I had this discussion with someone the other day, and after quite some time, we came to a mildly surprising conclusion:

Rockstar might be the most consistently great developer of the generation.

The primary contestants were Naughty Dog, BioWare, Valve, and Bethesda. Now, while Naughty Dog might be the one developer that has pushed the boundaries of interactive entertainment more than any other, we can essentially only consider one franchise: Uncharted . Obviously, that could – and should – change when The Last Of Us releases later this year.

BioWare has done fantastic things with Dragon Age and Mass Effect , but some consider DAII to be a minor slip-up, and although we at PSXE will always defend the greatness of ME3, the ending snafu will forever be an unfortunate black mark on that game. Part of ultimate success is pleasing the fans, after all. Valve was a consideration but as amazing as the Portal games are, we'll probably all be dead before Half-Life 3 comes out and I was never that impressed with the Left 4 Dead games. Then there's Bethesda with Fallout and The Elder Scrolls , which is great, but the inherent bugginess of those games (especially on the PS3) knocks them down a peg.

In truth, it could very well be Rockstar. Grand Theft Auto IV , Red Dead Redemption , L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3 have all been big-time hits according to both the critics and sales charts (although we're still waiting on the sales numbers for MP3). Plus, if you go back beyond this generation, you only find more greatness with old GTA titles and hey, who remembers the total coolness that was Bully ? Last but not least, you've got Grand Theft Auto V – and very possibly the new Red Dead – looming on the horizon, which, by all rights, should solidify Rockstar as the overall most impressive developer out there.

Of course, there's a ways to go and things can change. But for now, we've gotta say that all the talented guys and gals over there at Rockstar are truly…well, rock stars.

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maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

Rockstar is great and one of the best, but once ND's "The Last of Us" releases, there will be no doubt to which developer deserves that title.

Bandit1
Bandit1
8 years ago

Rockstar and Naughty Dog are pretty much tied in my book. All of their games are top-notch. I'm currently playing the crap out of Max Payne 3. I like the feel of RDR's and MP3's shooting mechanics better than Uncharted's but Uncharted takes the crown on graphics. I really respect that Rockstar takes 3-4 years to develop a game too. Can't wait for GTAV and The Last of Us.

Mogreen
Mogreen
8 years ago

Yes I have this discussion with people all the time, forget Best of the generation, More like most consistent of the past 12 years.

GTA3,Max Payne, Max Payne 2, GTA:VC, GTA:SA, Manhunt, The Warriors, Bully, Red Dead Revolver, GTA:LCS, GTA:VCS, GTA 4, Midnight Club Series, Red Dead Redemption,L.A Noire, and Max Payne 3

I don't think any of those games average under an 8 in review scores(They certainly shouldn't)

Only way a company is competing with that in these past 12 years is if you count all Sony's developer's as a whole. imo

Cole
Cole
8 years ago

Max Payne 1 and 2 were developed by Remedy Entertainment who have since moved on to make Alan Wake. Only Max Payne 3 was developed by Rockstar.

And L.A Noire was developed by Team Bondi.Rockstar only published these games.


Last edited by Cole on 5/21/2012 7:32:35 AM

Mogreen
Mogreen
8 years ago

Well you take those 3 off the list and you still have a line-up that's way stronger than any other developer.

The Real Deal
The Real Deal
8 years ago

@Ben: I agree completely, there attention to detail and commercial successes are undeniably the best of this generation. It reminds me of the days of Squaresoft, when you knew that every game will live up to a certain high standard. Yet again, an article that has merit and meanining and the kind you really only get here at: PSXExtreme! *Hats Off*

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

I love Rockstar, they always produce games that I love to play. Although GTA4 to me wasn't as impressive as it's made out to be. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it to certain extents.

But, ND came out and released three of the most ground breaking games this generation each exceeding the other. That's hard to argue against even if it is the same franchise. Where Rockstar has done what they always do. They are great at what they do. And although I'll always argue that RDR is NOT, GTA with horses I can't argue against them having the same type of mission set up.

This topic should have probably waited until The Last of Us released because that is when (for those skeptic of ND only releasing Uncharted until now) we can really see what they are made of.

