Top 10 most anticipated PS3 games of 2008

Last week, Fronz and Grim gave you lists of the top ten Xbox 360 games that they were each excited the most about this year. Well, we here at Destructoid never like to promote a particular console, lest we be accused of bias/fanboyism — so Gameboi and I have come up with our own top ten lists for the PlayStation 3 in 2008. But let me first lay out the ground rules here to be completely clear with you as to how we put this post together (like the criteria for inclusion on the list).

First of all, we didn’t collaborate on the game choices themselves (i.e., neither of us knew the content of the other’s lists before or during the article’s composition). IGN’s list of PS3 release dates served as our benchmark; for our lists, anything that had a date sometime in 2008 (including stuff like “Q4 2008” and “TBA 2008”) qualified. Also, this isn’t a list of PS3-exclusive games; we included multiplatform titles (after all, Fronz and Grim did). Finally, our lists do not include games that have already come out this year, such as GTA IV and echochrome.

Whew! That was a mouthful. Now that it’s out of the way, hit the jump for two top ten lists of 2008’s most anticipated PlayStation 3 games.

Samit’s Top 10

10) Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Q3 2008)

Ah, Street Fighter. The HD/2D update (with the extremely unwieldy title) to Capcom’s seminal arcade fighting series has sparked heated fanboy debates (though not as many as Street Fighter IV), been delayed a number of times, and gone far enough over budget to limit the game’s upcoming beta (buy Commando 3 on XBLA and get access) to Xbox Live. That said, I’m still just as excited for this as I was when I first heard about it, since Street Fighter II was one of my favorite games to play with my childhood friends. Also, it looks absolutely beautiful, as Capcom had UDON (the publishers of the Street Fighter comics) do all the art for it. I can’t wait to fire off some Yoga Flame in 1080p.

9) Fallout 3 (Q3 2008)

As someone who has never owned anything even remotely resembling a gaming PC, I’ve never played either of the prior two games in the Fallout series. But after reading the wonderfully in-depth previews that Nick and Tiff put up, and hearing about its insane amount of endings and sweet-looking Collector’s Edition, I’m on board with Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic, straight-out-of-2277 action RPG. The game sounds just as engrossing, and just as much of a time-suck, as GTA IV or Oblivion — so assuming that they can make the character development experience worthwhile (all signs point to ‘yes’), count me in.

8) Alone in the Dark (Q3 2008)

It’s a big deal for someone like me — that is, a person who isn’t a fan of survival horror games at all — to include this game on such a list. However, Eden Games’ visceral title looks like it could set a new standard, both tech-wise and genre-wise, and what we know so far of the story sounds quite intriguing. Plus, it’s set in New York City’s Central Park, and I’m a sucker for games that feature digitized versions of the city I call home (see also: Spider-Man 2, True Crime: New York City, GTA IV). Lastly, Atari has already come out and said that the PS3 version won’t just be a shoddy port of the PC/360 version; although we’ll have to wait a few extra months for it, they’re apparently going make it worth our while with exclusive episodic content. Who knew sticky tape could be so versatile?

7) Resistance 2 (November 2008)

This sequel to the PlayStation 3’s first bona fide hit looks like it’s going to improve on its predecessor in every way imaginable. In retrospect, while Resistance: Fall of Man was a very solid effort for a launch title, it wasn’t anything to write home about. I stopped playing the game on the last level when God of War II came out last March because I just didn’t care enough about the story to go on (though I went back and finished it earlier this year).

But I have the utmost confidence that Insomniac will bring their ‘A’ game with the next entry in the purported trilogy. The developer’s President and CEO, Ted Price, has already promised a much more absorbing story this time around (especially regarding the way it’s presented), and who can say no to 60-player online madness? I’m just wondering if we’ll see a throwback to Paul Revere with a line like, “The Chimera are coming! The Chimera are coming!”

6) Mirror’s Edge (TBA 2008)

Yes, that’s right: we just saw the first footage of this game yesterday, and already, it has jumped up to number 6 on my list. EA DICE is looking to revolutionize the action-adventure genre by using a first-person perspective, and while I’m worried about flying across rooftops parkour-style without being able to see my limbs — not to mention the fact that playing this on a big-screen HDTV could potentially become nauseating — I’m very interested to see what will come of this game.

As I said in my post featuring the game’s first trailer (amazingly, it’s all in-game footage), the protagonist (a runner named Faith) reminded me of Jade from Beyond Good & Evil at first, and in my book, that’s quite a compliment to bestow on a videogame character. On top of that, I dig dystopian stories, and that’s just the type of tale that Mirror’s Edge tells.

