It has been suggested that we produce a few features every now and then that highlight our favorite games for the month. Well, it's a good idea and as we're behind to start with, we'll give you our top selections for the year-to-date. In the future, we'll try to do such features at the end of each month, so you know all about the gems you missed. 😉

So anyway, we're five months in so here are 5 titles that we figure every avid gamer needs to play (and we're not necessarily including 1 title from each month).

5. Bayonetta

As a quick clarification, we mean the Xbox 360 version. Yes, we know the name of our site but let's face it; the severe frame rate issues and lagging visuals in the PS3 version of this Sega port made the choice clear for action aficionados. It's why we had to give the PS3 version a relatively low score , but I promise you, the 360 version is a 9+ product. It's one of the most sublime action mechanics you will ever see; it allows the player to be endlessly inventive and yes, the challenge is sky-high. And please don't forget, Sega's not taking themselves seriously. The over-the-top sexy cheesiness is intentional; it's designed to be tongue-in-cheek, obviously . And it's just so damn good.

4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Some will argue that DICE's anticipated follow-up actually provided players with a better online multiplayer experience than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 , and a great many more will say the single-player campaign is most certainly superior. But regardless of what you believe, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is one of the most intense, enjoyable experiences you will have in 2010. Some claim to be sick of shooters – and to some extent, we certainly agree – but there's so much top-quality greatness going on here…it's just tough to ignore. For those who don't want to wait until the new CoD or Medal of Honor later this year, you really can't go wrong with BC2.

3. Final Fantasy XIII

This is more my pick than Arnold's as he didn't like it as much, but in my eyes, while it remained a disappointment on the sky-high FF scale, it was still a great achievement. I don't play games for 75 hours unless I'm enjoying myself, you know? Final Fantasy XIII presents us with one of the most impressive visual presentations ever; the cinematography and CGI is basically unparalleled, the story is decent, the characters are quite good (and they get a lot better as time goes on), and while I'll always maintain that Square-Enix could've done a better job on the combat mechanic, I will also always stand by my review. If you can manage to accept the fact that it's not quite up to the lofty standards this franchise holds, we can almost guarantee you will appreciate this production.

2. Heavy Rain

In all honesty, this is my favorite game of the year so far. What it did for this industry is difficult to describe; I did what I could to explain it in my review , but I doubt I did the game justice. Those who have played it know of what I speak, and even as I sit here typing, I have the sudden urge to go through it again (for the fifth time). In terms of storytelling and completely enveloping the player in a beautifully arranged plot with compelling characters, I have difficulty thinking of any other video game that tops it. MGS4 comes close but as Quantic Dream's primary goal was to deliver something entirely original in the interest of art and advancement, Heavy Rain is something very, very special.

1. God of War III

The reason this gets the nod over Heavy Rain is simply because we believe – fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it – that God of War III is more accessible and more appealing to the majority of the PS3-owning population. It's just a big-time crowd-pleaser; it almost doesn't matter what type of game you typically enjoy, because you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't love this game. It features the largest amount of bad-assness and the largest number of kick-ass moments we've ever seen, and it's so meticulously designed and developed, it's nigh-on flawless. GoWIII was everything we had hoped it would be and it's definitely a front-runner for Game of the Year.

And that's what you need to play, if you haven't already. We will also give honorable mentions to Super Street Fighter IV ; the score would normally place it above in the top 5, but it's really just an expansion and upgrade on last year's great SFIV. I would also like to add that Nier is one of my favorite games of the year simply because I have a special preference for such experiences, and 3D Dot Game Heroes is a definite must if you're a fan of the old-school Zelda games.

Next time you see this feature, it should only be for the month of May and if you hadn't already guessed, it probably won't boast 5 or more titles and it most certainly will feature Red Dead Redemption .

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Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Oh yeah…if I could put a #6 up there, it'd be Bioshock 2.

Vitron
Vitron
10 years ago

What's up with Nier? I thought it'd really suck.

I guess I'll have to research this game…

Mavfan321
Mavfan321
10 years ago

My friend just lent me this and I love it. I have to play the first all the way through still but I needed to play any Bioshock since I was always in love with the concept.

