Just pick-up a shiny new PlayStation 4 and you’re looking for the best PS4 games to buy right now? We’ve got you covered here at Heavy.com.
With so many potentially great video games on the horizon, we know that we’ll soon be overloaded with incredible new PS4 games to play — many of which will have to be added to our never-ending backlog.
Last year, we were given some really good PS4 games, with mega releases like Resident Evil 7: biohazard, Persona 5, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Obviously, these games had no issues finding their audience, being both mega critical and commercial successes.
But those are just a few of the currently available great games that the PlayStation 4 has to offer its fans. But if you’re just now getting Sony’s latest console, or you’re simply looking for more PS4 games to play while we’re in the down-season of releases, the list below contains the best PlayStation 4 games of all-time (so far).
Of course, we’re still in the middle of the current console generation, so we’re fully expecting to have to remove some of these awesome games and replace them with newer games as they’re released.
It’d be impossible to create such a massive list using just PS4 exclusives, so don’t expect the list to be just exclusives, here. However, these are all games available on your PS4, and all games that you can play right now.
The list below is based on, basically, the general consensus of a game’s release — an amalgamation of critic scores, user review scores, and our own personal experiences around the Heavy.com office. It contains some new PS4 games as well as games since the console’s launch.
So, get your PlayStation hard drives ready, because you’re going to want to fill it up after reading this post. Here are the best PS4 games of all-time:
Wipeout: Omega Collection
One of last year’s surprise hits hit in June, and it quickly became one of our new favorites. Wipeout: Omega Collection is a high-octane futuristic racing game that repackages the previous two titles in the Wipeout series into one incredible presentation.
Players control anti-gravity ships (think Star Wars podracers) that are each equipped with energy shields that absorb damage while racing. While racing, the shield takes damage each time it hits anything until it depletes entirely, at which point it explodes and eliminates that racer from the current race. It’s some of the best fun you’ll have within the arcade racing genre, and Wipeout HD and Wipeout 2048 have never looked better with full 1080p and 60FPS presentation.
Genre: Multiplayer Arena Shooter
While it’s now somehow cool to trash Overwatch, denying its popularity and quality would be a mistake. Overwatch first released in 2016 as Blizzard’s new hot team-based arena shooter, and not only has it held onto the number one spot in popularity for multiplayer PS4 games for the past two years, but it spawned a handful of similar games — the ultimate compliment.
The core Overwatch mode places you in a 6v6 team battle, with each player selecting from a roster that now includes over 20 heroes, each with their own unique skillset of abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. There are roles, and if your team’s chemistry doesn’t include the proper mix, you’ll likely get squashed by the enemy team. This means that not everyone can be straight up damage dealers and go for kills, but, instead, you’ll have to choose other roles like tanks and healers to create a team composition that works.
Sure, it has its problems (like a terrible matchmaking system for competitive matches and some balance issues), but at its core, Overwatch is great game. If you love teaming up with friends to take on other teams, it’s a great choice for scratching that competitive itch.
Now, Overwatch has blown up even more with 2018’s introduction of the official Overwatch League, and Blizzard just introduced a brand new map, Blizzard World, and over 100 cosmetic additions. If you can ignore its ranked mode (which is spoiled by Blizzard’s poor handling of how it ranks players and the toxic community) and want to just have some fun, Overwatch is one of the top PS4 games of all-time.
Final Fantasy XV
Genre: Action RPG
Final Fantasy XV did something no other Final Fantasy game could do before it, and that is to bring outsiders into the franchise for the first time. How did Square Enix accomplish this? Simple — FFXV has flying cars, was set in an open world, and used fanservice in its marketing.
But even without all of that, Final Fantasy 15 is a great game. It’s set in Eos and follows Noctis, heir to the Lucian throne, and his bros as they venture on a quest to take back their homeland from Niflheim, which seized the kingdom during peace negotiations.
The game had a long development cycle of 10 years, and halfway through its development, the game changed directors from Tetsuya Nomura to Hajime Tabata. But through its development turmoil, FFXV came out the other end for the better, swooping up numerous awards. And commercially, well, it was an instant hit, selling over 5 million copies on day one. But its biggest success? Getting Shuhei Yoshida to say that it was his favorite game of 2016.
Genre: Interactive Survival Horror
In 2015, I think it was (and still is) safe to say that the slasher horror movie genre is dead, filled with stale ideas and the same baddies we’ve seen over and over again. But PS4 exclusive Until Dawn breathed life into the slasher genre, blending a sort of interactive movie experience with video games.
The story is set in Western Canada where a group of teenagers spend the night in a cabin, exactly one year after the disappearance of two girls (heard this premise before, have you?). But it wasn’t the game’s premise that made it a stand out. Instead, it was the game’s handling of characters and player choices that determined the game’s outcome. Despite the game’s awkward animation, it’s a game that every horror-loving PS4 gamer has to play. Great characters, tongue-in-cheek moments, and a highly replayable story make it a PlayStation 4 essential.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Genre: Action Adventure
Lara Croft has certainly seen her fair share of successes, and Tomb Raider is one of those longstanding series that has been pretty even-keeled with its reception — in a good way! Rise of the Tomb Raider, which hit in 2015, remains one of the best Tomb Raider games to date. While it was quite similar to its predecessor, it tweaked the gameplay and refined the experience so that it was the ultimate package.
It’s set one year after 2013’s Tomb Raider, where Lara Croft seeks out answers to her supernatural experience on Yamatai through her father’s research into a lost city by the name of Kitezh, which (allegedly) holds the secret to immortality.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is overloaded with incredible action sequences, great exploration, and exciting battles, and there is plenty of great character development for Lara Croft within. Not only is Rise of the Tomb Raider one of the best PS4 games of all-time.