5) Madden NFL 09 (August 12, 2008)

Hey, look…it’s a game that doesn’t have a vague release window! I’m already anticipating that I’ll catch some flak for putting this game so high on my list, but what can I say? I’m a sports gamer. This year’s entry in EA’s flagship football franchise — which has been running for two decades now — appears as if it may actually move the series forward for the first time in a while; EA is touting a laundry list of new features, and according to one of the game’s lead designers, it’s “the biggest graphical improvement we’ve ever had year-to-year in Madden.” Yuh-huh. I’ll believe it when I get some hands-on time, though the first gameplay videos are looking good. Part of the reason why I’m so eager to try this game out is because Madden 08 was such a disappointment on the PS3; I want to like this game very much. Don’t let me down, EA Tiburon!

4) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (June 12, 2008)

The only reason this isn’t higher on my list is because I’ve never played through a single one of the prior games in Hideo Kojima’s magnum opus of a series. But I’m anticipating MGS 4 (supposedly the last Metal Gear game) just as much as anybody else (aside from Rev and Jim) — as soon as I have some time this summer, I’m going to get my hands on the Metal Gear Solid Essentials Collection, and after that, I’ll pick this game up.

Besides, I played the hell out of the demos for Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and they were awesome; I just never had the opportunity to play the full games. I’m also very interested to see how much PS3 sales spike (assuming they do) when this game is released. How many of you guys are waiting on the North American 80 GB bundle that will include the game and a DualShock 3 controller for $499?3) The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (October 2008)

The first three Spyro games on the PlayStation hold a very special place in my heart. In fact, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon (the second and third games) are two of my favorite platformers of all time. But since that last glorious PSOne game, most of the entries in the series have been rather lackluster efforts (Insomniac only developed the original three games and subsequently sold off the license to Universal).

This will be the first next-gen title, and after checking out Hamza’s impressions of the game, I am unbelievably stoked for it. Hearing about things like its revamped art direction and tone, as well as the new ability to fly for as long as you want and a co-op story mode, has got me wet in the pants for this game. Here’s hoping it’ll live up to my expectations.

2) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (September 16, 2008)

Originally slated for a June release, this title was recently pushed back three months to September — but frankly, I don’t mind all that much because I’ll be occupied with GTA IV and MGS 4 for a long while. The Force Unleashed could be the definitive Star Wars video game; with current-gen consoles, the technology is finally available to allow LucasArts to accurately portray Force powers. No Star Wars fanboy (or girl) can deny that they’ve always secretly wanted to Force-choke someone after seeing Darth Vader do it in the original 1977 film, and you’ll at last be able to simulate that in this game.

This game will make use of two fascinating new physics technologies: NaturalMotion’s much-heralded Euphoria engine, and Digital Molecular Matter from Pixelux. By using those two nascent middleware engines in conjunction with the Havok physics engine, LucasArts has created an in-game world where bodies and objects obey the laws of physics, and that’s just one of the exciting facets of The Force Unleashed. Personally, I’m eagerly awaiting some epic lightsaber duels — but I better not see Jar Jar Binks’ leathery face pop up anywhere in the proceedings.

1) LittleBigPlanet (September 2008)

Media Molecule’s cute little puzzle platformer is one of the most unique videogames coming down the pipe, and from the moment it was first revealed at GDC 2007, it’s been one of the select few titles that make people go, “That is the game that will finally cause me to get a PS3.” Sony is touting it accordingly, including a media campaign with the tagline “Play, Create, Share”. That refers to the three main facets of the game: playing the levels, creating your own with the level editor, and sharing your creations with gamers around the world over the PSN. It looks like this inventive and charming title will be part of a big push from Sony late this year, along with PlayStation Home. It also falls in line with a major theme for the videogame industry this year: casual gaming. While LBP might not appeal to a hardcore Halo player, I’m certainly very excited to see what will come of it all.

Gameboi’s Top 10

10) Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (November 2008)

While not exactly a popular choice for many in these parts, MK vs. DCU was destined to find itself somewhere in my top ten list of anticipated games for the PS3 — if for no other reason than that it merges two of my favorite IPs of all time. I’ve never been much of a fan of fighting games, but I always found myself captivated by the Mortal Kombat series. As for DC Comics, you can near about trace my loyalty to the brand back to my mother’s womb (comic geeks are known for their early start).

