Why 2011 will be the PS3's best year yet

2010 is almost over but some big PS3 games await...

With Call of Duty: Black Ops, Need for Speed, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Gran Turismo 5 in stores as we speak, the good - and/or bad - news, is that the big games keep coming.

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If history is any indication, 2011 will be PS3's busiest, best year yet. Sure, we all trumpeted 2008, 2009 and, er, 2010 as 'the best year yet' - and at the time, they were.

PS3's software library has started strong and got stronger and, if PS2's lifecycle is any indication, after fours years on the market we're due a golden age.

The reasons are plenty - from developer familiarity with PS3's architecture, to a bigger installed base - but pfffft... here come the games.

Clear your post-New Year hangover with Test Drive Unlimited 2, closely followed by the surely-brilliant LBP2, Mass Effect 2 and on Jan 28th the sure-fire Dead Space 2.

Excited? It really kicks off in February.

Valve make their true PS3 debut on Feb 9th with Portal 2. Not keen on witty robots and spatial logic? Try Epic's ludicrous Bulletstorm (22nd Feb, guns, blood, chunks), Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution (guns, body mods, chin-stroking), the PS3-only SOCOM 4 (guns, commands, seals), and by March, Sony's three threes shooter: PS3-exclusive, 3D Killzone 3.

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Sick of shooters? Dragon Age II should thrill RPG fans, twinned to PS3-exclusive Final Fantasy XIV, a full-on console MMORPG.

Expect explosive 3D racing in MotorStorm Apocalypse, sleuthing in LA Noire and for PS Move owners, PlayStation Move Heroes. Oh, don't forget Ico and Shadow of the Colossus in HD.

March goes wild with Brink, Bodycount and Crysis 2; three unique shooters. April sees David Jaffe's Eat Sleep Play deliver the Twisted Metal reboot on April 11, just as Duke Nukem Forever (touch wood) emerges from its 12-year development, and you work out bullet time angst in Max Payne 3.

More? Stab Ryu with Wolverine in Marvel Vs Capcom 3, and brave 3D fatalities in Mortal Kombat. The summer 'drought' includes: Sorcery, DiRT 3, Operation Flashpoint: Red River, and the quasi-GTA True Crime: Hong Kong from United Front Games (Modnation Racers).

Infamous 2 leaps back in Autumn, while Ratchet and Clank All 4 One brings co-op to the series - as Batman deals justice in Arkham City, and id's Rage hits the shelves. What's left? Christmas.

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IO's reboot of Hitman allegedly features Agent 47 building his way back up from a low point. There's Mass Effect 3, Resistance 3, MGS Rising, and even Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Plus Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marines, and based on informed guesses: Assassin's Creed 3, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Far Cry 3, NFS: Shift 2 and Bayonetta 2. Oh, and The Last Guardian.

Big reveals should include Rockstar's action spy exclusive Agent, most likely GTAV, probably MGS5 (at E3), Half Life Episode 3 (or just Half Life 3), the Lara Croft reboot, plus maybe whispers of a Red Dead sequel. Phew.

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