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
10 years ago

thanks for mentioning it ,iv just bought it recently

Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

Hate to say it, but I know a guy who doesn't like God of War for the excessive violence and blood, but loves Dante's Inferno and refuses to admit it's a GoW clone… I don't understand him.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Inferno has plenty of violence and blood.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Not to mention the terrifying snapping extendo-vaginas.

chedison
chedison
10 years ago

what about the creepy babies and the pestulance from that chick's nipples?

Hitch
Hitch
10 years ago

GOW3 = Who's Inferno???

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

That must have been a terrifying experience World… hold on to your nuts tight!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Mavfan321
Mavfan321
10 years ago

Once again I prefer innovation to clones. Unless we're talking about Solid Snake he's the best of both worlds.

Milonakis
Milonakis
10 years ago

Replace Bayonetta with Assasin's Creed 2.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Assassin's Creed 2 was 2009 game, and even if it's a 2010 game, Bayonetta is still better.

Hitch
Hitch
10 years ago

Assassins Creed 2 = Who-a-netta???

hadouken
hadouken
10 years ago

I like this feature. I've only played two of the staffs picks this year but I'm still behind and trying to catch up.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Are you doing "Staff Pick: The Most-Anticipated of 2010"?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Breakdown:

5: Bayonetta was about 6 hours, which was difficult to get through because it was so blah. After buying enough moves I do like the fighting mechanic but everything else is a wash, poor level design, a story nobody could care about, gimmicks galore, poor graphics and plain old laziness abound. Even if I had the 360 version and the graphics and frame rate were flawless I wouldn't let it touch an 8.

4: Never played it.

3: Fully agree with Ben, a solid game in it's own right, but hardly a Final Fantasy as we have come to know it over that past numbered iterations.

2: Fully agree again, Heavy Rain is a monumental achievement. I have nothing but disdain for the people who passed on it to watch it on youtube. You can't just watch that game, it is the intensity of playing in that environment that makes it so great.

1: While awesome, GOWIII disappoints me except in the graphics department and brutality. I'd give it a 9, since the environments are underwhelming and repetitive and the puzzles are less than clever. Still a must own, but between the first and last hour of the game it's pretty stock stuff with a thin story.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Even if it's the 360 version you wouldn't let it touch an 8?
My dear friend, I think you just hate this genre.


Last edited by Snaaaake on 5/21/2010 10:17:48 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

No sir, I'm a veteran of the genre and the game is terribly made in my opinion. Each level is just a different configuration of the last until you get to the end, platform in space, piece of a city in space, platform in space, piece of a city flying in space, not a background to be seen. Each enemy is a different configuration of the same parts. It is unwise to attempt to mix comic style cut scenes with real time cut scenes because it looks lazy, and c'mon did you really have fun playing Angel Attack or driving the motorcycle or riding on the rocket? All very generically done and ill-fitting.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 5/21/2010 10:39:08 PM

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

World I think in GOWIII you had more of a story than what you're giving it credit for. You were the story, you were Kratos and you knew exactly what you needed to do and who to do it to.

Being that I'm new to the series and playing all three almost back to back, all I could think about after having read Greek mythology when I was younger, was how cool it was to encounter these beings and stomping a mud hole in them.

A person's opinion is what helps make people who they are, so thumbs.


Last edited by tes37 on 5/22/2010 12:18:53 AM

Sol
Sol
10 years ago

I enjoyed Bayonetta and it's cheesiness. It is simply fun with a decent learning curve that lets people with decent DMC skills like me or total noobs play the game and enjoy it.

As for Battlefield, I still have to play the first one first. On another hand I have continued to hear how 2 rivaled MW2. Though I have only played MW2 on my friends 360 every now and again, it wasn't enough to make me take it as seriously. To hear that there may be something better than something my friend has and has played very often deserves a look.

Final Fantasy XIII is part of a three part series. I'm pretty sure that Agito and Versus aren't going to be the same as the old school Final Fantasies, but does that really make them any less Final Fantasy? Besides when was Final Fantasy really about the gameplay? They were more about the stories and bonding the player to the characters. If you had played something that looked beautiful but was the same old thing you'd complain about that too (because that's how people are… there is always a reason to be dissatisfied).

