#PS3isPast

Despite games still coming out cross platform across the newest generation and last generation of consoles, the focus is inevitable going to be on the mighty PS4 over the 3 from here on in. It's been a good run though right? A quick nose at the reliable source that is Wikipedia, tells me it's been 8 short years since release. And we've had some absolute gems released during that time, with developers constantly striving for the utmost immersive experience, the most realistic or detailed graphics, and ultimately, the most fun overall package.

It must have been nice to be a game reviewer over that time. Free copies of games landing on the office mat, or download codes in their inbox, ready for them to blast through them in a matter of days (sometimes less) in order to tell us, the ordinary folk whether the experience will be worth our hard earned cash. And yes, I've often used a review to help influence my decision as to whether to invest in a new game or not.

But as ordinary folk, the way we receive games is much different. It is our hard earned cash after all, and we're not always able to buy all the AAA releases we desire. So we make a reasonably informed decision. And we live with it. We don't blast through a title in a couple of days (unless it's the most recent generic fps with a story span of 1 and a half hours). We get to savour the experience, coming back to it time and time again, sometimes with massive intervals between gaming sessions. Longevity then is important in our decision, maybe wanting the most for our money in a game that spans months on end; or maybe craving something shorter so that we may finally be able to see a game's epic conclusion before someone inevitably spoils it for us.

So for me, as an ordinary Joe (well, ish), I want different things to more or less everyone else in my games, so that they meet my specific needs, just as the rest of you will want something different to me. And whilst it's ace reading an informed all encompassing review of a title, a game may be technically bad but still immensely enjoyable for me, whilst a game that ticks all the technical boxes may be downright dull.

For me then, these are the games that have ticked my boxes; they've been enjoyable for me for different reasons, and I've stuck with them and drained every last tax deductible penny that went into buying them from them. For me, they have had the most value.

Far Cry 3 

...is my preferred approach to an FPS. The main focus is on the campaign as apposed to creating an online shooter with a 90 minute campaign added on for good measure. Far Cry 3 comes with a story that would be excellent value for money at a quarter of it's actual length. It's shocking, brutal, well written and moves at a good pace throughout. It has surprisingly deep RPG elements including crafting and upgrading weapons and consumables, skill trees and miles of tropical island to explore, collectibles to uncover and side quests to complete. And just when you think you're getting to the end of the story... it almost begins anew and gives you a whole new island to explore! It has a co-operative campaign which can be played online and is just as satisfying as the main game. It has interesting online elements should you be that way inclined. You can easily sink a hundred hours into this game and if you buy it new today it will set you back about £7. That's 7p per hour of gameplay, which is insanely brilliant value. And if you're willing to invest a little more cash (£6.49 currently on PSN) you can download Blood Dragon DLC. 80's themed sci-fi shooter, complete with dinosaurs that shoot lasers from their eyes! For value for money and sheer entertainment value, Far Cry 3 is definitely up there. 



Skyrim

I received Skyim for Christmas 2011. It's a true testament to a games value for money and longevity when you consider that I'm still playing it almost 3 years later. And I've still got shit loads to do. Skyrim's lands are massive - full of sweeping hills, expansive forests, snowy mountains and functioning towns with a multitude of creatures, demi-gods, enemies and NPCs for you to interact with however you choose. It looks beautiful, the troubled lands represented well with a dark pallet and realistic textures. There are thousands of options, loads of skills to master, items to buy, steal, find or craft. There is the main underlying quest staring your meticulously designed character as the Dragonborn - someone capable of using defeated dragon's souls to unlock powers which are mastered by learning new words from the dragon language. But it's not just one story and then a shed load of fetch quests. The side quests often feel as important as the main story and are just as detailed and well written. The quest at the Mage college of Winterhold springs to mind. 

Again, there's excellent (and well priced) DLC to extend your experience further, including an encounter with a previous Dragonborn, vampire hunting AND a pack to create your own houses. There are other RPGs of a similar vein that I have played, but Skyim has by far been the most satisfying. It's not without flaws - console versions in particular were plagued with bugs and a less than smooth frame rate. For a game as ambitious and large in scope as Skyrim though, these are forgivable and slight annoyances in an otherwise perfect fantasy RPG experience. 



Skate 3

Skate 3 was great fun, and the best Skateboarding game I've played since the original Tony Hawk. The controls are great, using the left stick to control movement, and the right stick to jump, changing the direction to perform different tricks. Innovative but extremely intuitive. The city in Skate is big, with enough varied locations and challenges to keep single player entertaining for a long time. It's online where I really got my money's worth out of this game, hosting private gaming sessions with my friends - skating aimlessly around different locations and chatting, or playing off against each other in lots of fun challenges.

It also has a Skate Park editor/creator which can then be shared and played online, and some other nifty online features, such as adding a picture to the Skate 3 website to use as your in game logo. Clever! It also stars the bloke from My Name Is Earl. Nice touch! 


So far, I can think of the 3 games above that have given me the most value for my money. If I think of some more, I'll slowly update this. In the meantime, if you don't have any of these 3, go and buy them now! And if you have some games that you've played and milked dry, I'd love to hear about them. 

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