All aboard the PS3 exclusive train of adventure games! Today, we’re diving back into the nostalgia realm, and it’s all about those grand surreal games that defined Sony’s PS3 era. The hype around every single one of today’s games was at a fever pitch, and there was a buzz in the air that we miss in modern releases.
We were feeling the nostalgia bug so we pulled out our retro PS3-era collection. After trying all the exclusives from back then, we’re happy to say almost all of them hold up pretty well. Cutting down to the final 8 was no easy task, but we’re finally ready to unveil them. So, without further ado, let’s not waste time and dive into the selection we got for you. Here we go!
Journey, a beloved indie darling that took the PlayStation fandom by storm upon release, is our first pick. The PS3 was packing lots of big-budget AAA-exclusive adventure games, but Journey was the missing piece. This indie gem from the PS3 treasure trove is proof that creativity in game development still exists. Journey’s presentation style and graphics are bound to evoke emotions within players.
The premise isn’t anything groundbreaking, but what’s unique is the way everything unfolds. There’s no dialogue at all in Journey. The only communication you’ll see and hear is through the wordless songs the player character will utter. Also, the game’s setting is in the backdrop of a desolate yet hauntingly beautiful desert. The goal is simple: you get to the top of the mountain to finish the game.
The sense of going for soul-searching and discovering the remnants of a lost civilization will fill players with wonder. Journey’s unique ambiance and vibes are wholesome and will stay with you long after you’ve finished the game. The gameplay is reminiscent of simpler times, like the days of our favorite PS2 platforming games.
7. Heavenly Sword
Now that the cutesy and fluffy games are outta the way, we can focus on the action-packed PS3-exclusive adventure games. A criminally underrated game that went under the radar of a lot of gamers is Heavenly Sword. It’s a shame Heavenly Sword is stuck on PS3 hardware, and there’s no port for the modern consoles. Though, there is a workaround for playing PS3 games on PS5.
Anyway, in Heavenly Sword, you play as a flame-haired heroine, Nariko, who’s a no-nonsense lady. That right there is an instant selling point, but there’s more! You see, Nariko takes hold of the titular Heavenly Sword, and she uses it to defy gravity while she cuts down armies. The Heavenly Sword can change forms to deliver light, medium, and heavy strikes depending on the form of the weapon.
The game shifts perspective to other side characters to break up the pacing. The story is serviceable enough to get you to care about Nariko’s journey. There’s loads of exposition during cutscenes, but thankfully, they’re not cringe or anything and give off a fantasy-historical vibe. Heavenly Sword is a flawed gem, but it’s still one of the best games we’ve played from the PS3 days, so check it out.
6. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time
We’ve got a soft spot for adventure games that feature an animal hero, and Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time is precisely that. The lovable wombat Ratchet and his pal, the sentient robot Clank, return for a grand adventure involving time-travel shenanigans. The fun, upbeat aesthetic, story with heart, and several returning and new gameplay mechanics of the series Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time exceeds all expectations.
The cartoony visuals make Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time fun for every age group. The gameplay loop is satisfying and has a timeless appeal, with Ratchet’s amazing arsenal that’s more expansive and has deeper upgrades. The game’s gadget progression and freedom of traversal are huge highlights and show that Insomniac never drops the ball with this franchise.
The series’ humor remains intact in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time. You’ll snicker at every joke, even if it’s lousy because it’s nostalgia bait and a part of many veteran gamers’ childhoods. The planet-hopping adventure in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time gives newfound freshness to the story and keeps the experience still fresh. Also, it’s the game with the RHYNO 5; that weapon’s a beast.
5. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Moving on, the next pick for our exclusive PS3 adventure games list needs no introduction: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. No other game in our ranking of the Uncharted series has the thrills and captivating experience for players. The fan-favorite protagonist, Nathan Drake, goes on the most perilous adventure of his life while facing adversity. Drake goes commando and soloes against a mercenary army while traversing trecherous terrain.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception sees Drake have his brand of fun while players see genuine character development. The platforming is helluva fun, and each moment of high-octane adrenaline rush perfectly balances out with moments of calm. This kind of pacing helps players collect their thoughts and rest their minds for the next inevitable enemy encounter or time-crunch QTE.
Drake’s movement is much more fluid, and the animations help deliver a sense of realism that impresses. The combat is super engaging, and the cover-based shooting mechanic feels more polished. Between melee brawls and shootouts, Drake facing waves of enemies is all the more enjoyable and satisfying. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is the benchmark for all other action-adventure titles, and the bar’s yet to be topped.
