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Hidden Gems For The PlayStation 3

No matter how much time we've devoted to gaming, there's just no way any of us have time to play every game that's released. Because of that, every console is guaranteed to have numerous games you've missed. That doesn't mean they're bad games. In fact, there are countless good and even great games we've all accidentally passed on. These are just some of the top candidates from the PlayStation 3, but they're all worth remembering.

Valkyria Chronicles

Players in Valkyria Chronicles take on the role of a ragtag military unit in the defending Galia army as they fight off the East Europan Imperial Alliance in a battle for powerful natural resources. Sega's Valkyria Chronicles is notable not just for one element, but the combined efforts of wonderful "hand-drawn" art, excellent tactical RPG elements, and a compelling story of war and its effects on an entire region. Sticking with one squad means getting attached to your troops, and Valkyria's permadeath feature means every fight is an intense encounter. That, and losing just one person becomes that much more devastating when it inevitably happens.

Brutal Legend

When you team Double Fine up with Jack Black, you're going to capture some video game magic. That was exactly what happened with Brutal Legend, though it took a bit of luck for anyone to get a chance to play. Black stars as Eddie Riggs, a roadie who's transported to a mystical plane where Ormagöden carved out an entire universe that seemingly inspired the likes of KISS, David Bowie, and Ozzy Osbourne to become the rock gods they were in our own world. With outstanding art direction, a killer soundtrack, and gameplay that merges action with real-time strategy, Brutal Legend filled a niche most gamers didn't even know they were missing.

Vanquish

After the successes of MadWorld and Bayonetta, Platinum Games turned to veteran game director Shinji Mikami for its third console effort, Vanquish. A futuristic third-person shooter, Vanquish is full of fast-paced combat that the genre had never seen before. The story of nations in the future fighting over the Earth's remaining resources isn't anything special, but that lack of an engaging narrative doesn't stop Vanquish from being a blast to play. Taking on some outrageous bosses in death-defying battles is all part of the fun, and Vanquish's sliding boost element pushes players' reflexes to the max.

Conan

Heavily inspired by God of War, Nihilistic Software's 2007 Conan video game gave PlayStation 3 players an up close look at the full brutality of Robert E. Howard's fantasy world. The action game features Ron Perlman in the role of Conan, and players help a princess end a curse placed on her people by her evil wizard father. Conan can use several different melee combat styles, with each featuring its own moves and some fantastically gory results. Conan slipped under a lot of radars as it was released in the same year as the superior God of War II, but it's still a strong entry in the video game history of the character.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Developer Ninja Theory arrived on the PlayStation scene with the console-exclusive Heavenly Sword, but spent the next few years developing Enslaved: Odyssey to the West as a multi-platform game. Written by Academy Award-winning scribe Alex Garland, Enslaved is a post-apocalyptic adaptation of the classic Chinese story, Journey to the West. In the game, players take the role of Monkey, who must help a young girl named Trip return to her village. Combining some excellent action gameplay and simple traversal mechanics with memorable characters, the game is a delight to play, even though it didn't meet publisher Namco Bandai's sales expectations.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand

Rapper 50 Cent's first video game wasn't anything to write home about, but somehow he earned a second chance. The world was never the same. 

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a surprisingly solid third-person shooter that apes a lot of competitors of the era, like Gears of War and Max Payne. Had the game have starred anyone else, it would have been unmemorable. But it's the presence of 50 Cent and G-Unit, and a story that sees the rapper chasing down a private military organization after its leader stole a diamond-encrusted skull, that makes Blood on the Sand something more — something amazing.

Remember Me

Developer Dontnod may be better known for the adventure game Life is Strange, but the team's first game, Remember Me, is what put it on the map. Set in a future where memories are commodities, players run around Neo-Paris as Nilin, a memory hunter capable of stealing and remixing people's memories. While the memory mixing is indeed a major part of Remember Me's allure, it's the customizable combat system that helps it stand apart from other action games. The incredible future design, the brilliant soundtrack, and compelling characters all provide more reasons to keep playing, but it's definitely the fighting that will have players hooked.

