Cloud gaming and subscription services like Game Pass are all the rage in modern gaming. Accessibility sells- whether you’re a developer or a consumer. The use of AMD APUs that are essentially slightly customized versions of existing hardware means that developers have a much easier time coding for these consoles.
In addition, PC ports of console titles take less time and money to develop if both platforms share similar hardware. As a gamer, you get the benefit of being able to share the game across multiple devices with friends and family. Novelties like the second display on a Nintendo DS or the Cell processor on a PS3 are definitely interesting from a technical standpoint.
But in the end, accessibility makes more sense if we’re talking economics and logistics. It comes with its downsides though, since a lot of the PS4 1st-party titles feel homogenized and bland. That’s the result of appealing to a broad audience which eventually results in a more “casual” experience.
Think of it, how many modern PlayStation games fall into the 3rd-person over-the-shoulder action adventure category? Uncharted, The Last of Us, God of War, etc., and the list goes on. They sell tons of copies, nobody is denying that.
But we just don’t see the same level of innovation and risk-taking in the AAA sphere these days from Sony. This is something they used to have in the PS2 and PS3 generations. Back in those days, gamers would see tons of excellent AA and AAA releases spanning a wide variety of genres on a yearly basis.
On that note, here are the 60 best PlayStation 3 (PS3) games of all time that you must play to celebrate an excellent console generation. PS3s are still fairly easy to find on the used market if you skipped that era of gaming during your childhood. Or you can use emulation, provided your PC is powerful enough.
The Last of Us
Zombie apocalypse flicks and games have been around since the 1960s when they grew up alongside horror/ sci-fi. However, this game isn’t your typical zombie murdering simulator in which the player character mows down hordes of undead with shotguns and grenades. Instead, it’s about the relationship between a father and his surrogate child.
Joel (the protagonist) lost his daughter when the zombie outbreak happened. We see him 2 decades later, working as a smuggler- shifting weapons and other supplies between quarantine zones. On one of his assignments, he discovers some unusual cargo.
Ellie, a teenage girl was being transported by one of the tyrannic post-apocalyptic militias. Joel rescues her and it is discovered that she has some sort of natural immunity to the virus. The rest of the game is about Joel and Ellie working together to survive, as both zombies and humans try to hunt them down.
Batman: Arkham City
There have been several Batman games, ever since the 16-bit days. However, none came close to the production value and depth of the new Warner Bros. Arkham series. You’ll know why if you just look at the writing staff for this game.
Paul Dini who worked on the Batman animated series and several DC comic books is also the writer for Arkham City. The authentic story combined with action-focused combat that is easy to execute, yet satisfying to watch makes for one hell of a game. You also do plenty of detective work and sneaking using some of Batman’s famous gadgets (after all, he is the world’s greatest detective).
If you love retro games and intrested in PlayStation 1 as well than you must check out my other list Top 50 All-time PlayStation 1(PS1) Games That You Must Play
Grand Theft Auto IV
Now, the American Dream is something that has been exploited in both movies and video games for a very long time. The story of a nobody rising from rags to riches while navigating through a world ruled by underhanded thugs and corrupt politicians never gets old. And GTA has been improving on this formula ever since the 3rd game.
GTA IV is more of the same, but with a much larger world and more detail than you’ve ever seen in any previous GTA title. The story is pretty mature and manages to blend serious stuff with goofy humor in a way that is refreshing.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Many people like to call the new Tomb Raider Trilogy an Uncharted rip-off because both play similarly. Makes sense, since Naughty Dog uses the same underlying framework for both Uncharted and Tomb Raider. However, the Uncharted series itself was inspired by Lara Croft and her adventures in the original Tomb Raider games.
In a way, Uncharted 2 is the best example of Naughty Dog taking the Tomb Raider formula and perfecting it. You’ve got an interesting story about ancient artifacts and treasures featuring a cool protagonist who dispenses snarky quips while dispatching waves of heavily-armed enemies.
Uncharted 2 combines the platforming of Assassin’s Creed with some Indiana Jones-inspired action, set in exotic locations around the world. You feel like you’re playing an interactive Hollywood treasure-hunting blockbuster.
Hey, if you like JRPGs with dungeon crawling and high-school drama you might want to give the Persona series a try. Of all the games in this legendary franchise from Atlus, Persona 5 is regarded by many to be the best. It follows a similar theme to previous games, but this time your character is a transfer student who has recently been put on probation in Tokyo over murder charges.
