Now that some of us have upgraded to the PlayStation 5 and it is a new generation of games that Sony and PlayStation are focusing on, let us take a look back to the PS4 and see what games I liked from their first party studios. I came into the PS4 generation in the middle of 2018, around the time that God of War came out. So, I still have a lot I am catching up on, but currently this is my top 10 first party titles from the PS4 generation. Please note; to try to keep in the spirit of this list, games that launched as cross generational titles (Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure) are not on here.

10. Shadow of the Colossus

Image from Amazon

Despite this game being a remake, it was good as an open world title. This was created by Bluepoint Games who does a lot of remakes for PlayStation. The gameplay is an action adventure game with a story that I honestly don’t remember. The environments were good but nothing that was absolutely outstanding. The combat in the game was very good because you had to go and take down a bunch of different colossi. All of these bosses that you had to fight were different and the way you had to approach it were different, but the way you beat it is the same. Aim for the weak point on the enemy and attack with all your might. There was an underwater boss, a sand area boss, some in the field, and many others. The exploration was good as you got to explore the world and find different shrines and creatures in the world, but it felt more empty than I thought it would be. The music and ambiance were great, voice acting was mixed, and the graphics were good for the time period that it came out. It is definitely a game you should play if you never played the original, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite PlayStation release on PS4.

9. inFamous First Light

Image from inFamous Fandom

Now, this was a smaller title that didn’t take me long to get all the way through. This is a prequel story; but in order to get the most out from the game, you should play the inFamous Second Son (ISS) before this one, as this one takes place a few years before ISS. In this game, you play as Abigail Walker; who is also known as Fetch, and you explore her backstory that you got a glimpse of from ISS. This takes you on different areas of the city accomplishing many different tasks. This game is set in the same setting as ISS but you only play a piece of the original map. There are a lot of different activities that you can do like shoot down drones, draw different graffiti art around the city, and take place in the challenge arena. Personally, I didn’t like the arena and the way in which it was designed. These challenges are not the most easy thing to complete, especially if you are trying to get all of the different medals that are available. The art style is the same as Second Son, but that’s not to say it’s bad. The audio design and music was great, the voice acting was good; just like in ISS. My favorite part of this game; however, was exploring the emotional mess that Fetch went through growing up, and also what happened in current day situations she gets herself into. Honestly, if you liked ISS, then this game is a must play.

8. Concrete Genie

Image from PlayStation

Now, Pixelopus is a studio team that is an in-house studio of PlayStation. I had not heard of them before this game, but this game just had so much charm and uniqueness that when I played it, I fell in love with it. The story is so emotional and was powerful to someone who understands what the main protagonist went through growing up. You play as an artist who wants to bring color back to his town through different means of creating and designing. Watch out though, there are some enemies in the game that are unique… Personally, I thought that the combat was not great but it wasn’t the main point of the game so I didn’t mind it. This game was part of the PS+ games for the month of February so I hope more people gave it a shot. I loved this game when it came out in 2018 and it was one of my favorites that I played. The music was great, the voice acting was very good, but some of the design decisions like forced motion controls were not very smart. I am excited for what the future holds for this internal studio of PlayStation.

7. Ratchet and Clank

Image from Amazon

Ratchet and Clank was never a series I grew up with, even though I really should have. This game was a remake of the original game from the PS2 era. This is not just a remake, but its also a re-imagining as it expands on the original game. This game is a action adventure platformer that was a blast to play, so much so that I might be doing a second play through to get ready for the PS5 game. The mechanic of controlling the Lombax Ratchet, and his friend Clank at certain times, was very smooth and the game looked beautiful. My big gripe about the overall game was it played at 30fps. There are many different type of combos that you can do with both a physical weapon and different guns that had many unique aspects. The gameplay was very diverse including races, lots of collectables, battles, and platforming sections. The graphics, voice acting, and the audio design were all great. The story was decent for what it was but it was nothing amazing. The game has a lot of charm and similar aspects to a lot of other platformer games, but adds an action adventure aspect to the platforming genre. I really enjoyed this game a lot more than I thought I would. It has received a PS5 patch that doubles the frame rate so I may go back and play it more in preparation of the next game. I am excited for the next game coming to PS5 in June, Rift Apart. Insomniac is so talented and I am ready for their future with PlayStation owning them.

6. inFamous Second Son {Platinum Trophy}

Image from Amazon

I played this game twice and loved every minute of it. The reason why I played it twice was because of the main aspect of the game is that you get to choose between becoming good or evil; they don’t want you to stay neutral. In the game, your actions between good and evil will help shape what happens in the game and the affect what happens in the final battle. This one is not my favorite inFamous game, but this was a thrilling experience for what you do in it. You control Delsin who has the power to absorb different abilities and he turns into someone who the world doesn’t approve of. The story was good in parts but the overall story was not as powerful as I would have hoped. The voice acting was very good throughout. The side quests and missions sometimes felt too repetitive but there were some that were really interesting. The combat was my favorite part of the game as it always felt good taking down the enemy, both in a nice way and also being evil. The music was good, the visuals were great for a game that came out at the start of the generation. The game was a good experience and I hope that the next game that they develop, assuming this is not a series they won’t bring back, improves and makes it even better.