Genre: First-person Shooter
Bethesda’s ridiculous run of great games this generation has to end sometime, but luckily for them, it wasn’t with 2017’s Prey. Although dawning the same name as the 2006 game, the two universes share nothing and are not related — an undeniably odd marketing choice for Bethesda.
But I’d say that it worked out well for the company in the end, as 2017’s Prey was (mostly) well-received. You’ll take on the role of Morgan Yu on a space vessel where scientists have been researching a hostile alien collective called the Typhon.
Naturally, the Typhon escape their confinement, causing Morgan to have to defend himself. As Morgan, you’ll acquire new abilities along the way, and you’ll unlock new areas as you progress. The game is visually stunning and offered gameplay that felt like Bioshock in space.
See Also: Next Bioshock Game
The Last of Us Remastered
Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival Horror
If you want a PS4 game with a story that will resonate with you indefinitely, The Last of Us is that game. The game is set 20 years after a fungal outbreak that has destroyed the majority of civilization as we once knew it. You’ll take on the role of Joel, who is tasked with taking Ellie, possibly the secret key to stopping the infection, across the post-apocalyptic U.S., which is filled with infected former humans.
TLoU is a near-flawless game that EVERY PlayStation fan needs to experience. Its story will move you in ways that you didn’t think a video game could, and if you aren’t a bubbling idiot after the first hour of the game, then you have no soul.
Not only is TLoU on our list of the best PS4 games of all-time, but it would be on our list of the best overall games of all-time as well — it’s that iconic.
Monster Hunter World
Genre: Action Role-Playing
The newest addition to this list of the best PlayStation 4 games is Capcom’s latest entry in the Monster Hunter series, titled Monster Hunter World. This 2018 release has been met with nothing but critical acclaim, with its accessibility for new players being praised as one of its strongest assets.
In Monster Hunter World, you’re set in a beautiful open world as a hunter in the “New World”, a previously unpopulated land filled with monsters you have to see to believe. You’ll hunt down or trap some of the coolest monsters you’ve ever seen in a video game, and the game contains some truly awesome battles. No other game will give you the same sense of accomplishment that you feel when ending an epic battle. It’s best experienced with friends, as you can play with up to four players (and, best of all, the difficulty scales as you add players).
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The best PS4 horror game of all-time also stems from Capcom, as last year’s Resident Evil 7: biohazard changed our view of psychological horror games. RE7 creates a new bar for the genre, as its many fantastic elements come together to create one of the best horror game experiences of all-time.
Players will take on the role of Ethan Winters, as he is on the search for his wife who has disappeared in the Baker family’s plantation. You’ll soon discover the Baker family isn’t any ordinary family, and you’ll have to fight your way through their horror-filled compound, uncovering the mystery of this cannibalistic group of kin.
For the first time ever, you get a Resident Evil game from the first-person perspective, and we think that’s part of what made it such a memorable experience; experiencing the horrors of the Baker family resonated more because we were experiencing it through the eyes of our character, and not over his shoulder. RE7 is a terrifying experience all-around, and one you shouldn’t miss.
It’s currently one of the highest rated PS4 games of all-time.
Grand Theft Auto V
While the story in Grand Theft Auto V is quite possibly the best in the series (told from the perspective of three different characters), it’s the unique GTA Online experience that gives it such staying power on your PS4. You’ll take on your friend’s list, make new friends, and make new enemies in a crazy online environment with so many things to do that we don’t even know where to start. There are races, of course, heists, survival, free mode, flight school, time trials, cops n crooks, raids, and more. Or, you can just drive around aimlessly killing other players in your path for no other reason than because they’re there.
You’ll undoubtedly get your money’s worth with GTA V, which is part of what makes it one of the best games on the PlayStation 4.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Genre: Action RPG
Ever wanted to take a trip to ancient Egypt, but the not lame kind in museum exhibits? Assassin’s Creed: Origins is the game for you. Not only has Origins brought back all the good things about the AC series, the developers made a keen attempt to at least keep the setting and surrounding world true to historical records. They even came out with the Discovery Mode, where you can wander around and learn everything there is to know about ancient Egyptian life without stumbling onto the plot or getting attacked by guards.
That is to say nothing of the gameplay. Some improvements include the eagle and climbing mechanics; the eagle improves the entire experience, especially when you can use it and ride a horse at the same time; climbing is significantly less sticky than it was back in Black Flag.
If you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, this is definitely one to pick up. The world is huge, immersive, and the gameplay is exciting and well worth the full price.
Pack your textbooks, pencils, and notebooks, it’s time to go to school! By day, be prepared to study, take tests, join clubs, and make lots of friends. Don’t forget your after-school job either, if you so choose. You might need the extra cash for the weapons you will use by night. Speaking of night, you’ll have to leave the backpack at home. At night you will be entering the minds of corrupt adults, fighting off their personas, and trying to save them from themselves.
Persona 5 is critically acclaimed as the best in the Persona series, having the largest world to explore, more characters to interact with, and the most intriguing plot. The replayability of Persona 5, much like its predecessors, is nearly infinite. Not only can you romance a different character each playthrough, but you can find different people to socialize with depending on where and when you explore, or even whether or not you get a job.
Every decision matters in Persona 5, including yours to purchase it. Go out there and get yourself a copy to get started on your epic JRPG adventure, as this is one of the top PS4 games of 2017.
