If you’re a die-hard Sony fan, then you’re going to love this list of the best PS3 exclusives as though it were your favourite child or sibling.
Sony has always made phenomenal exclusive titles for its consoles right from the word go. Sure, they open the door for multiple devs and third-parties to do their stuff, but at the end of the day, their official games are always the best.
Plus, with many of the titles in this best PS3 exclusives list racking up millions of sales, you don’t just have to take out word for it. I guess you can’t argue with numbers (even if you do try to argue with me).
So, let’s crack on and take a look at the best PS3 exclusives that the Retro Dodo team has played to death over the years. Take it away, Mr Hayabusa!
20. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (2009)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 kickstarts this list of the best PS3 exclusives, championing humongous blades and even bigger enemies with a formidable hero that you may well recognise.
Ok, so this was admittedly an Xbox game, but the PS3 version differs in a number of ways and is exclusive to Sony’s console… so it still fits the bill.
So how different are we talking?
Well, with improved resolution, updated designs, and an overall enhanced version of the original story, some could say that this is the quintessential version of the game.
Ryu Hayabusa means business on the PS3; just look at the size of that weapon he’s carrying. There’s no chance of escape once that thing hits you!
As well as adding lots of content and features, Sigma 2 acts as a bit of a ‘clean up title’ that gets rid of useless or unnecessary stuff that the previous version had. It makes the game less of a hack and slash title and more a well thought out action adventure game with less enemies and more skill required.
And although the online co-op has now been resigned to the history books, we can still remember how impressive it was… ah, the good old days!
19. Twisted Metal (2012)
Twisted Metal is the first of two consecutive brutal PS3 exclusive racing games in our list.
If you’ve ever wished that Mario Kart had more of an ‘IT’ vibe to it with brutal clowns and explosions everywhere, then this is the racing game for you.
And, if you do have friends that still live in the same place as you and don’t require a server to connect with, then the multiplayer mode is truly where the magic happens In Twisted Metal.
TM is vehicular combat at its finest. We’re talking 4 player split screen, nuking each other into oblivion in a world where old, banged up motors are souped up with more firepower than the MOD.
Avoid firepower from your opponents and bombs dropping from helicopters; no one said that this was going to be a walk in the park…
… the park has probably been obliterated, in all honesty.
And when you’re done playing, why not revisit Twisted Metal: Black, one of the best PS2 games on PS4!
18. MotorStorm (2006)
MotorStorm takes the 18th spot in this best PS3 exclusives list, bringing high-speed ATV action to your living room, all without the dirt!
Choose from a whole host of vehicles from bikes to racing trucks, picking vehicles based on size, speed, and power.
As racing games go, this is one of the most interesting titles on the PS3 due to the sheer amount of choice available. I’ve not seen many games where a buggy can go up against a Mud Plugger… nor in real life, to be honest.
Race through dirt tracks with all types of loose and dangerous surfaces, each affecting the control of your vehicle. There are 8 tracks in total now that the servers have closed, with different shortcuts and routes available depending on what type of vehicle you’ve plumped for.
Of course, hazards on the track spice things up a little bit, as does filling your vehicles boost bar for that extra burst of speed.
Be careful though, if you boost too much your engine will explode! As if things couldn’t get any more hi-octane, right?
17. Resistance 2 (2008)
Resistance 2 is an absolute belter of a title without a shadow of a doubt. Plus, with ratings like the ones listed on the front cover, we couldn’t very well have a list of the best PS3 exclusives without it!
So let’s get one thing straight right away; while the single player campaign is all well and good in this game, the thing that I loved the most was the epic multiplayer.
The servers aren’t online anymore, but back in the day, up to 60 people could play in the skirmish mode. I guess that might not seem that impressive now that games like PUBG and Fortnite rule the roost, but this was amazing for 2008.
Graphics wise, these games have definitely stood the test of time. Ok, so you might notice a difference if you’re now used to the 60fps majesty of the PS5, but the deserted city streets and whole post-apocalyptic vibe of Resistance 2 still looks fresh, crisp, and a joy to play.
Instead of picking up medipacks, something that comes into force in Resistance 3, players can take advantage of auto-regenerating health when they hide from enemy fire or skulk around out of the danger zones.
And trust me, you’ll be thankful for this once you get stuck into some of the battles in this game.
16. Puppeteer (2013)
Puppeteer might look a little kiddy at first glance, but don’t let the front cover fool you. This Pinocchio inspired game… though it is admittedly a lot darker.
You get turned into a puppet but then immediately lose your head, resorting to using other heads as you move through each of the levels.
So Pinocchio VS Majora’s Mask is the vibe we’re going for so far, got it. Hold heads as you move through the game and lose one if you get hit.
