Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PS3, Xbox 360)

future-soldierDeveloper/Publisher: Ubisoft Paris/Ubisoft

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 (2012)

Gamerankings.com Score~78.5%

Gamestop: $4.99                Ebay

Genre: Action, Shooter, Third Person, Tactical

The Ghost Recon series has been around for along time. While some more popular franchises follow the more standard “run and gun” military formula, Recon has always been one to let you step back and survey the options before directing your team how to best fulfill your objective. This iteration tries to freshen things up by taking a step out of reality by giving you some futuristic camo, ammo, and firearms. The game does pull a little inspiration from more action oriented games like COD: Modern Warfare, which does add some needed variety, but mostly it holds true to what made the series a standout from the beginning. It also has multiplayer, so grab three of your friends for some engaging mission based co-op.

 

Prince of Persia (PS3, Xbox 360)

prince-of-persiaDeveloper/Publisher: Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 (2008)

Gamerankings.com Score84.1% (PS3), 80.6% (Xbox 360)

Gamestop: $4.99                  Ebay

Genre: Action, Adventure

After the Sands games released on the previous generation of hardware, Ubisoft decided to take a fresh look at the Prince for the newly released PS3 and Xbox 360. What we got was a more stylized, mythological based, and less emo visioned Prince. The game runs on a modified Assassin;s Creed engine, and as you could guess, it lends itself well to the typical running, jumping, and climbing, the series is known for. This time the Prince has a partner named Elika, whose people are being attacked by a dark force and it’s up to you to save them. She is just a nimble as and will help you out many a times throughout your adventure. Keep in mind that it is short (8-10 hours), not very difficult, and little replay value, but it is great for the single experience it does offer.

Final Fantasy X (PS2)

final-fantasy-xDeveloper/Publisher: Square/Square 

Platforms: PS2 (2001)

Gamerankings.com Score91.7%

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Genre: RPG, Turn Based

Final Fantasy X does get a lot of flack, some of it deserving with its cringe inducing laughing scenes, but it is a great game none the less. As always, the graphics and music are on point, and while it’s not the best FF story out there, it is solid and has a few heart warming moments. But, one of the nicer aspects about the game I find is this can be a very good JRPG entry point. While this game can be deep with its sphere system to unlock abilities, powering up weapons, and playing Blitzball (I personally hate it), it can also be played through casually without a bunch a worrying if you screwed up your character progression. There were a few moments where difficulty spiked, but it never required much grinding.

 

Stranglehold (PS3, Xbox 360)

strangleholdDeveloper/Publisher: Midway/Midway

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 (2007)

Gamerankings.com Score~79%

Gamestop: $4.99                Ebay

Genre: Action, Shooter, Third Person

The most notable thing about Stranglehold is is the direct influence Hong Kong action director John Woo had over the game. Dual pistols, Slow motion dives, sweeping cameras, and plenty of his signature doves  Reprising his role from Hard Boiled, Chow Yun Fat stars as Inspector Tequila. Throughout the game, you will blast tons and tons of henchmen and in a brilliant move, you never need to reload. Add this to your inhuman ability to absorb hundreds of bullets without slowing down, and this leads to a none stop rush of action through and through.  The story isn’t as well developed as the previous film, and the camera may stuggle from time to time, but if you are looking for the definition of “run and gun”, this is it.

Borderlands 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)

boerderlands-2Developer/Publisher: Gearbox/2k Games

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 (2012)

Gamerankings.com Score~90%

Gamestop: $4.99                      Ebay

Genre: Action, Shooter, First Person

More loot, more guns, hilarious writing, great voice acting; If you’ve had the pleasure of playing the first Borderlands, then you know what to expect. If you haven’t, this is a great place to start. In Borderlands 2, you play a treasure hunter. As you cross the planet of Pandora, you’ll come across giant beasts, big bosses, huge guns, and meet plenty of colorful characters. The beautiful graphics feature a heavy outline cel shaded style, and beyond the voice acting, the sound design is also immersive. You can spend dozens of hours exploring every nook and cranny while leveling your character and trying to find the most powerful weapon that caters to your preferred method of killing.

Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)

gran-turismo-4Developer/Publisher: Polyphony/SCIE

Platforms: PS2 (2005)

Gamerankings.com Score: 89.3%

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Genre: Racing, Simulation

Gran Turismo has been a staple of all the Playstation consoles, and to me, the 4th installment is still the best. GT4 can be played in 480p and is also one of only four games in the entire PS2 lilbrary that includes a 1080i mode. And it still looks great! Featuring over 700 cars from 80 plus manufacturers, Gran Turismo doesn’t just cater to the super car world, but also includes tons of “normal” cars. How awesome is it to look out the window at your 2002 Mazda Protege in the driveway, and then virtually spec it to the max before hitting the Nurburgring. This time around, you’ve got more than 50 tracks to throw yourself around. And if your hands are getting tired and need a break to make a sandwich, there’s B-Spec mode. This lets you hire a driver for an race, and you get credit for their win; but you do have to split the purse.

The Saboteur (PS3, Xbox 360)

saboteuerDeveloper/Publisher: Pandemic/Electronic Arts

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 (2009)

Gamerankings.com Score: ~74%

Gamestop: $4.99                             Ebay

Genre: Action, Adventure, Third person

The Saboteur turned out to be the last game Pandemic Studios would develop before they shut down. Using the things they learned after putting out great games like Star Wars Battlefront, Destroy All Humans, and Mercenaries, they came up with this WWII era thrill ride. This open world adventure takes place in Nazi occupied France, and you play as Sean Devlin, an Irish race car driver trying to escape his past. He moves to Paris and things quickly escalate into you becoming the liberator of the Parisians by blowing Nazi strongholds to smithereens. The real star though is the art direction. The set of Paris is all grey scale with pops of red, for blood, and yellow, for objectives and streetlights. It gives off an eerie and oppressive tone, but as you complete missions and clear out the enemy, the sun will shine and bring but vibrant color to the city  of lights. There isn’t a difference between the two versions, but PS3 is currently a little cheaper.