Consoles Gaming

The 50 Best PS3 Games of All Time

November 17, 2006 marks a very momentous day in gaming history.

That was the day when gamers around the States stood in line for hours to acquire the latest piece of PlayStation hardware – the lauded PlayStation 3. And up until 2017, it pleased its fanbase with a string of strong AAA experiences, slept-on AA titles, and a whole host of indie games that have gotten a whole lot of acclaim. Sony’s first-party development studios are responsible for crafting some of the greatest games of all time on the PS3, while several third-party publishers/developers have also produced their best projects on that celebrated console.

Whether you still own the original, slim, or super slim model, here’s our recommended list of the 50 PS3 games that will always be a must-play for PlayStation aficionados.

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1. ‘The Last of Us’

Naughty Dog has built itself up into one of Sony’s most reliable first-party development houses. Near the end of the PS3’s lifecycle, it introduced gamers to an all-new IP that encompasses everything they appreciate about stories involving a post-apocalyptic scenario. The Last of Us is an emotional roller coaster that follows Joel as he escorts Ellie through a world filled with the worst of humanity and infected creatures that have an insanely high creep factor. Fighting for survival in this PS3 gem means scrambling for supplies and making sure Joel & Ellie steer clear of the relentless “Clickers” & desperate survivors that want them dead.

Buy Now, $28.74
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. ‘Uncharted 2: Among Thieves’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $34.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
2. ‘Uncharted 2: Among Thieves’

Naughty Dog’s greatness was solidified back on the first two PlayStation consoles via the Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter series. And once it made its way over to the PS3, it went the full Indiana Jones route by producing an epic action/adventure game that’s all about traveling the glove and searching for lost treasure. And the very best rendition of that worldwide trek came in the form of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Nathan Drake’s deadly close calls started early in this one with one of the greatest intro levels of all time. The rest of this amazing sequel greatly improved upon the cover-based shooting, humorous character banter, and clever puzzles that were present in its predecessor.

Buy Now, $34.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. ‘God of War III’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $34.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
3. ‘God of War III’

Kratos can sure hold a grudge, huh? That fact became even more evident as he fought alongside the Titans during his crusade against the Gods of Mount Olympus in this bonafide classic. God of War III is a graphical powerhouse that upgrades all the God-killing escapades and jaw-dropping cinematics the series rests its hat on. Kratos’ arsenal of melee/ranged weaponry expanded to allow him to pull off even more gory combos & QTE (Quick Time Event) fatalities that never get old. As the conclusion to Kratos’ bloody feud with his father Zeus, God of War III brings the series’ original trilogy to a definitive close with a boss fight for the ages.

Buy Now, $34.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed4. ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $19.44″,”buttonUrl</div>
4. ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’

It pains our and plenty of other Hideo Kojima fans’ hearts to realize that the fourth Metal Gear Solid game can only be played on the PS3. Lucky for you if you still have a physical copy of this satisfying conclusion to Solid Snake’s espionage-filled career. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is one of those games that feels like you’re playing through an Academy Award-winning film. The epic cutscenes, grand clashes with members of the “Beauty & the Beast Unit,” and deeply emotional final half of the game is & always will be a mind-blowing undertaking. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go back and play that magnificent fistfight with Liquid Ocelot…

Buy Now, $19.44
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed5. ‘Resistance 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $29.97″,”buttonUrl</div>
5. ‘Resistance 2’

Insomniac Games is another one of those Sony first-party studios that can always be entrusted with creating something worthwhile for any & all PlayStation hardware. Back on the PS3, it delved into the realm of alternate history via a first-person shooter that pits the human race against a race of gun-toting aliens during the early 1950s. Resistance 2 happens to be the best entry in that franchise due to a wealth of new firearms that helped Insomniac flex its creative muscles. The war with the Chimera excels thanks to a combination of a great solo campaign, an awesome co-op campaign, and a multiplayer suite that supported up to 60 players for plenty of unforgettable PvP skirmishes.

Buy Now, $29.97
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. ‘Killzone 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $28.50″,”buttonUrl</div>
6. ‘Killzone 2’

Killzone 2’s pre-launch footage was super deceptive, of course. Even still, the final product that Guerrilla Games released on the PS3 ended up being one of the console’s strongest first-person shooters. The heavy feel of the gunplay and movement are still given tons of praise as it retained Killzone’s signature feel when compared to Xbox’s Halo series. The ongoing war with the Helghast results in a shooter that does right by the series’ gritty nature and impactful/explosive engagements. The plot of the game isn’t all that memorable, but that opening cinematic speech from Scolar Visari will always give us chills.

Buy Now, $28.50
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. ‘Ratchet \u0026amp; Clank Future: Tools of Destruction’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $42.29″,”buttonUrl</div>
7. ‘Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction’

The Future Saga of the Ratchet & Clank series got its start on the PS3 via Tools of Destruction. The uptick in visuals is clearly evident as the Pixar-esque world Insomniac Games crafted back on the PS2 looks mind-blowing here. This shooter/platformer hybrid brought several other exotic weapons into the fold that made all the chaotic enemy busting such a nonstop pleasure. The Groovitron, Alpha Disruptor, and Mag-Net Launcher are GOAT-tier weapons, in our eyes. Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction accomplishes its goal by bringing Insomniac’s anthropomorphic icons to the PS3 in the finest way possible.

Buy Now, $42.29
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. ‘LittleBigPlanet’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $34.91″,”buttonUrl</div>
8. ‘LittleBigPlanet’

British developer Media Molecule created an amazing game that doubled as a learning tool for future game creators. LittleBigPlanet introduced the world to the precious frontman for the PS3, Sackboy, and a puzzle platformer that employed the basics of the genre to perfection. The custom stage creations that came from the game’s community gave it a long lifespan as you could always download the most creative setups and play them for yourself. The main campaign stages put in place by Media Molecule and the near-limitless array of content that came from its ingenious player base started the LittleBigPlanet IP off on a very strong note.

Buy Now, $34.91
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. ‘inFAMOUS’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $42.23″,”buttonUrl</div>
9. ‘inFAMOUS’

After Sucker Punch’s run with the Sly Cooper series, Sucker Punch Productions moved onto something more “heroic.” And in the process, PS3 owners got treated to inFAMOUS. Cole MacGrath”s mastery of his lightning-based toolset within an open world allowed players to glide through the air, shock the opposition to death, and cause massive explosions throughout the destroyed remnants of Empire City. Choosing the goodie-two-shoes route is cool and all, but inFAMOUS is way more fun when you fully embrace Cole’s evil side to cause further chaos.

Buy Now, $42.23
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘Gran Turismo 5’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $61.11″,”buttonUrl</div>
10. ‘Gran Turismo 5’

The second best-selling PS3 game of all time is none other than the fifth mainline entry in Polyphony Digital’s racing simulation series. Gran Turismo 5 maintained the franchise’s dazzling visual prowess and super deep approach to becoming an expert racer. You can still poor hours into doing anything and everything to unlock this game’s offering of 1,000+ vehicles. The newly implemented car damage model mechanics, efficient weather effects, and custom course editor did a lot to make this Gran Turismo sequel incredibly worthwhile. Big props to his game for implementing the Super GT racing series, too!

Buy Now, $61.11
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed11. ‘ModNation Racers’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $46.70″,”buttonUrl</div>
11. ‘ModNation Racers’

ModNation Racers followed the blueprint that LittleBigPlanet put forth and attached it to the wild & wonderful world of kart racing. The “Play, Create, Share” motif did its job properly here with enjoyable kart racing mechanics, a custom creation tool that gave players the chance to bring their imaginative designs to life, and an online community that exchanged tracks/mods/karts to keep the game alive. It’s pretty sad to learn ModNation Racers’ online servers went down in 2018. But you can still dive into this kart racer and let your imagination run wild.

Buy Now, $46.70
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed12. ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $41.97″,”buttonUrl</div>
12. ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’

Activision’s quintessential first-person shooter IP entered the mainstream lexicon with this series entry. By moving on from the World War II era and taking the action to the modern-day battlefield, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare morphed into one of the most impactful games of all time. The smooth and slick movement goes hand in hand with the game’s heated firefights, which both did an awesome job of making each skirmish one to remember. The single-player campaign featured in Modern Warfare is one of the very best and its online multiplayer suite had everyone turning into angry “sweats” back in the day. A huge salute to our forever hero, John “Soap” MacTavish!

Buy Now, $41.97
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed13. ‘Persona 5’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $21.60″,”buttonUrl</div>
13. ‘Persona 5’

The spinoff JRPG series lifted from the Shin Megami Tensei series got its longest and largest entry to date with the series’ fifth installment. Persona 5 oozes so much style and swagger that’s delivered through its magnificent soundtrack, charming cast of masked vigilantes, and well-tuned dungeon-crawling & social interaction mechanics. Persona 5’s story tells a mature tale that unfolds in the most shocking ways possible, which is why everyone that experienced it speaks so highly of it. The “Phantom Thieves of Hearts” journey into the dark Metaverse is the sort of epic trial that every JRPG fan should endure.

Buy Now, $21.60
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed14. ‘Journey’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $48.73″,”buttonUrl</div>
14. ‘Journey’

Thatgamecompany is responsible for crafting some of the most creative games on the PS3 – titles like Flow and Flower embraced unique concepts that did things differently in comparison to what the rest of the industry was doing at the time of release. Journey is the development studio’s biggest title on Sony’s third console, for sure. Taking control of the game’s signature robed figure within a vast desert location paved the way for a mystifying trek. And through it all, huge revelations came forth. The joy of finally running into another player online and helping them on their “journey” in this game is unmatched.

