The 18 best PS3 games of all time that saved Sony's console (2023)

The 18 best PS3 games for Sony's console saw less attention than the PS4 and PS5 would, but the hardcore knows the PlayStation 3 has exceptional games.

The 18 best PS3 games of all time that saved Sony's console (2023)
Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Kes Eylers-Stephenson


Update: You can find a new addition to the best PS3 games list below: Portal 2.
The best PS3 games list is here to guide you through the highest quality experiences available on Sony's 2006 comeback-king console. The TrueTrophies team has looked through all the PS3 games to find what stuck out as the most definitive titles and selected 15 of them for you, with the aim of providing a rich selection with variety. Here are the 17 greatest PS3 games of all time.

A quick note from the TrueTrophies team on methodology: it starts with Editor Kes and Staff Writers Lee and Sean putting together lists of their favorite PS3 games. These 30 are then trimmed to 15 games that they felt offered a variety of definitive PS3 experiences. This means you might not see some games that are cross-platform and/or multigenerational (hello, Batman!) — we will have a separate list for those linked above. This best PS3 games list is dominated by the great titles that specifically give you a taste of everything distinctly unique to the PS3 and the generation of gaming it occupies. Enjoy!


Uncharted 2 Among Thieves

Uncharted 2 Among Thieves is the action-adventure game that saved the PlayStation 3. Let's get it right though, as beyond its status as a savior, Drake's second adventure is superb and in some ways defies description. Uncharted is, and will be for a generation of players, one of the best series in video gaming. You climb, enjoy quippy dialogue, luxuriate in exotic locations, hunt treasures, shoot goons, and fall in love with the pretty graphics and prettier people.

Setpieces like the legendary train sequence through Nepal have become staples for AAA video gaming and, no matter how many times you play it, remain thrilling and unique. Uncharted 2's main cast — Nate, Sully, Chloe, and Elena — all feel like living, breathing people, which is exceptionally weird given the carnage and action that explodes around them constantly. Uncharted 2 was something fresh and new for video games, throwing down a marker for design excellence at the time and remaining a marker even today.

Uncharted 2 introUncharted 2's train sequence is legendary

Not only is it obscenely compelling fun, but it also maximized the PS3 hardware so hard we're surprised the thing didn't blow up. Then again, Naughty Dog has always been technical wizards as we covered extensively in our Uncharted history.

The Uncharted 2 Among Thieves trophies were an easy lot, but sadly can no longer be finished now that the online servers have been switched off (boo!). Even so, Uncharted 2's high quality played a vital role in reviving the PS3 after those rough early days, and the game deserves its spot on this list without even a hint of doubt. Uncharted 2 is arguably the best in the series and marks the true beginning of one of the greatest video game series ever.


The Last of Us

The cornerstone of modern AAA video games — especially those made by PlayStation Studios — The Last of Us arrived loudly on the scene to feverish demand and sky-high expectations and stuck the landing thanks to its immaculate game design, pacing, and narrative execution. Released before the PS4 came out in the summer of 2013, it wasn't just the strangely difficult and limited The Last of Us trophies that had people playing.

The story Naughty Dog put together made for a haunting, wistful experience that dissected the human condition expertly. The world falls apart after a virus begins to spread, turning people into grotesque fungi monsters. With the world now overrun with gurgling, clicking monstrosities, humanity quickly falls in on itself and ten years later we find rugged survivor Joel and young lass Ellie making their way across a dystopian America. The two characters form the soul of the game — the heart of everything that works and that players love about the PS3 exclusive.

CarouselThe Last of Us is perhaps the PS3's most important title for legacy

Given that this game has become so ubiquitously known as part of PlayStation heritage, it feels almost silly to describe it, but it delivers on the description and more. The storytelling reaches a level never before seen in video games, and very rarely since. The relationship between characters is so well developed that it is easy to overlook the bravery required to tell some of it — it is sad and beautiful in equal measure. Who knew the action could be so superbly well crafted? It is straight survival horror as you creep through murky locations haunted by the echoes of the past, only using a gun when necessary — wasting ammo and shivs on the infected can be a death wish.

In our The Last of Us Part 1 review, we praised the remaster not for improving the design of the original release, but for preserving “The Last of Us’ masterful, diamond cutter-honed game design in pristine condition.” If that still holds in 2022, then of course The Last of Us makes the best PS3 games list. It is thunderously important as the capstone of Sony’s third console. Released mere months before the arrival of the PS4 in 2013, The Last of Us is the PS3’s technical swansong, a showpiece to end Sony’s most turbulent console generation with grace and glamour after a tremendously rocky start. It’s an important video game, important art, and it’s also quite good.


