The Top 10 PS3 Games for Christmas

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The fact that we now have a lovely new next-generation console does not automatically mean its predecessor is obsolete. Far from it. Not everyone has jumped ship to the PS4, and Sony still supports the PlayStation 3. So with that in mind, here are 10 of the best games to give your PS3-playing pals this Christmas.
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Minecraft PS3 Edition

One of the world’s most popular PC games, Minecraft – the sandbox survival sim that sold more than 13 million copies – works pretty well on the PS3. For those who came in late, Minecraft lets you create your very own world to explore and build – it’s a bit like a digital version of LEGO. The world is only limited by your imagination – you have total control to choose what you want to make or do. Plus, you can play on your own, cooperatively in two-player and four-player split-screen modes, or online with up to eight players.


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Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar’s brilliant Grand Theft Auto series is known for giving players absolute freedom in violent, crime-ridden cities. And GTAV has been called a masterpiece by many – a sprawling odyssey with memorable characters and thrilling gameplay. Players can switch seamlessly between three protagonists: a sociopathic ex-criminal, a psycho hillbilly or an ambitious hustler. Everything that people love about the GTA games is present and accounted for: guns, hookers, fast cars and a solid storyline. This is easily the best GTA game … until the next one.


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South Park: The Stick of Truth

The Stick of Truth is pretty much like playing an actual episode of this still sharp and funny TV show. It was created with the input of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Park, so you can expect it to be very funny and very, very rude. The plot sees the boys and their friends involved in an epic LARPing game (a sequel of sorts to the Black Friday trilogy of episodes from the show’s Season 17). You play your own customised character who has to choose between joining Cartman’s Humans or Kyle’s Elves, and just as in the show, things get wildly (and ridiculously) out of hand. So come on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine.


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Watch Dogs

Meet Aiden Pearce, a skilled computer hacker, who uncovered a little too much info on a rich client and so a family member of his was murdered. Unsurprisingly, Aiden’s pretty angry about that. Watch Dogs is an open-world action game that takes place in a near-future Chicago, one that’s overrun with interconnectivity and the problems that arise from an always-connected society. Pearce sets out to get revenge, using his tablet to hack into everything from the city’s sewer system to the phones of people passing by. There are loads of gadgets to play with, fast cars to drive and You’ll divide the rest of your time between driving fast cars, and plenty gunplay that’s either stealthy or conducted with grenade launchers…


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Child of Light

A role-playing game that is set in a beautiful fairytale world, Child of Light sees you playing Aurora, a girl who has the power of flight. She must travel across the mysterious kingdom of Lemuria and battle the Queen of Night, who has stolen the sun, the moon and the stars. It’s beautiful to look at – the watercolour landscapes are breathtaking – and has fabulous gameplay to back it up.


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Dark Souls II

Prepare to die… Again. Prepare to die was the original Dark Soul’s tagline, and playing the game you quickly realised it was an apt warning. (Actually, “prepare to die a lot” would have been much more accurate). Now comes the sequel, which dares you to immerse yourself into mind-bending environments filled with new twisted monsters and deadly bosses. A vast array of threats will prey on human senses and phobias – auditory hallucinations, vertigo, acrophobia, and more.

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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes marks the 21st LEGO game from award winning developer Traveller’s Tales, and so it’s no surprise that it’s one of their best and most refined entries, offering lighthearted fun for Marvel fans of all ages. At its core the gameplay is very simple – one button to attack, another to jump/fly etc – but the variety comes from seeing how each mechanic is attuned for the multitude of characters. And there is a WIDE range of characters here, 155 to be exact (not including DLC), and TT have done well to include the vast majority of Marvel’s deep catalogue. Starting out with Iron Man and Hulk, we get to interact and/or play with Spider-Man, Thor, The Fantastic Four and many more, with even lesser known characters such as Black Bolt and Captain Britain getting their day in the sun. Indeed, true believers will be more than satisfied.


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Saints Row IV

This open-world game advances the story of the Third Street Saints by upping their status to the highest level – the leaders of the free world. After a catastrophic alien invasion occurs where the aliens transport the Saints to a bizarro-Steelport simulation, you’ve got to fight to free humanity from alien grandaddy Zinyak’s mental grasp by utilizing gargantuan superpowers. Escape the simulation that’s trapped the Saints crew, or die trying.


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Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls is a masterwork of storytelling and delivers stunning motion-captured characters that are almost indistinguishable from real life. You play as the main character, Jodie Holmes, who is recognisably played by the actress Ellen Page. Jodie was born with a special ability – she is linked to an entity called Aiden, who bestows upon her a range of unique skills, such as remote viewing, the ability to move and destroy objects with her mind and even the ability to temporarily take control of another person. His presence also comes with one big disadvantage – she can never lead a normal life.


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The Last of Us

It feels fitting that the PS3’s best game arrived towards the end of its life. Survival-horror action-adventure The Last of Us has been praised almost universally for its story, environments and emotional impact. Although it doesn’t bring anything particularly new or innovative to the table, the Last of Us is indeed worthy of the hype. Set in a post-apocalyptic America where some kind of infection has turned most people into monsters, the remains of humanity live in fear in decaying buildings under the watchful eyes of the military, whose heavy-handed tactics suck out what little fun is left in existing. On the surface, The Last of Us is a zombie tale, but the setting doesn’t matter so much as the characters do. Joel, a middle-aged man with nothing left to lose, and Ellie, a young and foul-mouthed teenager, travel across the desolate US learning and growing together. The Last of Us is simply one of the best games you can buy for the PlayStation 3.


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Stuart O’Connor