If you love retro games and intrested in PS2 as well than you must check out my other list Top 50 All-Time Playstation 2 (PS2) Games That You Must Play
Valve doesn’t make games anymore; they just make money from selling stuff on Steam. But believe it or not, there was a time when this company was famous for developing revolutionary first-person titles such as Half-Life and Portal. Valve inspired an entirely new form of interactive storytelling that makes the player feel like they’re in the game, rather than watching events play out from the outside.
Portal 2 is a puzzle game in which you can use a special gun to open teleportation gates, using these to travel between locations. It has a really good plot that keeps you guessing until the end, with some fairly interesting twists and turns along the way.
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
The legendary 3D platformer gets a fresh new coat of paint, with some fun mechanics that will keep you coming back for more. A Crack in Time introduces the Time Pad, which is a device that Ratchet can use to “record” his actions for up to one minute. Then, Clank will play these back while the real Ratchet is engaging in something else.
These time-traveling doppelgangers can be used to fight enemies, solve puzzles, etc. Exploration has also been revamped since your spaceship can freely travel between various zones on the map. This lets you approach quests and challenges like any true open-world game.
This might seem like a basic platformer at first. But once you start looking at all the possibilities for content creation and sharing, it becomes clear that LittleBigPlanet 2 is actually a sandbox. Every single user-created level has been carried over from the first game (there are a few million of these), and you can now create your own video clips.
Enemy and level design tools have been improved, plus you aren’t restricted to platforming-style levels anymore. You can now experiment with everything from racing to roleplaying.
If you love retro games and are interested in PSP as well then you must check out my other list Top 60 All-Time PSP Games That You Must Play
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V is the 2nd best-selling video game of all time after Minecraft, and Rockstar has shipped over 165 million copies. The game still has an extremely large and active player base thanks to its online mode in which people do just about anything. Its campaign takes a different approach from prior GTA titles, by switching between 3 different protagonists (all 3 have unique quests that are interlinked with the main story).
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Some say this is the last “true” Assassin’s Creed game that maintains the original trilogy’s spirit. Nowadays, Assassin’s Creed has transformed into a pseudo-action-RPG with elements lifted straight out of games such as Witcher 3. Anyways, what makes Brotherhood so special?
Well, we return to Desmond Miles reliving the memories of his ancestor Ezio through the Animus. This time, the game takes you to Rome in the late 15th century. The city features historically accurate monuments and architecture, rendered beautifully to create an authentic atmosphere that draws you into the world.
Apart from aesthetics and atmosphere, Brotherhood is also the first Assassin’s Creed game to make you feel like you’re part of a larger movement. You can save NPCs from the Roman papal troops, send them to training camps, and call upon them to assist you during missions.
Games journalists often rate difficulty in modern AAA titles by comparing them to Dark Souls. It is widely regarded as a very difficult game that requires tons of time and patience in order to master. However, there is more to Dark Souls than its difficulty and annoying unfair enemies.
For starters, the game’s design is reminiscent of an era during which developers didn’t hold your hands and let you experiment freely with the world. You’re given tools to play with and a giant world filled with various activities, the rest is for you to figure out over time. Plus, the narrative isn’t told via conventional means.
Instead, you read through it at your own leisure. A lot of lore is hidden away inside scrolls and NPC dialogue. Piecing together all the bits of info, you get a story.
Red Dead Redemption
Even though this cowboy action adventure was released over a decade ago, it still looks excellent to this day. If we talk about gameplay, Red Dead Redemption easily exceeds most modern adventure games in terms of scope and depth. The world is incredibly detailed, filled to the brim with interesting and memorable characters.
Ultra Street Fighter 4
This is an updated version of the original Street Fighter IV game which was initially released in 2008. More accurately, it’s a remake of the Arcade Edition which contains Yun and Yang from Street Fighter III (along with Evil Ryu and Oni). There are some new EX moves and balance changes compared to the base game, along with extra stages and game modes.
Resistance is a first-person shooter series featuring an alternate timeline during which aliens invaded the Earth in the 1950s. These aliens are called Chimera and they transform humans into mutated super soldiers who function as expendable slaves. A small group of fighters has been assembled from all parts of the world to fight back against this alien takeover, and it’s called the Resistance.
