Every console has a handful of unique games that you can’t get anywhere else. If you’re shopping for games for your new PS4, these games should go on the top of your list.
Today we’re looking at the best games on the PS4, specifically ones that are exclusive to the console. Games like Monster Hunter: World and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice may be incredible, but you can buy them on multiple consoles (the latter used to be a PS4 exclusive, but it’s since come to the Xbox One). Instead, we want to cover the games that you need a Playstation for.
Horizon Zero Dawn
It’s rare for an entirely new franchise to be as good as Horizon is, especially from a AAA developer. Still, this game manages to pull it off. Horizon: Zero Dawn is a sandbox game where you play as Aloy, an outcast living in an extremely-post-apocalyptic future where robot animals roam the Earth. Unlike most post-apocalyptic games, the world isn’t just like the one you know in real life except dirtier, and there are no “the day the bombs fell” stories. Instead the world feels bright and colorful, there are rich and myriad cultures scattered across the map, and you’re not exploring the broken down ruins of the past so much as marveling at what new worlds the people that came after have created. It’s easy to get lost in this world, so if you want to get the most play time for your dollar, it’s hard to top this one.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
The Uncharted series has been a staple of Playstation gaming for a while. This gritty male reboot of the Tomb Raider concept follows protagonist Nathan Drake in an action adventure, hunting down ancient relics and pirate treasure. This chapter in Drake’s story has a more open and exploration-friendly world than previous games, and it’s one of two Uncharted games to make use of the full 4K/HDR capabilities of the PS4 Pro. Which is great because the set pieces and scenes in Uncharted are gorgeous.
The Last of Us: Remastered
Technically, The Last of Us was a PS3 game, but with a remastered version out for the PS4, and given how insanely popular the original version was, it’d be a sin to leave this one off the list. Set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies—yes, I know, but hear me out—this game puts you in the shoes of series protagonist Joel as he encounters 14-year-old Ellie and sets out on a cross-country journey to bring her to safety. While zombie stories may be everywhere these days, it’s the character development and growth between these two that draws you in. The fact that the games’ visuals are stunning in this remastered version only adds more icing to an already delicious cake.
Until Dawn is a small, self-contained story that you could easily finish in a couple days. However, that betrays the complexity that lies underneath. This survival horror game takes place in a snow lodge on a mountain—which is essentially the ice level version of “cabin in the woods” for horror genres—where a group of teenagers are trying to survive the night. The choices you make as you take turns playing the various characters determine who will live and who will die. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure version of a slasher flick where you control the fate of everyone in the movie. If that doesn’t lend itself to replay value, I’m not sure what will.
What if you were to take the JRPG elements of Final Fantasy, the Japanese high school setting of [insert your anime of choice here], and threw in a couple semesters of psychology studies? You’d get something pretty close to the Persona series. Persona 5 is the first entry in the series since 2008 and, like any given Bethesda game, when it finally shows up it makes a splash. One half of the game is a high school drama where you’ll build relationships with other characters (and even romance some of them). Meanwhile the other half ventures into a place called the Metaverse where physical manifestations of characters’ psyche interact and do battle. How you play in one world can affect the other. It’s a long, long game so if you’re keen to get your money’s worth out of an expensive game, you can rest easy knowing that if you buy it now, you won’t be done before your kids go off to college.
You remember when Mortal Kombat came out and the Nintendo version didn’t have blood, but you could unlock blood on the Sega version with a cheat code? Bloodborne is basically like unlocking blood effects on Dark Souls. Exactly like that, in fact, because both games are from the same developer. Like DarkSouls, Bloodborne is a head-smashingly difficult game that you’ll play over and over, routinely dying until you finally learn to git gud. Unlike its sister game, Bloodborne pits you against more Cronenberg-esque monsters than dudes in armor. Also nearly every item in the game is both named after and covered in blood. Maybe don’t let your young kids play this one.