Heavy Rain I look forward to but I won't get it just yet because there are items on the list I have mentioned in the past that I need first (primarily because I can find them relatively cheaply now). If Heavy Rain warrants a Greatest Hits title and recieves a price drop I may get it sooner, but since I don't have the money to get it I may as well watch it on youtube.

God of War III… at this point I can't quite say that people play it for its puzzles or graphics. It's more about being a part of Kratos' crazily brutal epicness.

Overall I think people should be less critical about games. So long as the good outweighs the bad where is the problem?

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

Thumbs up I meant at the end. My brain short circuited for a second or …. twelve, but who's counting.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Well, like I said those were just my opinions, not to be taken as fact. I had no problem with Bayonetta being cheesy, that was the best part next to the fighting mechanic. They handled the humor well in that game too when it makes fun of our current culture and itself, but it wasn't cohesive and didn't boast the kind of impressive level designs I enjoyed in the DMC series.

Concerning GOWIII, I said I'd give it a 9 which is a damn good score, I knew it wouldn't do anything "new" but I had hoped for something to set it apart from the other two. The environments in GOWII were more diverse I think. If I hadn't spent the whole time in dark dank Hades and got to climb all of Mt Olympus I think I would have enjoyed it more. The problem with simple vengeance is you need a thick story if you want it to be a trilogy and in GOWIII Kratos became an errand boy. But I'm still glad I own it because there is nothing more epic than the cinematography and brutality involved.

Sol
Sol
10 years ago

Agreed.

Danny007
Danny007
10 years ago

I love this article. I will give God Of War 3 a try because it looks like its your guy's pick for game of the year so far…

Hitch
Hitch
10 years ago

No excuse for not having already gotten it seeing as how the game has been received critical acclaim from the world and this site included.

MartyRules
MartyRules
10 years ago

This is going to be my list at the end of the year.
5.Heavy Rain
4.Gran Turismo 5
3.Socom 4
2.GOW 3
1.LBP2

kevinater321
kevinater321
10 years ago

Its kind of sad i don't see any multiplats in there 😛

Kai200X
Kai200X
10 years ago

I got 3 out of 5, does that make me a wise guy? lol. But the truth is I've only FFXIII for about an hour, but I enjoyed Heavy Rain and totally beaten God of War III. I think this is a pretty good list.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

Ben & Arnold & also to sometimes John,

This is going to be a great contribution to the PSEX community here!

As for me. Damn….I still need to get all of those picks.

I DID have a $650 nest egg set just for games 4 weeks ago & I was about to go out big-game hunting, but wouldn't you know it, just then my truck broke down & had to be towed to a shop for a new fuel pump(inside the tank).

And just guess how much my frigging repair & towing bill came to???
$13.87 "MORE" than my whole damned gaming nest egg.

GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!


Last edited by BikerSaint on 5/21/2010 10:51:19 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Bummer man, bum-mer.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

Nice idea. My tastes might not always match up, but what gamer can resist a game that makes any "must play" list?

RadioHeader
RadioHeader
10 years ago

I can resist, especially if he thinks I should acquire yet another 360 to play it.

…maybe when Hell freezes over.

Sol
Sol
10 years ago

Now that I finally have a PS3 I'll look some of these up though I already have XIII.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Welcome to the big boy club 🙂

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

I so much wanted to play Bayonetta, but I will not buy an xbox360. Sega should have done the right thing in this situation and released a patch, no matter how big, to fix the problems. The only problem with making mistakes, is refusing to fix them. So I took psxetreme's advice and passed on this one.

I haven't played Battlefield: Bad company 2 because my dislike for FPS's started way back in the 90's and I haven't been able to shake it. The demo of Killzone 2 almost convinced me to give the genre another try. I didn't get an opportunity to play a demo for B:BC2 so I have no idea what it's like.

The other three in the list I have played and I agree with their placement, although GOWIII takes number one with me, Heavy Rain does come awfully close to taking that crown. I really, really want to see more of the new Interactive Drama genre. Even if Heavy Rain remains alone in the type of game it is, I do believe a new genre has been created by Quantic Dream. I hope they, or someone else pushes it further than it's beginning stages.