Buy Now, $48.73
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed15. ‘Ultra Street Fighter 4’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, Price Varies”,”buttonUrl</div>
15. ‘Ultra Street Fighter 4’

Capcom breathed new life into the Street Fighter IP and the fighting game genre as a whole with the original 2008 launch of Street Fighter IV. After countless updates, this quality 2.5D fighter got its final and definitive upgrade in the form of Ultra Street Fighter IV. On top of all the greatness that was included in the game prior, USF4 threw in a bunch of character balances, the ability to pick both of your character’s “Ultra Combos” pre-battle, “Delayed Standing,” and the combo extending “Red Focus Attack.” With five added characters and six additional stages from Street Fighter X Tekken, USF4 became the most feature-rich version of Capcom’s triumphant return of its “World Warriors.”

Buy Now, Price Varies
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed16. ‘Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $54.51″,”buttonUrl</div>
16. ‘Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’

Capcom sure loves its fighting game updates, huh? After taking note of all the fan requests and suggestions for improvements to Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, the Japanese juggernaut gaming publisher/developer went back to the drawing board and arrived with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Fan favorites such as Strider and Ghost Rider hopped into all the 3v3 skirmishes, plus this welcome update arrived with extra stages, much-needed adjustments to air combos & the “X-Factor” system, and a fun single-player focused mode called “Heroes and Heralds.” This team-based fighter still gets a ton of playtime from the FGC, which speaks to its overall greatness.

Buy Now, $54.51
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed17. ‘Mortal Kombat’ (2011)”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $31.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
17. ‘Mortal Kombat’ (2011)

Ed Boon and the rest of the creatives at NetherRealm Studios decided to reboot its groundbreaking fighting game franchise back in 2011. Mortal Kombat came back with a vengeance by returning to the 2D combat mechanics the series started on and refining its approach to 3D visuals. The game’s story enveloped the events of the first three games, which resulted in this fighter producing one of the most satisfying single-player experiences in the genre. And of course, everyone’s favorites returned here as a new batch of bloody Fatalities and other gory moves splashed across the screen.

Buy Now, $31.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed18. ‘Batman: Arkham City’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $12.50 – $29.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
18. ‘Batman: Arkham City’

Rocksteady Studios earned its status as one of the very best development studios in the industry once it released Batman: Arkham Asylum. Its much anticipate follow-up took the world by storm as it pushed the “Dark Knight” out into a haven for criminals within the dank slums of Gotham City. Being able to spread Batman’s wings and glide around an even more expansive outdoor locale while doing battle with random thugs & solving riddles blew everyone’s minds back in the day. And getting to mix it up with the likes of Hugo Strange, Mr. Freeze, and even Azrael felt awesome to experience as a longtime Batman fanatic.

Buy Now, $12.50 – $29.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed19. ‘Dead Space 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $29.97″,”buttonUrl</div>
19. ‘Dead Space 2’

Issac Clarke had already been through enough hell during his unplanned stay on the Necormorph-filled USG Ishimura. But he was forced to blast off the limbs of even more space terrors when he made his return in Dead Space 2. While more action-packed than its predecessor, this survival horror gem kept all the frights intact as players made their way through a horrifying space station called the Sprawl. Dead Space 2′ incredible single-player campaign and surprisingly decent multiplayer mode make it one of Electronic Arts and Visceral Games’ (RIP) finest works.

Buy Now, $29.97
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed20. ‘Heavy Rain’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $19.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
20. ‘Heavy Rain’

Development studio Quantic Dream made sure to grab everyone’s attention with a big-budget project that placed players smack dab in the middle of a crime caper. Heavy Rain features multiple protagonists that are hot on the trail of a mysterious individual known as the “Origami Killer.” And through a wealth of interactive drama set pieces and intense Quick Time Events, the game’s story unfolded with a wealth of shocking twists and turns that caught everyone off guard. Being able to switch up the game’s narrative through player actions meant you’d arrive at all sorts of different outcomes as it unfolded. Sure, it has its cringy moments (“Press X to Jason” will always be funny!). But Heavy Rain’s positives certainly outweigh its negatives.

Buy Now, $19.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed21. ‘Portal 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $17.49″,”buttonUrl</div>
21. ‘Portal 2’

The original Portal hit the scene back in 2007 and became a surprise hit that pushed Valve to give it another go. Portal 2 upped the ante by not only featuring a mind-bending single-player campaign but also incorporating a co-op campaign with two of the most lovable bots in all of gaming. The Aperture Science Laboratory presents a myriad of tests that play with players’ perception and challenges them to rely on the use of portals to navigate & keep themselves from harm. The charm that was present in the first game was magnified here and the puzzle-solving gets even more intricate, which are two factors Portal fans were thankful for upon this sequel’s release.

Buy Now, $17.49
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed22. ‘Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $49.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
22. ‘Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin’

The Souls series’ immense popularity and success caught everyone off guard. Who knew that a series of action RPGs that are insanely difficult and has no sense of player hand-holding in place would capture the attention of so many gamers? Dark Souls II retains all the essential features that the first Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls went all-in on, plus it threw in a bunch of smart gameplay tweaks & quality of life improvements. Navigating the dark and dreary kingdom of Drangleic brings a high difficulty curve, but you’ll feel rewarded for sticking with it and fighting hard for your survival. This remastered edition of Dark Souls II is the best way to experience such an amazing action RPG thanks to improved online play mechanics and new enemy placements.

Buy Now, $49.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed23. ‘Red Dead Redemption’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $17″,”buttonUrl</div>
23. ‘Red Dead Redemption’

Rockstar Games and its San Diego development studio created the best wild west simulator back on the PS3 with Red Dead Redemption, an open-world trek through the lawless lands of the Western United States and Northern Mexico. Playing as John Marston is an enlightening experience for players as they get embroiled in wild shootouts & gun duels, seek out bounties on wanted criminals, enjoy some chill sessions while playing gambling, etc. The online multiplayer mode suite and “zombified” expansion that arrived post-launch did, even more, to spread out the seemingly neverending goodness at play here. Red Dead Redemption’s closing moments will definitely have you in your feels if you haven’t been spoiled about them already.

Buy Now, $17
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed24. ‘Grand Theft Auto V’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $18.58″,”buttonUrl</div>
24. ‘Grand Theft Auto V’

Grand Theft Auto V dropped in 2013, yet it’s still being played by millions of people across a huge variety of consoles. And that’s because of its ever-expanding online component (Grand Theft Auto Online), which continually adds huge update drops that keep things fresh. GTA’s return to San Andreas happens to be the series’ most ambitious foray into open-world criminology. The three-man money heist crew of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor threw players headfirst into wild situations that helped it stand apart from GTA’s many predecessors. And with such an abundance of side tasks to embark on within GTA’s fictional take on Los Angeles, players have the game’s massive digital world at their full disposal.

Buy Now, $18.58
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed25. ‘BioShock’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $24.98″,”buttonUrl</div>
25. ‘BioShock’

The impact of this provocative FPS is tenfold. BioShock’s plotline and shocking reveals have caused major discussions and interpretations. The game’s heavy combat feel adds that extra oomph to clashes with the twisted denizens of Rapture and the towering Big Daddies that want you dead. And being able to pull out a wealth of elemental and non-elemental abilities via plasmids helped the game’s battles differentiate itself from other FPS games. BioShock encapsulates the best parts of its genre while infusing unique elements that give it a flavor that’s all its own. Everything (except that final boss fight…) is damn near perfection here.

Buy Now, $24.98
Honorable Mentions
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed26. ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $20.49″,”buttonUrl</div>
26. ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’

Buy Now, $20.49
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed27. ‘Fallout 3’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $16.88″,”buttonUrl</div>
27. ‘Fallout 3’

Buy Now, $16.88
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed28. ‘Battlefield: Bad Company 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $25″,”buttonUrl</div>
28. ‘Battlefield: Bad Company 2’

Buy Now, $25
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed29. ‘Mass Effect 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $19.21″,”buttonUrl</div>
29. ‘Mass Effect 2’

Buy Now, $19.21
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed30. ‘Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $58.69″,”buttonUrl</div>
30. ‘Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock’

Buy Now, $58.69
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed31. ‘Far Cry 3’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $27″,”buttonUrl</div>
31. ‘Far Cry 3’

Buy Now, $27
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed32. ‘Assassin’s Creed II’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $10.72″,”buttonUrl</div>
32. ‘Assassin’s Creed II’

Buy Now, $10.72
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed33. ‘Rayman Legends’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $59.95″,”buttonUrl</div>
33. ‘Rayman Legends’

Buy Now, $59.95
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed34. ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $14.50″,”buttonUrl</div>
34. ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’

Buy Now, $14.50
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed35. ‘Yakuza 5’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $45.48″,”buttonUrl</div>
35. ‘Yakuza 5’

Buy Now, $45.48
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed36. ‘Valkyria Chronicles’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $19.98″,”buttonUrl</div>
36. ‘Valkyria Chronicles’

Buy Now, $19.98
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed37. ‘Tales of Xillia’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $64.95″,”buttonUrl</div>
37. ‘Tales of Xillia’

Buy Now, $64.95
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed38. ‘Street Fighter X Tekken’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $37.95″,”buttonUrl</div>
38. ‘Street Fighter X Tekken’

Buy Now, $37.95
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed39. ‘The Walking Dead’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $44.63″,”buttonUrl</div>
39. ‘The Walking Dead’

Buy Now, $44.63
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed40. ‘Burnout Paradise’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $22.88″,”buttonUrl</div>
40. ‘Burnout Paradise’

Buy Now, $22.88
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed41. ‘Max Payne 3’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $32.50″,”buttonUrl</div>
41. ‘Max Payne 3’

Buy Now, $32.50
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed42. ‘Bayonetta’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $27.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
42. ‘Bayonetta’

Buy Now, $27.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed43. ‘NBA 2K13’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $31.63″,”buttonUrl</div>
43. ‘NBA 2K13’

Buy Now, $31.63
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed44. ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $44.88″,”buttonUrl</div>
44. ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’

Buy Now, $44.88
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed45. ‘BioShock Infinite’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $44.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
45. ‘BioShock Infinite’

Buy Now, $44.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed46. ‘Rock Band’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $36″,”buttonUrl</div>
46. ‘Rock Band’

Buy Now, $36
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed47. ‘Borderlands 2’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $29.54″,”buttonUrl</div>
47. ‘Borderlands 2’

Buy Now, $29.54
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed48. ‘Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $99″,”buttonUrl</div>
48. ‘Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’

Buy Now, $99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed49. ‘The King of Fighters XIII’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $114.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
49. ‘The King of Fighters XIII’

Buy Now, $114.99
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed50. ‘MLB 10: The Show’”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $7.30″,”buttonUrl</div>
50. ‘MLB 10: The Show’

Buy Now, $7.30
Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Golden Age JRPGs Like ‘Chrono Cross’

It’s hard not to think of Chrono Cross when you think of the “golden age of JRPGs”. After all, despite the mass of JRPGs that have been released in the last decade alone, those earliest entries really helped shape many of our childhoods, and even the industry itself.