Horizon Zero Dawn and Frozen Wilds DLC
Genre: Action RPG
Horizon Zero Dawn took concepts like Breath of the Wild and added robotic dinosaurs. What could possibly be cooler? HZD has beautiful sweeping landscapes that will have you hitting the share button every ten minutes. If you need evidence, just join the PlayStation HZD community, all they do is share screenshots.
More than the setting, of course, is the gameplay. The gameplay is somewhere between stealth and melee, using a variety of weapons including the Ropecaster to tie down enemies, spear for melee, bow for nearly anything, Tripcasters for stunning enemies, and so many more. How each weapon functions gives the player a variety of ways to take down the machines depending on their overall size and weaknesses.
That is to say nothing of the Frozen Wilds DLC, which gives you interesting new machines to battle, a winter wonderland to photograph, and an interesting story filled with new and eccentric characters. The Frozen Wilds is a good 15 hours long, as any good DLC should be, so you are getting quite the bang for your buck.
From the eccentric game designer Takahisa Taura, comes Nier Automata. The game Square Enix finally let him make after the sheer confusion the first Nier caused. Luckily, Automata is a great deal more comprehensible to those without degrees in abstract art and philosophy. Such finer academic references are still there in the details, but they don’t confuse gameplay as much as they did in Nier. As such, everyone was equally relieved. Video games are for fun, after all, not for writing a thesis.
Therefore, Nier Automata turned out to be one of the most dynamic RPGs set in a post-apocalyptic world. There is a variety of gameplay, from side-scrolling space shooting to intense melee combat with enemies far larger than you. Automata has it all, and you will have to be prepared for it.
As to the RPG elements, Automata has three playable characters, each with the different point of view on the same story and sometimes very distinct conclusions as well. Your decisions in Nier Automata can be significant, but you will almost always come to similar conclusions, a mark against the game. However, if it is the story and plot of a game you enjoy, you will enjoy the journey to the end far more than the end itself. Automata is all about the little details and you can find them everywhere you look.
Take your time, smell the roses, and definitely check this game out.
Genre: Gothic RPG
Dark Souls with more blood and completely different story, need I say more? Even if the similarities to Dark Souls are down to the same font, Bloodborne is a game worth diving into. It is said to be a little easier than Dark Souls, because you can dual wield a pistol and another weapon, depending on your preferred method. That said, most of the enemies are still enormous and a great deal more powerful than you. If they are not more powerful, they are at least smart enough to dodge.
Furthermore, if you thought Dark Souls had a vast world and thick plot, Bloodborne is even more so. However, much like Dark Souls, you are never explicitly told what is going on and why. As such, complex plot threads are the least of your problems, but they are nonetheless fascinating when you manage to understand what they’re all about. Otherwise, it is up to you to guess and hope for the best.
Bloodborne will test your combat skills and have you wondering if you doomed the world or saved it.
**Bloodborne is free in March if you have a PS Plus subscription!*
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
A Thief’s End is the best of the Uncharted series, including The Lost Legacy that came afterward. It was a fitting end to the somewhat gentle character arc for Nathan Drake. Throughout the game, we see how Drake became such a skilled thief through an emotional narrative, great graphics, music, and exciting gameplay.
Thief’s End was the best-reviewed game of 2016, topping quite a few charts and awards across many gaming publications. The game sold almost 3 million copies within the first week of launch, putting it among one of the best-selling PS4 games overall. As such, some consider Thief’s End to be one the greatest video games of all time. If you’re not too sure an Uncharted game could be quite so amazing, be sure to check it out and let us know what you think.
With Uncharted being one of the best ps4 exclusives, PlayStation 4 owners are the only ones who can play A Thief’s End. Consider yourself lucky!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Genre: Fantasy RPG
Whether you’ve read the books and been with the games since first one launched or just enjoy a good RPG, The Witcher 3 is for you. Everything about this game is phenomenal and anyone who has played it will speak of it with great passion. The narrative, even if you have read the books, is very well written, organized, emotional, and nuanced.
The Witcher 3 is all about the small details, as each side quest feels like it’s own fascinating story or mystery that will take you to new areas and monsters. The combat is fast-paced and chalk-full of different methods to fight each monster. You can rely heavily on Witcher potions to gain advantages over specific monsters, like strength or increased elemental attacks. Combat often involves Signs too, magical Witcher powers that can set enemies on fire, trap them, stun, and so much more.
The graphics still hold up and they will for years to come, as CD Projekt Red achieved what hardly any RPG had at the time: accurate and dynamic facial expressions outside of cutscenes. It made for an immersion rarely found outside of a JRPG.
The Witcher 3 will go down as one of the top PS4 games of all-time, especially because at the time of its release, it was best played on the PlayStation 4 (it took the devs awhile to smooth out the Xbox One version).
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
The Nazis are back again in an alternate universe where they won WWII and decided America in particular was the place to focus their colonizing efforts. Unfortunately for them, William Blazkowicz survived the events of the last game. The man essentially wakes up from a coma fighting for his life and that of his friends.
It is not long after those initial events that Blazkowicz joins a resistance in America. From then on, The New Colossus is the usual Wolfenstein style of running, gunning, and plenty of blood. There are some stealth sections to be sure, but they are often pushed aside in favor of a gun in each hand and plenty of enemies to kill. As always, Wolfenstein is meant to be fun, exciting, and comes with a healthy dose of fatalistic humor.
Genre: Fantasy RPG
Another game heavily inspired by Dark Souls, by From Software. Nioh carves its own path with a unique combat system and welcome elements of humor in a gritty world. Unlike Bloodborne and Dark Souls, the focus of Nioh is less on building a mysterious gothic world, but more on presenting the player with a dynamic and complex battle system.
