10 of the best exclusive PSN games
6th Nov 2010 | 17:30
The PlayStation Network isn't just for playing first-person shooters online against each other, you know.
See that shopping bag icon with the PlayStation buttons on it? That'll get you into the PlayStation Store, where you can pick up dozens of brilliant games on the cheap.
We've compiled a list of the ten best games exclusively for the PlayStation Network. All of these come heartily recommended...
PSN may not have the excellent motorcycle stunt game Trials HD, but the even better Joe Danger is more than sufficient compensation.
Remember when Tony Hawk games were fun, linking together ludicrous stunts? Joe Danger adds elements of time-old NES classic Excitebike to that, demanding impeccable timing, lightning reactions and addiction. That makes it one of our favourite PSN games.
Super Stardust HD
Seen by many as PS3's answer to Geometry Wars, Super Stardust HD is an amphetamine-dosed - and hi-def, obviously - interpretation of the Amiga game of the same name (which itself is a take on the 30-year-old arcade game Asteroids).
The enjoyment gained from shooting big, floating space rocks and hoarding scores clearly hasn't waned.
As the first PS3 game to support it, it also helped kick off our burgeoning addiction to Trophy collecting.
Thanks for that.
Many games have given us the opportunity to fight on foot, in tanks and in the air. Playing against 31 other guys is nothing out of the ordinary (well, nowadays).
Nor are multi-player games that cater to different playing styles. But what Warhawk lacks in innovation, it makes up for with frenetic, fast-paced combat, sublime in-flight controls and countless creative ways to give your enemies a dose of pain.
That's why the servers have been well populated since 2007.
Flower isn't to everyone's tastes. That it's often held up as a response to detractors who claim games are all about death and destruction mean it's not a rip-snorting adventure, nor post-pub stress-reliever.
But sometimes it's nice to apply calm to a title. Controlling a petal floating in the breeze and bringing other flowers to life was an experience that acted as an early champion for the maligned tilt controls, too.
Siren: Blood Curse
Price: £6.99 (per episode)
It creeped us out in its previous form (as Forbidden Siren on PS2), and the sequel - PSN's Siren: Blood Curse - continues to bring the scares.
Why won't the Shibito die and stay dead? This game is a survival/horror title that masters the feeling of being overwhelmed, encouraging you to lie low in cupboards or cower in the bushes.
With the zombie-like Shibito virtually indestructible, only the ability to sightjack - see through the eyes of others - gives you an edge.
Like Flower, Flow is another example of the mesmerising gorgeousness that PSN is home to.
It also showcases the freedom that smaller-scale indie developers can have. It plays like the phone game Snake mixed with Darwin's theory of evolution, and manages to blend simple, organic looks with soothing music.
There might not be a huge amount to it, but add some incense sticks, lava lamps and tie-dyed pyjama trousers and Flow is about as bohemian as you can get on any console.
Price: £6.29 (for PixelJunk Shooter)
It's cruel to rope so many great titles together, but hey, we've only got ten spaces.
Besides, separated out, these games would dominate the list. At the top sits Shooter, with its addictive physics engine and bold art style.
Monsters still stands out as one of the best tower-defence titles out there and Eden is an innovative, dream-like pollinate-'em-up journey.
Even though it's the weakest of the selection, Racers is still a great racer.
Steal your opponent's princess from her castle and bring her back to yours. Then make the royal chunk-up on cake to slow down the rescue attempt.
Fat Princess is one of those simple concepts that succeeds as a multi-player game thanks to layers of strategy and twisted cartoon visuals.
It won't win any awards for political correctness, but that only adds to the charm. Mario could probably learn a few lessons from these guys - more Victoria sponge, Peach..?
Just when you thought every variation on the classic brick-breaking theme had been created, Shatter turned up and, appropriately, shattered that belief by adding all kinds of physics-based, reflex-testing challenges to the equation.
Some even say it's the best block-busting game since grand-daddy Breakout. Like many of PSN's retro-inspired games, it fuses hypnotic 8-bit music with trippy visuals and addictive, mind-bending gaming. Maybe the old ideas do still work best...
If there was ever a game that benefits from gorgeous, colourful 1080p visuals, the long-running, futuristic PlayStation racer WipEout is it.
The weapons-based, anti-gravity, roller coaster-style title may not have changed since the first instalment in 1995, but that's not the point.
Watching the crisp, colourful tracks whoosh by at 60 frames per second with a backdrop of pounding techno is a truly exhilarating experience. And this is still one of the best-looking games on PS3.