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The Ten Best Sony PS3 Exclusives

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So, you got a Sony PS3 for Christmas and have exhausted the first wave of games that Santa brought you and are wondering where to go next? How does one even get started with hundreds of games to choose from? Why not make the most of your machine and look to the Sony-exclusive titles, many of which would make the list of the best PS3 games, period, and not just because your friends with the Xbox 360 can't play them. Even looking at the catalog of Sony games can overwhelm a gamer new to the world of the PS3 so let us guide the way. There'a purposefully a little bit of everything in here, including kid's games, a PSN-exclusive, and one of the best sports games of all time. The PS3 is old enough now that most of their hit games have sequels but we have played favorites, picking one of each killer franchise as the best introduction to the series. If you like this one, go back and get the earlier game or forward to the sequel. Buy all ten of these. They're all must-owns.

Runner-ups: "Gran Turismo 5," "The Ico & Shadow of Colossus Collection," "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots," "ModNation Racers," "MotorStorm: Apocalypse," "Papo & Yo," "Starhawk," "Twisted Metal," "The Unfinished Swan," and "Wipeout HD."

10. inFamous

inFamous
Image © Sony
Cole McGrath is one of the most memorable characters in Sony history. His story is a common one to superhero mythology -- the average guy turned anything-but-average with growing powers. The brilliance of the "inFamous" games is in how the designers perfectly balance an increase in power, keeping both games (and the downloadable "Festival of Blood") constantly fresh. And all two-and-a-half games feature wonderful environments to explore. The second game is superior but it is so because of how it builds on what works about the first one so start with "inFamous."

9. Killzone 2

Killzone 2
Image © Sony
Picking the right "Killzone" to recommend is tough. The second and third games are definite improvements over the relatively lackluster first title and the third features not only the best multiplayer of the trio but one of the best multiplayer experiences in any Sony game, ever. However, I can remember the first time I played "Killzone 2" most vividly and the "whoa" response that accompanied it. Action-packed, beautifully animated, and remarkably addictive, the "Killzone" games must be played by all PS3 action fans. Start here. You'll end up playing "Killzone 3" eventually if you do.

8. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Image © Sony
I love the "Ratchet" games and it's a testament to the strength of this list overall that these clever, engaging, hysterical games are this far down the list. The "Ratchet & Clank Future" games are creatively superior to the base "Ratchet & Clank" games (although you should play those as well and the best way to do so is through the "Ratchet & Clank Collection"). You have to jump into this inventive world just for the incredibly-designed weaponry. You'll wish more game designers were as ingenious with their tools of animated destruction.

7. God of War III

God of War III
Image © Sony
While there are five "God of War" games that you simply must play to be a complete PS3 gamer, this is really the only PS3-exclusive (until "God of War: Ascension" wrecks your social schedule this March). The first two games were for the PS2 and the excellent "Origins" games were for the PSP. This long-awaited trilogy capper fully employed the capabilities of the PS3, offering stunning combat, gorgeous graphics, and the kind of engaging story that action gamers want so badly but so rarely get.

6. Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance: Fall of Man Boxart (PS3)
Image © Sony
This could be called a nostalgic pick. Judged on its own, it's nowhere near the creative success of "God of War 3" or "Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time" but those franchises were going strong before the PS3 even hit stores. "Resistance" was a launch title for the PS3 and, therefore, has always been a franchise that's been closely associated with Sony gamers. The first game is the weakest but, like "inFamous," the second and third "Resistance" games really build on what came before. Start where the PS3 started.

5. MLB The Show

MLB 13 The Show
Image © Sony
Arguably the best sports game franchise of all time happens to be a Sony exclusive. As 2K has struggled with their baseball simulation, SCEA has continued to break new ground with a franchise that only gets better with each installment. "MLB The Show 12" is the best-looking sports game of all time. If there's any part of you that wants to play a sports game on your new PS3 -- this is the one. The 2013 edition hits stores on March 5, 2013.

4. LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2 Box Art
Image © Sony
Parents take note -- you won't find a game for your PlayStation 3 that sparks as much creativity in your little ones as the "LBP" games. Not only do they offer wonderful platformers on-disc but they truly shine when one uses the tools offered by Sony to create their own levels and share them with others. A word of warning: Those who become truly obsessed with personalizing their Sackboy will want to download new costumes and accessories from the PSN. You may want to load up that electronic wallet. (You may also want to play "LittleBigPlanet: Karting," the best family racing game on the PS3.)

3. Journey

Journey
Image © Sony
One of the best games of 2012 happened to be a Sony PS3-exclusive, a game first released on the PlayStation Network and then made available through the "Journey Collector's Edition" that also includes the awesome "Flower," "flOw," and other mini-games. "Journey" is one of the most creative deconstructions of gaming ever released for any system. It is lyrical, beautiful, and a dozen other words that critics rarely use when describing video games.

2. Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain (PS3)
© Sony
Quantic Dream delivered this absolute stunner at a time when the current generation of games was starting to feel a little creatively stale. I'll never forget the first few hours with "Heavy Rain," as I played with my kid in the backyard and walked around my house. THIS is a game? "Heavy Rain" is more like an interactive movie. Actually, most movies aren't this engaging and riveting. I can't wait to see what the team does next with 2013's "BEYOND Two Souls."

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Box Art
Image © Sony
Unsurprisingly, Nathan Drake, who has become the Mario of Sony, leads the franchise that is the most essential for PS3 gamers. There's a reason that Sony has been bundling "Uncharted" games with new PS3s for years now and used an "Uncharted" spin-off to launch their PlayStation Vita. These games have everything and play to such a wide demographic of PS3 owners. They are what so many of us want from a video game -- an immersive experience that takes us away from our daily lives with as much entertainment as a Hollywood blockbuster. Why the second one? Why not? Just play all three. If you start here, you'll want to see where it began and be excited about where it goes in the amazing third chapter. I can't wait for "Uncharted 4," a game that I bet will make a similar list to this one in a few years when we're talking about the most essential games for the PS4.
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