Gaming

10 Essential Games to Buy Before the PS3 Store Shuts Down

Still the best cyberpunk game ever made.
Still the best cyberpunk game ever made. Screengrab from Remember Me
Sony has announced that they will be closing down their PS3 online store on August 27. As someone that still plays their PS3 regularly, this is a sore blow, especially because there are still a lot of games on the system that have not been added to the PS4 and PS5 stores. Unlike Nintendo with the Wii, Sony will still allow you to download purchases made prior to the shutdown, which means that you have a few months to round out your collection before some titles disappear from sale for the foreseeable future.

Here is a pretty basic list of titles worth grabbing while you can.

Remember Me
If you found yourself disappointed with Cyberpunk 2077, there is no better cure than Dontnod’s first and best foray into the action genre. You play as Nilin, a woman with the ability to hack memories and program her body for different martial arts. It’s slightly janky, but the engaging cyberpunk story and inventive combat system will make you glad you picked up this underrated gem.

Portal 2
Despite being one of the most meme’d games in existence, Portal 2 is surprisingly hard to find on consoles. When the PS3 is gone, it will once again be impossible for PlayStation fans to take Chell and GLaDOS through the ruins of Aperture. Unfortunately, you still have to track down a physical copy of The Orange Box if you want to try the original Portal.


The Old Square RPGs
A lot of classics are missing from the current PlayStation library, but still easily available from the PS3 (so much that we recommended a buying spree there instead of the PlayStation Classic). These includes much of the old Square Enix library such as Final Fantasies IIIVI, Chrono Trigger/Cross, and Parasite Eve. I would get these now because there seems to be a reticence from Square to make these titles available. I’m still kicking myself for not re-downloading Super Mario RPG before the Wii store closed.

Dead Space 1 & 2
Dead Space 3 is widely regarded as the low point in the franchise, a money-grubbing cash grab that latched onto a horror series like a parasite. The original Dead Space and its sequel remain worth playing through, but they are missing from the PS4 and PS5 store. Likely, we’ll eventually be getting either a set of remakes or a classic bundle, but until then grab what you can.

Legacy of Kain Series
Legacy of Kain was the best thing in video game vampires until the tall Resident Evil chick captured our hearts and other blood-filled organs. With the top-down action games like Blood Omen having a renaissance and Shakespearean narratives never more popular, it’s weird that these cult classics aren’t available on current generation systems. At the very least, try Soul Reaver.

Twisted Metal 2
The first demolition derby game made it on the PlayStation Classic, but not its storied sequel. Featuring the best endings not only of the series but in my opinion of any game ever made, it was a delightfully macabre title that still holds up today. The gameplay is simple enough that it would still rate as a decent indie title if released today, and the hand drawn story bits are masterful.


Alice: Madness Returns
Every goth I knew fell in love with America McGee’s Alice games, and the second one is actually still a pretty decent action platformer. Wonderfully morbid if a little tedious when it comes to gameplay, it’s the great-granddaddy of every spooky platformer that’s come after like Limbo and Little Nightmares.

Dante’s Inferno
It’s an almost-terrible God of War clone, but goddamn is this game metal as hell. Throwing all good taste to the wind, Dante’s Inferno is kind of beautiful in its dedication of the grotesque and horrific. Weirdly, the animated movie version is available on the PS4 store, but not the game itself.

Dino Crisis
Resident Evil is getting its whole series remade, but there seems to be no love for Dino Crisis. You cannot tell me with a straight face people don’t want to see HD dinosaurs attacking them as much as they do zombies and giant alligators. Experience the original until Capcom finally sees the light.

Final Fantasy XIII Saga
It is just bizarre that there is no current gen box set of the three Lightning games. While nowhere near my favorite in the franchise, there’s no arguing that they had a huge fanbase, at least big enough to justify two sequels. Maybe Square Enix is secretly doing an HD remake as they did with X and XII, but for now when the PS3 store goes so does all of Cocoon.

Bonus: PS Now Games
I’m going to be honest: I hate the PS Now service. It’s $99 a year to experience old games in a very spotty streaming format that has literally never worked on my internet connection. I think it’s a scam and yet another way for video game companies to rent you content instead of letting you own it outright.

That said, a lot of great titles are technically available on the PS4 and PS5 because of it, but I deeply encourage you to pick up the titles as downloads on PS3 while the option exists. There is no substitute for actually possessing games on your hard drive or in physical discs. My essential list for that is:

*Mirror’s Edge
*Castelvania: Lords of Shadow series (don’t forget to get the DLC)
*Papo and Yo
*Every Greek God of War besides III
*Fallout: New Vegas
*Puppeteer
*Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
*Ico
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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner