PS3 Exclusives - From Worst to Best

Discussion in 'Sony' started by Electro UK, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Electro UK Can't all be for nothing

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    It's taken the better part of a decade but the PS3's life is finally coming to an end, like a great titan having a thousand tiny hooks fired into it and brought crashing down by next-gen hype.

    It's fair to say that, after an extremely rocky start, Sony did a great job with positioning the PS3 as an exclusive-heavy console. Since playing The Last Of Us, I've been musing over which games are the very best PS3 exclusives and which are the worst. So I present my (overly long) list of PS3 exclusives from worst to best. It only includes the games I've actually played (so Lair gets off lightly). You're welcome to tackle your own version of course.

    Personally, I've left out PSN-only games because the list is already too long without them, but that's not meaning to undermine them - the likes of The Last Guy and Journey were ranking above most anyways.

    So, starting from worst...

    [​IMG]

    The Fight – Luckily remembered this juuuust before posting. Watch some videos of the Danny Trejo tutorials. Please.

    SOCOM: Special Forces - Probably the most unremarkable entry in the TPS genre this generation. The SOCOM games on PS2 were harsh tactical beasts, but here Zipper brought the series 'up-to-date' with disastrous results. Squad commands had been watered down and there were bizarre attempts to read from the book of Naughty Dog, including woeful section dodging fire from a gigantic warship. Y'know, just like real life.

    Modnation Racers - The great irony of Modnation Racers was just how bland it was. While its user-creation stripped away the tedium and impatience of LittleBigPlanet's systems, the fun you could have off-track immediately vanished when racing yet another sluggish, unresponsive kart down a track that didn't end up being quite as cool as you imagined it to be. A big miss, sadly.

    Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One - Like many a Ratchet fan, I was calling Insomniac to do one of two things after A Crack in Time - innovate or put the franchise to rest. Bravely, the team chose the former, but it was a risk that just didn't pay off. All 4 One is an adorable game that should be all the fun of a Lego title and more, but it just ends up being an empty vessel. Playing it is a bemusingly soulless expeirence, requiring nothing in the way of thought-process of dexterity. After this, they should have given the Lombax some time off (but they didn't).

    Heavy Rain - This was something I sadly came to detest after my initial playthrough. David Cage asked players to experience the game just once, but in retrospect this seems more like a plea leave the game's countless plot holes and awkward inconsistencies buried than anything else. There are times Heavy Rain outright lies to you in an effort to keep its relatively goofy story from unravelling too soon. It's a dumb piece of writing that's been elevated to something more by those that took it at face value (not meaning any offence to those that enjoyed it).

    Killzone 3 - It's probably alarming to put an AAA FPS this close to the worst side of things, but KZ3 is such a betrayal of everything that made its predecessor so engaging that its mediocrity stings all the more. It's a hastily thrown together campaign of conventionalizing - something especially disappointing to see after Guerrilla stubbornly stuck to their weighty guns transitioning from Killzone 1 to 2. Hopefully Mercenary and Shadow Fall put the franchise back on track.

    Starhawk - After the years of rumours and the quality of its predecessor, Starhawk should have been a lot more. It's not necessarily just the game's fault - it released at a time when Sony was convinced that shoving exclusives out the door with little to no marketing would sell systems. It's been tragically forgotten in a short amount of time, Light Box Studios along with it - but really failed to significantly step things up from Warhawk. That's simply not something you can get away with anymore.

    God of War: Ascension - It stuns me to think that Ascension released this year, let alone four months ago. I played it from start to finish upon release and have, quite honestly, forgotten nearly everything about it. Bar the fantastic opening set piece, it never felt like it was even trying to top God of War III, and tweaks to the combat system actually meant it didn't handle as well either. After GoWIII we were ready for something new. All we got here was the third prequel in a long-tired series, making me question if even GoW4 will cut it next-gen.

    Twisted Metal - Doomed to the same obscurity that faced Starhawk, TM did at least restore fond memories of Black and World Tour, if never once topping those two games. Artistically it seemed to have regressed from the PS2 days, and development seemed to take much too long to accurately reflect the end product. It was an insignificant release in a series that really shouldn't have seen one.
     