But it was the golden age of JRPGs, which means there are even more great adventurers awaiting those hungry for brilliant worlds to explore. That’s why we’ve put together this list of some of the best golden age JRPGs like Chrono Cross.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or trying to dig into a sprawling new world, these golden age JRPGs offer some of the best environments, stories, and characters you’ll find.

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1. ‘Final Fantasy VII’

Few games have had the staying power of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII, and chances are, most JRPG fans have already sunk their teeth into this gem of the golden age of JRPGs. Still, if you haven’t played it for some reason, then you’re in for quite a treat! While the graphics aren’t nearly on par with the recently released Final Fantasy VII Remake, the story is still just as amazing as it has always been. There’s a lot to love about Cloud and his party’s adventure, and you’ll find that this world has plenty of mystery and exploration to entice you to keep coming back for more.

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2. ‘Wild Arms’

Originally released in 1996, Wild Arms was yet another fantastic entry in the golden age of JRPGs. The game was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, and followed the adventures of a group known as the “Dream Chasers”. It’s a pretty standard format for a JRPG of the time and exploring the beautiful world of Filgaia, and learning more about the various ARMs (gun-like machines) that you can acquire was always a welcome part of the experience. It blends classic 2D characters and environments with fully-realized 3D battles for an unforgettable RPG experience.

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3. ‘Alundra’

If you want a JRPG more akin to The Legend of Zelda series, then Alundra has a beautiful world chock full of adventure just waiting for you to jump in and explore it. The game was originally released in 1997 and included a heavy emphasis on puzzle-solving. That might be a bit different from some of the other JRPGs out there, but it still makes for an interesting play. The story here is one of the brightest spots, too, with the overworld that you get to explore giving you a ton of different environmental ranges, all fixed with their own challenges. It’s also a bit of a misnomer in the world of JRPGs as it doesn’t include a standard leveling system based on earning experience points. Instead, the players themselves can earn experience by completing the various puzzles they come across.

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4. ‘Suikoden III’

The Suikoden series made quite a splash when it first came out because it took a lot of the standard perspective that JRPGs often offered and turned it on its head. Instead of experiencing the world from one perspective, players are given three main protagonists. This allows you to really dig deep into the events that play out through the story, giving you more insight into the different instances than most other games allow. It’s an intriguing design that continues to work exceptionally well throughout Suikoden III, as players explore the vast and beautiful world of the Grasslands region.

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5. ‘Xenogears’

Released in 1998, Xenogears was the start of a JRPG legacy that continues to wow role-playing game fans to this day. In the original chapter of the series, players must step into the shoes of one Fei Fong Wong, who is drawn into battle with Deus, an ancient machine weapon that many treat as a god. The gameplay utilizes many of the same standard turn-based active action systems of the golden age, while also blending in the heavy martial arts themes that the Xeno series revolves around. If you’ve ever played a game in the Xeno series, you owe it to yourself to revisit this gem and experience the story that started it all.

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6. ‘Dragon Quest VIII’

While technically a PlayStation 2 release, Dragon Quest VIII made our list thanks to the series’ delightful and long-standing influence on the JRPG genre. In fact, it’s the biggest selling game ever for the PlayStation 2 in Japan and continues to be a bastion of fantastical adventure for fans of the Dragon Quest series. Characters from Dragon Quest VIII have continued to be iconic, too, often appearing in other Square Enix properties. Everything about Dragon Quest VIII, from the music to the combat, and even the fully-realized 3D world that you explore all help to herald back to the earlier JRPGs that helped shape the genre, while also helping to modernize the look and feel of the entire experience.

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7. ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’

The Final Fantasy franchise continues to be one of the guiding lights of the JRPG genre, and for good reason. While classics like Final Fantasy VIII continue to get a lot of praise, there is one Final Fantasy game that continues to stand out high above many of the others: Final Fantasy Tactics. As the first of the Tactics series, Final Fantasy Tactics had a lot to prove. Not only did it have to take the classic Final Fantasy formula and turn it on its head, but it also had to offer addicting and enjoyable gameplay despite being a turn-based strategy game. It managed to do all of that, and then some, and continues to be one of the defining titles of the golden age of JRPGs.

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8. ‘Secret of Mana’

Secret of Mana was released before a lot of the other titles you’ve seen on this list. In fact, it was released several years before development on many of those titles had even begun, making it one of the earliest examples of the golden age of JRPGs. Despite being released in 1993, though, Secret of Mana continues to hold tight to its place in the JRPG world, and that’s all thanks to the absolute brilliance of the gameplay and story told within the world. Unlike other RPGs of the time, which focused heavily on turn-based combat, Secret of Mana utilized a real-time battle system, including its unique Ring system, which let players pause combat to think over strategies. The game has seen a number of re-releases over the years, including a recent remake back in 2018.

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9. ‘Earthbound’

Few games have had the lasting legacy of Ape Inc.’s Earthbound (or Mother 2: Gīgu no Gyakushū in Japan). This iconic JRPG was our first introduction to Ness, a character that would go on to grow a cult following that spurred appearances in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series. Earthbound is a parody of other JRPG mechanics, while also consisting heavily of the mechanics that JRPG lovers have come to know and appreciate. The game wasn’t super well received at first but has now gone on to become considered one of the greatest video games of all time. Few other JRPGs can perfectly embody the spirit of what makes a JRPG so enticing, while also having a laugh about all of it at the same time.

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10. ‘Skies of Arcadia’

Released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000, Skies of Arcadia introduced players to a beautiful and expansive world featuring floating continents and massive living weapons known as Gigas. In Skies of Arcadia, players step into the shoes of Vyse, a young member of the Blue Rogue air pirates, a group of Robin Hood-like adventurers fighting bravely against the iron grip of the Valuan Empire. The game takes a heavy focus on world exploration and is perfect for those that want a massive and delightful universe to dig into. A special version of the game was later ported from the Dreamcast to the Nintendo GameCube.

Consoles Gaming

10 Times Gaming Got April Fool’s Day Right

April 1st, which is known the world over as April Fool’s Day, is usually one of the holidays that stand out the most as springtime draws near.

The most essential thing to do on April 1st is to play an April Fools joke, of course. Wherever you happen to be on the internet on that particular day, you will almost certainly come across a variety of sweet little lies and jokes. April Fools jokes are now a common occurrence in the gaming industry. Surprisingly, there are a good number of April Fool’s jokes that have managed to deceive and fool gamers everywhere.

Join us as we reminisce and look back at the 10 best April Fool’s Day gags that fooled the gaming industry.

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1. Sheng Long Unlock in ‘Street Fighter II’ (1992)

The oldest (and arguably best) April Fool joke on this list is a combination of mistranslation and an amazing prank. Due to a misinterpretation of Ryu’s post-match victory text in Street Fighter II, a rumor was created centering around a secret fight in the game against an individual named Sheng Long.

Electronic Gaming Monthly published an article about the secret “World Warrior” in their magazine, fooling gamers worldwide as other magazines went on to cover the story as fact. To add even more insult to injury, EGM pulled the exact same prank again in 1997 during the development of Street Fighter III, which practically portrayed the fighting game fans that fell for it a second time as extremely gullible. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. Sonic and Tails Character Unlocks in ‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’ (2002)</div>
2. Sonic and Tails Character Unlocks in ‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’ (2002)

Another older (infamous) April Fool’s prank was once again conducted by Electronic Gaming Monthly. The gaming publication released an article claiming that Sega’s anthropomorphic icons Sonic and Tails could be unlocked in the platform fighter, Super Smash Bros. Melee. All the player had to do was beat at least 20 enemies in “Cruel Melee” mode. If you’re not in the know, that task is an incredibly daunting undertaking.

You would think that after the Sheng Long debacle, gamers would be more alert and suspicious of such rumors popular surrounding fighting games. Who knows how many gamers attempted this task with such high hopes, only to be met with disappointment in the end. EGM confessed to this one as being nothing more than a joke and, to show that they were good sports, offered players who completed the Cruel Melee challenge a copy of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

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3. PlayStation Flow (2015)

Parodying the virtual reality trend, Sony released a commercial advertising the ability to simulate swimming levels in video games. Sony went all in on this prank and even made a cringe advertisement highlighting the capabilities of “PlayStation Flow.” The product was advertised complete with goggles and arm sensors that actually looked halfway believable. The video highlighted the absurdity of the idea as it showed people swimming in their living room and kitchen as they attempted to simulate the act of swimming in the real world. 

