The Sony brand (and the Playstation marketing in specific) has always been synonymous with power. Power, ease of access, and exclusivity have covered the Playstation advertising for years. This is the pure embodiment of the Playstation 4. A gaming console that is both powerful and accessible, the PS4 has been dominating hardware sales since launch. This is for good reason, as the Playstation 4 has a great list of excellent games. While most of the games are aimed for a teen-and-higher audience, the Playstation 4 has some surprisingly good titles regardless of your age. In no particular order, let’s pull back the curtain on the top 10.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
The Call of Duty franchise is one of the longest running and most prestigious shooters on the market. While the entries in this franchise have ranged from lukewarm to downright amazing, Black Ops 3 falls firmly on the latter side. In fact, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is probably the most content heavy title to date. The Call of Duty brand is often accused of being retreaded, repetitive, and cash grabby. Black Ops 3 puts all those complaints to shame, and reaffirms why Call of Duty took the throne of shooters originally. The pure amount of content in Black Ops 3 speaks volumes. There’s a full campaign (single player and cooperative play), a remix of the campaign with zombie enemies, the classic zombie mode, and multiplayer. Each of these individual modes is completely fleshed out and feels like its own game. Zombies is better than before, the campaign is invigorating and fresh, and the online multiplayer is the pinnacle of competitive matchmaking. Whether you like the franchise or not, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 isn’t just a good shooter… it’s hands down one of the best games on the system. In addition, Playstation 4 players get early access to downloadable content, so there’s a bonus!
From Software is a developer known for its crushingly difficult Dark Souls series. Although Bloodborne isn’t a sequel in the Dark Souls series, it’s the closest thing you’ll get. Pegged as a “spiritual successor in the genre”, Bloodborne plays almost identically to Dark Souls, but with an obvious sense of originality. Bloodborne is quicker and more reflex intensive than Dark Souls, and has a thematically different style. However, the absolutely perfect combat systems from Dark Souls continue to work well in Bloodborne. The game is rich with detail, has an exciting world full of insanely creative creatures, and is just a damn good time to play. While the absurd difficulty will shy some potential players away, know that Bloodborne is a game about satisfaction. It’s one of the few games that rewards the player for their skill and effort, and not for luck. It’s also arguably the easiest game in the line of Dark Souls games, so it’s a great entry point for newcomers.
- Dark Souls 3
Backing up this From Software double is Dark Souls 3. Much of what was included in the previous entry can be said for Dark Souls 3, except harder. Dark Souls 3 is the epitome of a trilogy. It closes out the Dark Souls franchise in the most rewarding way. The insanely hard third person combat hasn’t been toned down at all; in fact, it’s nearly the hardest of the series. In order to keep the combat (which has stayed relatively the same) fresh, they’ve added some awesome new combat mechanics that I won’t spoil. In addition to some combat tweaks, Dark Souls 3 feels decidedly more focused than its predecessors. While the game isn’t linear by any means, there’s attention paid into the level design that guides the player effortlessly. This is incredibly helpful, due to the fact that Dark Souls 3 is a game of trial and error. You will fail at this game many, many, many times. You will yell in frustration, curse the game forever, but eventually succeed. When you do, the feeling of satisfaction is immense, and one of the most rewarding experiences in modern gaming. The bosses and enemy designs are grotesque and fantastic. Dark Souls 3 is a game that while not for everyone, deserves a spot on this list.
- Until Dawn
For fans of a more cinematic gaming experience, look to Until Dawn. Until Dawn is a cross between a horror film, a “choose your own adventure” novel, and a God of War quicktime event. Following a group of friends who take a trip up to a cabin in the woods, this bloody horror romp keeps from being cliché. Although it starts off a little campy, the story eventually finds its footing and firmly sinks its claws into you. The sense of dread is really thick when playing, which is due to the amazing atmosphere the developers have created. Everything from the voice acting and cinematography to the music and story is spectacular. Until Dawn also basks in the idea of replayability, as it features one of the most flexible narratives in modern gaming. Like any horror story, characters are going to die. Due to the interactive nature of gaming, Until Dawn leaves it up to the player to decide who lives and dies. Not to say that the game presents you with a choice, rather it shows you the consequences of your actions. In key moments of terror (or sometimes not at all), you will be tasked with making decisions or executing crucial button presses. If you fail or make a certain decision, sometimes a character will die because of it. Since there’s no “game over”, Until Dawn’s story continues. Replaying the game and saving different characters will reveal entirely new endings and story arcs. This all adds up to a fantastic cinematic gaming experience for horror and action fans alike.
- Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank is the “reboot” of the Playstation 2 series of the same name. The Ratchet and Clank series has many entries, but the Playstation 4 title retells the story of the original. Although it’s technically a remake of the first game, there’s an insane amount of brand new content. For example, entire new worlds have been added into the game, as well as new guns and equipment to play with. In addition, the game serves as a retelling of the original rather than a straight up remake, meaning that every aspect of the game is visually new. This is where Ratchet and Clank truly shines. This is one of (if not the) best looking games on ANY gaming device in the current generation. The Pixar-like art style keeps the game from looking photo realistic, but it is astonishing in every aspect of the word. The franchise is known for its crazy guns and unique gunplay. This is still the case, as the gameplay is fun and responsive. Combined with the onslaught of beautiful particle effects and almost no frame rate loss, Ratchet and Clank is a visual masterpiece. The story is still charming and effective, and the level design still fresh and intuitive to the gadgets. It’s a great time for gamers of all ages, and one of Playstation’s premiere franchises.