Why Rock Band 3 is one of the greatest games ever made

We’re not the greatest gamers to ever grace the earth with our presence. It’s not likely that we’ll be onstage at an Intel Extreme Masters or Major League Gaming event, crushing the top 0.5% of skilled players in front of a live audience. It’s even less probable that we’ll play in front of a sold-out crowd at convention center concert, or go on tour with roadies in tow. But Rock Band 3, astoundingly, distills both these extravagant fantasies into attainable, and exhilarating, gaming moments.

We have been cheered on by a room full of people during demonstrations of percussion-based prowess. We did rank among the top spots on the XBLA leaderboards for Pro drums – and by God, we worked hard to earn it. No other game has made us feel like a celebrity in our own home, or given us the thrill of actually performing in front of our peers.

Having poured dozens of hours into the game, there are as many milestones behind as ones that lie ahead. We thought our arms would fall off after mimicking the Foo Fighters drummer for “Everlong” on Expert Pro drums – yet it may be a lifetime before we’re skilled enough to make it to the halfway point of the ridiculous “Llama” by Phish. Heck, it’s been nearly two years since we bought the game, and we’re just now starting to get into the keyboard side of things.

And bystanders become participants in their own right. There may not be an onscreen point indicator for belting out lyrics from the sidelines, but it doesn’t feel any less enjoyable than it does for the singer holding the microphone. Cheering on your buddy during an impressive solo is just as much a part of the game as playing – as is dishing out some good-natured mockery when your drunken friend warbles their way through Freddie Mercury’s vocals in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The energy that Rock Band 3 propagates through partygoers is infectious – only the must curmudgeonly company would refrain from joining the fun.

Rock Band 3 stands at the top of its genre, waiting for a challenger to oppose its reign on the rhythm game throne. The fact that it incorporates all the DLC and songs of the Rock Bands before it renders them obsolete. With Harmonix (and they community they fostered) tirelessly adding DLC to the Rock Band Network, Rock Band 3’s growing library of tracks only accentuates the appeal of its immaculate mechanics. Now, if you’ll excuse us – we’re going to take another crack at finally getting five stars on the Expert Pro drums version of Dream Theater’s “Panic Attack.”

"Why _____ is one of the best games ever made" is a weekly feature that goes through GamesRadar's list of the 100 best games of all time and highlights different titles, explaining why they're on the list, what makes them so amazing, and why we love them so much.


  • fcolon - August 23, 2012 6:46 p.m.

    my roomate's aunt makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $8682 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site...NuttÿRîçhDÖtcom
  • nintendo365 - August 23, 2012 4:04 p.m.

    This is the embodiment of why i love Rock Band 3, knowing I suck at keys is definitely not gonna stop me from doing my damndest during Llama. Next one needs to be "Why Perfect Dark is one of the greatest games of all time"
  • bamb0o-stick - August 23, 2012 6:50 a.m.

    Rock Band had a great impact on my life in appreciating music. When you play that particular instrument in a song you love, you feel an affinity and resonance with the music. It's one of those experiences that people who haven't played Rock Band will understand. When you struggle through that one insane song you realize how much skill and talent is involved with what these passionate musicians do.
  • bamb0o-stick - August 23, 2012 6:51 a.m.

    It's one of those experiences that people who haven't played Rock Band will never* understand. Edit/delete button please.
  • funster - August 23, 2012 5:48 a.m.

    RB3 is THE music game to end all music games. I mean, fantastic, ever-expanding song-list of MASTER recordings, across almost all genres, with difficulty settings that range from easily accessible for the less musically inclined to the near-realistic finger-busters for those with the chops to pull them off. The one downside probably is that you do need a pretty big and wide selection of songs if you want to really enjoy the game with your friends. Thankfully, Harmonix does not disappoint when it comes to bringing in some of the biggest band names - it's just a matter of whether one is willing to spend a load of cash for plastic instruments and DLC.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - August 23, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    Go back to Cracked, ya stupid spambot!
  • JBizFoShiz - August 22, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    Unplayed by the masses, RB3 is how you do a sequel right. Being able to import virtually every track from previous iterations. Retconning every track to now be pro drum playable. Consistently pumping new DLC tracks every week. Chorus singing, pro guitar, and keyboards. This game, and music games in general, will always have their haters. But I STILL bring my fake instruments to parties, and there is always fun to be had for a few hours with good friends. It is a co-op experience that harkens back to the split screen days of old, only pure cooperation instead of competition is needed to get those 5 star rankings. Plus, any game that appeals to the coveted hot-non-gaming-girl audience is alright by me.
  • CUFCfan616 - August 22, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    *Freddie Mercury
  • lazer59882 - August 22, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    wow. i mean. just wow. first some weird niche disney final fantasy crossover kindgom hearts game, then the over-simplified and gutted mass effect 2, and now this? is the point of these articles just to stir the pot, and get as many comments arguing with you as possible? seems like a pretty IGN tactic, if you ask me.
  • dlam - August 22, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    rofl, lazer59882 mad ^^
  • Dante1924 - August 22, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Rock band 3 is one of the best (if not, THE best) music games out there. You got the pro guitar, the keyboard, the classic drums, the microphone, all the components are here if you and a couple of friends just want to hang out and have some fun. Also, Kingdom Hearts is niche? Really? I knew it had haters, which is understandable, but by NO means is it niche, considering it had a sequel, and many, MANY side games. You are also in the minority (from what I'm aware of) that think Mass Effect 2 is not a fantastic game. Out of curiosity, what would YOU put on this list, lazer?
  • RedHarlow - August 22, 2012 4:57 p.m.

    A Disney/Final Fantasy crossover is certainly a niche, no matter how many sequels there are.
  • Dante1924 - August 22, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    I guess, but what I more meant was that it shouldn't seem so insane that Kingdom Hearts II would be considered one of the greatest games ever made, considering its success, and the same goes with Mass Effect 2 (possibly even more so). Basically, I didn't really like his attitude about this series of articles.
  • lazer59882 - August 22, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    well, get over it.
  • vent - August 22, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    Any game that has a keytar is automatically awesome
  • angelusdlion - August 22, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    cue the "l33t gam3r" rage in 3...2...1...

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