The PS3 had one hell of a lifespan. Starting off slow, it eventually picked up steam around 2009, and each year subsequently delivered game after game that was just terrific. From the brilliance of Naughty Dog to other PS3 classics like Ratchet and Clank, Sony crafted some fantastic titles that are a joy to play, brimming with beautiful graphics and awesome gameplay. That said, here are my top 10 PS3 games of all time.
Flower is gorgeous. Normally I’m not one to participate in the “video games as art” debate, as I think it’s petty and a pointless justification, but Flower is something else. Using the Dualshock controller to guide petals of flower through obstacles and explore the beautiful world has a peaceful quality to it that is unexplainable. Moreso than the critically acclaimed Journey, also made by thatgamecompany, Flower is a beautiful experience overflowing with atmosphere.
9. LA Noire
One of two Rockstar titles on this list, LA Noire has had players divided. Many loved the crime elements, but criticized the storytelling and the open world. I, however, loved what LA Noire was trying to do. You play as Detective Cole Phelps in the LAPD in the 1940s, solving various cases ranging from homicide to arson, as an overarching story of a serial killer develops. Sure, the open world isn’t too inspiring, but the block-by-block recreation of Los Angeles was gorgeous. The different gameplay elements from shooting to interrogating kept you busy and engaged long enough to hold your attention, and then you went onto something else. It tells a great story of love and mystery, and it’s a great reason to harshly interrogate a 10-year old child.
8. Portal 2
Valve’s Portal franchise brought us a sequel to the game in 2011, bringing with it an unforgettable cast of characters and challenging yet rewarding puzzle solving. You play as Chell, a test subject who must escape Aperture Laboratories and stop Glados with the help of Wheatley. The simply two portal gameplay was more refined here, thanks to new elements like gels and tractor beams. The game is full of humor and excellent dialogue, and although it’s a short game, it’s well worth the ride.
7. Batman: Arkham City
The Arkham franchise is one of my favorites from this generation, and Arkham City was the best of the bunch. The Dark Knight is back and he must stop the Joker and many other villains in the city-turned-prison. Gotham is a gorgeous city, full of crime and set in the harsh winter, and it’s a blast just to glide around and take in the sights. Featuring one of the best combat systems mixing timed combos and a hint of stealth, Arkham City is the refinement of a perfect franchise, and I hope to see more in the future.
6. Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time
The PS3 is somewhat lacking when it comes to family friendly fare. Besides Little Big Planet, the other heavy hitter for Sony’s younger audiences is Ratchet and Clank. A Crack in Time, released in 2009, is one of the best single player games on the PS3. Mixing awesome gunplay with tough puzzles, and an engaging story with beautiful environments, A Crack in Time earns its spot as we move into the top 5.
5. Grand Theft Auto IV
Rockstar’s critically acclaimed open world franchise hit the PS3 in 2008, in the form of GTA IV. While GTA V has been hogging the spotlight lately, it was GTA IV that told us the remarkable tale of Niko Bellic, as he tries to make it in Liberty City. With a story that features darker elements and unforgettable characters, and an open world that is both lively and brimming with content, GTA IV overtakes GTA V as the premiere open world game.
4. inFamous 2
Sucker Punch, best known for the work on Sly Cooper, had their work cut out for them making inFamous 2, and boy, did they deliver. Cole McGrath is an outstanding protagonist, he’s both complex and endearing. His super powers were even more refined in the sequel, set in the New Orleans-inspired city of New Marais, with new fire and ice powers depending on the route you take. With an unforgettable ending where you choose the outcome, inFamous 2 is a great feat of storytelling.
3. The Last of Us
Speaking of great feats of storytelling, we’re coming into the top 3. I had a hard time placing these games in the order I eventually chose, as they are all perfect 10s in my book. The Last of Us, one of the PS3’s newest games, is an astonishing game. Telling a post-apocalyptic story, it tells the tale of Joel, who must escort Ellie across the country in order to stop a virus from spreading. The story is beautiful, and Joel and Ellie’s relationship will be remembered for years to come. But The Last of Us is more than just an accomplishment in storytelling, it also features tense gameplay, as you must do whatever it takes to survive. With solid gunplay and a neat crafting system, The Last of Us’s gameplay surpasses that of other third-person survival games. Naughty Dog has made themselves a masterpiece, but there’s only a few games that can outdo them.
2. Heavy Rain
Conflicting gamers for nearly three years now, Quantic Dream’s interactive movie is, by convention’s rules, not as much a game as it is a movie. Heavy Rain features four protagonists, all under the backdrop of a serial killer who kidnaps children known as the Origami Killer. The game is spread over four people’s lives and interactions in the dark dreary city. This allows for intricate and complex storytelling. Even more, the game is very choiced base. Some of the main characters may die before you even reach the ending, which there are many of. Gameplay consists of quick button prompts and controller shakes, giving you a sense of tension and fear as you try your best to survive. Heavy Rain tells an emotional tale without getting too manipulative, and it will be remembered forever for changing the way we look at games.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted may as well be Sony’s main mascot by this point. All three games are masterpieces, but the second game kicked up the heat and features many jaw dropping unforgettable moments. Made by Naughty Dog, Uncharted 2 once again features Nathan Drake, esteemed treasure hunter. With other memorable characters like Sully and Elena watching his back, Nate gets caught up in a race around the world, chasing clues and artifacts as a more modern Indiana Jones. Visually, the game pushed the hardware to the max. Cutscenes are gorgeous and the environments you come across are wonderfully detailed, whether that be a secret temple or a mountain village. You’ll shoot, you’ll climb, and you’ll solve puzzles in the excellent action-adventure franchise that will be remembered as the PS3’s juggernaut.