If you know me, you know that I’m a not-so-secret gamer that has deep love for a good story. If the gameplay is fun, but the character development and plot are lacking? Well, I’m just not liable to come away feeling satisfied with my experience (ahem…Destiny). So, I figured it’s about time to throw together a list of some of my PS4 favorites for all the people out there that feel the same. We’re talkin’ everything from large worlds, to PSN gems, to famous franchises, and customization galore.
It’s one of my all-time favorites and everyone who’s met me knows that because I won’t shut up about it. The character development is so well-executed and the story so captivating that I can barely contain myself. This game makes an amazing first impression right from the opening scene. Prepare yourself.
Joel is given the incredibly high stakes task of making sure that Ellie gets to a group (called the Fireflies) that is looking for a cure to the cordyceps virus that has swept through civilization. As you progress through the journey, you watch Joel and Ellie’s relationship evolve through hardship, shared experience, and poignant moments of conversation that gradually let you get to know these two people that were drawn together against their wills.
Wanna weird yourself out? Google “cordyceps” and read about how the creatures you fight in this game are based on a real life fungus. Aside from the compelling story, these characters and their choices feel genuine, the game mechanics are seamless, the environments are a beautiful depiction of nature reclaiming the cities, the music is the definition of mood, and the voice acting and use of motion capture makes this all feel undeniably real.
I had so many feelings when I finished playing. I was torn. I was moved. I needed to talk to someone immediately.
Do yourself a favor and play this ASAP.
The best RPG/adventure that I’ve ever played…hands down. You play as a Witcher named Geralt and it’s up to you to decide whether he’s a nice guy that’s always willing to lend a hand in the most badass of ways OR a brutish womanizer that tries to haggle for every last coin before he’d even think about taking on a quest. It’s nice to feel that your choices in a game actually make a difference in the story and ending. This game achieves that beautifully.
The world is massive and the DLC is a must. In fact, the DLC had so much content that I felt it was worth $60 on its own. This game is GORGEOUS. I found myself stopping in a field or on a mountaintop while atop my horse (you get a horse, named Roach, that gallops out of literally nowhere at your beck and call) to just stare for a bit and appreciate every pixel. So, there’s a little insight into how big of a nerd I am. You’re welcome.
Another amazing thing about this game is that you never feel like you’re grinding. There are an insane amount of sidequests and, somehow, they managed to make every NPC feel unique and every mission feel fresh.
It’s so remarkably executed, I think we’re a long way off from seeing it done any better.
The most well-rounded and enjoyable Assassin’s Creed I’ve played to date. I can’t wait to catch up on some of the newer installments like “Syndicate” and the almost about to be released “Origins”, but I can tell you that this AC game is a safe bet. You get your very own pirate ship and a lot of amazing outfits to unlock. Who wouldn’t be into that?
Playing as the dashing pirate, Edward Kenway, you can free-roam and swashbuckle your way through the world all while building up your own pirate island, making a little extra cash by growing your own trade fleet, and upgrading the look of your ship, “The Jackdaw”.
You can practically smell the salt air as you sail through the open ocean and listen to your crew sing unlockable sea shanties. The scope of the map is so expansive that I couldn’t believe I never hit a load screen.
Explore islands. Talk to locals. Get your stealth on.
The gameplay on this first-person mystery/adventure was unique right off the bat. You play as a guy that takes a job where he has to live isolated out in the middle of the Wyoming wilderness and watch for fires.
And, somehow, they completely managed to make this fascinating.
Your only communication and lifeline is through a radio that allows you to talk to your supervisor, Delilah, anytime you want. You’re in control of the dialogue options as you ask for help or, most importantly, just get to know each other over the airwaves during the months that you live out there. Exploration can manage to feel unnerving in the best way because the game forces you to rely on a compass and a map as you explore the wilderness and try to get your bearings.
The atmosphere of the game manages to make you feel so alone that you genuinely come to rely on your radio as connection to the outside world. And you need all the help you can get because there are some strange things happening out in those woods. The mystery you find yourself in the midst of will make you wanna burn through this game in one sitting. I nearly managed it. The game isn’t terribly long, but it’s an absolute experience.
There’s a refreshing style on this one that stands out in terms of gameplay and reminding us that genuine connection can be found even in the loneliest of times.
5. Fallout 4
I’m in love with the Fallout series. Why? Because of the world they’ve created. Nothin’ gets me going like a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Now, while I still love this game, there are definitely some things that could have been done better. Those little flaws were highlighted even more because I played “The Witcher 3” first. This game’s side missions can begin to feel like the Groundhog’s Day of questing and, though you have options of what to say in conversation, sometimes they don’t seem to play as important a role as you might have hoped. They give you the ability to build a network of settlements all over this expansive wasteland! But, you also wish that these people would learn to be a little more self-sufficient because, damnit, you’re just one person.
