by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 27th August, 2019
Find out which games found their way into our list of best exclusive titles for the PlayStation 4. And then find out which other exclusives you simply have to play in case you own the console.
PlayStation 4 didn't arrive with a bang. During the first couple of years of the console's life we got lots of remasters (with only The Last of Us being top tier material) and a couple of uninteresting exclusive titles that were there mostly to show the console's hardware power (Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall).
But starting with 2015 Sony's current gaming console started to receive one superb exclusive after another and today it features dozens of exclusive titles that are must-play for every PS4 owner.
As we're getting near the end of this console cycle it's clear that the PS4 is the clear winner this time, both in the number of quality exclusives and the number of units sold.
Creating the best-of list that includes just 10 titles was hard and ranking those 10 games was even harder but we did it, somehow.
The sheer number and quality of exclusive games offered on the PS4 required from us not only to show you the best of the best but also to feature a number of games that didn't find their way to the best of list simply because all of them are must-play for all PS4 owners. You'll find 10 best games followed by more than a dozen additional titles (listed in alphabetical order).
Check out our best PS4 exclusives list, it's great and filled with amazing games. Mind that we counted both games available only on the PS4 as well as titles that can be played on the PS4 and PC as long as they aren't available on any other video game console.
The crazy thing is that only three titles that can be played both on PC and PS4 found their way to this list (including honorable mentions) which says enough of the massive quality of PS4's exclusive library. In other words, out of 23 titles mentioned in this piece 20 can be played only on the PS4!
The best adventure game for the PS4 and triumph for Quantic Dream, a studio who finally hit all the cords right when it comes to marrying cinematic storytelling with a control scheme that didn't feel like a cheap, quick-time event driven experience.
On top of usable controls and a superb story we also got one of the prettiest games on the market, with unmatched character details and animation along with an excellent cast.
The game also nailed Quantic Dream's signature choice and consequence gameplay, offering weighty repercussions along with showing insights into what different choices mean before players made them, something that was often neglected in Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls.
The result is a Quantic Dream game that plays like a real game and not like a gamified cinematic experience, with excellent voice acting, gripping story, profound choice and consequence system, and photorealistic visuals. Definitely worth its place among top 10 PS4 exclusives.
Countless games tried to emulate the magic of WipEout but none offered the perfect mixture of breakneck speed racing, arcade gunplay, exciting track design, and precise yet hard to master controls.
If you want the best hover racer around you only have one choice and that's WipEout series. And the latest member of the famous franchise continues this trend, this time on the PS4.
The game isn't new, it's a beautiful remake of three installments from the days of the PSP and PS Vita and all three are excellent racing experiences.
Visuals are solid, the action is silky smooth at 60fps, career mode is meaty and features a perfectly gradual increase in difficulty, and the racing is better than ever.
The added bonus of PSVR support is just the cherry on the top and if you own the VR headset for Sony's latest console this is one of the few must-play titles. WipEout Omega Collection is the best racing game on the PS4 and definitely one of the best exclusive titles for the console.
The best Spider-Man game ever, one of the best superhero games of all time, and definitely one of the best exclusive titles for the PS4, Marvel's Spider-Man is a triumph of game design and the game featuring the best and most enjoyable traversal system we've ever seen. Slinging across Manhattan never felt so fluid and simple, so enjoyable yet so unimposing.
But the game has other qualities that are almost as good as that slick slinging. The story is probably the best one we've ever seen in any Spider-Man game, with excellent boss battles that are varied and challenging yet not overly difficult.
The combat is fluid enough for players to achieve huge combos but complex enough to ask for lots of practice when playing on higher difficulty levels.
And the island of Manhattan is stunning. It's huge, with an uncountable number of buildings, busy life down on the streets, dozens of landmarks dotting the city (From real life, comics, and from the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and intricate visual details creating a near-photorealistic digital playground.
You also have countless Spider-Man suits to unlock, superbly designed main and side missions, robust upgrade system, and plenty (some would say too much) of side activities to partake in.
A magnificent game in almost every regard with repetitive open world activities that don't put a noticeable dent in the overall experience.
A title that started life as a DLC expansion evolved into a standalone game and one of the best PS4 exclusive. The chemistry between Chloe and Nadine is incredible and the two make for one of the best duos we've seen in any video game.
And the decision to abandon the classic level-based campaign seen in previous games was another wise decision because the open-world setting of India's Western Ghats mountain region works perfectly in an Uncharted game.
The focus on stealth is another win since solving the environmental puzzles that are enemy camps never felt so enjoyable like in The Lost Legacy, with plenty of climbing sequences that feel like a breath of fresh air to relax and ease the mind before the next combat encounter.
Puzzles are also expertly crafted and will make you think yet won't make you give up in frustration. The only downside is the humble length of the game but that's more a neg than a real problem.
