Over the last few months we've collected votes from PlayStation Universe staff, readers, and via social media to find the best PS3 games ever in honor of the system's tenth anniversary. The results are in!
We ended up with a huge selection of games, and the final tally threw up some surprise inclusions, and some dumbfounding omissions (we'll let you know some of the bigger casualties when the whole Top 50 is finished). So we begin this week of celebration by kicking off with the games that ranked 50 to 41.
50. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (2013)
Looking back, an JRPG collaboration between Level 5 (Dragon Quest) and acclaimed Japanese animators Studio Ghibli seems a perfect fit. Ni No Kuni proved that the it could be done not just on paper, but in reality too. A touching, fantastical and heartbreaking story is told of the young boy Oliver's adventures in a magical kingdom, and the characters he meets are as endearing as they are daft. Ni No Kuni is a lovely little gem of a game.
49. Fallout 3 (2008)
Despite all the potential stumbling blocks (and let's face it, there were plenty on the PS3 version), it's a testament to the character and world-building of the mammoth RPG known as Fallout 3 that it even manages to feature here at all. Bethesda created a post-apocalyptic wasteland that actually felt like one should, and gave it bags of personality and vibrancy even though its palette is almost entirely dreary, sickening greens. The wastes of Washington made for an incredible journey once you got into it, and there's an abundance of little moments that are just for you, and you alone. A flawed classic, but a classic all the same.
48. Bulletstorm (2011)
Bulletstorm's protagonist, Grayson Hunt, is a drunkard, disgraced soldier among the stars that solves his problems by doing things like launching an entire spaceship at a bigger spaceship and scuppering both whilst he grumbles out another cheesy one-liner. He's gaming's Kurt Russell, and he's marvelous. As for the game itself? A delightfully visceral throwback shooter that gives you a toybox of pleasing novelty guns and encourages you to experiment with them to rack up combos like a particularly violent edition of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. One of the biggest crimes in gaming is that there isn't already a sequel to it.
47. Far Cry 3 (2012)
Almost all of the promise of Far Cry's setup was thrown out of a window in Far Cry 2, a largely unmemorable parade of mud, fire, and malaria. Thankfully, Far Cry 3 restored color and fun to the series. The individual ingredients of an idyllic island paradise gone wrong, a particularly healthy supply of vicious wildlife, a highly entertaining baddie in Vaas, and an arsenal of weaponry, vehicles, and gadgets made for an open world soup full of flavorful action and seasoned with gleeful chaos.
46.Max Payne 3 (2012)
Though four years may have passed since its release on PS3, Max Payne the Third can still shoot it out with the best of them and the titular hero does so in the sort of relentlessly entertaining, teeth-grindingly intense way that only he can offer. Much like the harrowing journey Max himself takes during the game's narrative, the strides made in pursuit of that picture-perfect John Woo esque thriller are equally as considerable. Even today, Max Payne 3 stands as one of the finest cinematic shooters in a long while and it demands attention like a .38 pushed against your sweating brow.
45. LittleBig Planet (2008)
Developer Media Molecule bought the PS3 a potential mascot in the sweet-looking Sackboy, and gave the system an exclusive that truly felt like a game of its generation. As an actual platformer it was charming enough, without being spectacular, but it was the creation tools that sparked the imagination, and produced some inspired player-created levels. LittleBig Planet may not have quite reached the popularity it could have, but there's no denying it was a cornerstone of Sony's fightback via a diverse games library.
44.Tales of Xilla (2011/2013)
Tales of Xillia gives JRPG fans an addictive experience that’s hard to ignore. Linked combat alongside clever leveling schemes and a narrative told in a big way will have players aching to play through as both protagonists; Milla and Jude. Released in the West on the eve of a new generation, Tales of Xilla gave the now-wheezing PS3 another quality shot in the arm.
43. Ratchet & Clank Crack in Time (2009)
While Crash Bandicoot was shuffled off into semi-retirement, Jak and Daxter were ditched for Drake, and Spyro was being retrofitted for a bit part in a future toys-to-life juggernaut, the Lombax and robot duo of Ratchet and Clank continued to fight the good fight for mascot platforming on PS3. Crack in Time was yet another rock-solid entry in a consistently good series, still bringing that same blend of wacky weaponry and witty dialogue that's synonymous with Insomniac's beloved series.
