Quest: Great non-FPS PS3 games
July 9, 2012 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Quest: Awesome PS3 games. What are some great PS3 games that came out this past academic year for a given value (inside) of great?

I went away for a year to get a degree, and now I'm done and have my PS3 back. I know I must have missed something awesome while I was battling through the ivory tower.

My most favored genres: Non-strategy RPGs (good stories/writing highly, highly preferred, but can deal with some cheese if the gameplay is fun), action/adventure that isn't first-person view (dungeon crawling is good), and puzzle games. Skyrim is already on my radar. What else should be?

Deal-breaker: FPSs--I tried, TRIED to love both Mass Effect & Bioshock, but damn, I just am not into FPSs, regardless of an individual title's awesomeness and easy settings for newbs. (Is Red Dead Redemption an FPS? Everything I read suggested it was so, but wow, I heard great things about it.)

PS3 games I already have and love in no particular order: Katamari Forever, all the Ratchet & Clanks, FXIII (okay, didn't love it, but enjoyed it well enough), the Dragon Age series, Little Big Planet. On the PS2 (which I am NOT looking for recommendations for but am providing for other titles I really enjoyed), I loved Okami, the Baldur's Gate series, FFX & FXII, the Dark Cloud series, and Psychonauts.

PS3 suggestions? Thanks!
posted by smirkette to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (26 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Batman Arkham Asylum. Get the Catwoman DLC for added fun.

It's got pretty much everything you asked for. There are awesome gadgets, a great storyline, it's RPGish, lots of action, and puzzles to solve. Plus the graphics are amazing.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:01 PM on July 9, 2012

Arkham City came out October '11 and it's probably the single best PS3 game I have ever played. It's sandbox-y (not truly free like, say, GTA) third-person action with mild RPG elements.
posted by griphus at 8:02 PM on July 9, 2012

I think Fister Roboto means Arkham City as well.
posted by griphus at 8:03 PM on July 9, 2012

Arkham City
Uncharted 3

smirkette: "Is Red Dead Redemption an FPS?"

It's very similar in play (First-Person RPG) to Skyrim.
posted by mkultra at 8:03 PM on July 9, 2012

I've watched Red Dead Redemption being played and it was largely over-the-shoulder except for some gun aiming.
posted by egypturnash at 8:05 PM on July 9, 2012

Oh, and Dark Souls came out September '11. It's third-person action-RPG, but it's best known for being punishingly hard. It's a game that straight-up hates you. Depending on your personality, you'll either curse my name assuming I played some sort of vicious prank on you, or get completely hooked on it.
posted by griphus at 8:05 PM on July 9, 2012

(It's the sequel spiritual successor to Demon's Souls which, in turn, was the successor to the Kings Field series, if you have any familiarity with those games.)
posted by griphus at 8:08 PM on July 9, 2012

There is an HD remake of Ico/Shadow of the Colossus which is a Must Play for any serious gamer. RDR is FPSish, but it really is super fun. I'm not an FPSer either, and I freaking loved that game. Portal 2 (is Portal 1 available on PS3? If not, go play that on Steam first.) is another game that is technically an FPS, but it is so good that you have to try it. Infamous is a really exciting third person action game with some very cool weapons and mechanics, as are the Assassin's Creeds. Journey is one of those games that I can't really tell you about, except to say that it nearly brought me to tears with no dialog whatsoever.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:08 PM on July 9, 2012

Rayman: Origins. Cheap, fun but challenging old-school side-scroller with damn fine graphics. Seriously, check it out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:10 PM on July 9, 2012

Red Dead Redemption is not an FPS, it is a third person action game very much like the Grand Theft Auto games. Note that Mass Effect is not an FPS (first person shooter) as the camera view is third person (over the shoulder).

I don't know of any recent Great-with-a-capital-G RPGs, but Persona 3 recently came out on the PSN online network and it is phenomenal. It is a port of an older PS2 game. Turn based JRPG combat mixed with a deep high school social simulator and monster breeding Your main character uses different monster Personas to fight with, so you can switch between skillsets on the fly and level up and combine different Personas.

There is of course Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2. The first faced a lot of criticism for its linearity, but most FFs are fairly linear. It's a bit more obvious though. Plus the combat system, while effective, is very slow to reveal itself. You'll be getting tutorials for the first 20 hours or so. The story is pretty ridiculous, but rich in its way. XIII-2 is a lot more fun, and though it is a direct sequel you might be able to get away with just reading a plot summary of the first one.

If you try Skyrim and like it, you might like the semi-recent Fallout games. They are first person, and involve a lot of shooting, but you have the option to either free aim, or use a turn based auto aiming system based on action points.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:11 PM on July 9, 2012

Note that Mass Effect is not an FPS (first person shooter) as the camera view is third person (over the shoulder).

This is true, but you do have to aim fairly quickly during gameplay, which I suck hard in fact, my undergrad boyfriend used to beat me in Halo by just pistol-whipping me while I could use any weapon I could find. So anything that requires me to aim & shoot in a timed situation is out; the less of this mechanic the better.

Great suggestions so far, keep 'em coming!
posted by smirkette at 8:15 PM on July 9, 2012

Yes, I did mean City. Thanks for the correction! It's a great game.

Persona 3 is an amazing game as well. The story is great, the combat is very (sometimes brutally) strategic, and the music is really hip and cool.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:29 PM on July 9, 2012

Absolutely Portal 1 & 2.
Maybe Journey and Flower by ThatGameCompany although there is not much in the way of story to those.
Maybe Double Fine's Stacking or Costume Quest?

