Last week, Sony announced their new console – the PlayStation 4. What better time then to take you through the ultimate collection of PS3 titles that will keep you thumbs twiddling until you can get your greasy palms on Sony’s latest creation. If you’re looking for the key points of Sony’s big announcement, head on over to this link for a full breakdown from our very own Samantha.
If you’re yet to own a PS3 then this list of titles exclusive to the console, along with the fact that there will inevitably be a price drop pretty soon, may well convince you to pick one up. So without further ado and no more gilding the lily, newbreview.com presents the guide to essential PlayStation 3 games.
The Uncharted Series
(Uncharted, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)
No other game series has ever managed to deliver the “Indiana Jones” experience anywhere near as directly as any of the games in The Uncharted series. It basically out tomb raiders Tomb Raider. Combining gorgeous level design and plenty of ultra slick platforming with an extremely tight shooter mechanic these are must play games for any gamer. Let alone all us PS3 owners. With every single game a gem, if you have to pick? Go for Uncharted 2, it really is a thing of true beauty.
The God of War Series
(God of War HD Collection vol. 1 and 2, God of War 3 and God of War Ascension)
The daddy of action games this is the high king of cool boss battles and stylish button mashing flaildom. It’s ancient Greece meets GTA in an attitude filled orgy of badassery. So slick, so cool, so over the top, it truly is EPIC. Need to play just one, go for the third installment… those Greek gods will pity the day they crossed paths with Kratos! THE definitive actioner on ANY platform.
The Killzone Series
(Killzone HD, Killzone 2 and Killzone 3)
Shooting for grownups with added grit. Think the wild west, in space, on ice, with face stabbing. Miss it at your peril. Criminally under appreciated this is one for the connoisseur I think is a fair shout for beating Halo and Gears of War right into their own, highly stylized, hats. Big boys and girls only need apply here. Oh, and if you must choose just one of these number 2 is the one to plump for, it’s a real beaut. Trust me.
Ico / Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection
If ever a game from the history of gaming deserved to be saving for the playable enjoyment of all future gamers it’s these two! (?). OK so pulling a double on you like this is a cheat, it’s two games after all, but let’s be crystal clear; Both these games are legendary, epic and pretty darned close to gaming perfection. And you can buy them in one box, so I stand by my “counts as one game” approach.
Released way back in 2008 at a time when the PS3 was sorely lacking for RPG fans. The beautiful aesthetics, stylised in a way that have caused the game to age much better than its more photo-realistic peers, Valkyria Chronicles stands as one of my highest rated RPGs of the current generation.
The tactical role-playing gameplay, couple with an interesting narrative style told through the diary of a fictional World War 2 Europe (inventively called Europa) are a dream to play through. With plenty of outlandish characters (this is heavily influenced by Japanese Anime after all) and unlockable weapons along the way, there’s plenty to keep you interested. A single run through also takes about 20 hours, so Valkyria Chronicles doesn’t beg for nearly as much time as its RPG brethren. If you’ve got a PSP, there are also two sequels available that are just as enchanting. Unfortunately the third instalment was only ever released in Japan, so you’d better brush up alphabets if you’re hoping to play.
Whilst the first Infamous was fun, if a little repetitive, the second instalment brought with it an accomplished melee mechanic (complete with a pylon-like sword-come-baseball bat) and an entirely new setting; that of New Marais.
The story does follow directly from the first game, so you might miss a few of the more poignant plot points if you dive straight into the sequel. That being said, the game begins with a fairly competent retelling of how it all went down and how this Cole fellow ended up as the world’s most literal ‘electrician’.
The dark foreboding setting of Empire City is magnified in the partially flooded new locale, and the varied enemy types keep things interesting as you progress through the story. Add to that a karma mechanic that changes both your powers and the storyline itself, and you’ve got yourself a fun third-person action/adventure game with plenty of replay value. You can pick up a collection bundle which includes the first game, sequel and stand-alone downloadable title – inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood from all good games retailers.