Resistance 2

The PS3 FPS throne was supposed to be Killzone’s for the taking. Unfortunately, as Guerrilla Games worked the next four years on Killzone 2 to invent some semblance of the game’s much-talked E3 2005 gameplay demo, another title demoing that same year by Insomniac Games would not hesitate to launch alongside the PS3. From there, it was only a matter of time before picking up the Resistance 2 trophies let everyone know it wore the PS3's FPS crown.

Resistance 2 would also beat Killzone 2 to market, and whatever remaining gameplay innovation or creativity was hacked off the end of Resistance Fall of Man to have it lead the charge for PS3 FPS games found its way into the sequel. Snappy gunplay, Ratchet & Clank-esque weapon concepts, ambitiously large multiplayer games — all wrapped around a memorable singleplayer and co-op campaign that tied a neat bow around Nathan Hale’s war against the Chimera. It's an easy recommendation and a standout PS3 exclusive.


Ratchet & Clank A Crack in Time

Where Future Tools of Destruction gave us an impressive early demo of what the PS3 was technically capable of (much in the same way Rift Apart has for the PS5), collecting Rachet and Clank A Crack in Time trophies left most players recognizing that a more established PS3-era Insomniac was at the helm. The team messed with its established formula so successfully that the creativity of the series has felt comparatively stagnant ever since.

A unique cel-shaded art style and a dramatic ramping up of narrative stakes are just the surface layer additions — A Crack in Time’s hover boots are the real draw, significantly trimming the downtime in exploration. Space exploration would also be expanded into its own second game, and Clank would finally get puzzles that didn’t drain the life out of the player. With just about every last good idea explored, A Crack in Time felt like the spiritual finale of the Ratchet and Clank series, seemingly calling time as the last of the PlayStation mascot platformers.


LittleBigPlanet 2

Creativity abounds in LittleBigPlanet from now-PlayStation Studio Media Molecule, and while the first 2008 entry was a superb first try that absolutely nailed the "Play, Create, Share" moniker, it was Sackboy's second swig at a pint of hardy British stout that fully delivered on the buzz. LittleBigPlanet 2 trophies allowed you to fully explore a decent four-player campaign that plays with those three plains of platforming action perfectly. It offers a truckload of silly cosmetic materials to play with and enjoyable creative design flairs to inspire you. Then you have the actual meat of the level creator mode, narrated by icon Stephen Fry, which was vastly improved and expanded over the original game without becoming overwhelming to mess with.

Add to the mix a community of fantastic creators making such wonders as Shark Run and Bomb Survival for you and your mates to bounce through and the title quickly becomes inseparable from your memories of Sony's third console. While Media Molecule's later work Dreams is superb, we think the lack of LBP is still felt in the PS5 catalog, particularly with Sackboy's creative charms not quite poking through in the more limited Sackboy A Big Adventure. Here's hoping for a creative adventure that defines the PS5 like LittleBigPlanet 2 defined the PS3.



Taking the long road to win back the gaming public’s hearts after an abysmal start to the console generation, Sony worked tirelessly to build the PS3 as a platform for tastemakers and trailblazers. With the support of soon-to-be PlayStation Studios like Santa Monica Studio and Japan Studio, developers would produce tremendous works like Rain, The Unfinished Swan, Tokyo Jungle, and at the center of the movement, Thatgamecompany would close out its three-game deal with Sony by creating the acclaimed Journey.

Released a year before the PS4’s launch, voyaging through the Journey trophies felt like the apex of Sony’s artistic investments during the PS3 era — a sensory multiplayer experience in which two strangers would travel together online to complete a series of trials designed to be finished in a single, just-long-enough sitting. With beautiful music and stunning visuals, the game created a unique contemplation on the nature of cooperation, all the while peeling back layer after layer of presumed game design necessities in a move that artsy games today really need to stop emulating.



A few games on this list are second entries and, while Infamous 2 is arguably more refined, Sucker Punch actually managed to nail the superhero story the first time around. Cole MacGrath is a delivery man cycling around New York Empire City when a massive electrical burst explodes out of a parcel he is delivering. The resulting accident leaves him with powers that let him shoot bolts of lightning, hover with electrical pulses, and zippily grind on rails. The story features a simplistic good/bad karma system that ties into a surprisingly fab story that outdoes many of its superhero movie brethren.

This is a game that was arguably improved on by the sequel and never quite commanded the same gravity as titles like Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, or Resistance in reviving the PS3 from the dead, but it is certainly one of those games that helped bulk out a robust catalog of exclusives in its own unique way. Everything about it is fun and slick, if a bit lacking in depth on occasion. Make up for the lost time by playing through it today and collecting all of those accessible and easygoing Infamous trophies.


