The seventh generation of consoles, characterized by the PS3 and Xbox 360, introduced a host of improvements to an already highly innovative “new” console wars. Absolutely every genre benefited from the more powerful consoles that could fulfill most developers’ ideas.
One of the genres that shined the most during this time was action-adventure, those titles that combine shooting and combat with a world full of wonderful places that motivate you to explore.
Sony knew how to make the most of the PS3’s capabilities with several new and exclusive action-adventure games that are still icons of the gaming industry today. Let’s review the
10 Best PlayStation 3 Action-Adventure Games
Publisher: 2K Games
The underwater city of Rapture was built in the 1940s as a visionary’s dream. A city where man would be free, and where there would be no gods or kings: only science and freedom.
Years later, an American soldier arrives in the city to find that something has gone wrong. Mutants are rampant, the once glorious Art Deco buildings are in ruins, and the only authority seems to be giant mechanical men armed with drills who go by the name of Big Daddies.
And with that, you can sum up everything that is Bioshock and how it combines so well the raw first-person action with the exploration of a fascinating underwater world.
Although its sequels are just as iconic, the first title has that classic essence that makes it worthy of a mention of its own.
The evocative story is combined with gameplay that combines action-packed exploration and role-playing in small doses. Bioshock allows a remarkable level of configuration of your character thanks to plasmids, the supernatural powers that give you the different genetic modifications that you will suffer as you play.
The weapons are no slouch either, with great representatives of the 40s with a dieselpunk twist that adds to the madness of your world.
On your way, you will cross paths with different enemies and bosses that will make things difficult, but pray when you have to fight against a Big Daddy.
With an impressive setting, exquisite gameplay, a very interesting story, and an exceptionally neat technical section, Bioshock is a true gem.
Far Cry 3 (2012)
Although the Far Cry saga is one of the best maintained in the current industry, I think it reached its peak of greatness in the third installment. And with a villain like Vaas, it is impossible not to captivate gamers.
Just like the first game, Far Cry 3 takes you back to an island where, as a tourist, you fall prey to the different factions of mercenaries that populate it. You will have to face the different villains, some of them on the verge of madness, with great freedom of movement, being able to move through an open scenario and face each situation as you want.
Far Cry 3 is the perfect definition of the adventure genre, as it throws you onto an island full of secrets to discover and hundreds of enemies to face. And I’m not forgetting the variety of vehicles, but still, we all choose to jump in the hang glider.
Among the enemies, there are also many species of animals that you must hunt to improve your equipment and increase your reputation. While in this saga we are accustomed to camps, this title gave a leap of quality to these secondary tasks and many ways to solve them.
Throughout the story, Jason, the main character, gets his hands dirty to the point that he no longer knows if he is saving the innocent inhabitants of the island or if he is just another victim of the cycle of madness.
Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is?
Assassin’s Creed II (2009)
We return with a Ubisoft title because, beyond the memes about its bugs, they really know how to build worlds where adventure and action sequences are perfectly balanced.
I believe that the seventh console generation has the best games of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and it’s undeniable that its second part is the most acclaimed and adored by the community.
After the adventure with Altair in the Holy Land, Desmond Miles returns to dive into the Animus to embody a new ancestor, Ezio Auditore, a young Florentine of the Renaissance era, who in the worst circumstances must become an assassin and avenge his family.
Assassin’s Creed II is a great sequel that improves on its predecessor in every way, correcting its flaws and finding a formula that served the saga for the following years.
The design and variety of the missions are much greater, and although it is still based on the basic core (climbing, jumping, fighting) that can be repetitive for some, it tries to compensate by offering all kinds of submissions that are integrated into the main missions.
In addition, it presents an extraordinary immersion capacity to familiarize you with the characters, the monuments, and the situation of the time with all kinds of dialogues and small details.
We miss you, Ezio.
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Publisher: Rockstar Games
One of the great representatives of action-adventure in cinema are Westerns, so it is no surprise that Red Dead Redemption appears on this list.
