The PlayStation 3 was the defining platform of the seventh generation of gaming to many. It was truly a console with versatility, boasting an in-built Blu-Ray player, full 1080p resolution gaming, 3D support, and a free online service for everyone (I am looking at you, PlayStation 4). It was a console built for the player in mind, even if the initial price tag was quite hefty ($599). Across all models, the design was always cool and sleek. Finally, the leap from the sixth generation to seventh was a huge transition graphically. Many gamers were blown away by the reveal of the PS3's launch titles back in 2006.
The fight against its main competitor Xbox 360 was tough but PlayStation 3 edged out the competition thanks to its assortment of fantastic PS3-only games. The PS3 had its fair share of masterful exclusives that most people are fully aware of including the Uncharted trilogy, The Last of Us, Journey, God of War III, and Heavy Rain. However, like with most platforms, PS3 also had plenty of diamonds in the rough that flew under most gamers' radar. There were also the inescapable overhyped games everyone played that actually sucked.
This list will cover games that belong to these two cases: ones that did not deserve the praise/financial success it received, and ones that did not receive the admiration/financial grossing but should have. Critical and commercial success between both overrated and underrated games will be interchangeably exchanged too E.G., one overrated game might have grossed millions with average sales while an underrated gem might have received great reviews but low sales. Regardless, here are 15 overrated PS3 games and 15 underrated ones worth a second look.
30 Overrated: Saints Row 2
Along with its predecessor, these entries in the Saints Row franchise were experiencing an identity crisis. Developer Volition was trying to craft their own Grand Theft Auto with nothing but character creation to set themselves apart. When the second game came out in 2008, reviews were very positive (81 Metascore) but it really paled in comparison to GTA IV. In 2011, Saints Row: The Third took the series into a kookier and more fun direction. Many people now see Saints Row 2 as a decent but overserious and unoriginal slice of sandbox history.
29 Worth A Second Look: Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Despite receiving very good reviews (80 Metascore), this fantasy could not find a financially substantial audience and ultimately underperformed. Kingdoms of Amalur follows your created character, “The Fateless One” and the game soon allows you to explore the fantastical kingdom ‘Faelands.’ The game boasts an amazing combat system that is better than most action-RPGs, allowing for an addictive journey. And with the lead designer of Oblivion, you can expect a fresh yet familiar fantasy look. Overall, this is definitely a title to revisit, especially if you are waiting for the next Bethesda game.
28 Overrated: All Fifa Games Before The 13th
While I apologize to any FIFA fans out there, the hard truth is that this sports franchise needs to take a two-year turnaround. EA needs to realize that people prefer quality over quantity; an entry that stands the test of time rather than yearly releases. As a send-off to the seventh generation, FIFA 13 stepped up and delivered robust mechanics and adequate AI. Before that, each of the soccer games gained unjust positive reception. While this generation of FIFA has improved, many still argue the peak of the otherwise overrated franchise is the 13th entry.
27 Worth A Second Look: Demon's Souls
Although it is the game that kickstarted the phenomenon that is SoulsBorne, many gamers are not aware of this. Well, Demon’s Souls executes the same rewarding but difficult gameplay nearly every bit as well as its successors. It laid the groundwork for the amazing formula: defeat enemies, gain souls, and try not to perish before you get to safety (in this case, no bonfires). You will also encounter many imaginative enemies and epic architectures. The nature of the game builds to this: perish, perish, and then triumph. It feels just as satisfying in its earliest incarnation.
26 Overrated: Watch Dogs
Whether on PS4 or PS3, Watch Dogs is considered one of the biggest disappointments ever. What was promised was a dynamic, immersive experience as a hacker. The end result was another Ubisoft checklist game with tacked on elements done way better in other open-world games.
An 80 Metascore? Seriously?!
While Watch Dogs 2 was considered an improvement, the damage had already been done enough to hurt its sales. Ever since its E3 downgrade and broken promises, Ubisoft still incites trepidation into players today as a result of Watch Dogs.