I would probably give RDR and the Uncharteds a skip (even though I think they are great) if you have difficulty with Mass Effect on the easiest difficulty.
posted by juv3nal at 9:13 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Journey! It's an evening long and just breathtaking overall.
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:14 AM on July 10, 2012

Oh, and Dark Souls came out September '11. It's third-person action-RPG, but it's best known for being punishingly hard.

Dark souls is incomparable. Well, maybe Demon's Souls compares to it, but nothing else does.

Dragon's Dogma is also very good, and a lot easier.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:52 AM on July 10, 2012

Dark Souls is incomparably bad. I hated that game more than any game I've ever played in my life. So I guess it did well to inspire such emotion in me, but damn. I ended up giving it to my brother, who ASKED me for it, and I STILL felt bad about giving it to him. I should've just burned it.

That said, of the other games mentioned above:

RDR is awesome, but might be a bit difficult if you struggled with Mass Effect
Arkham City I haven't played, but from all accounts it is Arkham Asylum improved, which means it must be pretty damn awesome
Journey is definitely cool, just a couple hours of gameplay, and I'd recommend going through in one sitting
Skyrim is great as well
Assassin's Creed games are fantastic, except for the first one (which you can skip without missing out on too much of the story I believe)
Portal 1 and 2 are great, don't be put off by the FPS perspective, they are puzzle games more than twitchy shooting games, so you shouldn't have a problem with them. If you think there's a part where you need twitch skills, step back and take another look around, there's probably a more elegant solution to the puzzle.
posted by Grither at 4:39 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

A bit older but maybe try LA Noir? Same company as Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar Games). That's a neat game and as its a couple years old, you could probably get it cheap.
posted by elendil71 at 4:57 AM on July 10, 2012

You should check out the smaller and/or episodic games you can get from the PSN like Journey, or the Sam & Max and Monkey Island episodes. I would also second Arkham Asylum/City, the Assassin's Creed games, and Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD remakes. There's also a ton of PS1 games (my personal favorite Vagrant Story among them) on the PSN.

Oh, and BTW Okami has been remade in HD and will be released later this year.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:06 AM on July 10, 2012

This is true, but you do have to aim fairly quickly during gameplay, which I suck at

There is a significant amount of gunfighting in RDR (shocker!), and you do have to be able to aim quickly, however, I also suck at that, and I ended up doing pretty well in the game. In most of the gunfights, you can take a more stealth/sniper approach and have a chance to line up your shots carefully from long range or behind cover. It's really worth a try, though.

A bit older but maybe try LA Noir? Same company as Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar Games). That's a neat game and as its a couple years old, you could probably get it cheap.

Ye gods, I hated that game. Haaaaated. I wanted to love it so badly, but the gameplay is just unremittingly awful. Hunt-the-pixel clue searches plus interrogations where the difference between lies and truth are either blisteringly obvious (like Snidely Whiplash level eye-darting and sneering) or completely inscrutable, and you don't really get much feedback as to whether you have succeeded or not! It is actually more recent than RDR, but I think the incredible hype plus lackluster sales mean you can get it in the bargain bin quite easily.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:46 AM on July 10, 2012

I really liked Saints Row III... if you want to recapture the same mayhem factor from the original Grand Theft Auto games.
posted by ph00dz at 8:56 AM on July 10, 2012

The thing about RDR is that the controls are actually pretty bad in general, but the game seems to have been designed around that... it's really not very hard in most places. There's a bullet-time effect that basically makes most combat trivial. It's definitely worth playing for the atmosphere and story.

I would recommend the Infamous games, which are a lot of fun, but there is a lot of shooting-like action that might be too FPSy. (the games actually sort of taught me how to play shooters on the console, so that I can now play games like Killzone where I was hopeless before).

Skyrim unfortunately is also a bit FPSy, but otherwise great. I think the combat in the game is fairly weak but you can design a character with conjuration or stealth or whatnot to avoid having to deal with it too much.
posted by selfnoise at 9:01 AM on July 10, 2012

If you already have a Mass Effect game try playing as a Biotic. It's their mage equivalent.

Biotic power selection and aiming pauses the game so you won’t have the targeting issues you encounter with the guns. In situations where gunplay us needed you can usually just hang back behind cover providing Biotic support while your teammates take care of the shooting. At higher levels the Biotic powers are unstoppable.. I usually alternate between Singularity and Warp and the opposition barely gets a shot in. (just make sure to pick a class which has Singularity)
posted by TeknoKid at 10:45 AM on July 10, 2012

In the puzzle game department, I recently downloaded Closure on PSN and am really enjoying it. Once you get past the first few levels it starts to get tricky and every puzzle you solve gives a great feeling of satisfaction.

Quantum Conundrum, made by the creator of Portal 1 and 2 (which I also heartily recommend), comes out today and it's been getting fantastic reviews. I'm downloading the demo right now and I'm almost certainly going to be buying it soon.

Seconding Rayman Origins... great 2-d platforming.
posted by mikeweeney at 1:25 PM on July 10, 2012

Infamous 2 came out last year, if I remember correctly. It is fun and engaging for a long time. And I just played the downloadable content - Festival of Blood - and it was awesome too.
posted by tacodave at 3:25 PM on July 10, 2012

Skyrim is on your radar? Move that shit to the TOP OF YOUR LIST!!!
posted by corn_bread at 9:05 AM on July 11, 2012

Just grabbed Quantum Conundrum last night. I'd say Portal & Portal 2 are better, but it's a decent enough title if you find you want more in a similar vein.
posted by juv3nal at 11:59 AM on July 11, 2012

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