Not unlike fighter games, Nioh allows the player to execute combos. But that isn’t the entirety of the combat system either, you can also take a variety of stances. Depending on your play style, you can use these stances to change up your attacks whenever you want to.
In addition, each weapon has a different set of moves and style, requiring a whole new learning curve every time you try one. Needless to say, Nioh is dynamic and challenging, and it’s one of the best PS4 exclusives of 2017 — well worth checking out if you have not already.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Genre: Action RPG
As the last Metal Gear game to be directed, written, and designed by Hideo Kojima, Phantom Pain came on the tail end of a great deal of controversy. Luckily, the conflict between Konami and Kojima doesn’t touch the majority of the game, save for one easter egg from the previous game (Ground Zeroes) that allows you to add Kojima to your mother base in Phantom Pain.
As always with Metal Gear games, Phantom Pain begins with immediate intensity. The hospital you were busy having a coma in has been attacked and set alight. The mysterious patient in the next bed over is keen on keeping you alive, despite any muscle atrophy you suffer. Thus begins your journey of revenge, to kill those that destroyed your forces in Ground Zeroes.
The plot is significantly more complicated as you go on, of course. However, the gameplay and combat is not nearly as layered as the story. Phantom Pain is a game that encourages players to find the most hilarious way out of a situation, like throwing porn magazines into a room to distract the guards.
There’s a little bit of everything for everyone in Phantom Pain, whether you enjoy intense plots or running around in a chicken suit, this game is for you.
Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the entire series and thus allows new players to enter the series without any heavy backstory knowledge required. Set in December 1988, the game takes you on an intense underground story with protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima. Both characters provide the player with a variety of combat options that can be changed mid-battle.
It has been said that Yakuza 0 comes up a little short on the combat, being not quite up to par with the Batman Arkham series, but the game makes for it with a potent plot, silly side quests, and dizzying distractions. All of which accumulate to one of the best games in the series for it’s perfected formula and additional brilliance.
Whether you like a good crime story of revenge or wandering about cities inspired by Osaka and Tokyo, Yakuza 0 will take you there and further.
Genre: Team-based Multiplayer Arena
As the successor to the less cleverly titled Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, Rocket League has shown us that there is no need to have real people playing soccer. As always, the best way to describe Rocket League is that it is “soccer, but with rocket-powered cars.”
Players are split into two teams with up four players each. The idea, obviously, is to get the ball into the opposing team’s net. There is a single player mode available as well that pits the player against AIs instead. Multiplayer modes can be played both locally and online. In fact, Rocket League was one of the first games, right beside Minecraft, to allow for cross-platform play between the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Rocket League’s popularity is still going strong, as updates and content have been added since the game’s launch and will continue for the foreseeable future. For example, one update allowed players to modify core rules and customize game modes. Furthermore, Rocket League is a part of the eSports lineup, so it is definitely worth checking out.
And, it’s one of the best PS4 games for kids that won’t cost you much.
Titanfall 2 boasts the buddy system to trump all buddy systems. The player character, Jack Cooper, is rather suddenly given the reign of BT after a sudden attack by mercenaries. Cooper also inherits the previous owner’s orders and most of the game is spent completing that mission.
In the meantime, Cooper and BT form a deep friendship through sardonic humor and BT’s struggle to understand human behavior. This friendship follows the player through dynamic levels that make very good use of your inherit bunny-hopping abilities. Each area is open to more than one solution, ranging from stealth, sniping, and melee. Some weapons quickly become favorites, like the automatic shotgun that obliterates enemies in a single shot. It is immensely satisfying to use.
Of course, you can’t talk about Titanfall 2 without addressing the multiplayer. Critically acclaimed as one of the best multiplayer modes in the FPS genre, Titanfall 2 has 8 modes available to players such as Bounty Hunt, Pilot vs. Pilot, and Last Titan Standing. Even if you start as a very inexperienced player, Titanfall 2 multiplayer lets you practice and rank up in a way that will always keep you coming back.
Call of Duty: WWII
Call of Duty: WWII was the result of Activision ultimately deciding to take a year off from the annual release of COD games. They wanted more time to really get it right this time, keep boots on the ground and return to those roots of the genre we heard so much about.
Luckily, Activision and developers Sledgehammer Games achieved what they set out to do. They made a Call of Duty game without jetpacks and futuristic enhancements that turned the player into a Halo type soldier more than anything else. Furthermore, WWII is good. It provides a variety of perspectives during the events of WWII, weapons that feel at least a little like they belong in the time period, and enough missions to keep even a single player offline plenty to do.
See Also: Call of Duty WW2 The Darkest Shore Tips
When Doom came out in 2016, it was great. When the game came to the Nintendo Switch in 2017, it was even better. Doom on the Switch will not win any graphics awards, but it is still Doom on the go and nothing is better than that. Being able to play Doom wherever you please makes the pure bloody combat all the more enjoyable.
But, it undeniably looks better on the PS4.
Doom is a spiritual remaster of the old 1993 version, updating the game’s graphics and gameplay to today’s standards, and adding dynamic melee combat. The latter forces even the best sharp shooter to approach demons and literally tear them apart in a variety of visceral ways.
If you enjoy honing your FPS skills and blasting away demons in the most bloody way possible, Doom is for you.
See Also: Upcoming New Horror Games
Genre: Sci-Fi RPG
Fallout 4 is one of the best FPS games with a wide open world. Once you get yourself out of the vault, the world is your oyster. The main plot is beside the point, as even after you find the ending, there is so much more to do. Side quests, crafting missions, and even building your base will keep you occupied.