42. LittleBig Planet 2 (2010)
Bigger, better, more was the mission statement for LBP 2, and it definitely deliivered that. LBP 2 offered more variety in gameplay terms and subsequently pushed the creative side to new places as well. Inarguably the best game in the series from a quality standpoint.
41. The Walking Dead Season 1 (2012)
Popularity for The Walking Dead was still in its infancy when Telltale showed up with its modern point n' click adventure based in the zombie-ravaged world of Robert Kirkman's graphic novel series. The signs didn't really point to the success this episodic series would become (Telltale had just dumped out an awful Jurassic Park series beforehand), but that made its triumph all the more enjoyable, and its tale of morality and horror all the more engaging. Lee Everett and his ward Clementine stole the hearts of players, before trying to crush the aforementioned organ with some gut-wrenchingly devastating scenes. Telltale have not quite reached this peak again since, but that was never going to be an easy thing.
40. Vanquish (2010)
Vanquish is short, sweet and gloriously frenetic fun. Playing as a cyber-suited, knee-sliding, cigarette-smoking cliche of an action hero as he tears up enemies in a ballet of violence should be a pleasure reserved for two generations prior, but Vanquish was sprinkled with that red-hot Platinum Games magic dust and became quite the cult favorite, as shown by its inclusion here.
39. Bayonetta (2009/2010)
A spiritual successor to the hack n' slash brilliance that was Devil May Cry (before Devil May Cry 2 happened) with a lead character that arguably betters Dante. Platinum Game's Bayonetta was an all-singing, all-dancing action game with knowing meta winks, satisfying combat and evocative posing. It wasn't the best on PS3, but it's another game on this list by virtue of the fondness people have for it regardless.
38.Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction (2007)
Ratchet & Clank's PS3 debut was an early indicator of how pretty you could make a PS3 game with the right understanding of Sony's overly complex machine. Tools of Destruction changed little from the winning formula of the PS2 outings, but the extra grunt ensured it was shinier and slicker than ever. A rare case of more of the same, but better being absolutely fine.
37. Mirror's Edge (2008)
Mirror's Edge was not a perfect game, it lacked in many areas that would be bettered in the years before a so-so sequel finally arrived, but the raw ingenuity and originality of DICE's non-Battlefield title saw it captivate a decently-sized audience. First-person parkour in a brilliant-white futuristic dystopia? You can see where the appeal lies.
36. Yakuza 5 (2012/2015)
After a fruitful time on PS2 where it thrived in a world lacking anything close to a Shenmue 3, SEGA's Yakuza series had a very low-key generation on PS3, not because of the quality, it was still there, but SEGA were reluctant to port the games into English, and subsequently the exposure was diminished. The fifth chapter arrived after the PS4 arrived, but what a fitting end to the generation it was. Kazuya's story was just one of many in this game, and the anthology style made for a refreshing take on a great, but well-worn series. Long term fans will know just how magical Yakuza 5 was, and still is.
35. Resistance Fall of Man (2006)
When Ratchet & Clank developers Insomniac were tasked with making a PS3 launch title it would have been easy to just throw out another outing for the Lombax and his tinpot budd. Instead, we got a WWII shooter…with a twist. Resistance saw ordinary soldier grunt Nathan Hale find himself in the middle of a war that sees Nazi's pushed to the side by an alien force known as the Chimera. Fusing British landscapes, alien tech and an alternative timeline 1940's, Resistance rose above its flaws to become a favorite of many an early adopter of the PS3.
34. Mass Effect 3 (2012)
Was the ending a criminal act? Depends who you ask, but fumbled finale aside, Mass Effect 3 brought the story of Commander Shepard to a rousing end. Chaotic battles against the Reaper menace, the joy of returning characters, the despair of emotional farewells, and enough space romance to fill the Mills and Boon aisle of Mars' Library, Mass Effect 3 was for a good 96% of its duration, one of the finest trilogy-cappers of all time.
