A long time ago--maybe days, maybe years; who can tell at this point?--Sony planned to reveal more details about the PS5 this week. National events disrupted that, and rightfully so. But entertainment offers comfort and much-needed distractions during tough times. With the PS4 generation drawing to a close, the Shack staff discussed our favorite PS4 games so far.
Yes, this week's Shack Chat comes with a caveat. PS4 still has gas left in the tank: Over this month and next, The Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima, two of Sony's most anticipated sequels, will release. For all we know, one of those two could supplant our picks, which you can read below. Hell, one of those two could wind up taking home our Game of the Year award this fall. In the meantime, we agreed that enough time has passed in this generation to weigh in on our favorite PS4 titles. Let us know what you think of our selections in the comments, then chime in so we can learn what PS4 games left you DualShocked and ready for more PlayStation goodness.
One more thing: Remasters count, so don't feel ashamed if one of your favorite titles in recent years was one of your faves from yesteryear.
Tetris Effect - Asif Khan, Yours forever
Tetris Effect was a timed PS4 exclusive release and it showcased the PSVR HMD unlike any game before it. I absolutely love Tetris Effect, and now own it on multiple platforms, but I played it the most on PS4. I also love the ability to leave Theater Mode on my TV like an old WinAmp visualization plugin from back in the day. The ability to play it in VR and on flatscreen is a huge win as well. Tetris Effect owns. There are some other great PS4 games, like Spider-Man, God of War, and Death Stranding, but Tetris Effect holds a special place in my heart.
They should put that game on Switch.
Final Fantasy VII Remake - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor
This is a really tough choice and I had a tough time deciding between Marvel's Spider-Man, God of War, and Tetris Effect. But then I looked over at my Final Fantasy VII Remake game case and remembered what a roller coaster ride I had with that game. I looked back at the thrilling combat, the beautiful environments (the vista of the Sector 7 slums as Cloud journeys to the Shinra building near the end of the game is breathtaking), and the story that I only assumed I knew but was really experiencing for the first time, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.
I understand now why so many people love this game, why they're so attached to these characters, why this is still one of the standards for the franchise. And outside of maybe the final few hours of Marvel's Spider-Man and the final stretch of Tetris Effect, it's the most intense experience I've had on a PlayStation 4.
Spider-Man - Blake Morse, Reviews Editor
Not only did Sony-exclusive Spider-Man game give me a chance to once again do whatever a spider can (and a few things I’m pretty sure a spider can’t do), it also gave me the opportunity to yell at vid editor Greg “Burkleton” Burke to get me pictures of the web-head J. Jonah Jameson style. Beyond that little bonus it was also one of the most gorgeous and enjoyable experiences I could hope for. I’ve play just about every Spidey game out there on almost every console in the last couple of decades and this one definitely takes the cake. There’s nothing I like more than climbing the tallest buildings I can find then jumping off of them to feel that sense of inertia. It feels like a one-second rollercoaster and I quite enjoy it. I can’t wait to see where Sony takes our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man on the PS5.
Uncharted 4 - Chris Jarrard, Wishes he had Nathan Drake-chin
This one was somewhat tough for me but I ultimately went with Nathan Drake’s magnum opus over MLB: The Show. When it comes to action-adventure games, Uncharted 4 has it all: great looks, good writing, great pacing, and non-stop thrills. Filled with characters that are much more interesting than most video games offer, I actually managed to give a damn about what happened to the Nathan Drake crew by the fourth game in the series.
The addition of auto-aiming helped me overcome my garbage controller aiming skills and allowed the action set pieces to flow smoothly. Even after I had already determined that Uncharted 4 was the best game of its type, Naughty Dog went and added a pirate adventure onto the end of the game. In my opinion, this is one of the only games of this generation worth buying a console for and I hope that Naughty Dog manages to evolve and improve The Last of Us 2 in the same fashion they did for the Uncharted series, giving the old PS4 one last hurrah.
Bloodborne - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor
It wouldn’t come as a shock to many that I’m usually an Xbox and PC player. My PS4 is mainly reserved for the exclusive, story-driven titles like God of War and The Last of Us. But there is one standout game that was the primary reason behind my wanting a PlayStation 4: Bloodborne.
Hidetaka Miyazaki is a bloody genius. Everything that man touches turns to gold. After my deep love of the Souls titles, I was bitterly disappointed Bloodborne would be an exclusive. It looked to take what was taught in Dark Souls, shake up the combat, and dip it all in delicious Lovecraftian goo.
It’s a masterpiece of a game that everyone should have the opportunity to play. Since Sony appears to be bringing more games to PC, hopefully one day we’ll get to play Bloodborne at uncapped frame rates. One can dream, hunter.