The juxtaposition of a world stuck in the 50s and the post-apocalypse careening into chaos is what really sells the Fallout series. It is not necessarily something meant to make you laugh, but it is a setting that delights in making the macabre facts of life, cheerful.
If you haven’t picked up already, keep in mind that Fallout 4 is a huge time sink. You won’t want to put this game down.
Dark Souls 3
Genre: Gothic Fantasy
There are many memorable things about Dark Souls 3, all of them adding to an already wealthy collection of great stories, battles, and adventures. The story is exactly the same as it was in the first two games, you are the chosen undead and it is up to you to either light the flame or kill it. However, it turns out that the eternal flame is not so eternal.
If you have not finished the game yet, I assure you the last hour or so of the game is probably the best in the series. The enemies are new and even more twisted, the setting is spectacular and dark, defining the series in much the same way the Tomb of Giants did in the first Dark Souls. More than ever, every step is flirting with death and you must either run for your life or go very slowly.
That said, Dark Souls 3 is definitely the last of the series. That world has ended so many times, it would not necessarily be surprising if From Software continued the series. However, the ending answered so many questions that it would be difficult to see another game still set in the age of fire.
Despite it not being a PS4 exclusive, you’ll find this baby on many best-of PS4 games lists around the web.
Gravity Rush 2
As one of the few really good titles on the Vita, Gravity Rush 2 has stood out because of its core mechanic of manipulating gravity. Players must use this powerful ability to move about the world of Gravity Rush 2, fight off enemies, and complete side quests.
As the director of the game states, Gravity Rush 2 is home to a world much more alive and exciting than the previous game. The main city is more colorful and filled with people the main character can chat with. The citizens will even react to Kat’s remarkable abilities, especially if she happens to destroy something nearby.
For fans of the series, Gravity Rush 2 truly exceeded expectations. The game pulled the series to new heights and then added even more great content. In fact, Gravity Rush 2 has been compared to a Studio Ghibli film due to its art style and interesting character development.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Inspired by the Marvel vs. Capcom games, Bandai Namco has finally made a game for Dragon Ball Z fans. The controls and team mechanics are quite similar to Marvel vs. Capcom. There are four buttons to attack with, and no fancy combinations to make the special attacks happen. You can use the special attacks that expend Ki, like the Vanish Attack or call on one of your team members to perform an Assist move.
The player can choose from a roster of 24 Dragon Ball Z characters in the standard edition of the game, including Captain Ginyu, Cell, Frieza, Gohan, and Goku. Bardock and Broly are available in a DLC, along with new cutscenes and voice packs. The DLC will be free for those with a season pass on March 28, 2018.
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Before Journey was Okami, one of the first games that critics and gamers alike could point to and say “video games are art.” First stop is the art style, unlike the FPS games that were so popular at the time, Okami turns classic Japanese watercolor into a video game. Each frame of Okami could be captured as a beautiful classic painting, telling the tale of Amaterasu defeating various evils and returning spring to the world.
Second, comes the gameplay. Special attacks and moves are all held in the celestial brush, which you use to paint the specific shape attributed to the attack. Some brush techniques even conjure much-needed items, like lily pads to make your way across the water, or fireworks to break weak walls. With the celestial brush, the player creates their own art in a way, highlighting that video games are art.
Thirdly, Okami is a lesson in Japanese folklore. Each and every character in the game is pulled from Japanese mythology and history. The bamboo princess, for example, features in the game. Though if you would like a more accurate representation of her, look to the film recently made about her titled The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition
Don’t get Street Fighter V, get Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. The latter comes with all the DLCs and an Arcade Mode that was sorely missed in the original game. You will even get other cool modes like the Extra Battle Mode, which is where players can spend Fight Money to join exclusive challenges for a chance to win more Fight Money, experience points, special titles, and premium costumes.
In addition, the Arcade Edition features selectable V-Triggers and updated visuals and design. However, the main difference between the two editions besides the modes, are the improvements in quality of life, like the UI. Though more modes, like Survival Mode, have been strongly requested, there has been no word on any content updates for the game.
If Capcom had launched all of the Arcade Edition‘s content with the original game’s launch, SFV would be a much bigger game than it is today. Still, don’t let this incredible fighting game slip through the cracks, because in 2018, it’s almost an entirely different game.
Genre: Battle Royale
Obviously, Fortnite has taken over the world, and chances are that if you have a PS4, you’re playing Fortnite: Battle Royale.
Easily the current most popular and most played game on the PlayStation 4, as it has taken over Twitch (mostly thanks to Tyler Blevins), frequently landing as #1 on the most watched list.
Hop out of a plane onto a map with 99 other players, scramble to find that sweet, sweet loot, and see how long you can survive against those other players using your weapons and building skills. The last person standing wins. Best of all? It’s free, and you can download it right from PSN.
Little Red Lie
Little Red Lie is a top-down RPG that doesn’t so much have gameplay as it does have a story to tell. You can choose what lies to tell, and depending on what lies you tell when, you can reshape the lives of the two main characters.
Sarah is a young woman who just lost her job and is forced to live with her parents just to get by. It is emphasized in the game that Sarah is the unhappy result of economic forces out of her control, like stagnant wages and insecure employment.
According to developer Will O’Neill, the second character was actually inspired by Donald Trump. His name is Arthur Fox, and he is a rich “financial guru,” going around the world to give motivational talks and sell more copies of his book.