  2. Electro UK Can't all be for nothing

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    MAG - Poor, poor Zipper. It just wasn't your generation, was it? I actually have a large amount of respect for MAG, because it has intricate gameplay systems and engaging tactical combat, it was just the type of game that appealed to the SOCOM niche, marketed for the CoD crowd and dependent on those kinds of sales to succeed. The concept would have been better off in the hands of a developer that could make a softer shooter, or perhaps Zipper should have learned to conventionalize a little bit earlier than SOCOM 4.

    LittleBigPlanet 2 - Here's where we move out of noble failure territory and start celebrating some great games. LBP2 ranks lower than the original game only because it is an iteration - not the creation - of one of this generation’s most exciting IPs. LBP may not leave quite the legacy Media Molecule had hoped for thanks to Minecraft, but there's no denying its brilliance, wonderfully realised here with its creation tools taken to the next level and opening the door for some jaw dropping creativity.

    MotorStorm Apocalypse - The last game in the PS3 trilogy fell behind its predecessors but still stands proud thanks to a robust feature set and entertaining blockbuster racing. Buildings’ crumbling all around while you dare to push the boost just a little further is about as inventive as racing gets this generation - it's just a shame that handling and visuals had to suffer in the process.

    Resistance 2 -
    Insomniac's FPS trilogy is generally hailed as a generic me-too experience but in truth it’s only Resistance 2 that remotely fits that bill. And even when it's trying to be CoD, Resistance 2 holds its own, with slick production values backed up by unique weaponry and a fascinating lore. It’s also one of the bigger crimes of this generation that its incredible 8-player co-op mode wasn't adored by all.

    Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time - A polished, Pixar-esque adventure that was teetering dangerously on the edge of 'one game too many'. ACIT brought enough genuinely brilliant new ideas to the table to let Insomniac off one more time, including Ratchet's enlightening hover boots and the galaxy-roaming side missions that took a page from Mario's recent adventures. A fitting send-off... if only it had stayed just that.

    PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale - It probably takes a bit more dedication to PSASBR than it actually deserves to have any fun with it, but there is Smash Bros-level joy to be had with this brawler once you understand its mechanics. The way to play is undoubtedly 2v2 online, but its failure to be engaging anywhere else will leave its legacy as a missed opportunity over anything else.

    LittleBigPlanet - Sackboy arrived to reinvigorate the PlayStation brand with innovation just in time back in 2008. It’s hard to deny LBP's stance as a quality product when looking at what it brought to the table, despite some gameplay issues (that still haven't been fixed four iterations in). We covered much of this in LBP2 - but this is where it all began.

    Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time - A successful return for PlayStation's underdog (or underraccoon), that didn't aspire to do much other that bring Sly back for fans. It's a splendid bit of work that earns your attention from start to finish.

    MotorStorm Pacific Rim - The idea of iterating on MotorStorm with a fully-formed feature set was hugely compelling to me, although Pacific Rim's races never reach the frantic heights of the original game. It's still a visual marvel, and great fun in split-screen, cementing the series as one of the PS3's most underrated treasures.

    DC Universe Online - The MMO crowd can probably level a thousand complaints at DCUO, but for me this was an approachable and rewarding time-sink that showcased the genre's most attractive features. Roaming the streets of Gotham with a friend isn't Arkham City-level immersion, but instead embraces the more comic side of things, and is all the better for it.
     
  3. Electro UK Can't all be for nothing

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    Resistance: Fall of Man - The original Resistance game was a lot better than people gave it credit for. Its devotion to a grim, hopeless alien war was mistaken for a lack of imagination, but Insomniac's arsenal proved that wasn't the case in the slightest. Plus the splitscreen co-op for the 20+ hour campaign was a hidden gem, and in a post-CoD4 world it is, somewhat ironically, now one of the system's most unique shooters.

    Infamous - Sly Cooper's creators moved on to bigger and better things on PS3 with Infamous. At the end of the day this was a title that was about having fun while telling an entertaining comic book story along the way. Without the polish of its sequel, Infamous sits at the back of the mind when thinking about great PS3 exclusives, but it really still deserves its place up there.

    God of War III - From a pure action set piece view point, God of War III offers up some of this generation's best moments. There are times when its visuals reached new heights on a system that had already seen Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2, and the Chronos battle is one of the most impressive sequences in a game to date. A triumph that pulled it all off with apparent ease.

    Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - Ratchet's first PS3 outing is still very much his best, with liberating visuals that allowed the series to step up its storytelling and its gameplay. It's a shame to say that it was downhill from here, really.

