Well boys, it’s happening. A new console generation is upon us. The Xbox whatever-the-god-damn-it’s-called-now and the PS5 are just a short month away. With it, a whole new slew of incredible games that’ll hopefully tide us over for the next six or seven years until we do the whole song and dance again.
But none of that is as exciting as the prospect of not being able to get one for the first year or so until stocks finally even out. Ah, the endlessly repeating dance of video games.
Today, I’m gonna take a little look back to honor the PS4. And what better way to do that than to talk about the very reason you should buy one: it’s games. I’m gonna have a look back at all the PS4 exclusive games that made it worth spending the cash on.
Now, quick rules:
- For a game to be exclusive means it must be on the PS4 and only the PS4; games that got ported from or to other hardware do not count (sorry Horizon: Zero Dawn; I still love you); remakes also fall under this rule (sorry Shadow of the Colossus; I still love you)
- I need to have played the game to completion at least once to consider it. I feel like that should go without saying, but I do need to explain why games like Ghosts of Tsushima, which I haven’t played yet, and others aren’t on this list
- Games that will be ported but haven’t yet, such as the PS5 version of Spider-Man that’ll release alongside Spider-Man: Miles Morales, are still eligible, as they are still technically exclusive to the PS4 as of me writing this; this will definitely date the post dramatically, but that was already gonna happen, so fuck it who cares?
- This is my opinion. That isn’t a rule, I just felt like that needed to be reinstated.
Got all that? Good! Then let’s get started with my first pick: Until Dawn!
Playing Until Dawn on your own is a decent experience. A choose-your-own adventure horror game with classic horror movie tropes? Sure, sounds fun! But it doesn’t sound all that impressive.
But then you play it with your friends. Suddenly, this game transforms into a decent, schlocky horror game into one of the most fun party experiences you can have! Seriously, assign a character to each of your friends, pass the controller around, have some drinks, and have a great time!
Just… wait until after the pandemic to do that, okay?
Next up: Spider-Man! Am I biased because I’m a Spider-Man fanboy? Oh, absolutely! But this game is amazing, I’m still not wrong in doing so!
I feel like it isn’t bold to say that this is the best Spidey game ever made. Seriously, it’s so much damn fun! The web swinging is smooth, responsive and satisfying! The combat is challenging and interesting! And the story is one of the best modern Spider-Man stories to date! Oh, and did I mention all the unlockable suits?!
Still, it isn’t perfect. The stealth segments are all bad, playing as MJ and Miles kinda sucks, and most of the boss fights are lackluster. Not to mention that the DLC is… awful, I hate it, seriously, don’t buy or play the DLC, it’s not worth it.
Spider-Man is certainly a strong game. But frankly, it’s got nothing on the other big PS4 exclusive of 2018: God of War.
Let’s get the negatives right out of the way. The RPG mechanics feel shallow and tacked on, like they aren’t really that necessary. A good number of the minibosses are just pallet swapped copy-pastes of one another. The fast travel system, while it is cool to look at and plays into the story later, is neither convenient nor useful. And that’s all before I mention the… uh…
Yeah, no, that about sums it all up. Aside from that, the game is flawless.
No joke, this game reminded me why I love video games. Experiencing the journey of Kratos and Atreus was one of the most engaging, emotional, and fulfilling gaming experiences I’ve ever had! And that’s completely detached from the combat, which is weighty and satisfying, giving you a great sense of both skill and power as you tear your enemies to pieces! And the music! Oh my fucking god man, the score in this game is incredible!
If you own a PS4 and you don’t have this game, I don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a genuinely amazing experience that I think everyone should play. If someone asked me to point to one exclusive to buy, this is absolutely the first one I’d go to.
And it’s still not my favorite. Although neither is the next one: Persona 5! And no, I’m not talking about Royal. I mean vanilla-ass P5!
Yeah, I know, who saw that one coming? Between my reviews of the anime episodes from way back when (God those are old now), my various character analyses of the cast, and my full in-depth reviews of both versions, who could’ve guessed that I’d have put it on this list? For god’s sake, it wrestles with Xenoblade Chronicles every damn day for my #2 favorite game ever title!
This game feels like it was made for me. It’s got everything I love in a video game! Simple but deep turn-based combat, lovable characters, an amazing soundtrack that I’ll never stop listening to at any point in my life, and a genuinely unique and striking visual style! It has everything that I look for in a game! Plus, it’s long enough to be well worth the asking price!
Seriously, if you were to play it non-stop, taking breaks only to eat or use the bathroom, and cutting several hours from your sleep schedule, it would take you a full week to finish it. Believe me. I’ve done it.
I’m disgusting, I know.
And now, we come to the top of the list. My absolute favorite game on the PS4. Hell, this is the game that convinced me to buy the damn thing in the first place. And that game is FromSoftware’s gothic horror masterpiece: Bloodborne.
I’ll be the first to admit that this game ain’t perfect. The frame rate has some serious problems, the Chalice Dungeons are actual hot garbage, the boss fights range from ‘destroy your dick, eat your children, burn down your home, and put you in crippling debt’ levels of hard to ‘so easy you won’t even blink’, and the armor sets are only useful in terms of aesthetics rather than stats, despite all the numbers attached to them. And that’s all before I talk about the FromSoftware staples, like the camera.
But everything else about this game is so solid that I can’t be mad! The world of Yharnam is so engrossing, so terrifying, so disgusting that I can’t help but want to explore every corner of it! Combat is fast paced and heart-racing, forcing you to get all up in your opponent’s face and take risks! This is a terrifying world and the game forces you to dive right in and face it!
And get eaten by it. Cause fuck, man, this game is hard. I’m a veteran of the Souls-style games, especially this one, and I still get stuck on some of these fights! The Orphan of Kos will forever strike fear into my heart, no matter how many times I slay him!
Out of all the PS4 games in my library, this is the one I most frequently revisit. Seriously, it’s an odd year in which I don’t playthrough Bloodborne at least once at some point.
I don’t have a problem! You have a problem!
God, the list doesn’t end there. This black box had so many great games on it! Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Ratchet and Clank, and of course: Knack and Knack 2! If the PS5 is even half as great as the 4 was, we’re in for another great time!
Now, if only it weren’t so fat. Or tall. Or otherwise inconveniencing.