Top 50 Single Player Games: Part One (50-41)

Despite a huge increase in multiplayer focus over the last few years I am still an absolute sucker for a top notch single player story.

For me single player is a totally different gaming experience and I enjoy both on and offline play.

It’s been almost a year since I last compiled a list of the best single player experiences (on PS3). The list came in at 30 titles strong and when I decided to update it a year later I made another list and found I had over 50 titles. I whittled it down to a top 50 and here we are 🙂

I’m posting them up in parts of 10 games at a time so as not to overload everyone. Also I had to close off the list at the end of May, otherwise I’d have been going on forever! Last year’s position is in brackets – with (NE) indicating a new entry.

Let’s kick off with a game that I overlooked last time but just about makes the Top 50:

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50. MERCENARIES 2: WORLD IN FLAMES (NE)

Mercenaries 2 takes place in Venezuela and sees you take control of Chris Jacobs, Jennifer Mui or Matthias Nilsson. It’s only a cosmetic choice as the story/dialogue all remains the same. You’re tasked with taking down Ramon Solano, the man behind the current military coup.

While this game has a few glitches (one a game breaker unfortunately) it remains a resolutely fun experience. Being a Mercenary you can call in all kinds of crazy weapons and firepower.

At times you won’t believe the destruction you can wreak on the world around you – whether it’s guns, cars or helicopters you’ll find yourself smiling insanely as you blow up as much stuff as possible. Not a great game then but certainly a fun one.

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49. ARMY OF TWO (28)

Salem and Rios are guns for hire – private contractors that go in and sort out the crap that the army or whoever can’t deal (or can’t be seen dealing) with.

There is convoluted conspiracy theory plotline but to be perfectly honest the story isn’t really the main attraction here – it’s all about the carnage.

Army of Two is like playing an ultra violent cartoon and overall I would say this game is a fun 5 or 6 hour blast. While it does become repetitive at times it makes no excuses – in fact Army Of Two is likely to hand you a  rocket launcher, spawn 20 new enemies and tell you to ‘get the f**k on with it.’

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48. THE SABOTEUR (27)

The game takes place in and around Paris in the 1940′s with the Nazis occupying the majority of the city and it’s surrounding areas. You control Sean Devlin, an Irishman, who gets involved with the French resistance following a traumatic experience at the hands of the Gestapo.

The Saboteur is a game that I feel should be played but if you are looking for a high quality experience, this isn’t it. The odd bug here and there and a general unfinished feeling hamper the gameplay but if you’re willing  to give it a shot The Saboteur is worth a playthrough.

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47. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS (NE)

With each iteration Call Of Duty has refined and improved upon it’s single player experience. Black Ops sees you taking on the role of Alex Mason in several covert ops set in 1960’s.

Those of you looking for a realistic interpretation of the special forces would probably be better served by Medal Of Honor (see below) or if you fancy something older Rainbow Six Vegas (keep an eye out further down the list) because this is Hollywood war plain and simple. Fun and over the top.

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46. MEDAL OF HONOR (NE)

The Medal Of Honor series has been around for decades and had usually focused on conflicts in World War II. However when EA announced it was rebooting the franchise we discovered players were heading to modern day (well, 2002) Afghanistan.

The gameplay itself is generally good and while missions were mainly brief, there were some good set ups and set pieces to get stuck into.

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45. LITTLEBIGPLANET 2 (NE)

LittleBigPlanet 2 is the sequel to the hugely successful user creation based original. There has been a fairly big improvement graphically and several new materials have been added into the mix, all of which look great.

The single player experience is decent enough and while some of the new puzzle ideas are clever there wasn’t much that really taxed me. Definitely worth checking out as this is one of the most charming games I’ve played.

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44. CRYSIS 2 (NE)

Crysis 2 takes place in New York in 2023. The city has been overrun by aliens and a military group ‘CELL’ has been drafted in to try and police the anarchy that has erupted.

You end up wearing a Nanosuit, which allows you to use abilities – such as stealth or armour for a short period of time. As the game goes on you’ll be fighting both CELL and the aliens that have landed.

You have a lot of choice with regards to how you approach the game in Crysis 2, if it had been reigned in a little bit this could have been a classic – as it is it’s an enjoyable and solid shooter campaign.

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43. SOCOM 4 (NE)

In SOCOM 4 you take on the role of Cullen Gray, a Spec Ops Commander and leader of a 5-man NATO special forces squad. Your team is dropped into Malaysia to help deal with the rising threat of both local rebels, the Naga, and a mercenary group called Clawhammer.

While the story is standard Spec Ops fare I found most of the characters likable and it was one of the more enjoyable stories I played through in 2011.

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42. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY (30)

Chock full of explosions and with some really impressive destruction of buildings etc, Battlefield: Bad Company is like a huge big budget Hollywood blockbuster.

It’s a great, mindless blast of a game. Add some memorable characters into the mix and you’ve got yourself a very enjoyable, and playable, package.

