What are the best PS3 games? The PS3 proved to be Sony's awkward middle child, but when all is said and done, its tremendous recovery landed it in the hearts of PlayStation fans as much as its siblings. Launching on 17th November, 2006 in North America and on 23rd March, 2007 in Europe, it was an enormously ambitious console at the time, and it was this pushing of the envelope that led to its early struggles.
Yes, PlayStation 3's faults and missteps have been well documented by now. Its shaky start began before customers had even purchased the console, as they were faced with a premium price tag of $599.99 / £424.99 for the 60GB model. The high cost ultimately came down to a complex (and thus expensive) hardware makeup; PS3 attempted to innovate with the implementation of the Cell processor, a complicated CPU that, in theory, would allow for highly detailed visuals in the console's games. This, in conjunction with the new Blu-ray disc drive, built-in hard drive, and other bells and whistles, meant PS3 was significantly more expensive than its direct competition.
It also meant development was a pain in the arse. PS3's system architecture was so convoluted compared to the Xbox 360 that many multiplatform games were inferior on Sony's console, despite the potential of its fancy Cell processor. A lot of games skipped the PS3 entirely, or released in a very sorry state. It wasn't a very good look, especially when coupled with that eye-watering price point — and, we mustn't forget the PS2, which was still enormously popular.
The thing is, a selection of launch games all sold the high-definition dream wonderfully. The PS3 launched with several super-impressive first-party titles, like MotorStorm and Resistance: Fall of Man, as well as third-party efforts like Ridge Racer 7. Even so, Sony had an uphill battle on its hands to get the console to a good place, and while it took some time, the company really did turn things around.
Eventually — with some price cuts, hardware revisions, and a brilliant run of exclusive software — the PS3 matured into a console Sony could be proud of. That tricky hardware still made development tough on studios, but after a few years, the Cell unit's potential began to reveal itself with better (and better made) games cropping up from all sides.
The console really did end up with a fantastic selection of software. It was this generation that gave us Uncharted and The Last of Us, the epic finale to Kratos' Greek trilogy with God of War III, and other first-party favourites like Resistance, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, and many more. Things turned out very well outside of PlayStation's own studios, too; Dark Souls, Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, Portal 2, BioShock, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare — there are too many incredible games to name here.
On that subject, then, we're all here to talk about the best PS3 games. There are oodles of amazing games on this machine, so we need your help to whittle it down to the absolute top drawer stuff. Based entirely on your ratings, we've put together this list, and it's one that will evolve over time.
Using the above search function, you and your fellow readers can directly influence the games that appear in this feature. Rate all your favourites, mark down the games you didn't like — it all counts towards the user ratings on each title, and in turn, their ranking on this list. If you want to have your say on the best PS3 games, get your ratings in.
It's important to note that games will only appear on this list once they have at least 50 ratings, so be sure to make yourselves heard by voting for all your obscure favourites above.
Best PlayStation Games by Platform
- Best PS Plus Games
- Best PS5 Games
- Best PS4 Games
- Best PSVR Games
- Best PS Vita Games
- Best PSP Games
- Best PSVR2 Games
Right! Enough chit-chat — let's get into the best PS3 games, as ranked and rated by you.
The Tomb Raider franchise had lost its way after the PS1 glory days, so Square Enix decided to bring Lara back with a gritty origin story. Simply named Tomb Raider, this game would lead to a trilogy that painted the picture of Ms. Croft's earliest adventures. With a redesigned character, modern gameplay, and some great set-piece moments, this was a much-needed step in the right direction that proved the franchise hadn't lost its magic.
While it could never catch up to Call of Duty at this point in time, DICE provided a brilliant alternative with Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It featured a decent singleplayer campaign but, more importantly, a fantastic multiplayer suite, building upon the previous game's signature destruction tech. With compelling progression, squad-based gameplay, brilliant maps, and fun modes, it became the FPS of choice for many.
Media Molecule's debut game, LittleBigPlanet, was pretty huge at the time. Not only did it fill a much-needed family-friendly gap in Sony's first-party slate, it also hugely innovated with a big emphasis on user-generated content. Introducing the now-iconic Sackboy, the game provided a lengthy, imaginative side-scrolling platformer, and then gave players all the tools required to build stages of their own. Able to share their creations online, the game became super popular, spawning several sequels and, much later, Dreams, which carries forward that Play Create Share ethos on PS4.
Regarded by some fans as one of BioWare's best games, Dragon Age: Origins is an old school RPG infused with more modern sensibilities, like cinematic camera angles and a somewhat streamlined progression system. Its dark fantasy world is full of intriguing quests and storylines, many of which intertwine to create some challenging moments of player choice. A deeply engaging role-playing adventure, topped off with great cast of characters.
45. Okami HD (PS3)
Okami was a breathtakingly gorgeous action adventure game on PS2, but Capcom didn't stop there. Okami HD is self-explanatory, but seeing the painterly art style rendered in high-definition is nothing to sneeze at. Of course, the game itself is lovely, putting you in control of Amaterasu and reviving the land of Nippon by painting onto the landscape. With PS Move support for all those brushstrokes, this version feels right at home, too.
The Resistance series is synonymous with PS3, and fans all have their favourite instalment. However, most would agree that Resistance 3 closes the main trilogy with a bang. After a pair of bombastic adventures, the third game offers a more personal, smaller scale story. It still has you fighting back the alien race known as the Chimera, but it's through the lens of small-town America, with an almost survival horror slant rather than all-out action. All-in-all a great shooter, this is a rough-cut diamond in Sony's first-party library.
Assassin's Creed II is the game that put Ubisoft's series on the map. It improved upon everything that its predecessor introduced, with more in-depth social stealth, combat, and mission design. The story was a hit as well, following the rise of beloved protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze. After his father and brothers are framed and executed, Ezio embarks on a twisting and turning quest for revenge against the Templars — a cult-like organisation that seeks to control society from behind the scenes. With a brilliantly realised renaissance Italy as its backdrop, Assassin's Creed II remains a memorable and atmospheric PS3 classic.
After Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare changed first-person shooters forever, developer Infinity Ward had a big hurdle to clear for the follow-up. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a step up in many ways; the campaign is even more explosive and over-the-top, while the multiplayer was refined and improved, helping define the super fast-paced online modes we still enjoy today. A cracking sequel that helped turn Call of Duty into a true gaming mega-hit.
The Wolf Among Us sees Telltale Games bring the cult hit comic book series Fables to life with a memorable prequel story. Playing as Bigby — the Big Bad Wolf — the story focuses on a string of murders in Fabletown, where characters from fairytales and folklore reside. As with The Walking Dead, this adventure game uses your choices to progress the storyline across five episodes. It's another much-loved game from the studio, and arguably its best.