It seemed like just yesterday that Sony pulled the curtain back on the sleek, jet-black box known as the PlayStation 3, but in reality, the console has been out for nearly a decade. There have been more than 800 titles released for the platform in the time since. While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may be garnering all the limelight with games such as Evolve and the forthcoming Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, there are still still a slew of AAA and indie titles to come before Sony officially hammers the final nail into the PS3’s coffin. However, with so many games to choose from, we know it can be hard to choose your next purchase. There’s a laundry list of fantastic titles available for the console, from The Last of Us to Grand Theft Auto V, many of which you can purchase new at budget-friendly prices or pick up secondhand from some dude on Craigslist.
Below are 15 of our favorite titles for PS3, in no particular order, whether you’re looking for a standalone masterpiece or a highlight from a blockbuster franchise.
The Last of Us
Despite an uneven combat system and a lack of multiplayer content, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us came away as one of the most alluring console titles of any generation. Its fantastic visual design, rich voice acting, and choice-based gameplay blend together in support of incredible, mature storytelling. The compelling relationship between Joel and Ellie as they fend for themselves in a post-apocalyptic United States is memorable to say the least — so much so the game was quickly remastered for the PlayStation 4. It’s truly a cinematic masterpiece.
Bungie’s post-Halo project, Destiny, is a lot of things. It’s a first-person shooter at its core, sure, but it’s also heavily infused with the character progression and customization of the modern MMORPG. You are a Guardian, humanity’s last hope, scouring a picturesque solar system for nasty aliens and guns with which to shoot them. The lackluster story is forgettable and the missions are repetitive at times, but after a decade of Halo games, Bungie has honed gunplay mechanics down to their satisfying core, and with each new DLC expansion, Destiny‘s endgame gets richer and richer .
Grand Theft Auto V
The latest installment of Grand Theft Auto is a benchmark in terms of open-world design and narrative. The gorgeous, bustling streets and back roads of Los Santos are chock-full of stuff to do, while the title’s unprecedented three-protagonist system propels you through a gripping story lined with superb, multilayered heists and unforgettable sequences that owe as much to the voice acting as they do the tight vehicular handling. The multiplayer remains prone to hiccups and the game definitely comes off as misogynistic, but frankly, it’s to be expected from GTA at this point.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
The charming Ni no Kuni is a pleasure, described by some as Chrono Trigger crossed with Pokemon, in the style of Studio Ghibli, who actually worked on the game’s animation. It’s a sweeping cartoon adventure revolving around a simple boy named Oliver, who sets out to become a wizard in the hopes of toppling evil and saving his recently-departed mother. The timeless world is rich and inventive — whether talking scenarios, enemies, characters, or the surrounding locales — and the heartfelt themes and motifs make up for troublesome leveling mechanics. Drippy is also one of the best fairy sidekicks you ask for, on par with Ocarina of Time‘s Navi.
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption remains the undisputed sleeper hit of 2010. It’s essentially a GTA title set in the Wild West and built on all manners of western cliches. The deserted region you traverse as former outlaw John Marston is vast, peppered with memorable characters and a variety of optional activities, including everything from racing and roping to poker and hunting. The accompanying story and its melange of staggered climaxes are just as sublime, so much so that you often forget there’s an entire multiplayer component with a host of classic options to explore.
Next page: Five more of our favorite games on the PlayStation 3