    Yakuza 3 - A sluggish plot puts this as the weakest entry in the franchise this gen, but Y3 is still the same great taste of Japanese wackiness that I've come to love year after year. The series' battle system steps up from the PS2 days and some of the new minigames are so brilliant that they earn their place in the following two sequels.

    Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - Thank goodness that Level 5 pulled a JRPG classic out of its hat before the end of the generation. Ni No Kuni is practically the definition of endearing, if a touch on the path well-travelled side elsewhere. Still, Oliver's quest pulls plenty of surprises along the way and Mr Drippy is one of the best new characters in years. It will deservedly be remembered as one of this gen's best in genre.

    Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - My Naughty Dog man crush starts here, with the brilliant introduction of Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher. It’s easy to write the first Uncharted off as Dude Raider, but I always found its skin of your teeth gunfights to be more engaging than people let on. The underrated melee mechanic gives fist fights an 80’s feel, while scoring last-bullet headshots and slamming into cover on the edge of death make for highlights in all three games, but they were realised here first.

    Infamous 2 – In simply polishing and expanding upon the original game, Infamous 2 evolved into one of the most exciting action games of the generation. Here, Sucker Punch let their imaginations fly, bringing in vicious monsters for Cole to topple and expanding his move set beyond electricity. The free running combat reached its full potential on PS3; I can only hope Second Son pushes it that bit further to form a genuine classic.

    MotorStorm – The original game in the off-road series released to near impossible expectations. It didn’t help that it was waving the flag for an overly-expensive console and was being touted as ‘the PS3’s Halo’, but it was also partly because of the clear chance to raise the game on the racing genre. I’m one of the few people that thinks the original MS capitalised on that, as it proved to be the game that dominated launch period for me. It may not have had splitscreen racing but me and my friends would spend hours passing the controller and having a blast with this furious little beast. Plus it’s still pretty easy on the eyes.

    Yakuza: Dead Souls – So the aiming is prehistoric and it’s still using assets from a PS2 game… who cares? Yakuza’s zombiefied spin-off masterfully blends the Japanese gem’s humour with the horrors of the undead, and ends up being one of the system’s best exclusives.
     
  4. Electro UK Can't all be for nothing

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    Resistance 3 – I always say that the best thing about Resistance 3 is the element of surprise. Not only is this one of the best-crafted FPS campaigns of the generation, but it’s coming from a franchise that, up until now, you thought you had all figured out. Resistance 1 and 2 are military campaigns in which you travel from ruin to complex to ruin fighting a war. Resistance 3 is anything but that. You’ve lost the war, you’re surviving in an enemy-occupied country, and you’re learning to adapt to that. These fierce enemies suddenly become inhabitants of your world – you experience their wildlife, their lives post-war as well as learning new things about humanity. It’s one of the most intelligent, thrilling games on PS3 and was the perfect send off to the series.

    Yakuza 4 – You could probably tell this by now, but I think the Yakuza series is really special. Each entry is this fascinating mix of a complex mafia struggle, ridiculously self-aware humour, lifestyle simulation and minigame mastery. Yakuza 4 nails this compelling concoction better than any other game in the series. Three new main characters with different fighting styles provide the biggest changes the series has seen since its inception, and there’s Skyrim-level stuff to do when it comes to side missions etc.

    Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – I’ll never have an experience like waiting for MGS4 ever again. Partly because A. I’m not a giddy 17 year old anymore and B. We’re not likely to see another story-driven series of this calibre play out over 10 years and multiple consoles. I was sitting up at night thinking about it, listening to the series soundtrack on the way to school and actually counting down the days from 100 to release. That’s some serious hype/sadness. My views may have changed on it over the years, but right there in the moment MGS4 totally delivered from start to finish. The ending pulled out all the stops (some of which arguably should have stayed plugged in), and it paid tribute to fans in a way that no series will ever be able to replicate. It’s been dwarfed by many a title since, but MGS4 is a landmark for fans, if not gamers.

    Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – I still stand by the claim that Uncharted 3 is a worthy successor to Uncharted 2. It’s got some story faults and gameplay blemishes, but that doesn’t detract from just how tightly I was gripping my controller when Nate tumbled out the back of that plane. It’s a game that manages to out-think its predecessors when it could have easily fallen in line, pulling brilliant twists and never failing to take you somewhere new and exciting. There’s a very valid argument to be had about the game’s linearity, but there’s room for both ends of that spectrum, and Uncharted 3 stands head and shoulders above what’s on this side.

