In just over two weeks the PlayStation 4 will go on sale in South Africa, simultaneously ushering in the next generation of console gaming and making the PlayStation 3 yesterday’s news. Thankfully, PS3s won’t stop working the day the new king gets throned. Nor will its excellent library of exclusive titles cease to exist.
In fact, we might punt this as a list of titles you should play before the PS4 arrives, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy them any time you want. These are proper classic games that deserve to be in every gamer’s collection. When the PS3 drops in price, we’d urge even Xbox fans to pick up a console on the cheap and try out some of these fantastic titles.
But if you plan on getting rid of your PS3 the moment the new console lands, and you’ve not yet played all of the games below, you’ll have a busy few days until December 13th.
1) Uncharted Trilogy
Nathan Drake is this generation’s Lara Croft. OK, so Miss Croft is still around – and in some fantastic games – but the Uncharted series brought a very mature, cinematic style of storytelling to Sony’s console. The first game in the trilogy was the first blockbuster title for the console, and the second took things to new heights. The third game continued the success – so much so that a fourth title has been teased for the PlayStation 4. So, if you don’t want to feel left out of the loop it’s best to get caught up on the story in this franchise.
2) The Last of Us
Naughty Dog, the same developers that gave us Uncharted, took a turn for the even more serious with The Last of Us. The post-apocalyptic adventure starts off rough and gets even grimmer as you sneak, stab, and shoot your way to the final scenes. No spoilers here, but you’ll definitely feel a range of emotions not many other games have brought out before.
3) Beyond: Two Souls
Quantic Dream’s David Cage is a bit of a visionary, and – to paraphrase Eminem – in Beyond: Two Souls his vision is scary. The photorealistic drama is more an interactive movie that keeps players on edge (and tests how psychopathic they are) as they guide a young girl and her ghostly companion from innocent young girl to on-the-run fugitive. Other games have let players experiment with psychic powers; BTS lets players be those powers.
4) Heavy Rain
Another David Cage interactive adventure, and one that precedes BTS by three years. Despite being an earlier title, Heavy Rain is still very revolutionary. The big thing players get to experience here is a new way to control characters. Rather than specific buttons performing predetermined actions, the analogue sticks are used to approximate gestures and movements. It’s also a story that unfolds through the eyes of three main characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
5) God of War 3
With two instalments on the PS2, it took a while for Kratos from God of War to make his third appearance on Sony’s beloved console. Thankfully the wait was worth every minute. Fight combos were more brutal than ever, finishing moves devastatingly satisfying, and bosses larger than life. It was also a satisfying ending to Kratos’ story (the subsequent God of War: Ascension was a prequel, and not as riveting).
6) Metal Gear Solid 4
As far as proper Metal Gear Solid games go the PlayStation 3 only received one: MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots. It’s also every bit an Metal Gear game, and a return to what most gamers fell in love with back on the original PlayStation. Solid Snake, now in his later years, gets to sneak and snipe his way around the battlefield, while learning more about the robotic threat that faces the world. It might be five years old, but it’s still every bit as good as even the most recent blockbusters.
7) Killzone 3
Meet Killzone 3, the game that’s sequel success is exactly the inverse of Hollywood’s rules. The first game, on the PS2, was decidedly average. The second game, now on the PS3, a little better. And this, the third game, knocking things out of the park. It’s solid, visceral, dramatic, gorgeous and you get to control a freaking mech.
8) Demon’s Souls
There are difficult games, very difficult games, impossible-to-complete games, and Demon’s Souls. If you so much as think you’re going to go in and conquer this the first time out, you have another thing coming. Best prepare to get a few spare controllers because you might just, uh, decommission a few as you slog through the PlayStation 3’s most challenging game. At least it’s satisfying.
If everything else in this list is too serious then LittleBigPlanet (and its direct sequel) will give you plenty of lighthearted relief. The unexpected hit is pretty much videogame LEGO, letting players build their own levels and use physics puzzles to guide Sackboy and his friends across a world that’ll make you reminisce about childhood.