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Top 10 Playstation 3D Games of All Time

In a lot of ways we’ve come a long way since 3D was first announced for the Playstation 3.

First, with the coming of the PS4 this year, the days of the PS3, of course, are numbered. Back when the PS3 was launched, there were 155 million PS2 units out there, and ensuring backwards compatibility with PS2 games was a major demand. But with barely less than half that number of PS3, it’s likely we’ll be seeing the end of the line for a lot of our favorite PS3 games.

Second, Sony’s experiment a few years ago to make 3D a household word just like they did with Blu-ray, by selling a deeply discounted 3D monitor, was largely a bust. I, of course, was one of those who ran out and bought it at full price, only to find out months later that they couldn’t move units at a fraction of the price I paid. The monitor was (and is) still a great one, but there were too many idiosyncrasies about it–it didn’t come with a built-in tuner for TV or cable, it didn’t have a remote control, the volume control and configuration buttons were annoying as heck to use, and so on. A shame, because to this day I use the monitor as a secondary monitor for my PC and love it, and of course it’s still the primary monitor I use to watch 3d Blurays and play 3D games.

In celebration of the denouement of 3D on the Playstation I decided to try to put together a definitive list of the all time best stereoscopic 3D games to ever grace the Playstation 3. I scoured dozens of review sites, retail sites, and blogs dating from the first 3D games, and compiled this list based on which ones were mentioned the most times, which ones elicited the most positive comments, and which ones were mentioned consistently time and time again. These are the ones that have stood the test of time.

10) Zen Pinball 2 (PSN download) – This PSN title is a relatively new one, and yet the 3D effects are eye-popping amazing. Zen Pinball was always a good pinball simulation, but the effects in these tables are nothing short of amazing. I admit, I’m a bigger fan of Pinball Arcade, which does realistic simulations of real-life pinball machines instead of the fantastical, sometimes over-the-top-in-realism pinball machines that Zen Pinball has, but its support of 3D made me feel for the first time that I was actually playing a real pinball machine rather than a 2D simulation. I’ve heard that Pinball Arcade is working on a 3D version of its tables, but chances are slim we’ll see them on the PS3, so Zen Pinball 2 is the only game in town for true 3D pinball action.

3D demo available on PSN? Yes

9) Killzone 3 – With both Playstation Move and 3D support, Killzone 3 brings combat simulation to a whole new level, to a point where some have reported that it’s almost too realistic. You walk through the scenes, past buildings, vehicles, and even debris floating around you. There’s a great sense of depth whether you’re walking or driving. Killzone 3 has been called one of the great first-person shooters for the PS3, and if you’ve never experienced a FPS in true 3D, it’s an amazing one to try out.

3D demo available on PSN? Yes (as Killzone 3 Single Player 3D Demo)

8) Resistance 3 – Another great game on its own in 2D where the added depth of the 3D takes the gameplay to another level. Some have said that it makes shooting the sniper rifle feel real, as you scope out your target with real depth of field that helps your aim and your shots. The scenery and environment are done exceptionally well, as are the explosions and creepy alien monsters.

3D demo available on PSN?

7) God of War Origins
– The God of War series is of course critically renowned, but the 3D support lets you play the games with amazing depth and realism, from judging distances to jump, to watching as Kratos seems to swing right out of your TV screen at you. To see what I mean, download the excellent free demo from PSN and try it out for yourse.f

3D demo available on PSN? Yes

6) Child of Eden – This is by most accounts a “trippy” game that works like a shooter, except that you’re treated to an amazing array of colorful, psychedelic experiences set to soothing electronic music. It works with the Move controller; you point at the screen and shoot multiple targets as you proceed through the world on a rail. Players have described it as breathtakingly beautiful.

3D demo available on PSN? No

5) Gran Turismo 5 – This is another example of a game where graphics and gameplay are excellent to begin with, and adding the 3D just accentuates what’s good about the game. Playing in 3D using a Logitech Steering Wheel is about the closest thing to real driving as I’ve ever experienced outside of a car. Viewing the 3D inside the car puts you right in the cockpit, where you really feel enclosed inside the car looking out at the road outside. I won’t go as far as saying the 3D is the best in the world for a driving game (that nod will go to Motorstorm: Apocalypse, below), but for a realistic driving simulation it’s not bad.

3D demo available on PSN? No

4) Wipeout HD (PSN download) – This is a ridiculously high-speed racing game where like Anakin Skywalker you’re zipping at breakneck speeds in the air in a hovering air ship. The effect is something like a roller coaster, where you’re speeding in conduits, looping around, and twisting and turning every which way. The result is a heart-pounding experience.

3D demo available on PSN? Yes

3) Super Stardust HD (PSN download) – If you’re a fan of the game “Asteroids” from the 1970s, you’ll appreciate this 21st century version of it. You’re a ship circling around a planet, destroying floating space rocks along the way. As enemies chase you, you can navigate the field of asteroids a la Han Solo to try to destroy them. The outer space effects in this game are excellent, from the star fields to the rotating asteroids of different shapes and sizes to the amazing effect as things explode and you see flashes of light and debris hurtling toward you.

3D Demo available on PSN? Yes

2) Motorstorm Apocalypse – The 3D in this game is phenomenal. You’re a driver in a brutal street race in San Francisco after the Big Quake. As you’re driving down the streets of the post-apocalyptic city, you can’t help but admire the dystopian details all around you. The physics are great, and the demolition derby environment makes for some interesting races. Unlike with GT5, the 3D in this game was built from the ground up rather than cobbled on, and it shows.

3D Demo available on PSN? 

1) Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – By virtually all accounts, this is the 3D game on the PS3 by which other games are judged. The story, action, and gameplay are of course top notch, but the 3D really lets you experience the lush scenery in a way that you’ll truly immerse yourself in the story. There are times I’d just walk around as Drake admiring the various scenery and attention to detail.

3D Demo available on PSN? No

The great news is, as the world prepares for the PS3, some of these PS3 games are cheaper than they’ve ever been. Most were $59.99 at one point, but now you can get 3-4 of these games for that price. Time will tell whether 3D will continue to be embraced in the PS4 as much as it was in the PS3, but if it isn’t then at the very least you’ll have a great showcase of titles to play if you have these titles and keep your old PS3 around.

There were, of course, a ton of games that were also mentioned (the PS3 has over 100 games that support 3D now), but these were universally touted as the best of the best. But if you have your own favorite Playstation 3D games, leave a comment below!  In the future, I’ll devote additional posts for “honorable mentions”.
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