5. Detroit Become Human

Image from Quantic Dream

I know that this game was developed by Quantic Dream who is third party, but it was published by SIE; so it counts. This game was a thrilling experience as you play as three different androids, each with their own experience. In one of them, you play as someone named Connor who is a detective. He is tasked with many different things, including working with someone named Hank on cases within the country. Another android, Markus, is an android that turns rouge once he has been tossed out over something that happened between his owner and his owner’s relative. The third and final one is a female, named Kara, who was bought by an abusive father of a daughter. She becomes able to understand human emotion and goes on the run with the daughter. All of these are the same type of gameplay, a story driven choice based game, with quick time events, where the outcome you get depends on what you choose to do. There is also a permadeath that you can choose to have on or off; having it on means that if a character dies, they are gone for good. The game was a fantastic experience from Quantic Dream, but the story of all three androids was my personal favorite part. The music was great, the voice acting was very good, and the visuals were great; they even look realistic in some parts. Such a good game and I honestly might play through it a second time to finish everything I need to do. It is also a part of PS+ collection for PS5 so I hope more people will be able to experience the amazing story.

4. God of War

Image from PlayStation

God of War was a phenomenal game, with a wonderful open world, beautiful story, nice combat, but felt a little too open for what was in the game. Sure, don’t get me wrong, there was lots to do in the game including killing the nine different Valkyries, side quests, killing Odin’s raven’s, three dragons that you could kill, and so much more. The part about this game that I loved more than the rest though, was the combat and exploration. The game told you where you needed to go for the next main objective, but most of the time you got to choose your own path to get there and if that meant hours of exploration, it gave you that chance. The combat in the game a little bit harder to get used to as it was slower than I thought it would be, especially compared to the old hack and slash gameplay of the originals, but it felt like a nice change and I really ended up loving it. The story between Kratos and his son Atreus was nothing short of amazing writing; and the balance between the harshness, while also at certain times kindness, of the father-son relationship was powerful as it played throughout how the combat was. The music, audio design, art style, and voice acting was all phenomenal. Overall though, this game is honestly what pushed me get a PS4 in the first place and I am sure glad that I did as I have gotten to experience so many amazing games.

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2018 {Platinum Trophy}

Image from PlayStation

Swinging like Spider-Man was an amazing experience that Insomniac gave to us. The power to play as Peter Parker and explore a story that holds a lot of power in terms of what happens in it is amazing. The game was not the longest game overall with the story only being about 10-15 hours long, but there was so much that you can do in the game. There were so many different collectables, side missions, different challenges, and also 100% all of the districts; this meant you had to do a lot of battles. The combat was so fluid, it was easy to string so many different combos together and change up your combat style based on the mods, the different suits, and what abilities you had. Some parts of the game, felt very drawn out and just there to add time. There were parts that you had to be stealthy with other characters to get from point a to point b, and in retrospect it makes sense why they are there, but those parts were not fun. I was not personally happy of how they did the DLC for the game since it came out extremely quick after the original game launched; however, they did a great job with the DLC. Overall though, I am excited for the future of Insomniac now that they are owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment; especially after playing Miles Morales which also was very good.

2. Ghost of Tsushima {Platinum Trophy}

Image from PlayStation

Ghost of Tsushima is a game that I enjoyed every minute of when I played it in 2020. This experience was set in Feudal Japan; however, the crazy part of this game, was that it was developed by Sucker Punch Productions; which is an American based studio. The game has been praised by a lot of people, including the people on the island of Tsushima. Jin is the main character that you play as throughout the game where you have to take on different main story objects, side missions, feudal outposts, and explore the huge map of the island. A unique thing about this game is that you don’t have a marker for where your next big objective is, rather you have to follow the wind and explore the world until you can get to where you need to go. The story is powerful as it tells a tale of loss, sadness, betrayal, and so much more. The graphics of this game are one of the best that I have seen on the system. The audio design and the voice acting are amazing and they match really well with the atmosphere with the game. They even added a online multiplayer aspect to the game later at no additional charge for people who owned it. This game was my personal runner up GOTY in 2020, right behind Persona 5 Royal and it took me almost 60 hours to 100% the game.

1. Horizon Zero Dawn {Platinum Trophy}

Image from PlayStation

This was honestly a game I didn’t play until 2020 but I honestly enjoyed every second I played in the game and my favorite game I played last year that released before 2020. I played the complete edition, which came with the frozen wilds DLC, which was an amazing expansion. The story, side quests, the combat, the voice acting, and the visuals were absolutely all amazing with so much variety on the enemies and the environments. This game came out in 2017, the same year as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and was pushed aside a lot of the time for that game. Both are amazing games, but personally this one speaks to me more than BotW did. This game is so expansive and surprised me because of the developers that made it. This was created by Guerilla, who was mostly doing the Killzone games before this project, so I really am happy that they got to do something different. I am very happy that they created this world and this amazing experience that a lot of people have tried. Personally, Aloy is honestly one of my favorite PlayStation protagonists of all time and I am super excited for the sequel that, hopefully, is coming out this year. This game is apart of the Stay At Home initiative from PlayStation now until mid- May and I really hope that if you haven’t given this one a go before you do so when it is free.

I am still working through a collection of titles that Sony has released in the past including Gravity Rush 2, The Last Guardian, Knack, Uncharted 4, and more. What do you think of the list? Is there something that I should take a look at that isn’t on here? Let us know in the comments. I personally love games that have a combination of a powerful story, exciting gameplay, killer music or soundtrack, graphically beautiful, or just all around fun. Some gamers might think my list is not great, but this is my personal opinion. Do you like the choices that are here? Do you think that some of these are good enough to be in your own personal list, and why is that? Let us know in the comments.

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