With the PlayStation 5 right around the corner, we decided that now would be a great time to look back and remember some of the best games the PS4 had to offer. So here’s a look back at some of the best games that made their way on to the PS4 over the 7 years it spent as the dominant gaming console.
- 1 Bloodborne
- 2 Dreams
- 3 Yakuza 0
- 4 Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- 5 Final Fantasy 7 Remake
- 6 Marvel’s Spider-Man
- 7 Nier: Automata
- 8 Monster Hunter World
- 9 Prey
- 10 Persona 5 Royal
- 11 Tetris Effect
- 12 Until Dawn
- 13 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- 14 The Last of Us Part II
- 15 God of War
- 16 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
- 17 Horizon Zero Dawn
- 18 Ghost of Tsushima
- 19 Death Stranding
- 20 Dragon Ball FighterZ
This one’s a no-brainer; I still consider Bloodborne to be the one, singular reason why anyone should get a PS4. Arguably the best game by FROM Software – Sekiro eat your heart out – Bloodborne features wonderful level design, great weapons, and a fantastic story that seamlessly switches between Gothic horror motifs and Lovecraft-inspired cosmic horror.
Democratising game development is always a noble cause, but what developer Media Molecule managed to accomplish with Dreams is nothing short of breathtaking. Among many other things, Dreams simplifies the various pipelines of game development to such an extent that painting, modelling, creating music and even programming becomes a game in and of itself. Add on top Dreams’ wonderful network to share and collaborate and what you get is just pure magic.
To introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the Yakuza franchise would be no easy task, but Yakuza 0 manages it with a grace and elegance you wouldn’t expect from a video game about the seedy crime-ridden underbelly of 1980s Japan with sidequests that involve parodies of Michael Jackson and Steven Spielberg. But the beauty of Yakuza has always been the sense of place provided by its primary location – Kamurocho. There’s a fantastic crime drama with serious, deep conspiracy theories, but there are also arcade machines to play Space Harrier on, so Yakuza 0 is pretty much the perfect video game I’d say.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Leaving a fan-favourite protagonist of a long-running video game series was an incredibly risky step; as was the move away from beat ‘em up combat into becoming a turn-based jRPG. Yakuza: Like a Dragon succeeds on both fronts. Introducing Kasuga Ichiban as the new protagonist and his obsession with Dragon Quest as the new combat system, Yakuza: Like a Dragon continues to walk the fine line between serious crime drama and goofy anime-esque high jinks that the series has become famous for.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
To say there was a considerable amount of pressure on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake would be an understatement; the original Final Fantasy 7 is considered one of the greatest games of all time, and has been credited many times over for helping bring a fundamental shift in video game storytelling alongside its contemporaries. Final Fantasy 7 Remake successfully reimagines the original not only in terms of its combat system, but also its story, as well as the very nature of what a remake can and should be.
It’s been a while since we got a competent Spider-Man game. Before the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man, we only had the classic Spider-Man 2 on the PS2. Thankfully, Marvel’s Spider-Man remembers what it was that made the classic so great; free web swinging with great physics and a sense of speed that just can’t be matched. And let’s not forget, Marvel’s Spider-Man has a story that’s more engaging and fun than most of the MCU.
Nier: Automata is one of those games that essentially does what few other games can manage; it uses its medium to tell an engrossing story that just wouldn’t be possible outside of a video game. Without spoiling too much, I will say that Nier: Automata isn’t just one of the best games of the PS4, but also quite possibly a serious contender for one of the best games of all time.
Monster Hunter World
While Monster Hunter has existed for well over a decade, the release of Monster Hunter World is what finally brought it to the mainstream. Freed from the restrictions of Nintendo 3DS hardware, Capcom was free to expand the Monster Hunter franchise in ways that changed it forever. Despite its complexities, World is also an incredibly accessible game, once you figure out what you’re doing. And as we’ve made abundantly clear over the years, Monster Hunter World is a definite must-play. It doesn’t really matter if you’re into this kind of game or not, Monster Hunter World will amaze even the most cynical gamers among us.
Acting as a sort of culmination of everything Arkane learned about level design from its work on the Dishonored franchise, Prey is quite possibly the most complex and impressive immersive sim out there. Taking place in an abandoned space station, Prey tells a mind-bending story of transhumanism. It also allows you to tackle situations in just about any way you can possibly imagine. And this isn’t just hyperbole; once you realise just what the Gloo gun is capable of, Prey’s level design starts to truly shine. No two players will have the same story of beating Prey.
