The PlayStation 3 Games We're Most Excited For In 2009

From the latest 'Final Fantasy' to 'God of War III,' here's what's coming for PS3 in the new year.

Over the next few days, we're going to list the games that we're most excited about — no, make that the games that I'm most excited about — for 2009, based on what I know is coming to Sony's console over the next 12 months.

There are a ton of major games — so many that I had a really hard time narrowing my PS3 roster to just five great games. Consider that I didn't even include horror sequel "Resident Evil 5" (March), major new fighting game "Street Fighter IV" (February), the sequel to many critics' favorite game of 2007 "BioShock 2" (fall), the adventure sequel "Uncharted 2," or even possibly the most expensive first-person shooter ever made "Killzone 2" (February).

I also didn't include some sentimental favorites, like the two or three new games coming out in the downloadable PixelJunk games, a series of great-looking, retro-style games that included the addictive "PixelJunk Monsters" and "PixelJunk Eden" last year.

What else isn't even on the list? The next "Call of Duty," which may well be the best game of 2009. It's coming from Infinity Ward, the team that created the franchise and last made the incredible 2007 first-person-shooter "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare." (A different, talented, but somewhat less incredible team made the 2008 "Call of Duty: World at War.")

And if the guys who made "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" finally release their first PS3 project this year, that'll be huge too.

Here's what is on my list:

5. "Infamous"

Back in the PlayStation 2 era, a development studio called Sucker Punch made a trio of platforming action games starring a raccoon thief named Sly Cooper. The games may have been too all-ages-friendly to attract the same legions of PlayStation fans who binged on "God of War" and "Metal Gear Solid," but the "Sly Cooper" games sported great technology and wonderful and surprisingly dark artwork, as well as a diversity of action, stealth, puzzle, flight, pirate-ship-battle and any other kind of gameplay you could think of. But Sucker Punch isn't bringing "Sly Cooper" back to the PS3. Instead, they've spent several years working on "Infamous," an open-world (think "Grand Theft Auto"), dark superhero adventure starring a character named Cole who is blessed with electricity-based powers but is in danger of losing his moral compass.

4. "Final Fantasy XIII"

I'll be honest: I don't like most "Final Fantasy" games. But there hasn't been a new console edition since "Final Fantasy XII" in 2006, and even I can't deny the importance of the release of a new one. This role-playing series will doubtless have the most eye candy and the most epic music of any 2009 games. Let's just hope the gameplay feels modern.

3. "Heavy Rain"

A few years ago, developer David Cage and his team at French studio Quantic Dream took over one TV in Sony's massive E3 booth and ran a reel of a video for what would become "Heavy Rain." The video featured a woman talking to the camera, expressing a range of emotions, from happiness to anger to sorrow, as she went through a monologue and then pulled out a gun. If you walked by quickly, you would have thought you were seeing a movie. But the woman was virtual and probably the most realistic character that's ever been rendered for a gaming console. This year, the work from that demo becomes the murder mystery "Heavy Rain," which Cage is pitching as a game for thinking adults. Imagine that.

2. "Flower"

I've already labeled this game the first must-play title of 2009 on any system. It's a simple downloadable game that's coming out in the next couple of months. All it entails is using the PS3's motion-sensitive controller to steer some windswept flower petals across fields of grass. Doing so makes flowers bloom. That may not sound like much, but trust me: When you play it, you'll wind up experiencing some of the most beautiful and — I know this sounds corny — magical gaming moments you've had in a long time. It's like a playable nature movie or, as its lead creator Jenova Chen puts it, it's like an interactive poem.

1. "God of War III"

The first and second "God of War" games were monster hits, amazing action games that controlled tightly and took place in one epic location after the next. Sony has previewed very little of this game, but is there any doubt that this won't be the flagship title of 2009 for PS3?

What games are you most excited for on the PlayStation 3? Let us know below. And check back through the rest of the week to see our most-anticipated Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS games for 2009.

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