The newest game on our list is also the shortest. Three hours long, some may question the value of Thatgamecompany's final PS3 exclusive post the similarly dazzling Flow and Flower, but unless there's a secret 'hours to pounds' ratio, Journey is every bit as important as games triple the length.
It's a solitary trip over tundra's, down dunes and through glittering caves, the game never telling you where to go or indeed why. Upon completing Journey, however, the 'why' becomes clear - for the journey itself: carving a path through silky sand as your cape floats in the breeze, or the breathtaking sunset surf down a sandy mountain, or the mad dash from a stone dragon. Multiplayer in which you'll randomly encounter other humans is equally enigmatic. You could beckon them by whistling (your only method of communication) and travel together, or bypass them entirely. The choice - like the journey - is yours.
17. GOD OF WAR 3
With Bayonetta and her vicious transforming barnet winning over the speedy fingers of hack-and-slash fans everywhere, it's easy to forget moody pale demi-God Kratos' titanic adventures in God of War III. Combat is arguably not as tight, nor as open to possibilities as in Bayonetta (switchable weapons like lion-headed cestuses and the Nemesis Whip aside), but the world, mythology and gut-churningly gory beast-slaying satisfies like nothing else.
It's the best-looking brawler ever made too, a wary exploration of a dark grotto with Medusa's disembodied head for a torch showing off stunning lighting, and fluid chain-and-blade combat done a disservice if only seen in static screens. The highlight, however, is epic Titan battles. Felling a foe that could crush you between his fingers, or hiking a mountain only to discover it's actually a gigantic monster, are defining moments of the generation. Give it plus points for quick-time-executions that'll make your gran vomit.
18. CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
It's the (game that gave birth to the) best-selling game of all time. This is Call of Duty at the height of its powers, before mechanics lost impact through repetition and the campaign became a parody of itself. It's fresh, raw, and running at 60 frames-per-second.
The campaign is an eight-hour globetrotting blockbuster veering between rainy ship assaults, nightgoggled extractions and Iranian rescues missions, at one point literally dropping a bomb on you. It's also got one of the greatest FPS missions ever, a tense Chernobyl assignment behind enemy lines: belly-crawl past a convoy, snipe the arm off a wanted terrorist, then drag your captain to safety in a thrilling helicopter evacuation. And then there's a multiplayer so brilliant it's barely changed. Hundreds of games since have nabbed its addictive perk system, clever levelling, and the guilty pleasure of instant gratification. A beast of a shooter that's smarter than you think.
Bioshock has been hailed as a philosophical triumph. Don't worry if all that objectivism flies over your head, however, as the game itself stands firm with inventive mix-and-match combat. Combine the freezing powers of ice with a wrench to cracking effect, electrocute foes in puddles of water with a lightening bolt, or buff up your whirlwind trip-mine with fire.
There's more to Bioshock, however, than fighting and philosophy. The underwater city of Rapture is a fascinating setting, miraculous, tragic. Founded as a place where men could excel free from religion or government, now a hellish playground for Big Daddy's in diving suits and mutated Splicers. But it's not without beauty. Like the initial descent into Rapture which passes you by schools of fish and a blue whale on the way, or a poignant moment listening to a doomed New Year reveller's memoir. It weaves a delicate story over a thick layer of firepower.
20. VALKYRIA CHRONICLES
Sick of hard-hitting first-person shooters? How about something altogether airier? Sega's 2008 gem Valkyria Chronicles splashed onto PS3 in a burst of watercolour, a painting in motion that, thanks to the gorgeous CANVAS engine, remains one of the console's best looking games. And it plays equally well - think Advanced Wars in third-person and loosely based on WWII (Europe is 'Europa' and surprisingly-not-annoying anime teenagers act as troops).
Teams take turn to attack, each squad mate able to move a certain number of steps before attacking. Flank a tank with lancer Largo and target its vulnerable rear with a bazooka, or pick scout Alicia and get to high ground for good sightlines. Rustling down in foliage reduces opponents' Top 20 PS3 Games as of 2012