Why do a list of the 25 Best PSN Games? Why not? It's a marvelous age we live in for fans of budget gaming. Thanks to digital distribution services like Steam, XBLA, and the PSN, you can get a lot of games for little money. Each of the major services has their own flavor to the games they provide. Xbox Live Arcade tends to lean towards multiplayer and social games. Steam covers pretty much everything. The PSN, however, skews towards the quirky and unique. Many of its most popular games are titles that the public, at large, may not be familiar with. So, if you've got a PS3 and a few bucks to spare, why don't you check out this list of the 25 Best PSN Games and see if any of them tickle your fancy?
Tower Defense is a pretty crowded genre nowadays. You can't enter the App Store or visit a gaming site without tripping over one of the damn things. So, in order for a tower defense game to stand out it has to be pretty flipping fantastic. Like PixelJunk Monsters. It's not that PJM does anything particularly different, it just does everything right. The towers are versatile, the monsters are myriad, and the difficulty curves appropriately. Plus there's a unique charm to the crude graphics, one missing from most overdeveloped AAA titles.
At heart, Sound Shapes is a platformer with a unique 2D style. What is, perhaps, the most interesting thing about it is how it ties music so directly with gameplay. The timing of each level's obstacles is tied directly to the flow of the background music, melding the rhythm and platforming genres to create a game that's the baby of Super Mario Bros. and Dance Dance Revolution. This combination makes it an easy entry in our 25 Best PSN Games list.
The most excellent movie of the same name may not have been a financial hit, but the game knocked it out of the hockey rink! Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is a multiplayer punch fest, pairing you with a group of your bestest buddies in a four-player fight to stop Ramona Flowers' evil exes from derailing her relationship with Scott Pilgrim. Legendary sprite artist Paul Robertson was the art director for the game, and his expressive style shines through in every animation. Scott Pilgrim vs the World's trademark madcap humor is here as well, meaning that you'll be laughing just as much as you're punching.
It's hard to evoke wonder from the gamer of 2013. We've seen it all, we've done it all. We've ridden atop massive colossi saved the galaxy from reapers of all sizes, and leveled up our experience points so that our skill points could earn skill points. The Unfinished Swan gets back to basics by placing you in control of Monroe, a kid painter on a quest to finish coloring a swan. Using Monroe's paintbrush you'll color in and alter the world around you. What first seemed like a flat, white wall is actually a door or a set of stairs. This gradual reveal of the world instills in the player a sense of wonderment, something all too frequently missing from the video game industry.
Dead Nation may not be the only zombie game in this list of the 25 Best PSN Games, but it's certainly the spookiest. This top-down shooter captures the intensity of the early Resident Evil games, but does so in a sleeker, more fast-paced package. There are several types of undead for you to slay, each with their own abilities and rules, and plenty of collectibles to discover and equipment to upgrade. (Spoiler alert!) The story tying everything together is very faithful to the type of horror found in most zombie movies, all the way down to the bleak, but kind of badass, ending.
Protect the princess by stuffing her face full of cake! Fat Princess is a multiplayer, third-person, classed-based action game. You control one of several character classes, such as Warrior, Worker, or Mage, and try to kidnap the opposing team's princess while simultaneously protecting your own. Since a princess must be physically carried from one castle to another in order for a team to be victorious, it's in your favor to gather as much cake as you can to get that chick as heavy as possible. It's an odd take on capture-the-flag, and while it's not the most politically correct game out there, it's one of the most highly replayable multiplayer games you could ever hope to find.
Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Pixels! Okay, there may not be much wind in PixelJunk Shooter 2, but there's plenty of the other four elements in this skillfully crafted shooter. You'll fly around, battling baddies of all shapes and sizes, using your weapons to manipulate the environment. The aesthetics in PixelJunk Shooter are all top-notch and unmistakably unique, but the player's ability to impact the flow of water, or magma, and battle darkness itself, gives a fresh spin on this well-worn genre.
Lock the doors, turn off the lights, and warm up your brain for this spooky puzzle platformer. In a lot of ways, Limbo feels like a spiritual cousin to Braid. Both have unique visual styles, and both star tiny male protagonists facing off against a puzzling (and often deadly), world. While Braid builds on themes of memory and regret, Limbo's theme is death. And yes, you will die, often in a very gruesome fashion. The game's silhouetted style helps censor the most graphic of fatalities, but the grisliness is there to help steer the player away from incorrect solutions. If you try to solve a box puzzle and end up impaled on a bed of spikes, you're probably going to try something different next time.
Bouncing balls, shattering blocks, and soothing music will assail your senses from the moment you start playing Shatter. Its smart take on the Arkanoid formula of using balls to break bricks taps into that addictive core of gaming: the desire to outdo yourself, and outdo your competitors. The game's action flows so smoothly that you'll often feel surprised when a level is over, and that's a testament to how well Sidhe Interactive has managed to craft the Shatter experience.
Plants. Zombies. Not exactly what you'd call natural enemies, and yet this gem from Popcap Games will leave you wishing for a bigger front yard to help defend against the restless dead. The gameplay is shockingly addictive, with a steady learning curve for players of every skill, but enough depth that experienced gamers won't get bored. Plus, the soundtrack from Laura Shigihara is so devilishly catch that it alone makes the entire game worth playing. We didn't have to dig deep to put Plants vs. Zombies on our list of the 25 Best PSN Games.