December 2007, I remember it well, it was the month I bought my PlayStation 3 and by extension entered the next generation standing defiant against my friends who’d jumped to Xbox 360 – guess I didn’t know how important the online would be. I’d finally saved up enough money to buy the ominous black box alongside a copy of the original Assassins Creed and was ready to be blown away and, I was. Now the world is gearing up for the release of the new next generation of systems the first in an unbelievable seven years, with all the excitement you’d be forgiven for forgetting about our stalwart current generation companions. The loyal Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have been good to us over their prolonged stay in the spotlight reliably delivering us unforgettable experiences like Bioshock, Fallout 3, The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto IV and V, the whole Mass Effect and Uncharted trilogy.
Now, we stand on the edge of an abyss, ready to discard our old friends to upgrade to their shiner more attractive younger siblings: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But don’t be so quick to throw our old comrades into the loft to live in darkness. Even with their younger siblings super charged specs they’re still some titles that they can’t deliver; their older brothers still have a bit of fight left in them yet. These old machines still have a thing or two to show us, both before and after the new systems are hooked up to our TV’s; our time with them ain’t over yet. So here are five games in order that prove there’s life in this generation yet.
Grand Theft Auto: Online (1st October PS3, Xbox360)
Sadly Grand Theft Auto V is already out therefore I’ve decided to cheat a little and choose its online component as an upcoming release that proves current gen has some juice. And honestly how could you disagree with me? Grand Theft Auto V is the perfect swan song for a generation that has focused so intensely on creating awesome open worlds; after all it is technically speaking one of the greatest sandboxes I’ve ever played in. With an awe inspiring array of customisation options, things to do, intense heists to take part in and some slick shooting mechanics GTA:V is a hell a polished ride in single player; GTA online goes one step further, it takes all that good stuff and moves it to multiplayer. Heated battles with friends, shrewd groups of players teaming up to pull off big heists and all the customisation you could hope for, how could you not be excited for one the most ambitious multiplayer experiences ever?
Beyond Two Souls (8th October – 11th Europe PS3)
Thrilling murder mystery PlayStation exclusive Heavy Rain was much hyped before its release in 2010; when it was unleashed upon the world it did well commercially though it drew mixed opinions critically. Telling the tale of Ethan Mars, a man tormented by the loss of his son and subsequent divorce, as he desperately tries to save his remaining son from kidnap the title told a wonderful story clunkily held together with gameplay that constituted of nothing but QTE. In trying to be cinematic the game regularly became sterile to play. Even so David Cage’s team at Quantic dream looks set to release another deep interesting adventure this time centring around Jodie (Ellen Paige) a young girl who is guarded by a mysterious spirit named Aiden. Trailers have shown multiple different scenario’s which make it difficult to decide what exactly is going on, still studio pedigree dictates this should be interesting.
Batman Arkham Origins (25th October PS3, Xbox360)
As gamers we’re trained to distrust licenses, usually they end up being dreadful cash in’s; the average best case scenario? They’re okay. So there have been few surprises this generation that were happier than Rocksteady’s marvellous 2009 superhero adventure Batman Arkham Asylum defying the license title curse. Instead gamers were treated to one of the best games of the year, a thrilling comic book adventure that utilized core members of the animated series voice talent including Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and Joker respectively. Asylum was then followed up by 2011’s Arkham City which knocked all the great combat, exploration and discovery of the original up a notch resulting in an all-round better game. After initial worries about Warner Bros Montreal taking the wheel were put to rest it’s fair to say Batman Arkham Origins looks poised to do it all over again.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasty XIII (11th February – 14th Europe PS3, Xbox360)
This will undoubtedly be the most controversial game on the list, still hear me out. This generation has hardly been the JRPG’s best; in fact it’s been unanimously its worst. Instead of being treated to a selection of Final Fantasy games we’ve been pigeon holed into playing FFXIII – twice. For all the frustration that Square Enix releasing three games for a title that we were never fond of it’s hard to deny there must be a fan base somewhere after all the series dependably sells millions of units every time. For that audience Lighting Returns: FFXIII is an event that marks the end of the trilogies narrative. Instead of using conventional Final Fantasy combat for the first time ever it’s real time which should entice the curious to go check out the game once again. Even with all the scepticism perhaps this is the time Square Enix gets it right.
Dark Souls 2 (March 2014 PS3, Xbox360)
Dark Souls and its predecessor Demon Souls were both something of cult hits thanks to their uncompromising difficulty, slow tactical combat and impressive boss show downs. Effectively an incredibly hardcore dungeon crawler Dark Souls 2 looks set to carry on the torch in forbearer lit with the tag line “prepare to die”. Complete with quirky online features Dark Souls 2 looks to be the “last boss” of the generation. The hardest game of all is set to be the last original big title that finds it way to our faithful companions before the barrage of yearly franchise releases are all that’s left to keep the disc drives spinning.
So there you have it, the five best reasons to keep your last generation systems plugged firmly to your TV. But don’t just take my word for it, surely you have some opinions of your own. Why no leave them in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post or any others please follow Gamerree here on WordPress, favourite this article, tweet about us or follow us on twitter @Danjcol.