The 3rd Resistance stands out compared to its predecessors because it plays less like a typical action shooter and more like a horror survival game. Weapons can now be upgraded, both through new parts as well as experience gained from combat. There are new enemy types along with returning mechanics/ weapons from the first game.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
For this one, Naughty Dog studios really went all-out (despite the team splitting up to work simultaneously on The Last of Us and Uncharted). They did a lot more motion capture and field research to create realistic levels and animations, resulting in one of the best-looking Uncharted games ever made. Developers studied the works of archeologist T.E. Lawrence and visited lots of deserts/ jungles to get inspiration for the in-game world.
Hideki Kamiya created Devil May Cry during his tenure at Capcom and founded PlatinumGames upon leaving the company. He created Bayonetta, which is a spiritual successor to DMC with similar over-the-top action, stylish protagonists, and cheesy dialogue. In fact, Bayonetta was released soon after DMC IV and it bears a lot of similarities to that game in terms of character/ level design.
Devil May Cry IV
Bayonetta was designed to be an improvement over the DMC formula, with faster-paced action and more dynamic fighting styles. However, it’s hard to beat the original, and DMC IV is considered to be one of the best DMC games ever (right alongside 3). It is unique since you start out as Nero, a kid with a demonic arm who seems to be related to Dante.
You can also play as Dante in later levels, and there are a ton of cool weapons to unlock. Pandora’s Box, Gilgamesh, Lucifer, etc. are some of the notable weapons that you get after defeating bosses. This time, the enemy is a demonic cult led by a shady priest who worships the Dark Knight Sparda as their Savior.
The developers for Bioshock are former Looking Glass Studios employees, who worked on games like Thief. They really know how to craft a gripping narrative with intriguing characters. The level design for this game is inspired by a mix of Art Deco and dieselpunk.
It has this retro-futuristic vibe going on, with some magical elements tossed in for extra variety. The gameplay is comprised of first-person shooting with some roleplaying elements mixed in. The story explores concepts of morality and philosophy.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
The 4th Call of Duty game is one of the best in this long-running series and it is still talked about fondly to this day. So popular and genre-defining was CoD 4 that many other FPS games between the 2007- 2012 period copied storytelling/ gameplay elements from it. Regenerating health, hit indicators, weapon attachments, linear story-driven action sequences, etc. are some of the things implemented by Modern Warfare.
All these things existed prior to CoD 4 but it integrated and popularized them to the point where they have now become a mainstay of modern military shooters. Modern Warfare is one of the last Call of Duty games to have a memorable campaign alongside an excellent multiplayer mode.
Criterion Games are masters of fast-paced vehicular action, evident from their work on the Burnout series (which carried over into Need for Speed Hot Pursuit). Burnout Paradise is a refinement and evolution of the Takedown formula.
You still beat up enemy vehicles in creative ways while pulling off reckless stunts on the streets, but this time it’s way more open-world with larger city levels. Plus, there is a wider range of vehicles (bikes were added in a patch) along with new racing modes compared to any prior Burnout title.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you’re in any way keeping up with gaming-related news for the past decade, you’ve at least heard a couple of Skyrim memes. Even gamers who haven’t played this legendary fantasy RPG have experienced it in some other form. A lot of modern RPGs are inspired by the quest layout and character leveling system of Skyrim.
It’s the latest Elder Scrolls title, despite having been released all the way back in 2011. There are endless mods for this game to keep it fresh and constantly evolving. You can download mods that improve graphics, mods that add new features, and even mods that let you play as a Thomas the Tank Engine.
As far as RPGs go, few have managed to achieve the Earth-shattering success of Blizzard’s Diablo 3 which sold 3.5 million copies within the first 24 hours. It features randomized attributes for equipment and several tiers of weaponry/ armor. Higher-tier weapons have better stats, but in addition to that, they also have gem sockets and randomized special buffs.
The first Mass Effect is a timeless gem of an RPG. And it only gets better with every passing year when compared to the bland, homogenous, AAA produce of the modern gaming industry. In Mass Effect, you can be a white knight in shining armor or a dark anti-hero.
Writing and atmosphere are two of the biggest strengths this game has. Every character has a unique story that takes you to far-away galaxies and settlements across the universe. Combat is squad-based and there are several character classes, each with its own special skills and attributes.
