Game industry is a complicated beast, split as it is across many platforms, each with its own offer in place to entice gamers. One aspect of this competition are the exclusives: titles with a limited release excluding one or more platforms. The three main actors for exclusivity are PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo, each happy to present something its console competitors cannot deliver.

These exclusives are often well-worth the attention. As system-sellers they often enjoy outstanding graphics and visual design, often amaze with their storytelling and narratives, or showcase the kinds of gameplay you are only going to get on the given console. Some of these games grow to have a significant cultural impact, defining gaming discussions during each hardware generation and inciting fierce debates in comment sections. Some might even venture into other media.

So let’s add some fuel to the fire, shall we? Let’s take a look at a few of the best exclusives out there. You’ll note that some of these games have eventually arrived on PC, and it’s not cheating on our part. PC is a neutral ground, but the other consoles still can only look wistfully, excluded from the fun.

CAUTION: This list reflects availability at the time of writing – May 2024. Stuff might have changed since.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloperConsole Exclusivity
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PC) 2023-07-26 Platform Insomniac Games PS5, PC
Bloodborne 2015 Adventure FromSoftware PS4
Shadow Of The Colossus 2005 Action JAPAN Studio PS2, PS4
Ori and the Blind Forest 2015-03-11 Action & Shooter Moon Studios Xbox, PC, Switch
Ori and the Will of the Wisps 2020-03-11 Action Moon Studios Xbox, PC, Switch
Infamous (series) 2009-2014 Adventure Sucker Punch Productions PS3, PS4
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2017-03-03 Action-Adventure Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 3 Switch
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom 2023-05-12 Action-Adventure Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 3 Switch
Uncharted (series) 2022-10-19 Adventure Naughty Dog PS3, PS4, PS5 (some titles on PC)
Ghost of Tsushima 2024-05-16 Action-Adventure Sucker Punch Productions PS4, PS5, PC
The Last of Us Part I 2023-03-28 Action-Adventure Naughty Dog PS3, PS4, PS5, PC
God of War (trilogy) 2005-2010 Adventure Ready At Dawn PS2, PS3
Halo: The Master Chief Collection 2014 Action & Shooter 343 Industries Xbox, PC
Demon's Souls Remake 2020-11-12 Action RPG Bluepoint Games PS5
God of War 2022-01-14 Action SIE Santa Monica Studio PS4, PS5, PC
Super Mario Odyssey 2017 Adventure Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 8 Switch

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release date:2023-07-26
Developer:Insomniac Games

Do you remember Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart?

It came out just a few years ago, everybody loved how amazing it looked, and then the game appears to have vanished from memory, which feels really unfair to the game. It’s an excellent platform game from the studio which also gave us the Spider-Man games, Insomniac. How did it get forgotten? Is it because it only launched on PS5 and PC?

It’s a sequel to Into the Nexus, and begins with a battle which results in the titular friends being flung into a different dimension and separated. It also introduces a secondary playable character, Rivet, who is a Lombax just like Ratchet. Rift Apart has some of the best mix of mobility and combat in the genre, mixed with outstanding animation which puts the game staggeringly close to Pixar movie quality.

Key features
  • Dimensional rifts not only present a fun gameplay opportunity, but also look amazing in action
  • Incredible animation
  • Great combat and traversal
  • A second set of playable characters


Release date:2015

Bloodborne’s contentious confinement to the PlayStation consoles continues to be one of the biggest flexes of PS-users over literally every other platform.

It’s not hard to see why, FromSoftware’s Lovecraftishly Gothic game is regularly praised as one of the finest games in general, let alone in its genre. Alas, only PlayStation players get to have fun with this incredible title.

Set in a gloomy city of Yharnam, Bloodborne asks you, a newcomer to solve its problem of a disease twisting the citizens into violent monsters. With eldritch knowledge and transforming weapons at your side, you’ll carve apart beast and monster alike, thanks to Bloodborne’s incredibly tight, aggressive combat system. Just remember that this game is no walk in the part, keep your wits about you.

