10) The Legend of Korra (2014)
Almost all of Platinum’s games have been met with unanimous critical praise, all except The Legend of Korra. The game seemed to have a lot of potential, as Platinum’s formula for over-the-top action seemed a perfect fit for the elemental bending of the Avatar series.
Korra was a bit of a lackluster tie-in game that didn’t have combat that felt like Platinum’s usual best, and lacked a lot of the wit and charm that the series was known for.
Korra herself is basically the only character represented from the series, as she goes through arena after arena battling enemies. Korra feels like a “light” version of your usual Platinum experience, and almost seems to lack an understanding of the core material the game is based on. It was definitely a surprising turn from Platinum’s otherwise stellar resume.
9) Anarchy Reigns (2013)
Anarchy Reigns was a bit of a mixed bag, but had some interesting ideas and mechanics. The main draw of Anarchy Reigns is the multiplayer suite with a host of modes like Tag Team, Battle Royal, Capture the Flag and Survival.
Each character has their own moveset and a wealth of destructive close quarters capabilities. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the more you play Anarchy Reigns the easier it becomes to pull off strings of combos and juggle enemies. Matches are hectic, and if you aren’t on your toes at all times during a match, it’s easy to suffer a crushing defeat.
The story mode may be a bit ridiculous, but features a diverse and interesting cast of characters. It has two different campaigns, a white and black one, focusing on Leonhardt “Leo” Victorion and Jack Cayman from Madworld, respectively. The two character stories intersect with each other at multiple points before culminating in a final red campaign.
The crazy over-the-top action vibe applies to both the story and mechanics. It feels very similar to Bayonetta in a lot of ways, but the core gameplay isn’t nearly as deep partially because of the large cast of characters. It’s a unique title that only Platinum could make, and provides some pulse-pounding excitement all the while.
8) Transformers: Devastation (2015)
Where The Legend of Korra went wrong, Transformers: Devastation gets pretty much everything right. Sporting a graphical style that looks almost exactly like the original Transformers cartoon, Devastation manages to be a great homage to the series.
The game takes place in New York City as a swarm of Insecticons emerge from below the earth wreaking havoc. The Autobots arrive on the scene to investigate, and are met by strong Decepticon resistance.
The game casts you as one of five Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack and Grimlock. They each have an assortment of melee attacks and ranged attacks and are able to change into vehicle mode at will. Executing a dodge at the right time also enters a focus mode that slows down time, similar to Bayonetta.
Platinum nailed pretty much every angle of Transformers with this game. It has the look, feel and tone that drew people to the original animation, providing an exciting combat system to match.
7) Madworld (2009)
Madworld is one of the most easily recognizable video games around, mainly for its striking black and white style. Madworld is a dark and gritty story that stars Jack Cayman, a man who has a retractable chainsaw built into one of his arms.
Jack travels to Varrigan City to take part in a recurring game show called “DeathWatch” hoping take the top spot and win a huge cash prize. The city became a host for the games after a terrorist group released a virus into the city, killing anyone it affects within 24 hours.
Madworld is split into different levels, each themed after a set created for the DeathWatch show. As players progress, they defeat enemies in absurdly brutal and ridiculous combat, with Jack using his chainsaw to perform combos and some crazy special moves. Helping to keep things fresh, multiple sections across levels task players with either collecting as many points as they can or fulfilling special objectives, like beating bosses.
Madworld is insane and brutal on every level, and the art style and soundtrack help give the game a very special style all its own. Although it is a little short, Madworld is an incredibly memorable experience the whole way through.
6) The Wonderful 101 (2013)
The Wonderful 101’s Saturday morning cartoon style belays an incredibly complicating and challenging game. The game literally feels like a fast-paced superhero cartoon, with heroic characters and plenty of masks to go around.
After earth comes under attack from a hostile alien race, the fate of the world rests in the hands of 100 superheroes known as the Wonderful Ones. Wonder Red has to join up with the others and use their combination powers to battle the alien menace.
As you advance through levels and meet other heroes, you utilize the power of “Unite Morph.” This allows your heroes to join up and become powerful weapons or items, like a sword or bridge. You draw on the Wii U’s Gamepad to select whatever formation you want, and the more heroes you have the more powerful you become.
The Wonderful 101 oozes charm at every turn, and its bright art style helps with that. Memorable character designs and a peppy soundtrack just help to make this a great superhero-focused title.
5) Infinite Space (2009)
Platinum’s first game released on the Nintendo DS in 2009 in Japan, and 2010 in the United States. It stayed largely unknown for a while, and has become incredibly hard to find in North America since.
Infinite Space is a grand space opera centered around a pilot-in-training named Yuri. It takes place several thousand years in the future, spreads out over several galaxies, and is split into two different chapters ten years apart. As Yuri discovers more about the universe and the governments within it, he gets drawn ever more into a galactic war. Infinite Space’s story is a sweeping narrative that spans all over the galaxy, and it does a better job than most games do of truly giving you the feel of an all-expansive universe.
