Game Developers Sony, has always done well in the console business, but this might be the best generation yet for the Japanese electronics giant. While the PlayStation 4 doesn’t pack quite as much raw power as the Xbox One or the portability of the Nintendo Switch, it’s been absolutely killing it with a steady stream of exclusives that can’t be played anywhere else. And as the only console with a VR peripheral, it offers a much more immersive way to play games at a much lower cost than a VR rig for PC.
While each console has plenty to offer, and may even have features that better suit your playstyle, it’s hard not to recommend the PS4 to almost any gamer thanks to its deep library. These are IzzSo’s most ‘Lit’ Playstation 4 games currently available:
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Fan-favorite blockbuster franchises, like Star Wars and Game of Thrones, are so beloved because of the sprawling settings in which they take place. Detailed and diverse world-building is what makes these places feel real and believable. Throughout the years, these franchises have explored every corner of their universes, not just the lives of the heroes but the less-visited corners of their settings. Following the main character might be the most interesting story, but it’s the stories that might lurk around the next corner that keep people enthralled.
The Witcher 3 excels at this type of world-building. While you spend most of your time as Geralt of Rivia slaying monsters, mixing potions, and seducing sorceresses, it’s clear that for most of the people living in the Continent, it’s not a great time. This is a world torn apart by war and the petty squabbles of awful royals. It’s actually not all that different from our own world, aside from the drowners and griffins, and even these monsters can have their own fascinating stories to tell. While a lot has been said about The Witcher’s excellent gameplay, it’s that world-building that really sets it apart and makes it one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
And though it may not be a radical departure from the earlier games, The Commonwealth may actually be Fallout’s best location, not just for the cast of characters, but also for its diversity of locations, ranging from swamps and forests to beaches and farms.
There have been several excellent open-world Spider-Man games released over the years, but Insomniac’s take on the webslinger is the first to be considered among the greatest games of all-time. With Marvel’s Spider-Man, Insomniac proved that it understood perfectly what makes the superhero so popular, implementing rhythm-based combat and web-swinging that captures the feeling of being Spider-Man better than any other game has to date. But what really sets this version of Spider-Man apart is the story, which isn’t tied down to any previous version of the character, but takes the best elements of the comics to craft something familiar yet wholly different, with a final scene that raises all sorts of interesting possibilities for the inevitable sequel.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
While most open-world games promise freedom, ultimately there’s a pretty narrow path to complete each mission. Stealth missions largely require sneaking around. Action missions are going to have big shoot outs. Maybe there’s a little deviation, but getting too far from what the developers intend is going to make it pretty difficult to complete the mission, if not impossible. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, however, is one of the few open-world games that really does give the player the freedom to decide exactly how to tackle each mission.
Need to free a prisoner? Great, you want to do it during the day or at night? It’s going to be much easier to sneak around at night. Or maybe you should wait for a storm to come through, which will make it even easier to sneak around. Or just go in with explosives and blow everything up. The Phantom Pain is an infinitely replayable and customizable experience thanks to this freedom of choice, and if it really is the last Kojima-developed Metal Gear we get, at least the series went out with one of its very best installments.
God of War
We really didn’t need another God of War game. Kratos had killed all the Greek gods in the original trilogy. Another three interquels fleshed out other parts of the main trilogy. Sure, it was fun watching a furious Kratos destroy everything in his path with the blades of chaos, but the series was also getting kind of old.
It turns out we weren’t tired of Kratos, we just needed a change of pace. God of War on the PS4 changes so much for the better, with an older, wiser Kratos wielding a magical axe as he guides his son through the worlds of Norse mythology to scatter his wife’s ashes. All of the over-the-top action is now accompanied by an affecting story about fatherhood and growing older.
Even after a lengthy 20-hour story mode, it never gets hold throwing Kratos’ axe at enemies and having it fly back into his hand just to do it all over again. And the whole game, with all of it twists and destruction, is told through one continuous shot, which is a technical achievement in its own right.
There’s a very good reason why God of War was hailed as one of the greatest games of all time upon its release. A franchise that once seemed on its last leg has now been reborn, much like Kratos himself.
Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V has never been a bad game per se, but it did need a couple of years to get into fighting shape. The original release was a little light on content and characters, but after the release of several season passes, the current iteration of Street Fighter V is one of the more complete fighters on the market, with more than three dozen characters, a full-fledged story mode, and tons of online options.
The franchise has always featured some of the deepest 2D mechanics around, and the V-Gauge, with its new skills, reversals, and triggers, has added yet another layer of complexity. To purists, nothing will ever top the glory days of Street Fighter II, but Street Fighter V is an excellent modern take on the franchise and arguably the best current-gen fighting game available.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The word “epic” is thrown around a lot when describing open-world video games, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey really does live up to that description. The setting, steeped heavily in Greek history and mythology, is one of the grandest that gaming has ever seen, and if you try to do everything that’s available in the world, you’re going to be playing for a very, very long time. It’s easy to sink 100 hours into the main game, and a couple dozen more into the game’s excellent DLC.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey finally lives up the promise the series has been reaching for, as a deep, customizable historical action game. And with Odyssey widely seen as the best game in the series, it will be interesting to see if Ubisoft can even top it going forward.
Shadow of the Colossus
Remaking a classic is always risky, but in the rapidly changing world of video games, it’s almost a necessity to update classics to meet modern standards. Shadow of the Colossus was heralded as one of the greatest games of all time almost from the moment of its release on the PS2. It was an achievement in world-building and minimalist storytelling that still has few competitors. It also had janky controls and technical issues due to the limitations of the PS2 hardware.
Thankfully, Bluepoint Games realized there was no point in messing with what worked. Everything gamers loved about the original Shadow of the Colossus is still here. The remake just looks and runs a lot better. Even if you grew up with the original version, it’s hard to go back to it after playing the PS4 update.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The Red Dead franchise has had a strange journey. The first game in the series, Red Dead Revolver, actually started development at Capcom in the early 2000s, before it was purchased by Take-Two and moved over to Rockstar. As a level-based third-person shooter, Red Dead Revolver received a lukewarm reception upon its release in 2004. It wasn’t until the first Red Dead Redemption in 2010 that the series received widespread acclaim, although calling that game “cowboy Grand Theft Auto” isn’t completely unwarranted.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is firmly rooted in much of the same open-world gameplay as its predecessor, but new systems that require paying attention to hunger and wearing the right clothes for the weather, along with closer integration between story and gameplay, give the sequel its own identity. Red Dead Redemption 2 is not above criticism, though. Its story can drag on, and sometimes it feels like a chore to play, but the fully realized world created by Rockstar is among the very best ever seen in a video game.
Gran Turismo Sport
Gran Turismo Sport is a very different game than its predecessors. The number of cars and tracks is drastically reduced, but online has been expanded to create the best competitive driving scene of any game around. And while Gran Turismo has always been a little less flashy than other driving sims, the handling remains the most realistic in the genre.
Sport might be a little light on content compared to other games in the series, but Polyphony Digital has released a steady stream of new cars and tracks over the last couple years, so it’s not exactly lacking in stuff to do, but it’s also not clear if this is the future of Gran Turismo or if we’ll see a “true” numbered sequel at some point.