Interesting topic though, could go either way.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Surely you concede the controls, gameplay, character addition strategy and mission structure is the same as GTA.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

I can see why people compare the two, absolutely. My point isnt to say they are completely different games though. I mean they are made by the same company and just like the controls they will implement things that work. But they are extremely different experiences! That's what it boils down to.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 5/21/2012 12:19:48 AM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

Not sure how to say this. As much as I view the Uncharted series as the best games this generation I've put far more time into gaming with Rockstar games.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
8 years ago

I think this should remain even after TLOU releases because the keyword here is consistant, and Rockstar is more consistant than Naughty Dog. One title can't destroy everything and this topic should remain completely unbaised if were going to go in to this topic. So no matter how awesome TLOS is or the developers, don't let it cloud your brain. Just my 2¢.

karneli lll
karneli lll
8 years ago

To be honest, Rockstar has like 9-10 branches and each branch is almost the size of Naughty Dog. In the ps3 era; Naughty Dog has smacked out 4 games which, on average, is Rockstar's yearly target.


Last edited by karneli lll on 5/20/2012 11:15:49 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I agree, but it's had the opposite effect on me. Rockstar games are now surefire hits, therefore they are the easiest to put on the "buy it later" list. Why? They always play it safe. The Last of Us looks far more ambitious.

Now, if Rockstar had the balls to release Manhunt 3 as an AO title, you could sign me up on day 1.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

Don't know why you're getting a thumbsdown. Manhunt needs another game in the series.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

It's Moriarty's goons!

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

about to just say that, we need a Manhunt 3, Manhunt was good, Manhunt 2 was okay/fair.

FxTales
FxTales
8 years ago

They are, and you'll also notice there's a lot of time between each release. They spend a lot of time on their projects.

bebestorm
bebestorm
8 years ago

Before and After LoU…. Rockstar!

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

Oh it's Rockstar, there's no doubt in my mind.
I think Rockstar is the most consistent maker of quality games for a period that stretches much further back than just this generation too.

My *personal* favourite for this gen is BioWare simply cause I rank their games higher than the Rockstar games, something that is ironic now that I think about it since it's Rockstar who are the undisputed kings of open world games, and I am such a defender of player freedom in gaming.

But speaking of the overall quality of every component that makes their games, no-one beats Rockstar. No-one.


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/21/2012 1:10:13 AM

AshT
AshT
8 years ago

Personally i'll go with ND, as i was never a fan of GTA and havnt played MP3 yet, L.A. Noire was a rare gem and RDR was also fun, but for me nothing can compete Uncharted and with TLOU coming this gen., i have to pick ND.

faraga
faraga
8 years ago

Since I got my laptop two years ago, that fails miserably at playing video games, I've been a great fan of Valve. I tried playing the games in The Orange Box on it, and they all look fairly decent and run great on my computer. They really did amazing work with the Source engine. That said, I haven't got the chance to look at L4D yet, but from what I've heard, it's quite a good game. Just a bugger it's not on PS3 and my PC can't handle it. They also overhauled the PC platform by introducing steam (and from Portal 2 on, to the PS3 as well).

I really liked every R* game I've played so far (which are many). I do hate the fact that I'm still saving up for a new PS3 after playing LA Noire, but from how far I got, it was awesome too. IMO, Valve and R* are both on a shared number one.

Naughty Dog is a great developer as well, but they've only really made name for themselves with one franchise. There for I'm still hesitant to put them in my "greatest developers ever" list.

Cole
Cole
8 years ago

Naughty Dog have only made a name for themselves with one franchise? Are you serious? Crash Bandicoot and Jak rank amongst the highest rated and highest selling games for the PS1 and PS2 respectively. They've been making excellent games long before the Uncharted series came around.

___________
___________
8 years ago

a contradiction really, everyone has had a slip up or two.
R* released the terrible GTAIV, bethesda has released some pretty mediocre games, WET for instance, and ND have, well i cant count them because they have only released 3 games!
its a bit unfair to say a developer who has released 3 games has a better track record than one who has released more.
everyone has turned out a less than stellar game.
THQ had homefront, EA had the NFS series, antivision, well lets not go there.
only group out there that has not released a stinker out there is maybe ubisoft.
worst game they have released this gen to memory was the cartel which was a pretty decent game.
not great, but if i had to pick the company who has been the most consistent id definitely be ubisoft!
they have released allot of games, and most of them have been freaking amazing!
so stoked for future soldier, only 3 days to go!!!!!!
been WAY too long since a ghost recon game released!
freaking loved advanced warfighter 2!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Yeah, you would classify GTAIV as a "slip-up."

