SONY had a phenomenal 2013, with quality games released for every PlayStation platform. On PS3, Naughty Dog showcased its mastery of the hardware with an unforgettable tale, while Media Molecule took a break from LittleBigPlanet to entertain the PS Vita audience. Of course, the PS4 finally arrived, and with it came several must-have titles. On that note, these are the best PlayStation games of 2013.
Few games had a bigger emotional impact on players than The Last of Us. Naughty Dog once again outdid itself, this time with an intense tale of survival as believable heroes Joel and Ellie made their way across a post-apocalyptic landscape. Spectacularly directed cut scenes and quality voice acting moved some players to tears. That is, when they weren't fighting for their virtual lives against gun-toting enemies and humans infected with a devastating fungus. Unlike most third person shooters, this one forced gamers to use stealth to dispose of their adversaries, thanks in large part to Joel's special listening ability that made plotting against the infected impressively strategic. The fact that resources (especially bullets) are scarce only served to make things more difficult, and fans loved every blood-soaked second of what The Last of Us had to offer.
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule captivated PlayStation Vita owners this fall with its charming adventure that takes place in a stylish paper world. As gamers help the main character deliver a message (to themselves, no less), they're able to interact with this eye-popping environment through touch in several unique ways, one of the coolest involving the system's rear touch panel, which lets them see their fingerprints in the game. They'll need this touchscreen feature to solve a variety of tricky puzzles. That said, players interested in buying a PS Vita should pick up this game alongside SONY's powerful handheld.
The PlayStation 4 has no shortage of first-person shooters, and new system owners would be wise to add SONY's first party game to their collections. Shadow Fall's graphics are by far its most talked about feature, but the game also comes with over-the-top fire fights that stretched across numerous detailed locations, from a lush forest to more industrial areas infested with Helghast. This time, players can make use of an OWL robot that performs different functions, including hacking computer terminals and creating a zip line for them to access otherwise hard-to-reach areas, all controlled with the DualShock 4's touchpad. This amounted to a memorable single player campaign with a high body count, and that number skyrockets once users head into multiplayer.
PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
With Italy and even the U.S. under its collective belt, Ubisoft turned to the Caribbean for its most recent Assassin's Creed. Gamers lived a pirate's life aboard the upgradeable Jackdaw ship (complete with crew) and engaged in explosive swashbuckling encounters. Later, they can sail into places like Kingston and Nassau to assassinate high-value targets and interact with eccentric characters. Of course, one of the best features for Black Flag is the ability to plot one's own path through these tropical locations, hunting dangerous animals and searching for treasure. This all amounts to a gripping game from start to finish. And an extra hour's worth of gameplay on the PlayStation platforms, this is the must-have version of the game.
The PC hit finally came to consoles this year, and it didn't disappoint. Blizzard's monster-filled dungeon crawler plunges gamers into the dangerous Sanctuary, where they choose one of five character classes- including the monk, barbarian, demon hunter, witch doctor and wizard- with unique abilities to slaughter enemies and then pillage everything they get their hands on. Local and online play for up to four heroes opened different ways to tackle the game's punishing adversaries, with randomised instances where creatures and treasure change each time they play. On top of that, this version comes with PS3 exclusive items, like the Crimson Angelic Wings and Drake's Amulet. An ideal pick-up for console fans that missed the adventure on PC.