Oh, spirits of Black Friday please take pity on our poor PlayStation 3 owning souls, because Sony and crew have set up one heck of a line-up for the console this year and our wallets are unprepared for the consequences. Not only has the platform received dozens of great multi-platform releases, but also a ton of great exclusives -- many more than that other console. While many gamers may be moving on to next-gen this holiday season, the smart investment may be in a PS3 with a robust back-catalog.
It helps that the PlayStation 3 Slim is commonly found for around $200 right now, though it's often bundled with games and thereby raising the cost a touch. For smart buyers eyeing Black Friday, they'll want to watch for the $199.99 PlayStation 3 bundle that comes with The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham Origins. That's about $100 in savings! If cost-to-game ratios are important to you, then the PlayStation 3 is the worthy investment.
That's in large part because of Sony's PlayStation Plus service. PS Plus is a subscription service, normally costs $50 but can be found for $30 during Black Friday, that provides high quality free games every single month. Subscribing now will unlock almost a dozen PlayStation 3 games including the classics Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, along with modern titles like Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen and Binary Domain. Oh, and it also gives free games for the PS4 and PS Vita all under the same subscription.
Let's move straight on to the games, since that's what everyone's here for. Trust me, it's hard to go wrong with this broad of a library from 2013.
The Last of Us is the PlayStation 3's big, critically acclaimed release of 2013 and it's well deserved. From Naughty Dog, the developers of the Uncharted series, The Last of Us tells a gritty, mature story of two survivors of the apocalypse struggling with the last vestiges of hope. It also happens to be a PlayStation 3 exclusive title -- it won't be coming to PS4 in the foreseeable future. That means if you want this likely nominee for Game of the Year, you have to get it on PlayStation 3.
- Who It's For: Mature audiences, gamers looking for meaningful experiences, survival horror fans
- Why You Want It: Astounding writing and voice-acting, beautiful presentation, treats its audience with respect
Here's another PlayStation 3 exclusive that many folk may have missed, because it was released earlier this year. What that says to us, however, is that it's much more easy to find at a lower cost. Ascension is technically a prequel to the main God of War trilogy, but due to the addition of multiplayer provides a robust experience on top of the standard non-stop action of the main single-player story.
- Who It's For: Action addicts, blood and gore creepers, folk who don't like a lot of plot mixed with their mayhem
- Why You Want It: Wraps up the Kratos story-line, has solid and unique multiplayer, is the best looking God of War yet
One final PlayStation 3 exclusive before we list some of the best multi-plat action titles of the year. Beyond is a game unlike any other that you'll find on any platform this year. The experience is heavily tied to a wonderfully written and voiced narrative starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. Together they tell the story of a girl with an unnatural power and what that means for her and the world around her.
- Who It's For: Story lovers, gamers wanting something different, Ellen Page stalkers
- Why You Want It: Best voice acting of the year, absolutely crazy story, unlike anything you've ever played
- Grand Theft Auto V - 10/10 Review
- Saints Row IV - 10/10 Review
- Tomb Raider - 9/10 Review
- Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX
The best console RPG of the year, hands down. In an era where traditional JRPGs have all but gone extinct, Ni no Kuni has been born from the ashes. Designed in part by movie makers Studio Ghibli, makers of Spirited Away and Ponyo, Ni no Kuni is the story of a young buy who travels to a distant world on a mysterious adventure. While there are some mature themes, this all-ages experiences is as delightful as it is fun to play.
- Who It's For - Abandoned JRPG fans, fans of very long single-player games, fans of beautiful animation
- Why You Want It - Wonderful for both young gamers and adults, may be the last true JRPG for some time
Dragon's Crown is likely another title that many gamers missed, since it's digital only. Basically, it's what would happen if Japanese developers based a 2D beat-em-up on Dungeons & Dragons. Pick the dwarf, witch, knight, or sorceress and battle through dungeons in either single-player or multiplayer, picking up loot and leveling up in order to regain the magical Dragon's Crown.
- Who It's For - Budget gamers, loot grinders, those who are big on action, small on story
- Why You Want It - While there's some mature art, it's a beautiful style, tons of action, great cooperative gameplay
- Diablo III - 9/10 PC Review
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - 8/10 PC Review
- The Guided Fate Paradox
- Tales of Xillia
- Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness - Impressions
- Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk
While this guy snuck onto the platform at the worst possible time, while next-gen consoles were stealing the spotlight, Into the Nexus is as high quality as its predecessors. Closing out the Ratchet & Clank series on the PlayStation 3, platformer fans would be disappointed to miss out on this digital-only release.
- Who It's For - All audiences, classic Ratchet & Clank fans, space warriors
- Why You Want It - Great action, tons of weapons, hilarious fun for all ages, end of an era
Like Ratchet & Clank, this is a PlayStation 3 exclusive platformer that didn't get the attention it deserved. While it's also digital-only and 2D instead of 3D, Puppeteer may be one of the best games of the year that no one had the chance to play. A young boy needs to recover his stolen head, but first he needs to steal the magical scissors so he can adventure through this puppet world.
- Who It's For - All audiences, 2D-platformer fans, those looking for something fresh and different
- Why You Want It - Wonderfully macabre, unique style of puppetry, crisp and smooth platforming
- Rayman Legends - 9/10 Review
- Skylanders: SWAP Force - 9/10 Review
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Normally shooters would be a much higher priority category for a console, but oddly enough the PlayStation 3 didn't score any big shooter exclusives this year. We do have some recommendations, however, so watch out for these first-person shooters if you're looking for one on the PlayStation 3 for a friend or family member.
- BioShock Infinite
- Metro: Last Light
- Far Cry 3: Boood Dragon
- Call of Duty: Ghosts - 9/10 Review
- Payday 2
- Battlefield 4
Fighters, Sports and Racing
Watch out for exclusive fighting games like Aquapazza, or the big upcoming PlayStation 3 exclusive racing game Gran Turismo 6. Otherwise, these multi-platform titles are all rated highly compared to their peers.
|Injustice: Gods Among Us - 9/10 Review||NBA 2K 14||Gran Turismo 6 (launches Dec. 6)|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3||MLB 13: The Show||Need for Speed: Rivals|
|Divekick - 9/10 Review||WWE 2K 14|| |
|Aquapazza||PES 2014|| |
|Darkstalkers Resurrection - Impressions||FIFA 14|| |
More Great PlayStation 3 Games Worth Checking Out
Not every game fits into a nicely defined genre like the games above. Here's our category for all of the indie games and digital releases that might not otherwise have gotten the recognition they deserved.
- The Wolf Among Us: Chapter 1 - Telltale Games' follow-up to game-of-the-year adventure game The Walking Dead has released its first chapter. Buy, buy, buy!
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - Startlingly emotional tale of two brothers.
- Rain - What if some things, some people, could only be visible in the rain? What if not all of them were friendly?
- Proteus - As beautiful as it is calming.
- Cloudberry Kingdom - Torture yourself a little, it's worth it with this 2D platformer.
- Guacamelee - 9/10 Review
Check out all of Neoseeker's other Holiday Gift Guides for 2013: