Not to tip any big spoilers for Uncharted 4 if you still haven't played it, but it ends with a definitive conclusion to Nathan Drake's days as a gunslinging treasure hunter. Even still, Bruce Straley, the game director who left Naughty Dog in 2017, thinks there are "plenty of opportunities" for the series to expand - either with Nathan Drake at the helm in a potential Uncharted 5 or beyond, as demonstrated in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
Straley spoke to GR+'s Alex Avard for a feature about the making of Uncharted 2 ten years later, and you should read it ASAP. Just to whet your appetite until then, here's an expanded snippet from the interview about Straley's thoughts on the potential future of Uncharted.
"I would love to play another Nathan Drake game, or even another game in that world with other characters," Straley says. "I think that has a ton of potential still. But I want to see it done in a way that is mindful of the original concepts that we pushed for in UC2; keeping everything core, everything on the stick, all the set pieces playable, and so on. I'd also keep pushing UC into the realm of player choice, and keep seeing how that affects the adventure.
"How do you make the player feel like they're the ones discovering things on the adventure with Nathan Drake, rather than something that feels like the story relegates the player to play a certain way? I think that the opportunity to expand on those mechanics and really play an adventure sounds amazing to me. To play an adventure with those characters and have real freedom - and I'm not talking about open world, per se, either. I think [Uncharted 4's] Madagascar is a good talking point to start a conversation. To combine Madagascar's level design with [Uncharted 2's] set pieces, and then adding open choices onto that. The industry still needs well drawn characters and good stories that don't take themselves seriously, like a lot of games tend to now in the triple-A space."
Straley's only speaking as a former Naughty Dog developer and fan of the Uncharted series, but his perspective still says a lot. Personally, I'd be fine with Uncharted ending right where it is now (or even if it ended after Uncharted 3)... but I didn't co-create one of the best video game stories ever, so I don't have much room to talk.
Find more to play in our list of the best PS4 games.