PlayStation Now is coming to PC, allowing you to stream PlayStation 3 games to your computer for a monthly subscription fee. That includes some of the last console generation’s best games. It might be a bit overwhelming if you’ve not been paying attention beyond the borders of PC gaming, but luckily we’ve been playing console games for the past couple of decades in case of just such an eventuality. Here are the ten best games currently offered via PlayStation Now.
The subscription service’s full library currently sits at 400 games, which you can gain access to on PlayStation 4 via a seven-day trial or for £12.99/$19.99 per month. Although we don’t know for sure, right now it looks like the PC version of PlayStation Now will have the same library of games.
Use the arrow keys above or below the image above, or the arrow keys on your very own keyboard, in order to browse our selection.
Brendan: The definitive Catholic guilt simulator. Catherine puts you in the squeaky shoes of Vincent Brooks, who is increasingly under pressure from his long-term girlfriend Katherine to grow up. Cue a drunken night at his favourite bar and you wake up next to Catherine, who is much, much blonder than the other one. Every night from that moment you are trapped in Vincent’s puzzle nightmares, filled with sheep and confessional boxes, trying to climb to the top of a mountain of blocks before it falls away beneath you.
But these aren’t really the good bits. The good bits are in the daytime, hanging out in bars and restaurants, texting both Katherine and Catherine, cycling through your replies like a nervous wreck, trying to come to terms with this affair. It all goes a bit weird before long, but that aside, it’s a game that’ll make you feel uncomfortable and a little anxious. The crowning feature being the need to answer a dilemma at the end of every nightmare. “Which is more cheating? An emotional tryst, or a physical fling?” or “Is it okay to lie if you’ll never be caught?” or “Could you show everything in your inbox to your lover?” Then, like in TellTale’s games, you get to see how the rest of the world replied.
Adam: Sometimes overshadowed by its developer’s Colossal follow-up, Ico is, for my money, director Fumito Ueda’s greatest achievement. It’s the story of two prisoners trying to escape from a castle, chased by shadows and darkness. The storytelling is minimalist, using gestures and movements to communicate more than most games manage with words, and while it’s much more sedate, it felt like the natural heir to Another World. Melancholy and beautiful in a way that is – if not ageless – not dependent on cutting edge tech, Ico is also packed with smart puzzles that will challenge but rarely frustrate.
Adam: A trilogy (the recently-released fourth is PS4 only) and another with an extremely strong second chapter. You should start from the very beginning though, if only to enjoy the dramatic ramp-up in quality and spectacle. Uncharted 2 is a masterpiece. It’s an action-comedy that rarely misses a beat, leaping and clambering from wartorn streets to peaceful mountain retreats. Yes, Nathan Drake is a little too pleased with himself and, yes, the bullet sponge enemies in later areas are a drag, but Naughty Dog do this kind of action blockbuster better than just about anyone.
Brendan: This has been an inspiration to a lot of games out there, even the developers of No Man’s Sky mentioned it in interviews. You wake up in the desert and see a light in the distance. There’s nothing else for it, time to get walking. Your trip takes you across glittering desert sands, mystical ruins and snowy mountain passes. At some point you might meet another player. There’s not much you can do with them, apart from whistle and goad each other to jump higher and higher, whittling down a magical cloth you can collect into your scarf. But somehow sticking by this person feels good. You can choose to go on alone, or run away from your partner, or hide. Eventually, you will lose them and not be seen again.
The second time I played it, I waited at a critical part and refused to move an inch. The other person started pushing me, nudging me forward by minuscule amounts. For ten minutes he kept this up and I kept readjusting myself further away from the threshold of the next area. Eventually, he gave up and went on without me. He messaged me two days later and said “Why wouldn’t you come with me?” I replied: “There are paths we must walk… alone……….”
The Unfinished Swan
Adam: The world is a white void. A blank page. You’re travelling through a storybook, a fairytale that is constantly teetering on the edge of something far more horrible, and your only way of understanding and interacting with the world is by splattering it with black paint to reveal the outlines of objects and paths.