If you want the ultimate JRPG experience don't look for the latest Final Fantasy game, just go out (or go online) and buy Persona 5. A perfect mix between adventuring in fictional worlds and killing unimaginable monsters and living a life of a high school kid in Tokyo is expertly crafted. Social relationships between characters are some of the best in any game.
Visuals feature a cell-shaded style that fits the game like a glove and the sheer scope of the game can be frightening at times. Which is the only real downside of the game. Not everyone has more than 100 hours to sink into a single video game, no matter how good it is.
In Persona 5 you don't have to worry just about staying alive and reaching the end of a dungeon while killing monsters, you also have to worry about everyday teenage problems and care for your friends, hang out with them, and just be a normal teenager.
All this makes for an exciting gameplay formula that is capable of sucking you in and replacing the real world with the fictional world of Persona, swapping your world for a fictitious one until you see end credits roll. But that's what best games do, right?
It all started with Demon's Souls, a PS3 exclusive that proved brutally difficult combat in combination with free flow storytelling and intricate world-building is capable of mesmerizing gamers and luring them away from classic AAA titles.
Dark Souls built upon that foundation but Bloodborne picked a different path, equally grueling but completely different in some ways.
The elaborate world-building and free flow storytelling remained but combat received not so subtle facelift that messed with hardcore fans of From Software games by swapping blocks with dodges and by breaking its shackles and making it much faster and noticeably more dynamic.
The result is probably the best From Software game ever and surely one the best PS4 exclusives.
The world of Bloodborne is horrific yet enchanting, its monsters are gruesome yet beautiful in their design, and the combat looks so simple yet it requires dozens of hours to perfect.
This isn't another Dark Souls, this is a different game yet two things remain. Patience is the key and perseverance is that magic ingredient that will let you see the ending. You don't get much better than this when it comes to soulsike games.
After delivering Uncharted trilogy for the PS3 Naughty Dog surprised everyone with The Last of Us, the swan song of the PlayStation 3 and the shape of things to come for the PlayStation 4.
The game depicted a dark and gritty post-apocalyptic world so much different than what we saw in Uncharted trilogy, titles that perfectly emulated Indiana Jones vibes.
The world of The Last of Us is unforgiving, with plenty of monsters in human form that are far more dangerous than disease-stricken zombies wandering the ruined world. But even in this cruel world of tomorrow hope remains and love can set you free. And this is why the story of Joel and Ellie is so striking, so gripping, so human.
The father-daughter relationship is expertly written and it evolves so naturally that we sometimes forget just how those two hated each other at the beginning of their journey.
But story and characters aren't everything and The Last of Us surely delivers in other departments. The stealth-based gameplay is excellent and rewards cautious approach and strategic planning.
Gunplay is visceral and levels of violence shown in the game are shocking. Overall, The Last of Us is one of the best cinematic experiences on the PS4 and almost the best post-apocalyptic experience of this generation.
The final chapter of Nathan Drake's story is funny and sad, emotional and easy going, happy go lucky and serious to the bone.
And all these extremes work together to create an amazing game and a worthy finale for one of the most recognizable characters in video games. Excellent writing combined with Hollywood level of acting gave us a perfect story-driven game that doesn't disappoint. And let's not start about characters, who are some of the best in the business.
We also have got the best visuals on the PS4 with stunning levels that spread from the Mediterranean to Scotland, from (sub) urban jungle to the real one. The game is filled with breathtaking sceneries and the sheer scope of the visuals is unbelievable at times.
Uncharted 4 also plays much better than predecessors, with improved gunplay and stealth that finally works as intended. Exploration and climbing parts are better than ever and the game almost doubles in time compared to its predecessors. A true classic and a game that can be played over and over without ever becoming stale.
Horizon: Zero Dawn doesn't reinvent the wheel. The game features a classic open-world map filled with side activities and missions, camps to clear, lore to discover, and collectibles to pick up.
The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans aren't on top of the food chain anymore. The action is nothing new, with the focus on ranged weapons but with a selection of other weapons to spice things up. But Guerilla combined these elements in such a way that together, they form a superb action RPG game that plays soooo gooood.
The combat is so satisfying, dropping the headshot mechanic (at least when not fighting humans) and replacing it with an excellent armor-based system where you have to think about weak spots and critical hits while rolling and dodging attacks. The world is beautiful and slowly discovering what happened with it is incredibly rewarding.
The story has a perfect pace and is filled with mystery that unhurriedly unrolls only to be recognized as one of the best sci-fi stories in gaming.
And then we have Alloy, a superbly written heroine who's ready to fight against the world in order to discover what happened in times before and how the ancient ones disappeared.
We also have the world filled with various robot animals, each with their own unique behavior that requires a different approach in combat. A solid upgrade system and a world that's beautiful like no other and so diverse.
Horizon Zero Dawn doesn't reinvent the wheel but it combines classic open-world elements into an incredibly enjoyable package that is trumped only by The Witcher 3, at least when we talk about current-gen open-world games.
