Even with the release of the PS4 just over a year ago, Sony continues to throw major support behind the PS3, buying time for many gamers before they make the leap to the next generation. However, the upgrade is inevitable, and the day where your PS3 gets packed away in a dusty closet is likely closer than you realize. With that in mind, here is our list of the best PS3 games of all time, titles we feel you must play before buying a PS4.
The Uncharted PS3 Trilogy
The Uncharted series has been one of the flagship franchises for the Sony PlayStation 3, starting with the release of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in 2007. That was followed by Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, the series follows treasure hunter Nathan Drake, along this his companions Victor “Sully” Sullivan and journalist Elena Fisher. For PS3 owners who have yet to get in on this series, now is the time, as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will release exclusively on the PS4 sometime in 2015.
Far Cry 3
While the jury is still out about whether Far Cry 4 will end up on a list like this in the future, there is little doubt that Far Cry 3 earned its spot. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft, the game follows Jason Brody, a skydiver vacationing in Bangkok when he finds himself stranded on Rook Islands, an area controlled by pirates. After escaping an initial capture, Jason must work to rescue his friends with the help of Dennis Rogers. Originally released on November 30, 2012, Far Cry 3 is a must play before retiring your PS3.
Red Dead Redemption
It’s been called one of the best, if not the best PS3 game of all time, and is commonly compared to Grand Theft Auto. It makes sense since Rockstar developed both games, and even though Red Dead Redemption is five years old, it’s still a must-have for any PS3 owner.
Set during the decline of the American Frontier in 1911, the game follows series protagonist John Marston, a former outlaw whose wife and son were taken hostage by the government. Left with no other options, Marston sets out to bring three members of his former gang to justice. You’ll ride horses, hunt animals and get in thrilling shootouts. The best part? You can purchase this title for about the same amount of money as a trip to Starbucks.
Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel
If you’re going to talk about one, you might as well talk about the other. Borderlands 2, released for the PS3 in September of 2012, is a critically acclaimed first-person shooter and action role-playing game. Set five years after the events of the original Borderlands, the game follows Vault Hunters Roland, Mordeai, Lilith and Brick in their quest for fortune and glory.
Borderlands: The Pre Sequel, on the other hand, was released in October of 2014, and it’s one of the rare gems that can be found on the PS3, but not the next generation PS4. It follows many of the same characters from Borderlands 2, and includes single-player, multi-player and co-op modes. The game also sticks with the formula used in previous installments, including collaborative campaign gameplay, randomly generated loot and character building elements, except there’s a cool anti gravity feature that lets you cover huge distances with a single leap. Makes sense, as the game takes place on the moon.
Grand Theft Auto 5
One of the highest selling games of all time, as well as highest rated, GTA 5 has been out on the PS3 since September of 2013. Breaking from the standard series formula, players will take control of Michael, Franklin and Trevor, stealing cars and knocking out civilians in the fictional state of San Andreas. Featuring more content than is reasonable for one person to complete, it’s your go to game if you want to get the most for your dollar.
While it is important to note that the game is available on the PS4, meaning you could skip it on the previous generation, there is simply no reason to hold off on picking it up if you plan to get some additional miles out of your PS3.
BioShock and BioShock Infinite
Developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, BioShock Infinite received critical acclaim upon its release, with reviews praising the story, setting and art design. When the action begins, players will control Booker DeWitt, played by the always fantastic Troy Baker, a former member of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency who carries around a little bit of emotional baggage. Buried under a pile of gambling debts, DeWitt is sent to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, played by Courtnee Draper. We’re sure you’d rather play the game instead of reading about it, so we’ll stop there. Bottom line, this is one you’ll want to make a priority.
The BioShock hype doesn’t stop there, however, as looking even further back reveals the first installment in the series, which was originally released on the Xbox 360, then ported over to the PS3 in October of 2008. Players should also consider picking up BioShock 2, which although not as well received (it still did well) as the two on our list, is definitely worth a play to help gamers complete the series.
The Last of Us
Although it was released for the PS4, The Last of Us will go down, along with GTA 5, as one of the best PS3 games in history, and all without hardly any hype behind its multi-player modes. Following the journey of Joel and Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States, the campaign is a masterpiece from start to finish. A great deal of the credit goes to Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson for their voiceover work, but Naughty Dog shouldn’t be forgotten for their incredible visuals, interesting characters and top-notch sound design. If you’ve yet to play it and you own a PS3, this title should be near the top of your list.
In Journey, players are in control of a robed figure in a vast desert, and must make their way towards a mountain in the distance. Other players can be met along the way, although there is no voice chat, instead relying on only visual communication, as well as a musical chime. The game is schedule for release on the PS4, but its original home, the one where it made a name for itself, will always be on the PS3.
Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City
You could make a case for both of these games for the simple reason that they are all about Batman, but it also doesn’t hurt that they are pretty much the beginning and end of great superhero games on the PS3. Sure, there are others, but Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are widely regarded as the best the console has to offer.
Released in 2009, Arkham Asylum follows (you guessed it) Batman, as he battles against the Joker, who recently escaped from the asylum and kidnapped commissioner Gordon. In Arkham City, which was released in 2011, Batman finds himself injected with the Joker’s blood, which has been tainted by the Titan formula. Batman, played by Mark Hamill, must rush to find a cure. There are two more games in the series, so players should also consider picking up Batman: Arkham Origins and then Batman: Arkham Knight (June 2015), the latter of which will appear on PS4.
Portal and Portal 2
It’s another case where you really can’t talk about one Portal without the other, especially considering both are critically acclaimed. Developed by the Valve Corporation, both games can be found on multiple platforms, and at this point for prices that are more than reasonable, especially given that they are two of the best that the PS3 has ever offered. Both titles are first-person puzzle-platform games, and retain much of the same mechanics, including tractor beams, laser redirection, bridges made of light and paint like gels that can accelerate the player’s speed. The goal? Solve expertly crafted puzzles by slipping in and out of portals you open within the environments.