33. Infamous 2 (2011)
Joining stablemates Naughty Dog and Insomniac in distancing themselves from their platforming heritage to create something a little more ‘adult', Sly Cooper creators Sucker Punch unveiled its comic book-inspired sandbox title Infamous. The first game has its qualities, and plenty of fans of its story and hero Cole McGrath, but it didn't catch fire in the manner of Uncharted or Resistance. Sucker Punch went some way to correcting this with a bigger, more vibrant sequel set in a New Orleans-inspired city and some fancy new powers. It upped the mission variation, and pushed the ongoing story into more interesting places.
32. Heavenly Sword (2007)
Ninja Theory made some rather underappreciated games for the PS3 generation with the likes of Enslaved and the DmC reboot (shuddup, it's bloody good!), but it's the developer's debut effort on the console, Heavenly Sword, that still gets talked about the most fondly. Written and directed by Andy Serkis (King Kong, Lord of the Rings), as well as future Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett, Heavenly Sword told a visually handsome tale of Nariko, a flame-haired warrior thought to be a prophesied divine warrior who finds herself thrust into a battle with the evil King Bohan (Serkis) and embroiled in the search for the titular sword. Heavenly Sword was a stunning-looking game for its time, holding up well even now. The story was also impressive, with Serkis' involvement giving the whole thing a bit of extra gravitas. A proposed sequel was binned, but Ninja Theory's upcoming game Hellblade looks like a promising alternative.
31. Sleeping Dogs (2012)
That Sleeping Dogs' genesis was that of a poor-man's GTA clone with the True Crime series, it's kind of fitting that the reason this Hong Kong-set sandbox crime thriller is great because it borrows liberally from the best of other games in order to make a satisfying whole. A little Yakuza here, a pinch of Arkham Asylum there, a touch of Burnout, and many others. That's not to discount a great story that sees its cop protagonist caught up in his deep undercover double life, and all the dilemmas of a moral kind that brings. Sleeping Dogs was a surprise hit that many were hopeful for a sequel of, but that sadly looks further away than ever given recent events with the developer.
30. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (2013)
After the failure that was the original Final Fantasy XIV (which was planned to also be on the PS3 but due to the flop at launch was delayed), Square decided to put Yoshi P in charge of trying to turn the game around, with him taking the lead from the end of 1.0. This was a smart move as the game has now arguably become the best MMO on consoles, with an amazing storyline, end game, and a host of other standard MMO content. It takes the best of the final fantasy series and makes it modern but without losing the feeling of nostalgia.
29. XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Within (2012/2013)
Strategy isn't a strong suit of console gaming, but under the right conditions, it can work. XCOM: Enemy Unknown saw Firaxis rebirthing the classic turn-based tactical squad shooter for a new generation. Making it accessible for consoles. It wasn't exactly a technical marvel, but damn it if it hasn't gone down as one of the most engrossing, terrifying and adrenaline-pumping strategy titles of modern times. The threat of permadeath helps shape your initially bland grunts into a pack of war heroes. Ones you may just end up feeling devastated by when they make one wrong move and end up dead forever. Endlessly replayable, and unlike anything else on PS3, Enemy Unknown (re-released with the rather excellent expansion built in as Enemy Within a year later) is superb.
28. Killzone 2 (2009)
So much hype, smoke and mirrors surrounded Killzone 2 prior to launch, with much fuss made over an early trailer looking significantly better than it did in later reveals (even though it still looked pretty damn good in the end), and that did some damage to a franchise on the cusp of something bigger. Killzone 2's campaign is a largely great FPS romp, but the weighty, tactical feel of the multiplayer made the package truly stand out. It was a worthy alternative to the Call of Duty juggernaut, but lousy timing, launching on the console trailing in the wake of the 360, and plain bad marketing scuppered the true potential of Killzone.
27. Assassin’s Creed II (2009)
The original Assassin's Creed was a bundle of raw fresh ideas thrown together to make a passable, if repetitive game. Naturally Ubisoft returned to the Creed soon after with the start of a three-game long tale of Ezio Auditore da Firenze and his quest for vengeance against the Templars. Assassin's Creed took that bundle of ideas and shaped them into a more complete experience. Hopping around the rooftops of Renaissance Italy, and slyly stabbing corrupt folk was a much more joyful thing now, and the various Italian cities were fascinating places to explore. Some argue this is as good as the series ever got, perhaps not, but it remains the most important chapter.