4. Infamous 2
Infamous 2 is one of Sony’s biggest exclusive adventure games from the PS3 era. It’s also one of the few games where you have all the powers at the beginning of the game. After giving a taste of what that power feels like, Infamous 2 then takes it all away. After that, it’s a fun, story-driven adventure with protagonist Cole MacGrath, aka the electric man, and his trusty sidekick Zeke.
Infamous 2 does a great job of creating a playground in New Marias where Cole can truly cut loose. The traversal in Infamous 2 is really fun to pull off, where he uses the electric current to hover small distances. Cole can also grind over power cables and city train tracks. The electric powers aren’t one-dimensional either; there’s a great variety to them, so it’s worth unlocking them.
Oh, and if that’s not enough, Infamous 2 also has its signature karma system that drastically alters the game. Cole can be a menace to society and terrorize the citizens of New Marias, or he can be a selfless hero, helping out those in need. It’s this kind of complex storytelling that makes us love Infamous 2 even more after recently revisiting it. The same kind is in our favorite story-driven games.
3. Heavy Rain
If you’re looking to add a bit of a who-dun-it element to your narrative in PS3 exclusive adventure games, we present to you Heavy Rain. This game was a brilliant debut of David Cage’s vision for the PS3 console. Providing a series of mind-bending twists with multiple perspectives to keep the audience guessing was a genius move. The game’s like an interactive movie, the very first with such detail and polish that it’s astonishing.
Heavy Rain provides players with a chaotic scenario of a child getting kidnapped. The child’s father is one of the protagonists who desperately searches for his son throughout the game. The kidnapper is a famous elusive figure known as the Origami Killer. In Heavy Rain, other characters play their part in figuring out the identity and helping capture the Origami Killer. The gameplay is a quick-time-event bonanza.
Players must master the motion-control movement of the six-axis PS3 controller to get the timing right. What Heavy Rain does excellently is that you don’t get retries for the rest of the playthrough. Failing a quick-time event can cause a lead character’s death, but the game won’t end; rather shifts to the next playable character. The endings are diverse and many, which means it’s gonna be a while if you wanna see every outcome. If you love mystery games, Heavy Rain is for you.
2. The Last Of Us
When it comes to the runner-up spot for our list of awesome PS3 exclusive adventure games, there was stiff competition. Eventually, The Last Of Us won the luck of the draw, and here we are. Oh, boy, where do we even begin with this one? If you wanna see an emotional, story-driven plot and loads of character development, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than The Last Of Us.
The unlikely pairing between protagonists Joel and Ellie becomes one of gaming history’s most endearing parental-child relations. The gameplay of The Last Of Us revolves around stealth movement and not rushing into anything. Why? Well, because there are freaking zombies everywhere! Seriously, they’re not only terrifying but also extremely cunning, too.
Also, the game’s music and level designs are wonderfully crafted. Even the scripted events feel like they’re cinematic, and the graphics hold up incredibly well. The political intrigue in this zombie-infested world of The Last Of Us is very compelling. The game may be linear, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. It’s obvious if you loved PS3 zombie games, you got a kick out of The Last Of Us.
1. God Of War 3
Make way for the king, right? Nothing quite screams adventure as the PS3 exclusive God Of War games, and within them, God Of War 3 is top-tier. Krato’s final stand against the Greek pantheon comes to a close as he unleashes his vengeance on them. God Of War 3, on top of being one of the most visually stunning marvels on the PS3, also sits at the pinnacle of hack-and-slash games from that era.
The combat is sublime and utterly satisfying. Kratos messes up and eviscerates enemies left and right like nobody’s business. He’s done with all the scheming of the Greek gods and wants nothing more than to eliminate every last one of them. To that end, he steels himself and goes after the pantheon. Each slain foe grants Kratos more power and fuels his rage.
The story is a grand spectacle that elates players because of the epic finale. God Of War 3 gives Kratos a huge arsenal of weapons and powers that players will love mixing and matching. The combo chains are huge bragging points within the God Of War fandom, so that’s an extra incentive to get good at performing them. All in all, God Of War 3 is the prime example of a game that hypes the player base for a grand adventure and then delivers on all fronts.
Final Thoughts on the Greatest PS3 Exclusive Adventure Games
Well, there ya go, we’re finally done with our list of thrilling adventure games exclusive to the PS3. So, whaddya think? Do we have great taste in games or what? Tell you what, why don’t you list your own personal PS3 favorite exclusives down in the comments below, and we can compare notes. But don’t just list and be done with it; give us reasons like we did with our list as to why a game’s your favorite.
If you’re looking for more PS3-era variety, we got plenty to offer y’all. Take a gander at the excellent PS3 fantasy action RPGS, and you’re gonna be really blown away by our picks. Alright, that’s about it for today, we’re gonna head out now. Take care, everyone, and happy gaming to all!