What can our puppet-boy use as a weapon then? Well, he wields the Calibrus, a pair of magical scissors that can be used to get to secret areas by cutting holes here, there, and everywhere. Think The Subtle Knife meets Yoshi’s Crafted World.
It also feels a little like LittleBigPlanet… ok, so now I’m just listing games that it feels like. You could either view Puppeteer as a direct copy or a game that encompasses all of your favourite titles in one… I’ll leave you to be the judge.
What I will say is that you get a lot of value for money in this game. For full completion, players will have to go back over previous levels with new heads they collect to get that 100% completion rate.
Just how I like my games!
15. Heavenly Sword (2007)
We all love hack and slash games (we need to de-stress somehow, right), which is why Heavenly Sword remains one of the best PS3 exclusives for the console.
If you’ve ever plugged in Golden Axe, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, or Hyrule Warriors and found yourself smiling wickedly, then this game is certainly for you.
Wield the Heavenly Sword as you slice up enemies like sashimi, choosing from three different sword shapes and forms depending on which brutal attack you unleash.
The Quick Time Events in Heavenly Sword make for seriously fast-paced battles (I guess the clue is in the event type…).
In terms of gameplay, HS feels like Horizon: Zero Dawn mixed with God of War. I reckon Kratos and the game’s protagonist, Nariko, would get on pretty well… just think of the arguments they’d have though!
With Andy Serkis lending his voice acting talents to the game and tonnes of stunning visuals, this is one title that you need to dedicate proper time to in order to fully immerse yourself in narrative and world building. It’s truly superb and great for beating back those bad office blues.
14. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (2007)
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune takes the 14th spot in this list of the best PS3 exclusives of all time. It’s the title that started the iconic series off, and while it might look a little dated compared to the other two, it’s still a cracking game to sink your teeth into.
This is the very first time we meet Nathan Drake, treasure hunter and general bad-ass extraordinaire.
A bit of backstory – Nathan is apparently a descendent of Sir Francis Drake. This won’t make a bit of difference to the gameplay, but it gives you an idea of the type of dude we’re dealing with here.
The best way to discover secrets and treasures in this game is to be sneaky. With only one pistol and limited ammo, you don’t just want to go in all guns blazing.
That being said, when Nathan gets up close and personal with enemies, he really knows how to sock it to them. The man’s got some serious combo moves and melee attacks under his belt, so if you do find yourself in a sticky situation, he’s more than capable of fighting his way back to safety.
With sections that require you to man a gun turret on a jeep or ride jet ski’s around, Drake’s Fortune feels more like a Jame Bond movie than a PS3 game. It’s an epic feature-length story that sees you in the heart of the action from start to finish, cementing Nathan’s place as a Sony mascot for years to come.
13. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time (2009)
Everyone’s favourite dynamic duo return to the PS3 in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time.
This entry in the series is undoubtedly one of the best Ratchet and Clank games of all time (or perhaps the best?). The future series just seems to have a bit more oomph than the previous games in my opinion, and A Crack In Time boasts some epic story threads.
We join proceedings after ‘The Quest for Booty’. Clank remains a captive of the mysterious Zonis and Ratchet and his girlfriend are seriously loved up. In the background, Dr Nefarious is still causing tonnes of trouble that seems to be going unchecked…
… get your heads in the game, guys!
So why do I love this game?
It’s got a lot to do with the fact that there are two different plots to follow, giving gamers two adventures in one. Both Ratchet and Clank need to find out who they are and why there are here in this two-part journey of self-discovery.
A Crack In Time feels familiar yet new at the same time. There’s more than enough to keep old fans happy, yet you don’t necessarily need to have played the other games in the series before jumping straight in.
12. Infamous 2 (2011)
Cole MacGrath returns for more electrical shenanigans in Infamous 2. There’s a strong chance you might see Infamous 1 further down this list, but I don’t want to give too much away yet…
So, Cole. He’s got electrical powers, and he’s on a mission to become even more powerful to rid his city of the Beast.
How he gets rid of said Beast is up to you and the Karma system, the same type of morality engine we’ve all used before in games like Lord of the Rings: War in the North, one of the best PS3 RPG games.
Move your way around an open-world city saving or terrorising civilians… or in other words… choosing whether to suck their energy from their living bodies or not.
Like I said, morality engine…
It might be open world, but there are still story missions that need completing in a certain order to be able to progress through the main plot. Still, don’t get bogged down by logistics. This is a cracking sequel to one of my favourite games and one you need to try after playing Number 5 in our list… (this is where the ‘winky’ emoji would go if we were a trashy website).
11. Heavy Rain (2010)
The 11th slot on our best PS3 exclusives list goes to Heavy Rain, one of the most thought out and intricate titles on the PS3. This is a game where every action can either have dire consequences or change the entire fate of your character at every turn.
