It’s been two and a half years since the release of the PlayStation 4, and it seems it’s finally starting to hit its stride with an increasingly impressive lineup of exclusive games. It’s about time we take a look back on the console and examine the best it has to offer us. (Note: that means no games shared with either Xbox One or PC, and no “HD” ports!)
5. Ratchet & Clank
A direct companion to the new movie, Ratchet and Clank is a reboot of the series. The game itself feels very similar to the past games, and for people who have played these games before you will quickly see levels and enemies that while not exactly the same, are very familiar.
The new Ratchet may be a reboot, but the basic structure of the game many remember and love is still there. The weapons are all a little ridiculous (as they always have been) with eventual upgrades that up the destruction, and it has the feel of the “best of the best” from the series in terms of gun roster.
The story is a straight rip from the movie, and although this can get a little annoying at times with certain unnecessary set pieces, it doesn’t go far enough to be consistently bothersome. It is clearly more interested in getting new people on board than advancing the story old fans remember, but if you wanted more Ratchet and Clank you could do worse, and if you wanted a platform to start the series this is a good spot for you as well. – Christian Crawford
4. Until Dawn
By all accounts, Until Dawn should have been a bad game. Originally slated for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 as a first-person PS Move game, it eventually found its way onto the PS4 in a drastically different form. Even then, how could a horror-themed, story choice-driven game consisting almost entirely of quicktime events be more than just a passing novelty?
Thankfully Until Dawn was able to deliver a wildly fun and tense ride that pays loving homage to the genre. Following eight playable characters as they vacation in a secluded mansion atop a snowy mountain on the anniversary of their friends’ mysterious disappearance is the perfect premise for a horror game that seems to hit all the right notes.
Chased by all manner of villains like ghosts, masked killers, and possibly even monsters, Until Dawn works as a love letter to the genre and an exciting game in its own right. The large cast of characters with the potential to die at any time ensures every choice matters and almost every playthrough will result in a different permutation of survivors. Unlike most horror movies, Until Dawn spends enough time developing its characters that you’ll want to keep them alive until the end (well, most of them anyway), meaning every decision is one of tension and anxiety as you work to keep these teens from their gruesome deaths throughout the long night.
3. Infamous Second Son
InFamous Second Son may not have been the series opus we had hoped it would be, but it certainly solidified Sucker Punch as one of Sony’s powerhouse first party studios.
As the first major post-launch game Sony published on the PlayStation 4, Second Son had the difficult task of showcasing just what their new system was capable of, and by all accounts Sucker Punch succeeded. An open world full of cutting edge attention to detail, life-like weather and lighting effects, and incredibly satisfying powers came together to at once liberate and capture players.
Although Delsin’s “too-cool-for-school” personality may not have resonated with players as well as previous inFamous star Cole’s “every-man” shtick, Sucker Punch still did right on the promise of a truly new spin on the franchise by giving Delsin the ability to absorb the strengths of others. And while one or two (depending on who you ask) of Delsin’s powers felt a little tacked on, the majority of his gifts were just that: genuine delights for the player.
If an open world Spider-Man game is truly in the works by the studio who made inFamous, everyone’s favourite wall crawler is in the best possible hands. –Corey Van Den Hoogenband
It seems like Sony learned its lesson after publishing Demons’ Souls only in Japan before the series went on to gain popularity with the Dark Souls games in North America. Not looking to make that same mistake again, Sony asked developer FromSoftware to work together once more, resulting in Bloodborne.
While certainty sharing many traits with the Souls series, Bloodborne moves from the more methodical RPG elements at play previously, to a tighter, action-oriented playstyle. In place of the high fantasy lands of Souls is the somber and moody world of Yharnam, a gothic, Victorian-esque landscape that slowly peels back to reveal the cosmic horrors that lie beneath. While the setting and combat emphasis differs, Bloodborne still brings with it an amazing depth of hidden lore alongside knuckle-whitening action that FromSoftware is known to deliver.
Its style oozes from every facet of the game, with awesomely creative weapon transformations, gun counter-attacks, and blood health regeneration, making Bloodborne just as fun to watch as it is to play. You’ll find no other game quite as challenging or creepily unique as Bloodborne in today’s AAA game industry and it’s cemented itself as a fundamental pillar of PlayStation.
1. Uncharted 4
The fourth and concluding installment of the Uncharted franchise had a lot to live up to as the endcap on what is often thought of as the PlayStation 3’s best series, as well as having to follow up the immensely successful The Last of Us. But not only does Naughty Dog meet these lofty expectations, they surpass them and reaffirm their place as king of PlayStation. Uncharted 4 masterfully blends climactic action set pieces, the most refined combat of the series, fun and engaging puzzles, and a gripping narrative with both beloved and fresh characters.
Taking cues from The Last of Us, Uncharted 4 has higher emphasis on stealth, environmental storytelling, and a more mature presentation style, while still retaining that classic Uncharted sense of wonder and adventure. Uncharted 4 is a shining example of the presentational and cinematic heights video games are now capable of and the best display of the PlayStation 4’s power to create a stunning conclusion to its series.
Not only is Uncharted 4 the best the PS4 has to offer, it’ll surely be remembered as a landmark in video game history for years to come.