The best PS4 exclusives are the games that have basically defined the PS4 generation, with Sony really dialling in on the strength of its original series and narratives.
From God of War and Spider-Man, to The Last of Us and Horizon Zero Dawn, it's quite an impressive list. We've not added Horizon Forbidden West to this list (which launched February 18 on PS5 and PS5) because we believe it's best experienced on the newest hardware.
Despite the fact that some of these have now made their way to PC , these are still PS5 exclusives when it comes to consoles. Most are available to play on the PS5 via PS5 backwards compatibility too, so their legendary status lives on. Plus, a lot of these titles will now be included for free as part of the new PS Plus Premium games libraries at the mid and upper tiers.
Before we get stuck in though, here are the rules we've laid down: this list of the best PS4 exclusives deals with console exclusivity, so some of them can be found on PC. Exclusivity has to be permanent and not timed (so we had to remove Nier: Automata when it released on Xbox One). Plus, the games have to be full-price releases, and not DLC or add-on content - though if we're lucky they'll show up on the free PS Plus games list at some point and there are always the best free PS4 games if you're feeling thrifty.
If you're looking for a driving experience on PS4... there's only one choice. Sure, DriveClub was the previous favorite, but GT Sport offers everything that game had a way more. There's the usual raft of high-end sports cars to choose from, and a bunch of high-performance models from commercial manufacturers, along with many of the world's best tracks, lovingly recreated in game. But what sets this apart is the online options, offering tournaments, special events, and loads more - you can essentially live the life of the most exciting, well-travelled professional racing driver... er, without the risk of crashing (or the millions of dollars they'd probably earn).
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Concrete Genie offers an enchanting, creatively unique experience using the DualShock 4's motion sensor controls to paint. Yep, that's right, you create beautiful artwork by tilting your controller in different directions. While it sounds like a bit of an unconventional way to compose art, it actually works really well. Pixelopus offers a deeply heartwarming adventure that explores the impact of an environmental disaster on a now abandoned seaside town. You play a young bullied teenager called Ash who discovers a magical paintbrush that has the power to restore the town and bring his artwork to life. The story also touches on the issue of bullying with sensitivity, and it also shows you a different side to the bullies that you might not expect to see.
If you've never experienced the PS4 exclusive Yakuza series... what the hell have you been doing with your gaming life? It's time to rectify that mistake with the latest Yakuza. No, really, the sixth core outing for the series is actually one of the best places to start as it does a great job of telling the story so far, while offering the best action and elements from previous games in one, meaty adventure. It's essentially an action-RPG set in Japan, where you play as ex-Yakuza boss Kazuma Kiryu, who is now a good guy fighting for his adopted children and the people of his town. There are mini-game distractions galore, loads of wonderful side-stories to experience, and a gripping overall narrative.
It might've launched in relatively rough shape, but after over a year of additional content, new characters, and countless refinements, Street Fighter 5 has realized its full potential as a phenomenal fighting game. Its ever-growing roster of unique characters has the perfect fit for any playstyle, and the inventive V-Skill and V-Trigger systems add another layer of excitement and strategic depth to each intense match. Whether you go with an old favorite like Ryu or opt for an oddball newcomer like Necalli, Street Fighter 5 delivers more of the infinite replayability and limitless skill ceiling you've come to expect from Capcom's fan-favorite fighting game series.
Despite the fact it was one of the original PS4 launch games, inFamous: Second Son is a wonderful example of how technical tweaks for the PS4 Pro release can change the quality of a game dramatically. Sucker Punch's brilliant smoke-fuelled superhero story looks fantastic even four years after release, and its tale of origins, family, and brotherhood is still one of my favourite PS4 games to date. It make Seattle your playground, and nothing feels quite as good as chaining together attacks with your newly found powers to stop the big bad that's threatening your town, and your family. Utterly brilliant.
Okay, okay, so technically The Last of Us was one of the best PS3 games, but it's tricky to compile a list of the best PS4 exclusives without at least mentioning this fantastic remaster. Not only do you get the original The Last of Us game in glorious 4K if you're rocking a PS4 Pro, but you also get a load of additional content bundled in as well. Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic tale is still one of the best video game stories ever told. So if you've not experienced Ellie and Joel's tale yet, settle back (although not too far, this is a tense game with mutants in it), and immerse yourself in one of the best games of all time.
