Sackboy from Little Big Planet.
A trend in gaming that has caught on lately is user generated content. Levels, designs, and even characters created by players are shareable for everyone to take advantage of. User created content not only extends the replay value of a game, but it also gives players a creative outlet while allowing them to share their work with the rest of the world.
In no real order, here are some of the best console games around that feature user generated content.
Little Big Planet – Of course this one had to be on the list. Little Big Planet has given players the tools to create pretty much anything they can imagine in a 2D playing field. Player created levels gives Little Big Planet unlimited replay value since a player can log on and play a new level whenever they want to. While not all of the levels are great, the best ones are ranked, and every last one of them is worth played (aside from the trophy collecting levels).
Buzz – Buzz has tons and tons of questions. It also has a lot of downloadable packs with extra questions. But does it have a quiz based on the quirks of your best friend? Probably not, but since you can create your own quiz, you can have questions like “what high school did I go to?” Not only that, but you can also play other user generated quizzes. There’s anything from sports to comic books to movies, and just like Little Big Planet, the quizzes are ranked so you know which ones are the best.
Unreal Tournament 3 – The Playstation 3 version of Unreal Tournament 3 allows for user created levels as well as mods (letting you do things like pulling the camera back so it’s in 3rd person, like Gears of War, or making the game even more bloody). Some of the levels are designed for pure deathmatching fun, while others are creative places to play, such as a giant living room, or a level built with Lego blocks. If you love playing Unreal Tournament 3 and want a few new stages, they are easy to find, download, and enjoy, extending the life of this game by leaps and bounds.
Farcry 2 – Farcry 2 was a solid first person shooter, but the multiplayer mode was somewhat underwhelming. However, if you add in the fact that you can download user created levels, the multiplayer is all of a sudden better. Levels from Call of Duty and Halo started popping up, and having these levels to play around in is a lot of fun. As with most first person shooters, with deathmatching, variety is part of what keeps things fresh, so if there is a lot of variety in the levels, players will continue to play even after the adventure is finished.
Halo 3 – Halo 3 has a level editor called Forge, and while a level can’t really be created from scratch, they can be edited enough to make each creation a unique experience. Some of the more creative maps allow for obstacle courses and even races. Forge will ensure that your time playing Halo is extended enormously. Especially when you can enjoy these new wrinkles to each level with friends.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl – Super Smash Brothers Brawl is a great game in its own right, but add the fact that you can create and download levels online makes it all the better. Classic levels from past games have been recreated, so fights in Mario stages and Donkey Kong levels are no longer out of the question (stages you’ll instantly recognize). The large cast of characters will now have an equally large playground on stages to beat each other to a pulp on!
Mega Man Powered Up – The only portable game to make the list, Mega Man Powered Up is not only a great game in its own right, but the level editor adds so much to the package. Any level you can imagine, you can recreate here. Sure, the editor isn’t as robust as the one in, say, Little Big Planet, but there are some very creative and challenging levels that users have created and uploaded the Capcom’s network that you can play, so if you’re finished with the game but still have the itch to play some more Mega Man, this is the perfect solution for you.
Forza 2 – When people think of user generated content in a racing title, they probably think tracks, or even cars. That’s not the case with Forza. The user created items in this are the paint jobs on the cars. While this may sound mundane in theory, in execution, it’s pretty rad. The artists who have designed some of the cars are meticulous to an amazing degree, and the cars benefit from them greatly. Why drive a Mustang when you can drive a Mustang with the Master Chief’s mug on the hood?
Folklore – One of the earlier games of this generation that has user created content is Folklore. Levels could be designed and uploaded to a server for players to download, creating an endless stream of dungeons to be explored. While it’s not that great by today’s standards, when it came out, it was a neat idea that still holds up well enough.
Fight Night Round 4 – Fight Night Round 4 comes loaded with boxers, but as with any boxing game, it’s also missing a few. Want Oscar De La Hoya? Just search for him online. Loads of people have created him, and you can download him for free. How about Rocky Balboa? Yep, he’s in there too. As is Samuel L. Jackson, Eminem, Jack Black, and a slew of other celebrities. Want to fill your roster in Fight Night, then head over to the server and start downloading. It’s free, it’s fast, and it really helps to round out the roster with the boxers who are missing.