Fox is perfectly aware of the lies he tells, and though sardonic about it, seems more than happy to continue telling them and tricking gullible people into believing his rhetoric. Little Red Lies highlights the current economic disparity and approaches the subject with grace, driving home its point without hitting the player over the head with it.
Where Call of Duty: WWII captured the history of WWII, Battlefield 1 captured WWI. It is difficult to compare the two when both have such similar source material. It can be said that Battlefield 1 is the better one, but only due to gameplay mechanics and style. For example, Battlefield 1 depicts the weapons of WWI with more accuracy, like the more powerful recoil and slower reload time.
Also, playing Battlefield 1 and COD:WW2 are much different experiences, with the former focusing on larger scale battles.
Battlefield 1 provides both single and multiplayer modes. The single player gives you the opportunity to really bond with your team, no matter their nationality. The multiplayer provides dynamic maps, weapons, and modes; you can even fly a pigeon if you really want to. All of which provides an exciting experience for all fans.
Injustice 2 is the great DC film we never got and the video game we did. Injustice 2 is chalk full of great characters from all across the DC universe, even the less popular ones that haven’t managed to get a movie yet. Almost all of them are designed after their comic book counterparts, rather than Justice League or Suicide Squad.
Each character has special moves powers tailored to whatever their superpower is. Captain Atom, for example, can shrink down to the size of an atom or split atoms, the resulting force causing his opponent to be knocked out, but not a nuclear bomb.
Injustice 2 also has a great storyline. This surprised some fans, as fighter games are not really known for their emotional or plot heavy single player campaigns. Injustice 2 managed to flip that stereotype on its head, as each character has their own arc and something to overcome or learn.
In our opinion, Injustice 2 is the best PS4 fighting game you can currently buy, for its unique and interesting take on the massive roster of DC characters and high-octane, challenging fighting mechanics.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice actually won the Indie Game of the Year here at Nerd Much. It was not because there were not any other good indie games out there. Cuphead was fairly tough competition, I assure you. In the end, however, it was Senua’s touching story that really won the race.
Hellblade follows the journey of Senua, a Viking warrior who just lost the love of her life. She takes his skull and goes to the underworld to find Hela. Senua hopes to bargain for his life, bring her lover back from the terrible death he experienced.
Throughout her journey, we learn that Senua is not the well-adjusted protagonist we’re used to in video games. Senua has schizophrenia and the developers at Ninja Theory did a spectacular job in portraying that mental illness. So much so, that even those of us with different mental illnesses can point to certain sections of this game and say “that’s what it’s like for me.”
“Viking Warrior” should be enough to sell you.
Infamous: Second Son
As usual, Infamous: Second Son has you playing the part of superhero with special powers. Delsin Rowe, a 24-year-old graffiti artist, becomes caught up in the conflict between Conduits and the Department of Unified Protection. Throughout the game, Rowe slowly learns to control his powers and gains new ones depending on the player’s choice.
One of the features of Second Son is that you can choose whether you want Rowe to be evil or good. Unfortunately, this does not work out very well in practice. As with most games that falter at the morality system, there is no grey area for players to walk the line. Whether it influences the outcome of the game’s events or not, it is important to create a main character that changes with the decisions the player makes. Rowe, however, never strikes one as the type to make the evil decisions and nor do they change his attitude throughout the game.
That said, the combat is really where Second Son shines, as well as its world design. All the powers you can use turn the entire city into a playground of flying and opportunities to flex whatever your latest power is. In addition to making the player feel very powerful, Rowe’s powers are a stunning sight to behold. Evil or good, the developers created unique animations for all the powers, each more colorful than the last.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Before the Storm is a prequel to the events of Life is Strange, with a full three episodes that explore Chloe’s relationship with Rachael. You immediately enter Chloe’s life and the conditions under which she needs to deal with on top of going to school and just trying to survive.
This time around, of course, you do not have the ability to turn back time on every decision you make to see what all the other outcomes are. In fact, some of the most interesting responses are even timed. The latter are usually Chloe snarking back at someone until they either laugh or go away.
Though most interactions between Chloe and anyone but Rachael are awkward and stilted, Before the Storm manages to be just as emotional and heart-wrenching as the original game. The ending especially will have players reaching for the tissue box as you make the ultimate decision regarding Rachael.
Madden NFL 18
Though Madden NFL 18 does not change much from the previous game, the jump to the Frostbite engine is extremely welcomed. Characters and gameplay are far more detailed and fun to watch than ever before. Other changes include Target Passing, which is supposed to give the player more control and confidence in the pass going where it was intended to go. Unfortunately, this mechanic is difficult to master and is not entirely worth it in the end.
The main featured change in Madden NFL 18 are the three game-style modes you can choose from: arcade (a mode that is considered easy and geared towards beginner players), simulation (choose this mode for a more authentic NFL experience), and competitive (the most difficult mode where the AI are incredibly skilled).
For solo Madden players, the first-ever story-driven campaign follows Devin Wade. Remarkably, the story becomes quite an emotional one due to talented actors involved and the clever writing. There are even dialogue options for an RPG flavor to really make the player feel like a part of the story.
See Also: Madden NFL 19
What Remains of Edith Finch
Genre: Horror Mystery
There’s solving a murder, and then there’s investigating the root cause of what seems to be a family curse. What Remains of Edith Finch is described as a horror game based on the overall theme of death, as you systematically go through the final moments of each Finch family member. The game gets dark and ultimately tragic, but it can be argued that the ending is a bit more uplifting. It’s all about your interpretation of the events throughout the game and your perspective on the matter.