Last edited by tes37 on 5/21/2010 11:40:53 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I actually found that (After I did the install) there weren't as many problems. You definitely need the install though, or the fighting can get messed up.

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

I may pick it up extremely cheap, but it would have to be brand new. Like $5 is what I paid for Dark Sector and I like that game and think it's worth more. That's what I call a damn good deal.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Oh yeah, forgot to say, great idea. I forget whose idea it was but kudos to you sir. And yourself Mr. Dutka. Good to see the place expand, and if nothing else it makes for a good article to discuss when not a whole helluva lot is going on am I right?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Of course. 🙂

FxTales
FxTales
10 years ago

I've only played the one on that list and that was Heavy Rain which didn't disappoint so guess I better allocate some time for GOW3. However even that may have to wait for Red Dead Redemption (sorry love westerns).

Danny007
Danny007
10 years ago

I think that you and I are the same person.

___________
___________
10 years ago

meh, meh, meh, must play, and meh.
every one there thats a sequel was a massive disappointment, especially GOW3 and BFBC2.
heavy rain was great, bayonetta was boring as bat sh*t!
im shocked to not see red dead redemption on there.
bioshock 2, alan wake and splinter cell conviction deserve to be on the list, with honorable mentions to dantes inferno and darksiders.

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

Did he not say there would be a separate list for May? Re-read my friend.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

…your taste in games is downright ridiculous.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i have to agree with ben, some of your game preferences and comments baffle me. maybe you should spend more time playing games instead of just rushing to finish a game. i wouldnt mind splinter cell to be on the list if it was still had the stuff i loved about splinter cell, you know, alot of stealth and not pure action.


Last edited by johnld on 5/22/2010 1:11:18 AM

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

his reasons for hating some games is downright ridiculous also, but won't go any further, he'll only cry foul and for me to "stop jumping down his throat"

Vitron
Vitron
10 years ago

Hey, you should make your own site!
I know you'll do better than Ben here,…

In making Sulking Editorials and Reviews.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Jeez man, at least I try to back up my negativity on the rare occasion I express any.

___________
___________
10 years ago

why dont bioshock 2, alan wake, splinter cell conviction, dantes inferno and darksiders deserve to be on the list?

as for the others ive already explained why i did not like them, or were disappointed with them do i have to go through it every single time the topic comes up?
fine!

KZ2 i did not like because it was so linear, repetitive ect ect.
every level is exactly the same as the last, just with a new skin on top.
everything is cover, pop, shoot, cover, pop, shoot, dodge grenade, cover, pop, shoot rinse and repeat.
i can only sit there doing the same sh*t over and over and over again for a certain amount of time before i get bored out of my mind!!!

GOW3 i did not like for really the same reasons, for too linear, far too repetitive, the game climaxes far to early.
the first half a hour are a jaw drop than everything after that is yawn.

bayonetta was far too cliche, and her cockiness at times just got extremely annoying!
o, not to mention again every level is just a repeat of the last.

BFBC2 as ive explained many times was so different from the original, they copied MW2 way to much i wanted BFBC2 to feel like BFBC not like freaking call of doody!
if i want a apple, ill buy a apple not a banana!
BFBC was such a good fun game, why did they have to change it?
as ive said many times, remove the characters, remove the name battlefield bad company 2 and you would not even know its a battlefield game, you would think its a expansion pack to MW2!

FFXIII is again so different to the series.
again if i want a apple ill buy a apple, not a banana!
FF is one of the worlds most famous most beloved series, why did they have to change it?

i really could not care less what games have, as long as there not repetitive and boring than im happy but sadly these days thats like asking to win the lottery!
a high budget, stellar graphics, outstanding storyline, great level design, brilliant sound design do not make a good game.
they help, but they do not make a good game.
to have a good game it has to be fun, because that is the point of playing games no?
a game that has everything, but is not fun will always be a bad game, nothing can change that!
a game that has nothing, but is at least fun will always be a good game.
perfect example of that is just cause 2.
it may be f*cked in more ways than i can be bothered listing, but at least its FUN! and thats what games are all about.
it does not take itself too seriously, it does not rule things out because there "unrealistic" *cough* GTAIV *cough*

there, that explanatory enough for ya?