It’s been one hell of a year for PS3 owners, not least because of the European launch, some absolutely brilliant games and frequent firmware updates from the guys at Sony keeping our beloved black console at it’s very peak.
So, welcome to the TSA Awards 2007, in which we celebrate the very best of what made the PlayStation 3 the console of choice this year.
BEST GAME: Call of Duty 4
Runner up: Ratchet and Clank Future
An obvious choice, really. Call of Duty 4 is the finest first person shooter ever crafted, with one amazing single player mode coupled with an outstanding multiplayer section. The stunning animation and visual effects kept you routed to the action whilst the tragic story showed that FPS games really can tell a tale without being cliched and boring. Awesome.
BEST GRAPHICS: Uncharted
Runner up: Ratchet and Clank Future
Uncharted wasn’t our favourite game by a fair margin this year, but you can’t not appreciate the visuals that Naughty Dog managed to wrangle out of the PS3, especially given that they only tapped into a third of it’s power. Sublime animation blending and incredible lighting only possible on the PS3 made Uncharted a graphical masterpiece and is one game to show off your console to mates.
BEST AUDIO: Lair
Runner up: Heavenly Sword
Lair was nothing but a disappointment here at TSA, but that can’t take away from John Depney’s sublime soundtrack and the outstanding 7.1 surround sound that truly showed what this generation of consoles are capable of aurally. Heavenly Sword’s multi-lingual voice acting was the best we’d heard this year too.
BEST MULTIPLAYER: Warhawk
Runner up: SingStar
Warhawk’s £20 price point was a masterstroke – low enough to attract it’s legions of fans usually put off by PSN costs – and meant that you’d never struggle to find a game online. In fact, it’s still incredibly popular today given the constant patches, updates and extras provided by the developers long after it’s release. Smooth, lag free and utterly wonderful, and unbelievably still relatively free from the kind of idiots that plague Xbox Live.
BEST SPORTS GAME: FIFA 08
Runner up: Tony Hawk Proving Grounds
FIFA’s always been viewed as the inferior simulation of our beautiful game when compared with Pro Evolution Soccer, but not this year – FIFA has finally turned the tables with a more flowing passing game and some clever tactical play giving it the edge for us. Online leagues with friends seal the deal.
BEST RACING GAME: Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Runner up: Motorstorm
No-one with a Japanese PSN account can deny the beauty of Polyphony’s masterpiece, which whilst only offering five tracks and a smattering of cars is the finest driving simulation we’ve ever seen. Christmas Day’s online update offered 16 player online racing and a devilishly addictive time trial mode to round off the package, and next year will see damage and dynamic weather before making way for GT 5 proper. Unmissable.
MOST INNOVATIVE GAME: Portal (The Orange Box)
Runner up: The Eye Of Judgement
The Orange Box offers outstanding value for money, consisting of the classic Half Life 2 (and it’s two sequels), the online shooter Team Fortress 2 and the stunning Portal. Portal might be a short game, but it’s packed with intelligence, wit and mind-bending puzzles the likes of which we’ve not seen for years. Developer commentaries and some additional bonus levels round what we think is a brilliant idea moulded into a perfect little bundle.
BEST PSN DOWNLOAD: Warhawk
Runner up: Super Stardust HD
Another shout for Warhawk, surely the best game ever delivered down the magical pipes of the internet. The PSN has been a great service and the likes of Super Stardust, Gripshift, Locoroco and the various Gran Turismo offerings cement Sony’s intentions to really push the idea that downloadable games can offer just as much enjoyment as disk-based ones.
BEST NON-PS3 GAME: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Runner up: Desktop Tower Defense (Flash)
Galaxy is a stunning game and marks one of very few ‘proper’ Wii games released this year, along with Zelda and Metroid Prime 3. It’s a return to form for the platforming plumber with intelligent level design and a perfect difficultly curve that rewards the player right up until the end. And if you’ve never tried Desktop Tower Defense, do so, now.
BEST ALBUM: Untrue (Burial)
Burial’s 2nd album was released in November, and represents the finest electronic music we’ve heard all year. It’s haunting, thoughtful and deeply musical, and harshly ignored for it’s dubstep roots. Avoid the album because of badly misplaced misconceptions and you’ve sidestepped the best album of the year. Beautiful.
BEST TSA MEMBER: Gamoc
With us since we were in nappies, and forever popping up in the corner of my TV. Gamoc, drop us an email and we’ll get a shiny promo copy of PS3 SingStar out to you pronto as a way of saying thanks.
Here’s to a fantastic looking 2008 and 12 months of sometimes funny and sometimes first news, reviews and all kinds of crap from TheSixthAxis. Have a great New Year!