I’ve decided that with the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles coming out, it might be time to look at some of the best games for both systems, taking a look at both the exclusives for each system as well as the multiplatform games. What better time than during this pleasant November where we will all be fretting about if buying a launch console is the right more or not, or if waiting is prudent.
Last week saw the release of the PlayStation 4 to much fanfare, with it selling over one million units in 24 hours. To celebrate that I looked at the exclusives that made the PlayStation 4 great, this time around it is the multiplatform releases that helped to push gaming further in the past few years than we’ve ever seen before.
BioWare’s Mass Effect Trilogy
These games, to me, were just a triumph in almost every category imaginable. It was an epic space opera RPG with rich characters, a solid storyline and decent gameplay to go along with it. The games evolved, gameplay wise, over the span of the three games but did their best to remain true-to-form. Sadly, some of the RPG elements found in the first game were removed, but then again, they got rid of the stupid Mako, so it might be a fair trade off? Even if you were one of those people who hated the ending of the third game, it’s hard to argue with these games being tops.
Activision’s Call of Duty series
This is a love/hate category for many, as Call of Duty 2 was a launch titles for Xbox 360 and won over the hearts of gamers everywhere with its frenetic gameplay style, tight shooting mechanics and “next gen graphics.” Since then the franchise has moved on to be the gold standard in multiplatform blockbusters with yearly installments that seem to be setting records everywhere they go. Love them or hate them, it’s hard to argue their influence and reach.
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV and V
Speaking of gold standards, Grand Theft Auto made a big impact on this generation of consoles with GTA IV and GTA V, with both games receiving critical acclaim and selling tons and tons of copies. Both games did a lot to show what can be done with open world games that tell a compelling story while offering addictive multiplayer suites. The fact that GTA V took so long to come out just helped to build it up more, making it the biggest entertainment launch in history.
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption was a lot more than “Grand Theft Auto with horses” like many were led to believe. Sure, a lot of the gameplay mechanics were similar, but Red Dead truly felt like it was happening in the wild west and brought a lot of that Rockstar charm with it. Probably my favorite story and set of characters of any Rockstar game to date. A sequel will undoubtedly be a highlight of this upcoming generation.
DICE’s Battlefield (Bad Company 1 and 2, 1943 and BF3 and 4)
Battlefield has served as the ying to Call of Duty’s yang, being the more thoughtful, tactical shooter as opposed to Call of Duty’s twitch-reflex style of adrenaline-fueled gaming. Battlefield games brought some really solid destructible environments to the table along with huge maps with vehicles, which really changed the pacing. The only real hindrance was the limitations on how many players could be in each map on consoles, sadly.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Series
Assassin’s Creed, to me, is one of the best ways to sum up this generation of consoles. Of course, Assassin’s Creed was one of the first games in this generation that really blew me away, graphically. AC has an uber-cool concept of an ancient order of assassins battling against the ancient order of the Knights Templar for control of history while using a dual-narrative style. The parkour-style gameplay has always been super fun and the effortless assassinations and kills have made these games really fun. Assassin’s Creed III was a bit of a misstep for the series, but when it comes to yearly releases this stuff is expected.
Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and V: Skyrim
Bethesda set the standard for open world, Western RPGs with the Elder Scrolls series in this generation, even if they couldn’t figure out how the hell to program for the PlayStation 3’s memory properly. You’d probably be an outlier if you haven’t sunk hundreds of hours into at least one of these games as they are addictive, fun and immersive. You somehow forget that you are doing repetitive fetch quests because you are testing out a newly-enchanted bow and watching your foes burst into flames and fall over dead while you cackle to yourself.
Bethesda’s Fallout III and Fallout: New Vegas
See above, only talk about vaults, the incredible VATS targeting system and crafting your own crazy guns.
There have been a lot more great titles throughout this generation, obviously, but we’d be doing this for days if we were to list all of them. This is just a snapshot of this generation of consoles and how they were able to bring endless hours of entertainment to us. As always, if you think that I missed something or am way off, that is why this is the internet and there is a comments section for you to get worked up in.