"Exclusive Cantina/Hard Battles Characters" or "When I'll be able to use more energy on Mods/Gear?"
My 44 Favorite PS4 Games
As the PS4 generation is coming to an end, I have decided to make a list of my 44 favorite PS4 titles, and wrote 3 sentences describing why I enjoyed each game. This isn’t a critique of each game as they all have their flaws, but is intended to be a post showing my appreciation for that amazing experiences I’ve had over the years on this amazing piece of hardware.
Enjoy, and thank you for reading.
1 - Bloodborne
This was my proper introduction to the FromSoftware catalog, and what an introduction. I have never before or since felt the same satisfaction of victory as I felt overcoming this masterpiece. Pair that with the haunting tone and the compelling sense of mystery, I have not enjoyed an experience this generation more than my journey through Bloodborne.
2 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Witcher 3 has all the standard RPG tropes that I love, but what makes this game exceptional is the best in class writing. The Bloody Baron, The Last Wish, hell even the quests the armorers grant are compelling, not to mention the incredible DLC that was released to support the game. Witcher 3 is easily the highest quality game I have played this generation, I can’t wait to play it again on PS5.
3 - Dark Souls 3
After discovering Bloodborne, I played Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 1, and couldn’t wait for Dark Souls 3. What FromSoft delivered was an epic Greatest Hits album from my favorite band. They perfectly balanced the faster pace of Bloodborne with the RPG depth that makes Dark Souls so fantastic.
4 - Monster Hunter World
This is my introduction to the Monster Hunter series, so this game was a total surprise for me. The hooks of Hunt > Craft > Repeat have never been stronger for me. This system works so well because it feels absolutely incredible taking down one of the vast number of beasts on offer.
5 - What Remains of Edith Finch
Edith Finch is something special. Clocking in at around 2 hours, it’s like going through an incredible pop-up story book filled with short stories, all coming together cohesively to deliver an incredibly emotional experience. This is the best short story in all of gaming.
6 - Persona 5 Royal
I shouldn’t enjoy this game, I don’t really like anime or JRPG’s, but wow am I glad I grateful I checked this game out. Clocking in at 120+ hours, this ½ Social Sim ½ Dungeon Crawler blew me away with its sense of style, incredible soundtrack, and unforgettable cast. What makes this game elite is how well everything synergizes together as every game system feeds beautifully into itself, making every task and decision feel weighty and important.
7 - The Last of Us Part II
This is the high bar for combined technical wizardry and storytelling in gaming. Some characters I hated, some characters I loved, and some I felt both simultaneously. What made this game special though is how they forced you to see the world through another set of eyes, giving me an incredibly unique experience of empathy that I had not before experienced in gaming.
8 - God of War
Another title delivering on outstanding combat, fantastic story, and technical wizardry. This is the first God of War game I really fell in love with in large part because they made the story personal. I was on the edge of my seat as I rarely am to see what was going to happen next in the story, and I was not disappointed.
9 - Nioh 2
Team Ninja is the one team that can give FromSoftware a run for their money in melee combat, and in terms of combat they may have passed them with this title. It’s so much fun to comb through a level finding all the loot I can, taking down a tough boss, and have them explode with loot everywhere, then do it all over again with a stranger. What Team Ninja built with a combination of Ninja Gaiden meets Dark Souls makes for a package that I could not put down.
10 - Horizon Zero Dawn
This may be the best new IP to come out this generation. Aloy is a character that is incredibly likeable, the world is stunning, and the bow may be the best bow in gaming. I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.
11 - Hitman 2
While many other games offer the biggest maps possible, Hitman nails a dense map better than anyone. It is so much fun to jump in, play a level that I’ve played 4 times before, and find entirely new ways to take down my target that I had no idea existed. It’s also brilliant how they allow you to import your Hitman 1 levels into Hitman 2, creating one large hub for all of your content, and they’re continuing this with Hitman 3; more studios need to learn from what IO pulled off here.
12 - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
What other game lets you tranquilize an enemy, attach a reverse-parachute to them, so that they can join your engineering team? What other game lets you take a water pistol on a quest with you so that you can shoot out electronic systems, or even play audio of someone taking a dump while you hide in a port-a-potty undetected? MGS V is the pinnacle of letting you experiment with crazy gameplay ideas in a mature, AAA universe.