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4. Two-Headed Ogre Race in ‘World of Warcraft’ (2004)

Blizzard Entertainment announced an intriguing and interesting new race to their popular World of Warcraft MMORPG in 2004, which was christened the Two-Headed Ogre. This newly introduced character would consist of two halves, each controlled by a different player. So, two players would be controlling one character model and it displayed a separate UI for both players including separate chat boxes.

Playing as the two-headed ogre race sounded fun until gamers considered the chaos of trying to control one unit with two players as well the programming nightmare that it would be. It was a fun little prank that probably fooled gamers for a little while before logic kicked in. Fun fact – Blizzard went ahead and turned this joke into a real thing when it created a character based on it in its MOBA Heroes of the Storm.

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5. ‘The Legend of Zelda’ Live-Action Movie Trailer (2008)

In 2008, IGN played a sweet yet oh so bitter prank. They released an article detailing the production of a Legend of Zelda movie. The article came complete with a three-minute trailer that boasted some highly impressive visuals. While IGN had played many pranks over the years, such as the “Bollywood Halo” movie, this one was perhaps their most believable to date.

But lesson learned, ignore IGN on April 1. The only saving grace of the prank that most likely kept many gamers from becoming super upset was that the movie didn’t look all that in the first place. Had the trailer portrayed showcased some worthwhile footage, all hell would have broken loose as everyone’s hopes were crushed on April 2, 2008. 

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6. Corsair Game Launcher (2019)

The renowned PC hardware maker known as Corsair had one of the best April Fool jokes to date.

It caused the blood of every PC gamer to boil and probably caused hypertension in a few gamers as it advertised yet another game launcher in an oversaturated market already full of them. What was really funny about this prank was that the game launcher that Corsair was jokingly advertising simply served as a central point to compile every other PC game launcher.

Which meant it essentially served no purpose other than being another program running in the background that hogged down everyone’s PC resources. What made this joke even funnier was the parody gaming titles used in the advertisement for the gaming launcher. Those titles, complete with official-looking box art, advertised games such as “S is for Speed 5, Super Kart, Sass Effect, and Business Simulator” to hilarious effect.  

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7. ‘Totally Accurate Battle Simulator’ – Bug DLC (2020)

In 2020, Landfall launched a very innovative two-for-one: an April Fool’s joke that served as a marketing tool. Landfall advertised “Bug” DLC for their game Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, which added bugs to the game. Yep, you read that right. The developer purposefully added bugs to their games and then advertised them as free DLC. Fortunately, the bugs added were of the comic variety and not the game-breaking variety that tends to infuriate gamers everywhere.

The DLC added bugs that messed with the game’s gravity mechanics, enabled random immortality, stuck units together, randomly added wings to units, and randomly adjusted unit size, just to name a few. The bugs proved to be pretty cool and made the game itself more of a joy to play. It served its purpose well as an April Fool’s joke and a strong advertiser for Totally Accurate Battle Simulator.

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8. Ubisoft’s ‘For Honor’: Mini Edition (2020)

Now this certainly qualifies as a harmless and goofy prank done right. Ubisoft launched a trailer for an April Fool’s prank that eventually turned into an actual in-game event. The trailer showcased For Honor gameplay but with the characters and their models scaled down to miniature versions as the title implies. Aesthetically, it was a funny, goofy, and endearing look. It’s one of those videos that you just have to watch for yourself to take in all the hilarity.

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9. RGB Hair – Razer (2021)

Razer is another famous PC hardware company. Over the years they have announced numerous fake products that are often intriguing and sometimes products I was ready to buy before learning they weren’t legit. One of the most interesting products they advertised as a joke was “RGB Hair.” RGB and gaming hardware have become synonymous with each other over the years and this was advertised as an evolutionary next step.

I have to admit – this new product piqued my interest. Even though I don’t dye my hair, the RGB hair color looked really nice and initially made me want to give it a try. The commercial even used the whole “famous guy looking at another girl” meme with the guy staring at some gorgeous RGB hair. While computer-generated effects will always look nice, RGB hair just sounds like it would look nice on just about anyone. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘Yakuza’ Embraces Turn-Based Combat Mechanics (2019)</div>
10. ‘Yakuza’ Embraces Turn-Based Combat Mechanics (2019)

Perhaps the best and my personal favorite April Fool’s prank in the gaming world is the Yakuza turn-based RPG joke. In 2019, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the developers of the Yakuza series, released a joke video portraying their popular action series as a turn-based combat experience. The video was meant to be a funny haha joke for all its loyal fans.

During the time of release, the game in development, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, was rolling along as an action RPG game. However, after receiving unexpectedly positive reactions to their prank trailer, the game’s development studio decided to shift the game to turn-based and ended up releasing a spectacular game as a result. As such, this is my favorite story to date as it’s an April Fool joke that’s funny and led to something wonderful as a result.  

Consoles Gaming

What the New ‘Tomb Raider’ Needs to Do to Win Me Over

Lara Croft is one of the biggest names in gaming. The frontwoman of the Tomb Raider series, which has spanned three decades, started from humble beginnings on the original PlayStation’s 1996 third-person adventure game Tomb Raider and quickly shot to the stratosphere. From action figures to Hollywood blockbusters and everything in between, Lara Croft is a ubiquitous character that just about anyone even tangentially familiar with gaming recognizes.

The character has spanned more than a dozen games, three (soon to be four) feature films and, yesterday, developer Crystal Dynamics announced another addition to the Tomb Raider series, to be built with Unreal Engine 5. It’s great news for fans, but I’m still skeptical that we’re going to get more of the Lara who’s been growing ever since the launch of the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy. And it’s time to move past that if this new entry is going to impress me.

The Lara that comes to mind for players getting familiar with her in the last few years likely conjures a much different persona than those who have been on board since the very beginning. Lara has changed significantly since the Tomb Raider reboot — and not for the better. Though the character has received a slew of attention in the last few years, it’s all been lavished upon a complete redesign of Lara meant to be less intimidating and brazen and more vulnerable. Less voluptuous, of course, as we wouldn’t want anyone to feel as though her figure were unattainable, even though they’re playing a video game.

Despite all these changes, there’s one thing fans (and all gamers) should consider: the old Lara is still important and doesn’t deserve to be erased from the overarching Tomb Raider narrative.

The new Lara had many of her edgier attributes softened in order for the prequel trilogy to work. Those games, billed as the story of how Lara eventually transformed into the titular “Tomb Raider,” reveal a more “normal” Croft, with a more realistic model, less confidence, and the unfortunate luck of a thousand black cats. She’s forever dodging death and dealing with terrifying situations, but she’s also scared, crying, and filthy while doing it. She handles her business in the end, but one wonders why we never have to see characters like Nathan Drake in such “vulnerable” positions.

It’s all more in line with real life, but it also loses much of the charm from the original Tomb Raider series. And while this made for a trio of action-packed games, it also inadvertently dialed back what women as protagonists are “allowed” to do in gaming, lest they be offensive — because, in our society, independence, strength, and grit don’t work with the idea of “sexy” and women need to show how hard they’re trying, lest their adventures not be believable.

Lara Croft has always been considered a sex symbol. Unfortunately, she’s also always been seen as a throwaway action hero created to attract men, but she originally came with a sassy, self-assured personality, interesting origin story, and deadly aim, as well. And even if she were created partly to attract buyers looking for an attractive woman, what of it? Aside from heteronormative assumptions about who would find Lara attractive, that mindset fails to take women into accommodation at all.

What of the women who felt empowered playing as a buxom brunette with guns? What of the young men who grew tired of playing as male heroes and wanted a more feminine point of view? Lara didn’t exist solely as a sexual object and claiming such has always been reductive and silly. She was a beacon in the gaming realm for many younger players who found themselves looking for a hero to emulate in the PlayStation era. She was even an ambassador of sorts for non-gamers. Just as everyone recognizes Mario, they know Lara, too.

Today’s Lara may be strong and resilient, but she’s also bland and inoffensive. There’s so little panache in her personality that she could be replaced by any other woman in video games and wouldn’t be missed. Unlike such characters as Uncharted’s Chloe or even Elena, there’s nothing to make Lara stand out. You could not say the same of her original design, however. With her iconic dual pistols, long braid, dangerous curve, and seriously cool shades, she commanded attention. As soon as she opened her mouth to speak, she proved herself calm, cool, collected, and more than a little saucy when the situation called for it.

In bringing Lara more in line by giving her realistic proportions and forcing her to fight for her life, the series has birthed a Croft who may as well be anyone. Would it go over well to ask a self-assured, sexy woman in 2021 to change everything about herself to be more palatable for a wider audience? Or would we acknowledge that she’s still capable of containing multitudes and let her do her own thing?

The sexier, sassier Lara was never championed as a character worth putting on a pedestal. Instead of propping her up as a great new female character who held her own with her male brethren, she was always reduced to some sort of seductress. She couldn’t possibly be good for women gamers — at least, that’s what many thought of her, because she was clad in somewhat revealing clothing.

That shouldn’t have invalidated her experience, quick wit, or accomplishments and it never will. In fact, it enhances them. She’s the total package. In a society that simply refuses to reconcile intelligence, kindness, and other qualities “befitting” female role models with sexiness or traditional femininity, Lara exists as something of a quandary. And it’s puzzling that, in an age where we’re celebrating women (or so we say) we want to push back on all the qualities that women embody.

We see this attitude even with the actresses chosen to portray Lara. Alicia Vikander’s version of the Tomb Raider herself is a bland, watered-down generic action hero. There’s no verve, no attitude, and certainly very little of the Lara we used to know from Angelina Jolie’s campier counterpart.

