The PlayStation 4 has been disappointing for me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like. The graphics are incredible and the game worlds are something to behold. But bigger doesn’t always mean better. In the PS4’s case, the sheer size of these games (and some of them are absolutely HUGE) means they take forever to finish and are less polished in some areas. The PS2 and PS3 had better stories, no doubt about it.
1. Batman Arkham Knight
This was the first PS4 game I played, and it’s still the best. I loved flying around as Batman and barreling through Gotham in the Batmobile. The city’s complexity was stunning, but I never felt lost. It was easy to navigate and complete missions. Joker is outstanding in this game, and the big reveal at the end is worth every hour spent in this world.
2. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
So-called walking simulators are fairly controversial in gaming, and rightfully so. Is it really a game if you just walk around and explore? Personally, I really like these games if the story keeps me going. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is one of the prettiest, most compelling games I have ever played. I wish I could experience it again for the first time.
Web-slinging has never been better. Zipping through New York City was a breeze and never got old. I’d skip on the fast travel options just to swing around some more. Peter Parker is great. Mary Jane is great. All of the characters, including many awesome bad guys, are beautifully written and keep the story moving. Hard to argue with the amazing Spider-Man!
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Fantasy games are everywhere, but few live up to our high expectations. The Witcher 3 is bad-ass on almost every level. The characters. The game world. The collectibles. The fighting. This is one of those HUGE games that takes months and months to complete, but every step, every mission, every plot twist, keeps you engaged. Loved it.
I had no idea what to expect here, but Firewatch blew my mind. It’s not a very long game, nor is it overly impressive in any one area. But it’s super solid and super fun. The graphics are gorgeous, and the dialogue and relationship you build with co-star Delilah from beginning to end is worth the price of admission. It’s a small game with a big story.
6. God of War
There are sequels, and then there are sequels. After three intense tales of Kratos killing just about everyone in his path, the God of War series flips the script with a heartfelt narrative of family and fate. An aging Kratos and his young son, Atreus, journey to the top of the mountain to spread the ashes of his fallen wife, only to discover she wasn’t whom she seemed.
7. NBA 2K17
Every console generation I have a basketball game in my top 10. It’s so fast-paced and the games are usually close, so it’s just fun to play hoops. This time around, I moved the Oklahoma City Thunder to Seattle and pretended the Sonics never left. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, we won our first championship since 1979.
8. The Evil Within 2
At first, this seemed like a Resident Evil or Silent Hill clone. That’s not a bad thing and I was enjoying the game a lot. It was pretty linear, which I like, and the action was just tough enough. But then the storytelling took over and this became something very unique and memorable. It’s an amazing story about how far a parent will go to save their child.
9. Batman: The Telltale Series
Batman has never seen a story like this. The Wayne family falls from grace in one of the series’ most shocking plot twists. Half the game is spent as Bruce Wayne, and the decisions you make there are as cool as anything Batman does. The real showstopper, though, is The Joker, whose descent to madness is something to behold.
10. Detroit: Become Human
Androids are among us and awake in this futuristic thriller. The plot follows three androids on a journey to self-awareness, and the game’s choices make a big difference in the story’s outcome. My first playthrough was a story of non-violent protest, while my second bordered on terrorism as the androids start a fight for their very existence.