13 - Dying Light
On a console where zombie games seem to be a dime-a-dozen, Dying Light found a way to stand out by marrying a fantastic parkour system with a great crafting system within an impressive sandbox. If you want to really crank up the intensity, head out at night to hunt zombies. What pushes the game over the top is how great the developers have continued to support this product over the years, releasing a variety of free updates and the must-play The Following DLC.
14 - Rocksmith 2014
As an amateur guitar player, Rocksmith became an essential piece of content for me. The amount of DLC that was released for this game was staggering, over 1,500 tracks. It’s a ton of fun to learn a new track and jam along with your favorite tunes, there’s something for everyone in the library.
15 - Fallout 4
Where Fallout 4 really delivered was in the amazing world building. There aren’t many games that are quite as satisfying to pair up with a companion (13 on offer) and just explore for the sake of seeing what’s out there. Being able to explore essentially every building, loot almost everything, and get better stats is a really satisfying power grind.
16 - Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
If you want an over-the-top roller coaster ride with insanely pulpy scenes along the way, The New Colossus offers this in spades. An absolute thrill ride filled with shock and awe that would feel at home in a Tarantion movie. Along with that, it’s the one game that stirred “controversy” by promoting that it would “Make America Nazi-Free” again, unbelievable.
17 - Assassin's Creed Odyssey
For my money, this is the best version of Skyrim made by someone not named Bethesda this generation. They’ve succeeded in creating an endlessly huge, beautiful map filled with fun activities along the way, paired with a satisfying gear grind. Bringing in the mythological elements like battling Medusa sets the series apart from the pack.
18 - The Outer Worlds
Having another studio straight-up challenge Bethesda at creating a Fallout that leans further into RPG elements made this title very exciting. Outer Worlds really nailed their balance of “scope and budget”, not overextending themselves like some other RPG makers have. It’s really nice to be able to play a funny, Fallout-lite RPG, and having a full RPG that is maybe a dozen hours.
19 - Divinity Original Sin 2
The opening dozen hours of DOS2 are among my favorite “levels” in games that have come out this generation. The level of depth involved in this RPG is absurd, and the character creation toolset is as good as I’ve seen in any game. Truth be told this is the one game on this list I have not finished, but escaping Fort Joy 3-4 times (because I keep restarting the game!) has shown me how much attention to detail has been poured into this game by Larian.
20 - Dead Cells
This is one of the most white-knuckle, tense experiences I’ve had. The loop of Try > Die > Repeat isn’t my favorite loop generally, but the combat in this game is so satisfying and air tight that I couldn’t help but keep giving this just one more try until I finally after many hours beat the last boss and breathed a massive sigh of relief. I’m excited to see what this studio makes next.
21 - The Evil Within 2
For me the top tier of action-horror games are Resident Evil 4, Dead Space, and The Evil Within 2. The combat feels great, the tone is tense, and the art design is fantastic. If you like Action-Horror, don’t sleep on The Evil Within 2.
22 - Ratchet & Clank
What a beautiful, funny game with way better action than it has any right to have. The weapons in this game are explosive, hilarious, and everything in between. Some prefer Spider-Man, but for me this is Insomniac’s best game to date.
23 - Night in the Woods
If you’re looking for a game oozing with unadulterated charm, nothing touches Night in the Woods on the PS4. This game at first looks like a cute game about hanging out with friends, but the story has some real depth as it unfolds touching on topics rarely tackled in the AAA space. Plus there’s a mini-game where you just grab a slice of pizza, delightful.
24 - Steamworld Dig 2
A simple game about digging, and collecting loot. Incredibly relaxing. Immensely satisfying.
25 - Firewatch
A stunningly beautiful game where you live in a state park. Exploring the woods and seeing the sights is a great substitute for going outside. The real hook is the relationship you build with a neighboring park ranger, as the theme of escapism is explored by both you and our character.
26 - Until Dawn
Perhaps the best reimagining of a teen-slasher film put into a video game format. The motion capture of the characters is incredible. The fun game of trying to keep the whole cast alive makes you feel like you are involved in a slasher flick yourself.
27 - Nier Automata
Playing as androids, Automata does a great job in shifting the players perspective in a variety of ways. Having the hack & slash combat shift camera perspectives to essentially every perspective imaginable keeps the gameplay feeling fresh and novel. Shifting the perspective of who you are playing lets you see the story through another lens, making this a story that is best told in the medium of a video game.