Red Dead Redemption

It's no real surprise to see us lauding our time with the Red Dead Redemption trophies and placing it on our list, we think. Rockstar went from the satire of modernity in Grand Theft Auto to a spectacular wild west setting with the wonderful lead of John Marston. With the death of the old ways of doing things in the Southern US states dead and industrialization setting in, the past catches up with our gunslinger just as he has settled into life on his farmstead.

So begins an adventure quite unlike any we'd ever seen at that time, with the scope and narrative quality on a level matched only by Naughty Dog. It's a perfect game, with gameplay and content all galloping into life without any hitches. What can we say? This is gaming heaven and its only rival is its sequel. Not bad going and an absolute must on PS3 given it is stuck there!


Heavy Rain

Collecting the Heavy Rain trophies introduced many to maybe the first interactive movie-style game that really hit the nail on the head. The story of a father who, having lost one son ("JASON!?"), now must save the other ("SEAN!") from the origami killer — all of which lit a fire under gamers searching for innovation in game design after the PS2 era. The butterfly effect narrative is simply stunning, with every action or inaction you make spiraling out into a series of unforeseen consequences. That early experimental PS3 weirdness is on show here, something that would end up defining the console. It may have been bettered since by Detroit Become Human, but Heavy Rain is a seminal PS3 game you shouldn't miss.


Dark Souls

Is it possible to name any modern AAA, AA, or capital A video game released in the last five years that doesn’t show the telltale signs of Dark Soulsian influence? FromSoftware’s 2011 rework of its early Sony co-venture Demon’s Souls kindled a bonfire under modern game design, resulting in a world perhaps a little too enamored with enemy spawning checkpoints and extra-limited health packs.

However, back on the PS3, massacring through Dark Souls trophies felt as fresh as its graphics looked underserved next to the competition. Tough but fair combat melded with a distinct and memorable world that sought to revamp the backtrack-heavy design of 90s exploration games like Super Metroid for 2010s audiences. The resulting trauma went down swimmingly, and today we now see a spiritual successor like Elden Ring not only selling gangbusters but also inspiring Dark Souls trauma addicts to seek Elden Ring platinum trophies in record numbers — something we would believe unthinkable in the PS3 days.


Burnout Paradise

Broom broom. Welcome to Paradise City. Burnout Paradise is one of the best racing games on PlayStation, built off the back of the series' preceding line of elite PS2 racers. In the PS3 era, Burnout went from a straightforward arcade racer to a full arcade-style open world with massive destruction, deeply fun core mechanics, and precious Burnout Paradise trophies. This game's races are violent, hectic, and stuffed with cars getting mangled by oncoming traffic, walls, other racers, and any other manmade obstacle you can think of. And in case you missed anything, you get a lovely crunching replay of the incident in slow-mo. Yes, please.

The game also lets you roam immaculately designed road patterns while exploring wide spaces filled with ramps and smashable objects. Burnout Paradise offers a simple but addictive trophy collection that helps entice you into finding shortcuts and doing a quintuple barrel roll off of the side of a tall car park. When you are doing so to a soundtrack of straight-up bangers, how could it not go on this list?


Ni No Kuni The Wrath of the White Witch

Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch was an absolute smash hit amongst JRPG fans, and honestly defined the genre for PS3 players everywhere. While the Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch trophies might be somewhat of a grind to work through, but that sensation of besting it and unlocking the platinum trophy is a feeling of pure accomplishment. Thanks to the Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch Remastered trophies on PS4, you can snatch that platinum trophy up twice — if you’re a masochist who hates free time.

Make no bones about it though, this is the PS3's JRPG crown jewel forged by a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Level 5. Explore a vibrant world in Ni No Kuni with a cast of eccentric and lively characters, some of which will even venture around the world with you as you try and save your mother. Befriend and capture the many magical creatures roaming the lands and utilize them in real-time Pokémon battles to squish your foes — sometimes literally — as you level up and gear up to face down Shadar, the big bad boss. Plus, you know, talking lamp Drippy is a Welshman, and Editor Kes needs to shout out his fellow countryman.


Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol is one of the most underrated games of all time. If we ever see this title come to PS Plus; trust us when we say it will be at the top of our underrated PS Plus games list. The Alpha Protocol trophies will test your stealthy spy skills if you plan on sleuthing your way to the platinum trophy

Alpha Protocol throws you into the role of Michael Thorton, a secret agent who must unravel a series of events that threaten his very life and the world. Throughout the game, you make choices that can have serious impacts on the world around you as well as leveling up Michael to be more suited towards skills that you feel benefit your playstyle best. If you have ever watched the TV series Alias, then you can get a good grasp of the kind of world you’ll be stepping into if you ever decide to pick up this fantastic game — and let's be clear, you should absolutely pick up this game.


