by: Benjamin Sell
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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A new video game console is an expensive purchase. Get some fantastic games to go with that shiny new PS3 system without breaking the bank by checking out the fantastic budget titles on our list.
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Like all gamers, PS3 owners can be a value-conscious lot. Gamers are always looking to get the maximum bang for their gaming buck, and now that the PS3 has finally hit its stride, games-wise, there are a great deal of less-expensive older games that offer fantastic value for a cheap price.
Astute readers will notice that this list contains a few repeats from a similar article about budget Xbox 360 games. While certain excellent cross-platform titles did in fact make both lists, I assure you that this list was conceived with PS3 gamers in mind. A great game is a great game, multiplatform or not.
So, without further ado, we present the top 5 video games for PS3 that can be purchased for less than twenty dollars apiece, according to Gamestop.com.
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1. Battlefield: Bad Company
If unabashed multiplayer destruction is something that appeals to you, then you absolutely should not hesitate to pick up Battlefield: Bad Company. The game’s famed “frostbite" engine allows an unprecedented level of battlefield destruction.
Enemy players guarding the one road through a settlement toward your objective? Simply equip your grenade launcher and proceed to demolish wall after wall, carving your own path through the abandoned dwellings to emerge behind and ambush your opponents.
Multiplayer is definitely the strength of Battlefield, and with the PS3’s free online play, there’s really no reason to hesitate if the prospect of wreaking utter havoc utilizing various weapon loadouts and all manner of vehicles appeals to you at all.
Bad Company is also the first game in the Battlefield series to feature a fully-fledged single player experience. While it’s passable, I prefer to think of it more as a bonus feature. The excellent multiplayer is easily worth the sub-$20 price tag of this title.
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2. Burnout Paradise
The ultimate racing game for people who don’t like racing games, this arcade-style racer takes place in an enormous open world with objectives ranging from time trials to stunt runs and destruction derby-style racing.
In Burnout, players have options. If choosing perfect racing lines and finding an optimal route to the finish line are not really your forte, you are free to simply drive the competition into guardrails and off of bridges in order to secure a first-place finish. In fact, aggressive driving within Paradise City is actually rewarded with speed-increasing boost energy, an essential commodity for victory.
Paradise has an absolutely huge number of cars to unlock and choose from. The city itself is an enormous living, breathing entity with multiple secret routes and hidden objectives to find and explore. It would take countless hours to unlock everything it has to offer, and that’s a fantastic value for a price tag less than twenty dollars.
Another amazing feature of Burnout Paradise is developer Criterion’s continued focus on delivering both free and premium add-on content for the game, constantly adding new features and keeping the city fresh and interesting.
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3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The absolutely fantastic RPG Oblivion was perhaps the first truly great game to make its appearance on the Xbox 360 console, and the PS3 version has all the elements that made it such a fantastic game.
The massive open world of Oblivion is littered with caves and ruins to explore, hostile and friendly NPCs, quests to undertake, and organizations to join. Players are free to go about the game as they choose, able to take on the massive quest to save the entire realm from the threat of a demon invasion or simply spend their time working their way up through the various guilds and purchasing property.
Few games offer the multitude of choices that Oblivion does. If an NPC has an item you want, you can attempt to purchase it, pickpocket the item, even pick the lock to their home and murder them in their sleep. It’s up to you, and that level of freedom is something rarely experienced in video games.
There are literally hundreds of hours of content within the game, not a bad return on a twenty dollar investment.
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4. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Gamers looking for more family-friendly fare would do well to check out Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Really two games in one; this package combines both the original Lego Star Wars and the sequel Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy onto one disk.
Players lightsaber and blaster their way through various Lego-themed recreations of famous scenes and sites from the Star Wars saga. Violence is minimal; enemies who are destroyed simply collapse into a pile of Lego pieces for the player to collect.
Major and minor characters make appearances in Lego Star Wars; even hardcore fans of the series will find themselves hard-pressed to name even a minor resident of the Star Wars universe that is not represented.
The vehicle sections are among my favorites. Imagine negotiating down the Death Star trenches in a Lego X-Wing or flying through its superstructure at the helm of a Lego Millennium Falcon.
Two games in one, for less than the cost of a new DVD? Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is one of the best values in PS3 gaming.
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5. Rock Band
If Guitar Hero is the series that introduced the wonders of music games to the masses, Rock Band is the game that signaled its arrival into mainstream American culture. In Rock Band, up to four players can work together to truly simulate the full band experience.
Customizable avatars are another compelling feature of Rock Band, players can truly connect with an on-screen persona that they have helped to create, and Rock Band was the first music game to allow players to do so.
Over 500 songs are now available for download for play in the game, as well. Even if a player cannot find a single song on the game’s immense soundtrack that they enjoy, there are so many new songs available online there is surely something to satisfy the most discriminating of tastes.
Unfortunately, while the Rock Band software is currently available for less than twenty dollars, the cost of special controllers does make it something less of a bargain than the other games on this list. For those already in possession of one or more special music controllers, however, picking up Rock Band is a no-brainer.
Who thought you could find under 20 dollar PS3 games that were so versatile? Whether you’re a fan of action, racing, music, RPG, or family fare the PS3 gamer on a budget will find a fantastic value for a bargain price in any one of these five titles.