Friday, May 17, 2013

Top Ten PlayStation 3 Exclusives

This past Sunday SuperPhillip Central listed our favorite ten Xbox 360 exclusives. (Yes, yes. Get your "The Xbox 360 HAS ten worthwhile exclusives?!" comments out of the way here and now.) To cap off the work week we are now going to list what we consider the ten best PlayStation 3 exclusives, whether first or third party. The PS3 is without a doubt our favorite HD system of this past generation. It was actually quite difficult to come up with an order and list of games that we could agree on. Nonetheless, we have arrived at a finalized list of terrific PlayStation 3 exclusives so far. Obviously the PS3 isn't leaving the marketplace any time soon and it will get future classics like new titles such as Gran Turismo 6, The Last of Us, and Puppeteer, to name a few. Regardless, here's what we like most of the PS3's wide range of exclusive games that are currently out.

10) God of War III

God of War III launched in 2010 with lots of fanfare. It was the final game in the original story of the God of War trilogy with Kratos and the Titans climbing up Mount Olympus to finally take down Zeus once and for all. The game contained the same combo-based combat that fans of the series have grown accustomed to, and while some might yearn for something different, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The added power of the PlayStation 3 made for some incredibly awesome action scenes, such as the battle with Poseidon early in the game (expect a detailed description of this fight in a later edition of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History) or pursuing the swift Hermes in an elaborate platforming chase segment. God of War III might not be the best in the trilogy (we rank God of War I and II higher), but it certainly is an epic conclusion to Kratos' saga.

9) inFAMOUS 2

inFAMOUS 2 took Cole MacGrath to a higher level with even more electrifying open world sandbox gameplay, parkour-like platforming, and high-powered superhero (or villain) antics. Everything was bigger and arguably better than the game's predecessor. The addition of user-generated content made for some strong replay-ability within Sucker Punch's open world setting. Perhaps our only gripes with the game comes from the weaker pacing inFAMOUS 2 struggles with as well as a less-than-optimal camera for melee combat. Nonetheless, these problems don't ruin the game. It's with inFAMOUS 2 that our expectations for the PlayStation 4's inFAMOUS: Second Son are so high. Whether or not Sucker Punch can live up to them is an answer we won't get for another six months or so.

8) PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

When this next game was first announced, many dismissed it as simply another Super Smash Bros. clone. SuperPhillip Central leaned towards that line of thinking, but actually trying out PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for ourselves, the two series are different enough to both have a place in the marketplace. Rather than knocking opponents out of the arena or making them lose their health to score K.O.s, Battle Royale had  Supers that were earned through connecting attacks on opponents. Unleashing a Super and making contact with it meant you scored a point. The roster was full of both familiar first and third party characters such as Uncharted's Nathan Drake, God of War's Kratos, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and even Ape Escape's Spike. Earning points to gain levels for each character meant you were always unlocking something new, whether it be victory themes, backgrounds, poses, and alternate costumes. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale may be a Smash Bros. clone, but it's a really good one. Note: We know that this game is also on Vita, but console-wise it's exclusive to the PS3.

7) Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Much like God of War III was the end of a trilogy, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time marked the end of the Future trilogy, containing Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, and this game. A Crack in Time began with Ratchet and Clank being separated from one another. However, Clank wasn't totally defenseless as he had a special time scepter that could not only attack foes, but it could be used on time pads to create holograms of Clank's past maneuvers. This cool trick was used to solve many of the game's brain busters. A Crack in Time also featured space exploration, albeit on a level plane, where Ratchet could explore optional moons and compete in combat. We look fondly back at Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time as it really was the last honestly excellent Ratchet & Clank game.

6) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Once again enter the shoes of Solid Snake-- well, an older version at least-- as he once again goes on a mission to save the world as we know it. Well, as we WILL know it, as this game takes place in a not-so-distant future. Anyway, the traditional stealth-action gameplay consisting of moving around enemy-infested areas without being spotted and utilizing close quarters combat to take out those who wish to intercept you was all present and accounted for with this much anticipated sequel. New features included the Psyche Meter, which could make it quite difficult to aim if Snake was seriously stressed out, as well as the CamoSuit that allowed Snake to blend in with his surroundings a la the camouflage in Snake Eater. Metal Gear Solid veterans would even get to revisit an old haunt in fantastic fashion with Guns of the Patriots. While we'll always have a soft spot for the original MGS and MGS3 as our favorites, Metal Gear Solid 4 is still a worthy installment in the popular stealth-action series.

5) Killzone 2 

We are all familiar with the rather infamous tech demo that was shown to onlookers at E3 2005. While the final game did not look as lovely or as graphically intense, what PlayStation 3 owners got to enjoy was still an incredibly fast and fluid first-person shooter with tons of fierce weaponry and vehicles to mow down the Helghast forces with sensational efficiency. Many members of the press and gamers too seem to always be fascinated with first-person shooters. Not just this, but they're always looking for that so-called "Halo-killer." Killzone 2 was not that, but the game did make it known that it was the premier first-person shooter on the PlayStation 3. We eagerly anticipate more news on the PlayStation 4's Killzone: Shadow Fall, even though we definitely show symptoms of FPS fatigue. That just shows how remarkable a franchise Killzone is.

4) Journey

We hate to speak in overly emotional terms, as we're freaking talking about video games here and not the Mona Lisa. However, Journey evoked such interesting feelings from us, such as wonder and awe. Exploring a giant sandy wonderland made us feel so minuscule in comparison. The game allowed for multiplayer, but the catch was that you could not voice chat or communicate greatly with your online partner. Despite not knowing the anonymous helpers that were assisting us in our adventure across the desert, we found ourselves getting a bit of an attachment to each and every one and a sense of companionship. Journey would later come in retail form alongside thatgamecompany's other PlayStation Store projects, Fl0w and Flower in a $29.99 collection. There's a reason we picked Journey as the PS3 Game of 2012 at our end of year awards show, and these are but some of the reasons why.

3) Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Level-5 and famed animation studio Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke) teamed up to create one of the most beautiful games we've ever witnessed. We don't say this with a lot of hyperbole either. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a glorious-looking game. It not only looks nice but it absolutely plays like a dream. Players took the role of Oliver, a peppy 13 year-old boy who recently lost his mother. No sooner than it seemed that this incident occurred that a stuffed animal came to life and transported the two to another world. There the true fun began with traditional RPG activities such as exploring monster-filled dungeons, initiating battles with Oliver or one of his many Familiars, and visiting towns to converse with the locals. When one says that the JRPG is in a state of decline, we confidently scoff and point them to such games like Ni no Kuni and Xenoblade Chronicles.

2) LittleBigPlanet 2

Listed as our favorite new I.P. of the past generation, LittleBigPlanet didn't really come into its own until the superior sequel, LittleBigPlanet 2. Not only did the sequel have much more in the way of creator options (you didn't even need to make platforming levels if you didn't want to), but it allowed players to take their progress and levels from the original LittleBigPlanet and import them into the sequel. The levels already pre-made by Media Molecule were insanely clever and inspired us to try to do even better. We've lost so many hundreds of hours concocting our own creations-- more than we care to admit, really, but when you have a game that is as compelling as LittleBigPlanet 2, you learn to live wit hit.

1) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Metacritic's most critically acclaimed game of 2009, the year of its release, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the pinnacle of the PlayStation 3 platform. While the original Uncharted was an intense thrill ride, Uncharted 2 came along and made everything more astounding and amazing. From taking cover while a tank bombards you with shelling to running atop a speeding train while a helicopter targets you, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is certainly not lacking in the thrills department. The game didn't stop with the single-player campaign. Naughty Dog implemented two multiplayer functions: one for up to three players to play cooperatively and one for competitive play, so long after you completed the campaign you could log even more hours into Uncharted 2. "Masterpiece" is a word that is thrown around so casually these days, but we think we're safe in giving that title to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.


Did we leave out one of your favorite exclusives for the PlayStation 3? Set us straight in the comments section below.

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