The main objective of the game has you searching for your baby son that was stolen (by some bad guys called “The Institute”) after you awaken from being cryogenically frozen in a vault for about 200 years. Sure, you get a little distracted and grab a side mission here and there, but who could blame you? There’s so much to explore! And while you’re exploring, don’t forget to tune your trusty Pip-Boy in to Diamond City Radio for all the greatest old-timey hits like: “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” and “Sixty Minute Man.” Yes, I do sing along as I play. Thanks for asking.
The huge world, customizable character, ability to travel alongside companions (my favorites are Dogmeat, Codsworth, Deacon, and McCready), DLC, and the missions that they got right still make this one well worth it.
So, throw on some Power Armor and start taking out Deathclaws, you Wasteland Wanderer.
Who doesn’t love good ‘ol, super handsome explorer, Nathan Drake? This final installment of the “Uncharted” series is so well-written and voice-acted (it shares a few of the same voice actors as “The Last of Us”, in fact) that you really feel like you’re playing a movie. And an amazing movie at that.
The sarcastic banter between Nathan and his brother, Sam, are the kinds of interactions that I live for in games. This adventure never gets old and doesn’t ever fail to impress you with unbelievably well-designed action sequences. Here’s another gorgeous game that will make you pause every now and again just to enjoy the view and, as a finale to the series, they couldn’t have left me feeling more complete.
If you love the idea of having unrealistic (but, super fun) parkour skills, this one is for you.
7. Until Dawn
Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? No? It’s just me because I’m old?
Well, alright then.
Even if you weren’t alive during that era, this game is a cool next-gen version of that concept. You get to be inside the horror movie and make pivotal decisions for the characters that you play as in hopes that you can help them survive until dawn. Get ready to be grumpy with the stupid choices these teens try to make in the best way.
Through QTE, timed event/conversation choices, and breath-holding moments where the game demands that you hold perfectly still, every decision you make will have the potential to trigger a butterfly affect that can save or doom one of your characters. If you look around, you’ll find totems that can give you a hint as to what effects certain decisions will have. And don’t you go expecting the luxury of restarting when something bad happens because saving isn’t allowed, my friend. It forces you to accept the consequences of your actions. Kill everyone, save everyone, or just kill Emily. She’s the worst.
8. Dishonored 2
A sinister and stylized world that’s plagued by rats and terrible rulers that are ready to throw you under the bus. The environments are pure art and deserve to be considered characters in their own right.
You can play as our trusty assassin from “Dishonored”, Corvo Attano, or you can choose to play as Empress Emily Kaldwin. I went Corvo. The most impressive thing about this first-person adventure is that it allows you to fully choose your play style. You can attempt to go through the entire game unseen by anyone and never kill a soul or you can brawl it out and slay every last man that tries to get in your way. Or you can mix and match, tailoring your powers as you go.
Your choices will affect the end of your game. Being the predictable goodie-two-shoes of gaming that I am, I had to snag a trophy for making it through the game with a ghost-no kill approach. It was maddening, until I upgraded my powers enough to be the ultimate sneak. Don’t care. Totally worth it. Make sure to also check out the first “Dishonored“. You can buy these two gems as a set in the PSN store.
Delsin Rowe is a sarcastic superhuman and I’m into it. InFAMOUS is another free-roaming, behemoth of a game that lets you explore Seattle with multiple, stupidly awesome powers to use while doing it. His neon power is gorgeous to behold and his snarky talk-back is always amusing.
You can choose to be a bad guy or a good guy in this one, too. Guess which one I chose? This is why I don’t play Grand Theft Auto games, you guys. I’m out here in these digital worlds trying to save everyone and everything, I’m not good at stealing cars and picking up ladies of the night.
Witness the consequences of your actions and get ready to feel super powerful.
10. Telltale Game Series: Batman and The Walking Dead (Season 1 & 2)
This takes us to more than 10, but I figure since they’re all Telltale games you’re gonna give me a free pass on this one. If you’ve never played a Telltale series, the gameplay is mostly decision based with the occasional moment where you move around or hit a few QTE’s.
The Batman series is great because you get to choose what kind of Bruce and Bat he’s going to be. Reasons to play: Harvey Dent, Oz Cobblepot, Selina Kyle, and John Doe. Get ready to encounter the villains before they fully embraced their criminal alter-egos.
Who watches “The Walking Dead”? I certainly do. Both seasons take you right into the zombie apocalypse, but don’t expect to play as your favorite TV characters. You’ll start off playing as a man (Lee) who happens upon a little girl (Clementine) that has no one left in the world. Let the bonding begin. You get to decide what kind of man he is and how he’ll make his way through the apocalypse. The amazing storylines in both seasons will have you making gut-wrenching decisions and feeling all the feelings.
3 Bonus Must-Play PS3 games that have been moved to PS4:
Batman: Return to Arkham – Arkham Asylum and Arkham City – Two mindbendingly good games for under $30. Take my money.
Journey – Hypnotizing soundtrack, a beautiful world, and no words. Pure emotion. An existential, mind-quest.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Obviously.
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Comment below if there are any games you’d like me to play and review 😉