Okay, now that some of us have upgraded to the PlayStation 5, let us take a look back to the PS4 and see what games I liked the best in this generation from third party publishers. This is most definitely not the end all be all list, as this is just from games that I have played on the PS4 from third parties as of now. There are still a lot of games that I am working through in my backlog, so things could be different at the end of the year. Also, games that have come out after the PS5 launch will not be included in this list. Lets take a look at what is here, shall we…

10. What Remains of Edith Finch {All Trophies Obtained}

Image from Steam

This game was one that I slept on for far too long. It came out back in 2017 but I only played it recently. Still, it deserves a lot of love because of the amazing story that is told in it. You are exploring why a family has mysteriously disappeared throughout a house that was built a long time ago. This game has no combat and the gameplay is extremely simple as it is adventure game with a lot of narrative, You control a character in first person walking around the house, but that’s just a part of it. The other part is you explore different scenes which show how each of the family members passed away. It is such a powerful storytelling experience; where no two scenes felt the same or repetitive since each of the different scenes give a different visual style, including a bathtub scene, a comic book scene, and more. The game was about 3 hours long and I beat it in one night with 100% completion. This was made by an indie studio, Giant Sparrow, and published by Annapurna Interactive, so I did not expect it to be extremely long but I also didn’t expect it to have such a powerful story in it.

9. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Image from Electronic Arts

I really enjoyed the story of Cal Kestis who is a new character in the universe. I personally am very glad they did not just re-tell the story of one of the movies. They created a brand new story that is actually canon to the universe which was really cool. Now, the most surprising thing about this game is… it was published by Electronic Arts, is a fully single player game, and DOES NOT have microtransactions. Sorry but I give them massive credit when it it due as that doesn’t happen extremely often with EA. The game is an action adventure game where you explore different worlds and planets in order to uncover a mystery. The enemies in the game are a mixed bag in terms of how challenging they are. There is a skill tree that is in the game that helps you improve your skills as a Jedi. You save at meditation rings, but every time you do, all the enemies respawn, which is sometimes very annoying depending on the location you are at. The combat is good, the exploration is very good, the graphics are solid, the voice acting is solid, the audio design is great. This game even got a free update with more content. This was a good game and fun to play, even if there was points of irritation.

8. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Image from PlayStation

Okay, I absolutely loved the original crash games back on the PS1 and PS2. The three original games got the remastered treatment in the form of the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane trilogy. Crash finally got a fourth game in the main series, with a title that both plays into the idea of the game’s concept and also throwing shade about him being away for so long. There are 4 masks that you have to collect through different levels where you have to team up with some unexpected allies and defeat a large evil. The story is fairly basic but the gameplay is very challenging and also at the same time rewarding once you complete a level. There are many optional things to do in the game including beating the flashback trials, collecting everything, or even trying to 100% it… but that is not for the faint of heart to do. The visuals and audio design were amazing, the voice acting was good, and the fluidity of the character movements were all solid, except there was one character I hated playing as since they didn’t have a double jump. I am glad that it came back in the form that it did, since the team at Toys for Bob showed that they cared about the original games.

7. Kingdom Hearts III {Platinum Trophy}

Image from PlayStation

Now, I really wanted this game to be higher on my personal list. I did actually expect more for this game since the last main game was Kingdom Hearts 2, not including all of the side games that came out before this. I also upgraded to a PS4 Pro for this game, the Kingdom Hearts 3 edition, so I was hoping it would be amazing. It was a good game for the fans of the franchise, but in no way it’s my favorite. A lot of people call this a movie with some gameplay in between, and in all honesty, they wouldn’t be totally wrong as there were a lot of cutscenes in the game. The combat felt great for the most part, the story was very good; assuming you know the story of the KH series, and the visuals were very pleasing to the eye. I love the music in the franchise and KH3 did not disappoint me, especially Face My Fears. Some of the worlds, were just a little bit too big for my liking and not the most fun to play, for example the Toy Box which is pictured above. The gummi ship was bigger than any other game but controls and fluidity of that area wasn’t really as strong as the rest of the game from personal experience. I played on proud mode, and it was too easy and not as challenging as I thought it should be. I am excited for the continuation of the series, but I seriously hope the next game has more love and care compared to this game; which felt rushed in some parts, considering it was in development for a long time.

6. Spyro Reignited Trilogy {Platinum Trophy For All Three Games}

Image from PlayStation

Okay, Toys for Bob did do an amazing job with Crash 4: It’s About Time but personally for me, I loved the Spyro games more than the Crash games growing up. When they remade the original trilogy for Spyro, I loved playing through the games. I grew up more with the PS1/PS2 than I did with Nintendo or Xbox, and I fell in love with the little purple dragon and his friends because of that. These games are not the most complex in terms of 3D platformers, but to get every egg, gems, free all dragons, and everything else is no small task as the worlds have hidden items you may not notice right away. The exploration in the levels is nothing phenomenal, but these remakes were some of my favorite remakes that have happened in recent years. The story in each of the three games is simplistic where you must stop the enemy from harming the dragon family. The gameplay is extremely fluid and fun, the visuals and audio design are all amazing, and the voice acting was very good overall. Since Crash finally got a fourth mainline game in the series, I seriously hope that Spyro is next up at getting a brand new game.

5. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Image from PlayStation

Now, this one does not have as much of a powerful impact on me personally, as I have never fully beaten the original game. This is a re-imagining of the original game; not a one to one remake. In this game, you play as Cloud who is on the hunt to take down a powerful foe. This is a very story spoiler kind of game where it takes place within Midgar, which was only one part of the original title. That doesn’t mean it is short, as I put in about 50 hours before I was all said and done with it; however, you can absolutely put even more time into it. There are a lot of extra things that are available in the game. This includes things like additional side missions, collectables, boss fights, hard mode, and more. Some of the events that are in the game, such as the button pressing mini games, are were not fun. The visuals are great and the combat plays very well and felt smooth, most of the time. At times, there were parts where the story and chapters seemed to drag on for a little too long, but eventually the game moved onto something else and it got more exciting. I am excited for the next part of the game, as well as the recently announced Yuffie DLC.

4. Odin Sphere {Platinum Trophy}

Image from Atlus

Okay, there have been a few remakes on this list but this is going to be the last one. This game involves playing as 5 characters that each have extremely different fighting styles. This is an action RPG that has an intertwining story between the 5 heroes. Each chapter of the different characters takes you to different worlds where you partake in battles, find different collectables, and more. There are skill trees for each of the characters, cooking recipes that help restore health and provide experience points, a crafting system, and different plot lines. Once you complete one of the characters, the next one is available to play, and so on. Once you complete all 5 characters and finish their individual plot lines, there are other chapters that unlock which connects them all together. You might not understand the story immediately, but things start to make more sense the more you play through each of the characters. The visuals are absolutely breathtaking, the voice acting for all of the characters were great, the audio design was fantastic, and the combat was excellent; except for one of the characters,. This game was heartwarming but also tragic at the same time and I enjoyed every hour I put into seeing everything there was to offer.

3. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Image from Amazon

Okay, Dragon Quest has been a traditional RPG series that I have always loved. I really do enjoy them as they are very long and provide lots of value for your purchase. The story is about a journey that you go on to get to Yggdrasil, the world tree, in order to stop an evil that is plaguing the world. Once you get there, there is something that happens and you need to go and collect many special items and complete different tasks. I really enjoyed the story and all of the different gameplay aspects including racing, foraging and building items, loads of side quests, and many other aspects that makes the 100 hour play through I did go by quickly. There are lots of different landscapes that you explore throughout the game including a snow area, a desert, a large forest, the open sea, and more. You get access to many different characters as you explore the world, each with their own stories and gameplay style. Exploring the world and fighting in turn based battles are great, but can be a grind fest at times depending on where you are located within the game. The music is solid, the visuals are pleasing to the eye, and the voice acting is amazing as a whole. I truly recommend this game for any RPG fan.

2. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim {Platinum Trophy}

Image from Atlus

The art of storytelling usually doesn’t happen in the way that it does for this game. In this game, there are basically two different types of gameplay. In the first of the two, it’s a tower defense game where you control these machines called Sentinels. In this part of the game, you have to fight off hoards of enemies trying to destroy you and the surrounding areas. The enemies get stronger over lots of different levels, but so do you as you can upgrade your sentinels with different upgrades and abilities. You cannot just get through the combat in one sitting as there are certain stages that are locked until you complete a certain objective in the other part of the game. The other part is an adventure, story telling type of game where you control 13 different playable characters and you have to piece together their stories. These stories eventually intertwine with one another. You cannot; however, play through the whole story of one character and move on to the next because characters have certain requirements that you need to complete in order to see certain parts of their stories. There are different outcomes and dialog options that occur which affects what you learn depending on what you do in each of the chapters. So in order to get the whole picture, you need to play through all characters chapters multiple times each. I am not going to say a word of this story as it is good from the start and spoiler heavy, but this game takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and is a must play game if you like a good narrative. Unfortunately, this game has been typically overlooked even with how good the game is. It was my third favorite game I played in 2020. The voice acting, art style, and audio design are all done beautifully and I expected nothing less from Vanillaware who has done some amazing games in the past.

1. Persona 5 / Persona 5 Royal {Platinum Trophy For Both Games}

Image from PlayStation

Okay, for this game, this is a must play experience if you like traditional turn based JRPGs and/or games with an amazing story. You play as the main protagonist to stop evil and help the world out through different events. Within the game, there are many different plot lines; however, these plot lines connect to a bigger plot line and one that you must figure out. This is done through developing your bonds with your fellow phantom thieves and allies. You play as a normal high school student trying to fit in, studying for your exams while at the same time as fighting against evil in a different universe. The music is killer, visuals are awesome, and the voice acting is great. The game takes you on a emotional journey and it makes you question certain things that you thought you knew but don’t actually know. I have personally spent over 300 hours on my two runs in the original game plus my single run in the 2020 release, Persona 5 Royal. Royal adds in more story line, a new playable character, a new semester, and a new threat that was not in the original game; although it isn’t too hard to figure out what it is after a little while. The games might start out kind of slow after the first scenes, but things really pick up quick and you just want to keep playing. It is one of my favorite games that I have ever played, not just in this generation. Now knowing Atlus, it is probably gonna be like another 10 years until Persona 6 releases, but I hope it is only a couple years away.

Now, this is my current top 10 list for third party titles on PS4. This list is definitely something that will continue to change as I keep going back and playing more games in my backlog. Since games are still coming out on PS4, I will also be buying more PlayStation 4 titles, on top of the PS5 titles, and maybe some third party games here will be knocked off the list with newer titles. I did not include any games that came out after the PS5 console came out, such as It Takes Two, or Persona 5 Strikers. What did you think of this list? Do you agree with this list? What is in your list for third party titles on PS4? Let us know in the comments.

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