Mass Effect 2
For Mass Effect 2, Blizzard leaned more towards an action-packed FPS style of gameplay. They cut away some of the stat-heavy RPG elements from the first game but it still retains an excellent plot. The planet exploration system has been casualized.
You now sit inside the ship and send probes from a computer screen to scan a planet for resources rather than actually piloting a vehicle on its surface. Weapons require “heat clip” changes, which in practice is basically ammo reloading.
People in your squad have loyalty quests, a new addition that wasn’t present in the first game. Completing these loyalty quests will strengthen the bond between them and Shepard, unlocking a “special” skill for the respective team member.
Another excellent sci-fi game that was released around the same time as Mass Effect. While Mass Effect is an RPG, this one is pure survival horror. It’s Resident Evil in space, with all sorts of terrifying zombie creatures that are trying to rip your head from your body.
Every part of Dead Space is designed to bore into your mind and instill a sense of fear. Ammo is in short supply, and enemies deal vast amounts of damage with each strike. Caution is advised as you walk through corridors and rooms without knowing what is waiting for you in the darkness.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Some regard this to be the best Metal Gear Solid game of all time. In terms of gameplay and actual stealth elements, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a superior experience. However, the narrative and characters of MGS 4 make it stand out from most other games in the series, even the legendary MGS 2 pales in comparison.
God of War III
Kratos is back to kick some heavenly butt, and he is more pissed off than ever before. God of War III uses the same combo-based hack ‘n slash combat system as its predecessors, but with a few new tricks and weapons to keep you entertained. You’ll fight all sorts of mythological creatures like centaurs, harpies, sirens, etc. on your journey through palaces, gardens, mountains, and even the Underworld.
Assassin’s Creed II
It is an evolution of the parkour and combat system from the 1st AC game, with a higher focus on action. Assassin’s Creed 2 retains the same social stealth mechanics that require you to blend in with the crowd and strike out during brief windows of opportunity. The Animus now provides historical context and facts regarding various events in the game, plus your health only recovers from minor injuries (series wounds require a visit to the doctor).
A new disarming system has been added which lets you avoid your enemy’s attack at the last moment and steal their weapon to deliver an instant killing blow. You also receive a miniature hidden flintlock alongside dual assassin blades that pop out from underneath your sleeves.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
It plays much like previous Ratchet & Clank titles and is a follow-up to Size Matters. This is also one of the few PS3 games that takes advantage of the Sixaxis controller motion sensors. You can tilt it to control Ratchet while he’s flying with Clank.
In addition to weapons that gain experience through combat, you can now acquire shards that introduce unique upgrades to these weapons apart from their normal upgrade tree. Another new addition is the use of devices that perform a utilitarian function.
They don’t normally damage enemies directly but assist you in taking them out. For example, there’s a gadget that works like a disco ball and forces all enemies with a small area to start dancing while Ratchet does whatever he wants.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
This is the 4th Elder Scrolls and a sequel to Morrowind. Oblivion is crafted from the same open-world mold as previous Elder Scrolls titles, with a focus on player choice and freedom to complete quests in any order. There are 7 main skills or abilities that you choose for your character, with new skills added on through the course of your playthrough.
Dark Souls II
Often regarded as the “black sheep” of the Dark Souls series, it is both praised and criticized by fans who consider it to be beneath the first and third Dark Souls. However, Dark Souls 2 retains that spirit of adventurism and thrill that flows through all Soulsborne titles. Stamina refills slowly compared to the first game and your health is reduced permanently upon each death.
Street Fighter IV
I’ve already mentioned the Ultra edition before, but let’s talk about vanilla Street Fighter IV and why you should play it. Firstly, this game feels like a spiritual successor to the 2nd Street Fighter (specifically, the Turbo version). Secondly, it reintroduces the 6-button control layout.
Finally, you can launch counterattacks by holding the medium punch and medium kick buttons down simultaneously. First, you take a stance that lets you absorb an attack from the enemy. Then, you do a charge strike based on how long you held down both buttons (at maximum duration, the enemy can’t block your counterattack).
Just like the first two Bioshock games, Infinite explores themes of American Exceptionalism and struggles between tyranny/ liberty. This game does its own thing, despite being linked to the 1st Bioshock in terms of lore. It takes place in 1912, in a floating city called Columbia in which a former Pinkerton detective is on a mission to find Elizabeth- a young woman with special powers.
