A new console generation is nearly upon us, so it was about time we took a look at the games that made the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 such amazing systems to own over the years. We took the very hard decision to narrow it down to three favourites but in truth the list could have been a lot longer. For now, these are the three best experiences we've had this generation.
The Walking Dead
In 2012, Telltale created the best zombie videogame of all time. Instead of focusing on action and blasting thousands of undead into little pieces, we were given a gripping storyline with colourful characters and decisions to make that would come back to haunt us. The art style was lovely to look at and really fit in with the grim world of The Walking Dead comic book that the game is based on, while the gameplay was simple and allowed you to interact with the environment and other survivors to proceed.
Made up of five episodes - each a perfect length of around two hours - players were put in control of Lee, a convicted criminal but a good guy at heart. Eventually he bumps into Clementine, a nine-year old who has been seperated from her parents, and together they seek to find a safe place from the zombie apocalypse that is sweeping the world. On the way they encounter dangerous situations and even more dangerous people, and the struggles they go through are captivating.
Dialogue plays a massive part in The Walking Dead and that's probably how the story ends up being so good, what you say and the decisions you make really do have an impact on what happens. You can even be made to feel bad about small things, like lying to a stranger about your background and where you're from. Telltale created a masterpiece here, and we can't wait for Season Two.
Rapture remains one of my favourite videogame locations of all time, and for all the wrong reasons. It's a dark and dirty city that's long been abandoned, a project gone wrong and one that's now filled with things called Splicers who aren't very nice and want to do horrible things to you. Oh, and it's completely underwater. Put simply, it's stunning - or at least, it was.
There's also a deep moral dilemma thrust into the nature of the game. Rapture is filled with young girls called Little Sisters, who have been genetically altered to retrieve a substance called ADAM. The more ADAM you have, the more powers you can unlock to progress through the game easier, but the only way to get the full amount of ADAM is to pull the head off a Little Sister as they scream for you to stop. Do you spare a little girl's life or go ahead and take the full amount of this powerful substance? The - very disturbing - choice is yours.
At its core, BioShock is just a basic first-person shooter that gives you a few more powers and abilities to mess around with. But with the massive amount of detail and meaning added to the setting, and a narrative that will keep you guessing until the very end, this is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have this generation.
Grand Theft Auto 5
A lot of people might question this choice, but there's no denying that Grand Theft Auto 5 deserves to be placed amongst the greats of the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 generation, even if it did only launch two months ago. GTA has always been known for pushing boundaries and introducing new ideas, but the latest installment was a masterpiece of gaming.
Players were able to control three different characters for the first time, and they could switch between Michael, Franklin and Trevor whenever they wanted to change things up or attempt something different. Each character was perfectly fleshed out and given a great backstory, while Trevor might just be the most entertaining lead ever seen in a videogame. The biggest new inclusion was the heist missions, where you teamed up with a group to rob a bank or jewelry store. Planning these heists was just as fun as pulling them off, and completing a heist successfully gives you an immense sense of self-satisfaction.
Then there's the open-world of Los Santos, a massive island home to a bustling city and, further north, a fun desert landscape to fool around in. Fly planes, go skydiving, play around in the stock market, go scuba diving, catch a movie at the cinema, or just get in a car and listen to one of the 15 radio stations with officially licensed music. GTA 5 felt alive, and the fact it was pulled off on hardware nearly eight years old is astounding.