The 20 best PlayStation games of 2013 – the top reader voted PS4, PS4 & Vita titles of the year

Beyond hands-on PS3 preview5

Beyond: Two Souls

Homeless Ellen Page, delivering a baby in an abandoned tenement block, through the medium of right stick gestures. That’s why we heart Quantic Dream – it exists outside of the industry bubble. Except for a peculiar penchant for SWAT teams, Beyond barely goes near the usual subject matter.

The end result is a game filled with moments like the above. Some don’t work at all (cough, entire-Navajo-chapter, cough) and some work so well they alone are worth playing the whole game to experience. While this doesn’t match Heavy Rain for narrative cohesion, by bringing characters to life through full performance capture tech and persuading two of Hollywood’s biggest names to don the ping-pong balls, it leaves Ethan and the gang red-faced by comparison in the production value stakes. We still can’t believe how good both characters and environments look. Strong opinions surface whenever David Cage is mentioned, but the pro camp among you has made its voice heard loud and clear – placing Jodie and Aiden as PS3’s bronze medallist couple.

 

4

Tomb Raider

The first lady of PlayStation’s long-awaited comeback was more than just a reboot of an iconic franchise. It saw a developer finally getting the chance to bring a classic character out of the depths and into the bright new era of open-world gaming. Every other PS3 Raider felt like a prettier version of its PS2 ancestors, complete with all the tropes and issues that had dogged the series for years. Not this one.

New Raider was Crofty’s answer to the rise of that upstart Nathan Drake. It took all the hallmarks of the games that prospered in its absence – Assassin’s Creed’s deft sense of movement and open-world freedom, Far Cry 3’s rich upgrade structure and the rise of XP systems in general – and moulded them all to fit a rejuvenated and captivating franchise. Even the multiplayer was addictive, with a strong mix of dynamic maps and an upgrade system that rewarded multiple playstyles. Dark and brimming with mystery, this was a fine return to form for one of gaming’s most beloved heroines. Good to have you back, girl.

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