Sony’s PlayStation 5 is coming on November 12, 2020, ushering with it a whole new world of gaming. Even with only a few titles announced for the PlayStation 5, there's still plenty to be excited about if you're one of the lucky people who's managed to snag a pre-order of the notoriously difficult-to-get console. While that's all well and good, what are us less fortunate plebeians meant to do while we wait to get our hands on what's sure to be one of the hottest gifts of the 2020 holiday season? Reconnect with some old PlayStation 4 titles of course!
The PlayStation 4 has a robust library of games that are well worth a second look if you haven't touched them in a while, or never got around to playing them in the first place. While it’s challenging to curate much of a definitive list from seven years of excellent PS4 titles, here are some of the best of the best.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
On sale for under $20 in the Playstation Hits Complete Edition, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a must-own title for any PS4 owner. With Horizon: Forbidden West slated as one of the most hotly-anticipated titles for the PlayStation 5, there’s even more reason to pick up this game if you’re one of the few who hasn’t played it yet.
If you’re a fan of action RPGs, you’re bound to get swept up in the verdant environments of Horizon: Zero Dawn, a clear frontrunner for one of the best-looking games on the platform. Combining an emotionally immersive story about the huntress Aloy’s mysterious past and thrilling stealth and combat features, HZD is as compelling to play as it is to watch. Seriously, if you’re quarantining with a roommate and have yet to play this game, do both of yourselves a favor and get on it. Regardless of who’s got the controller in their hands, you’ll both enjoy the cinematic way developer Guerilla Games pits you against a world teeming with dangerous machines as you uncover the secrets surrounding Aloy.
The Last of Us
With its post-pandemic setting, The Last of Us isn’t necessarily the most cheering game to play in 2020, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you should avoid. On the contrary, the depth of its character and story development will keep you coming back for more as you work your way through a remastered edition that’s been built from the ground up for the PS4. With thrilling voice acting and character animations, not to mention a story that the PlayStation 4’s updated hardware makes even more engrossing to experience, The Last of Us may be the definitive title in the zombie genre...sorry Resident Evil!
If you slept on this game when it was first released for the PS3, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the remastered version and don’t look back. At under $20, it’s well worth your time and money to see why The Last of Us garnered over 200 Game of the Year awards in 2014.
If you have fond memories playing Activision and Neversoft’s 2000 edition of Spider-Man for the Nintendo 64 or PlayStation, your nostalgia will go into overdrive when you pick up Marvel’s Spider-Man. Hailed by gamers and critics alike as the definitive iteration into the superhero genre, this foray into the Spideyverse looks as great as it feels to play. Whether you’re web slinging across the city or tackling combat, Marvel’s Spider-Man really does make you feel like you’ve got superhuman strength and agility, thanks to Insomniac Games’ decision to bypass much of the origin story and launch you into the story at the height of Peter Parker’s powers.
All of the above makes for an incredibly rewarding story-driven open-world experience; however, if you’re itching for even more spidey fun, consider purchasing the Game of the Year Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man. Featuring additional “The City that Never Sleeps” DLC, you’ll get hours of extra missions and challenges to extend your playtime considerably. Best of all, the Game of the Year Edition is under $30, so it really offers the biggest bang for your buck.
Red Dead Redemption 2
With an expansive, groundbreaking open world and beautifully-acted characters, Rockstar’s 1899 epic set in the American west is a pinnacle of gaming. Exploring issues of loyalty, honor, and justice in the wild west, Red Dead Redemption 2 showcases the cinematic, immersive experiences you’ve come to expect from Sony’s flagship console—and takes them well into the future of the open world genre.
Unlike other games on this list, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still about $40 to purchase if for some reason you don't have a copy already and want to buy one new. That steeper price may be a deterrent to some, but honestly it's mostly just indicative of how popular the title still is, even two years after its initial release.
Perhaps no remastered game on this list has as much of a cult following as the Spyro series, making the Spyro Reignited trilogy a welcome addition to the already-impressive catalogue of updated games for the PS4. While it's true that you can play the dragon-centric platformer on other systems thanks to a wide release, there's something truly magical about playing it with a PlayStation controller in your hand that brings you back to the fall of 1998.
