On the 20th of this month Sony has promised to show gamers the ‘future of PlayStation‘. There are many indications that they will use this event to reveal the PlayStation 4 to the world but it will be some months before the console hits retailers so if you’re looking for the best of what the PlayStation 3 has to offer in the meantime here’s a list of some of that consoles finest exclusives.
10: God of War 3
A blood soaked violent rampage through ancient Greece as the Ghost of Sparta sets out Hades-bent on revenge, in other words a normal day in the life of Kratos. But where God of War III excelled was in its powerhouse graphics and monumental scale, it’s still hard to find games that can rival some of the foes Kratos took down in God of War III.
Granted the series never exactly progressed storytelling in gaming – the plot largely consists of Kratos yelling at Hellenic deities who have slighted him somehow or other – but it’s still proffers excellent combat and sound (if aging) mechanics. While God of War: Ascension doesn’t seem to be innovating massively either, with the exception of multiplayer’s addition to the series for the first time, it still looks set to enhance the solid gameplay established in God of War and refined in God of War III.
9: Demon’s Souls
If you’ve heard of Demon’s Souls, or played its followup Dark Souls, then you’ll probably know this is one of that hardest games to come out in a very long time. You will die. And die. And, yes, die.
While that may make it seem like an unattractive prospect playing Demon’s Souls rewards you infinitely if you put the effort in and you rarely feel your deaths were undeserved. Even the tiniest mistake can see you killed. There’s no hand holding here, but if you’re up for a challenge there’s no game on this list that will challenge you quite as much as this entry from Korea.
8: Killzone 2
Not a game for those who dislike ‘brown’ shooters, Killzone 2 is nonetheless a terse and gritty FPS that continues to look stunning. There are few games that can match the detail and intricacy of Killzone 2′s war-ravaged Helghan.
Ultimately yes, the Killzone series boils down to space-marines versus space-nazis (though if you actually look at the history of the Killzone universe it’s entirely reasonable to argue that the space-marines are, in fact, the ‘bad’ guys) but Scholar Visari and the Orwellian empire he rules over make for iconic backdrops and enemies even if soldiers with glowing orange eyes isn’t exactly sensible on a battlefield.
Perhaps not as diverse as Killzone 3 the second installment in the series nevertheless remains the definitive entry in the series.
7: Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction
The first entry in the Future Series and (probably) Insomniac’s best effort on PS3 to date, Tools of Destruction is just what the doctor ordered for those of you worn out by Killzone 2′s drab environments. Tools of Destruction may lack some of the more adventurous aspects of A Crack in Time, namely Clank’s ability to manipulate time, but the game makes up for it with dynamic gameplay and some of the wittiest dialogue on PS3.
And unlike A Crack in Time, Ratchet and his small robot (or zoni for those of you who have played the series) pal are together for most of the game.
6: inFAMOUS 2
inFAMOUS 2 offers a more diverse and larger map with New Marais than the first inFAMOUS ever gave with Empire City. Cole is more powerful as well and there is a more clearly defined set of consequences to the choices you make.
The game also offers a host of user generated content to encourage you to play on after the credits roll and two markedly different endings to make you ponder how Sucker Punch can bind them together if, and when, there’s a third installment. For full enjoyment you might want to look at playing both inFAMOUS and it’s successor but the sequel is the better game and with the exception of the Batman: Arkham titles, quite possible the best superhero game of this generation.
5: Resistance 3
Resistance never achieved the status many hoped for and never became Sony’s Halo, in part because the second game sullied the franchise by stripping away much of what made the series great and diluted the experience with overblown set pieces.
But Resistance 3 is one of the most atmospheric and worthwhile shooters of this generation. Telling a far more personal story than its predecessors, the game offers some incredibly tense action sequences – a particular point of note is a boat ride early in the game that’s worth experiencing for all shooter fans. Be warned however that Resistance 3 is a more tactical shooter than many, especially on harder difficulties, when health does not regenerate but must instead be picked up from packs.
One of Resistance 3′s core assets is the dual function of it’s weapons, making it clear that this came from the same studio as Ratchet and Clank. And yes, there are ridiculously giant aliens.
4: Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain has a unique control scheme and is imperfect in several respects (plot holes for one thing). Yet it also does more than most titles to forward storytelling and provides for multiple playthroughs with myriad different outcomes.
It’s often a bleak and depressing game but it’s exciting too as the chase to catch the Origami Killer reaches its climax. Heavy Rain set many benchmarks with its plot and one would hope that lineage passes to Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls.
On the surface LittleBigPlanet is a platformer, but that’s the joy of LBP; it can be almost anything. The game that fostered Sony’s Play. Create. Share. mantra, LittleBigPlanet gives players the chance to make their own levels and while the second game offers far deeper options. In this regard, the original is perhaps better suited to newbies as there’s slightly less to get used to.
The game ships with a significant campaign by itself and of course there’s no requirement for players to make their own levels, it’s perfectly acceptable to do nothing but delve into the creations’ of others. The game is also the most family friendly one here and is perfect for designing levels and gaming with kids.
2: Metal Gear Solid 4
An older Snake shows he still has the moves in Metal Gear Solid 4. The plot may be bonkers and the cutscences the length of mini-movies, but MGS4 offers the best of Kojima and tactical espionage action. The game is also worth playing to see cyborg-Raiden in action, very much removed from his character in MGS2. Doing so will also provide context for the upcoming Rising.
The gameplay remains tight even now while Kojima’s eye for detail shines through. You owe it to yourself to play Metal Gear Solid 4.
1: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Nathan Drake, the undisputed champion of PlayStation this generation, and a lovable rogue who has had many awesome moments from the World War II German base of Drake’s Fortune to the imploding cruise liner of Drake’s Deception. But neither game quite lives up to the lofty peak that is Among Thieves.
Even from the very earliest moments, it’s clear that Drake’s second adventure is going to be a stellar gaming experience and one that every PlayStation owner should experience. Among Thieves isn’t perfect (a certain moving train based boss fight springs to mind), but it’s bloody close.
Really you should play the entire trilogy, plus Golden Abyss, if you have a Vita but if you have to choose one game to play in the franchise, or indeed, from this list, make it Among Thieves.