25 Worth A Second Look: Burnout Paradise
There are not many over-the-top arcade racers nowadays. The underrated Burnout Paradise is just the title to fill that specific void that the gaming market is not providing for. It is the seventh entry in the destructive franchise and does not skimp on the word ‘burnout.’
There has never been a better time to take a nitro-fuelled trip to Paradise City.
Totalling other drivers is the name of the game here. This is done in your journey to become the best driver in Paradise City. It has an open world, seamless multiplayer integration and barely any loading screens.
24 Overrated: Rage
Many, myself included, would have loved a serious version of Borderlands; a true homage to Mad Max and a defining post-apocalyptic game. What we got was something that tried to do its own thing but fell flat on its face.
RAGE was best known for appearing in a Breaking Bad opener.
It may have great art design and a welcoming cameo by actor John Goodman, but the actual gameplay was monotonous. RAGE boiled down to ending a bunch of maniacs without much substance either mechanically or narratively.
23 Worth A Second Look: LittleBigPlanet Series
Want a Mario game but with infinite customization possibilities? Well, gamers got that and more with the LittleBigPlanet series which let players create anything they desired. Once done, eager creators would publish their projects within a level format.
As it stands, over eight million levels have been created which cover every conceivable genre.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is the best place to start, but the whole series has received of universal critical acclaim and millions of sales. Despite the praise, people do not seem to talk about this series enough. Do developer Media Molecule a favor and revisit these platformer masterpieces.
22 Overrated: Battlefield 4
Battlefield 3 was a first-person juggernaut release in 2011, winning universal praise from fans of the genre and franchise alike. However, its follow-up was undisputedly rushed. Battlefield 4 was released in 2013 with bugs galore.
If, by any chance, you are still considering this for PS3; don't. It still has unfixed campaign-breaking bugs.
Since its infamous state, EA has admitted its launch problems but even with the bugs now fixed, it seemed like Battlefield 4 was too similar to its predecessor. Couple that with a worse (but still okay) campaign and you have an unwarranted 81 Metascore.
21 Worth A Second Look: The Godfather
Based on one of the greatest movies, you play as a player-created character named Aldo Trapani, rising through the ranks of the Corleone family. You make a name for yourself by playing story missions that interweave scenes from the movie with original sets.
If you are looking to pick this up for PS3, bear in mind the lack of trophy support.
You can also earn XP through a light-RPG 'Respect' system. This is done by taking over businesses, dominating territories, earning warehouses and more. The fun experience in The Godfather is an offer that you can't refuse.
20 Overrated: Red Fraction Guerrilla
How long can you hit things with a hammer before it becomes meaningless? The second game by Volition on this list, Red Fraction Guerrilla is set on Mars and puts you in the shoes of a mining engineer leading a revolt against the tyrannical Earth Defense Force.
If you are wondering the reason why this game was remastered, just look at the title: 'Re-Mars-tered.'
Nothing you are tasked with is particularly compelling, so you will have to rely on making your own fun with the destruction and physics.
19 Worth A Second Look: Flower
You may know about the artistic masterpiece that is Journey but are you aware of thatgamecompany's previous work? Released as a downloadable title, Flower is another abstract interactive experiment that allows players to control the titular plant part. The game is a stunning commentary on the dissonance between our natural environment and industrial interference. Winds guide your flower as you try to cleanse environments to let mother nature take over. Flower is another forgotten gem and needs to be rooted out of the gaming grounds for everyone to witness its sheer majesty.
18 Overrated: Mirror's Edge
This EA title has garnered a cult following of sorts. While very unique in terms of its core gameplay (free-running), mostly everything else about the game feels stale. The premise felt weak, the length is brief and it had some of the worst shooting mechanics for a high-budget production. The melee also felt clumsy. All of these problems carried over to the game's prequel, Mirror's Edge Catalyst. It might be the best game for parkour, but that is too bare-bones of a title to hold.