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41. PROTOTYPE (25)

In Prototype you take on the role of Alex Mercer as he awakens during his autopsy ,wondering what the hell is going on. He quickly escapes, realising he now has various superpowers.

Mercer needs to find out what the hell has happened to him and why New York is infected with a virus that has turned half the population into zombies.

Prototype is definitely a game worth playing despite it’s various faults – it was a blast to play through if a little frustrating at times.

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So there we have it – part one done and dusted.

Have you guys played all these games? What did you think of them? Any you were considering playing?

FURTHER LINKS

Top 50 Single Player Games: Part Two (40-31)

Top 50 Single Player Games: Part Three (30-21)

Top 50 Single Player Games: Part Four (20-11)

Top 50 Single Player Games: Part Five (The Top 10)

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11 Comments

  1. Good to see the single-player countdown making a reappearance – great start to proceedings.

    Disagree with you on Black Ops. For me, with the exception of World At War, the COD campaigns have consistently gotten worse from COD4 onwards. BlOps was so “hand-holdy” it might as well have been an on-rails light-gun game. Not to mention, some of it was broken.

    My favourite campaign from the 10 titles above has to be Battlefield: Bad Company. It was like Kelly’s Heroes: The Game. Great characters, a real sense of camaraderie and one of the funniest games I’ve ever played.

    Looking forward to the next 10!

    • Can see what you mean about Black Ops – it certainly had some seriously frustrating moments. I just felt the story made (a bit) more sense than Modern Warfare 2.

      As you know I’m a big fan of the Battlefield: Bad Company series and I think (hope!) the campaign mode of Battlefield 3 could be great later this year.

  2. It’s interesting that 8 of the 10 games have elements of a shooter, and most of them did well in sales. And interestingly, in reading reviews for those 8 games, a common complaint for most of them is that the single-player campaign is far too short. Is this trend, perhaps, a result of development teams focusing too much time on the multiplayer component of their titles?

    I’m amazed you’re able to come up with 50 single-player PS3 experiences that you liked, when I’m hard-pressed to come up with 10-15 off the top of my head. Kudos to you!

    • Haha, it’s taken a while to get to 50 though! But thanks.

      I hadn’t really considered the shooter angle but it just goes to show how popular they are. I’m mainly concentrating on story-based experiences for this list so a few shooters may have been knocked off the list by the likes of FIFA/Madden or Gran Turismo etc if I was including them?

      I don’t mind campaigns being short, I personally would rather play a great 6 hour game than a mediocre 12 hour one. What’s your preference?

      • While quality is always better than quantity, my concern is that a lot of single-player experiences that offer quick bursts of action, are being confused for quality experiences. I’m a heavy critic of Modern Warfare 2 (despite having purchased MW1, MW2, and Black Ops) because the story was little more than a series of elaborate setpieces strung together by a ridiculous plot. There was almost no character development and no emotional investment beyond surviving each mission for the sake of advancing to the ending.

        I feel as if Activision has diluted the FPS genre by focusing too much on flashiness so as to mask deficiencies in the game’s actual content. While the merit of a game should ultimately be whether a gamer has fun with it, I don’t find much fun in playing games that lack depth. If I wanted mindless fun (which is perfectly OK), I’d seek it out. But if I’m purchasing a game with the name recognition and reputation of Call of Duty, I expect a quality experience that shows effort in ALL areas, rather than a half-assed yearly update that had some features scaled down so as to meet the deadline.

        COD isn’t the only franchise that’s been guilty of this, and I admit that Black Ops’ single-player mode was much better than MW2. But COD is the biggest offender next to the Madden series, largely because their respective publishers have decided to rest on their laurels and haven’t done much to encourage the developers to do more.

        If anything, I miss the days of gaming in the late-’90s and early-’00s, when developers and publishers weren’t afraid to take risks because they had to stand out from the crowd while the gaming population grew by leaps and bounds. For every mainstream hit like Final Fantasy, there was an underrated gem like Suikoden to match. For every Resident Evil, there was a game like Fear Effect. The list goes on. Simply put, I want innovation and I want effort! With that, quality will eventually rise like cream to the top.

  3. […] Two of my Top 50 Single Player Games, appreciate the comments on the first part (which can be found here) so keep ‘em coming. As I said before I’m mainly focusing on good story based […]

  4. Glad to see The Saboteur on here. It’s one of the most underrated games to come out in recent years, in my opinion.

    I am a little surprised to see Army of Two listed. I tried out the demo for it but couldn’t get over the feeling that a co-op playthrough would be the best way to experience the game.

  5. […] continuing the look at my Top 50 Single Player Games with Part Three (Click here for Parts One and Two). We’ve hit the Top […]

  6. […] you’ve just joined us (where have you been?!)  click here for Parts One , Two and […]

  7. […] Most Helpful Piece: My Top 50 Single Player Games remains very popular and hopefully is still helpful to people looking to pick up some games for […]

  8. Great post, precisely what the gamer world wants, please keep up the nice
    work!


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