If that is not enough to catch your attention, the art style of What Remains of Edith Finch should. Unlike so many text driven games, What Remains of Edith Finch uses the environment to write words across the screen, like the white puff of a dandelion catching the wind and scattering the letters. The beauty and mystery of the game will keep you looking for the next secret entrance, journal, or letter to find the ultimate source of the Finch family curse.
If Okami put the art in video games, Journey put abstract art in video games. In Journey, you don’t really die. There are no real consequences for dying, only that you must start the section over again. In addition, there is no combat. You hide from enemies, in a sense, but the tension in Journey lies in, for want of a better word, the journey.
From the beginning to the end, you are told nothing. Journey’s story is told through pictures, gestures, gameplay, and most of all, the environment. The tension lies in the colossal ruins, wondering what people built this and what happened to them. Tension percolates when you see your ribbon-like friends stuck behind bars. The climax of tension is that section where you must hide from enemies.
On the surface, Journey may seem like a simple testament to Buddhist ideals, but there is far more depth to the game. If you haven’t already, try replaying the game and see what new clues you can uncover.
Undertale has become one of those indie games so popular, you would almost mistake it for AAA title until you looked at the graphics. In fact, the graphics have been described as downright ugly, but it is all with a purpose.
Undertale features excellent writing and storytelling methods, from text animation to mini-games within a conversation with someone. The story and gameplay are so closely intertwined, it is nearly impossible to describe one without the other. Flirting, for example, can either get you in a steamy relationship or have you playing a dodge game until their approval of you goes up.
What really wins the heart of every Undertale fan, is the humor within the game. You never know quite what to expect from the characters when you, for example, pet one. Undertale is keen on throwing curveballs, no matter how “good” or “bad” you play.
If the first Dishonored was a love letter to Thief, Dishonored 2 is the resulting child. Dishonored 2 improved on everything that was good about the first game and made it great. For example, the world is more fleshed out and alive than ever before. This time, you have a little room to really explore the world and eavesdrop on conversations between regular citizens. You learn so much about the world of Dishonored when you do like just how out of touch the royal Kaldwin family is with the population they rule.
Furthermore, the gameplay favors both stealth and lethal equally (though you will still get a different ending). You can upgrade powers for both that will help you regardless of what style of stealth or lethal you prefer. It’s a bit of a learning curve, and abilities like Shadow Walk might seem overpowered, but the game will present you with plenty of situations where it might seem like you don’t have a choice.
If you like stealth games, regardless of your style of play, Dishonored 2 is a must to pick up.
The Evil Within 2
After the events of the first game, The Evil Within 2 takes Sebastian Castellanos on yet another horrifying journey through STEM. This time around, it is with the promise of rescuing his daughter, Lily. Once again, Sebastian partners up with Mobius and dives into the sadistic domains of his enemies, already twisted and caught up in their own insanity.
There is some exploration to be had, but be careful. Around any corner could be your next enemy, crawling its way out of the floor or ceiling to get to you. Run, and you might survive, but you will likely need to return better armed or sneak past and attack from a good vantage point.
The design of your bosses and enemies take inspiration from the first game, but there are plenty of brand new enemies for you to encounter. Survive to the best of your abilities, managed your resources well, and you might just get out alive.
Ratchet & Clank
Moving to the PS4 from the PS2 was a big jump to the say the least, and it was worth it in so many ways. For one, Ratchet & Clank has never looked better. The character animations, vistas, and detail are exactly what the original game was aiming for on the PS2. The world is more colorful and smooth, making it an absolute breeze to explore and bounce around in.
The story isn’t too shabby either. Inspired by Star Wars, Ratchet & Clank takes you on an adventure through a wide variety of planets and worlds. Not only will the enemies keep you trying out your wicked arsenal of weapons, but each new planet brings new characters to meet and laugh with.
The gameplay of Ratchet & Clank is plain exuberant fun, there is simply no other way to describe it. Whether you sliding on rails or using your jetpack to fly to a previously unreachable platform, you will be having the time of your life.
**Ratchet & Clank is free for the month of March with a PlayStation Plus subscription.**
Dragon Quest Builders
Genre: Sandbox RPG
Minecraft in Dragon Quest style! That’s right, you’ll be spending the majority of your time building your little hovel into a village. Collect materials, come back to build more, and repeat. There is some combat, but there are no real consequences for dying. Dragon Quest Builders is a game directed towards children, so keep that in mind when you realize absolutely no one has cursed once, not even when it was clearly needed.
That said, Dragon Quest Builders still has some light RPG elements. You won’t be crying the end of that emotional investment, but it will keep you wondering how the story ends. Dragon Quest Builders is a relaxing game with no long commitment required. It’s a great game to wind down from a long day, and even better for kids to learn their way around video games.
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
A critically acclaimed set of horror games that are difficult to talk about without spoilers. The main premise is that you wake up locked in a room with what looks like a watch attached to your wrist. It reads a number under 9 and if throughout the game you reach 0, you die. If you happen to each the number 9, you escape.
To achieve the number 9, however, there are puzzles and moral dilemmas in your way. The puzzles are well done and satisfying to solve, but at some point, you will be put in a room with one other person. You must choose to either ally yourself with them, or betray them. Depending on what you choose and the other person chooses, you can raise or lower your number. The catch, however, is that one of the people you are interacting with is the person orchestrating this whole thing.
Zero Escape takes psychological horror to whole new levels, forcing people to experience something similar to the Saw movie premise, but with less gore and more tension.
