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The 30 PlayStation Network games you need to own

We list the finest downloadable games available on PS3

Last week we revealed our selection of Xbox Live Arcade's must-have games. Now it's the PlayStation Network's turn.

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While it could be argued that the PlayStation Store took a little longer to properly take off than the Xbox Live Arcade service did, these days the PS3 is easily the 360's equal when it comes to quality digital content.

Much like Microsoft's offering, Sony's digital store has its own selection of exclusive titles not available on its rival's, as well as plenty of great mullti-format games available on both services. This list provides a mixture of games from both categories.


1. Beat Sketcher

SCE Japan Studio/ £7.99 / $9.99
Decent Move-only games are few and far between on the PlayStation Store but Beat Sketcher is a quirky little app which creative types will get a kick out of. Anything players draw adds to the music, meaning you can finally hear the soundtrack created by your patented crude sketch of a man's genitalia. A challenge mode adds a bit of traditional gaming to proceedings, making lines appear and asking you to draw over them to the beat in order to eventually form various pictures.

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2. Bloodrayne: Betrayal

WayForward / £5.99 / $9.99
A side-scrolling action game developed by 2D maestros WayForward (currently working on the Duck Tales HD remake), Bloodrayne: Betrayal is very much a Marmite game that's split opinion because of its high difficulty level. A tribute to old-school hack-and-slash gaming, Betrayal is certainly one of the hardest games on PSN but as long as you're up for the challenge it becomes immensely satisfying once you finally master it.

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3. Castle Crashers

The Behemoth / £10.99 / $14.99
There are plenty of side-scrolling beat 'em ups on the PlayStation Network but The Behemoth's trademark cartoon art style and brilliant sense of humour makes Castle Crashers one of the few must-haves. While it's a great single-player game it's best played with three other friends, making it easily one of the best local four-player co-op experiences you'll have on the PlayStation 3.

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4. Dead Nation

Housemarque / £9.99 / $14.99
A stunning-looking twin-stick shooter in which you (with or without a co-op partner) are dumped in a zombie-infested city and have to blast your way to survival. A clever international leaderboard lets you see how well players in your own country are doing compared to those in other countries, and online co-op pairs you with someone else from your own country. A stylish shooter that does something different with an overused genre.

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5. Echochrome / EchoChrome 2

Japan Studio / £7.99 and £9.99 / $9.99 and $14.99
Both Echochrome games are mind-bending puzzlers that make use of perspective and optical illusions. Guiding a little wooden man from one part of a level to another may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but the ability to rotate the stage to hide and expose gaps makes it the sort of thing that would have MC Escher scratching his head (the optical illusionist, not the rapper).

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6. Riff: Everyday Shooter

Queasy Games / £6.49 / $9.99
Developed in only a few months by one man, Everyday Shooter is a creative twin-stick shooter that ties its sound effects in with the background music. Don't be dissuaded by its artsy-fartsy and slightly pretentious nature (its sole developer describes it as "an album of games exploring the expressive power of abstract shooters" where "modulating shapes celebrate the flowing beauty of geometry") - play it with a good sound system or headphones and enjoy a unique experience.

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