Tearaway Unfolded is one of those rare games that is a sheer delight from start to finish. Its beautiful paper craft world is one that you're immersed in from the get go, using the touchpad on the DualShock 4 to draw and craft your own creations that get placed inside the game. And, the more you play, the more the world of Tearaway Unfolded becomes a reflection of your artistic talents. Trust me, you don't need many, thank the PlayStation Gods, but even a shambled together star adds some pizzazz to this already stunning world. Of course, there's a story here too - it's not all scissors and glue work - and it's up to you to help rid the world of the evil Scraps and restore order once and for all. Meet some adorable creatures along the way, make friends, earn yourself some sticks and poke and prod the world using the power of the DualShock 4, and more in this unique PS4 exclusive adventure.
If you played Ratchet and Clank back in the days of the PS2, you know how amazing the duo's adventures are. This oddity of a space odyssey will have you chuckling at the ridiculousness of the guns, groaning at the brilliantly awful jokes, and dazzling at the stunning world that Insomniac Games has created, with a colour palette to make any galaxy jealous. This is absolutely the magic of the original brought onto the PS4 in a beautiful remaster that proves that games don't need to be totally overhauled to be brought onto current gen consoles. This is fun, imaginative and utterly wonderful.
While Nathan Drake has been the face of the Uncharted series since it debuted in 2007 on the PS3, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is all about giving someone else a turn. Drake moves aside to let two female characters from the series - both former villains/double crossers, I might add - in the form of Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. The two women are a compelling double act that still retain the feisty, tongue-in-cheek antics that's synonymous with the Uncharted series, but with a fresh take on the boisterous bromance of Sully and Drake. Brilliant set pieces, top notch puzzles, and a touch of the supernatural all add up to make this an Uncharted spin-off that could just be the start of a new Uncharted tale.
Shadow of the Colossus is one of those games that everyone wanted to be remastered for years upon years. And then it happened. Announced at E3 2017, but arrived in February 2018, this is the kind of game that makes huge ripples in the gaming industry, because it still felt as thought-provoking and artistic as it did when it originally released some 13 years earlier on the PS2. This is a genuine slice of gaming history, and you owe it to yourself to experience it.
Turn to page two to see which titles fall into our ultimate top 10 best PS4 exclusives...
You'll be thankful for every minute you spend in the beautiful, full, and surprisingly chill world of Ghost of Tsushima. Sucker Punch's latest takes an Assassin's Creed-style Japan, adds a Red Dead Redemption 2-sized world, and blends in an entire library's worth of Akira Kurosawa movies to create this tribute to the Japanese culture is so clearly reveres. This is a fantastic swan song for the PS4.
The latest game to join this exclusive club, Detroit: Become Human is a tour de force of storytelling. It follows the story of three Androids, who all break their programming to become 'free' in the year 2038. As well as looking insanely pretty, this game does some interesting things with player choice - not only do you genuinely feel in control of the destiny of each character, but you're also made aware of the different story paths you could have taken at the end of each level. It's light on action, but heavy on talking, but that's the point here. Once you invest in the various characters, and their struggles, you'll be hooked... and you'll genuinely fret over some of the game's tougher moral choices.
Playing Persona 5 borders on overstimulation due to its sheer sense of style, where everything from the colorful visuals and snazzy soundtrack to the vibrant menus and peppy voice acting is vying for your rapt attention. This accessible-yet-deep JRPG is like a playable anime, following a group of Japanese high schoolers who become empowered as the Phantom Thieves, bettering society by stealing the coveted items corrupting the hearts of delusional adults. Whether you're infiltrating the psychological palaces of your chosen target or simply hanging out and building friendships via a wide variety of after-school activities, Persona 5 offers over 100 hours of joy to anyone with even the slightest affinity for JRPG adventures. And yes, you can technically play it on PS3 - but then you'd be missing out on that sweet, sweet 1080p resolution.