Asura's Wrath

Asura's Wrath tells its story as if it were an entire season of an anime, with opening and closing credits before and after every chapter. When it was released in 2012, it provided a change of pace from similar action games — but then again, so did the hyper combat and outrageous character design. Asura's Wrath mixes beat 'em up gameplay with rail shooter elements, as well as some interactive cutscenes that tests a player's reflexes to stay in the fight. The story is about as bonkers as you could imagine, with gods of the Earth battling for dominance over thousands of years, but its eccentricities are well worth tolerating for the variety in all fights throughout.

Civilization Revolution

Dialing down the intensity of a turn-based strategy game for consoles has been a challenge for developers for years, but a few have gotten it right. After years of success with the Civilization series on PC, the franchise finally made the leap to consoles in 2008 with Civilization Revolution. What's more, developer Firaxis didn't have to change much of the core of the game to get it to work. The basic elements are all there, with players able to get cultural or domination victories, build wonders, and even attract the great people of history. Turns go faster, and each session doesn't require you to manage an inordinate amount of resources, making it perfect for couch play.

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance

If there's one thing Platinum Games does well, it's making incredibly memorable action games. The Metal Gear series wasn't always all about stealth action, with some goofy card games spinning out of the core game. But Metal Gear Rising is the first spin-off that's truly worthy of the Metal Gear moniker. Starring the cyborg ninja Raiden, Revengeance is all about that ninja sword action. Players can slice and dice just about anything in the game world, and have to fight some typically bizarre bosses while they're at it. Raiden often gets dismissed for not being Snake, but this game proves he can hold his own.

The Saboteur

Set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, The Saboteur puts players smack in the middle of the resistance as they must try to take back the city from the fascist regime. The open-world action is remarkable, with almost all of the major Parisian landmarks present, including a fully climbable Eiffel Tower. In addition to having a large city and fairly compelling story, The Saboteur also has a unique mechanic where German parts of the city are rendered in black and white, and only turned to color when they're liberated. The game may not have burned up the charts, but it was a worthy effort from Pandemic Studios.

Eternal Sonata

Frederic Chopin wasn't just an inspiration to the countless musicians that followed, he was also the focus of developer tri-Crescendo's Eternal Sonata. The game not only uses Chopin's music as a central element, but includes the composer as a playable character, too. Eternal Sonata takes place in Chopin's dreams during the final hours of his life, with the artist aiding in a rebellion against the dark forces in the ethereal realm. Battles emphasize musical elements, and the unique take on such a historic figure helps Eternal Sonata stand out from the vast library of RPGs in the PlayStation 3 library.

Singularity

Before being drafted into the Call of Duty family of developers, Raven Software made a name for itself on a number of licensed titles like X-Men Legends. For its first original title in the PlayStation 3 era, the team crafted Singularity, a first-person shooter that's heavily steeped in time manipulation mechanics. Inspired in part by BioShock, Singularity mixes in some horror elements to keep players on their toes, but it's all the time-based powers that make this a memorable shooter. The abilities are good for puzzle-solving, but there's no better feeling than watching an enemy deteriorate in front of you when you speed up time.

Nier

Nier Automata from 2017 may have been a critical darling, but it wouldn't have existed were it not for the first Nier. Released back in 2010, Nier was actually a follow-up to the Drakengard series, with players stepping back into the Drakengard realm 1000 years after the last game in that franchise. Along with the score, the story is the saving grace for the game, as Nier's gameplay is kind of convoluted and poorly executed. However, as a precursor to one of 2017's most acclaimed games, Nier is absolutely worth playing, if for no other reason than to see how that franchise and world evolved over the last decade.

Resonance of Fate

Developer tri-Ace's Resonance of Fate is a steampunk western role-playing game. If that's not enough to get you interested, maybe you need to think about whether or not you even like video games. Resonance of Fate takes some inspirations from those genre elements and films like The Matrix to deliver a combination of real-time and turn-based battles, with the ballistic weaponry playing a big part in your party's arsenal. The story is almost indecipherable, with the concept of fate and destiny looming large in the game world, but there are enough twists to keep you coming back for more. Mixed in with all that gunplay, you have an RPG that's well worth tracking down.

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