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The PlayStation Network is still out for the count and could be down for a few more days. Some players are already going through withdrawal, especially those who picked up the new SOCOM or Portal 2 for PS3 and have been itching for a little online time with their friends and enemies.
But not every game has an invisible PSN umbilical that makes having fun impossible at the moment. Some titles might use the network for leaderboards, but we technically have plenty of options that still keep the single-player flame alive.
With PSN still a big question mark on the horizon, here are five games that you might not have thought about playing but will most definitely fill your hours with entertainment…at least until the network comes back up.
1) Valkyria Chronicles
You want tactics? A good story? An outstanding soundtrack? To play through a watercolor sketchpad? Then you probably should give Valkyria Chronicles a whirl. Although it can be harsh — characters who fall in battle will permanently die if not rescued — it's not unforgivingly so. And thanks to clever characterizations, don't be surprised to find yourself trying extra hardto keep even the grunts that sign on with your squad alive. For many who have played Valkyria Chronicles (like me), it's one of the reasons to own a PS3. It's fun from the opening shot to the final battle.
Every character has her own bio and special abilities. Rosie, seen here, used to be a singer before she turned into a red-haired Rambo.
2) Yakuza 4
Sega's gangster-themed beat-em-up packs in character-upgrade elements and side quests that make it something of a modern-world, action role-playing game. In between the bodies that you'll be laying out in the street, you can also take time off from being a badass by singing karaoke with a rhythm-based minigame or encouraging your girls to look their best at a hostess club. Even though the Yakuza series is an over-the-top and fictional take on the Japanese underworld, it's also notable for using real-world brands and storefronts to give its streets and back alleys a little slice of authenticity…right before you use a golf club to birdie punks into the gutter.
Tanimura, one of the characters in Yakuza 4, is actually a cop. But like the others, he breaks punks apart with pugilistic intensity…and a style that is impetuous. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
3) Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
Why stop at one game when you can turn your PS3 into a retro arcade with this awesome collection from Sega's Genesis? It's got RPGs, shooters, Sonic originals, and beat-em-ups from the days when blast processing was king and Sega did what Nintendon't. On top of the forty titles initially available, a slew of unlockable extras like Altered Beast and even Phantasy Star from the Master System await players. Dude, Phantasy Star! 3D dungeons! Vehicles! And who is that over there? Shinobi? Oh, yeah! Okay, you get it.
All three Streets of Rage games are also in the collection. That should take a little of the edge off while waiting for word on whether Sega will give a fan-made remake their blessing as opposed to the current cease and desist.
4) Fallout: New Vegas
By the time you finish New Vegas, PSN might be back up. If it isn't, you can always try and play it again and make new choices to see where they will take you. Thanks to an extensive set of consequences throughout the game, players have plenty to experiment with and a number of endings to experience. The apocalypse might be a little buggy, but it certainly can provide a nice fix for those who want to blaze through another episode of Fallout with subatomic weapons.
Head into the wastes, meet more unusual people, and make new friends! And then loot their bodies for more ammo and Fancy Lad snack cakes.
5) Mass Effect 2
BioWare's space opera is a great way to spend the downtime. The PS3 version includes the previously released DLC for the Xbox 360 on the disc. Although you might not be able to use your Cerberus pass or download any new content via PSN, the main game by itself is worth blasting on through to get ready for Mass Effect 3. Even if you have already gone through the game once, it might be a good time to put some extra oomph into that save you want to import.
There's plenty to explore and shoot in Mass Effect 2. Oh, and planets to scan for resources, but no one wants to talk about that.
A lot of other games outside this list are available to boot up on the PS3 for solo play ranging from Uncharted 2, Dead Space 2, or Batman: Arkham Asylum. Even Demon's Souls is a contender, though, it does feel pretty lonely wandering its world without seeing the familiar shadows and messages from other players.
As for me, I'm hitting up a little Witcher on the PC to get ready for the Assassins of Kings sequel, which comes out later this month, along with closing up a few loose ends in Yakuza 4. I might not be able to enjoy saving Helghan from the ISA, but I can still feed desks and bikes through the teeth of criminal scum as Kiryu Kasuma.