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The must-play PS4, PS3 and Vita games of last year

A. ALIEN: ISOLATION – PS4
Despite having no experience in the horror field, The Creative Assembly (best known for its real-time strategy Total War games) somehow managed to make the most authentic Alien experience in years. The learning AI of the alien alone makes it worthy of a place here, but the rest of the oppressive action just makes it all the sweeter. In the most horrible way possible.

B. DARK SOULS II – PS3
Some might claim that Dark Souls II is the worst of From Software’s trio of Souls games, but the truth is that each has its own strengths and weaknesses. While the bosses in Dark Souls II might not be up to the standard of the original Dark Souls, for instance, general combat is slightly tighter and improvements to online play mean that many are still duelling today. Roll on the PS4 version…

C. ROGUE LEGACY – PS4/VITA
Sure, you might not have bought your PS4 to see retro-style graphics on your huge HDTV. But a great game is a great game, regardless of whether characters are made from millions of polygons or a few hundred pixels. Venture forth into the random dungeons and your offspring will succeed you the various traits of each generation are what make this so dangerously addictive.

D. THE LAST OF US REMASTERED – PS4
If you never played it on PS3, this remaster is the best way to enjoy Naughty Dog’s bleak and generation-defining adventure. And if you did play it on PS3... well, that changes nothing this is stil the best way to enjoy Naughty Dog’s bleak and generation-defining adventure. A stunning game and a solid port, there are few games that are easier to recommend.

E. GRAND THEFT AUTO V – PS4
While the narrative of The Last Of Us might not have quite the same impact the second time around, GTA manages to impress even more on its encore performance. The world is incredible after being remastered, making those new first-person moments all the more impressive. The city’s so much more alive on PS4 that you never know what is going to happen next.

F. WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER – PS4
It’s all xp systems, online integration and K/D ratios in shooters these days, which is why Wolfenstein’s 694th reboot was such a pleasant surprise. A pure solo shooter that harks back to the golden age of FPS action before there were men to follow and Prestiges to earn all over the place it’s a slice of classic shooter gameplay with none of the modern baggage or bullshit.

G. DIABLO III: REAPER OF SOULS – PS4/PS3
Having blizzard on console is sort of a big deal, and this is why action-RPGs don’t come much better than Diablo III, and this spruced up version adds to the original game in such a way that it takes it from practically bottomless to actually bottomless. Even when you finally get the Platinum, there’s still months’ worth of additional content to hack and slash your way through.

H. DANGANRONPA 2: GOODBYE DESPAIR – VITA
There was a time when JRPGs were practically unknown in Europe, yet all it took was a few great games (Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden, we’re looking at you) and they were everywhere. There same is true right now of visual novels and between awesome titles like this and Virtue’s Last Reward, it shouldn’t be long before the genre truly breaks out of the Japanese market.

I. COD: ADVANCED WARFARE – PS4/PS3
Oh look – a cod game in a ‘best games of the year’ feature. How original. Now shush, you. It’s not about being original. It’s about celebrating the best games, and Sledgehammer’s debut shooter surpassed expectations and managed to rejuvenate a franchise that was in severe danger of growing stagnant. That, right there, is worthy of praise.

J. SHADOW OF MORDOR – PS4/PS3
Trying to sell a Lord Of The Rings game without using the branding is freaking bold, but Shadow Of Mordor managed it. Fusing Tolkien lore with the best gameplay mechanics from a bunch of different genres worked brilliantly and just as Dead Space created something new from a ‘greatest hits’ package of gaming staples, Mordor too managed to carve out its own niche.

K. THE BINDING OF ISAAC: REBIRTH – PS4/VITA
We doubt many people would expect a grim dungeon crawler about a naked baby in a shit-encrusted basement to achieve critical acclaim, yet here it is Edmund McMillen (of Super Meat Boy fame) and the team at Nicalis did a sterling job with this, a descent into all things gross and evil that is nigh impossible to put down and difficult to forget.

L. PES 2015 – PS4/PS3
Older readers will no doubt remember the glory years for Konami, when Pro Evo was the go-to footy game for anyone who knew what they were buying while FIFA was a money pit for idiots. EA got it together, though, and FIFA has been top dog for a good few years now, but that just makes it all the more exciting to see PES finally reclaim its throne.

M. DESTINY – PS4/PS3
Destiny is worth playing for yourself to see if it grabs you or not. Some see a lack of content, while others liken it more to a score attack game or grind-heavy RPG it’s not something that you can truly make up your mind on until you hit level 20, at which point you’re either in for the long haul or ready to give up. Hopefully the former, because the endgame is great fun.

N. LITTLEBIGPLANET 3 – PS4/PS3
In a way, LBP3 is more of the same but in another, its additions thrust it onto an entirely new plane of awesomeness. Oddsock alone means that this is worthy of your time, attention and cash moneys, but improvements to the creation suite (and the fact that it already supports all existing user-created levels) mean that this is the ultimate creative experience on PS4.


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