And not only has the change in Lara’s look and personality been evident, but the series as a whole has shifted. It’s all solely about real-world dangers, throwing away the fantastical. It was entertaining to see the occasional dinosaur tossed in earlier games for good fun. Now, if Lara isn’t sussing out some hidden artifact or tribe, she’s fighting off everyday dangers and occasionally raiding tombs. It’s all well and good, but why not harness the power of the video game medium for some truly out-there adventuring? Why do we need to remain mired in reality?

If the new Tomb Raider game is going to impress me, that’s what’s going to have to happen. Or it’s going to at least have to dial back the rugged adventurer who’s secretly vulnerable trope exponentially.

It’s time we welcomed the old Lara back, even if it’s just in spirit.

Consoles Gaming

The 10 Weirdest Kirby Powers

Kirby is everyone’s favorite pink puffball, but not just because he’s cute. He can be, like Barbie, just about anything he wants. One of Kirby’s hallmark powers is being able to absorb enemies and use their powers as his own. Doing so gives him a fun new outfit and plenty of new ways to punish the baddies around him.

Many of them are pretty normal, like adding a sword to Kirby’s arsenal so he looks like a miniature Link from The Legend of Zelda. Others are, shall we say, a little more bizarre. Everything about Kirby is nice and cute, until it starts to cross over into the weird territory. That’s what we’re here for, to take a peek at some of Kirby’s more unorthodox abilities.

Let’s dive right in and check out 10 of Kirby’s weirdest powers. You never know, one of them just may become your new favorite — or at least a curiosity you want to know more about. And then boom! You’ve got a new game to track down.

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1. Bubble Kirby

What happens when you combine a vacuum-like puffball with a bubble bath? Bubble Kirby! First introduced in Kirby Squeak Squad, Bubble Kirby is quite literal. Kirby can gain it by inhaling enemies that produce bubbles, like Bubble Head or Buboo. Kirby dons a bathing cap covered in bubbles, and can then use a bubble wand to trap enemies in their own soapy prisons.

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2. Balloon Kirby

What’s that floating up there in the sky? It’s Balloon Kirby! This perfectly round version of Kirby first made an appearance in Kirby: Canvas Curse. Kirby becomes inflated so that he’s much bigger and bouncier. He can’t damage enemies, but if he does tend to pop, which can stun all the enemies on screen. He can obtain this power from the Bloon enemy.

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3. Cleaning Kirby

There’s nothing better than getting squeaky clean, and Cleaning Kirby makes sure that everything is tidy. This ability debuted in Kirby’s Dream Land 3, and outfits Kirby with a bandana covered in green stars, giving him a broom. Kirby can dust in front of him with said broom and destroy blocks to clear a path as well as clear leaf piles and extinguish fires. It’s a lot more effective than a normal broom, you see.

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4. ESP Kirby

Who wouldn’t want to have psychic powers? ESP Kirby does, and he’ll use them against you if he has to. The ESP ability first appeared in Kirby: Planet Robobot. Kirby can create psychic projectiles and through them at enemies in addition to turning invisible and moving his projectiles around in the air. Additionally, the Robobot Armor can use the power to generate enormous spheres of electricity.

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5. Needle Kirby

Soft Kirby meets spiky. That’s what happens with the Needle ability. Needle Kirby first appeared in Kirby’s Adventure, and it lets Kirby grow spikes from his head to deal damage to surrounding enemies. He also gains a weird little helmet that clashes with his usual fashion sense a bit, but you can’t argue with the results.

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6. Spider Kirby

You wouldn’t think that spiders and Kirby come together often, but Spider Kirby is totally a thing. First spotted in Kirby Star Allies, Spider Kirby lets our favorite fuzzball use spider webs to trap enemies. They’ll stick around for a bit before disappearing, and eventually trapped enemies or those who come into contact with a web will be trapped in a pod.

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7. UFO Kirby

Kirby himself is a bit of an iniquity. Is he an evolutionary anomaly? Strange animal? Maybe he’s an alien. That might be where UFO Kirby comes from. First seen in Kirby’s Adventure, UFO Kirby lets Kirby levitate and use four different attacks that changes the longer you hold down the attack button. It’s also quite difficult to obtain, as nyou need to get it from another actual UFO. The truth is out there.

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8. Jet Kirby

Kirby can already fly, so what’s he doing with a jet engine? That’s what we want to know about Jet Kirby. First seen in Kirby Super Star, Jet Kirby lets the pink puffster zip through the air much faster, supplementing it with kicks and headbutts. Kirby can even have limited invincibility as he uses jet power to ram into enemies.

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9. Doctor Kirby

Is Kirby a licensed physician? Probably not, but that won’t stop us from looking at Doctor Kirby and asking him to treat us, please. First seen in Kirby: Planet Robobot, this ability lets Kirby throw pills to charge and bounce at enemies and a Science Lab power, which lets him craft different drinks to restore health or attack enemies with. He’s undoubtedly the healer class, and he’s absolutely adorable in a labcoat.

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10. Circus Kirby

Ah, the circus. Dancing elephants, yummy peanuts, and sideshows. Also, Kirby. Circus Kirby is a strange one. First seen in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, this power-up outfits Kirby with a circus tent-like hat, a red nose, and a mustache on top of his head with juggling pins. He can juggle said pins, jump through flaming hoops, and even balance on balls and trampolines. Ringling Bros. who?

Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best ‘Final Fantasy’ Spinoffs You Must Play

The Final Fantasy series is known for its memorable narratives, beloved characters, and sweeping scores. The core numbered games are some of the best role-playing titles the genre has to offer, and fans are in love with them for even more reasons beyond that. But you may be surprised to learn that there have been several additions to the series that veer off of the main course and explore additional sides to the series.

These 10 Final Fantasy spinoffs explore sides of characters we didn’t get to see in the main game, introduce us to brand new ways to play, and even let us pit characters against each other. In the spirit of the recently released Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, we’ve rounded up ten of the best you can find.

If you’re hankering for more Final Fantasy, you’ve got to try each of these titles. You never know when you’ll find a brand new favorite.

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1. ‘Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII’

Zack Faire played a small but important part in Final Fantasy VII, which got vastly expanded in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. This game is set seven years before the original and centers around Zack’s time in SOLDIER and the events that led up to the incident at the Nibelheim reactor.

It’s practically essential to play Crisis Core for any fan of Final Fantasy VII, and it fills in many gaps about what happened to Cloud before he arrived in Midgar. Unfortunately, it also muddles things a little with the introduction of Genesis and Angeal. These two SOLDIER members take actions that have a major effect on the world but are completely forgotten about outside of the context of this game.

Fortunately, despite the confusing narrative choices, this is a great game that gives a lot of insight into the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII as a whole. It’s one of the best the PSP has to offer and pushed the limits of what a handheld title could be at the time of its release.

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2. ‘Dissidia Final Fantasy’

Dissidia Final Fantasy isn’t the first fighting spin-off for the series. Still, it makes much better use of the property than its predecessor, Ehrgeiz. The gods Cosmos and Chaos draw upon the heroes and villains of the Final Fantasy series to fight on their sides. It’s another excellent game on PSP and was the first of a series of fighting games that were all released to positive reviews. 

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3. ‘Final Fantasy Explorers’

Those looking for a Monster Hunter-esque spin on Final Fantasy can get their fix with Final Fantasy Explorers. In this game, you play as a crystal hunter trying to obtain these precious objects on the untamed island of Amostra. However, monsters (which take the form of monsters and summons from past Final Fantasy games) will bar your path and force you to fight for your life. You can form a party of four, which can be other human players or monsters you’ve previously defeated. The job system is here as well, and you can access different abilities by switching jobs. The extensive crafting system that features over 500 pieces of equipment will keep you busy fighting, and you’ll spend many an hour finding the best gear.

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4. ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’

The most impactful Final Fantasy spin-off is arguably Final Fantasy Tactics. This is the game that pushed strategy RPGs into the mainstream in the West and captivated audiences with its dark fantasy story. It also introduced Ivalice, which, in varying forms, has been the setting for other games in the franchise, like Final Fantasy XII. 

There are two versions of Final Fantasy Tactics. The original’s English translation was criticized for inaccuracies, and it was later updated in the PSP re-release of Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. We’re fond of the original translation and find the Old English intonations of War of the Lions to be a bit obnoxious. Still, many find it to be more accurate than the Japanese original.

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5. ‘Final Fantasy Tactics Advance’

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance deals with subject material that is a bit less heavy than that found in the first title. Here, four kids have discovered a magical tome that transports them into their memories of a Final Fantasy game. There, they find that the misfortunes that plagued them in real life gradually disappear, but their fantasy ends up pulling their entire town into this alternate reality. 

The Ivalice found here will be familiar to those who played Final Fantasy XII. It introduces the Judges and races like the Bangaa and Viera. It’s one of the best games on the Game Boy Advance and deals with themes like self-acceptance. It later received a sequel, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, on Nintendo DS.

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6. ‘Final Fantasy Type-0’

Final Fantasy Type-0 is one of the underappreciated gems of the franchise. It’s a full-fledged Final Fantasy adventure that is notable darker and more violent than main series entries. The original PSP version was never released outside of Japan, but Final Fantasy Type-0 HD brought the game to the West four years later on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. This is essentially a full remake which brings the PSP original up to console standards.

Although it’s an action RPG (which was atypical for the series at the time), it’s very similar to the main series Final Fantasy titles of the time in most other ways. You can quest with the members of Class Zero across Orience via a traditional world map while on foot, riding a Chocobo, or on an airship. It also has favorite fan activities like Chocobo breeding, so there’s a ton here to love. 