Key features
  • One of the best games in the genre, and only PlayStation players can play it
  • Excellent dark Gothic aesthetic
  • Combat system which rewards aggressive playstyle
  • Several endings, some of which are quite Lovecraftian, providing replay value

Shadow of the Colossus

Release date:2005
Developer:JAPAN Studio

Another stellar action game which not only began as a PlayStation 2 exclusive, but later got a remake… as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

That’s rough for everybody with a PS, because Shadow of the Colossus is incredibly engaging, satisfying, and evocative. Nobody has made fighting giant monsters as tangible as Team Ico did, not even Capcom with its Dragon’s Dogma.

Your task is to slay sixteen gigantic colossi. Each colossus is a unique challenge, often utilizing the environment, or the creatures design and temperament, such as exploiting their fears. However, whatever ethical misgivings one might have about killing the majestic beasts, the deal was clear: slay the colossi in return for having your [uncertain relationship] resurrected. And a deal is a deal, isn’t it?

Key features
  • The story is more implied than told
  • Each colossus is a unique challenge
  • Strong emphasis on climbing the titanic creatures, with believable physics
  • Takes itself quite seriously and is a nearly tragic narrative

Final Fantasy XVI

Release date:2023-06-22
Genre:Action RPG

Final Fantasy XVI is the latest fully original instalment of the series, and at the time of writing it’s only available to PlayStation 5 players.

At the moment at least, nobody else gets to experience this entry’s dark fantasy world where magic crystals are commonly used as power source, people can become hosts of titanic creatures of devastating power, yet natural wielders of magic are shunned and exploited.

Despite it being a rather grim, serious setting, it is still one of outstanding power, so your playable character, Clive, has martial talents putting him alongside the gaming’s greats such as Dante from DMC. In fact, FF16 is the closest the series’ combat has ever been to an action game. Despite that, it’s still an RPG at heart, with tons of exploration, quests, and relationships to build with NPCs.

Key features
  • Looks incredible, thanks to PS5’s power
  • Dynamic, action-packed combat
  • Rather serious tone
  • Summons got reinvented into Eikons and became the centerpiece of the story

Ori and the Blind Forest/Will of the Wisps

Release date:2015-03-11
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Moon Studios

It doesn’t feel like it should be true, but it is! Moon Studio’s excellent platform “Ori and the…” series is unavailable to PlayStation players.

Which is a shame, because they are incredible games and every fan of the genre should play them. Despite mostly gentle, friendly aesthetic, the games’ many platforming sections can present a decent challenge even for genre experts.

The games’ protagonist is a young nature spirit, who becomes our viewpoint for touching stories about parental fears, grief, and healing. It feels like a fable, except one where the protagonist can die if you mess up a sequence of dashes. It’s truly one of the greatest Metroidvania-adjacent games on the market, sadly only available to PC, Xbox, and Switch.

Key features
  • Looks absolutely beautiful, especially in motion
  • Excellent story told across two games
  • Tight, exciting platforming
  • One of the best Metroidvanias

Infamous (series)

Release date:2009, 2011, 2014
Developer:Sucker Punch Productions

It’s been a decade since the last Infamous game, and it’s way too long.

Of course, Sucker Punch Productions is hard at work on other stuff, but it would be nice to get a new title in this series, too. The series is PlayStation exclusive, and while the protagonist changes in the third game, there is a shared thread here: you always get cool superpowers for combat and mobility.

The first two games followed a courier Cole McGrath, who, through plot shenanigans received electricity-based superpowers. The third game, Infamous: Second Son, went wide rather than narrow, and instead offered its hero, Delsin Rowe a selection of… different powers. Cole could draw abilities from smoke, neon lights, or concrete, which would change his abilities accordingly. It was pretty neat!

Key features
  • Superpowers perfectly matched for city-life
  • An interesting karma system changing what your abilities can do
  • Running (or sliding) around the city feels great
  • Two protagonists across three main entries

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom

Release date:2017-03-03
Developer:Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 3

The Legend of Zelda series has been one of the longest-running video game series in history, dating all the way to 1986.

It has, however, always remained on Nintendo’s gaming consoles. Which is why you need a Nintendo Switch if you want to play TLoZ: Breath of the Wild and its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, and you should want to play it, because they are some of the best open-world action-adventure games of the last ten years.

