Happy birthday, PlayStation 3! Five-years-old in Europe as of last Friday and my, how you've grown. And my, how different the gaming world is today from when you were born on March 23rd, 2007, weighing in at an eye-watering 425 pounds.
To put it into perspective, consider this: when PS3 launched in Japan, Apple hadn't even announced iPhone, and the App Store was a year and a half away. Meanwhile, the once dominant PlayStation has had its crown stolen back by Nintendo and the soaraway success of Wii, while even its bitterest rival, Xbox 360, has outperformed it.
But one thing that hasn't changed is Sony's ability to produce and attract some of the greatest experiences in entertainment. So to give the console the birthday pressie it so richly deserves, we've compiled a list of the 10 greatest games you can only play on PlayStation 3.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
A series born and bred on PS3, Naughty Dog followed the huge success of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter by redefining the action-adventure. Nathan Drake's first outing was a blast, and last year's third instalment has the most jaw-dropping moments – but for sheer consistent quality, part two ranks as one of the all-time greats.
God of War III
If you want to see how much better games developers get at working with hardware, compare PS2's God of War 2 with the system's launch line-up. As for God of War III, the first sequence alone is on a scale few other games have come close to emulating. And you may not have long to wait before you see what they do next…
Gran Turismo 5
It took notorious slow-coach Kazunori Yamauchi so long to turn out PS3's first GT game, even Sony staff were embarrassed by the time it finally arrived. Was it worth the wait? You betcha. But more than that, it also highlights the difference DLC has made to this generation, with the GT5 of today a much-improved beast from the one that came in the box.
Brave and beautiful, Heavy Rain dared to be different. And in doing so delivered a flawed but unforgettable experience that set new standards in narrative development.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Kojima's sprawling stealth-opera was always expected to be a highlight of the PlayStation 3 catalogue. And it delivered all the stylish action, astonishing boss battles, beautifully choreographed sequences and, yes, endlessly droning-on story-padding we've come to expect from the man they just can't edit.
It's the most competitive genre in console gaming, so leaving your mark requires something special. Resistance and Killzone have flown the exclusive FPS flag for Sony on PS3, and while the former is enjoyable enough, the most recent Killzone edges it for the utter eyes-on-stalks spectacle of it all.
It's hard to overstate just what an achievement Media Molecule's original LittleBigPlanet was. Gorgeous visuals and the honeyed tones of Stephen Fry aside, it was the remarkable inventiveness of players and their creations that defined the experience. And the sequel improved upon it in every conceivable way.
Talk about unfortunate timing. Evolution's disaster-ridden racer had its release thrown into turmoil by the all too real natural disaster that struck Japan last year. As a result, it flopped. A terrible shame for one of the most intensely thrilling racing games out there.
Before Dark Souls brought the remorselessly difficult series mainstream attention, Demon's Souls was shattering the wills of PS3 gamers with its trademark savagery. Not for the faint-hearted, but still one of the hardest challenges you can face in games.
PS3 may be five, but there's plenty more big exclusives still to come on the console. The most recent of which you might have heard is a bit of alright. By which I mean, you might as well throw your PS3 out of the window, cut off your hands and take up tap dancing if you don't enjoy this.