26. Catherine (2011)
Taken at surface value, Catherine is a simple puzzler with an offbeat anime story. If you dig deeper into it however, Catherine is actually a great horror story about growing up and commitment. It has humour, a protagonist who you both feel empathy and disdain for, and a group of characters who feel like a typical group of friends. The meat of the game takes place in the dreams of our main man Vincent Brooks where block puzzles must be solved to reach the doorway at the top so Vincent can escape his nightmares (which get fleshed out in some disturbing ways. There's nothing quite like Catherine on PS3, and clearly that's gained it some popularity.
25. The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (2007)
Yes, PS3 didn't get it till after everyone else, but that clearly didn't dull the sheer impact Oblivion had. The now iconic moment where you emerge from a sewer tunnel and into the blinding sunlight and survey an intimidating and exciting amount of possibilities before you is a fond memory of many a player, and a trick never repeated with quite the same lustre since. A sprawling RPG epic the likes of which was unheard of on consoles, Oblivion was one of the brightest beacons of hope in the early days of the generation, a real indicator of the scope that could be achieved. The Cyrodiil province claimed many a poor soul's free time.
24. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)
How do you follow a game as mind-blowingly deep and involving as Deus Ex? The answer is a) Deus Ex: Invisible War and b) with spectacular failure. The upside is that by the time Human Revolution popped up years later, expectations were checked and everyone got to be just a little bit pleasantly surprised by the adventures of Adam Jensen. The mix of stealth, RPG, combat and cyber noir was a genuine delight, made more so by some great world-building and sumptuous visual design.
23. Burnout Paradise (2008)
In a world of racing games that were either deadly serious or colorful nonsense, Burnout Paradise filled the void with the first open world outing for the popular arcade smash n' racer. Tearing round the titular city of Paradise, smashing billboards,chaining Takedowns, and competing in online races, made for something approaching nirvana for those who want a extra dollops of fun with their racers. Plus, that title screen with Guns N' Roses belting out Paradise City never got old.
22. L.A. Noire (2010)
When Rockstar deviate from Grand Theft Auto, it's always an intriguing prospect. L.A. Noire was an especially curious beast as it focused on being a L.A. cop who moves through the ranks in the 1940's. That on it own was an interesting hook, but it was the facial capture tech that got people talking. Actor's actual mugs were not only scanned into the game, so was every facial movement and tic. This fed into an interrogation system that relied on you to read the reactions of the suspect's face, and while a bit creepy and slightly off, it kind of worked. Developer Team Bondi were sadly binned before they could get a crack at perfecting things in a sequel, but their legacy made quite an impact.
21. Dead Space (2008)
Survival Horror had begun to wane in popularity in the wake of Resident Evil 4, well, that's what publisher's believed anyway. The result was a barren period for the genre, which had one hell of a rain spell when Visceral gave the world Dead Space. The game followed Space Engineer Isaac Clarke as he stumbles upon the effects of an ancient marker that's causing pandemonium aboard the planet cracking ship the Ishimura. People get turned into disfigured Necromorphs, beasts that have sickeningly sharp blade arms if you're lucky, much worse if not. The use of audio gave Dead Space its horror credentials far more than any monsters though, with every creaking pipe, bowing floor and hiss of steam cranking up the tension before something ghastly inevitably burst out of a dark corner. Oh and poor Isaac is going ever so slightly mad too, making for a trippy, brutal ride to rid the universe of the Necromorph menace. A shame that it too suffered the fate of those that came before it, and ended up shelved indefinitely after the third entry became more action shooter than action horror.
20. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
It seems almost laughable to think of Call of Duty as groundbreaking anymore, but there was of course a time nearly a decade ago where that was very true. Modern Warfare brought online multiplayer shooters to the masses, and played a massive part in how big the gaming industry has become (for better and worse). Yet it wasn't just online that CoD 4 shone, no, the campaign was a marvel as well, featuring impactful moments (the nuke scene, the whole of ‘All Ghillied Up') that the series has been trying to recapture ever since. However you may feel about the unstoppable juggernaut it has become since then, there's no denying Modern Warfare was a breakthrough moment for the generation.
19. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2007)
There's no harm now in admitting Sony were struggling big time at the start of the PS3's lifespan. Mere months after launch, the PS3 really needed something new, something fresh, something with a hint of promise as a potential moneymaker. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune may have been a lacking in the freshness stakes a bit, but it gave the PS3 a post-launch title that you could show to other people and say ‘just look at that!'. It was rough round the edges, but the action set pieces, and the camaraderie between Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan, gave the game that aforementioned promise in spades. Needless to say, this was the first step towards building a brand new successful franchise for Sony, and the reinvigoration of Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter creators, Naughty Dog.
18. Mass Effect 2 (2010)
PS3 owners sadly missed out on the fuss surrounding Mass Effect the first time around, but it’s fair to say that we got to start with the best slice of Bioware's epic space RPG. Shepard meets people of all species along the way to visiting a host of memorable planetscapes, all of which were burned in the minds of players long after the credits rolled.
17. BioShock Infinite (2013)
After two games set in the undersea city of Rapture, Bioshock Infinite took to the clouds to deliver us unto Columbia, the floating city. Much of Infinite's songbook felt a little off key, yet there’s just something special about it that transcends its weaknesses. There’s the rich history of Columbia, told through people, pickups and the design of the city itself. A whole heap of mystery, imagery that sticks in your head, and and end point that throws up some interesting questions about the series as a whole. Bioshock Infinite is a divisive game, but there’s still a large number of people who sit on the side of positivity.
16. Dark Souls (2011)
Demon’s Souls sparked the bonfire of adulation for From Software, but it was Dark Souls that got it roaring. Building on Demon’s finer points, Dark Souls gave players more freedom without stifling the challenge. It’s not for the easily deterred, but when it clicks, Dark Souls is surprisingly deep, tactical and filled with fascinating backstories.
15. Demon's Souls (2009/2010)
The definition of a word of mouth success, Demon’s Souls came out of nowhere with its brutal challenge and medieval aesthetic, converting people to its cause one by one. There’s something pure about Demon’s Souls' hub world and individual levels that later games would shy away from. A special game that’s shaped itself a niche that has become mainstream.
14. Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Rocksteady Games had done the unthinkable, they made not only a great comic book game, but also a fantastic Batman game with 2009's Arkham Asylum. It somehow didn't prove to be a hard act to follow, as two years later, Rocksteady went big with sequel Arkham City. Now there was an open world that combined the labyrinthine corridors of Asylum with sheer depth and many a neon-struck street for Batman to patrol.Some prefer the more condensed nature of Asylum, but City gave more balance to Batman the detective, and Batman the vigilante. Like its predecessor, City is excellent because here's so much fan service, and so much attention to detail in the world design. It also features a particularly disturbing rendition of the song ‘Only You' that tops the game's ending of perfectly.
13. Valkyria Chronicles (2008)
When a game like Valkyria Chronicles releases only a niche group of people really notice.
Thankfully the that niche group made their voices heard people started to take notice. Praised by critics and consumers a like, this tactical role-playing game took the scene by storm reaching praise not seen since the release of Final Fantasy Tactics. Set in a fictional World War II and tells a gripping and emotional story. Its unique blend of tactical action combat and strategic troop placement made for some exciting battles. For those who missed it on the PS3 can give the game a go on their PS4 as Sega released a remastered version earlier this year.
12. GTA IV (2008)
GTA IV gets an unusual amount of flak, but looking back, you can understand why to a degree. Rockstar had gradually built up the world map size during the GTA III-San Andreas, so naturally some people expected something huge for GTA IV, especially as it was running on better hardware. Truth is, the return to Liberty City was huge, but it was more about actual depth of detail. San Andreas may have been an epic sprawl of three cities, but it was quite sparse for details, GTA IV succeeded in making something closer to a living city by condensing the outward size for a tighter, more visually active map. The change of character was also important. In Eastern European immigrant Niko Bellic, we got a new, outsider take on Rockstar’s skewed vision of the American Dream. Just don't mention the phonecalls.