The title is set in the old American West during 1911, where John Marston, a bandit who has been causing trouble, is threatened by the Federals, who propose him to hunt down another bandit named Bill Williamson. In exchange, they will spare his life and leave his family in peace, but the ghosts of his past will not let him fulfill his mission so easily.
In this complicated context, you will have to clear the name of this legendary outlaw in an adventure that will take you through a large extension of land full of towns, hidden places, and challenges, from hunting wild animals to ambushes set by criminal gangs.
From a story full of unexpected twists and betrayals to an ability called Dead Eye that allows you to shoot more accurately, this game will immediately become a gem that you will play for hours on end.
Rockstar has taken the winning formula of Grand Theft Auto and adapted it to the Wild West, as expected, but has also squeezed all the juice that can give that setting, adapted and paid homage to the myths and icons of that era and the movies about it, combining everything to achieve one of the best adventure games available.
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
The Arkham trilogy in the seventh generation was a “marvel” for both Batman fans and casual gamers, as it combined the best of both worlds to give the definitive experience of the dark knight.
Still, Arkham City looms as the most beloved for its characters, story, and its leap in quality over the first installment.
Continuing with the events of Arkham Asylum, the new mayor of Gotham is precisely the former warden of the asylum, Quincy Sharp, and among his curious urban policies was the brilliant idea of moving the asylum to a neighborhood of the city.
This extravagant decision was the perfect excuse to see Batman in all his splendor for the first time in the city, or at least a part of it. From the gliding moments to the special gadgets, the movement system is extremely fluid and makes you believe that Batman isn’t quite human. Well… He is Batman.
Beyond an open world to explore, it doesn’t include too many new gameplay features, but a whole lot more content. A longer story, extra modes like the Challenge, Enigma puzzles, the presence of Catwoman, and, of course, downloadable content where you can control Robin and Nightwing.
But enough about Batman, because we all know that the real protagonist of Arkham City was the Joker.
Infamous 2 (2011)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
While the Infamous saga started on the right foot in 2009, its second part took it to new levels, with better graphics, powers, and final bosses.
After his adventure in Empire City, Cole McGrath returns to the city of New Marais, a city in the southern United States very much inspired by New Orleans, with different neighborhoods based on the city’s architecture. But he doesn’t go as a tourist, because his nemesis, “The Beast”, threatens to sweep everything away.
Infamous is one of the best superhero proposals far from the giants like Marvel and DC Comics.
In addition to fabulous powers and a dynamic movement system, Infamous features a karma system that allows you to turn Cole into either the greatest hero the city has ever seen or its worst nightmare. It all depends on your actions, which also change the way you play and your powers.
As a walking battery that recharges and discharges electricity at all times, Cole moves through a sprawling city with many missions across the rooftops and electrical wires, something that propels him at great speed.
In this adventure you will continue to develop the powers, also increased thanks to a new metal tool that adds more possibilities to physical combat, the amplifier. This metallic gadget serves as a sword but also carries Cole’s energy and gives him great strength in melee, with combos and final attacks capable of hitting several opponents simultaneously.
With a gripping story, a fascinating city, and fearsome bosses, Infamous 2 stands as one of the best action-adventure games on the PS3.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
Hideo Kojima (when he was still at Konami, before his mysterious departure from the company) led his Kojima Productions in the development of a truly unique video game. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots marked a before and after in video games, as it was the title that, beyond great productions such as Gears of War and Halo 3, both for Xbox 360, proved that video games, like cinema, are an art.
The fourth part of the Metal Gear Solid saga, which continues the adventures of Solid Snake taking you to a near future, in 2014, in which Snake has aged prematurely and is an old man. You will have to infiltrate at the request of the UN in a war dominated by private corporations, controlled in turn by Snake’s former enemies.
The first thing you think of when you say action-adventure is shooting wildly across the map, although Metal Gear Solid has always been characterized by one thing: stealth.
The number of items, possibilities, weapons or objects that you won’t even be able to use can be interpreted as an accumulation of poorly implemented playable elements or rather, a clever way of giving the player the last word to solve each situation. The cards are on the table, you decide how to play them.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is one of the best PS3 adventure games for many reasons, but my favorites are its protagonists, its incredible and charismatic villains, and of course, its perfect combination of action and adventure.
God of War 3 (2010)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Finally, we have reached the best of the best action-adventure exclusives for the PS3. What better way to start than with our favorite rage-troubled God-killer?
This third part, which closes the first trilogy of the character culminating in his revenge, picks up the baton of the previous two and returns to offer us the best hack-and-slash experience that can be enjoyed today on the PS3.
At the end of God of War II, Kratos managed to defeat the Sisters of Destiny, fearsome creatures that can alter time. Now that he possesses their power, the Spartan uses it to take revenge on Zeus, the king of Olympus, after he betrayed him and took away his position as god of war.
Kratos has traveled back in time, to the moment when gods and Titans were fighting a bloody war, and has brought the Titans back to his time. Along with them, Kratos heads to Olympus to slay Zeus.
With that great hook begins this game that is everything it promises. Blood everywhere, abysmal powers, and many gods of Greek mythology being annihilated in the most brutal ways possible.
Apart from that, what made this third part so special was the leap to the seventh generation after its successful PS2 installments. To this day, God Of War III still boasts amazing graphics and more than entertaining gameplay.
While I prefer the wise Kratos of the Norse saga, I admit that the young Kratos has charisma.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
The Uncharted trilogy on PS3 is one of the most prolific in the industry, and while many favor Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, in my opinion, the third was the perfect culmination for Nathan Drake on this console.
This time, Nathan and Sully embark on an adventure to find the Atlantis of the Sands, a lost city in the middle of the Arabian desert, buried under the sand by the wrath of God. Sir Francis Drake, Nathan’s famous ancestor, tried to search for that city in vain as did the famous British explorer Lawrence of Arabia.
In his quest, Drake will face all sorts of dangers and adventures across the planet, as memories of his childhood come to light.
Uncharted 3 combines elements wisely and with the right pace to make you not want to put down the controller.
The platforming and shooting sequences have greater stealth possibilities, an expanded and improved melee combat system, and more accentuated exploration parts, as well as puzzles.
The platforming parts are by far the best part of the game. Naughty Dog created some very well-designed scenarios through which you must jump, climb, and sneak to reach your goal.
Visually it is the best that has been seen on PlayStation 3 and one of the best 3D experiences that have been made for video games, also marking a bar in this aspect that very few have reached.
In short, Uncharted 3 is the definitive Nathan Drake experience of its generation and also one of the best PlayStation 3 action-adventure experiences.
The Last of Us (2013)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Despite my opinion of Uncharted, I can’t leave out Naughty Dog’s other gem, the one that combines action-adventure with drama and turns it into an unparalleled cinematic experience.
After a biological disaster, most of the world’s population has perished and the streets are deserted and in ruins. In this world, you take control of Joel, a man tormented by life who must help a teenage girl named Ellie across the country. On the way, they will encounter endless dangers, from savage survivors to the most dangerous infected called Clickers.
It seems unnecessary to explain the synopsis of possibly the most popular PS3 exclusive game, and well, who hasn’t played it or doesn’t know it?
With its survival mechanics and its version of the United States so sinister, The Last of Us is a harrowing experience from start to finish, which explores the deepest sides of the human being and his wildest instincts.
And you know the worst? That humans are capable of the worst things for something as beautiful as love.
I think that’s the greatest virtue of this game and why I consider it the best action-adventure game on the PS3. Remember, character development is always important, but here it takes center stage.
Wrapping Up The List Of Best Action Adventure Games For PS3
I could keep adding more games to this list, like Dishonored or GTA V, but I think the titles on this list are the best representatives of the action-adventure genre on the PS3. Especially because their franchises are still standing and shine with greater intensity on newer platforms. Undoubtedly, a genre that will never die.