Got a PlayStation 3 for Christmas? Kick-Start Your Library With These Budget Exclusives

Sony’s PlayStation 3 was the object of a huge price drop this past summer, hitting $250 for a 160GB system. Holiday deals on the nationwide scale made the machine even more affordable. With the increased spending associated with December, are you one of the new members of the PlayStation family? If you’re a new PS3 owner, here’s a guide to building a stellar game library of PS3 exclusives without dropping a ton of cash.

Heavy Rain

If you’ve played multiplatform hit L.A. Noire and liked that, you should also try Heavy Rain. Some would say there’s a little less “game” in favor of being more like an interactive choose-your-own-adventure movie, but whatever its genre, it’s a heck of an experience. I’ve seen this one less than $30 virtually all over the place. At that price, this innovative PS3 exclusive is a great deal.

Valkyria Chronicles

If you’ve ever liked a strategy RPG, you owe it to yourself to check out genre-reinventing Valkyria Chronicles. The huge battlefields, entertaining story, wonderful music, unique visuals, and active defense system keep this 2008 release among the PS3’s best titles. You can easily find this for $25 new and obviously, even less used.

LitteBigPlanet 1 and/or 2

LitteBigPlanet is a can’t-miss choice for platforming fans. They’re lighthearted and really unlike anything else in the genre. If you play more single player, then the cheaper first game might be the best way to test the waters, but if you’ve got multiple gamers in the household, grab the second for its fun multiplayer (plus it plays all of the first’s user-generated levels). Pay no more than $18.

3D Dot Game Heroes

A tip of the hat to classic game franchises, action-adventure 3D Dot Game Heroes is a fun single-player romp through a colorful world. The gameplay feels a lot like Super Nintendo standout, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. You can easily get this for less than $25, even below $20 if you look hard enough.


The Welcome Back package created a lot of digital copies of this and put physical ones back on the streets. The winner is you, new PS3 owner, as this great combination of open-world gameplay, action-packed combat, and dope super powers can now be found for peanuts. Even a new copy can be found for under $20. If you like it, there’s a sequel and a PSN game to chase down, too.

Demon’s Souls

By now you’ve likely heard about all this fuss behind Dark Souls, so why not check out its PS3-only elder? See the masochistic madness that started it all, for only about $20.


It won’t take too much work to find a used copy of this for $15 or less. Uncharted 3 just came out and blew people away, and the Vita game is set to do the same when it comes out in February, so if you’re just now getting a PS3, this is a great time to get started one of the generation’s most praised adventure series and do so in a budget-friendly fashion.

ModNation Racers

A Greatest Hits title that can be found for a Greatest Hits price or less, this racer is all about customization and multiplayer madness. If you’ve got more than one player in the home and love to create and modify parts of your games, this one is a must-have. For a more hardcore racing fan, perhaps Gran Turismo 5 is the stronger recommendation, but it’s a little harder to find with a price tag as friendly as ModNation, and the latter is more of a game for everyone in the house.

Yakuza 3 and/or 4

An action RPG with a dark story, Yakuza 3 takes place in a wide-open city loaded with dozens upon dozens of hours of side content. You’re free to roam most of the time, choosing whether to advance the interesting story, playing minigames, or spend some more time beating up thugs and leveling up. Yakuza 4, just released this year, can also be found for a good price. You’ll be fine jumping in without knowledge of the PS2 games, don’t worry. Start with number 3 and if you like it, check out the sequel.

Killzone 2

Perhaps the most beloved PlayStation-exclusive shooter brand there is, Killzone just had another installment come out to rave reviews this year, with Killzone 3. Get yourself up to speed by snagging part two, and do so for anywhere between 10 and 20 bucks.

The above are all great, all priced to move these days, and all PlayStation exclusive. There are, of course, plenty of others. If you, our community, can think of other stellar, low-priced games to recommend to the newest batch of PS3 owners, let the titles fly in the comments. Don’t forget also the multiplatform games like Battlefield, Assassin’s Creed, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and much, much more.

Congratulations on receiving a great gift – enjoy!