11. Journey (2012)
If there's a company synonymous with showcasing what a small studio could do on PS3, then it was thatgamecompany. Its games Flow and Flower were warmly-received independent darlings, but with Journey the company transcended studio size. Journey is two hours long, and in those two hours you get something absolutely magical and unlike anything else on PS3. Visually and audibly breathtaking despite its relatively meagre budget, and hugely affecting despite a lack of dialogue. From a slide through sand to freedom from a leviathanic beast, to the slow, tragic crawl to the summit of the mountain you've been aiming for, Journey overwhelms you quite unexpectedly with its emotional, ambiguous storytelling. It also features a brilliantly simplistic, yet clever co-op where you play without knowing who the other person is in name nor voice till you've finished. Journey is spellbinding.
10. Heavy Rain (2010)
Take a step back from murder mystery adventure Heavy Rain and it's very easy to poke fun at. A mishmash of American and European culture that results in odd accents and some improbable visual design choices. The voice acting is a bit hit n' miss, as is the writing, and then you have a plot that makes less and less sense the more you think about it. So why is Heavy Rain in the top 10? Simple, these perceived flaws are so easy to embrace as part of the game's unique personality. This was a gloriously hammy B-movie you control. At the time, this branching interactive adventure had something about it that nothing else on PS3 did, and as goofy as it could be, it had some genuine stand out moments. Ethan's finger-chopping trial, Norman Jayden's trips into a VR world, and Madison's encounter with a serial killer all showed off Heavy Rain's best qualities, and there's a definite legacy to French studio Quantic Dream's game that's shown in the prevalence of high-profile adventure games in the six years since Heavy Rain's release.
9. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)
Some regard Uncharted 3 as the low point of the series, a grander, yet less cohesive sequel. There's fair argument there, but still, Uncharted 3 had enough spectacular set pieces and intriguing characters to resonate with series fans.Memorable moments include the desert chase/fight, the opening pub brawl, the sinking ship, and of course the standout scenes that gave us the famous Nathan Drake hanging out the back of a cargo plane sequence. In many ways Uncharted 3 bettered its predecessor, mainly by looking and sounding gorgeous, but it's also fair to say it also produced some of the best set pieces of the series. It is a bit messier in pacing and storytelling than the best the series has to offer, but even Uncharted at its lowest is above most action fare.
8. Bioshock (2008)
Conceptually cobbled together from the bones of legendary PC action adventure System Shock, Bioshock was quite the welcome surprise when it arrived on Sony's third console back in 2007. Arguably the most fondly remembered of the Bioshock trilogy, the first game in the series tightly integrated accomplished survival horror atmospherics with non-linear combat and an absolutely belting storyline; the end result being that Bioshock's underwater dystopian yarn was as compelling to play as it was terrifying to witness. Also, Bioshock is the member of a very exclusive club of efforts that can boast one of the finest story twists in the videogame history; the revelation of the final act proving to be the most shocking narrative swerve in a game since Knights of the Old Republic had us bellowing “OH HELL NO” at our CRTs back in 2003.
7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
Lets not beat around the bush, playing Skyrim on PS3 was a lottery. If you managed to avoid the minefield of potential bugs, glitches and crashes, then you had a real shot at getting lost in the wonderfully wintry world Skyrim offered. The strength of Skyrim was in exploration. The amount of times you'd pick a direction and walk where it didn't lead to some sort of discovery was rare-to-nonexistent. Skyrim had Dragons and ancient Dwemer cities, but wonders could arise from anywhere and anything from caves filled with vampires, to Thieves Guilds hiding in the sewers below a city. Everyone who invested time in Skyrim had so many stories to tell, and countless hours lost to discovering said stories. By the time it was all said and done, many felt like they'd found a second home. While not the most technically stable game on this list, there's something about Skyrim that stirs warm feelings in its fans, and there are certainly plenty of them.