After a short tutorial familiarizing you with the tools at your disposal, you’re set free on a large, beautiful map of Hyrule, full of enemies to fight, allies to befriend, and secrets to find. Between the simple, but compelling plot, a vibrant world, and a physics system which encourages creative problem-solving, the Switch-era Legends of Zelda are definitely system-sellers.

Key features
  • Large world filled with amazing locations
  • Mild survival systems
  • Amazing physics engine exploitable through several gadgets
  • Tears of the Kingdom expanded the world and introduced new mechanics

Uncharted (series)

Release date:2022-10-19
Developer:Naughty Dog

The Uncharted series is not only one of the best action-adventure game franchises, but also an interactive cinematic spectacle.

Players got to experience this on big TV screens, because the games have been the highlights of PlayStation library ever since 2007. And while Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy remasters made their way to PC, you won’t see the first three games without a PS.

The series mostly revolves around the treasure-hunting adventures of Nathan Drake. He’s an outstandingly lucky man, who like a less academic Indiana Jones keeps getting involved in supernatural problems caused by ancient artifacts and forgotten cities. Getting in and out of trouble tends to involve a lot of climbing, a lot of shooting, and a ton of amazingly acted great dialogue.

Key features
  • An outstanding action-adventure series
  • Three games are still PlayStation exclusives, but remasters of the last two came to PC
  • Incredibly polished animations, mo-cap and voice acting
  • Awesome cinematic sequences, from chases to exploding planes

Ghost of Tsushima

Release date:2024-05-16
Developer:Sucker Punch Productions

Ghost of Tsushima is a rare treat: an action-adventure open-world game set in a historical setting.

It’s based on the Mongol invasion of Japan in 1274. You’re playing as Jin Sakai, a samurai who survived the disastrous first contact and is now on a personal mission to sabotage and terrorize the invaders, by any means necessary.

GoT looks amazing and its TPP gameplay is exciting and polished. Especially the melee combat is great, utilizing several fighting stances and is well-suited both for group combat and cinematic duels. It’s the latest in developer Sucker Punch’s long string of awesome PlayStation exclusives, which include the Sly Cooper series and the superpowered Infamous games.

Key features
  • Gorgeous open world based on the titular Tsushima island
  • Gameplay revolving around exploration, melee combat, and stealthy sabotage
  • Based on a real historical event, but it does take liberties with it
  • It has breached containment in PS and arrived on PC

The Last of Us

Release date:2023-03-28
Developer:Naughty Dog

Ever since the hit TV show adaptation, it seems almost unnecessary to introduce The Last of Us.

This post-apocalyptic, dramatic action-adventure game has been a PlayStation exclusive since its release in 2013, it was only in 2023 that the remake made its way to PC, while simultaneously skipping Xbox. Despite that, the PlayStation version is still the best experience all around.

The Last of Us comes from the same studio that made Uncharted, Naughty Dog, and enjoys the same level of quality. Even the original, 2013 PS3 version still looks and plays great, and the Remake drastically improves the graphics while leaving the story and gameplay experience intact, which is the best of two worlds. Especially the improved animations have finally caught up with excellent acting.

Key features
  • One of the finest post-apocalypse stories out there
  • Immersive environments and nerve-wracking sequences
  • It spent a decade as a PS exclusive before coming to PC
  • It was adapted into a fantastic TV show

God of War (trilogy)

Release date:2005/2007/2010
Developer:Ready At Dawn

The original God of War games, the ones about the time Kratos murdered Greek mythology, remain pretty cozy on PlayStation and there are no signs of them coming over to other platforms.

Nobody committed to Xbox will ever see Kratos’ abominable optometrist methodology, and PC users won’t get to show Ares that being a scheming bastard is no defense against two angry swords.

Not only the core experience, the trilogy, is confined to the vaults of PS, but the prequel-ish spin-offs are as well, which means other platforms are missing out on a whole lot of excellent hacking and slashing, vicious Quick Time Events, and methodical, if extremely angry, murder of Greek pantheon, bestiary, and a few unlucky bystanders even Kratos eventually grew to regret killing.

Key features
  • An essential trilogy and a few interesting spin-offs
  • Spectacular melee-oriented combat with brutal finishers and even more brutal QTEs
  • One of gaming’s finest roaring rampages of revenge
  • Only the Norse sequel managed to go beyond PlayStation (stay tuned)

Halo: the Master Chief Collection

Release date:2014
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:343 Industries

The original Halo blew people’s minds when it came out, and the series remains one of the finest games in the FPS genre.