Imagine a version of MYST where there’s a killer on the loose and you, along with three other characters, have to solve the mystery of his strange murders.
A serial killer that only kills when there’s lots of rain and leaves origami tokens… it’s original, I’ll give Quantic Dream that!
It’s no real surprise that the game script for Heavy Rain was 2,000 pages long; there are so many different possible outcomes for every scenario to take into account.
Gameplay is mainly through selectable actions, much like many of the early point and click games. There are some real-time events to take part in, but this is essentially a story-driven title that doesn’t need fast-paced action every other second.
The beauty of Heavy Rain is David Cage’s narrative; he’s created the ultimate hard-hitting adventure novel in a video game, a true masterpiece.
10. Resistance 3 (2011)
Even though all of the Resistance 3 online servers have been shut down, this game still rules. Any game where Chimera spawned from humans overtaken by a virus that are running around causing bedlam is always going to strike both fear and respect into the hearts of game reviews everywhere.
As you might guess from the still below, firepower is a main feature in this game. We’re talking heavily artillery, massive explosions, and more guns than you can shake a stick at.
This FPS game differs from many by being set in the 1950s in an alternative universe. Instead of walking around in finely pressed trousers, everyone is fighting for their lives.
The third entry in the Resistance series brought redesigned weapons to the table from all weapon types. We’re talking everything from a simple sledgehammer to automatic rifles that can pump demons full of lead faster than your mum can do your washing.
If you like games like Halo and Destiny, then Resistance 3 is going to slip into your life seamlessly. Pick up health from medipacks, stealth around destroyed environments, and go up against horrendously ginormous enemies that could easily kill you in real life.
Hey, it’s a video game; anything’s possible… apart from auto health regeneration…
9. LittleBigPlanet 2 (2011)
LittleBigPlanet2 is one of those games that I’ve played every which way loose. Like Super Mario Maker, the number of levels that actually now exist surpasses the amount originally created by the developers.
We all know how successful the first LittleBigPlanet title was. Well, Stephen Fry is back narrating Sackboy’s adventures once again, opening a world of new features such as soundstage options customised speech, animation functions, and the ability to make your own exciting cutscenes!
Whether playing as a Sackboy or Sackgirl (yes, he has a friend now!), playing through the main pre-built stages or trying your hand at the hundreds of thousands of levels built by users across the globe never gets old.
Honestly, if you’re looking for a game without a real point that you can just switch off with, a little bit like Scribblenauts, then this will do nicely.
And let’s face it, listening to Stephen Fry talk never gets old either.
8. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)
The third title in every game is always a tough one. Many times, developers lose interest and just turn out any old rubbish to meet demand, but that certainly wasn’t the case with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
The graphics in this game are outstanding. Every element feels like you’re actually in a treasure-hunting war zone, risking your life as you move through territories captured by mercenaries while you hunt for a hidden city.
I don’t know many treasure hunters that carry the firepower that Nathan Drake lugs around with him. Seriously, I wouldn’t want to get between him and a golden idol.
PS3 exclusives always sell well, but Uncharted 3 is actually the fourth best-selling game out of the lot of them, just above Uncharted 2 in the fifth position.
Told you these games were amazing.
7. Demons Souls (2009)
Demon’s Souls takes the 7th spot in this list of the best PS3 exclusives list. It’s hard as nails and takes some serious beating, but that’s the mark of a great game, after all.
If you’re waiting to play the new Demon’s Souls game on the PS5 because you can’t find console stock, then it’s totally worth going back and checking out the PS3 offering.
Monster’s have been appearing all over the shop because of a dodgy mist that’s been appearing all over the world. An old demon has resurfaced, and now all hell is literally breaking loose.
Like Golden Axe, players pick a class of fighter and use them to move through different levels slaying anything that moves.
It’s all about collecting souls and using them to upgrade your stats, getting new weapons, building skill trees and many, many more elements.
Oh, and like Returnal on the PS4, dying is all part of the process. Carry on playing as a Soul once you die and lose everything that you’ve collected or work back through levels to pick up everything you lost when you snuffed it.
If your ideal date or outing is to a gloomy dungeon or a graveyard, then Demon Souls will make everyday feel like Christmas… or Halloween.
6. Gran Turismo 5 (2010)
Weirdly, Gran Turismo 5 is actually the 6th GT game in the series, but let’s not get too into the how, where, and why.
With over 1,000 amazing cars to play with and 20 tracks, gamers have a whopping 20,000 ways to play.
And one of the best features about this game is that for the first time in GT history, actual brands appeared in the game such as Bugatti and Ferrari. Finally, a way of racing cars that I will never… ever own.