Marvel’s Spider-Man - Donovan Erskine, Contributing Editor
I bought a PS4 solely to play the new Spider-Man game. That is the first and only time I’ve ever purchased a console to access a single game. I grew up a huge Spidey fan, and the games on PS2 are some of my fondest memories. My expectations for Insomniacs take on the character were through the roof, yet they were still surpassed. The web-swinging, the fluid combat, it all felt exactly like what the quintessential Spider-Man game should feel like. There are an infinite number of good things I could say about the game. I’m proud that I got to play a role in electing Marvel’s Spider-Man as Shacknews’ game of the year for 2018.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor
I really can't decide on just one game, so I'll go with the one that flashed into my mind when I thought about the topic: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It was a fantastic, sweeping end to a franchise I've enjoyed my entire life, and I loved every single second of it. It ended up answering so many questions fans had been wrestling with in the past, but also opened up new ones in the leaving the "phantom pain" of curiosity in its wake. It was a veritable thrill ride from start to finish, and it broke me in two just like Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots did so many years ago. I always found it a sincere and heartfelt send-off for Kojima, though it's also a bittersweet one to think this would be the last time he'd touch a Metal Gear game. I'm missing it pretty bad right now.
The Last of Us Remastered - Bill Lavoy, Sweats Buckets
While I realize The Last of Us came out on PS3, no game defines the PS4 for me quite like The Last of Us. It’s the one game that I’ve kept installed even if I don’t play it for a year or two at a time. Its impact on me as a gamer and a person is so significant that even seeing a live streamer play it can nudge me into firing it back up. That’s my pick, and it’s one based on emotion and storytelling.
The game I was going with if The Last of Us wasn’t allowed to be used was God of War. From a technical and gameplay perspective, I think God of War was a defining game on the PS4 that shows off what it can do better than probably any other.
The Last of Us is still my runaway pick, but if you made me roll out a top five God Of War would be on that list, and probably just about everyone else’s list as well.
So many great choices… - Josh Hawkins, Guides Guy
Honestly, there have been a lot of great games released on the PlayStation 4. Whether you’re talking about first-party games, or just looking at titles that have made the jump to the PS4 alongside other platforms, Sony’s console has brought a lot of great gaming into our lives.
That’s why it’s so hard for me to choose a favorite PS4 game. I mean, there are just so many contenders like The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4, Bloodborne, Horizon Zero Dawn, and even other great titles that saw release on Sony’s home console earlier in the PS4’s life cycle. That also isn’t even counting the release of future games like this months’ The Last of Us Part 2 and next month’s Ghost of Tsushima, or the plethora of third-party titles available on the console.
Despite all the great choices, though, I think the game that stands out the most for me on the PS4 is God of War. The latest entry in the series completely reinvented the character, bringing in a new light and a new story that honestly I don’t think any of us ever thought would fit a character like Kratos. It’s just all around great, and if you haven’t picked it up yet, then I highly recommend doing so.
That being said, all the other games I mentioned were fantastic too, and they all deserve a little bit of your time.
Horizon Zero Dawn - TJ Denzer, News Editor
It’s really tough for me to stay with an open world RPG all the way to the end. Many of them just have so many collectibles and sidequests that I often sink into a feeling that I’m doing what I call “video game chores” as I’m supposed to be saving the world, rescuing someone, or whatever. Even very, very good games like Witcher 3 and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim have hit me with this feeling and it usually causes me to slow down and eventually stop playing if I get bored. Horizon Zero Dawn somehow didn’t.
The world you explore with Aloy and the mix of mechanical beasts and humans that inhabit it rarely ever made for a dull moment in Horizon Zero Dawn for me. The journey to unravel both the context behind the world as it was, as well as discover the truth about Aloy was compelling with plenty of characters I came to both enjoy and loathe along the way and good payoff in both areas.
Then there’s the combat. The mix of hunting tools that allowed players to customize very distinctly how they approached their foes was altogether fun. There was loads of ways to progress, improve and vary your arsenal, and I often learned from other players that we took on combat in very different ways. Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t perfect, but it was good enough to keep me locked in all the way to 100% completion of both its base game and Frozen Wilds DLC. Very few other open world games can claim the same of my time.
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin- David L. Craddock, long reads editor
For whatever reason, Sony’s exclusives haven’t moved me this generation. (Of course, I write this before playing The Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima.) That’s okay, though, because playing older games at higher resolutions and/or frame rates moves me just fine. In that spirit, Dark Souls Remastered and Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin stand out to me on PS4.
I’ve played both on my own for dozens of hours, but the experience of co-oping with my wife, our PS4s and TVs side by side as we venture through Lordran and Drangleic, is where both games shine brightest. She doesn’t play many PC games, so the PS4’s family share plan that lets users share games between digital accounts gave us many hours of fun over the past six years.
Tales of Berseria-Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor
“What my favorite PlayStation 4 game is” is a very good question. Lawbreakers, the game from Cliff Bleszinski, will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first game to use material from a review I wrote for their press material. Seeing something I wrote on the PlayStation 4 store front page was really cool. That being said there was another game that I reviewed that I feel is my favorite PlayStation 4 game, Tales of Berseria. The game was part of the “Tales” franchise and was some of the better controlling combat for a JRPG on the PS4. Usually in role-playing games, if the thought of leveling up and grinding characters is tedious, then the game won’t be enjoyable. That wasn’t the case, as I didn’t see the idea of leveling up as a chore. The thought of leveling up should be seen as something you want to do, not have to do, and if more RPG’s took this approach, it would be beneficial for years to come.
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What is your favorite PS4 game?
HZD! Love that game. Last of us is up there as well.