For those who like to play games, this could not be a greater time. Every week it seems that, between stores and online services such as Steam, PSN, XBLA, and Wii Ware, we see new releases in the double digits.
In a way, this is a curse as much as a blessing. On the one hand, the sheer amount of gaming options we have available to us is incredible. However, on the other hand, because of this exponentially increasing library of games, it’s becoming easier for great games to get lost in the shuffle.
These five games are a representation of some of the best titles in the long list of left behind games. As a way of narrowing down the list, only titles that could be easily purchased (ie. are from the current generation of games) were considered. The list is presented in alphabetical order, as all are considered to be a great pick-up depending on what you’re looking for.
Bastion (Steam, XBLA) — $15
Released this past summer by Supergiant Games, Bastion was probably one of the best games to debut on XBLA in 2011. In Bastion, you assume control over a character known simply as “the Kid.” As the Kid, you explore the remains of the city of Caelondia and surrounding areas which have been broken up into many floating pieces in the after of the Calamity. Bastion not only sounds and looks beautiful, it’s simplistic design makes it a great pick-up and play adventure in the vein of 2-D isometric games of the past.
Catherine (PS3, Xbox 360) — $40
For all intents and purposes, this shouldn’t be a game that I like. It’s a puzzle game with an anime art style, two genres that I have little interest in. Yet the hours I sunk into this game is unbelievable. Catherine contains one of the most identifiable stories and one that you can’t help but become wrapped up in. Excellent story telling combined with frantic and addicting platforming puzzles makes Catherine one of the best titles of 2011.
Heavy Rain (PS3) — $30
One of the lesser known PlayStation 3 exclusive titles, Heavy Rain is a psychological thriller centering around four protagonists who are trying the mystery behind a serial killer called the Origami Killer. Taking advantage of the six axis controller, Heavy Rain implements a new control scheme which makes the game a much more immersive experience. The compelling story, which features 18 possible endings, will leave you with plenty of replay value and makes the game a great addition to any gaming library.
Limbo (Mac, PSN, Steam, XBLA) — $15
Limbo is one of the most fascinating download titles I’ve ever played. As the player, you control an unnamed boy on a quest through a mysterious world to find his sister. Don’t be deceived by the premise, Limbo is a dark, dark game. Filled with deadly traps and dangerous creatures, Limbo challenges the player to overcome physics-based puzzles. The results of which usually don’t become apparent until multiple deaths. Adding to Limbo’s aesthetics is both the monochromatic filter applied to the game as well as the eerie and ominous atmosphere that will have your hairs on edge. Limbo is not just an amazing achievement for a downloadable title; it’s an amazing achievement in gaming period.
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Wii) — $25
You didn’t think I’d leave Nintendo out in the cold did you? Wario Ware: Smooth Moves has probably sold the most copies on this list, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included. When people think Wii, they think Mario series, Zelda, and Wii Sports/Play/Etc., very rarely does Wario get thrown into the picture. It’s a shame because this is maybe one of the most fun experiences to be had on the system. Great for parties, Wario Ware is essentially a collection of mini-games which last about five seconds on average. For those looking for a new party game to add to their collection, be sure to pick up Smooth Moves.