Three Cheers for the PS3! Part Two: PSN Downloadables

PSNLOGONow that the PS4 is out, I always like to take a look back at the previous console and honor it by listing my favorite games for it. Last time we looked at my favorite PS3 disc-based games that you have to buy at retail. Now we’ll look at my favorite games I downloaded on PSN!

Just like last time, some of these downloadable titles may be for multiple platforms. They could’ve been available on Xbox LIVE and Wii or Wii U, too! So if you see something missing, it might end up on my ‘best of 360’ blog I’ll be writing later this month. Just the same, if you see a game here that is also on Xbox LIVE, just know that it’s a good game for that system, too. I’m only going to write about the games I played on the PS3 right now, though. So with that out of the way, let’s take a look at my favorite PSN downloadable games!

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

This remake of the classic Genesis game took a different approach to redoing the beloved franchise. Instead of copying the levels verbatim, they just used gameplay ideas from the original game and implemented them in a whole new light. I think it worked out pretty well and they did a good job with it.

DuckTales Remastered

Now this remake took the opposite path and remade the original NES classic verbatim. Well, almost. They added a few things in the levels, and two whole new levels at the start and end. But even the things they added fit really well and I think this was one of WayForward’s best works. Hopefully it sold well enough to encourage Capcom to have WayForward remake other NES Disney classics, like Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers. If it weren’t for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, DuckTales Remastered might’ve been my Game of the Year!

Capcom Arcade Cabinet

Even though you can play all the games here on Capcom Arcade Collections for the PS2 and PSP, this is still a good collection if you can’t get the others.

Darkstalkers Resurrection

Nice collection of a couple of classic 2-D fighters with online play and other features. My favorite Darkstalkers character is probably Hsien-Ko. Who are yours?

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins

This one is set up just like Darkstalkers Resurrection, except it has the original Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel Super Heroes fighters on it. Good to own if you’re a fan of the series.

SNK Arcade Games

SNK has always been supportive with releasing their classic games as downloadables on the current consoles. But I think they’ve been especially supportive of putting them on the PS3. Not only do they have a hub you can download NEO GEO games on (set up similarly to the Sega and Capcom collections), but they also let you download pre-NEO GEO arcade classics as PS Minis. We’re talking everything from the first three Ikari Warriors games, P.O.W., as well as arcade games I’ve never even heard of from SNK, like Marvin’s Maze.

Monster World 4

Sega released a lot of their classic titles digitally on all the modern consoles, but one that stood out for me was Monster World 4. It was never before released in the US, and has “Metroidvania” aspects to it. The game really plays a lot like Shantae. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this inspired Shantae. Actually, folks at WayForward said they never played Monster World 4 before making Shantae, but I call BS on that one. At any rate, Monster World 4 is a good example of why I like 16-bit games so much.

Fatal Frame

One of the advantages of the PS3 is that sometimes you can download classic PSOne and PS2 titles on it. I got a review code for this one a while back and I’m glad I got the opportunity to play it because I love a good ghost story. Too bad I didn’t get to review the sequel. I wonder if I should download it sometime. I hear it’s a lot better than the first one, which was a bit clunky.

Zanac X Zanac

One the same note, another cool thing about PSN is that sometimes you could download import PSOne classics that were previously Japan only. One of those titles that I always wanted to play was a remake of the classic NES shooter: Zanac. It was called Zanac X Zanac and was one of Compile’s last games they made. It had the original NES game as well as a modern remake. It was really fun, and even though the menus were in Japanese, it was easy to figure out how to play. I’m glad they put it on PSN to download. Unfortunately, most of the other Japan PSOne imports you could download were not so good.

The Cave

Another advantage of PSN on PS3 is that it’s a free service. You don’t have to pay to download titles like Xbox LIVE does. But later they added a PS Plus service where paid subscribers could download certain games for free. Only thing I didn’t like is that you had to be currently subscribed to play those free games, but I guess it’s understandable why they did it that way. Sometimes, though, I’d get a card for a free month’s subscription, so I used it to try a couple of games for free. One was The Cave, a hybrid 2-D platformer/point and click adventure. Another one I tried this way was Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. That’s one of the few times that I thought Lara was really cool in a game, but it was a bit too shootery for my tastes, and you had to remember what all the buttons did! But I’m glad I got to at least try them. Only problem I had with PS Plus is that when my free trial subscription ran out, I had some money left over in my PSN account and Sony used that money without my permission to renew my subscription for another three months. I didn’t complain about it because it was only for three more months. But that’s why I don’t keep my credit card on file for the online console services. I only pay for things on them with point cards.

Retro City Rampage

This was an 8-bit styled game that played like the 2-D GTA titles. Not the best game in the world, but it had a lot of fun 8-bit references and humor. Glad I got to review it.

Double Dragon Neon

If you want a serious Double Dragon remake, you may want to look elsewhere, like Double Dragon Advance for GBA. But if you don’t mind a silly remake with goofy humor and corny 80’s references, then Neon is the game for you. WayForward outdid themselves with this one. I loved the bright 80’s neon graphics and music. Only problem I had with the game was that it was a little too darn hard!


This is a really unique one. At first glance it looks like a 2-D shooter. But you start at the last boss and when you defeat it, a space/time anomaly happens and time is reversed. So you have to play the whole game backwards! You have to catch your own bullets and dodge ones coming from behind as they go into enemy ships. What’s weird is that this is actually a cleverly disguised music and rhythm game featuring awesome chiptunes! You can even use a guitar controller to play it! Definitely try it out if you can!

Spelunker HD

Spelunker is a classic NES game that’s famous for being really hard because the main character dies so easily. It’s especially popular in Japan for some reason. This HD remake features updated graphics and new levels, but you can still play everything in 8-bit if you want. There’s a new four-player multiplayer mode, too. Still hard as nails, though.

Namco Museum Essentials

One of the first games I downloaded on my PS3 was this one. Mainly because it had a brand new Xevious remake on it. You could also unlock Namco themed items to use in PlayStation Home, but I never really got into that service.

Noby Noby Boy

This was another one of my first PS3 downloads. It was made by the same guy who created Katamari Damacy. Unfortunately, this one isn’t near as fun due to the lack of any kind of goals.

Loco Roco Cocoreccho

When the PS3 first came out and this was announced for it, I was mad because I wanted to play it. But I still didn’t get a PS3 right away because I knew this wasn’t a TRUE Loco Roco sequel. The Loco Roco games are my top favorite PSP titles. If Sony released a Loco Roco sequel on the Vita, I’d probably buy one right away! That’s how much I like the series.


And that’s all for now! Hopefully Sony and other companies will continue to support the PS3 since I won’t be getting a PS4 for a while. I know that they supported the PSOne pretty well after the PS2 came out. But I can’t remember how well they supported the PS2 when the PS3 came out. At any rate, in the comments section, let me know what you think of my picks, and tell me YOUR favorite PSN downloadable games. In about a week and a half or two weeks, I’ll do the same kind of ‘best of’ blog series with the Xbox 360. Later! –Cary

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