Early footage suggested the game might contain horrors, lurking in the colourless spaces and waiting to be revealed. It’s far gentler and more imaginative than the scare ’em up some expected though, and if it’s brevity and one ill-advised section prevent it from being essential, I adored it as a two-person journey, sitting side by side with a friend and pulling back the veil on some delightful and creepy places.
Siren: Blood Curse
Adam: Good horror games are so few and far between that for the fan of frights, they can be a system seller. Silent Hill 2 sold me a PlayStation 2, Resident Evil IV sold me a GameCube and Silent Hills would have sold me just about anything that it existed on. And then there’s Forbidden Siren. It’s one of the scariest games I’ve ever played and the definitive version is Siren: Blood Curse, originally released episodically on PlayStation 3. Yes, it’s the main reason I bought one.
It’s brilliant. Weird, genuinely alarming in a way that might leave you sleepless and shaken, and driven by a vision-switching mechanic that lets you see through the eyes of the creatures that are trying to murder you. If you’re wondering if that means you can see yourself die through the eyes of your killer, then wonder no more: you absolutely can.
Shadow Of The Colossus
Brendan: Are you ready to murder some giants? YEAH. Let’s go do it! Climb up on the back of that bull-faced monstrosity and stab him in the noggin. Awesome! That showed him who’s boss. Now go and shank that big horsey-looking fella in his vulnerable bits. Phwoar! Look at him fall. That’s another large but ultimately harmless animal destroyed forever. Get in! Next let’s go and wake up this beautiful guy with a gargantuan stone crutch for an arm and climb up his chest hair. Aw yeah! We sure stabbed him right in his innocent forehead. Ha ha. Why am I crying. Ha ha. This is so weird. Why am I crying, guys?
The Last Of Us
Brendan: If you haven’t played this, then as far as I’m concerned it’s worth the price of 1 month subscription alone. Never mind that you’ll also have its Left Behind add-on available.
This is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the cordyceps fungus – a bastard mushroom that drives insects crazy – has somehow mutated and is able to infect humans. The world has fallen apart and Joel – that’s you – has to escort a teenage girl across infected wilderness and ruins. It’s a little Uncharted, a little DayZ and a lot of drama. Not only does it have a ludicrously strong opening, it also has some of the best story-telling chops I’ve seen in videogames from the last decade, and is one of the handful of games that has managed to execute it’s climactic scenes perfectly. It has its own flaws. There’s sections of enemies that begin to feel like more of a nuisance than a horrific threat. And your adventure is as linear and controlled as an airport novel. But it all comes together in the end.
Brendan: Otherwise known as “David Cage Presents: A Murder Mystery”. There’s a serial murderer loose on the streets, dubbed the Origami Killer, and you have to figure it out while playing through an adventure game meets interactive tale. You play as an assortment of characters, any of which may die during the course of the story, thanks to the decisions and fumbles you might make during quicktime events. There’s the private detective trying to crack the case. And the divorced dad who still suffers guilt at the loss of his son. It’s a weird old beast, peppered with mini-interactions like pouring drinks or taking showers. Glimmers of Fahrenheit are also there, but without the physical manifestation of the internet showing up and making everyone go: “whuuuuh?”
The best thing it does is continue the story no matter what. Failure may mean death for one of the characters, but the story will keep on going for everyone else. The ending then is a fuzzy blob of all the decisions and outcomes, and while it doesn’t always feel satisfying, it is interesting to see how you messed things up.
God Of War 2
Adam: If you like one God of War, chances are you’ll like them all, to varying degrees. PlayStation Now is packed with them, including the handheld spin-offs as well as the main trilogy. Two is the best of the bunch, upping the scale of the environments and enemies without getting wrapped up in its own daft mythology and gore fetish to the extent of the third. The series doesn’t have the crafty combination of tight controls and skillful execution as Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, but its solid, chunky combat is satisfying, if a little mindless. It’s a silly series, part way between mythology and heavy metal, but there are enough scenes and setpieces that pack a punch to make the odyssey worthwhile.