Mass Effect 3
The end to a flawed, but amazing sci-fi RPG trilogy, Mass Effect 3 was rightfully criticized upon release for its lackluster ending and unsatisfying plotline. Sure, you have many returning characters from the first 2 games, some with really interesting side quests. However, the gameplay feels different- it’s closer to Gears of War rather than prior Mass Effect titles.
The atmosphere feels dour and pessimistic rather than thrilling or entertaining. I guess it’s supposed to be like that because the entire game is leading up to Armageddon, with all sentient life being wiped out by the Reapers.
But I really missed the excellent dialogue and optimistic nature of the first game. It’s not a bad game, but a bad Mass Effect game which is why I ranked it much lower than the other two.
The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
Both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were developed by the same team and originally released on PS2. This collection is a remaster of those games for the PS3, with improved graphics and framerates. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are two entirely different games in terms of mechanics and overall design.
In Ico, you have a simple “boy meets girl” story with minimal action and dialogue. In Shadow of the Colossus, you have a lot more combat and platforming with an open-world design featuring giant Titan-like creatures who must be defeated. Each creature is unique and has a weakness that you must find out.
Rock Band 2
Rocking out with your friends has never been better unless you guys have an actual garage band or something similar. Rock Band 2 lets you roleplay as a band member, and it’s very different from something like Guitar Hero which is more of a solo act. In Rock Band, you’ve got support for all sorts of instruments and members.
Rock Band 2 is like the first game, but with new modes and songs. It also adds better support for drum and guitar controllers. In Rock Band 2, you can even host online world tours and sell virtual merchandise.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
Well, it’s the old familiar Pac-Man that we all love. But this time, it features a new coat of paint and some extra features bolted on top to keep things interesting. There are special bombs that send ghosts to a regeneration area, along with sleeper ghosts who get activated once you stroll by them.
We once again return to the planet of Pandora with a new quirky group of characters. These new vault hunters are trying to stop Handsome Jack who is a tyrannical psychopath trying to harness the power of vaults towards his goals of world domination. Much like the first game, Borderlands 2 has a procedural loot generator that can come up with an infinite combination of weapon and gear types.
Killzone is a sci-fi FPS set in the 24th century in an alternate universe where humanity has been divided into warring factions. The original game’s protagonist is now back but he is a supporting character. In Killzone 2, you play Tomas “Sev” Shevchenko who is leading a Vektan military campaign into Helghan.
For those unfamiliar with the lore, Helghan is a futuristic space colony inhabited by mutated humans called Helghast. They are taller, stronger, and smarter than normal humans. The Vektans are inhabitants of Vecta, an agricultural colony that’s ruled by a space version of the UN.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Joker lures Batman into his trap and shuts him inside the Arkham Asylum which is a giant prison city. And it’s filled to the brim with all sorts of maniacs, thugs, and mutants who have had unpleasant past “encounters” with the caped crusader. Meanwhile, Joker is hatching a plot to blow up key locations in Gotham City with hidden bombs, and Batman must escape from the Asylum to stop him.
Far Cry 3
Ever since Ubisoft released this game, every subsequent Far Cry has been a failed attempt to replicate its success. With the potent combination of a scenic island setting, bushcraft mechanics, and excellent gunplay, Far Cry 3 became an instant hit. It also features a memorable antagonist- Vaas, who was played by a very charismatic actor (Michael Mando).
MLB 11: The Show
Are you a fan of baseball or someone who occasionally views the sport on TV? Well, you might want to check out the officially licensed MLB game. This game is a further iteration of the popular MLB formula that has been around since 1997 with the first MLB game for PlayStation.
This is the first Fallout game made by Bethesda, and one of the better products that Todd Howard has made in his long career. Fallout 3 presents the game from a first-person view, unlike the first two games which were basically digital tabletop RPGs with top-down views. Fallout 3 also uses real-time combat and features a fairly open-ended approach to quests/ level design.
When Okami was released for the PS2, it wasn’t exactly a commercial success. That’s because this wasn’t a straightforward action game in which you pointed a gun at people or drove cars. Instead, it’s a game in which you draw figures with your paintbrush to summon spells and creatures.