Persona 5 Royal
It’s difficult to talk about Persona 5 Royal without talking about just how damn stylish the whole game is. Oh sure, it has some of the best jRPG combat out there, and its story is a fantastic look at the world through the eyes of rebellious kids trying to take on an uncaring, adult world, and all of that is great, but the sheer amount of style that Persona 5 Royal oozes is insane. I mean, people cosplayed the combat UI at one point, and I don’t think anyone other game has gotten that honour yet.
A pure distillation of classic Tetris gameplay, Tetris Effect hopes to convey a sense of togetherness and unity through channelling one of the biggest things Tetris is known for – by inducing a zen state while playing some plain old Tetris. Tetris Effect also features some fantastic visuals and music to help add on to the feeling, and also adds a couple of new mechanics that can potentially change Tetris as you play it.
Until Dawn is best described as an interactive movie to play with your friends or partner on the couch. Passing the controller around to play what is ostensibly a cheesy b-horror movie is loads of fun, especially if each player decides to control and make decisions for a single character. Until Dawn’s story may not be original, but it uses its medium quite well, leading to some great co-op gameplay.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
After the Resident Evil franchise became something of a laughing stock thanks to games like Resident Evil 6 and Umbrella Corps., Resident Evil 7: Biohazard brought prestige back to the franchise by taking it back to its roots. Resident Evil 7 ditches the globe-trotting adventures of RE6, and instead focuses on a single location, much like the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2. Resident Evil 7’s mansion is loads of fun to explore, and the Baker family make for some fun, frantic boss fights.
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II, in many ways, shows off the true capabilities of PS4’s ageing hardware. It managed to be one of the best-looking games on the system, and it managed to make sense of a Last of Us sequel – a game that many agreed didn’t really need a sequel. But The Last of Us Part II’s true strength is its combat system. Offering an insane number of options in improvisational combat, all the while looking as good as it does is quite the feat, and The Last of Us Part II deserves to be remembered for it.
God of War
A new look at everyone’s favourite Pantheon-murdering “hero” Kratos that we got with the soft reboot of the God of War franchise was quite an interesting one. Choosing to tell a personal story about a father and his son, God of War was an expertly-crafted game that blended puzzles and combat in a fun way, despite the combat itself being considerably slower than its predecessors.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
An anime story about some kids getting a mech to fight off gigantic monsters shouldn’t really be new, but 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim manages to take a played-out anime trope and turn it upside its head by giving us an incredible story that blends its visual novel storytelling and turn-based tactical combat.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Guerilla Games’ latest game is quite arguably the studio’s best. Horizon Zero Dawn answers the age old question of how awesome it would be to fight robot dinosaurs. But that’s not the only thing going for it; Horizon Zero Dawn also tells the gripping tale of the fall of civilization, and how a new one can arise from the ashes, alongside messages about environmental conservatism and how petty tribalism can do more harm than good.
Ghost of Tsushima
Despite Ghost of Tsushima leaning maybe a bit too heavily on its theme and setting, it’s still quite a good time. Essentially working as an evolution of the myriad of open-world games we’ve seen from just about every developer out there, Ghost of Tsushima also oozes style from just about everywhere. And while its story may not be anything to write home about, it gets the job done and gives you plenty of reasons to go out and explore the world to hunt down its secrets.
As ridiculous as Death Stranding looks from its trailers and gameplay footage, it’s still hard to argue with the fact that Death Stranding is one of the most creative, interesting games we’ve seen from a major developer. It completely flips the script on how an open-world game works; rather than just making a beeline to your destination, you have to consider the terrain itself as the enemy. That’s the interesting thing about Death Stranding. It turns what other open-world games use as filler into its core gameplay mechanic, and as you can read in our Should You Buy, we think that’s a great thing.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Quite easily the greatest adaptation of an anime into video games in the history of the medium, Dragon Ball FighterZ avoids the pitfall of becoming yet another anime arena fighter. Instead, it becomes one of the best 2D tag-based fighting games out there. There is plenty of DLC to go around depending on the characters you know and love, and most importantly, this is probably also the only adaptation of Dragon Ball where Yamcha isn’t a complete loser. Make of that for what you will.