28 - Tetris Effect
One of the most immersive, “in the zone” games I’ve ever played. Best experienced with headphones, no distractions, fully tunneled into the universe created a hypnotic, zen-like experience where your brain is transferred to another world as your muscle memory takes over flipping the tetris pieces into position. Nothing like it.
29 - Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 Remake
Tony Hawk on PS1 is one of my all time favorite games, so having the first two games remade for the PS4 is a nostalgia dream come true. Having all the skaters freshly motion captured, a fresh, updated soundtrack, while capturing the feel of the original games makes me feel like a teenager again. I’d love to see this bring the Tony Hawk brand back to life.
30 - Inside
An incredibly haunting atmosphere with superb animations. Add in the bat-shit crazy ending, and you have an absolute must-play. A perfect follow up to their prior game, Limbo.
31 - Assassin's Creed Origins
After the AC series grew a bit stale, Ubisoft took a year off and overhauled the formula. The result was Origins. This was an incredibly welcome change, ushering a new breed of Assassin’s Creed games.
32 - Prey
This sci-fi sleeper gem of a game picked up the slack where System Shock and Bioshock left off. What makes Prey shine is the amazing, unique weapons like the Gloo Gun paired with a mysterious story to see through. Prey has one of the coolest opening hours of gaming this generation, an incredibly memorable subversion of expectations.
33 - Days Gone
Perhaps the most underrated game of the generation. An epic open world with some of the most impressive zombies this generation. Setting 50+ zombies ablaze with a well placed molotov is wildly satisfying, and the story does a great job pulling you forward in the hunt to see what exactly happened to your wife making a variety of friends and enemies along the way.
34 - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Coming in as the most challenging game I have ever finished, Sekiro has the most memorable boss fights on the PS4. The Guardian Ape is maybe the wildest boss I’ve ever beaten in a game. Sekiro executed with laser precision their air tight combat in their side-step from their RPGs they are known for.
35 - Red Dead Redemption 2
Possibly the most beautiful open world game on PS4, from the landscapes to the animations to the modeling of the guns. But what makes this game a must-play is the cast of characters. Getting to know Arthur Morgan, and seeing John Marston’s past in this prequel makes for a special experience.
36 - Dragon Age Inquisition
The first big RPG on PS4, Inquisition’s massive world rife with it’s RPG hooks was a joy to play through when the PS4 launched. Questing, looting, recruiting companions, closing rifts, slaying dragons, DA:I was a great time sink. Here’s hoping Bioware can return to form with Dragon Age 4.
37 - Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch really nailed their art direction in this open world samurai game. The combat is tight, and it feels great to slice through enemies in a dual. This will be a series to watch on the PS5.
38 - Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7 may be the straight up scariest game I’ve played on the PS4. Being trapped with a family of hillbillies in this disgusting nightmare of a game has never looked more beautiful. Don’t eat the food in the fridge.
39 - Uncharted 4
What an amazing send-off to Nathan Drake, this is how you complete a characters story thread. I enjoyed the slower start and the more personal moments with Drake in Uncharted 4 to mix up the over the top set pieces. The best Indiana Jones-style blockbuster gaming.
40 - Borderlands 3
This game still delivers the loot, mayhem, and over the top absurd humor the series is known for. I’m looking forward to going through it all again on the PS5 with their free next-gen upgrades. With all the DLC that has come out, and all the DLC continuing to come out, there’s always more to keep me coming back.
41 - The Division 2
Satisfying loot. Tight gunplay. Impressive maps.
42 - Little Nightmares
Spooky dark tone. Beautiful art direction. Nightmares induced.
43 - Life is Strange
One part teen melodrama, one part supernatural time shifting. In a landscape where so many games are based on superheroes or shooting bad guys in the face, Life is Strange was a welcome breath of fresh air. I appreciate how Dontnod evolved what Telltale started with their massive hit The Walking Dead, and put their own spin on the formula with better controls and a relatively down to earth cast.
44 - Detroit: Become Human
Detroit has taken the idea of a “choices matter” game and actually made a game with truly branching choices. Their flow-chart system they built to show all the choices you could have made is a touch of brilliance, and the technical execution of the visuals is stellar. Quantic Dreams is a studio that has set a new high bar for the genre in their technical execution with Detroit: Become Human.
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