I’ve spent ages playing the Endurance levels on this game, honing my skills while looking at the stunning scenery in the backgrounds of each track. From the shadows on the road to the sun shining through breaks in the trees, this game acted as a benchmark for future titles
Real time damage also occurs for the first time too in a GT game, meaning that crashes actually make a difference to your race. Tune up cars in the garage and race during the day or night.
I guess it’s not called ‘the real driving simulator’ for nothing!
5. Infamous (2009)
What would a best PS3 exclusives article be without the infamous Infamous (yes, I did enjoy writing that).
How many of you can remember the trailer for this game? Jeez, it was unlike anything that I had ever seen before. I still get chills whenever I think about it and especially when I play the game itself.
So what’s this game about then? Well, players take the electrifying Cole MacGrath through levels causing mass pandemonium. He’s a bike courier that develops super powers after finding himself far too close to an explosion.
Instead of dying, he becomes supercharged with electricity and must develop his abilities while sucking energy from pylons or passing humans.
Yes, there’s a morality engine to this game like the sequel, and every action has direct consequences on how the game plays out.
Sucking energy from humans obviously isn’t a great idea, so that’s not going to go down too well in the eyes of others… just to give you a heads up!
If apocalyptic open-world titles are your bag, then this sure won’t disappoint!
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots takes the 4th spot in our best PS3 exclusives list. As the sequel to Sons of Liberty, gamers get a chance to play as the legendary Solid Snake not in his glory years but in his older age.
Don’t be fooled though; he’s still kick-ass with grey hair and a steely glare… in fact probably more so than before.
While Liquid Snake is sipping liquidised meals through a straw, Solid is still out there showing people he can chew steak while pumping bad guys full of bullets.
Speaking of Liquid Snake, he’s changed his name to Liquid Ocelot, and he’s put together a band of mercenaries that are trying to take out our old timer. Man, these guys don’t know when to call it a day!
Like the film Logan where we see old Wolverine, this game feels deep with many layers to it. You don’t just see an old guy on the screen; you see Solid Snake in all his forms, remember all the adventures, and feel connected to someone that you kind of feel like you’ve known through all your gaming life.
Am I getting emotional here?
3. God Of War (2010)
There’s something about God of War III that I still can’t get enough of. I know we’ve got more games in the canon now, but come one, this game has everything.
I’m a big Greek Mythology fan and regularly listen to Stephen Fry reading his Greek lore books, so pairing that with brutal weapons and amazing visuals in these games feels spectacular.
Having an anti-hero as the game’s main protagonist makes GOW III feel as little like crashing your next-door neighbours birthday party while drunk – wrong, but it feels so right.
So what happens in this final chapter in the initial God of War series?
Well, Kratos is on a mission to kill his pops, Zeus. He’s enlisting the help of the imprisoned Titans in a bid to overthrow Olympian rule.
I guess they tried counselling and decided it wasn’t an option?
If you’ve played this game through and haven’t tried the Chaos difficulty, then go back and test your skills. Kratos demands it!
2. Uncharted 2 (2009)
Uncharted 2 has to take the second place in our list, if only because it shares its position with its name.
No, in all honesty, it’s always a close call between this game and the title in the top spot of our best PS3 exclusives list. I didn’t know whether NaughtyDog could top their success with the first Uncharted game, but they smashed it out of the park.
These games feel like an updated, modern day version of the original Tomb Raider games (pre PS4) with Nathan Drake reprising Lara Croft’s role. Discover hidden mysteries, solve puzzles, and find treasure
And of course, no Uncharted game would be complete without pumping guerrilla soldiers full of lead in run-down and deserted locations. The cutscenes are phenomenal too, not just driving the story along, but shunting it at break-neck speeds.
1. The Last Of Us (2013)
The Last of Us takes the top spot in our list of the best PS3 exclusives of all time.
Listen, if I’m writing articles about the PS3, this game is always going to come top. Sorry, that’s just how it is, so it’s probably best we all get used to it…
This game is an absolute legendary title in every way. The graphics, the gameplay, the storyline, the action, the fact that I need to wear brown pants every time I play it. It’s that good that there’s currently a TV series in the pipeline, taking a leaf out of the Witcher’s book.
Play as Joel and Ellie, a shifty-looking smuggler and a teenager as they try to survive through post-apocalyptic America. It’s a lawless plain filled with degenerate humans and mutated monsters trying to kill the pair at every turn.
In other words, it’s an edge-of-your-seat game.
If you like ‘A Quiet Place’, then you’ll love this game. There are so many cool features like the listening mode that sees you trying to pick out nearby enemies with bated breath. And what’s more, the struggles that Joel and Ellie go through on their journey are so perfectly crafted that this game feels more like an interactive novel than anything else.
With downloadable content for Ellie and tonnes of collecting and upgrading to do, this is a game that you won’t want to put down in a hurry.
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.