As I get set to graduate to a PS4, I wanted to take a moment to rank the games I owned on the PS3. It was my primary system for over 6 years, and while I’ve also had a Wii/Wii U during that time frame this has definitely been system #1.
One thing that jumped out in putting together this list is that I didn’t buy many games that were outright terrible. The lowest-rated game on this list, Assassin’s Creed III, was still enjoyable to play and gave me double-digit hours of entertainment. I mostly chalk that up to being much more discerning now than when I was younger — I have so much less time to game that it’s worth reading reviews and generally making sure it’s a game I’m going to like before I buy.
Aside from that, my preference for 3rd/1st person action is probably pretty clear, with 22 of the 25 titles. All of my top choices had great story to complement the action, with the top 5 in particular all being fully-fleshed works of art on top of their top-notch mechanics.
Best story and setting of the generation. While I typically prefer 3rd person shooters, for this setting 1st person made it all the more terrifying
2. Uncharted 2
Immersive story with countless memorable moments. The cold start on the dangling train was the best game opening of the generation.
3. Bioshock Infinite
Not as groundbreaking as the original, but still breathtaking and the gameplay was great. Best ending of the generation.
4. Mass Effect 2
Long, entertaining foray into an incredibly well-realized original sci-fi universe. Character quests were the secret weapon for this edition that gave everything depth.
5. Metal Gear Solid 4
The first game I owned for the system, and still one of my favorites. Great story and my favorite gameplay of the Metal Gear series.
6. Red Dead Redemption
More than just a GTA cowboy game, I remember this being stunning in scope and with groundbreaking open world depth (hunting, sidequests, horse types, etc) at the time it was released.
7. Ni No Kuni
First time I’ve ever really played a JRPG, but sounds like I picked a good one. Most beautiful game of the generation.
8. Fifa World Cup 2010
I had so much fun with this game, which had a nice arcade-y feel. Sunk countless hours into making “Dr. Awesome” and “Le Radness” into stars in Captain Your County mode
9. Far Cry 3 (+Blood Dragon)
The last game I played on the system; not the greatest story but it sure was fun to play. The Blood Dragon DLC was entertaining, though a bit 1-note.
A short but otherwise perfect puzzle game with a great comedic angle
11. Grand Theft Auto V
I loved the return to the California location (and planes!), and the 3-protagonist structure was a nice way to mix it up after the dreariness of IV.
12. Assassin’S Creed 4: Black Flag
Another game without much story, but oh those naval battles. I sunk over 50 hours into this game, and probably another 10 playing that damn mini-game on my phone so I could upgrade my ship faster.
13. The Last Of Us
Very well-done experience, but I LOATHED the ending and it really ruined the game for me.
14. Mass Effect 3
Not quite as good as 2, but this was still a well-done experience that chewed up hours of my time.
15. Portal 2
A fun return to what made the original great (and expanded on it), but surprisingly little replay value.
16. Uncharted 3
The story got convoluted and wasn’t as compelling as 2, but still a ton of fun. That airplane jump toward the end was my favorite set piece of the generation.
17. Beatles Rock Band
A lot of fun, but eventually lost its charm. And those drums were so exhausting to play…
18. Grand Theft Auto IV
The usual GTA fun, but there was something exhausting about this iteration. Not quite as fun for whatever reason.
19. La Noire
Boy, this game. Had so many great moments and the vibe was spectacular, but it was oddly fragmented and they missed such an opportunity by not developing the open world.
20. Bioshock 2
Better combat than the original (splitting guns and plasmids into separate hands was genius), but the story didn’t work and it just wasn’t that memorable in the end.
21. God Of War 3
Absolutely spectacular, but so linear that there was very little replay appeal.
22. Killzone 2
Solid gameplay, but no story depth and little replay appeal.
23. Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time; Tools Of Destruction
I barely remember these two games, and I definitely don’t remember the difference between the two. Fun but ultimately shallow continuations of a series that is clearly past its prime.
24. Little Big Planet
Entertaining, but I never got into the stage-building so in the end it just felt like a creative but clearly inferior 2D Mario imitator.
25. Assasin’s Creed III
Confusing story, unlikable protagonist, and super-buggy side quests. Decent action and the American history angle was interesting, but vastly inferior to the game that followed in the series.