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7. ‘Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles’

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles was originally released for GameCube, but it recently received a remaster on modern platforms. That means the time is right to experience one of the series’s best multiplayer experiences. Up to four players can adventure together and explore dungeons. It’s a lot simpler than the pure RPG Final Fantasy games, and its emphasis is on multiplayer, so don’t expect to get the full experience playing by yourself.

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8. ‘Final Fantasy: Record Keeper’

Quite a few Final Fantasy games have made it to mobile. Some of them have been ports of other games, while others are made especially for iOS and Android. One of the few of the latter that really captures the feeling of a premium title is Final Fantasy: Record Keeper. You take the role of Tyro, a researcher that can enter paintings and experience memories of other worlds. Most of these worlds are locations from classic Final Fantasy titles, but other Square Enix franchises, like Kingdom Hearts, appear as well. There are over 200 iconic characters you can obtain, and for a free-to-play game, the microtransactions aren’t too egregious. 

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9. ‘Theatrhythm Final Fantasy’

The Final Fantasy series has some of the most beloved music in video game history. Yet, Square Enix remarkably took until 2012 to design a rhythm game around it. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy takes you on a journey through the musical history of the series and features multiple playstyles and tracks from Final Fantasy I through XIII. Two games were released for the series on 3DS and another, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: All-Star Carnival, hit arcades. Another, Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, which featured songs from that hit series, was also released but never made it out of Japan.

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10. ‘World of Final Fantasy’

If you’ve ever wanted to dip your Final Fantasy into some Pokémon, here’s World of Final Fantasy. In this adorable title, you can capture “Mirages” of monsters and summons from throughout the Final Fantasy franchise and have them assist you in battle. We highly recommend getting the Maxima version which includes all the DLC and a bunch of new content.

Consoles Gaming

‘LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’ Review

I’ve gotten quite accustomed to the overall structure of LEGO games that incorporate the most popular characters, plotlines, and locales attached to entertainment media darlings.

The LEGO titles based in the wide and wonderful worlds of Marvel, DC, Harry Potter, and Star Wars have given me dozens of hours of surprisingly fun & humorous playthroughs. But it must be stated that the familiar gameplay development studio Traveller’s Tales mastered all the while started to become a bit one-note. Even though its long line of LEGO games is always good to great, it became clear to me and plenty of other fans that changes needed to be made in order to freshen them up & push them forward on a technical level.

Seeing as how the last LEGO game (The Lego Movie 2 Videogame) was released back in 2019, I figured TT had taken everyone’s criticisms to heart and worked extra hard to make its next “blocky” endeavor its best entry to date. And after having the time of my life with it, I’m happy to say that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a triumph that marks a true evolution for the LEGO games franchise as a whole.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

This brand new LEGO adventure in a galaxy far, far away is TT’s most ambitious undertaking to date. Instead of covering a certain block of happenings within a movie series or focusing on a wholly original storyline, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga goes above and beyond by embracing the entirety of the three Star Wars movie trilogies. And to see each of those nine films come to life without any half-steps being taken to summarize their biggest moments is gratifying.

All the usual suspects, planets, and impactful events that Star Wars fans first witnessed on the big screen are represented well within the confines of an active LEGO playset. There’s so much joy to be had as you hop into young Anakin Skywalker’s Podracer to zip around a sandy racetrack, take control of a Jedi Starfighter to take down Jango Fett, and even play the part of a waiter as you bring people their food as a prequel rendition of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The LEGO games’ strong attention to detail and lighthearted humor do an awesome job of making Star Wars’ standout moments feel fresh & nostalgic all at the same time. Playing this game via co-op mode alongside a young & curious Star Wars fan-in-the-making is a must if you want them to dip their toes into its massive universe.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

From a gameplay standpoint, this new LEGO Star Wars journey makes some major changes for the better. Engaging in combat is more akin to your everyday third-person action/adventure experience. Each character falls under a specific class, such as a Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Hero, etc. Thanks to those classifications, those character types utilize different types of moves that are in line with what you’d expect. Jedi are capable of pulling off flashy lightsaber combos and can also fling them across the battlefield, which presents them as the most fun characters to take control of.

Hero’s can also rely on unique melee combos of their own and become master marksmen via cover-based third-person shooter mechanics, which is a first for the LEGO games. And Bounty Hunters have the ability to whip out their rapid-fire weapons to cut down their foes and even crack open gold LEGO objects. It becomes quite addicting as you try to unlock the full gamut of characters on offer here, which goes up into the hundreds.

Another newly implemented aspect of this game that I have to commend is the upgrade system. Completing main objectives and various side missions gives players “Kyber Bricks,” which strengthen the core aspects of every character type and specific attributes for each class. I had a great time tackling simple puzzles and combing through every corner of the game’s many stages to find another Kyber Brick so I could improve my Jedi’s combat counter prowess and unlock my Droids’ super useful distraction ability. It became a neverending Easter Egg hunt as I sought out every Kyber Brick and made sure I participated in all the fun tasks TT threw into the game.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

A Star Wars game wouldn’t really be what fans want if it didn’t offer space travel/dogfights of any kind. The ones on offer here are a vast improvement over what came before them. Being able to command a wealth of recognizable ships, engaging in some hyperspace travel, and getting caught up in furious battles with rival ships never grew tiresome. This game gives players plenty of reasons to take flight – there are famous moments that take place within the confines of a signature Star Wars ship, plus you can seek out floating rocks that house extra Kyber Bricks within them.

It felt so good to enjoy my freedom among the stars before I decided to touch down on one of the game’s many planets (the likes of Geonosis, Tatooine, and Cantonica are just a sample size of the full gamut of locales in place here). The familiar elements of past LEGO games and the fresh features thrown in to better them all make LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga the best of everything TT has done up until this point.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Now everything isn’t perfect within this new LEGO title, however. There are some pet peeves I have to bring up here since they dull the fun of the game’s overall fun factor. The instances where I was forced to walk at a snail’s pace while escorting someone to the next checkpoint while they spoke are super annoying. And some of the voice actors that are used for certain characters don’t sound anything like the onscreen versions I’ve become so used to.

While I realize the likes of superstar talent like Samuel Jackson (Mace Windu) couldn’t be called on to reprise their roles here, replacing them with off-putting voice actors sticks out like a sore thumb. I would have been perfectly fine with TT cleaning up the movie audio and reusing it instead. And my final pet peeve, you ask? Having to wait those few extra seconds for the title screen animation to load up every single time I hop into the game gets on my last nerves.

Those three issues of mine as mere quibbles when you consider all the greatness contained within LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. The retooled combat mechanics, more worthwhile attempts at game progression, greatly improved space exploration/battles, and slapstick humor makes this brand new LEGO game the finest series entry to date.

Consoles Gaming

The 20 Best Games Like ‘Twisted Metal’

Do you love car-based carnage? Do you long to slam your vehicle into others’ jalopies to cause as much damage as humanly possible? Then there’s no doubt you have a sweet tooth for Sweet Tooth or a soft spot for Hammerhead. And you just can’t get enough of the Twisted Metal series.

We don’t blame you. This long-running vehicular combat series brings players the ultimate demolition derby, complete with machine guns, mines, ballistics, and even nuclear weapons to engage in battle with your opponents. The last player left standing wins. The only problem is, there hasn’t been a new Twisted Metal in some time — since 2012, to be exact.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 20 of our favorite games like Twisted Metal to tide you over. Not every one of these games will match those classics exactly, but there’s something here for just about anyone to scratch that car combat, open world, or itch for vehicular violence. Check out our picks below.

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1. ‘Burnout Paradise Remastered’

This open-world racer is one of the best there is, years after its initial release in 2008. Hop into a ride and drive around the fictional “Paradise City” to compete in a variety of destructive races, play against friends, and collect a menagerie of different vehicles. It offers something for just about everyone, including the Burnout series’ signature Crash Mode, where players work to create the biggest crashes they possibly can. The remastered version of the game, which hit shelves in 2018, brings it all back with a fresh new coat of paint.

Buy Now, $19.99
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2. ‘Carmageddon: Max Damage’

The Carmageddon series has been around for some time, and Carmageddon: Max Damage is the latest iteration. Mangle your opponents by smashing into them in your cars and bust things up with everything from bulldozers to spiked sports cars and all that you can think of in between. And you’ll spare pedestrians no mercy as you explore a variety of different environments all in a bid to watch things go boom, pow, and kersplat.

Buy Now, $16.99
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3. ‘Wreckfest’

Wreckfest is probably the best currently supported vehicular combat racing game. It leans more toward simulating realistic events like banger racing and demolition derbies and features both a robust campaign and multiplayer experience. There’s an enthusiastic community and plenty of events to enjoy. Switch owners can also join in on the fun soon as a version of Wreckfest for that console is coming out later this year.

Buy Now, $11.99
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4. ‘WWE Crush Hour’

Take a trip down memory lane to the time of wacky WWE tie-ins. WWE Crush Hour is incredibly similar to Twisted Metal and has players controlling one of over 30 wrestlers in demolition derby-style matches. It isn’t a great game, but it’s an interesting look at a time when professional wrestling was a vital part of the zeitgeist.

Buy Now, $47.99
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5. ‘Vigilante 8’

Luxoflux’s meaty vehicular combat game is a ’70s-centric road rage adventure that follows a group of Southwesterners who work to fight for law and order in a country that’s seemingly gone mad. Across a variety of levels, they hop into souped-up cars and battle those who they believe are getting in their way, rocket launchers and homing missiles be damned. It’s a dirty world. Someone has to clean it up.

Buy Now, $4.99
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6. ‘Test Drive: Eve of Destruction’

Test Drive: Eve of Destruction is a mainstay of Atari’s that finds players racing against each other in demolition derby matches. That means racing in school buses, vehicles, trailers, and more, all the while trying to destroy everyone else’s rides. Whether you’re participating in a suicide race to encourage disastrous collisions or pushing other players off the platforms, there’s always some craziness going on.