There are demons to fight, but you do it all via your brush instead of engaging them directly. The main character is Amaterasu, the sun goddess (a Japanese mythological figure). She has taken the form of a white wolf and is on a quest to defeat the leader of the demons, known as Yami.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
The earth has been invaded by a race of super-advanced space-faring aliens looking to exploit our planet for its natural resources. As a response, world governments have banded together to create a special paramilitary group called XCOM. Your goal is to carry out infiltration, reconnaissance, rescue, and escort missions across the globe by putting together teams of operatives, each with their own unique skillsets and specialties.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
In an alternate universe, the Nazis won WW2 and have taken over every country on the planet. They force people to learn German, discriminate against ethnic minorities, and persecute anyone who isn’t a member of the “superior” race. The New Order is about an infiltration force led by a group of resistance fighters, featuring our favorite Nazi killer William “B.J.” Blazkowicz.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 continues the story of the first game. It features a more grizzled Isaac who is on a quest to find out more about the ominous Markers and their influence on humans. New enemy types and weapons have been added to spice up the gameplay, although Visceral has toned down the horror element in favor of more action.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Also known as Deus Ex 3, it features an entirely different plot from the original duo. However, this Deus Ex does take place in the same universe as the original games. It’s sort of like a prequel, featuring a new protagonist called Adam Jensen.
He starts out working security for a biomechanical research firm called Sarif Industries which makes augmentations. The world is in a state of chaos, with government officials and people trying to regulate the proliferation of augmentations. Everyone is split between two camps- natural humans and those who are augmented.
This is a prequel to the other Yakuza games and is set in 1980s Japan which was going through a massive economic boom. The game takes place in Kamurocho, a pleasure district, and shows Kiryu working as a collections man for a sleazy loan firm. He is framed for the murder of a man and gets tied up with a deep plot involving several factions from different Yakuza clans and cities.
In terms of storytelling and gameplay, Yakuza 0 is by far the best of the entire series. It has tons of side quests to keep you occupied for days or even weeks. You can run your own real-estate business while betting money on underground catfights.
There is an entire remote-controlled pocket car racing league in addition to discos and bars filled with little minigames such as darts, pool, etc. If you want, you can even enter a telephone club to romance anonymous girls (and possibly meet up with them, resulting in surprising outcomes).
Taking place shortly after the events of Yakuza 4, it shows Kiryu as a cab driver in Fukuoka. Now living under a false identity and away from the orphanage that he helped run in Yakuza 3, hiding his history as a Yakuza legend. One day, the 6th chairman of the Tojo Clan (Daigo) approaches him for advice.
Shortly afterward, Daigo goes missing and Kiryu is caught up in rescue efforts after being approached by two of Daigo’s personal bodyguards. There are a lot of rumors as to who did the supposed kidnapping. And it’s all leading up to a large-scale Yakuza war between thousands of members from all over Japan.
Kiwami (meaning extreme) is a remake of the first Yakuza game which was originally released for PS2 in 2006. The original Yakuza was a spiritual successor to Sega’s visionary Shenmue series of pseudo-open-world RPGs featuring martial arts and Japanese culture. Kiwami takes everything the original did and adds some new elements on top.
Firstly, it uses the exact same engine and combat system as Yakuza 0 (which is a good thing). This time, you have your Dragon of Dojima style available right from the start. However, Kiryu has spent 10 years in prison and his skills are rusty so Majima will help him build back the legendary strength he once had.
Much like Yakuza 0, Kiwami has a ton of minigames. There is a card-based arcade game called MesuKing (basically a reskinned catfight club from Yakuza 0) that is part of a really interesting side story.
Pocket Circuit also makes a comeback, with Majima being your arch-nemesis. Talking of Majima, you have random encounters with him in his various forms (similar to Mr. Shakedown in 0), and beating him unlocks new Dragon of Dojima skills.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
This game is the latest installment in the mainline Metal Gear Solid series (no, Survive doesn’t count because it’s an abomination). And in terms of pure gameplay, it is easily one of the best in the entire Metal Gear franchise. Sure, the AI isn’t very good and some of the stages can get repetitive.
But it is saved by an excellent narrative and massive open-world levels that can be explored for hours on end. The gunplay and stealth mechanics are rock solid, creating an excellent foundation for the rest of the game.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Wrath of the White Witch is a remake of a DS game called Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn. Once again, you control Oliver- a little boy searching for his mother across a vast fantasy land. You can travel from one location to another using all 3 means- land (foot), sea (boat), and air (dragon).
The art design is genuinely some of the most beautiful stuff I’ve ever seen in a game. Every character looks alive and bubbling with charisma. All of the animated scenes were done by Studio Ghibli which adds an additional layer of charm and uniqueness to this adventure game.
