If you're still mulling over whether games can be art or art can be games, check out this list of downloadables best enjoyed while wearing a beret, sipping an espresso and listening to The Velvet Underground.
The question of whether games can be art (or, as our own Andy Chalk asks, art can be games) is one that people will be talking about for years to come, provided the world isn't plunged into a Fallout-esque post-apocalytpic dystopia where games are no more and the GOTY contest comes down to "Tic Tac Toe in the Dirt" versus "Hangman in the Dirt." Either way, as Dracula once put it so bluntly in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, "enough talk, have at you!" Debating whether or not games can be art is certainly worthwhile, but let's not let the discussion get in the way of actually playing the damn things.
With that sentiment in mind, GamesRadar has put together a list of the best downloadable games for art lovers. With big budget games focus-tested and marketed to hell, GamesRadar says, "these days it's easier, cheaper and more relaible to turn to downloadable games for an injection of creativity." The list has most of the games you'd expect on a list like this: from conceptual arty-looking fare like Braid, fl0w and PixelJunk Eden to more decidedly game-y stuff like Rez HD and Castle Crashers, whose "keen hand-drawn art and prevalent humor...distinguishes it as one the most easily recommendable games, on any service." Other games that make appearances include PixelJunk Monsters, Flower, Everyday Shooter and more.
Aside from a handful, most of the titles here are PSN exclusives - the two PixelJunk games, Flower, fl0w (not counting the free Flash version), Echochrome and Linger in Shadows, an engimatic interactive art piece that only costs $3. The propensity of arty fare on PSN certainly speaks to Sony's credit - along with LittleBigPlanet, these titles show that they've clearly been trying some relatively edgy stuff. Whether or not that's panned out for them financially is a whole other discussion.
Still, this list's PSN-centrism does leave out a few games you'd expect to see there, like, say World of Goo, or anything from the bounty of artsy independent games that are downloadable (and often free) on the most download-friendly platform of all, the PC. Either way, it's a good time to be both a pretentious art douche and a gamer. Time to put down my glass of absinthe and copy of Finnegan's Wake and play some vidyagames. Download away!