In anticipation of the upcoming Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, I decided to make a list of my top 5 downloadable console games. Yes, I’m aware some of these are also available on PC, but I didn’t restrict my list to console-only games. Without further adieu, here it is!
5) Wipeout HD (PSN)
When I was young, I loved played Wipeout XL on the original Playstation. I was pretty excited when I heard that a PS3 version would be coming out, but a little wary when it was announced to be a downloadable game. That wariness was for nothing, because Wipeout HD is awesome. The updated tracks from the PSP Wipeout games look great, and the gameplay is solid. Be warned though, the game is not easy. This isn’t one of those racing games where it’s a given that you’re going to win every time, you have to work for your gold medals in Wipeout HD. To me, the challenge was part of what I loved about the game; having to learn each track to find what the best route is and where the power-ups are located. In my opinion, the best racing game on the PS3.
4) Flower (PSN)
Who knew a game about flowers could be so much fun? If you ever need to relax after a long day of work or school, this is the game. The gameplay is very easy, you press any button to blow wind, and tilt the controller to control the direction of it. You start with a single flower petal and gather more throughout the level to bring color to the grass and buildings, power to the light posts, and other things of that nature. The game is simple, fun, relaxing, and unchallenging (you can’t lose) which is a welcome change to gaming. This beautiful visuals and music make this is a game nobody who owns a PS3 should be without.
3) Braid (XBLA/PSN)
Braid is the first game I ever played that I considered to be truly a work of art. The game’s main draw is the ability to manipulate time to solve puzzles, some of which are incredibly complex. The game’s last level though, after completing all the puzzles, is the true standout. I won’t spoil anything, but I’ve played it through over and over again because it is one of the very few (along with the last level of the first game on my list) levels of a game to honestly give me chills. There’s a lot of different interpretations of what the story is about, but I can relate a lot to my own personal one, which makes this game very special to me.
2) Beat Hazard Ultra (PSN)
Beat Hazard is a twin stick shooter that plays and changes according to your music. Sounds awesome? Well it is. You can import and song you like into the game, and the gameplay changes according it. So if say, you use a loud, intense song, your weapons become more powerful and so do the enemies. And vice-versa, if the song is slow and quiet, your weapons become weaker and the enemies move slower. It’s definitely a unique gameplay mechanic for the genre, and provides hours and hours of addicting fun.
1) Bastion (XBLA)
Oh Bastion, how you have stolen my heart. What isn’t there to love about this game? The beautiful art style, the amazingly detailed narration, the touching story, and the single best original soundtrack of any game ever all combined to create a truly incredible experience that very few games can rival. This is not only my favorite downloadable game ever, but one of my favorite games ever period. One moment in particular at the end of the game I consider to be one of my favorite moments in gaming history. Supergiant games really outdid themselves with Bastion and if you haven’t played it yet, do so. NOW!