The Talos Principle
This game takes its name from a great mechanical giant in Greek Mythology that protected Europa and Crete from invaders. Unfortunately, this being fell to the whims of Medea, a sorceress found in the tales of Jason and the Argonauts. Though the meaning behind what Talos was supposed to represent in Greek Mythology, The Talos Principle gives us at least one possible interpretation.
In the game, you play the part of a robot, struggling to solve puzzles apparently laid out by Elohim. You don’t really know who or what Elohim is, but that’s the mystery. Each puzzle, though somewhat difficult, is innovative and require creative solutions from the player. You will always feel like a genius after you’ve solved each one.
The Talos Principle may not be a game for everyone, as its philosophical themes are quite heavy handed. If you’re willing to wrap your head around it, The Talos Principle is well worth your money and time.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix
Just to be extra confusing, Square Enix decided to put six Kingdom Hearts games into one: Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: coded, and Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.
If you are keen on starting the Kingdom Hearts series and you want to be thorough but not too thorough, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix is a great pack to start with. All the games are remastered for the PS4 and the upgrade is very welcome. Some of the changes include the graphical quality, which is significantly improved, and the much shorter loading times. Both changes make for a much smoother experience.
Not all of these games are terribly relevant to the plot of Kingdom Hearts, but if you’re a fan, you will likely want to see as much of these characters as possible. While we’re all waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix is a good way to refresh your memory and tide yourself over until it finally comes out.
As usual, Rockstar took a look graphics during 2011 and advanced it by at least two years with L.A. Noire. They showed exactly what motion capture was capable of, and asked players which character was lying and when. It wasn’t always easy to tell, but the nuanced expressions were there for players to find and analyze.
If that concept was not enough to build a great game around, Rockstar decided detective noir was genre suited to video games. Or at least, Rockstar made it so. No character is perfect in L.A. Noire, but that is what makes this game so unique and interesting. You play the game not so much to solve the mystery but to interact with the colorful cast of characters and see how your decisions really influence the plot.
Remastered last year for the PS4, Yakuza 0 is a PlayStation classic. The game is a prequel to the Yakuza series, games based on Japan’s criminal underworld. Despite the subplots and wide cast of characters the series is famous for, Yakuza 0 does not require the player to have been invested in any of the Yakuza games that were created before it.
As such, Yakuza 0 is one of the best entry points into the series. New players will get to know the characters and gameplay in a way that won’t overwhelm them. A good thing, since the sheer amount of mini-games and side quests, could easily be confusing to new players if they don’t already know that Yakuza games are meant to be filled to the brim with complexity.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Genre: Hack n’ Slash
Shadow of War may not be canon in any way, shape, or form, but the story is decent enough. Talion may be as bland as a flavorless oatmeal, but Celebrimbor (and the rest of the cast) is wonderfully sardonic and a pleasure to listen to.
The characters and story are definitely not enough to warrant purchasing this game, but the combat definitely is. Not as complex as Nioh, but still plenty of fun and a great challenge. No matter what difficulty you’re playing, the game will throw its best at you when you least expect it.
Once you start a fight, be prepared to not stop fighting until you’ve slaughtered the entire Orc population in that area. Luckily, you can go stealth instead and avoid the constant barrage of Captains you might not be ready for.
Shadow of War is great if you’re in the mood for combat, to slice n’ dice your way through a crowd of Orcs with a small dose of Lord of the Rings story on the side.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Right up there with other platformers like Ratchet and Clank or Spyro, the N. Sane Trilogy is a remastered set of Crash Bandicoot games: Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. Each game has Crash as the main character and Doctor Neo Cortex as the main villain. The plot is very much besides the point, as all three games are entirely focused on 3D platforming. Crash uses a variety of abilities to get through obstacles, like spinning, jumping, smashing crates, and collecting all kinds of items.
The remastered versions are updated to better reflect today’s technology, including more checkpoints, a pause menu, and manual and automatic saving. These features help immensely with the more difficult parts of Crash Bandicoot games. The developers added new content to each of the remasters, like timed trials, Crash’s sister Coco as a playable character for most levels, and, of course, remastered audio and cutscenes.
Little Nightmares is the perfect gothic platformer. Everything from the atmosphere to the soundtrack has been praised as the most unique to ever come to the platforming genre. The heaviest criticism of Little Nightmares was that the game was too short. We wanted more and we got more in the form of a DLC called Secrets of the Maw, featuring the Runaway Kid.
At the moment, however, it doesn’t seem like the studio is currently working on a Little Nightmares 2, but we can all hope. Little Nightmares was received very well and is still highly regarded. If you haven’t played it yet, you need to. It’s a relatively cheap game so you won’t need to dive too deeply into your wallet either.
God of War
Or God of War 4, however you like to call it, God of War is a reboot of the series and boy does it do well. It might slip under the radar as just another hack n’ slash game, but the developers truly managed to squeeze a robust RPG, centered around Kratos dealing with the loss of his wife and caring for a son. Kratos seems to have matured to the point where anger is no longer the only emotion he feels (though one could hardly blame him), to the point where he scolds his son for beserking in the middle of a fight.
That is to say nothing of the dynamic combat. Every swing of your axe and hit is felt, in addition to Kratos’ son assisting the player in combat. You’ll never feel more like a proud father than when you see that boy pierce an enemy through the eye with an arrow, or wail on it with a small knife.
You should not expect a great deal of accuracy to Norse mythology in God of War, but thus far it seems like Norse scholars will be a little less angry with this game than the Greek scholars were with previous games in the series. So dig in! There is a lot to enjoy with God of War, not just the story and combat.
Take a look yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!