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Sure, the original Killzone may have failed to be the "Halo-killer" it was proclaimed to be, but after a painfully long time in development (the sequel was supposed to be a PS3 launch title), Guerilla Games finally delivered a first-person shooter that pushed its console to its boundaries, mostly in terms of graphics. Even stunningly polished shooters like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare lacked the level of detail displayed in Killzone 2's bleak, post-apocalyptic wastelands and war-scorched cities. As soon as you boot up Guerilla's killer FPS sequel, there's no ignoring the mind-blowing lengths that the team behind the game has gone to, bringing the battlefield to life. Killzone 2 remains to be one of the best next-gen shooters, and is one PS3 game that's recommended for those who can appreciate its gritty science-fiction spin on the genre.
Generally, gamers relish the ability to kill, maim and obliterate their enemies and obstacles, but BioShock changed the entire experience with solid, inventive gameplay and a new moral compass. This sleeper hit from 2K Games, a studio formerly known for high-profile but moderately successful strings of PC role-playing games (Jade Empire, Civilization IV, Sid Meier's Pirates), sold Xbox 360s and unintentionally became a flagship title for the console with little buildup and a huge amount of positive press. When it finally made the transition to the PlayStation 3, BioShock also came with a new "Survivor Mode" that made the already tough gameplay even harder than before, which was all the reason we needed to play the game just one more time.
Ubisoft recreated the historic enviroment of 15th century Italy with the same care and attention to detail that Leonardo da Vinci gave to The Last Supper. No matter how well you can build a city, you almost can't do better than Assassin's Creed 2. Taking the stylish and addictive motions of the previous game's protagonist, the near-superhuman Altair, Assassin's Creed 2 went further towards the present with Ezio, the new assassin on the block. Noting both the forwards and backwards steps of the previous title, Ubisoft made sure that Ezio moves in ways that his predecessor never could: wading through waterways, stealing his opponents' weapons, and even flying through the skies with the help of some handy contraptions.
Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption has everything that you'd expect from a traditional western: a gritty hero, nefarious bandits, and tales of honor and betrayal. But this title brings even more to the table with Rockstar's trademark brand of open-world gameplay. Whether you're roping cattle, tracking down bounties, stopping a robbery, or just playing a round of cards, Red Dead Redemption's open wilderness lies at your fingertips, just waiting for you to saddle up and get dirty.
Red Dead Redemption's complex and immersive story revolves around retired outlaw James Marston, a man under the thumb of the government. Forced to hunt down the leaders of his old gang, an infamous outfit that operated from the United States border down into Mexico, Marston treks across a 1911 wilderness that's home to all sorts of memorable characters. Throughout Marston's tale, the game is peppered with gunfights, stagecoach races, quick draw shootouts, and just about anything else you'd expect from a modern Western. Depending on how you play the game, other westerners will either run at the sight of Marston or worship the ground he walks on, making everything you do in Red Dead Redemption both lasting and important. In the end, it's up to you whether you want to be a law-abiding hero or a low-down criminal, but the choices are expansive nonetheless.
Gut-wrenching moments and fast-paced FPS action were the bread and butter of the first Modern Warfare. After taking the Normandy Invasion as far as it could go, Infinity Ward took their coveted franchise into the modern era with amazing results. Since then, Modern Warfare 2 has proved to be a more-than-worthy successor to 2007's Game of the Year, upping the ante with an insanely gripping story, even better multiplayer, and enough controversial decisions to jar any player back into reality, even if just for a split second. Even if you never go back to the solo missions after the first time around, playing online is so deep and incredibly well-polished, you'll have little to no excuse to get tired of Modern Warfare 2.
Bringing an end to the main story of Kratos and his quest for revenge against Mount Olympus, God of War 3 brings everything in the saga to a definite conclusion. As expected, the action in this gruesome and violent title doesn't slow down for a second, as Kratos goes from battling Zeus and Poseidon to tangling with Hades in the pits of Hell. While it may not be the last game in the series to feature Kratos, God of War 3 is unmistakably the biggest production yet from Sony's Santa Monica Studio.
Not only does Kratos pack his trademark Blades of Exile, but an armory of new weapons and abilities are crammed into the game, like the Nemean Cestus and the powerful Blade of Olympus. God of War 3 also boosts the technical achievements from the previous PS3 title, with high-definition graphics, huge character models in the Titans, and battles that will have Kratos facing off against dozens upon dozens of enemies at once. Of course, there's also plenty of the series' trademarks on hand, too -- gory finishing moves, huge detailed enviroments, and (of course) a "special" adult themed mini-game that's definitely NFSW.
When you call any title the video game equivalent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know that the action has to be impressively over-the-top, the characters must evoke unmistakeable charm, and the experience has to rival everything else of its genre. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves does exactly that, bringing back a more flawed, more human Nathan Drake, who's in a bigger adventure than even he can handle in one of the most highly acclaimed PS3 games yet. Even with the memorable Hollywood-style action-adventure in the bag, the multiplayer proves to be a showcase for the vastly improved gameplay. With a cover system that feels refreshingly more natural and spontaneous than Gears of War, and explosive weapons that can tear down the walls around your character, you'll have your hands full trying to stay ahead of the action.
Gamers, this is the one. If you're planning to buy a PlayStation 3, or you already have one, Metal Gear Solid 4 should be at the top of your list. It's an epic stealth-shooter with jaw-dropping graphics and a massively detailed storyline. Sure, the 20-minute cinema scenes can drag on a bit too long, but the game's quality shines through in every aspect of its production. Unlockable rewards, 70+ weapons, and a well-designed online mode will keep you playing months after you've completed the core single-player experience. If you've ever loved a shooter, a stealth game, or an action game, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a can't-miss title.
This story, "The 24 Best PS3 Games" was originally published by GamePro.