While the PS3 and the Xbox 360 both have their share of exclusive titles, the majority of the big games on the market are meant to be played on either system. After all, games these days cost a lot of money to make, and unlike a Hollywood movie, where inspiration and dedication can elevate a low-budget film into the same ballpark as the big releases, in video games, there is always a minimum amount of cash that needs to be spent to produce a playable game. It is much harder to cut corners with video games and still have them impress people. So to recoup the costs of the top games, most developers stay out of the battle between consoles and develop for everyone.
Below is our list of the top 10 games on the market for both Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. If you are considering purchasing a system for yourself, here is a starter guide for games you should check out.
Assassin’s Creed II(Rated M; $29.98)
Assassin’s Creed II is one of the most ambitious titles ever created. Rather than set the story in the future, a fantasy reality, or yet another World War II setting, the Assassin’s Creed series thrives on using historical settings to integrate fact and fiction. The first game in the series was set during the 1191 AD, during the time of the third crusade, and despite a compelling story and phenomenal gameplay, a repetitive series of missions doomed it to average. Assassin’s Creed II not only fixed the problems of the original, it excelled far beyond expectations and offered gamers a masterpiece.
Set in Renaissance Italy at the end of the 15th century, you play Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young nobleman of Florence. Ezio’s family is killed, beginning a decade long search for revenge, which intertwines with several historical figures. Watching Ezio go from a carefree boy to a weary and isolated assassin is compelling enough to make it worth the purchase, but mix in the open world of multiple Italian cities, the huge number of side quests, and some of the best gameplay around, and Assassin’s Creed II is one of the best games to be released on this generation of consoles. The first game is not necessary to complete in order to follow the story, and the recently released sequel, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, requires you to play ACII first, so this is the Assassin’s Creed title to buy.
Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition 3D(Rated T; $29.98)
For some odd reason, video game adaptations of comic book heroes rarely seem to live up to their potential. Many of the games out there that are based on comic books are good, but few are ever anything more than that. Batman: Arkham Asylum is an exception to that rule, and one of the best games currently out right now.
A must-have for fans of Batman, Arkaham Asylum offers a solid third-person action game for everyone, but the Game of the Year Edition pushes it over the edge and makes for a title that would be a good gift for anyone. The special edition comes with a handful of additional challenges to test your skill with, but more importantly, both the 360 version and the PS3 version are in 3D. Not 3D that requires you to own a 3D TV, but good ole’ fashioned 3D that comes with a pair of goofy glasses. On another game it would be a gimmick, and it still is on Arkham Asylum, but since the game is amazing anyway, the 3D is a welcome addition.
Battlefield Bad Company 2 Ultimate Edition(Rated M; $59.99)
While the single-player campaign for this game is solid, albeit unremarkable, the multiplayer online side offers a welcome respite for players that enjoy first-person shooters, but are either sick of the more aggressive titles like Call of Duty and Halo, or are just looking for something fresh and original. BFBC2 offers a military shooter, set in the current day. The graphics look solid, and the destructible environments make the technical features of the game top notch.
If you are looking for a gift to give a gamer that does not enjoy playing online, there are other options better suited for that player. If online gaming is an important feature to them, then the mission-based objectives, huge online maps and downloadable packs – including a brand new one on the way called Vietnam – should be enough to keep them happy for a long, long time.