The PlayStation 3 has just turned 6 in the USA, so what better time to give it The Sunday Seven treatment and put down a list of the Top 7 PS3 Exclusives. Frankly, in terms of the number of high-quality exclusives, the PS3 is a tough machine to beat. Looking through the long list of PS3-only releases, I instantly regretted setting myself a lowly target of seven instead of at least ten. It may be a while before I’ll be able to forgive myself for leaving some outside. I’ll be taking a look the top PSN exclusives in the near future too, so keep an eye and we’ll see if I have the guts to put Calling All Cars at the number 1 spot.
7: Metal Gear Solid 4
You can rely on Hideo Kojima and his team to get the most out of a console and boy did they get the PS3 working overtime for what we thought would be the final Metal Gear Solid game (honest). Sure, he still needs to hire a strong-willed editor to cut down some of those lengthy scenes, but for fans of the series, MGS4 was an outstanding conclusion to one of gaming’s most beloved saga. They even managed to make people like Raiden again. Personal highlight: the return to the base at Shadow Moses, the scene of the original PS1 game. Epic.
6: Sports Champions
It’s the first PlayStation Move game I ever played and it’s still the best. Instantly proving that the technology was a huge improvement over the Nintendo Wii. I had some very high hopes for the device. Unfortunately, it never really got the attention it deserved. This is still a great game though. I found the archery to be particularly impressive with one-to-one tracking letting players perform the full range of movements in lining up and firing a shot. The table tennis was ferociously accurate too with two player matches allowing complete control, including vicious topspin and even subtle drop shots. Fans are advised to pick up the recent sequel, which also includes skiing, boxing and bowling. Don’t forget to warm up first. And close the curtains.
5: Killzone 3
Since the first game, Killzone has been trying to catch up with its own impossible hype. Originally touted as a Halo beater, the series never achieved similar sales despite an overall positive reception. Killzone 3 is as close as we’ll get to that awesome concept trailer that was supposed to be footage from K2. The colour palette is a little grim, but the game pulses with detail and atmosphere. The devs totally nailed the rag-doll physics too as every bullet has a visual impact against the enemy. The story is a cinematic triumph, particularly the part about the internal Helghan conflict, with a wickedly cruel turn from Malcolm McDowell.
4: Heavenly Sword
Released very early on in the PS3’s life cycle I was staggered to see that the game still looks just as beautiful today. Motion-capture master Andy Serkis plays a deliciously evil King Bohan in gaming’s equivalent of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Just as you pick your jaw off the floor from the visuals, it’s straight back down again when you see the combat in motion. Using three different stances with varying blade attacks offers one of the deepest skillsets you’ll find in an action game, with only Bayonetta offering more. Ninja Theory went on to make the impressive Enslaved and while its combat was dull, Heavenly Sword shows how they have the potential to utterly bring it for the next Devil May Cry.
3: Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time
Insomniac’s flagship series has served them and Sony very well over the years. This was the last ‘proper’ title in the series as the next two opted for a co-op and short PSN experience with All 4 One and Q-Force respectively. The weapon packed platformer is the best looking one of the series and provides an enjoyably lengthy quest. Some new puzzle elements using time manipulation provided a real challenge but one that felt refreshingly rewarding upon completion. Fingers crossed Sony can find someone to continue the series now that Insomniac are focused on their new multiplatform (Judas!) title, Fuse.
2: God of War III
Seemingly taking forever to come out, Kratos nearly broke the PS3 pushing it to the absolute limit. Providing a never-ending flow of cinematic boss fights, you’d be frequently surprised that you were still playing the game, as the action is cutscene gorgeous and epic throughout. Kratos ended the current saga in bloodthirsty fashion as he made his way up Mount Olympus; killing every remaining god on the way and a few Titans just to be sure people knew who the boss was. We’re getting another prequel next year with Ascension, but we sort of wish he’d gone on tour to smash up deities from the Far East or Scandinavia instead. PS4 baby. PS4.
1: Uncharted (1-3)
We wouldn’t recommend you only play one of these games, as they’re all fantastic titles in their own right. In Nathan Drake, Sony had their new poster boy and a series that could truly compete with high-scoring 360 titles like Halo and Gears of War. Naughty Dog dragged the Tomb Raider blueprint into the next-generation of consoles with a hugely likable cast, realistic animations, puzzle solving, gun fights and an embarrassment of riches of set-pieces, incredible vistas and moments of ‘I can’t believe I’m playing this instead of watching a cutscene.’ We’re still waiting for other studios to catch up. It also looks like Naughty Dog are going to raise the bar again with their next title, the Last of Us.
With The Last of Us, Sly 4, Beyond: Two Souls and more on the way next year it looks like the PS3 has a strong future ahead of the launch of the PlayStation 4. There’s nothing quite like ending this generation on a high to help people invest in your next-generation console first two. Not releasing it ages after your main rival might help this time too.
Well readers, we’d love to hear your favourite exclusives too, regardless of platform. Please don’t shout at me for omitting Heavy Rain. I already feel like a heartless bastard.