Where do you go after your main character kills everyone he's been after and destroys his world? Well, just send him to a completely different world, with its own gods and monsters and with its own stories that wait to be unfolded.
Give him a new reason to live and a faithful companion who is there not only to be a sidekick but also to play a major role in that character's development as a human and as a god.
Improve the gameplay by implementing modern action-adventure standards set by Arkham series and fill the game with lore, cool upgrades, and secret areas inaccessible until your character gets new powers, something like we've seen in those cool Metroidvania games.
Create pseudo-open-world environments that award exploration and that aren't there just to host a plethora of busywork activities. Paint them with photorealistic colors and allow players to explore them on their own pace.
And then create a complex story filled with exciting plot twists, multifaceted characters who are more than what meets the eye and villains who aren't just empty shells filled with rage and hatred.
The result is God of War, a soft reboot of the famous series that is the best game offered on the PS4 and among the best two games of this generation.
Definitive choice for all PSVR owners. This is the game that truly showed the potential of VR gaming on the PS4. Visuals are excellent for a VR game, the gameplay is suited for VR, the design is superb, and the game is cute as hell.
If you own a PSVR you simply have to play this one and if we could play just one VR game on your PS4 this would be our choice.
While Astro Bot is a cute and imaginative VR title Blood & Truth is all fireworks. Explosive action, a bunch of breathtaking scenes that make adrenaline searing through your body, and excellent visuals. On top of all that the story is pretty solid and the action is excellent. A definite recommendation.
Media Molecule, known for cult classics such as Little Big Planet and Tearaway Unfolded, decided to go full-on creative and the result is called Dreams.
The game is basically a virtually unlimited game creating tool that's simplified yet powerful and that allows creative individuals to come up with incredible worlds.
Even if you just want to consume content Dreams is an excellent choice because there are already hundreds of interesting projects that can be browsed and downloaded from inside the game. Dreams is still in early access state and we expect it to offer thousands of exciting games in years to come.
WipEout Omega Collection is the best racer on the PS4 but Gran Turismo Sport has lots to offer both to those who want to race alone and for online racers.
The game features stunning visuals and excellent simulation physics with a huge single-player campaign and the best overall multiplayer experience. While there are other fun racers for the system this is by far the biggest one and there's lots of fun to be had even if you play with a controller.
Superb action-adventure that is on par with NIER: Automata, Bayonetta, DMC 5, and other heavy hitters. Unique cell-shaded visuals are spot on, the action is explosive and with lots of special moves and unique features (just check out the title), and the story is pretty solid for an action-adventure. Great exclusive and a great game overall.
A mesmerizing tale and a perfect chillout game, Journey is great for lazy Sunday afternoons. Just sit back, relax, and see where your next journey will take you. This is one of those games that can be played for dozens of times and each time it will uncover new secrets and new experiences.
This is a perfect action adventure for kids all ages but grown-ups are also in for a treat. Graphics and animation are unreal and it's hard to find a game prettier than this one. Action is dynamic and filled with loud noises, explosions, and colorful effects.
Each level is unique and relies on different gameplay aspects meaning less repetition between levels. Superb fun for all ages and for both casual and hardcore gamers.
One of those cult titles that simply has to be played by every gamer. The game's simplistic design is perfect in its execution and each colossus is a beast on their own, each telling their own story in the form of unique epic fights.
Minimalistic design expands to visuals and the story but neither suffers from it. Instead, Shadow of the Colossus is a perfect example of the saying "less is more."
The best Tetris game of all time. The surreal combination of music, visual effects, and the perfect video game hits all the right notes and this is another game that should be played by everyone who owns the PS4. Another plus is PSVR support where the game looks otherworldly beautiful.
Coming from the same team that made Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian is an emotional story of a boy and his pet that looks like a huge combination of cat and wolf and who behaves like a huge cat. You will be frustrated at times thanks to the stubbornness of your giant pet but emotional moments and excellent level design are worth the trouble.
The PS3 Uncharted Trilogy on one disc for a superb price with updated visuals and rock-solid 60 frames per second performance. What's not to like? If you didn't play Uncharted games on the PS3 get this right now.
Eerie horror adventure that plays like the best teenage horror flicks. A bunch of people are trapped inside a huge mansion during a freezing winter night. They have to survive until dawn with a mysterious entity killing them one by one. A game where no one is safe to survive the night and where every choice can have long-lasting effects. A sure recommendation.
Japanese video game series that combines top-level drama with brutal combat and tons of wacky moments, Yakuza is a game for everyone who loves action adventures, open-world games, and titles that come with a billion side activities.
The PS4 features the first two games along with the excellent prequel set during the '80s (Yakuza 0) along with the latest title, Yakuza 6. The West should receive the third game this year and the fourth and fifth game are also on track to be remastered for the PS4.