17 Worth A Second Look: Resistance 3
The third entry in an overall underrated franchise, Resistance 3 pits you against an alien invasion while trying to reunite with the protagonist's wife and son. It may sound generic, but the way the game portrays this war as a fight for survival is intense and scary. The game lends you a wide assortment of weapons to combat the extraterrestrial civilization known as the Chimera. Because it is developed by Insomniac (Ratchet and Clank) you can expect creative design and an addictive weapon progression system. Try it for spooky fun.
16 Overrated: Assassin's Creed III
How could Ubisoft make a game set during the American Revolution so dull? Seen as the first disappointing Assassin's Creed game (with many to come), the third entry disappointed many with its tired formula that was already perfected in the previous two titles (along with Brotherhood). People also found the departure of Ezio's story jarring as Connor Kenway was not a very likable protagonist. The world did not really seem immersive either, which was really a missed opportunity. Avoid this buggy, critically overrated mess.
15 Worth A Second Look: Fat Princess
Another worthwhile PSN game is Fat Princess. It is an action real-time strategy game that heavily relies on team 32-player cooperation. The goal entails two teams trying to capture their opposing team's princess and bring her back to base. There is a decent amount of depth to every match with the ability to upgrade your base.
Even though it is 9 years old, Fat Princess still has a dedicated player base for multiplayer.
Each player had their role to fulfill and battles felt epic at the time with colorful visuals and a whimsical attitude to make this game special.
14 Overrated: Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition
Vastly inferior to its PC version, Minecraft for consoles offers much less for hardcore fans. Mod support is nonexistent which takes away one of the game's biggest selling points. Also, the world memory is minuscule, allowing for you to consistently stumble across the edge of your generated world. Finally, these console versions do not receive anywhere near as much support as its main platform so there is barely any support (although it is getting the Aquatic update). If you want the true Minecraft experience, play it on its home platform.
13 Worth A Second Look: Infamous 2
Want to become a super-powered being that can shoot electric grenades from his hands? The stellar Infamous 2 lets you become the hero or villain you want to be. Improving on its great predecessor in every way, the sequel puts you in the shoes of Cole Macgrath as he tries to save his city and loved ones from a being of great power. You will have a good/evil meter that will directly affect your powers and even the ending. In the end, nothing feels cooler than traversing a city by way of skidding on electric rails.
12 Overrated: Prototype
In Prototype, you play as a shapeshifter named Alex Mercer as he tries to battle an outbreak of mutants that is slowly infecting the whole world.
Developer Radical Entertainment created the much superior Hulk: Ultimate Destruction which is a must-own for PS2 owners.
The whole game is odd (not in a good way) and has a saturation of edginess. On the gameplay side, it fares better with some unique powers (like a changeling ability) and decent gameplay but fails to move past its tedious nature.
11 Worth A Second Look: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Often seen as a big expansion pack, the third entry of the Borderlands series has been swept under Pandora's rug by many gamers. But in many ways, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is still one of the most fun shooters on PS3.
The ability to play as Claptrap is the main unique selling point.
Set during and after the second game, this game allows you to pick one of four unique classes before embarking on a crazy ride of shooting and looting. It also acts as an origin story for the Borderlands 2 antagonist Jack which will keep your interest intact.
10 Overrated: Dead Or Alive 5
Dead or Alive 5 feels like one of the defining cheap fighting games. Fighting styles include many exploitative workarounds and fights often do not seem fair. What really dampens the show is the nature of its female characters of which the stranger aspects of these fighters are showcased instead of personality. Well, they needed some sort of selling point since the lineup of fighters is forgettable at best. The lesson here is to play Virtua Fighter 5 instead, as it's just a better game.
9 Worth A Second Look: Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
Released as a downloadable title, Call of Juarez is the third and best game of the series. In Gunslinger, you play the memories of a bounty hunter Silas Greaves as he recounts his various adventures in a saloon. During the gameplay, you will overhear his unreliable narration and sometimes a scene will change, making for a unique narrative structure. The shooting is solid as you could ever want it and its arcade point system makes it feel extremely satisfying. Comic book aesthetics, smooth shooting, and an intriguing narrative come together for a short but sweet adventure.