An open-world action adventure similar to Prototype, based on a DC comic book character. Infamous 2’s protagonist is Cole McGrath- a superhero with the power to control electricity (same as the first game). You can bend these electrical energies in various ways, using them for moving, attacking, and defending.
A little-known indie title Journey doesn’t have epic boss fights, explosions, shootouts, or car chases. It’s not a game that requires a lot of skill to play, nor is it particularly complex. While it does have platforming elements, there are no enemies or interactive objects.
In a sense, this is a walking simulator. But I’d be lying if I said it isn’t one of the most engaging games you’ll ever play. The game is about a nameless robed figure walking across the desert to reach a distant mountain.
Its music and environment inform you about this world’s past. In a sense, it’s like Limbo- no dialogue or cutscenes but plenty of narrative value to be soaked in from the surroundings.
Vincent Brooks is an urbanite and a loner, who’s single but has had relations with several women throughout his adult life. Catherine is split into 2 sections- daytime and night. During the day, Vincent walks around the city and interacts with people (it’s like a social simulator).
While asleep, he has nightmares in which he has to run across a virtual landscape comprised of disintegrating blocks that form towers. The opportunities you’re provided in this mode are affected by choices you made during the daytime.
Fallout: New Vegas
You might think I’m being overly judgmental by placing New Vegas at number 47 on my list. However, it’s not because the game itself is bad. Instead, it’s due to the terrible condition in which Obsidian released their PS3 port.
Think of how buggy and glitch-ridden the initial PC release was before it was injected with a bazillion patches and mods. The PS3 version is even worse with frequent frame hitches, freezes, save issues, etc. From a storytelling and gameplay standpoint, New Vegas is unrivaled.
However, you also have to be able to play the game. If it doesn’t work, the quality of its story and gameplay won’t do much for you.
Dishonored is the brainchild of Harvey Smith- a former Ion Storm employee who worked on the original Deus Ex. It has this unique art design and theme that’s clearly inspired by impressionist paintings and 14th-century London architecture. Intended to be a spiritual successor to the Thief series, Dishonored is a first-person stealth game.
However, it also lets you take a much more action-oriented route if you so desire. There are magical powers that let you teleport, shift into a different form, call an army of plague-ridden rats, etc. Many criticize the game for not being “true stealth” and having a mute protagonist, but it’s still pretty good despite these shortcomings.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
In a way, this is a prequel to the 3rd Assassin’s Creed game with you playing as Edward Kenway- grandfather of Connor, who’s the protagonist from Assassins’ Creed 3. Edward starts out as a Welsh privateer and eventually turns into a pirate. He is also the father of Haytham Kenway, a Templar Grand Master.
Black Flag introduces several seafaring elements to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. You have your very own pirate ship and crew, can engage in maritime combat with other ships, and loot bounty. Members can be recruited from various locations across the map by completing quests and favors, plus you can freely explore islands for treasures.
It’s like an interactive 1950s detective movie, with all the classic noir elements. You play as a WW2 veteran who now works as a cop in L.A., climbing through the ranks and solving all sorts of cases in various departments. You start out as a regular beat cop, upgrading to detective by solving a murder case.
There are 4 departments in the detective agency of the LAPD- traffic, homicide, vice, and arson. Each deals with a unique type of crime and offers new challenges. You’ll also get different partners as you move through the various departments.
The PlayStation 3 represents a bygone era of gaming during which concepts like “always-online” and “cross-platform” were mere thoughts in someone’s mind. It’s also the last PlayStation console to have truly exotic hardware, unlike the PS4 and PS5 which are essentially x86 PCs running a custom OS. Just look up how much the Cell processor cost to develop and what it was intended to accomplish.
Sony, IBM, and Toshiba were all involved in its development with each faction basing the design on their own unique requirements. Due to this, we got a chip with immense potential, but also a platform that was notoriously hard to develop games for. And that’s why the PS3 suffered from a lack of good exclusives at the start of its lifespan, with Xbox nabbing all the good studios.
Talking of exclusives, that’s also something we see fewer of these days. I mean, PS4 had some really good ones but many of them are getting ported to PC. Microsoft’s Xbox team has pretty much given up on the concept since you can play all their big AAA 1st-party releases on both Xbox and PC.