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Five Exclusives Every PS3 Owner Must Have

Each console this generation can be summed up by a single outstanding feature that works to the platform's strengths.  For the Xbox 360, it's the fantastic online community and feature set that Xbox Live offers.  For the PlayStation 3, it's a robust lineup of exclusive titles.  And for the Wii... well, I'll have to get back to you on that one.  For this feature, I'm going to focus specifically on the PlayStation 3 and its unmatched library of exclusive titles.  There are so many great games, it may be a bit overwhelming for someone new to the platform who's trying to decide where to start.  I'm here to make it easy for you.  Here are five exclusive titles for Sony's console that gamers new to the platform should pick up ASAP and veterans should already have.

5. God of War 3

Kratos made his PS3 debut during the month of March last year, but it remains to be one of the most visually impressive titles we've ever seen.  Aside from a select few, there arne't many games out there today that are even in the same graphical ballpark as God of War 3.  The game is an adrenaline-filled joyride from start to finish that is completely void of any dull moments.  Heck, within the first hour you'll be facing off against Poseidon on the back of Gaia as she climbs Mount Olympus.  If that's not epic enough for you, I'm sorry, but I don't know what to tell you.  And that's only the beginning.  As you make your way through the game, you'll tear down every Greek god that gets in your way.  Kratos is on a mission to kill Zeus, and it's clear he's not going to let anything or anyone get in his way.  Not only is the game a complete blast to play, it's also a fantastic way to get out your anger.  Believe me, there's no better stress reliever than tearing off the head of Helios.  I'm going to stop now in an effort to spare you of any more spoilers.

4. LittleBigPlanet 2

If you're looking for innovation and have a creative mind of your own, LittleBigPlanet 2 is an absolute no-brainer.  With a rich tool set just begging to be tinkered with, LBP 2 takes what was great about the original and cranks the creative potential up to eleven. Seriously, this game provides endless amounts of fun.  The single player experience is fantastic, offering a platforming experience on par with the side-scrollers of today, and that's not even the main draw!  The notorious level creator not only provides consumers with more bang for their buck, but also encourages innovation within the industry and serves as an easy way for aspiring game designers to get their feet wet.  Then again, not every gamer has the creative mind and/or drive required to really take advantage of the game's creation system.  Believe it or not, this game still has a bunch to offer this audience as well.  As part of Media Molecule's "Play, Create, Share" mantra, the game features a sharing system that allows players to hop in and experience all of the awesome levels that other gamers have created.  With a bottomless well of potential and new levels being created every day, there is always something fresh to discover and explore.

3. Heavy Rain

David Cage and his team at Quantic Dream have elevated the adventure genre to new heights with Heavy Rain.  This game takes elements of player choice and executes on them in such a way that the player truly feels as though he/she is influencing the outcome of the story.  With a multitude of branching narrative points and a slew of different endings, this game is hands down the most engrossing choose your own adventure I have ever experienced.  The game has superb visuals, an excellent cast of characters, and an interesting story.  That's not to say the game isn't without problems though, as plot holes and some shoddy voice acting detract a bit from the overall experience.  Even in light of these flaws, the game is so vastly different from anything else out there and succeeds on so many levels makes it a must own for every PlayStation owner.

2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

With all the success this franchise has seen, it's no wonder that Nathan Drake is edging his way into become the official mascot of the PlayStation brand.  It's hard to even know where to start with Uncharted 2 because it executes on so many things so well.  The first game was certainly a stellar title, but not without its flaws.  Naughty Dog capitalized on what they learned from developing the first game, creating a title the blends story and gameplay so seamlessly it's like you're playing a movie.  From unparalleled set piece moments to heartfelt story points, this game will take you on one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride.  The cast is fantastic, sporting some of the best voice actors and writers in the business.  Oh yeah, and did I mention that this game looks gorgeous?  This is one of the few games out there that manages to rival, and at times surpass, God of War 3's mind-blowing visuals.  Add that to some fantastic gameplay that blends tight and responsive third-person shooting with thrilling platforming and puzzle-solving, and you've got yourself a masterpiece.  It's no wonder fans are drooling at the mouth for the third installment, set to launch later this year.

1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Hideo Kojima is one of the most talented and respected game designers this industry has ever seen, so it should come as no surprise that his "grand finale" - or so he would have us believe - to the Metal Gear Solid franchise serves as one of the best PlayStation 3 titles.  The Metal Gear Solid series has traditionally featured a very Japanese-esque gameplay style with a top down camera and wonky control scheme.  In the case of MGS4, Mr. Kojima borrowed some of the mechanics seen in western action titles and integrated them to create the most responsive and enjoyable Metal Gear to date.  Fans of the franchise simply have to play this game to see how the story comes to a close, as the game takes all the convoluted loose ends presented in prior entries and ties them into a nice and pretty bow by the time the credits role.  This game is the epitome of fan service, as it's riddled with tidbits of nostalgia and recurring characters from every game.  If you are still unfamiliar with the series, there's no better time to jump on board with a high-def collection on the horizon.  You really owe it to yourself to play through the franchise; the epic finale is totally worth it.

Thoughts?  Do you agree with our picks?  Did we leave one of your favorites out?  Let us know in the comments below.

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Alex Osborn
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