Journey completely changed my perspective on what a game can be, we’ve seen “Art Games” before but Journey significantly raised the bar. Journey is more about the experience and the emotional investment you have in a game, the actual gameplay is minimal, but the impact it will have on you is monumental. What you get is a visual and aural masterpiece which is an absolute joy to play. It draws you in deep, infecting you with a need to explore and solve simple puzzles. It’s inspirational, universally appealing and fantastically original. For such a short game it manages to pack quite a punch.
From the incredibly talented UK studio Ninja Theory, who have since gone on to make the equally brilliant Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC: Devil May Cry, Heavenly Sword was an early PS3 game that truly showed off the console’s potential. Featuring massive crowds of enemies, smooth yet brutal gameplay and unparalleled motion captured performances from a number of talented British actors, including Andy Serkis, Steven Berkoff and Richard Ridings, Heavenly Sword took the familiar hack and slash adventure game and produced something unlike anything we had ever seen before.
Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain is yet another prime example of the PlayStation brand’s willingness to support unusual games. With a compelling story that is told from the perspective of four main playable characters, each somehow involved in the case of a deranged serial killer, Heavy Rain made excellent use of a divisive gameplay mechanic, the quick time event (QTE). Throughout the game button prompts would appear in screen, and failing performing these action as quickly as possible could have severe ramifications on the direction of the narrative. With multiple endings, and dozens of different branching patches to wander down, Heavy Rain is an uncommon thing, a gripping and compelling game that is driven almost entirely by its narrative.
Sackboy has become something of a PlayStation mascot, and for good reason. Media Molecule’s original creation centric game, LittleBigPlanet, tasks players with making their own platforming games. The sequel, LittleBigPlanet 2, broadened the creative horizons by allows players to make more varied types of games, including racers and shooters. A mainstay of the series is British national treasure Stephen Fry whose rich voice offers reassuring words of encouragement along every step of the creation process. In this day and age, where the average game only spends a few weeks in a gamer’s console before they move on, the LittleBigPlanet series is still one of the most regularly played PS3 titles out there.
Ni no Kuni
The PS3 is already home to a number of great Japanese role playing game (JRPG) franchises, but easily one of the most impressive is Level 5′s collaboration with legendary animation house Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking that it was a children’s game, but there’s more to Ni no Kuni than meets the eye. While the narrative is entirely appropriate for children there’s a great deal of depth that would appeal to gamers of all ages, never mind the fact that the game can be so challenging at times. If you’re looking for a lengthy and engaging game then you could do much worse than trying out Ni no Kuni.
Further PS3 buying tips
Which version? – There is very little difference between each model of PS3. Every one is capable of playing any PS3 game on the market and has complete access to all online functionality. Our advice would be to steer clear of the bulky original design console, purely because of the age of the thing; a newer console in our experience is less likely to break.
Move – Don’t bother with PlayStation Move. You’ll notice from our list of essentials that not one of them is a Move title. The motion control system, whilst an interesting idea, has proven to be under-supported by games developers in general. If you’re already the unlucky owner of the wand and eyetoy pairing, the best game to get is arguably Sports Champions or Sports Champions 2.
HD – If you’re yet to experience the thrill of playing games in HD, what have you been doing for the last five years? HD televisions are more affordable than ever before and with the (relative) budget price of the PS3 super slim, you can now pick up and HD TV and the console for less than the cost of the PS3 when it launched. Isn’t that neat?
DVD upscaler – If you’ve followed the previous tip and invested in an HD cable, you’ll be glad to know the PS3 does a pretty good job of up-scaling all of your DVDs to near HD quality.
3D – Do you own a 3D capable TV? Then you owe it to yourself to use the PS3 to take full advantage of it. As Sony was so keen to get 3D technology into the living room almost every recent PlayStation exclusive (as well as a number of notable third party titles such as Arkham City and Mortal Kombat) have had an optional 3D mode. Of course the PS3 is capable of playing 3D Blue ray movies as well, including recent hits such as The Avengers and Prometheus.