[two_third]As the PlayStation 5’s life cycle begins in earnest, Sony has made a controversial decision regarding the future of its older titles. The company is pulling the plug on the digital storefront for the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Portable, and the PlayStation Vita. According to Video Games Chronicle, over 2,000 games will disappear from these specific platforms, with about 120 digital-only games vanishing forever.
Amid all the concerns raised, we wanted to turn our attention to the PlayStation 3’s catalog. After all, the PS3 was home to several iconic exclusives that established Sony as a dominant force in the realm of game curation and creation. The sheer number of beloved works associated with that console is astounding.
Sadly, games like Infamous Festival of Blood, Rain, and Tokyo Jungle will disappear forever, though many games will endure via HD remakes. Some are even available on the PS5, such as The Last of Us and Demon’s Souls. These remakes will be omitted from the list to come, but everything that hasn’t been updated for other consoles is fair game, digital or physical.
To be clear, games that only exist on PlayStation 3 will be included here. The digital-only games will be marked and we suggest downloading them fast. Without further ado, let’s look at these 10 great games in memory of the PlayStation 3 and its era of gaming.
10. Trails From Space: About a Blob (DIGITAL ONLY)
Before Guacamelee, Drinkbox Studios released another entertaining platformer in 2011. In Trails From Space: About a Blob, players control green and orange blobs that slide and jump across a cartoony environment. They can suck up objects and shoot them out like Kirby, before eventually growing into a huge gelatinous ball through absorption.
These alien creatures find themselves on an earthlike planet but are captured by curious scientists. This sets in motion a series of 17 missions where the blobs must escape the laboratory and rescue their friends.
Drinkbox Studios went on to create Trails From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack for the Nintendo Switch, finding further success thanks to the enjoyable Guacamelee. That said, their foundational game is still about to vanish, so this may be the last time players can explore Drinkbox’s roots.
9. Calling All Cars! (DIGITAL ONLY)
While David Jaffe is best known for creating God of War and Twisted Metal, much of his other work has fallen under the radar. One such project was Calling All Cars!, a chaotic demolition derby game akin to Twisted Metal, albeit with a cel-shaded art style. In essence, Calling All Cars! is a game of cops and robbers where a team of police must capture criminals before a team of bounty hunters gets to them first.
This car combat game was released during the early era of downloadable games, making it one of PlayStation Network’s first full releases. With that in mind, it’s sure to hit a nostalgic chord for older PlayStation gamers.
8. Echochrome 2 (DIGITAL ONLY)
Sony tried to replicate the Wii’s success by producing their own motion control interface, The corporation’s efforts resulted in the PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye. The experiment was not as historic as Sony wanted, but it did breed some distinctive and creative games.
Among the highlights was Echochrome 2, a puzzle game that allowed players to manually move environmental objects to create shadows and uncover pathways. The goal was to find a safe path through an obstacle course, which took the form of an intricate 3D puzzle.
Praised by many, Echochrome 2 set the stage for future strides made by its developer, Japan Studio. The team would go on to assist in the development of the Shadow of the Colossus remake, as well as creating Astro Bot Rescue Mission and its sequel Astro’s Playroom. With such beloved games under Japan Studio’s belt, it makes it all the more worthwhile to return to their earlier work and see how far they have come.
7. Tokyo Jungle (DIGITAL ONLY)
Most games have the player controlling humanoid characters or mascots such as hedgehogs and bandicoots. It’s rare for a game to center itself on regular animals, but much to the public’s surprise such a title existed on the PlayStation 3.
Japan Studio’s Tokyo Jungle was a sleeper hit that focused on a post-apocalyptic version of Tokyo, where the human race is destroyed. The shiny buildings stand amid an overgrowth of lush jungle in which animals fight for survival. Players take control of a range of creatures such as deer, dogs, and hyenas in order to uncover secrets amid the ruins of society. So unique was the core concept of Tokyo Jungle that several of its fans still yearn for a sequel that is unlikely to ever be made.
6. Rain (DIGITAL ONLY)
At this point, it almost goes without saying that Japan Studio were the unsung heroes of the PlayStation 3 era. As their work on titles like Echochrome 2 and Tokyo Jungle illustrates, Japan Studio was fond of taking chances on unique ideas that stood out from much of gaming. Their reputation for unusual yet compelling games proved well earned with the creation of Rain.
An adventure game developed in cooperation with Acquire, Rain tells the story of a young boy journeying across a desolate city while caught in an unceasing downpour. After spotting a mysterious girl through his bedroom window, the boy decides to follow the captivating presence. Once he goes outside, it soon becomes clear that the rain makes a silhouette around his otherwise invisible body. This premise sets in motion the various puzzles and enemy encounters that make Rain so distinctive and memorable.
