Long gone are the days when console gamers had to wait months between quality releases. Unless you’re a Wii owner, then you still have to wait a while but at least you have loads of party games to pass the time. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that there are so many really good games coming out these days that it is incredibly easy for a few to slip under your radar. I’ve made a list of ten games from this generation which I think deserve to be played. Even if it’s only to pass a week while you wait for Call of War XV: Revenge of the Multiplayer or whatever it is you kids are excited about this year…
Feel free to add your own “unsung heroes” of this generation in the comments.
- Pure – It came out around the same time as MotorStorm and brand loyalty seemed to attract many potential customers towards the PlayStation’s flagship off-roader. Don’t be fooled though, whilst I’m sure MotorStorm was a great game, Pure is brilliant. Speed, customisation, great career mode and competitive setup all make this a bargain-bin title with a lot of quality.
- Crackdown – I know this Xbox exclusive has been around for ages and to people who bought a 360 early it might be old news but to those of us who were late to Microsoft’s party this might have slipped under the radar. Crazy, chaotic fun with a superhuman “agent”, this has a similar feel to infamous but takes itself far less seriously and has guns and cars instead of electric bolts. This is so cheap now it would be mad not to buy it.
- Saints Row 2 – Often compared to the GTA series this is regularly avoided by people who look at screenshots and think it’s just a poor impersonation of Rockstar’s seminal sandbox game. Think again, Saints Row 2 might not have the self-assured swagger of GTA IV but it has the one thing most people cite as GTA IV’s biggest omission – insane, tongue-in-cheek fun.
- 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand – Yes, it is awfully scripted and terribly clichéd. It does have more to do with promoting the rapper as some sort of invincible mercenary than actually being a good game. Get past all that over-the-top “gangsta” bravado though and there is actually a decent third person, cover-based shooter under there. Worth a punt at the knock-down prices I’ve seen it retailing for recently.
- Rocket Riot – This is an XBLA game that seems to have slipped under a lot of people’s radars. Certainly these days it’s easier to find an honest MP than it is to find a multiplayer game. Ignore all that though, Rocket Riot is amusing, charming, exciting and fun. It’s worth the price even for the fantastic local multiplayer. Who knows, if enough of you buy it we might even get a game online.
- Endwar – I got this because, at the time, it was the only way to get an official PlayStation headset. It is essentially a real time strategy game and it didn’t do particularly well. It is fun though and the voice-command system works flawlessly. Missions are broken up into easy to handle little chunks and the tutorial will ease in players who are unfamiliar with the RTS genre. Roughly one hundred and forty-seven percent better than Halo Wars.
- Siren: Blood Curse – Sure, the controls are a bit cumbersome and it’s not the absolute best example of the survival horror genre. It is cheap though and if you like your games scarier than a Fox News special report then you might just find something to love about it.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance – This has its sequel now, which also seems to have gone by without much fuss. I haven’t played the second game but the first was an enjoyable super-hero-squad based brawler with multiple endings and light RPG elements. It has its flaws but the first game is so cheap now that you could buy it instead of renting. MUA2 is also dropping in price so it might be worth keeping your Spidey Senses honed for a bargain there too.
- Critter Crunch – Released on the PSN a few months ago with relatively little fanfare, this is a charming and amusing little puzzler. Probably the best game of its type this year and a definite must-have for fans of Tetris, Bejewelled or 7 Wonders. Who doesn’t want to barf rainbows?
- Valkyria Chronicles – Probably the best game on this list. It’s a kind of turn based, action RPG with a strong anime feel and a decent storyline. Such a shame that it didn’t sell as well as it deserved but if you can find it then it is definitely worth a purchase. Especially as it’s likely to be cheaper than a bar of Dairy Milk at a Diabetes clinic.