Buy Now, $59.99
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7. ‘Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012’

This apocalyptic vision of the future follows mercenaries as they clash against each other across the wastelands of an alternative history. It finds tourists, hitchhikers, and passengers paying for fares to go to vacation destinations around the world and said mercenaries taking them there, all while everyone works to take out their opponents across 3D stages with homing missiles, bombs, and of course, their cars too. Trust us, it’s just as chaotic as it sounds.

Buy Now, $54.99
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8. ‘Cel Damage HD’

This zany vehicle shooter got its start long ago on Xbox, and it still lives on in the form of Cel Damage HD. It follows six characters on the game show Cel Damage as they work to destroy each other for the entertainment of loyal audiences everywhere. Contestants maim each other with chainsaws and baseball bats, use portable nuclear devices, and even turn freeze rays on each other as they drive across each arena. If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is.

Buy Now, $8.99
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9. ‘Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has everything you need to know about it in the title: there’s Crash the mascot, and plenty of reasons to crash into your opponents as you zip through dangerous locales and work to pick off your enemies one by one. Zip around each track and shave off some seconds while slinging projectiles into your opponents and see who emerges victorious.

Buy Now, $39.99
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10. ‘Days Gone’

Days Gone isn’t a racing game per se, but hear us out. It’s an interesting spin on the typical zombie formula and once you sink your teeth into Days Gone you’ll want to ride your hog all the way to the finish – and no, that’s not a metaphor for anything. You’re going to be on your bike a lot. In fact, most of your game has you zooming around on your bike, cutting down zombie-like creatures if you want to survive. And to that end, that means a lot of mowing down enemies. That counts as vehicular combat to us.

Buy Now, $49.99
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11. ‘Death Rally’

Remedy’s classic top-down racer Death Rally is as vicious as they come if you couldn’t tell from the name. Join a slew of racers with nothing but the dirtiest of tricks up their sleeves as they fight their way to the finish line by any means necessary. Lie, cheat, sabotage, and bump off racers so you can come in first place. Destroying things is the name of the game and it’s a filthy job, but someone has to do it.

Buy Now, $9.99
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12. ‘Destruction AllStars’

Run, ram, and slam with 16 Destruction AllStars as they get revved up and ready to take each other on in some of the craziest demolition derbies on the PlayStation 5. Crash into each other, send weapons the other players’ way, and even get out of your car to go wail on your opponents. It’s up to you how to take them out, but only one thing is important: that you do.

Buy Now, $19.99
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13. ‘Destruction Derby’

One of the games that started it all, Destruction Derby is all about small tracks and a huge amount of wrecks to make sure the action never has to come to a screeching halt. Destroy other cars by any means necessary, whether you destroy a radiator or blow a car to smithereens. It’s an early title in what would become a massive genre, but every bit worth playing, even today.

Buy Now, $49.98
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14. ‘GRIP: Combat Racing’

Most destruction derby games have you racing only on one plane. GRIP: Combat Racing has you sticking to the ceiling, sides of the wall, and everywhere you can get your vehicle as you smash and crash into enemies while navigating twisting tracks. All the while, you’ll fight your way across alien planets and even experience the carnage in VR if you so choose. You’ve never seen vehicular combat like this.

Buy Now, $29.99
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15. ‘Interstate ’76’

Throw it back to 1976 and get funky as Groove Champion, auto-vigilante. Pay the lowlifes who took your sister’s life back by flooring your ’72 Picard Piranha with two 50-cal machine guns and a flamethrower and demolishing anyone who stands in your way. Gun down the gangs and crime lords who deserve it and do your sister justice. You’ll be going a mile a minute and having a toon of fun while doing so.

Buy Now, $1.97
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16. ‘Jak X: Combat Racing’

Jak and Daxter already have their own library of fantastical platformers, but Jak X: Combat Racing finds the duo competing in the Kras City Grand Championship as they’re forced to get the antidote for a poison they’re suffering from. Now they have to race against the best drivers in the world, and that means pulling out all the stops, including getting in the way and colliding with the enemy.

Buy Now, $14.99
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17. ‘Mad Max’

The world of Mad Max has always been about vehicular combat, whether you’re watching the movies or playing the excellent post-apocalyptic adventure. Dive into the Wasteland and engage in brutal showdowns against everyone who wants to take your supplies — and your life. Max can take on anyone he needs to, but you’ll have to build the ultimate combat vehicle first if you want to emerge victorious.

Buy Now, $19.99
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18. ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe may seem innocuous to outsiders, but if you think that, you’ve never been involved in a heated game. It’s not technically based on vehicular slaughter, but it can certainly feel like it when you’re gunning for number one. Crash and slam into other drivers, sling blue turtle shells their way, and see if they don’t get violent in real life.

Buy Now, $59.99
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19. ‘Road Rage’

Road Rage is exactly what it sounds like. You hop on your motorcycle and race against your life as you rise through the ranks in a dangerous motorcycle gang. Use any bikes, weapons, and tricks at your disposal as you make your way through an open world and complete 42 story-driven missions to come out on top. You’re, of course, going to have to take a few lives in the process, but that’s how things go in this world.

Buy Now, $9.99
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20. ‘Rocket League’

Rocket League may have a lot in common with soccer, but that doesn’t mean its craziness should be discounted, especially since you essentially use your vehicle as a stand-in for your body. It’s just like a demolition derby, except you need to try to score points and pretend you don’t absolutely abhor the other player.

Buy Now, Free
Consoles Gaming

The 10 ‘Death Stranding’ Easter Eggs You Can’t Miss

Like most games from Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding is full of Easter eggs.

From beginning to end, players will be able to spot references to games, movies, literature, music, and more. It’s a treat to experience them all, especially when you realize just how many intriguing little pieces of content Kojima stuffed into every nook and cranny of this game.

Now, Death Stranding: Director’s Cut has made its way to PC players this week (March 30, 2022). Everyone has a chance to now experience this fantastic story and even more awe-inspiring gameplay — and all the Easter eggs, too. Because there’s so much to see, we’ve gone ahead and done the work for you by gathering ten of our favorites below. Be sure to seek them out for yourself, though if you’re short on time, it’s plenty good enough to watch everything play out via video clip.

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1. Bashful Sam

Most video game characters don’t bat an eye when you ogle them, but Sam doesn’t take kindly to those with dirty minds. If you’re in Sam’s room and zoom in on his crotch, he’ll shoe you away. Do it a few more times, and he’ll give you the finger. Finally, if you don’t take the hint, he’ll throw a mean right hook into the camera to let you know to keep your eyes above the belt.

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2. Happy Birthday

At the beginning of Death Stranding, players are asked for their birthdays. Players speculated what purpose this served when the game was first released and soon found out it was to wish you a happy birthday. Boot the game up on your special day, and you’ll find a delicious cake in Sam’s room. You’ll also get an email from the dev team sending you the best birthday wishes!

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3. Death Zero Dawn

Death Stranding runs on the Decima Engine that Guerilla Games developed. To commemorate the partnership, Kojima Productions put the Tallnecks and Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn in the game as holograms which players can view by completing deliveries for the Craftsman.

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4. Celebrity Skin

Death Stranding is full of celebrity appearances. Some of them, like Norman Reedus as Sam and Mads Mikkelsen as Cliff are obvious. However, most of the preppers Sam finds throughout his trip across the United States are also celebrity cameos:

  • Thomas Sutherland – Edgar Wright
  • Ludens Fan – Geoff Keighley
  • The Musician – Daichi Miura
  • The Novelist’s Son – Manabu Makime
  • Alex Weatherstone – Errolson Hugh
  • Philip North – Tommy Wirkola
  • The Collector – Hirokazu Hamamura
  • The Veteran Porter – Sam Lake
  • The Engineer – Junji Ito
  • The Film Director – Jordan Vogt-Roberts
  • The Cosplayer – Conan O’Brien
<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed5. Amelie’s Necklace Sings</div>
5. Amelie’s Necklace Sings

Amelie’s necklace contains a seemingly random collection of chains and beads. However, fans soon discovered the pattern was anything but random. When lined up with a music grid, the beads give you the melody to the song “Give Me An Answer” by Low Roar, a band that provided several pieces on the game’s soundtrack.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. Hideo From Below</div>
6. Hideo From Below

Hideo Kojima frequently appears in his games. Most of his cameos are fairly obvious, but the one in Death Stranding is a bit harder to trigger. If players focus the camera on Sam’s feet when in his room several times, a B.T. version of Kojima rises from below the bed and grabs Sam’s ankles. Spooky!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. P.T. or B.T.?</div>
7. P.T. or B.T.?

In this easter egg, which seems to be exclusive to the director’s cut, Sam will find himself haunted by the only thing scarier than a B.T.: Laura from P.T. (well, kinda). This isn’t an official representation of P.T. since Konami owns it, but it’s obvious what this mysterious entity is referring to.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. Sam’s Suit’s Secret Message</div>
8. Sam’s Suit’s Secret Message

The suit Sam wears when Death Stranding begins has a seemingly innocuous sequence of numbers on it: “0914-137.” While the developers haven’t confirmed it, some fans hypothesize it’s an easter egg referring to Psalm 137, Verse 9, which reads, “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” As gruesome as it is, it definitely fits the theme of the game, doesn’t it?

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. The Release Date Was Revealed Three Years Before the Game Launched</div>
9. The Release Date Was Revealed Three Years Before the Game Launched

The first trailer for Death Stranding dropped at E3 2016 and revealed the game’s name at the end. Little did players know, the title also contained the release date for the game. In the title, 8 strands are attached to 11 letters, giving the release date, which was November 8, 2019.