Fumito Ueda's games are renowned for the way they stir the player's emotions and sense of wonderment, and after years of waiting and wondering if it would ever see the light of day, The Last Guardian lives up to the same high standard as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. You play as a young boy marooned among ancient ruins, befriending a humongous bird/dog hybrid named Trico as the two of you make your way towards freedom. Trico's unique, at times disobedient, AI makes him feel like a truly living creature you need to coax and cooperate with in order to solve a variety of third-person puzzles, creating a bond between player and animal that's not unlike the companionship of a real-world pet.
Like all the greatest action movies, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End knows when to balance explosive set-pieces and riveting car chases with quieter moments of human drama and warmth. Nathan Drake's still a lovable modern-day Indiana Jones, hunting for treasure and evading armed goons with panache, but watching him interact with his loved ones - Elena, Sully, and even his newly introduced brother Sam, all brought to life via fantastic mocapped performances - is more rewarding than the discovery of any ancient secret. Uncharted 4 is a fitting end for Nathan's story, and playing it feels like completing the satisfying final chapter in a beloved adventure book that's made an indelible mark on your heart.
The night is dark and full of terrors, the majority of which will mercilessly kill you in seconds if you're not careful. But that's a risk you'll just have to take to explore and experience Bloodborne's gorgeous gothic city of Yharnam, the setting for From Software's brilliant spin-off that experiments with the studio's own Dark Souls designs. This elegant third-person action RPG opts for a quicker pace of play compared to classic Souls without devaluing the need for constant caution and alertness, lest you fall prey to a diverse range of horrific monsters lurking through the Victorian-era environments. The dual forms of each melee weapon, mixed with the careful timing of pistol-enabled parries, gives you even more room to express your preferred fighting style as you claw your way from one memorable boss encounter or picturesque vista to the next, guided (or hostilely invaded) by the ghosts of other players.
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Easily the best superhero game of recent years, Spider-Man is an absolute storming exclusive for PS4. It looks incredible, is stuffed full of things to see and do, and it feels glorious to play. From the moment you take your first swing around NYC, to the later stages when you're mixing together movement, combat, and powers this is an absolute delight to just sit and play. The story is gripping, funny, and genuinely surprising in places, and the presentation is slick as hell. It very much captures the spirit of both the comics and the new Marvel versions of Spidey. If you're looking for something brand new, which will wow your friends and keep you playing for weeks and weeks... this is the one for you.
We've seen far too many desolate, lifeless, post-apocalyptic wastelands in games, to the point where they've become as dreary as the crumbling world they portray. But Horizon Zero Dawn dares to push far, far beyond the fall of modern society to give us a glimpse at a new chapter for humanity, where primitive tribes have slowly begun to rebuild among unique species of sentient, robotic wildlife that roam and own the now-verdant ruins of metropolitan areas. You explore Horizon's expansive, enchanting open world as Aloy, an instantly likeable lead who's a capable and courageous hunter in this far-future frontier. Establishing diplomatic relations with other human tribes, exploring the breathtaking environment (and capturing Kodak moments with the delightful photo mode), hunting down every last secret tucked away in the sprawling landscape, trying to bag yourself a massive dino-like Thunderjaw - whatever you set out to do in Horizon Zero Dawn, it's going to be incredible.
Yes, it's that good. The latest God of War, which essentially reboots the franchise and takes it to a whole new setting, is the best game you can play on PS4. And that's something we may well be saying until PS5 inevitably rolls out. Ditching the linear action structure of the originals, this outing lets you explore a fully realised, utterly beautiful Norse world, picking fights and solving puzzles as you go. The story is both well written and well paced, with Kratos far more than a one-dimensional murder-machine now. Enemies are well constructed too, and the combat is just as fluid and thrilling as it always was. There are heaps of things to discover, and each new area is more jaw-dropping and feature-packed than the next. Only Horizon comes close to showing the power and versatility of the PlayStation in the same way, making God of War an essential purchase for anyone with a Dualshock in their hands and a hankering for a fresh experience.
Naughty Dog has closed out the PS4 generation with its most ambitious game to date. Not only does this exclusive justify its existence as the sequel none of us thought we needed, but it's an outstanding achievement in its own right. Visually astonishing, absurdly ambitious, and utterly epic in scale, The Last of Us Part 2 is a game that will be a part of you for many, many years to come.
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