a decade. Only about six characters are really viable for use in “serious” play. The PSN/XBLA version has the ugliest menus you've ever seen, as well as some awful Vaseline sprite filtering (which can thankfully be turned off).
  • Mega Man 9 (also on: XBLA, WiiWare)
    • Kitten ClanClan: The music is spot-on, but I feel like Mega Man 9 misses the point is so many other areas. Level design is visually very dull compared to the NES games, mini-bosses are recycled in the Wily stages and the game adds a shop in while getting rid of the charge and slide mechanics. I feel like after so many years, Capcom kind of forgot the spirit of the original games. It's still well-designed, however, and definitely worth playing (unlike 10, which is phoned in and embarrassing).
    • Rudie: The music is spot on because each boss has one track composed by a series composer. Also I fucking hate this game.
  • Noby Noby Boy
    • Rudie: A lot closer to a toy than a game. Stretch your boy, believe in love.
    • gatotsu2501: Loses its novelty rather quickly. You've been warned.
    • wourme: The first PS3 game I bought, and still one of my favorites.
  • OutRun
    • Rudie: Only on the EU store sadly.
  • Pac-Man CE DX (also on: XBLA)
  • Plants vs. Zombies (also on: DS, DSiWare, XBLA, PC, iOS)
    • Kitten ClanClan: A charming take on the Tower Defense genre that managed to make me overcome my dislike of it. Plants vs. Zombies offers a startlingly large amount of content and a lengthy “story mode,” as well as simple, but addicting mechanics. Serious strategy enthusiasts might find themselves a little bored, however.
  • Resident Evil 4 HD (also on: Gamecube, PS2, PC, Wii, XBLA)
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (also on: XBLA; no longer available from PSN Store)
    • Rudie: It's got sprites made by forum members (though they will never see money if you buy it at this point.) It's got great music by Anamanaguchi. It's a beat-em ups with move unlocks and leveling up and all the problems that entails.
  • Shatter (also on: iOS, PC)
    • Mikey: Probably the best take on the Breakout/Arkanoid formula in many years. The soundtrack is one of the best that's ever graced a game.
  • Siren: Blood Curse
    • boojiboy7: An episodic remake of the first Siren that is actually able to be played by humans. Creepy as hell, full of survival horror bizarreness, and incredibly effective at using the lack of light. It's a bit expensive for the whole thing, but download the first batch and see how you feel about it. Best played as an episode a day, or so.
  • Skullgirls (also on: PC, XBLA)
    • P1d40n3: the inmates running the asylum.
  • Sonic Adventure (also on: XBLA)
    • Lainer: The worst version of Sonic Adventure. It has the nicer textures of the GCN version, but the camera is missing several scripted movements from the US DC version, leading to more fighting with the camera or leaps of faith. Several of the physics are (more) broken too, like when walking on slanted or rotating surfaces or especially the pinball minigame. Metal Sonic, who was added in the GCN version, will also run you an extra $5.
  • Space Invaders Infinity Gene (also on: XBLA)
    • spectralsound: best Taito shooter since RayForce? best Taito shooter since RayForce. (Variable is easy mode!)
  • Spelunker HD
    • Lainer: A hundred levels of instant death with one of the least capable protagonists ever. The game's difficulty (very hard, but not crushing) is largely the result of a slavish devotion to the mechanics of the NES original combined with a drive to fit as many instant-kill threats into a level as possible. Supports up to six player co-op as well, but uses a room system so good luck ever finding anyone for it.
  • Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition (also on: XBLA)
    • gatotsu2501: IT'S THE THIRD STRIKE YO, IT'S STREET FIGHTER III! A mediocre but functional port of a legendary game (that I, as a fighting game dunce, am still nowhere close to mastering).
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II HD Remix (also on: XBLA)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Incredibly addiction-forming, competitive puzzle game. Fast-paced and exciting, I've spent dozens of hours playing this with friends. The super deformed Capcom characters help add a lot of memorable charm to it, as well.
  • Super Rub a Dub
    • Rudie: This games' use of the six axis proves the Wii is garbage.
  • Super Stardust HD
    • wourme: A very good two-stick shooter, based on an Amiga game.
    • gatotsu2501: Back when video games were still routinely able to produce a sense of wonder in me, I imagined that people in The Future might make games kind of like this.
  • Trine (also on: PC, Wii U)
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (also on: XBLA) - forum thread
    • CubaLibre: This definitive version of Wipeout renders all others obsolete. The classic opposition is between Wipeout, strategic and brainy, and the F-Zero series, which is about “pure speed,” but I find that because of the strategy required a well-raced Wipeout track produces the greatest sensation of speed I've ever felt in a videogame. Rendered in absolutely stunning full HD at a rock solid 60 fps. Notable for its stunningly well-executed near-future, Japano-corporate digipunk atmosphere pioneered in the first games by the now-defunct Designer's Republic.
    • Schwere Viper: WipeOut HD was cobbled together with content from the PSP games, and while I'd say it's good, I'd also say it's slower than standard WipeOut fare. Even Fusion was faster.
      But hey, at worst it's the least good WipeOut game. I don't think the series has had a sore moment. Maybe game:wipeout_series#WipEout 2048|2048]] (Vita) because of load times?

See also

 
 sb/recommended/psn.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/28 15:18 (external edit)
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