Infinite Space allows you to craft and command your very own space ship, with over 150 designs to choose from. Character models are presented in 2D, with ship building, exploration and battles in 3D. The bulk of gameplay happens in ship-to-ship battles. Ships aren’t controlled directly in battle, but more in a point-and-click command type of way. The game definitely has a huge learning curve, and it takes a lot of patience to improve your ship and make it through difficult battles.
Infinite Space tells an entrancing story, where you literally see the main character grow up. There’s a lot of time to spend in this universe, and it’s easily Platinum’s most overlooked game.
4) Bayonetta (2010)
Bayonetta is Platinum’s most recognizable mascot, and a staple in video games now. This peppy character action game hit huge success for its deep, addictive gameplay, ridiculous story and presentation, and upbeat soundtrack. It’s no surprise that the mastermind behind Devil May Cry, Hideki Kamiya, played a big part in bringing Bayonetta around.
Bayonetta takes place in the fictional city of Vigrid. The eponymous witch wakes up after 500 years of sleep with no idea of who or what she is. Over the course of the game, Bayonetta remembers more about herself and the world, including the forces of light and dark that keep the world in balance.
Bayonetta can attack with a mix of melee and long range attacks, sporting a long list of combos and multiple weapons. She also has the ability to summon various creatures and devices as finishing moves known as “torture attacks.” Another ability known as “Witch Time” activates whenever Bayonetta perfectly dodges an attack, slowing down time for a while.
Bayonetta helped cement Platinum’s spot as one of the premier developers in the video game industry. It showed off everything great about the company’s own brand of stylish action, and gave video games another fascinating character that would go on to see even more adventures.
3) Vanquish (2010)
Just like Bayonetta, Vanquish was one of those games that showed off Platinum’s capacity for making addictive action games. The key mechanic that Vanquish played off of, though, was the Augmented Reaction Suit. This suit heavily speeds up the user’s reaction time and comes equipped with rocket boosters, allowing the user to jet and slide around all over the battlefield. Sam Gideon, a DARPA agent, uses the suit when he’s sent into the Russian Federation to rescue a scientist after a coups d’état has rocked the country.
Vanquish throws a massive amount of enemies at you at one time, luckily you have more than enough means to defeat them. An arsenal of different weapons is at your disposal, but your greatest asset is your suit. Sliding around is incredibly satisfying, and its easy to dodge, flank and outmaneuver enemies. There is a limit to your boost though, with a gauge that depletes and refills.
The story in Vanquish is a bit convoluted and difficult to follow at times, but the gameplay is really what drives this experience. The ARS suit is an incredibly addictive gameplay mechanic that never gets old, and Vanquish easily shows off the incredible gameplay experiences Platinum can provide.
2) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013)
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is more than just a crazy title for a game, it’s a crazy game in and of itself. The Metal Gear series is one of the most prolific series video games has seen to date, and its influence reaches wide. Platinum made a phenomenal character action game based off of a series known for stealth, and still managed to keep it relatively true to the source material.
Rising is set four years after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and features a stronger Raiden than we’ve ever seen before. The shadowy organization “The Patriots” has been destroyed and Private Military Corporations have turned to cyborg technology to increase their strength.
Unlike its counterpart, Rising is an action-oriented game focused on using Raiden’s immense combat skills and a unique cutting mechanic. Raiden has a host of leaping and spinning combos he can use to shred enemies, and his immense speed allows him to dash around the battlefield like lightning.
Rising also gives you full use of a “free slicing” Blade mode. When activated, this mode slows down time and allows Raiden to precisely aim his blade to hack off limbs or cut anything else he wants. Knocking a soldier into the air and then slowing time to cut precisely where you want is mechanically satisfying, making Rising’s gameplay a star, even in the midst of Platinum’s other great work.
1) Bayonetta 2 (2014)
Bayonetta 2 is one of those rare sequels that improves upon pretty much every facet of the original game. The first title certainly didn’t need much fixing, but the sequel made everything bigger, better and even more stylish.
The game picks up just a few months after the first one, and mostly focuses on Bayonetta traveling to the middle-east in order to save her friend Jeanne.
The combat system remains mostly unchanged from the first game, but is polished to the best it can possibly be. The mechanics are the same, yet everything feels tighter and smoother to use. As large as some of the set pieces were in first Bayonetta, this game somehow tops that. The story pacing and design also gets an upgrade, making everything a lot smoother as the game advances this time around.
Being released exclusively on the Wii U hasn’t even managed to put much of a dent in the series’ popularity, and Bayonetta has even landed a spot on the Smash Bros. roster now. The first Bayonetta game was quite an achievement, but the sequel takes everything that game did well and improves upon it. Bayonetta 2 shows Platinum firing on all cylinders, and making the best game they can.