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10. Metal Gear Stranding

There are subtle (and not so subtle) easter eggs throughout Death Stranding that refer to Metal Gear. Things like characters calling the Extinction Events “E.E.s,” the nickname Otacon called his sister in Metal Gear Solid 2, are a bit obscure. However, almost anyone playing the game will have a chuckle when they hear lines like, “kept you waiting.”

Consoles Gaming

The 15 Best Games Like ‘Genshin Impact’

It only took a few weeks for Genshin Impact to become the most successful new IP from a Chinese developer. In its first two weeks, the game made an unfathomable $100 million in revenue with China, Japan, Korea, and the United States as its biggest markets. Even more impressively, it did this all while being completely free-to-play, making its money from its “gacha” gameplay, which is essentially a form of microtransactions.

As with any game, these have been a point of contention for some, with most agreeing that they’re not too bad at all in this scenario. However, if paying for extras in games is not for you even though you love all of the other aspects of the game, perhaps you’re looking for something else that’s right up your alley.

When searching for a game that’s like Genshin Impact, there are a lot of things to consider. There’s the genre, the combat system, the open-world aspect, the leveling up system the fact that you can play with friends, the style of design, and many, many more intricate details that contribute to the entire game. We’ve taken all of these into consideration when compiling this list of fifteen games like Genshin Impact.

Check out the list below, in alphabetical order.

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1. ‘Blade & Soul’

Blade & Soul is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It has a lot of elements that are very similar to Genshin Impact, including but not limited to its style of graphics, hack & slash combat, and its anime origins. It was released eight years ago in 2014 and was developed by Team Bloodlust, Netmarble Neo, and NC Interactive for the PC, mobile and console platforms respectively. You create your character with a great, in-depth customization system and then explore the world around you with them. NPCs assign you quests and send you on battles. If you enjoy the game, you might even like the anime adaptation of it that aired from April to June of 2014.

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2. ‘Dragalia Lost’

Developed by Cygames and published by Nintendo, Dragalia Lost is a game you might not have heard of directly, but might be aware of if you’re a fan of Fire Emblem Heroes, Mega Man, Monster Hunter, Persona 5 Strikers, Rage of Bahamut, or Princess Connect, because it has crossed over with each of them before. The game is set in Alberia, a world where if a royal makes a pact with a dragon, they can wield its power. Just like Genshin Impact, you can play through the entire campaign with three friends, if you wish. If this does sound like something you want to try, make it soon because the game is slated to be shut down soon, with its last update scheduled for July.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. ‘Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age'”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $39.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
3. ‘Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age’

If you’ve heard of the Dragon Quest series, then you might already know that Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the most recent offering from the main series of games. It’s one of the greatest Japanese role-playing series of all time and many have argued that this game might just be the best of the series itself. Developed and published by Square Enix, this game features character designs from Akira Toriyama, which match up well with the style of Genshin Impact. Combat here is turn-based with a lot of mechanics and happens in a lot of rich environments. It’s all weaved together by a fulfilling narrative too. This is a must-try.

Buy Now, $39.99
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4. ‘Final Fantasy XIV’

If the open-world aspect of Genshin Impact is one of your favorites, then perhaps Final Fantasy XIV is for you. You’ll essentially get to free roam Hydaelyn, which is split up into three incredible continents. Character customization here is big. You’ll get to pick your character’s race, gender, facial features, and starting class. Once you’re in with your character, character progression is key and done with classic experience points. If you heard not-so-great things about this game at launch a few years ago, know that it’s been greatly improved and revamped since then, with most of the community’s concerns fixed. The game still has millions of players daily.

Buy Now, $59.99
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5. ‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’

In your search for a game like Genshin Impact to play, it’s not unlikely that you would have come across a few different Fire Emblem games with great recommendations. While a lot of them are great, in our estimation, Three Houses is the one to go for. Three Houses is a tactical RPG developed by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo and published by Nintendo. It is a Switch exclusive, which might exclude some. If you do have a Switch and decide to play, you’ll become a former mercenary and current professor, leading students through battles, which for you will be turn-based and require great strategy. The story, characters, and soundtrack really stand out here and make this game an incredibly immersive experience.

Buy Now, $59.99
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6. ‘Honkai Impact 3rd’

Honkai Impact 3rd is a must-play if you’re on the search for games similar to Genshin Impact, simply because it’s made by the same developer, miHoYo. This game was actually released before Genshin Impact. It has a similar foundation, though the setting here is a futuristic sci-fi one rather than medieval fantasy. You’ll level up your “Valkyries” and then use them in the third-person combat system. It’s worth noting that while this will have all of the aspects you love about Genshin Impact (like the fact that it’s free-to-play or its characters), it will also have the aspects you might not have loved, like microtransactions and the general gacha system. Either way, it’s certainly worth delving into.

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7. ‘Immortal Fenyx Rising’

Greek mythology is the backdrop of this game, but while that’s a different setting than Genshin Impact, don’t let it put you off. Just like Genshin Impact, this game was also inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so they share that for a start. You’ll take on the role of Fenyx who is a mortal man in Olympus. Leveling up is important here and on your journey, you’ll get resources so that you can buy HP, stamina, combat skills to use during fierce battles, and other stats too. The world feels genuinely awesome to explore and doing so is a pleasure. You can do so in more ways than just walking about on foot too.

Buy Now, $19.80
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8. ‘King’s Raid’

Like Genshin Impact, King’s Raid is completely free-to-play. Also like Genshin impact, this game features the gacha system which allows you to make in-game purchases if you’d like but also supports a traditional leveling up system that is solid too. In fact, most of the characters in the game aren’t especially difficult to get, but getting the right equipment to make the most out of them is the tricky part. Side-scrolling through environments to walk into battles where strategy is required becomes addictive. The design of the game also has an art style that many could liken to anime, which is always a nice touch.

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9. ‘Marvel Strike Force’

Genshin Impact requires a decent bit of strategy – you can conserve fragile resin as much as possible, know when to use primogems, and take advantage of the reputation system in some ways. If you’d like something even more in that lane, perhaps Marvel Strike Force is the game for you. Combat here is turn-based and being able to win the most battles as possible means selecting the right team members and the right abilities for them. If you’re into superheroes, then that’s a huge plus. This game boasts a massive roster with big names like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Captain America and also has more obscure names like Sersi, Doctor Voodoo, and T’Challa’s version of Star-Lord. The gacha mechanics will also feel familiar to Genshin Impact fans.

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10. ‘Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom’

Developed by Level-5 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, this game was originally released for the PlayStation 4 and PC in 2018 and eventually came out on the Switch. If you’re into JPRG adventures generally, then this game should be a no-brainer to at least try out. The game is incredibly cinematic in many ways, with a general high quality and a beautiful soundtrack composed by Joe Hisaishi. The quests and combat here are pretty true to traditional JRPGs and the open world is great too. There are other cool elements like kingdom management and a system similar to Pokémon where small creatures called “Higgledies” can help you out in battle.

Buy Now, $59.99
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11. ‘Persona 5 Royal’

Persona 5 Royal is one of the most popular games on this list. It’s a spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei and if seeing the number five turns you off because you feel like you won’t know what’s going on, this game was made for a wider audience and can definitely function as a standalone. The game is especially immersive, with an emphasis on building relationships. The protagonist is intriguing and the idea of Persona’s themselves will have you hooked. In terms of a one-to-one comparison, perhaps there aren’t as many features that are directly similar to Genshin Impact, but if you appreciated the overall feel and style of that game, then we feel there’s a good chance you might like this too. If you do and you enjoy it, you have an entire series to try out.

Buy Now, $59.99
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Developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment and Tose and published by the former, SCARLET NEXUS is a game that sort of split reviewers down the middle when it was released in the summer of 2021. While many praised the combat system and the telekinetic moves, some felt that the side-quests were a weak point. Funnily enough, many critics pointed out that the game was similar enough to Genshin Impact that they would just decide to play the miHoYo game instead. That’s all the more reason for it to appear on this list, though. It doesn’t feel like a copy of Genshin Impact, in fact, fans of both series will argue that they’re not alike at all. The truth is somewhere in the middle because it can feel a little like an alternative with familiar elements.

Buy Now, $59.99
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13. ‘Tales of Arise’

In conversations about Genshin Impact and similar games online, it’s rare to see Tales of Arise not make an appearance with extremely high praise. It’s an action JRPG, but that doesn’t do it justice. Many of the same components as Genshin Impact are present here, albeit in a different form. The open world is vast, the character-building genuinely feels like a journey and the mechanics of the combat make it addictive. In terms of graphics, the game has an Atmospheric Shader system which gives the design a watercolor painting look, with delicate details making it feel homely. The combat happens in real-time and works best when you’re chaining combinations together. The storyline itself is gripping and paces itself very well.

Buy Now, $59.99
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14. ‘The Alchemist Code’

The Alchemist Code is yet another Japanese role-playing game that has an emphasis on the player getting rewards. You’ll find yourself constantly getting new items and rewards which do keep the game fresh and if you take the time to learn what they’re all about, will have you immersed in the world of the game in no time. Similar to Genshin Impact allowing you to play with three friends, this game also has a four-player co-op system, but here you’ll be battling against them, with the aim of winning new rewards and characters. The game does mobile gaming very well.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed15. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'”,”buttonTextBuy Now, $59.99″,”buttonUrl</div>
15. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’

Last but not least is the game that actually helped inspire Genshin Impact itself – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game is heralded not only as maybe the best Zelda game of all time but arguably one of the best games ever made. It’s no wonder that this game influenced Genshin Impact and it will continue to influence games for decades. In almost every aspect, you’ll feel that Breath of the Wild does it better than any other game in a similar vein.

Buy Now, $59.99