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.
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.
Irrational Games followed up the seminal BioShock with a game that left the watery world of Rapture in favour of a city in the skies. BioShock Infinite takes us to Columbia, an idealist floating city tethered together with balloons and rails, but of course, it doesn't last very long. With everyone fighting against you, you rescue Elizabeth and aim to escape with her, evading the intimidating Songbird and other strange forces. It's a gripping adventure that builds on what BioShock established in some truly fascinating ways.
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.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX continues the remaster journey of this beloved series. Comprising Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, this collection brings two excellent, Disney-infused RPGs to PS3 with HD visuals. At the time, it was a decent precursor to Kingdom Hearts III, although that would take another five years to arrive.
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.
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.
The ugly duckling of Sony’s PS2 platforming trio, Sly Cooper’s stealth shenanigans always got less love than they deserved next to Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank. Remastered for PS3, however, Sucker Punch’s trilogy finally gets its time to shine: with larger-than-life characters, compelling sandbox stages, and a sharp cel-shaded artstyle, The Sly Collection is an essential compilation.
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.