Though no one could deny their talent or particular vision, Japan Studio may no longer have the capability to make such wondrous games. A recent wave of restructuring led to Japan Studio being tasked with focusing strictly on the Astro Bot games. Thus, despite our wishes, we might never again see a game like Rain made by Japan Studio.
5. Killzone 2
Before pivoting to tell stories about warriors fighting mechanical dinosaurs, Guerrilla Games specialized in futuristic first-person shooters (FPS). For much of their history, Guerrilla’s Killzone series was the studio’s sole focus, delivering brutal war narratives from a first-person perspective. Depicting the unceasing clash between the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance and the Helghan Empire, Killzone was a crucial part of Sony’s action line-up for years. This sense of importance, and Guerrilla’s own role in cultivating it, was never clearer than with Killzone 2.
In spite of its role in popularizing the trend of dishonest pre-rendered trailers, Killzone 2 is regarded as the best of its series. Though the game’s E3 2005 trailer promised visuals the final product could never deliver, players were won over by Killzone 2’s dark atmosphere and well-paced storyline. In the face of intense fan expectations, Killzone 2 nevertheless defined itself as the premier PlayStation FPS.
LittleBigPlanet was another iconic brand in the making for the PlayStation 3 and Sony, right from the word go. Players controlled a small sack person as they platformed through a creative yarn-infused world. Though the main campaign was charming in itself, much of LittleBigPlanet’s success came from its creative functionality.
Players could build their own missions with a high level of creative freedom, a concept that Media Molecule would build upon in later games. In one memorable instance, players platformed through the innards of a calculator. The creative tools were easy and liberating, eventually building the path to Media Molecule’s Dreams. With that in mind, LittleBigPlanet is still an enjoyable experience that also represents a major step forward in Media Molecule’s creative career with PlayStation.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots
As one would expect, Metal Gear Solid 4 continues the convoluted Metal Gear storyline while introducing a range of compelling new mechanics. In this installment, players control an aged and irritable Snake as he attempts to assassinate Liquid Ocelot, a fusion of Revolver Ocelot and Liquid Snake. From a gameplay perspective, Snake wore a muscle suit that both minimized the effects of old age and allowed him to blend into any environment. Even if the game hadn’t been received well, Metal Gear Solid 4 would still be a memorable experience, warts and all.
However, Guns of the Patriots was a major success for the PlayStation 3, despite some misgivings. The game garnered several perfect review scores and widespread fan approval. Though some criticized the story for being too confusing, many would argue that convoluted storytelling and Metal Gear go hand in hand. For a game that could go wrong in countless ways, Guns of the Patriots stuck the landing in impressive fashion.
2. The Resistance Collection
Back in the days when first-person shooters were dominating the market, Resistance managed to avoid being just another drop in the bucket thanks to a range of smart creative choices. The series set out to define itself as a blend of alternate history war drama and unsettling horror narrative, with its Chimera antagonists being key to the balance. These disturbing alien invaders bore four yellow eyes and arrays of teeth bordering the mouth, looking ripped from the cover of a particularly twisted pulp science-fiction novel. In distinguishing itself through tonal and aesthetic choices, Resistance was propelled into the spotlight as a well-regarded FPS brand.
It is our sincere hope that Sony revives the series, a possibility strengthened thanks to the work of their subsidiaries. As it happens, Insomniac Games bundled the core Resistance trilogy into one convenient collection. Furthermore, Sony San Diego being sent to work on existing franchises keeps the idea of a Resistance revival within the realm of plausibility. Still, even without a proper comeback, it’s hard to argue against revisiting these excellent shooters if one gets the chance.
1. The Infamous Collection
An electrified bomb destroys several city blocks and Cole MacGrath wakes up in the center with newfound abilities. This set in motion the plot to one of the best PlayStation 3 exclusives.
Infamous was Sucker Punch’s take on the superhero genre, in which they sought to create a compelling power fantasy while delivering a poignant core narrative. To that end, the game builds itself upon the framework of an open-world game, littering its setting with heroic quests and power-boosting collectables. In addition, Sucker Punch integrated a karma system into the gameplay, which affected not only Cole’s moves but also the direction of the story. It’s no wonder that this original game and its follow-ups would be deemed worthy of a dedicated collection.
As good as the first Infamous was, the rest of the content in the collection is no slouch either. Infamous 2 refined some clunky gameplay and expanded Cole’s power set to include ice and fire abilities. Meanwhile, the wacky expansion Festival of Blood adds features to the level creation system, on top of turning Cole into a vampire. In short, this collection represents some of the best material to grace the PS3 and serves as an excellent way to revisit Sucker Punch’s gritty superhero saga.
These games only scratch the surface of PlayStation 3’s offerings. We recommend digging through the closet and plugging in the console prior to July 2. Take a glorious romp through the PlayStation Store before it’s subject to the black hole of history.