Officially speaking, there are 33 games ready to play for the PlayStation 3. And - in a first for a console launch - not all of them are available on shop shelves. Eight of the 33 titles are only available from the online PlayStation Store.

So, considering that retail games cost £40 a pop, which ones should you pick up alongside (or download with) your new PlayStation 3? Here's our take on what you should be playing on your new machine.

MotorStorm

Who would have thought that this off-road racer would wind up being one of the main reasons to buy a PS3? The concept may be old hat - it's a racing game at heart. But the combination of cars, bikes and trucks, racing through canyons and deserts in a series of no holds-barred races where anything and everything can happen, is enticing and addictive.

Riders are flung from their rides and churned under the wheels of on-coming trucks; quad bikes mis-time jumps and explode in a storm of debris... PlayStation 3 flings the whole ultra-realistic shebang around the screen without breaking a sweat. And - fresh for the Euro release - there's a flawless online mode too. Buy MotorStorm and show off your PS3 properly.

Resistance: Fall of Man

A cracking FPS that pulls out all the stops in its later stages to show where all that power (and your money) went. However, earlier levels will leave you a little underwhelmed if you're a regular at Half-Life 2 or even the more atmospheric and realistic Call of Duty 3.

Yes, Resistance can feel a little contrived and flimsy (like a next-gen TimeSplitters), especially when compared to the heavyweights above. This is partly due to a tacked on, so-lightweight-as-to-be-needless storyline, and level design that betrays the game's 'winding corridor' limits. That said some mighty boss battles and sprawling open sections (Cheddar Gorge anyone?) alongside a more than capable 40-player online mode save the day.

Ridge Racer 7

We've included this, somewhat reluctantly, because Need For Speed: Carbon and the downloadable Gran Turismo HD are so disappointing. RR7 will give your HD TV the workout its been craving, especially if you sprang for a 1080p set - this is one of the few games that goes to the top HD spec and at 60fps to boot.

It looks sparkling - hard, sharp, the ultimate arcade game... That said, if you're familiar with Ridges of the past then only the online mode (with its superb constantly streaming ranking tables) will inject anything new to tempt you beyond the immediate eye candy.

Flow

Or 'flOw' if Sony has their way. This is the best of the new downloadable games and is well worth a try because: a) it looks so beautiful, b) it's highly original, and c) it's one of the few games that really gives that tilt-sensitive Sixaxis joypad something to do.

Swim around as virtual plankton, eating anything smaller than yourself. Everything you eat adds a little more to your bulk and soon you'll be chasing ever larger juicer nibbles, while avoiding being the lunch of screen-filling behemoths. There's no point to it. No 'levels' or 'end', as such. Just a strangely compulsive quest for bulk.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007

OK. We're actually going to try and convince you that this is worth buying even if you don't like golf. (And we could say the same about EA's superb NBA Street Homecourt 2007 too). Both games take the predictable gameplay that you doubtless expect and finally fuses them with the graphics that you've imagined. Woods, in particular, looks superb. The man himself is scarily realistic in his pixel incarnation and the terrain and golf-swing 'feel' are almost on a similar par.

Words by: Dan Griffiths, Editor PlayStation Technology Projects at Future