___________
___________
8 years ago

if turning one of the industries best mindless fun games into as fun as sunday school is not a slip up then i dont want to see what is!
why do you think saints row and just cause 2 have become so popular?

of course it was a slip up, it was as fun as going to mass with a nun!
so much that made the series so much fun was either taken away or made so difficult to do it might as well of been taken away!
not to mention 70% of the missions were drive me here, drive me there, mission complete!
is this grand theft auto 4 or taxi driver 4?
but hey what can i expect?
anything these days with good graphics has to have the industry tripping over themselves!
sigh.
i wish we could go back to where games were actually rated and remembered by how fun they were, not how good they looked!
game design, who needs it!?


Last edited by ___________ on 5/21/2012 10:20:04 AM

Cole
Cole
8 years ago

@________

Naughty dog were established in 1989 and have produced 14 games since then… Geez.. I'm starting to think there are people who never heard of them before Uncharted.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Maybe one of these days you'll learn that your own personal opinion isn't immutable universal fact.

…but I doubt it.

Cole
Cole
8 years ago

What are you talking about? My comments on this topic have been factual. They were mistaken about a few things. I merely corrected them. Now I realise no one likes a know-it-all, but there's no need for such a rude response.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Not you, Cole.

___________
___________
8 years ago

it IS fact!
ok so GTAIV being totally different from the rest of the series is a good thing?
besides it being as boring as hell which i will agree is subjective, it had NOTHING to do with the GTA franchise!

Cole
Cole
8 years ago

Oops. Sorry ,Ben.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
8 years ago

Haven't yet played Max Payne 3, but of GTA IV, RDR and Midnight Club: L.A., none of them really grabbed me in the way that I had expected in spite of them being absolutely fantastic games. I refuse to count L.A. Noire as you say developers and not publishers. Noire was an external creation. Most of the others that I would name simply don't have enough games to say with conviction, or have one that stands out as a poor effort (Sucker Punch, Ninja Theory, From Software, Irrational, being the main ones aside from those mentioned in the article above). Besides that, R* is a publishing house with something like ten studios, so it kinda isn't fair to compare them to a single studio developer.

I'd mention two developers though. Insomniac and Platinum. The former have handled two series thus far, with each having a less than stellar entry, but still remaining of a high quality. Platinum have created a number of new IPs that have been received extremely well, made the more impressive by the fact that they only came into existence this gen…

I'm non-committal ūüôā

friction
friction
8 years ago

Totally agree, which is why those rumors of actvision buying out rockstar scared the shit out of me ūüėČ i really hope the rumors have died…


Last edited by friction on 5/21/2012 8:24:53 AM

Ignitus
Ignitus
8 years ago

Yep, absolutely. Different franchises and great games.

If we want to consider developer with one franchise I would go for Epic Games, Naughty Dog, Bungie and Rocksteady.

mzz
mzz
8 years ago

@Ignitus i second that

Jotun
Jotun
8 years ago

There's no denying Rockstar is one of the best, but my tastes prefer ND. They're games are more "complete" in my book. My meaning is that ND's games are 100% top notch in gameplay, design, level design, mechanics, cinematics, storytelling, music, and fun fanctor, as well as *execution* of all of these. Rockstar's only game to hit every one of those marks in my book is Red Dead Redemption. GTA, Bully, LA Noire, and the like are all 95/100 games, but they lack that connection via story that Red Dead possesses. ND's games this generation have set a precident for what it means to be interactive media and that, to me, is more impressive.

To other posters points, it's fair to say they've been the most consistent over more than one generation as Jak was awesome, but didn't have the storytelling and the like. The review score argument bugs me though. Child of Eden is one of the most inventive and thrilling games I've played in the past 10 years but not a lot of players enjoy it whereas I don't enjoy GTA and everyone else loves it. The "unbelievable metacritic average" can only be taken with a grain of salt.


Last edited by Jotun on 5/24/2012 2:05:39 PM