The PlayStation 3 hasn't always been the home of a wide variety of exclusive titles, largely lagging behind the competition throughout the first year or so of its launch. However, that reality has shifted substantially over the past few years, to the point where Sony's first-party lineup for 2011 appears well ahead of the two other console manufacturers.
Before looking into the future, it's worth taking a look back on the recent past, to a fantastic, diverse catalogue of exclusive titles. What follows is our list of the top ten PlayStation 3 exclusives titles - limited to full retail offerings, one entry per franchise, and listed in alphabetical order.
Demon's Souls is an extremely satisfying game, and a true breath of fresh air. Despite its challenging nature, it does attempt to reward death on some level and it ends up promoting satisfaction instead of frustration. It does have few technical flaws, but overall the experience is very rich and smooth. It's rare to find a game that gives players so much license with regards to pacing and with no limits to how your enemies should be engaged, the game can be far more relaxing then stressful.
God of War III
Sony Santa Monica
The critical and commercial success of the first two God of War games set expectations high for the third instalment. Not only did Sony Santa Monica meet these expectations, but in many ways exceeded them. God of War III is a spectacular game experience; everything that was great about the previous games have been refined, the action is relentless, the combat is fluid and versatile, the presentation, both visually and audibly, is among the best in gaming today, and the set pieces are mind blowing. It's a thrilling conclusion to the trilogy.
Gran Turismo 5
Gran Turismo 5 is, without a doubt, the best simulation driving experience ever produced. It features a ton of cars, a ton of tracks and the relationship between the two is outstanding. While the AI can be troublesome and the visual presentation uneven, all-in-all, Gran Turismo 5 is a beast of a game and what it fails to achieve certainly shouldn't gloss over what it does achieve. It's a leading light in the world of simulation driving games.
Heavy Rain stands out for making player-choice and a dynamic narrative arch fundamental to its design. It's ultimately a game about having an emotional experience. There's something to be said about finding a game that provokes action not to receive a reward, but simply to do the right thing. Whether it's taking care of your son, or trying to stop a serial killer, wanting to make things right is the biggest (and best) part of Heavy Rain.
Sucker Punch Productions
inFamous is easily one of most enjoyable open-world games released recently, regardless of platform. Playing as Cole, with all his electrified abilities, was fun, plain and simple. Everything from traversing Empire City, to dispensing the hordes of enemies made you feel powerful. It should be very interesting to see what Sucker Punch can do with an engine actually optimized for the PS3 with inFamous 2.
LittleBigPlanet made waves in 2008 by placing user-created content at the core of its experience. The game's endless charm and creativity made it a critical and commercial darling, inspiring several imitators. With a successful PSP extension and sequel with the ability to create more than unique platformers, the future is bright for everyone's beloved Sackboy.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The Metal Gear Solid series has always been a staple of PlayStation platforms, setting the bar for stealth-action and production values in general. Needless to say, expectations for Metal Gear Solid 4 were extremely high when it finally launched in summer 2008. The game largely delivered on both promises by creating dynamic battlefields for Snake to navigate in a variety of ways, wrapping up the series' notoriously complicated plot points, and crafting some incredible production values.
Resistance: Fall of Man
Resistance: Fall of Man is the original PlayStation 3 exclusive, the console's standout launch title from Fall 2006. The game brought the creative weaponry from long-time Ratchet & Clank developer, Insomniac Games, to a grittier setting, in the form of an alternative Second World War history. Resistance is arguably responsible, to some degree, for keeping Sony's expensive black behemoth afloat during its rather shaky first year on the market.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a game that is simply generation defining. There is very little that can actually be faulted with the game, and even then it's serious nit-picking. Sure, the platforming sections aren't perfect and the puzzles are overly simple, but it has a great and engaging story, great gameplay, jaw-dropping graphics and plenty of replayability. The only aspect that could potentially be criticised is its originality, but since it blows all of its contemporaries out of the water, it makes the point rather void.
Sega Wow Overworks
Valkyria Chronicles has received plenty of praise from the gaming press, but remains largely overlooked by the majority of Western gamers. Perhaps it's the shift from PS3 to the PSP, or maybe turn-based RPGs with anime-inspired visuals aren't marketable unless you're into Final Fantasy or Japanese pop culture in general. Either way, Valkyria Chronicles is definitely worth your time.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
3D Dot Game Heroes