The PlayStation 3 may have had a weak start but over the 7 years of its lifetime, it had built itself an outstanding library of exclusives and multi-platform games. The PS3 era gave rise to iconic franchises like Uncharted and The Last of Us that pushed the boundaries of storytelling and immersive gameplay.
It boasted a variety of groundbreaking titles that ultimately cemented PlayStation’s name in the realm of story-based games. For some, it’s the best generation of gaming and to have a blast from the past, let’s count down the best PS3 games ever.
Best PS3 Games, Ranked
The PS3 has no shortage of memorable experiences and this list tries its best to name the absolute finest. That said, not every banger from the PlayStation 3 days will find its way in here, so if we happen to miss your top picks, be sure to mention them in the comments.
5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves follows the charismatic and roguish treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he embarks on a quest to find the legendary city of Shambhala. The amazing set pieces and breathtaking locations such as the bustling streets of Istanbul, and the icy Himalayan mountains are sights not every game back in the day could nail, except for, well, Uncharted 2.
In Uncharted 2 Nathan explores ancient ruins, shoots and punches his way through loads of enemies, and builds meaningful relationships with a wide cast of characters. Entangled in a web of betrayal, gamers would find themselves in a perilous and thrilling adventure of a lifetime as Nathan. Whether it was escaping from a teetering train or a shootout in a collapsing tower, Uncharted 2 always found a way to get every player’s adrenaline pumping at the right moment, and that easily sets it apart as one of the best PS3 games of all time.
God of War 3 wrapped up PlayStation’s iconic protagonist, Kratos’ vengeance arc with a bang. Kratos going toe-to-toe with the likes of Poseidon and Hades to finally end the reign of Olympus is a sight to behold.
Kratos’ journey through the Underworld, Tartarus, and other gritty areas sets an enthralling tone throughout God of War 3. All of that is further uplifted by an epic soundtrack and a visceral combat system that runs on brutally dismembering mythical beings like Medusa and Cyclops with the Blades of Exile or ripping out their souls with the Claws of Hades. It’s a gameplay loop that never gets old, even to this day, and it’s quite clearly among the best experiences you can get on a PlayStation 3.
3. Dark Souls 1
The SoulsBorne genre has come a long ever since it was popularized by FromSoftware’s classic Dark Souls 1. Its atmospheric world’s haunting landscapes created a sense of mystery that was perfect for explorers and lore hunters. Be it the foreboding streets of Undead Burg or the grand architecture of Anor Londo, every corner of Dark Souls was steeped with rich lore, so it wasn’t surprising why so many people gobbled it up despite the nightmare combat.
The Dark Souls series’ notoriously challenging combat has been addictive since its inception. The world itself is as dangerous as the boss fights, forcing players to adapt and experiment with different builds. Its difficulty is not just a barrier but an integral part of the SoulsBorne experience, and while the series has evolved a lot from back then, Dark Souls 1 still stands as a landmark when recalling the best PS3 games in history.
In 2010, Rockstar combined a gripping story, unforgettable characters, and a masterfully crafted open-world to give us a special journey through the sunny landscapes of the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption. Players were taken on an unforgettable rodeo as they would saddle up and ride off into the rocky mountains of West Elizabeth or explore the towns of New Austin.
Seeing the protagonist John Marston, a former outlaw seeking redemption for his past crimes, being forced to hunt down his old gang members, and then embodying him and gunslinging across the open-world of Red Dead Redemption was magnificent. Red Dead Redemption was the ultimate cowboy simulator when it was first released and still remains one of the top PS3 games ever to have graced us.
1. The Last of Us
In 2013, Naughty Dog gave us a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, The Last of Us. Its central characters, Joel and Ellie’s heart-wrenching journey through a decaying world while fending off humans who now treat each other like animals was bound to leave a mark on the player, and that it did.
Encountering hordes of terrifying enemies like the Clickers and Bloaters was one of The Last of Us’ most thrilling and terrifying moments. It was a scary survival game on top of an iconic narrative-driven title. That’s not all. Even back in 2013, The Last of Us was mechanically impressive on every level. Each enemy had its own weakness like sound or fire and demanded strategic use of weapons, stealth, and the already scarce resources. The Last of Us’ influence has been immeasurable on the industry and it’s not only a marvel from the PS3 era that will definitely go down as one of the best games on the platforms, but also a title on which future games will be judged.