6. God of War III (2010)
Sony struck gold with God of War. When it launched the franchise back on the PS2 a lot of people weren't ready for the brutality that Kratos would bring. Along the years We saw Kratos pave a path of destruction and neither God's or Titans could stand in his way. When it finally came down to finishing Kratos's journey and finally getting his vengeance on Zeus GoW III did not disappoint. The action was ramped up to twenty and some of the things that Sony Santa Monica did is still remembered to this day. God of War III's opening sequence and battle against Poseidon is still talked about to this day and probably won’t be forgotten for years to come. It's a no brainer that the end of Kratos's journey would make this list.
5. GTA V (2013)
In what surely represents an exclamation point on Rockstar Games uncanny ability to never produce a stinker, Grand Theft Auto V was and is one of the finest videogames that you can buy on a PlayStation console. Absolutely sprawling in its worldly dimensions, generously layered in the developer's trademark pop culture satire and featuring gameplay mechanics so refined that they could stand as genre dominating efforts in their own right, Grand Theft Auto V shattered the bar for open-world games and is arguably the qualitative zenith of Rockstar's signature franchise. A perfect sendoff for the PS3's run.
4. Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Few periods in human history are as romantically iconic as the American West, so it remains to this day a baffling thing as to why so few developers take it upon themselves to fashion a videogame set during that time. Trust Rockstar then, to not only do just that, but also to produce an open-world effort that at once channels the most romantic elements of frontier life, while intertwining them with some brilliant mission design, a stirring narrative worthy of Sergio Leone and the sort of perilously enjoyable online mode that set the template upon which Grand Theft Auto V would later follow. Red Dead Redemption then, was essential as it gets, and some 14 million units sold and a 95 average metacritic ranking later, it's easy to see why.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
Only Hideo Kojima could get away with the amount of grandstanding, and decidedly odd moments found in the supposed finale to the Metal Gear Solid saga (always the last time, eh Koj?). Only Kojima Productions could still make it somehow work. Guns of the Patriots is a celebration of all that preceded it, piling on fan service, closing long-running threads, and producing some highly charged moments of action and emotion. You had Snake's slow crawl through a microwave tunnel, a chance to actually pilot Metal Gear Rex in a battle against Ocelot in Metal Gear Ray, a final fight with Ocelot that swept through the history of the series as it went on, and perhaps best of all, it had a mid-credits scene that stirred the emotions of anyone who had invested a chunk of their life to Metal Gear. When all was said and done, the final words spoken are a fitting epitaph for a series like no other. This is good, isn't it?
2. Uncharted 2 (2009)
As proven out by the likes of Assassin's Creed 2, Watch Dogs 2 and Titanfall 2, it always seems like the first sequel in a given franchise is the one that properly starts to deliver on the promise of the series a whole. Not an exception to that rule, Uncharted 2 was just what PlayStation owners needed after a good, if not spectacular first entry in the series. As expected, the wise-cracking Nathan Drake returned, alongside Elena, Sully and a range of new characters. Naughty Dog's sophomore entry in the Uncharted franchise married refined combat, great exploration and an overwhelming sense of Hollywood spectacle. this made it one of the most essential console games of the previous generation. Additionally, it was the first game on PS3 that took full and terrifying advantage of the console's more powerful architecture; establishing a new visual standard that even the most acid-tripped Xbox 360 fanboy of the time would find impossible to deny.
1.The Last of Us (2013)
One of the most critically and commercially successful games in PlayStation history (and the runaway winner of PSU's vote)The Last of Us marked a distinct change in output from developer Naughty Dog. Up until that point had been characterised by the swashbuckling and sometimes light-hearted, treasure-hunting escapades of Nathan Drake. Leveraging its already established talent in crafting excellent adventures, Naughty Dog struck out in a new direction with The Last of Us.
It crafted a savagely grim and nihilistic adventure the likes of which hadn't ever been witnessed before. In doing so, fashioned a game that pushed the ageing PlayStation 3 architecture to its absolute limit. From its melancholic John Hillcoat cinematic stylings to the intuitive combat, compelling stealth gameplay and gut-wrenching plot, The Last of Us would prove to be not just the best of all console swansongs, but one of the very best games ever made full stop.