Kotaku's 2010 PlayStation 3 Gift GuideS

The holidays are coming, and that means it's time for you to start thinking about what sorts of gifts you want to give the PlayStation 3 owner and get as a PlayStation 3 owner this year.

The PlayStation 3 had a strong year in 2010—hey, it was no 2009, when Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Demon's Souls and Flower hit the system—with franchise greats like Gran Turismo and God of War representing on Sony's console. There was a flood of great third party content too, as well as the launch of the promising PlayStation Move.

Perhaps the best gift one can give the PS3 owner this holiday is a gift certificate, because there's plenty looming on the horizon from Sony—Twisted Metal, LittleBigPlanet 2, The Last Guardian—in 2011.

Here's our take on some of the best PlayStation 3 games of 2010, games perfect for the giving and receiving. Feel free to add your own recommendations in comments.

Gran Turismo 5

Rating: E
Genre: Racing simulation
Ideal Player: The car enthusiast that wants nothing but the prettiest, shiniest, most museum-like driving game to proudly display on the PlayStation 3 and grease monkeys who love tinkering with virtual cars.
What's It About?
The "real driving simulator" is back with an all-new entry in the 13-year-old racing game series that practically re-invented how car games are made and played. Gran Turismo 5 lets gamers drive the most exotic and famous of cars in real-world locations with realistic physics, a chance to experience the most expensive luxury cars in the world for just sixty bucks.
Bang For Your Buck:
Over 1,000 cars, dozens of race tracks, World Rally Championship, NASCAR and Super GT licenses, online racing, a course editor... you don't get much more bang for your buck than with Gran Turismo 5.



Heavy Rain

Rating: M
Genre: Adventure
Ideal Player: The gamer who prefers an immersive, interactive story above all else and mature players with a thirst for murder mysteries. Possibly the woman who owns a PlayStation 3 and craves a crime drama, according to some.
What's It About?
This psychological thriller puts players in the role of four characters whose stories intertwine through tragedy, murder, loss and drug addiction. It's a dark, sometimes violent, sometimes sexually charged adventure that plays unlike most modern console games.
Bang For Your Buck:
There's a good story here, but the value may come in the numerous ways players can revisit Heavy Rain's story, altering the way scenes and plot threads play out based on the decisions players make.

Read Kotaku's review of Heavy Rain.



God of War III

Rating: M
Genre: Action-adventure
Ideal Player: The mature PlayStation 3 player with a bloodlust for over the top violence and gorgeous, Hollywood blockbuster style action.
What's It About?
Greek warrior Kratos finally has his revenge on those who wronged him in this gripping, gory tale of god-on-god violence. Players battle their way through gods, mythical beasts and massive puzzles in the most gruesome ways possible.
Bang For Your Buck:
God of War III is a hefty adventure, but beyond the storyline and a few cool unlockable items, there's not a whole lot of content here. It's for the player who normally only sticks to single-player games.

Read Kotaku's review of God of War III.



Joe Danger

Rating: E
Genre: Arcade racing
Ideal Player: The fan of Excitebike with a taste for something colorful and charming in the style of Super Mario.
What's It About?
Assume the role of motorcyclist Joe Danger, the world's "most determined stuntman," in this downloadable PlayStation Network side-scrolling racer that's full of big jumps, coin collection and smiles.
Bang For Your Buck:
Joe Danger has some serious challenges to face, including local multiplayer, plus plenty of items to collect and unlock. There's also a track editor, which creative types may want to invest their time in.

Read Kotaku's review of Joe Danger.



Super Street Fighter IV

Rating: T
Genre: Fighting
Ideal Player: The gamer who longs for the one-on-one competition of arcades, who fondly remembers playing Street Fighter II against strangers.
What's It About?
This update to Street Fighter IV, which helped to revitalize console fighting games in 2008, packs in a huge roster of playable fighters and a much improved set of online multiplayer features.
Bang For Your Buck:
If you skipped out on the original release, Super Street Fighter IV is an exceptional value, filled with characters new and old plucked from the Street Fighter series. As long as there's competition online, there's value in this fighting game.

Read Kotaku's review of Super Street Fighter IV.



Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Rating: M
Genre: Action-adventure
Ideal Player: People who like the idea of being a building-climbing, sword-swinging assassin. Gamers who enjoy being treated intelligently and would like to dig into a lengthy story full of references to 500 years of real history. Anyone who couldn't get into Assassin's Creed because of its poor combat system (they fixed it). Those hungering for a game that can, if desired, be played as a zero-tolerance, hide-the-bodies stealth adventure like the old Splinter Cells. Anyone who wants to pretend they're in beautiful Renaissance Rome where the Colosseum is waiting to be scaled.
What's It About?
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood returns gamers to Renaissance Italy and into the virtual body of expert assassin Ezio Auditore de Firenze in an adventure primarily set in Rome. In addition to the long list of murderous missions Ezio must perform, a new multiplayer mode breathes new life into the series.
Bang For Your Buck:
Another extended, expansive single-player adventure full of things to do, places to see and people to kill, plus a new multiplayer mode that adds to the game's replayability sure sounds like a decent amount of bang.

Read Kotaku's review of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.



Rock Band 3

Rating: T
Genre: Music rhythm game
Ideal Player: The Rock Band or Guitar Hero fan who's looking for any reason at all to come back to music games. The plastic guitar enthusiast (with patience) who might just want to figure out how to play one of these songs for real. People who understand why karaoke is fun.
What's It About?
It's about playing music (or at least recreating the act of playing music) to a broad selection of new songs. This time around, developer Harmonix has added keyboard support and plenty of songs with memorable keyboard parts, like Night Ranger's "Sister Christian," Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Foreigner's "Cold as Ice." Better still, you can actually learn how to play these songs note for note on a keyboard or with the special Rock Band Pro Guitar controller.
Bang For Your Buck:
The most worthwhile feature in Rock Band 3 is its long list of improvements that makes the game more enjoyable to play, but the included songs are great, as is the option to play more than 2,000 downloadable tracks. It's nearly endlessly playable and incredibly fun.

Read Kotaku's review of Rock Band 3.



Red Dead Redemption

Rating: M
Genre: Open world action-adventure
Ideal Player: The player of Grand Theft Auto style games who pines for a simpler time, a better story and a chance to lose dozens of hours exploring a Western world.
What's It About?
Players assume the role of John Marston, former bad guy trying to make good. This ex-outlaw is on a manhunting mission, one interrupted often by a colorful cast of characters looking for help and occasionally looking for trouble. This Wild West adventure is thrilling, touching and a hell of a lot of fun.
Bang For Your Buck:
Players could easily spend fifty hours or more in the single-player side, there's so much content stuffed into Red Dead Redemption. Multiplayer modes aren't as polished or attractive, but offer a nice diversion. A handful of interesting downloadable add-ons extend the life of this Western adventure, but it's the Undead Nightmare expansion pack that every Red Dead Redemption player should play (after they've completed the main game).

Read Kotaku's review of Red Dead Redemption.



Call of Duty: Black Ops

Rating: M
Genre: First-person shooter
Ideal Player: Adult shooter fans looking for a carefully paced story threaded with an intriguing plot and backed up by surprisingly robust multiplayer offerings.
What's It About?
On the single-player side, Black Ops is a time-hopping, globe-trotting series of flashbacks that tell tales of war, espionage and intrigue. Expect a short burst of blockbuster set pieces and war games. The real draw is multiplayer, where players can battle it out against millions of other Call of Duty fans in a long list of modes.
Bang For Your Buck:
Call of Duty: Black Ops' campaign won't be where most players spend the majority of their time. The progressive, deep multiplayer mode will be played for years, providing maximum bang for the buck.

Read Kotaku's review of Call of Duty: Black Ops.



NBA 2K11

Rating: E
Genre: Basketball simulation
Ideal Player: A sports fan who either has experience playing basketball on some organized level, or is an informed observer of the game.
What's It About?
It's about making a great basketball game, the only new b-ball simulation you'll get on your PlayStation 3 this year. It's also about playing the highlights of Michael Jordan's career, one of the most prominently promoted features in NBA 2K11.
Bang For Your Buck:
This is the year to upgrade, thanks to better controls, improved animation, streamlined playcalling and a more robust management mode. In addition to a single-player basketball career mode, there's plenty of Jordan-centric play to dabble in, plus a massive online community.

Read Kotaku's review of NBA 2K11.