Fallout New Vegas

It was a tough choice between Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. Both were incredibly influential for Bethesda, gamers, and the Western RPG genre on the PS3 alike. Ultimately we decided to go with New Vegas due to it always popping up as the more popular in the Fallout franchise as well as the fact PlayStation fans can only play it on PS3. The Fallout New Vegas trophies are a fun challenge to pass the time with as you aim for the platinum trophy.

Fallout New Vegas provides you with that RPG shooter element that you have now grown accustomed to with the franchise, yet somehow it manages to outdo nearly every entry thanks in large to the charm it sprinkles throughout the game's world. The story, locations, characters, and world-building are all wonderfully tied together, making Fallout New Vegas an experience you can't help but be engrossed by.



Bayonetta is one hell of an addictive, over-the-top, zany game and so are the Bayonetta trophies. We are still attempting to snatch up the platinum trophy and we won’t stop until we do — be that on PS3 or the PS4, or heck; why not both? Bayonetta as a character is so charming, ferocious, and badass that you will fall in love with her as soon as she comes flying across your screen annihilating her foes with her magical witch hair — this sentence makes more sense if you play the game.

While PlayStation fans may never see this absolute queen gracing their consoles again, that shouldn’t stop you from checking out the first entry in the series — and arguably the finest in the franchise — as you would be sorely missing out on one of the best action games out there. With the most insane and stylish combos that you can even fathom, Bayonetta fires on all cylinders and hits the bullseye with every shot it takes. It’s a wild, breathtaking experience that one must journey through to really soak in everything it has to offer — go on, go journey.


Metal Gear Solid 4

Those Metal Gear Solid 4 trophies are still obtainable, but you'll have to go through hell to get them. You'll have to play on a PS3 and the download will be long and arduous. Loading screens will hurt you. Once bold browns are now rather muddy on that old tech even if it still has glorious art direction. However, what a game Hideo Kojima cooked up underneath all of that! Solid Snake takes on his final chapter as we see a war-torn 2014 and, indeed, his own old body (there is a reason he is called Old Snake).

Released in 2008, Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots is now a PS3 classic thanks to its dark tale about Private Military Companies. With the help of characters like Raiden to aid Old Snake, the story is full of memorable moments and fantastically cinematic (and long) cutscenes. Given it is technically the final chapter, discounting the parallel narrative of Metal Gear Rising Revengance by PlatinumGames and PSP's Metal Gear Acid, it is a game that was ambitious for the time. That makes it well worth seeking out and booting up the old PS3 for, we think!


PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Listen, even the people who have collected all the PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale trophies will tell you it's not even in a contest with its obvious fighting game inspiration, Super Smash Bros. Clearly, Nintendo brought a pedigree to its series Sony hasn't even tried to reach again since it published this SuperBot Entertainment effort in 2012. Even so, this is a must-have PS3 game because it absolutely captures the truly bizarre energy of the PS3 era.

Up to four players compete with characters from PlayStation's history — just watch while Nathan Drake fills Fat Princess with bullets while Sky Cooper lobs Sackboy into the stratosphere — trying to earn enough meters to earn a super. With the super, you can finally kill your opponents and, when they run out of lives, a final victor comes to the fore. Played out on a variety of stages from PlayStation's past, unique movesets really help fill the game with character, even if the Super move is incredibly limiting and, ultimately, a silly gameplay mechanic.

But, if it's not one of the best PS3 games for its gameplay, then why is it here? Well, that's because it's one of the best times you can have on Sony's console. You'll be laughing almost constantly at the lunacy of it all, while wrapped up in a blanket of surprisingly heartwarming PlayStation heritage. It's a PS3 essential even if it is one of the strangest creations ever put together — that gives it a spot on this list!


Portal 2

Collect those Portal 2 trophies. Go on, do it. I dare you! It might break your brain with glorious puzzling, but it's well worth it. With Portal 2's combination of puzzle solving, exploration, and intelligent writing, this is a game that pulls out every stop and then keeps on going. It saw the creativity of of the original and said "Hey, I'll do you three better!" and then did just that. Portal 2 builds on its game mechanics and the world with beautiful cohesiveness and that is well worth putting it on a list of the best PS3 games for.

That is it for our best PS3 games list! If you want more content like this, check out those links above, or join us in hoping for retroactive PS3 trophies on PS Plus Premium. Like or dislike our picks? Get in the comments to let us know!
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like The Last of Us and Horizon, PS Plus news, and his favorite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and God of War — before an evening swim.
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