Just for fun, I’d like to write about a hobby of mine — gaming! Specifically, video gaming (though I love strategic board games as well, possibly another time). On a recent JFH Podcast episode we joked about JFH covering video games, and in the back of my mind I’ve been entertaining the idea since then.
Here’s the thing. I generally play Nintendo consoles. They tend to put out the types of games that I find the most fun and generally release more family-friendly first-party titles compared to Sony and Microsoft. A good amount of the time that I spend gaming involves my family (my kids are currently six, four, and two with the older two being into gaming), so that is important to me. But for the Nintendo consoles I collect for (Switch, Wii U, Wii) I have so many games to write about. I picked the PlayStation 3 console primarily because it is a more feasible task but also because I mostly collect PS3 games for myself, wheras for the Nintendo consoles I also get games for my kids. So for the PS3 it feels more like “my collection” of games as opposed to my collection mixed with games for my kids (which, I guess, I technically decided as well).
That said, with one exception I only play games that are rated E, E 10+, or T (the one exception being the Halo series on the Xbox consoles). Even then I generally gravitate towards the E and E 10 + ratings. It’s mostly a conviction thing (and in line with the reason we don’t cover R-rated movies on JFH). As a Christian, I don’t think it’s a wise idea for me to be playing M-rated games as they are either especially violent, have sexual themes, or are particularly vulgar (or some combination of those). I can’t dismiss that what content I put in front of me can influence me, even in subtle ways like desensitizing me to inappropriate content (Jonah33’s song “Desensitized” just started playing in my head). That’s actually another reason I wanted to write about gaming specifically here on JFH — there are not that many sites that exclude M-rated games and I thought this could be a fun and safe place to exclusively discuss games that are rated E – T.
The Sony PlayStation 3 came out at the end of 2006, just in time for the holiday season. At the time, I was a teenager living in Phoenix Arizona and though I had a PS2 that I was still playing at that time, the PS3 just simply wasn’t on my radar. Several months later I would be playing on the Nintendo Wii. The PS3 was something I didn’t even play until I bought it last year!
While I only started collecting for the PS3 recently, a few of these games have a significance to me that goes back many years. All the way back to the very first video game I ever played, in fact.
So without further ado, below is a list of all the PS3 games I own. Yes, it’s only 12 games, but I’m happy with the titles I have. Most of them are PlayStation exclusives. No rankings. No top 10 PS3 games. Just what I have so far.
The Sly Collection (E – E 10+) – 1 Player
Sly Cooper and The Thievius Raccoonus is one of my favorite games from the PS2. I played it a lot as a teenager. More recently tried to introduce it to my six year old on PS2 (it didn’t click for him) before I upgraded to this copy which includes all three Sly games from the PS2 remastered in HD. I can only speak for the first game, but I love the film noir visual aesthetic, the witty dialogue, and the stealthy platforming. My understanding is that each title after that is pretty solid with different people having different favorites. I actually haven’t even played this HD collection at all! But I am excited to give this a go (starting by revisiting the first entry) sometime soon!
Plants Vs. Zombies (E 10+) – 1 Player w/ a Two-Player Co-Op Mode
This game is so incredibly addicting. It’s just as silly as it is strategic. The premise of the game is to place weaponized plants in the front lawn of a house to keep an onslaught of different types of zombies from reaching said house. Getting more plants to fend off the increasing number of zombies costs sunlight (which you can generate by planting sunflowers during the day and mushrooms at night) and the cycle continues.
Portal 2 (E 10+) – 1 Player / 2 Players
I heard this was a must-have game for the PS3 and when I had an opportunity to buy it for pretty cheap, I didn’t think twice. This is a first person puzzle game that is unlike anything I’ve played before. You are essentially solving environmental puzzles using portals that you shoot at walls, floors, and platforms, all in attempt to activate and get through the next door. It’s extremely satisfying to solve each puzzle. The game has really great dialog and voice acting, which on paper sounds really ironic for what is otherwise a pretty solitary experience, but it is a contrast that really enhances the concept of the game while also often providing some humorous quips. This is also a two-player co-op game, but with a twist. The co-op is actually a continuation of the main story, with all new puzzles to solve. It’s mostly pretty light for an E 10+ rating but I think this game is geared towards an older audience. I had my six-year-old boy give this game a go for a couple levels. It was pretty difficult for him so I gave him a lot of help (I was figuring out the puzzle at the same time he was). He said it was “pretty interesting but not as cool as Pokemon” — so take that for what it’s worth!
Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (E – E 10+) – 1 – 2 Players
There is no shortage of Sonic re-releases, but I acquired this one and “upgraded” it from my Sonic Mega Collection Plus for PS2 since it had more games and theoretically should look better. Sonic 2, which is included on this compilation, was the first video game I ever played. My uncle got me the Sega Genesis bundled with Sonic 2 way back in 1995. To this day it is still one of my favorite games. I’ve even heard it called THE game of its generation. Objectively speaking that honor probably goes to Super Mario World along with other candidates like Donkey Kong Country and Super Metroid, but for me, nothing beats Sonic 2 from the early 90’s. This collection also has two of my other favorites from the Sega Genesis (aka Mega Drive outside of the United States), Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3. I had a bunch of games for the Genesis, but the only one I have previously played is Ecco The Dolphin, so this will be a fun history lesson for me whenever I take the time to go through some of these games. If anyone has any suggestions which games from this collection to try next, definitely leave a comment to let me know!
Motorstorm (T) – 1 Player
I like my sports and racing games to be over the top. Boosting through dirt and mud in a post-apocalyptic world is just mindless entertainment for me. While there aren’t many levels to race in (and a strange omission of local multiplayer) it is a unique racing experience. It did have online racing for up to 12 but unfortunately those servers were shut down many years ago.
Jak & Daxter Collection (E – T) – 1 Player
Similar to my history with The Sly Collection, I have only played the first game from this series on the PlayStation 2 around when it first released. I have this for my collection for playing the first game in HD and also for trying out Jak II and Jak III. While this is mostly a single player game, I’ve heard that Jak III has some kind of co-op mode.
Ratchet & Clank Collection (E 10+) – 1 Player
This is a collection of the first three Ratchet and Clank games from the PlayStation 2 in HD. The Ratchet & Clank series has gone on to create a plethora of games, a movie, and even a game based on the movie that’s based on the game. From the developer Insomniac, the creator of Spyro, this is a super fun set of games to play with over-the-top weapons and is great to pick up and play. I loved playing Ratchet & Clank on the PS2 back in the day and am glad to now have the first three games in HD on my PS3.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (E 10+) – 1 Player
I got this one for cheap and held onto it. This is the only Ratchet & Clank game I’ve played from the PS3 era, but I’ve heard this is the best one on the PS3 anyway. I’ve only played this for a little bit but it looks absolutely gorgeous.
LittleBigPlanet 2 (E) – Co-op with up to four players.
A unique platformer I also haven’t spent much time with yet. I played it for a bit with my six year old and he liked it, but we haven’t given it another try yet. This also has a pretty comprehensive level builder that I haven’t spent any time with, but is especially something I want to circle back on with him since he loves both Super Mario Maker games.
Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 Remix (E 10+) – 1 Player
Now onto the two games in my PS3 collection that I haven’t even played yet! I missed the boat with Kingdom Hearts back in its heyday. I added this game (which is a remaster of the first game with bonus content) to remedy that omission from my teenage years. The game is an action role-playing game (RPG) that features the protagonist Sora alongside a slew of Disney characters. I’m also keeping an eye out for II.5 on PS3 to replace my regular copy on PS2 (which I also haven’t played) OR Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix for PS4 (in which case I would ditch this PS3 copy as well) — whichever I can find cheaper.
Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time (E 10+) – 1 Player
3D Dot Game Heroes (E 10+) – 1 Player
Youtuber The Completionist made this sound like a game I would love. So I got it to play someday after I finish Sly 2 and Sly 3. My backlog is so long and you all haven’t even seen the half of it!
This is the latest addition to my collection, just a few days ago (after I took the picture shown in the featured image of this post). My understanding is that it is a parody of old school Zelda — specifically A Link To The Past. And that just sounds like great fun to me! You can also create your own character and from what I’ve heard it’s pretty comprehensive!
A few more things to add before closing out. I do not have anything from the Uncharted series on PS3 simply because I had them, tried them, and they were simply too violent for me (even though they are only rated T). However, I did pick up the Nathan Drake Collection for PS4 for a couple dollars recently and might give the series another shot. If it’s still not for me, I’ll re-sell it. A couple more standout cross-platform games to mention that I have are Batman Arkham City (I have it on Wii U and I believe it is Scott Fryberger’s favorite game of all time) and Rayman Legends (also Wii U).
I have a short list of PS3 games I am keeping an eye out for — especially Tornado Outbreak (unless I find it on Xbox 360 for cheaper) which is supposed to be similar to Katamari Damacy. It just sounds like a blast to me. I am also watching for a good deal on the first LittleBigPlanet and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift.
Though the PS3 might seem outdated being three generations old now, there a lot of benefits to owning one today — it has a lot of really fun games, the online servers that are still open are free (whereas PS4, Xbox Series X, PS5, and Switch all have pay to play online services), most of the first party / AAA titles are pretty cheap, and it’s as old as you can get with native HD graphics (alongside Xbox 360).
So what about you? Do you have any of these games? Are there any PS3 games you love that I don’t have? Would you like to see a list like this again for one of my other systems (PS2, Switch, Wii U, Wii)? If so, which one? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!
by Christopher Smith