8 Overrated: Far Cry 2
Yes; Far Cry 2 may put newer games to shame with its amazing details, but that does not excuse its overrated praise. Holding an 85 Metascore, the game holds up with its graphics and mechanics but void in other aspects. The entire experience is a slog through the jungle with the same enemy types and bland action. You have most fun burning the jungle with its great physics or studying the advanced AI. Overall, there is a lack of a progression system or plot to keep you moving forward.
7 Worth A Second Look: The Darkness II
Similar to Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, The Darkness II is a colorful and short FPS. It revolves around mob don Jackie Estacado as he repels attacks against a brotherhood that is seeking his demonic powers for themselves. The game contains very solid combat with an awesome light RPG system to boot. Each time you destroy enemies by using demons or shooting, you gain essence points to upgrade your abilities. To top it all off, The Darkness II holds an emotional story that deals with the protagonist's personal demons and losses. It is truly one of those hidden gems.
6 Overrated: Tekken 6
Tekken was more polished back in the day with Tekken Tag Tournament and even the more recent entries, but Tekken 6 suffered in more ways than one. First of all, it had the worst fighting campaign in the form of 'Scenario Campaign' which was a beat 'em up mode that had ridiculous set-pieces and no polish whatsoever. As for the main game, it yields dated graphics, unbalanced fighters, and annoying arcade difficulty spikes. Also, if you try to play on PS3, the loading screens will be unbearable. Try to play Mortal Kombat (2011) instead.
5 Worth A Second Look: Dragon's Dogma
Directed by Hideaki Itsuno of Devil May Cry acclaim, Dragon's Dogma is a criminally underrated dark RPG adventure. You play as the customizable character Arisen tasked with saving the world from a world-ending dragon. Along your journey through grand lands and murky dungeons, you can hire NPCs called 'pawns' to help you out. The pawn system is incredible because every NPC is procedurally generated in terms of looks and abilities. Alongside hard-hitting third-person combat, smart AI and a whole heap of content, Dragon's Dogma will keep you engrossed on either PS3 or PS4.
4 Overrated: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
To end the cultural phenomenon that was the Modern Warfare trilogy was a daunting task, and Modern Warfare 3 cracked under pressure. Revolving around the hunt for Vladimir Makarov, you will slog through surprising scenes and over-the-top sequences that all seem like a blur after you complete the campaign.
Modern Warfare 3 has one of the most offensive high Metascores ever, with a staggering 88/100.
As for the multiplayer, it has some redeeming qualities like split-screen co-op and a fun survival mode but the multiplayer fatigue had grown potent.
3 Worth A Second Look: Nier
The original NIER follows middle-aged father Gestalt who is trying to find a cure for his daughter's mysterious illness.
What were the critics thinking with a 68 Metascore?!
Along the way, Gestalt will meet various companions that assist him on his journey. The whole story plays out like a beautiful tragedy filled with memorable moments and an adequate combat system. Each character has a lot of depth and every moment brimming with evocative style and substance. Ignore the graphics because it is a must-play.
2 Overrated: Destiny
Bungie, the minds behind the legendary Halo franchise, brought us something extraordinary: the most disappointing game of all-time. In the marketing campaigns, players were led to believe that they were to play as bounty hunters who would shape their own destinies in a living, breathing online world. The reality of what we got was the most wearisome and shallow loot-driven experiences ever found anywhere. You were a cog in the first of the scourge that is 'games as service.' Buddy up and shoot a million dull-looking aliens in uninspired locations. Have fun.
1 Worth A Second Look: Spec Ops: The Line
You play as the captain of a squad who has a personal connection to the mission because his old infantry battalion is rumored to be part of a relief effort. The Line is a haunting study of the effects of war bundled into an awesome third-person shooter.
You can also manipulate the environment. This is the game most worthy of the fabled 'second look.'
In what has become the defining 'underrated' game, Spec Ops: The Line has proved itself to be an unsung masterpiece that needs to be played by everyone.