BUBBLING UNDER: TEN GREAT GAMING MOMENTS
Not quite epic enough for our Top 20, but all defining moments in PlayStation history.
SSX3 - ALL PEAKS DESCENT
SSX3's Peak Three looks almost mythical, its untamed powder expanses licking the crystal blue sky. It's the haunting starting point of SSX3's epic final race: an unprecedented 30 minute, non-stop, descent down all three peaks. Epic.
BAYONETTA - THE FALLING CLOCK
Right at the start of the game you take control of Bayonetta as she scraps angelic hordes on a giant clock-tower... which is hurtling to earth, spinning and breaking apart. It's an incredible opening set-piece to a very underrated game.
HALF LIFE 2 EPISODE 2 - ELI FACES THE ADVISOR
Oh God. They can't... surely something will happen to save... NO. Few gaming moments kick harder than the shock - and we mean shock - conclusion to Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Now that's how to 'do' emotion.
PORTAL 2 - PORTAL TO THE MOON
Portal 2 is a masterclass in pacing and design, but saves its biggest step jump for the closing moments. A game defined by its claustrophobia offers you a - literal - shot at escape: to the moon. It's a liberating, dazzling contrast.
GTA VICE CITY - BILLIE JEAN
It seems absurd, but there was a time when licensed soundtracks didn't exist - which is exactly why it was so spine-tingling when you mount Vice City's first bike and the tantalising intro drums of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean tear into life.
SKYRIM - BLACKREACH
You think you've seen everything in Skyrim. Dragons, labyrinthine caves, frost trolls, talking dogs. Then you visit the underground expanse of Blackreach, filled with glowing fungi and giant, ancient buildings. Then you think again. Incredible.
MASS EFFECT 3 - RANNOCH
On Rannoch, you make a huge choice: the Geth or the Quarians. Side with the Geth, and loyal companion Tali − after seeing her fleet wiped out − throws herself off a waterfall. Honestly, when it happened to us, we couldn't believe it.
GTA IV - THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE
After 30 hours of chasing and shooting, you finally locate that 'special someone', only to discover you've become everything you despised in your pursuit of revenge. Still want to take that shot? It's a powerful moment of self-reflection.
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS - AGRO
As you traverse the aching, desolate landscapes, felling giant, sad beasts with your blade; your trusty horse Agro provides the only point of emotional contact. Now imagine how it feels when he falls to certain doom at the game's end. Or so it seems.
UNCHARTED 2 - THE VILLAGE
The Village is everything Call of Duty's level design isn't - a point of joyous, mellow context; an ambient album track juxtaposing the noise. Better, when you return, and the peaceful village has been attacked... damn. It hurts.