As we’re quite definitively moving towards dominance of our next-generation platforms, with a plethora of upcoming games shunning releases on last-gen consoles all together, we thought it may be worthwhile to look back and celebrate the fantastic games that the generation prior has brought us. Below is a list of 30 games from PS3, XBOX360 or Wii that are truly unmissable, and should be played by all.
Each of these games is characterised by something special that makes them truly unique in and of their own right, whilst this doesn’t mean games like Fifa 14 (for example) may not be ‘great games’, one factor which defined inclusion in this list is how unique each title was, at least relative to its time. So in effect this list is characterised by the games that we feel defined the last generation by pushing the bar for new and better experiences within their respective genres and games that will hopefully be taken heed of by developers making our next-gen classics.
30. Viva Pinata
Viva Pinata has always been a staple of the XBOX 360, and one of the better games developed by Rare in recent years. Despite its surface level simplicity and child-like charms Viva Pinata was overflowing with hidden depth. Crafting your perfect garden and maintaining a relatively complex ecosystem with a myriad of different creatures quickly turns into a very engaging and rewarding pursuit.
Honourable mentions: The Sims 3, Civilisation: Revolution
29. Motorstorm Pacific Rift
The Second entry in the Motorstorm franchise developed by Evolution Studios, Motorstorm Pacific rift makes it onto our list by offering something an off-road experience like no other. Pacific Rift has you racing through everything from gorgeous tropical beaches to erupting volcanic mountains and dense jungle, all the while providing distinctly different handling characteristics for each environments respective terrain. Motorstorm is a game built for adrenaline junkies and provides a very unique blend of arcade and offroad racing.
Honourable mentions: Motorstorm, Motorstorm Apocalpse, Dirt 2, Split / Second
28. Red Faction Guerilla
Red Faction Guerilla smashes it way onto our list with it’s dynamic destruction engine. This game is the the definitive physics based destruction environment, or rather playground available on last generation consoles. Watching buildings crumble apart piece by piece is an endlessly satisfying experience, it’s the only true physics based destruction system available on last gen platforms and makes Battlefield 3’s frostbite pale in comparison. Oh, and the multiplayer is pretty great too!
Honourable mentions: Battlefield Bad Company
Borderlands hit next-gen consoles with a bang, being met with immediate comercial and critical acclaim, and it’s easy to see why. Borderlands brings the addictive loot driven dungeon crawling of classics like Diablo to a whole new genre. The game features a quirky set of characters and a universe that doesn’t quite take itself seriously melded together with the aforementioned FPS / RPG mechanics, the end result is a very unique and enjoyable formulae that has had fans hooked since 2009.
Honourable mentions: Borderlands 2, Lost Planet
Journey is one of a handful of games published over the last generation that push the boundary of video games as art. Journey is a mesmerizing experience that will captivate you with its sheer beauty resonates with your heart. Journey forgoes video game conventions like score keeping and lives in favour of a more experience driven game. You only have one goal; walk towards the shining mountain in the distance, and this alone produces an unforgettable experience.
Honourable mentions: Flower
25. Wipeout HD
Wipeout returns its blistering adrenaline induced gameplay to home consoles with Wipeout HD, and what a treat this game is. Running at 1080p, 60 frames per second Wipeout lets you really feel the speed as you rush through tight corners at 600+ kph. Visually the game is stunning taking place as an almost believable futuristic, anti-gravity motorsport, and it’s equally pleasurable to play. The game controls brilliantly and the introduction of a new physics based anti-gravity system adds endless layers of depth to the experience as you’re constantly looking for the tiniest lips to fit a barrel roll into.
Honourable mentions: Mario Kart 7, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Transformed