It’s somewhat of a disappointment that DC wasn’t willing to give Ed and the boys more wiggle room in terms of fatalities and such, but I still see the potential for one hell of a good time. Without a doubt, there’s going to be that cross section of people who are going to question the game’s relevance right up until it’s released, but something tells me that all the naysayers are going to mellow out once they finally get their hands on the finished product. Fatalities or not, taking on Sub-Zero and Scorpion as the Dark Knight or the last son of Krypton can’t be anything but epic. With talent like Alex Ross and Justin Gray on board, I just don’t see how Midway could go wrong with this one. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief.

9) Bionic Commando (October 2008)

The original Bionic Commando is one of those few games that make you forget that a jump button was ever necessary in the first place. Swinging around with that bionic arm just felt oh so right, and it was an experience that held solidify BC‘s place in gaming history. Fast forward too many years later, and Capcom finally decides that we’re ready for an updated 3D version of the game. A few screenshots later, and the Internet explodes with chatter.

Unfortunately, not all of that chatter is good. Instead of thinking about how great the game could be, some focus on the dreadlocked look of the character, and his “hot dog”-powered hydraulics. Capcom took this into consideration, and after a few revisions, a cleaner-looking Nathan Spencer appeared — sans hot dogs. The gameplay looks as inviting as ever, and I can’t wait to traverse through a post-apocalyptic Ascension City and try that arm on for size. Something tells me that you can’t, either.

8) Brütal Legend (TBA 2008)

What can be said about a Tim Schafer game that tips its hat to classic heavy metal fans everywhere? I’d say a hell of a lot. With an axe-wielding lead character named after Iron Maiden’s mascot (Eddie) and voiced by none other than Jack Black, this game has no choice but to deliver an ass-kicking like only it could. It features more name-dropping of metal royalty than season one of Headbanger’s Ball.

The game is made by the same great team that brought forth Psychonauts, and takes us on an epic adventure of a roadie that must free humans from an alternate reality where demons have enslaved us all.  Who would have guessed that the fate of all would be in the hands of a broadaxe-wielding/guitar-strapping man who rides around in a big-block V8? Headbangers everywhere are creaming their pants for this one, and I can see why.

7) Alone in the Dark (Q3 2008)

If you grew up on a steady diet of survival horror classics like I did, then you probably remember the granddaddy of them all: Alone in the Dark. The newest addition to the long-running series takes place in none other than New York’s Central Park, where bizarre things have been happening underneath the city’s intricate landscape. I was pretty much sold on that description alone, but then came the tech demo of the game showcasing some of the neat ways environmental objects could be used and combined for our survival.

The developers opted for an episodic content format, which as the name implies, leaves you with a cliffhanger ending — and then gives you a preview of things to come. This proven formula seems to have worked wonders for TV shows like LOST, and I’m interested in seeing how well it suits this game. I’m still not sold on the concept of being able to skip the hard parts of the game (now that scares me!), but I’ve never been let down by the series yet. Time will tell if this Alone in the Dark is the one to rule them all, but all signs point to yes.

6) Ghostbusters (October 2008)

When the tech demos for this game first hit the net back in January of 2007, some were wondering if this game ever had any real chance of ever seeing the light of day. Shouts Whispers of licensing issues abounded, and it looked like a generation of fans were about to get their dreams of a next-gen Ghostbusters game dashed. Then along came word that Vivendi Universal was interested in making it happen (teaming up with developer Terminal Reality), those dreams rose from the ashes like a Phoenix, and it was then rumored that the collective smiles of gamers spanning the globe could be seen from space.

The best news of all surrounding the game has to be the fact that the storyline is written by none other than Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and that most of the original cast from the movies is signed on to voice their likenesses in the game. IGN seems to be fawning over themselves regarding this game, and quite frankly, I can see why. Much like the Star Wars trilogy, some of us here at Destructoid (including our loyal readers) were around to remember the magic of the movies firsthand. Call it nostalgia or whatever you like, but this game has the potential to not only revive interest in the classic movies, but also to create another generation of fans. How’s that for pressure?

5) FaceBreaker (September 2008)

Looking at the first screenshots of the game (along with the description sent by EA), one couldn’t help but think back to a time when Nintendo ruled the roost with its cartoonish take on the genre. Although great games like Fight Night have proven their worth as excellent boxing sims, nothing has ever come close to capturing the pugilism magic known as Punch Out!! for the NES.

