The Exclusive Games of the Last Generation

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As we are literally in the final countdown to the launch of a new generation of consoles, I think it is important for multi-console gamers such as mysef to reflect upon the exclusive titles of the last generation. Exclusive titles try to give each console an edge. The goal is to lure you in with a game you can’t play anywhere else. Does it work? It worked well enoguh to get me to buy multiple consoles, rather than choosing one over the other! So what games could I not live without? Here are my personal favorites for the big three consoles.

Nintendo Wii:

Mario Party 8 has absorbed far too many hours of my life. It’s a fun board-game style game which has mini party games that take advantage of the Wii’s motion control. Best played with 3 more friends, Mario Party 8 has multiple game types, but we find it’s fun to invent some of your own rules while you’re playing! Mario Party 9 was better looking, but didn’t seem to have the same addictive nature as the 8th installment in Nintendo’s healthy franchise.

Mario Kart Wii is another first party Wii title from Nintendo, and I don’t think I need to say much about it. {gamer-girl-stereotype}It’s the first time you can play Mario Kart with your girlfriend and not laugh at her for steering with the controller in her hand!{/gamer-girl-stereotype}

Wii Honorable Mentions: Metroid Prime Trilogy and Metroid Other M were both titles I enjoyed a great deal, but never spent the time I had intended to on either of them. The same goes for the Mario Galaxy games. I was more excited by a return to exceptionally well-made platformers with games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Donkey Kong Country Returns – but again, none of these games did I spend dozens of hours on like the aforementioned titles!

PlayStation 3:

Heavenly Sword was one of the early PS3 exclusives that turned my head. The screen shots looked great, and when I got to play the game? It didn’t disappoint. The graphics and even relatively simple effects like depth of field blurring really made this game stand out. It show-cased the power of the PS3 early on, letting you know that even greater accomplishments would come down the road. It pushed motion capture to the limits, with stellar performances from a cast that included Andy Serkis. The gameplay was beat’em-up fun, and involved trouncing dozens if not hundreds of bad guys at a time.

The Uncharted games made Nolan North a household name… among geeks anyway. The graphics were beautiful, and improved with each installment in the series. The over-the-top action movie thriller moments made the game a pulse-pounding addiction you didn’t want to put down. And the voice acting placed it head and shoulders above the otherwise laughably directionless screaming and shouting of military shooters.

One such shooter? Killzone! Once upon a time, I had a PS3 with full backwards compatibility. Being someone who hadn’t owned a PS2, I didn’t know Killzone had a first installment – it wasn’t a household name and many people were surprised to see it getting a sequel. It would, in fact, become one of the premier titles of the PlayStation 3 and go on to be a quite successful franchise. Although the acting was okay, the visuals would blow you away, and the sound design was spot-on. The game sounded like you were in combat, more so than most games in the PS3’s life-span.

Resistance would become a series you would invest yourself deeply into the campaign of. If you wanted a multiplayer shooter, go have fun with Call of Duty, or even Killzone. If you wanted a unique story-experience, Resistance delivered like no others. In an alternate history universe, if World War II wasn’t bad enough, how about following that up with an alien invasion? Unique level design and fun weapons are what kept the series fresh for me.

PlayStation 3 Honorable Mentions: I was looking forward to Twisted Metal black, and then it dropped off the radar. I never even had a chance to play it. The Infamous games were a lot of fun, but Prototype was non-exclusive and did suck me in faster to make me play it more. My lack of dedicating to much time to running back and forth for no reason prevents me from playing RPGs, but I’m sure the Kingdom Hearts Remixes were extremely well received, as well! MAG was a game with great ambitions, but it didn’t deliver on the hype of 256 players “playing together.” It was more like hundreds of players “working toward a common goal.” Haze tried hard but seemed like many other shooters of this era, and Metal Gear Solid 4 has its audience. I would’ve played the game for the cinematic story telling, if it weren’t interrupting the gameplay every eight-point-five seconds.

Xbox 360:

It just wouldn’t be the Xbox without Halo. And boy did the Xbox 360 have Halo. Halo 3 continued the saga of the Master Chief, while spin-offs filled in gaps in the Halo Universe’s timeline. Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Reach, (Halo: CE Anniversary Edition), and finally returning to the Chief in Halo 4. What I like most about the series is following the evolution of the console. It is hard to believe that you’re playing the game on the same hardware, and what they were able to squeeze out of one console over many years of improving their code.

Gears of War. An early title appearing on the Xbox 360, it immediately became to the 360 what Halo was to the original Xbox. Multiple installments later, the story line of this shooter could suck you in, but the over-the-top violence and curb-stomping appeal of this game made the multiplayer quite successful. Four installments of this franchise appeared on one console – and each one sold quite well. Markedly “destroyed beauty” and excellent voice acting made this game a great success for many repeat players.

Crackdown. The first installment of this game sold well because originally included an invite to play Halo 3’s multiplayer Beta before the release of Halo 3. That may have driven up sales for most people, but I checked out the game on its own merits much later, and was quite impressed. It’s a fun open world game, but the enjoyable part is leveling up to become the super-cop! Jumping five stories high so that you can rain rockets down on unsuspecting street gangs has a certain appeal to it. The sequel was never pulled me in the same way – perhaps it was just released around too many other great games… but if you want to run through the original, it sells for a mere $3.50 brand new on Amazon – there are NO excuses!

Xbox 360 Honorable Mentions: Forza is a standby for the platform, but I’m just not that in to racing sims. Beyond that, the list dwindles for me. Hey, don’t get me wrong, if MorphX is your favorite game, then have at it. But Microsoft went off on a bit of a tangent on accessory-based games that I just didn’t get into. I’m sure someone out there will never get enough of Dance Central, Lips, or Kinect Adventures, but you’ll probably find me hiding out in the Xbox Live Arcade (no, not Gameroom). Call me crazy, but I had a lot of fun with Geometry Wars and Hexic, as well as a plethora of other throw-back titles that found their way on to my Xbox 360’s hard drive over the years. I’ll miss them.

So there you have it. If you missed out on some of my favorites of this last generation, now might be the time to go pick them up! As shelves clear to make way for what’s new, you might be able to check out these “new classics.”