The trick is that Halo has never ventured beyond Microsoft’s ecosystems. It began on Xbox and colonized PC after a bit, but PlayStation players don’t get to ride a Warthog or see why Master Chief is such a cool guy who isn’t afraid of anything.

A great way to enjoy the game is to grab Halo: the Master Chief Collection, which gathers several Halo games (Halo 1-4, plus Reach and ODST) under one convenient label. It’s also available on PC, albeit in a somewhat convoluted manner it requires individual (or in a bundle) purchases of constituent games. It is worth it, though, because both singleplayer and multiplayer modes are great.

Key features
  • Quintessential first-person shooter classics
  • Excellent multiplayer
  • Xbox and PC exclusive
  • The Collection includes several awesome Halo games, both core series and spin-offs

Demon’s Souls (Remake)

Release date:2020-11-12
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Bluepoint Games

Before Dark Souls, but after Armored Core, developer FromSoftware dipped its toes into the hardcore melee combat genre with Demon’s Souls, by all accounts a direct ancestor of DS and Bloodborne.

Many of the familiar elements are in: a dark fantasy setting, losing EXP (souls) if somebody kills you, and a safe hub where you can recuperate without fear of the game many deadly foes.

The game was originally released back in 2009, but received a substantial 2020 remake, which polished the gameplay a bit, and gave the game a massive visual upgrade, with more detail, better lighting, and all that HD jazz. The sad part if you don’t own a PlayStation, is that, well, you don’t get to play it. Demon’s Souls, like its grandchild Bloodborne, remains firmly rooted in PS-land.

Key features
  • The original Souls game, from which FromSoftware’s empire has sprouted
  • Fantastic dark fantasy setting
  • A solid 20202 remake, bumping the game to PS5 up from PS3
  • Patience is advised, it’s not an easy game by any stretch of imagination

God of War (2018)

Release date:2022-01-14
Developer:SIE Santa Monica Studio

Yes, we’ve talked about God of War already, but that was the original series, fully limited to PlayStation.

However, in 2018 GoW got a magnificent sequel, which not only put Kratos in a position to interact with Norse gods, but also let him have another chance at family. It was so far removed from the originals it was basically a soft-reboot, and 4 years after its PS4 launch it found its way to PC.

Not to Xbox or Switch, though, which is a bummer for everyone using these platforms as their only gaming hardware. 2018’s GoW also got a sequel, Ragnarök, moving the story in an epic direction, and at the time of writing it remains a PlayStation title with no announcements regarding its arrival on PC. For now, only PlayStation players get to battle against Thor.

Key features
  • Kratos tries to turn over a new leaf in the realms of Norse myths
  • Exciting third-person perspective melee combat
  • Available on PC, although…
  • … its sequel, GoW: Ragnarök remains a PlayStation exclusive at the time of writing

Super Mario Odyssey

Release date:2017-10-27
Developer:Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 8

Another Nintendo exclusive with zero hopes of moving over to any other platform, Super Mario Odyssey is one of the finest traditional Mario platformers in modern memory.

As a spiritual successor to Super Mario 64 it has a lovely, vibrant 3D world you’re free to explore, diverse locations, and plenty of exciting gameplay quirks, some of which are powered by Cappy, a demon hat.

Well, it’s not actually a demon, but it does allow you to invade the minds and bodies of other creatures and even some objects to use them for your platforming purposes. Crushing existential dilemmas aside, Super Mario Odyssey is a ridiculously good 3D platform game, which looks great, plays amazingly well, and will undoubtedly put a smile on your face. As long as you have a Nintendo Switch.

Key features
  • Cappy-powered possessions expand an already diverse gameplay
  • Firm Nintendo Switch exclusive
  • Lots of platforming puzzles to figure out and secrets to uncover
  • Lots of neat outfits for Mario to unlock

Hard(ware) choices

This concludes our look at some console games which have remained committed to a specific console and have no plans to change that, even if some of them made an exception for PC. Hopefully, you now know what your console of choice is going to be and are already planning to populate its library with top-tier productions.