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There Are Only 4 Near-Perfect PS3 Games, According To Metacritic

The seventh generation of console warfare brought a smorgasbord of games players grew to cherish, from emotionally stunning and transformative titles like "The Last of Us" to whimsical adventures such as "Super Mario Galaxy." Microsoft and Sony in particular fought neck-and-neck in console sales, with the PlayStation 3 barely coming out on top (via Sony Interactive Entertainment) when compared to the Xbox 360 (per Statista).

Despite competition driving a lineup of fantastic offerings, players may find it surprising that only four PS3 games rank in the top 50 highest-rated games of all time on Metacritic. Among them, only one launched exclusively on PS3. All of the games, coincidentally or not, fall under the action-adventure genre, and they earned near-perfect scores from critics and everyday fans alike. These four titles rank as the best PS3 games of all time by Metascore, Metacritic's primary rating metric derived from the weighted average of critic reviews.

4. Batman: Arkham City

Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released the second game in the Arkham timeline, "Batman: Arkham City," in 2011. It received acclaim from fans and media, building on the already warm reception of "Batman: Arkham Asylum," which earned a 91 on Metacritic and an 8.8 User Rating. Many outlets framed "Arkham City" as an improvement over "Arkham Asylum" in every aspect. Among these improvements, Game Informer discussed the size and attention-to-detail of the open-world: the titular Arkham City. "I wouldn't be surprised if I have invested over 60 hours so far," reviewer Andrew Reiner said. "Throw in the new game plus and a dizzying number of combat challenges ... and this game could be one of the biggest and most enjoyable time sinks of the year."

With new combat maneuvers like a counter that works against three enemies simultaneously, revamped gliding capabilities, and a bunch of fresh Bat-gadgets, playing as the Dark Knight never felt sweeter for gamers (via IGN). User reviews on Metacritic proclaimed "Arkham City" a revelation among superhero video games — a near-perfect adaptation all PS3 owners should pick up. Between its slick controls and an open-world packed with side content like the Riddles and Riddler Trophies, fans viewed the title as having a ton of replayability. The PlayStation 3 version of "Batman: Arkham City" in turn received a 96 Metascore and 8.8 User Score on Metacritic.

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

PlayStation 3 exclusive "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" took the elements that made its predecessor a standout action-adventure and brought them to the next level. Outlets like Giant Bomb praised the game for its engrossing story, combat mechanics, and action-packed moments. "'Among Thieves' is unafraid to be exactly what it is: a big, rollicking summer popcorn flick of an action game, a finely honed piece of thrill-a-minute pop entertainment," reviewer Brad Shoemaker said.

Embracing this blockbuster feel, the game puts players in control of Nathan Drake for some of his most daring stunts. For example, the tutorial itself tasks players with navigating a weary and injured Nathan Drake through escaping a train perched precariously atop an icy cliff that is gradually sliding over the edge (via Destructoid). But "Uncharted 2" perhaps achieved the greatest level of immersion with its cast, which came up frequently in Metacritic reviews. Critics saw Nathan, Elena, and new faces like Chloe Frazer as believable, fleshed out characters backed by superb voice-acting. "Uncharted 2" even went on to win several awards (per Game Reactor), including Best Writing at the 2010 Game Developers Conference.

Gamers have continued to remember "Uncharted 2" fondly judging by its 96 Metascore and 8.8 User Score on Metacritic. It may even receive a movie adaptation eventually considering Sony's announcement of an "Uncharted" franchise.

2. Grand Theft Auto 5

At around 170 million copies sold (per Take-Two Interactive), the lifetime sales of "Grand Theft Auto 5" cemented it as the third-best selling video game in history. Only "Minecraft" and "Tetris" outrank "GTA 5," with the latter counting sales for the entire series. Many fans have attributed this success to the title's enormous sense of realism, as Rockstar Games went above and beyond to incorporate the smallest of details into the over-world. Los Santos brims with side quests, missions, customization options, and characters with big personalities.

Metacritic reviews for the PlayStation 3 version evoke a game that took both the strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor and doubled-down on them. PlayStation Universe called attention to smoother shooting and driving controls, and the reviewer highlighted the depth of strategy involved in completing heists. Game Informer's review also praised the mission system as rewarding, often resulting in visible gains. "For example, running weapons across Los Santos may increase the amount of money the airfield you purchased generates," Matt Bertz wrote. Tying it all together, the three player characters in "GTA 5" stood out for their interactions with one another and their relatability as people despite their brutal criminal backgrounds (per Impulse Gamer).

In short, Rockstar Games achieved a metaphorical heist most developers can only dream of. "GTA 5" has earned a 97 Metascore and 8.3 User Score on Metacritic since launch. With the arrival of Rockstar's promised DLC over a half a decade later, the game has continued to make history.

1. Grand Theft Auto 4

"Grand Theft Auto 5" may have brought the series to new heights, but "Grand Theft Auto 4" paved the way by innovating on the "GTA" formula. Protagonist Niko Bellic fostered a kinship with gamers (via Metacritic). Unwillingly thrust into criminal business due to his cousin's terrible gambling habits, he embodies a much more believable character compared to more over-the-top leads from past "GTA" games (per ZTGD).

The sheer depth of the game's overworld compliment this compelling protagonist. Liberty City teems with realism, from its natural-looking animations to a varied system of missions and random events the player can encounter, like car wrecks and arrests (via DarkZero). Rounding out "GTA 4," the game also received generally positive reviews for its multiplayer modes, which include traditional death-matches, a party mode, and gimmick mini-games like "Cops 'n' Crooks". Despite Rockstar ending its own multiplayer support, a group of dedicated "GTA 4" fans has kept the online scene going 14 years later (per GamesRadar+).

Rockstar's efforts led to "GTA 4" selling the second-largest amount of copies of any entry in the series before it (via Statista). On Metacritic's list of best PS3 games, it took the number one spot at a 98 Metascore. Charted on Metacritic's list of the best games ever on any platform, "Grand Theft Auto 4" sits at 3rd place, followed by "Grand Theft Auto 5," "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves," and "Batman: Arkham City" at 10th, 29th, and 33rd respectively — not bad considering how hard the PS3 flopped at reveal.