Ready 2 Rumble gets the approving nod as the next best thing to happen to boxing games since then, but then out of nowhere came FaceBreaker, and I couldn’t be happier. From what we’ve seen so far, the Team Fortress-esque visuals look fantastic, and judging by the trailer and subsequent videos, this might be the next surprise hit on EA’s hands. Heck, even the ladies finally get their due in this game. Forget about eye candy — prepare to get pummeled by the dames.

4) SOCOM: Confrontation (September 16, 2008)

There was a time a few years ago when SOCOM was the most-played online game for the PlayStation brand, and for good reason — it was the best at what it did during its time. Now we have games like CoD 4 that have raised the bar to near-unbelievable heights for the present time, but the SOCOM brand should never be underestimated. Taking a page from Warhawk, Confrontation is going to be another one of those online-only games. Then again, that’s pretty much been what previous SOCOM games were known for anyhow.

With up to 32 players from all over battling it out for supremacy, Confrontation is all about what we’ve come to expect from the third person tactical shooter: clans, tournaments, and leaderboards. I’m still keeping tabs on Zipper Interactive’s full game of their own (SOCOM 4), but I see SOCOM: Confrontation as the game that’s finally going to displace CoD4 from its comfortable spot at the top of all PS3 shooters.

3) Silent Hill: Homecoming (September 2008)

Next to Resident Evil, no other name in horror has ever brought me as much joy as Silent Hill has. Truth be told, they are the only games that are truly scary — however disturbing the games are at times. Konami struck pure gold when they released the first game back in 1999, and I eagerly anticipate each new game in the series. There’s just something about the world of Silent Hill, and much like another Konami series classic, Metal Gear, the games are always filled with memorable characters that stand the test of time.

That is why Homecoming has found itself firmly planted in the third spot of my list. The previous games are just that good, and I can think of no reason as to why this one won’t follow the same route. The game is said to have a further enhanced combat system (don’t all the games claim that?), but Konami isn’t fooling anyone. Silent Hill has been and always will be about the exploration and story. Not too much is known about the game other than that it introduces us to a new character who comes back from a tour of duty, only to find that his father and brother are now missing — and his mother is catatonic. Trust your intuition on this one; all answers lie in the fog of Silent Hill. I expect to encounter twitching body parts thrown together and walking around, all in the name of my undoing, while carrying around a radio that only seems to pick up static, as usual — and that’s exactly why I’m looking forward to Silent Hill: Homecoming. The games are just plain creepy and original, and shouldn’t be missed.

2) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (June 12, 2008)

Few games have weaved such utterly confusing yet engaging storylines on the level of the Metal Gear Solid games. Purists will point to Splinter Cell as the pinnacle of stealth action, but we all know that the games will forever play second fiddle to some guy with a mullet named Snake. Past MGS games have introduced us to several iconic and memorable characters who more than make up for any criticisms the titles have faced. Sorry, Sam Fisher, but you are the only name people care about in your games. What a pity.

What can be said about Guns of the Patriots that we don’t already know? Not much, other than that the game is poised to make PS3s disappear from store shelves in a way that can only be described as the console equivalent of rapture. Even die-hard Xbox 360 and Wii fans that have been holding out on buying a PS3 have been naming this game as the one that will usher in the PlayStation era once again. Will it do all of that? Probably not, but rest assured that you’ll see that all of your friends are playing it when you sign into your online PS3 account, come June.

1) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (September 16, 2008)

When it comes to the top spot of a top ten list, it’s easy to fall into the popularity trap and go with a game that’s surrounded by a lot of hype. Since we first witnessed the trailer showcasing Vader’s dark apprentice downing a Star Destroyer using force powers alone, hype has been reaching new bounds. Just when you thought George Lucas had milked every last possible ounce of interest (and money) out of Star Wars fans, along comes a game like this: one that offers up the one experience that’s been missing all along — true power — and turns us all into quivering piles of anticipation all over again.

Star Wars games have come and gone, but none have ever seemed so destined for greatness in the way that The Force Unleashed has managed to position itself for. If further thinning out the Jedi’s ranks weren’t enough of a draw, being able to reduce an AT-AT into a ball of metal sealed the deal for me forever. It just might be enough to make us all forget how many times we purchased the repackaged Star Wars trilogy (since we first learned of some kid named Luke back in 1977), and do it all over again. If this game somehow fails, then there really is no hope.

Now that you’ve seen our lists, let us know how on- or off-target you think we are in the comments below!

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Samit Sarkar
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