Featuring Spyro the Dragon, Ripto's Rage!, and Year of the Dragon, there's plenty of action platforming fun to be had playing the Reignited trilogy in gorgeous new graphics and fine-tuned controls. Plus, with hundreds of gems and dragon eggs to collect across the first three games, you're bound to have hours of entertainment working to beat each game at 100% completion. As a title that really differentiated the original PlayStation from other systems in the late 90s, Spyro Reignited is the perfect game to shepherd in a new era of PlayStation gaming come November 2020.
At $25 for the Game of the Year Edition (and $14 for the regular edition if you’re really wanting to save a few bucks), Fallout 4 is the exact kind of title you can sink weeks, if not months, of your life into if you’re not careful. Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic Wasteland features hundreds of locations and sprawling locales, making it easy to get lost in Fallout’s expansive world.
One of the things that contributes to Fallout’s replay value is just how much choice you have as a player. With different factions and a special character system, it’s addictive to build various settlements and tinker with your equipment and weapons to get it just right. Plus, you’ll always be able to restart the game and create a completely different character from the ground up, adding even more fun to trying different playstyles as you battle for survival.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
If you've ever dreamed of being Indiana Jones, the Uncharted series is right up your alley. As is the case with so many of the titles on this list, part of what makes the PlayStation consoles such a gaming achievement is the way that they marry hardware and story to create a fully-fledged experience that truly engages players. Following titular treasure seeker Nathan Drake, the Uncharted series combines stellar voice acting, writing, and stunning 3D graphics to create a captivating action adventure game from start to finish.
Even if you've played a few of the Uncharted titles on the PS3, Naughty Dog's remastered editions of Drake's Fortune, Among Thieves, and Drake's Deception are deserving of a second look on the PS4 thanks to exclusive new trophies and a punishingly fun "Brutal" difficulty mode. The $15 price tag for three of the best games on the platform is pretty hard to ignore, too, if you're pinching pennies to save for the launch of the PS5, too.
Sorry Call of Duty fans, but Titanfall 2’s the multiplayer first-person shooter making it onto this list. Make no mistake, Call of Duty was a big deal...in the early 2000s before it got bloated with needless in-game purchases and (let’s face it) a less-than-stellar gaming community gleefully raging about the latest multiplayer modes. Titanfall 2 gives you all of its DLC modes, maps, and weapons free-of-charge, which, when you compare it to a typical COD title, makes Titanfall 2 worth it for sheer value alone — especially considering that you can pick up a copy of the EA FPS for $10 on Amazon.
All of that said, Titanfall 2 also offers far more depth than other first person shooters, thanks to the ability to fight as a pilot or as a titan. Its single player campaign mode is also much more robust than other multiplayer shooters, meaning that you don’t have to hop online with friends or strangers to get the most of the gameplay. Even with the PlayStation 5 promising an exciting new future for the FPS genre, Titanfall 2 is a game you’re going to be glad you can play on your PS5 even in late 2021.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
A winning hybrid of Assassin's Creed-style gameplay and Lord of the Rings lore, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a game that many people may have slept on despite its Game of the Year distinctions. Set before the event of The Lord of the Rings this fantasy action game puts a unique stamp on the open world style of gaming, with its Nemesis System that deepens your encounters with non-player characters within the game. Although this feature could’ve been gimmicky, WB Games does a nice job of executing it, so that Shadow of Mordor still feels distinct even as it combines some of the best elements from games like Assassin’s Creed, Batman, and Far Cry.
At under $30, you’ll definitely enjoy the main story and various side quests, not to mention the mixture of stealth and action-packed combat. If you opt for the Game of the Year Edition, you’ll get plenty of downloadable content, too, including The Lord of the Hunt Mission and The Bright Lord Story Mission, not to mention other challenge modes.
God of War
Did you really think any PS4 Top 10 list wasn’t going to include God of War? 2018’s entry into the God of War franchise plunges Kratos and his son, Atreus, into the dark world of Norse mythology. The gritty, violent combat you’ve come to love from Kratos is still plentiful in this entry in the series, and its revolutionary over-the-shoulder camera system ensures that all the action stays front-and-center throughout hours of gameplay. The cumulative effect is a deep, mature action adventure with jaw-dropping visuals and brutally satisfying combat.
Seeing as you can pick up God of War for $20—and the fact that a sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, has been announced for the PlayStation 5—you really don’t have any reason not to play this game if you haven’t already. Seeing as the series has been a mainstay of Sony’s console since the original was released for the PS2 in 2005, you owe it to yourself to dive into this deeply-satisfying title.