The Best Video Games You Haven’t Played on PSN and Xbox Live

Looking for a new video game to play right now? Turn on your console and head to the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live for a quick download-only game.  A large segment of gamers skip these  “non-disc” games, but here are six inexpensive games available for download on the PS3 or Xbox 360 that are definitely worth your time.

Download these in the middle of a winter snowstorm or when you’re low on cash, with prices ranging from a couple of dollars to $15. In most cases, a free trial is available too, so you don’t even have to spend money to give them a spin.


Wipeout HDfor the PS3 – $8


Wipeout HD is the first of the decade old franchise’s foray onto the PS3. The basics of Wipeout HD are the same as its two PSP incarnations, Wipeout Pure and Wipeout Pulse, but the racing series that prides itself on super speeds and stellar visuals against a club beat is now in 1080P and features amped-up audio tracks.

Wipeout HD feels like a whole new experience, especially when you pop on a pair of glasses and try to play the already dizzying game in 3D.  This is possibly one of the best games available on the PS3 – if it was released in disc form, I could easily see it joining the PS3 Greatest Hits line. Sony released an expansion for the game, Wipeout HD Fury, that includes 8 additional tracks and a fully fleshed out campaign mode. A demo of Wipeout HD is available for free, with the full shebang available for $7.99 via the PlayStation Network.


Scott Pilgrim Vs The World on the PS3 and Xbox 360 – $10


Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is an old-school, 2D side-scrolling beat-‘em-ups like Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, and River City Ransom. This means Scott Pilgrim is a veritable bundle of video-gaming joy that will bring you back to the quarter -and-token-stealing days of your youth.

Based on the series of graphic novels that spawned the movie, the game provides a robust 6-8 hours of game play as well as alternate replays with unlocked players. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is available on the Xbox 360 (800 Microsoft Points, i.e. $10) and PlayStation Network ($9.99), with a free demo available on both platforms.

Baby Maker Extreme on the Xbox 360 – $1

Essentially a proto-Angry Birds, Baby Maker Extreme is a simple game using catapult physics. The major difference?  Your goal is to help a physician deliver a baby, which just happens to begin flying through a hospital ward, bouncing he or she off objects and keeping them in the air for points. This shouldn’t be as fun as it sounds, but I’ve lost plenty of spare time trying to beat my high score. Baby Maker Extreme is part of the Xbox Live Indie Games line, so the game only costs 80 Microsoft Points (about $1) and a free trial is available.


The Walking Dead on the PS3 and Xbox 360 – $5 per episode


If you love The Walking Dead television show or comic book, you should run to your controller and download the episodic Walking Dead game from Telltale Games. The game places you in the shoes of Lee Everett, a University of Georgia professor arrested just prior to the zombie outbreak. Estranged from his own family, Lee rescues a small girl and rises to be the protector of a small band of survivors.

The game is not as action-heavy as some zombie games (like the Left 4 Dead series), but allows for action in between dialogue that allows the player to make decisions that explicitly impact the game.

The game ties in very well with the rest of The Walking Dead franchise, adding meaning to a number of background characters from the comic book while allowing the player to meet Glen, Herschel, and characters from the television series along the way. You can buy the game by the episode for $5 or pay $20 for Season Pass which includes the four released episodes and the unreleased fifth episode.


Shadow Complexon the Xbox 360 – $15


Inspired by the writings of Orson Scott Card and written by comic book genius Peter David, Shadow Complex pulls from the gameplay style of franchise-defining classics Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to create a 2.5D game – a 2D side-scrolling adventure with backgrounds rendered in 3D.

Roughly ten hours long (as long or longer than most $60 regular release games), Shadow Complex sends the gamer on a sci-fi/military adventure through the world of Orson Scott Card’s novel, Empire. The  true gem, however, is the gameplay experience created by Epic Games (Gears of War) and Chair Entertainment (Infinity Blade). A testament to the success of download-only releases, Shadow Complex has sold over 600,000 digital copies more than Mafia II, Dead Space, and Crysis 2 on the Xbox 360 –  since its release. Shadow Complex costs 1200 Microsoft points (roughly $15), but a free demo is available for download.

Killzone 3 Multiplayer on the PS3 – Free


Sometimes good things in life are free—this is one of those times. Killzone 3 is one of Sony’s best-selling first person shooters, and to keep the fan base alive, they released the multi-player portion of the game on the PlayStation Network as a free download. You can play until you reach the Sergeant Rank, then you have to pay for additional access, but that’s a good butt of playing time for free. If you don’t have an Xbox 360 and are looking to frag some people online, this is one of your best bets.

Images from Telltale Games and Stegersaurus Games.

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