It’s strange that the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are now considered to be the last generation of consoles. These three old farts have been with us for so long - the longest generation of consoles ever - that it’s hard to imagine waking up without them sitting cosily under our TVs. But all good things come to an end, and after almost nine years, the big three have now been backseated to make way for their shiny new replacements: Xbox One, PS4 and the Wii U.
So now that it already feels like those consoles are ancient history, it’s time to reminisce about the past gone by - like your grandparents do - and look back at some of the best games that have graced our screens for almost ten years. After Joe kicked off proceedings, it’s now Ryan’s turn to give us his favourite games of the seventh console generation.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
It’s always a good sign when you play the campaign of a game four times through on every difficulty. The original Uncharted was a brilliant game, but lacked the sense of scale that would elevate the sequel to legendary status. Uncharted 2 presented a fantastic story reminiscent of Indiana Jones coupled with stellar gameplay that pushed the boundaries of PS3 development at the time.
Uncharted 2, for me, is a representation of all those fantastic cinematic experiences that arose during the seventh generation. ‘Interactive experience’ is a phrase coined during the now-passed era, and while it seems to have picked up some negative connotations, I believe that games like Uncharted 2 prove that when done right, games can be more action-packed, more emotive and generally superior than any Hollywood movie.
The gameis filled to the brim with incredibly dramatic, pulse-pounding moments. The technically astounding moving train level, for instance, or the treacherous climb back up the same wrecked train. A sequence so enjoyable that Naughty Dog were comfortable with making you do it twice! There were too many great moments to list, not to mention the underrated multiplayer segment; I have no doubts about Uncharted 2 being one of my games of the generation.
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars
OK, I’m going to roll with this one. After a lot of deliberation, I think I can tentatively say that Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars (which shall, for the benefit of time, be henceforth known as Supersonic) is one of my top games of the past generation. For the benefit of those who’ve never even heard of the game, it’s a PSN only game released in 2009 in which players use little cars to play games of football. Seriously.
The game itself wasn’t exactly perfect, but it had one killer mechanic that made it quite possibly my most played PS3 game ever: 4 player split-screen. Supersonic was the game that my friends and I played in our mid-teens. It was, in painful analogy terms, our Goldeneye. We’d hold tournaments, form rivalries and get extremely ‘in to’ the games, all from one living room. While many will note the seventh generation as the era of online connectivity, it was a simple, well balanced PSN game with split-screen that stole our hearts and minds.
To this day I remember when the game had to perform a big update; the three of us at that time were pretty annoyed that we couldn’t just launch into it. Our frustrations were brilliantly extinguished by a batch of free content like new arenas and cars. Oh how we rejoiced. Ultimately, Supersonic is an example that, in my opinion, the best gaming moments are those you share with your mates.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
So from the hilariously obscure to the horribly obvious. COD4 is probably my personal game of the generation. Like a military hipster, I was already a big Call of Duty fan before Modern Warfare swung around, but the new time frame was initially more of a put off than a point of intrigue. I am, you see, hopelessly interested in Second World War history. It was only when I read the 10/10 review for the game in Official PlayStation Magazine that I began to consider buying it.
Over a year later, and with World at War on the horizon, I was still playing COD4. I had dabbled in online multiplayer before, but never really found somewhere to call home base. COD4 was that game. The multiplayer element was so perfectly balanced and so brilliantly formed it became horrendously addictive. The satisfying sight of hit markers followed by on-screen confirmations of kills were small changes to the FPS formula, but changes that had such a huge impact on multiplayer gaming.
Like a lot of people, I’ve long since grown tired of Call of Duty. To this day, though, the excellent campaign of COD4 holds up as one of the best in the history of gaming. So many great moments like the ‘all ghillied up’ level, the shocking death of the American protagonist and the wonderfully engaging opening sequence. It’s odd to think of a world without COD now, and for better or worse this was the incredible game that turned it from a niche military shooter to one of the biggest media icons of the 21st century.