Top 20 PS4 games 2021
The PlayStation 4 generation is coming to an end, but the good news is that there is now a huge library of PS4 games from which to choose. As new favourites have arrived (meaning mini-hits like Ground Zeroes and the gorgeous VR blaster Polybius have had to make way over time), we’ve reworked our list here, but it’s the depth of the console’s back catalogue, not just the big, shiny exclusives, that gives it its personality.
So there’s a lot to argue about! But we also hope that the games we’ve chosen will appeal to a wide range of players. Top 20 PS4 games 2021 you can play right now, according to Eurogamer.
Bloodborne is a delicious nightmare of a game, with FromSoft adapting their formula to a richly dark Lovecraftian world full of horror and splendour in equal measure. It’s a close relative of the Dark Souls series, but with its own distinct flavour: the action is more aggressive, removing the turtling that many players relied on, and the storey is more explicit.
It’s a heady mix, and arguably director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s best game yet; come the end of the generation, it’ll be a toss-up between this and Breath of the Wild for the title of best game. Its takes first place in Top 20 PS4 games 2021.
2- The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian became a legendary beast in its own right after spending too much time in creation and only sometimes breaking cover. But, in the end, this game was everything we could have hoped for – and, while it’s full of bright mysteries, the way the storey unfolds feels reassuringly familiar.
After nursing an injured beast back to health, a boy and his beast travel across a vast, almost desolate kingdom. This is as much a journey as it is a game, with dank grottos and spindly peaks of sun-bleached stone. It’s also rumination on companionship, complicity, and the kindness we owe to the living beings around us, as much as it’s a ride. According to Eurogamer it takes 2nd position in Top 20 PS4 games 2021.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man is also Marvel’s Spider-Man, and while there was no shortage of lavishly tooled action games in the summer of 2018, Peter Parker just edges out Kratos in our opinion. The sense of liberation and enjoyment that this game evokes is tangible. Spidey’s Manhattan is a fantastic playground, as well as a place where some lovingly made fan-service can be found. There are plenty of cameos and collectibles, and the game’s core combines action and traversal – as well as characterisation – in a way that has never been stronger. What a fantastic game.
4- Yakuza 0
There are now a plethora of Yakuza games to choose from, thanks to Sega’s more enthusiastic approach to localisation in recent years, and Zero emerges as the best of the bunch. It’s the perfect introduction to this most brilliant of series, set in Tokyo and Osaka, and because it’s a prequel, it excuses some of the excesses that Yakuza is known for, which are exaggerated to great effect here. When you successfully complete a fight, cash showers across the screen, adding a layer of seediness to Yakuza’s already sleazy world. It’s fantastic, and it serves as a timely reminder that the Sega you once adored never truly died.
5- God of War
It’s a shame that this much more sober instalment lacks some of the Harryhausen silliness, but beneath the slightly threadbare father-and-son angst lurks a game that hasn’t forgotten how to combine ancient spectacle with smacking people around with nasty weapons. Kratos himself is a marvel of this generation of games, all sinew and sorrow, dominating the screen and owning the adventure.
6- GTA 5
Rockstar’s open-world games are tailor-made for the West Coast, with its diverse terrain, dangerously free spirits, and reality that is already several clicks beyond satire. GTA 5 is still an incredible work of art, with an island that feels hand-crafted down to the last metre of tarmac and three protagonists that will be difficult for the series to top or even surpass. We now know that all of this comes at a high human cost in 2019. GTA 5 is a complex masterpiece that exemplifies the dizzying highs and abysmal lows of modern video games. It comes at 6th in Top 20 PS4 games in 2021.
7- Tetris Effect
Is it possible to improve on the perfect game? Maybe not, but you can certainly push it in new and interesting directions, and Enhance excelled at this exercise in Tetris Effect. It’s a simple enough concept to grasp: on one hand, you have the classic puzzler in all its glory, and on the other, you have the rhythm action chops of the people who brought you Rez, Child of Eden, and Lumines. Tetris Effect, however, manages to become so much more as a result of this combination; a meditation on life and love, or simply the ultimate chill-out experience. Oh, and if you try it in PlayStation VR, it’s a completely different experience.
8- Gran Turismo Sport
The omens for Polyphony Digital’s PlayStation 4 debut were not promising. After the gloriously maximalist Gran Turismo 6 – a game that had you racing from the Mulsanne to the moon and seemingly everywhere in between – it felt like the system’s vehicle and track list was seriously lacking.
Gran Turismo gained a lot more than it lost, including a sense of focus, as driving experts Polyphony set out to create a serious racing game for the first time. It’s essentially an approachable version of iRacing for consoles, and it’s fantastic.
There are plenty of great racing games on the PlayStation 4, including Codemasters’ excellent F1 games and Dirt Rally 2.0, but Gran Turismo Sport sees Polyphony reclaim its position at the top.
9- Nex Machina
Housemarque went beyond emulating Eugene Jarvis’ arcade work by bringing him on board for this exuberant and explosive twin-stick shooter that could serve as a send-off for the entire genre. As mechanical beasties swarm and multiply around you, warp and dash through mind-bending levels. Since Robotron 2084, no game has derived so much pleasure from the simple pleasures of moving and shooting. Of course, despite what Housemarque has recently stated, arcade isn’t dead. It comes at 9th in Top 20 PS4 games 2021The death machine, Nex Machina, is a brilliant argument for why arcade games will live on indefinitely.