    Killzone 2 – I have an undying admiration for Killzone 2. It’s a game of complete stubbornness – retaining the heavy, messy assault rifles and pistols from the first game despite its lukewarm reception. The result is the perfect war shooter, a game that doesn’t empower the player with Olympic marksmanship and bullet-resistant skin, but rather gives you the feeling of playing a small though essential part in a wider conflict. It’s a gruelling sci-fi Saving Private Ryan that makes no apologies. Then there’s the multiplayer, where said control scheme transfers to deliver one of the most satisfying online packages on the system, one of the few I’ve invested more than 30 hours’ worth into. It’s my favourite FPS of the generation.

    Demon’s Souls – Before the landmark success that is Dark Souls, there was this brutal, merciless action RPG to test people’s mettle. Though its sequel’s tweaks make it the real winner, Demon’s Souls lays essential groundwork that needs to be experienced. It’s harder and much more complex, creating entire online communities that theorise how to unlock all of the game’s secrets buried deep within its mines and castles. There are areas of the game you can’t get to without real practise and determination, requiring more from you as a player than most even think about asking.

    Valkyria Chronicles – I used to go by the mantra that, as beautiful and powerful as games were becoming, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time would always be the peak of what a story-focused adventure game could achieve. Valkyria Chronicles was the game that finally showed me just how wrong I was. Through its unique (if a touch too easy) strategy battle system, fantastical reimagining of the first world war, and delightful cast of characters I fell in love with a game like it was 1998 all over again. It’s simply gorgeous to look at, and cuts through the usual JRPG baloney with its cinematic presentation and genuinely moving script. One of the true greats of the generation, without a doubt.

    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Uncharted 2 is a linear point A to B, 10 hour action game that’s the same every time you play it. Somehow, then, my total playtime clocks in at over 80 hours of single player. That’s because I’ve played through its enthralling, eye-opening campaign countless times and often possess the urge to revisit one of the game’s many incredible moments to dive into what makes it tick. I’ve navigated the train missions in every possible way, explored the ins and outs of the crumbling building and stood for far too long overlooking one of the many, many vistas just marvelling at the technical accomplishments. Every good note I made about the other two applies here and then some thanks to its perfect pacing. The Dog’s latest may have topped it, but Among Thieves will forever remain an all-time favourite for me.

    The Last Of Us – It might feel like over-hyping to put a game that released just half a month ago ahead of all the others in this list, but it’s kind of a no brainer when you think about what The Last Of Us represents. This is a culmination of the last 8 years’ worth of AAA development wrapped into 12 of the most sensational hours gaming currently offers. It is the ultimate in current-gen storytelling, with the most thought-provoking, character-driven plot of any game released on disc in the last decade. It is the best realisation of games topping Hollywood seen so far, regardless of if you think they should be heading that way or not. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s essential cementation of Naughty Dog as one of the best game developers out there, laying the fears of the Uncharted games to rest and delivering open combat that’s among the most frantic, hair-raising and memorable on the system. I don’t like to use the term masterpiece, but if I had to, The Last Of Us would be fully deserving of it.
     
  5. Spider-Who? ERMERGERD!

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    I'm happy to see someone else enjoy UC3.
     
  6. Destructus86 Registered

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    NO way was Killzone 2 better than Killzone 3. No way.
     
  7. eternalinferno Registered

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    I think kz2 was better as well, I lost interest in resistance with 3 tho
     
  8. Benstamania Go away.

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    KZ2 is miles better than 3, IMHO.
     
  9. eternalinferno Registered

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  10. dmb Registered

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    You forgot Lair.

    BTW-it sucked.
     
  11. Electro UK Can't all be for nothing

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    Check the top! I never actually played Lair (or Heavenly Sword, for that matter).
     
  12. dmb Registered

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    oops, missed your footnote!
     
  13. Havok83 Registered

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    How could nobody mention Haze as one of the worse?
     
  14. Electro UK Can't all be for nothing

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    Didn't play Haze!
     
  15. Havok83 Registered

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    Yes way. KZ3 only had better MP but the campaign was much better in 2. 3s story was pretty awful and forgettable
     
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    If I am honest, i thought Haze had so much potential I had it pre-ordered and everything. I couldn't believe what happened when I actually got to put it into my dark knight of a machine I play it.

    Wasted potential.
     
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