10- What Remains of Edith Finch
Death in video games is so common that it’s rarely more than an annoyance – a blip on your path, a minor stumbling block. What a breath of fresh air it is to have a game that offers a playful, touching meditation on the various ways death has affected the various branches of one comically unfortunate family. What Remains of Edith Finch is fantastical and far-fetched at the same time, but never less than utterly, winningly human – and it pushes the boundaries of video game storytelling in a way that anyone with even a passing interest in the medium must see for himself or herself.
Video games, according to Hohokum, are “art and movement, sound and colour, action and reaction.” They can be solved, but they can also be played with, and there should always be a sense of mystery about what’s left, what’s been said, and how the whole thing came to be. On Hohokum’s surface, you control a snake through bright, shifting 2D environments. However, appearances can be deceiving, and connections between locations are frequently surprising. Hohokum is a toy, a puzzle, and an adventure all rolled into one. In other words, it’s a video game, and it’s a total snoozer.
12- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Egypt should have been the main event, and Origin was a fantastic game with a great lead. However, in retrospect, there’s something about Ancient Greece that makes it ideal for Assassin’s Creed and Ubisoft. Endless sprawling legends, retold, stolen, and repurposed, sometimes vivid, sometimes tedious, but always alive with generosity and immense charm. It doesn’t hurt to have a large chunk of beautiful Mediterranean scenery and, depending on your preference, the best protagonist in the series. This is the game that has the breadth and depth of a single-player MMO. It is hoped that it will never come to an end.
13- Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World is a video game developed by Capcom. Monster Hunter has been slowly evolving over the years, but this was the most significant shift yet, with the introduction of a living, breathing world stalked by impossibly grand, arrestingly characterful beasts. They’re so lovely that you almost don’t want to waste 30 minutes chasing them down with a switch axe in the hopes of making a fancy pair of trousers out of them. Almost there. It’s probably for the best that Monster Hunter’s core loop has never had a stronger pull, and the world outside of Japan appears to have finally opened its eyes to Capcom’s series’ majesty.
It comes at 14th in Top 20 PS4 games in 2021.Fortnite is a video game developed by Epic GamesNow that there are so many Battle Royale games to compare it to, it’s becoming clearer what makes Fortnite unique. Sure, it popularised the Battle Pass, and now that it has all the money in the world, it can outperform any competitor in terms of update speed and detail.
What sets Fortnite apart, however, is that it accommodates a wide range of play styles, from shooting to building to – brilliantly – simply wandering around one of the most engaging video game environments ever created.
The world of Fortnite changes, making the density of memories it holds all the more special. Other shooters are better, but none compare to this one for its sense of place.
15- Alien: Isolation
Isolation (Alien) In this slow-burn horror from Creative Assembly and Sega, one of sci-fi cinema’s great texts finally got a game worthy of its legacy, despite the fact that it took nearly 40 years. It has a lot of atmosphere, conjuring up a world of soft lights and whirring disc drives with a lot of realism. It’s unrivalled as a piece of digital tourism, so it’s an added bonus to have a well-crafted storey to go along with the constant threat of the lone xenomorphic stalking you. Alien: Isolation may not have received the critical acclaim it deserved, but it is still a fantastic adventure and one of the best PS4 games.
16- Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 is still the best single-player FPS campaign in terms of innovation and movement thrills. Whether you’re on foot or in a mech, Respawn keeps you moving from one ingenious set-piece to the next, and even throws in an old friend for what might be the best middle-eight in video game history. Crucially, the developers have discovered the game’s heart and soul beneath Titanfall’s rather bland art style. This game is a complete joy to play.
17- Resident Evil 2 Remake
Remake of Resident Evil 2 This fantastic remake took the PSone classic’s iconic setting, characters, and enemies, added a terrifying stalker in the form of Mr. X, and created something truly unique. The Resident Evil 2 remake is as tense as it is beautiful, drawing on the horror of the series’ early instalments to bring the creepy Raccoon Police Station into the modern era, complete with hammy voice acting and over-the-top gore. Mr. X, on the other hand, is the true star of the show. This hulking, trenchcoat-wearing thug ranks among the best villains of his generation. Just make sure you’re aware of the location of your nearest safe room.
18- Call of Duty: Warzone
Warzone is a Call of Duty game. The Modern Warfare reboot is a competent first-person shooter with all of the usual, snappy CoD trappings – but Warzone is the star of the show. It quickly became the main reason to play, and as a standalone free game that has maintained its popularity even after Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War was released in late 2020, it’s one of the best battle royals available. You can dip your toes in or go all out trying to master this breezy, social shooter with an ultra-high skill ceiling. It’s a great place to hang out and pass the time.
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19- Death Stranding
Stranded in Death Kojima takes the sparse Icelandic landscape and creates the ultimate walking simulator – a game that literally simulates the joys and challenges of crossing vast stretches of land. Although the concept of reuniting a shattered civilization with an Uber job may not hold up under scrutiny, the pseudo-weirdness is perfectly matched with a glorious solitude. This is not a fishable situation.
20- Part 2 of The Last of Us
Fans of The Last of Us Part 2 are still divided a year after its release, but I think everyone who’s played through Naughty Dog’s lengthy opus agrees on one thing: blockbuster gaming doesn’t get much bolder or braver than this. It’s no surprise that The Last of Us Part 2 divided players, given its relentless bleakness, gut-wrenching plot twists, and no-holds-barred attitude toward some truly beloved characters, but the results are undeniably powerful, technically striking, and often breath-taking.
There are certainly more straightforwardly entertaining ways to spend 30 hours of your time, but The Last of Us Part 2 is pretty much required viewing if you want to see video game narratives pushed to their limits.
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