20 Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive Games to Play on PS5

by Marc Kaliroff
Published: Last Updated on

Backwards Compatibility

Best PlayStation 4 Games Playable on PlayStation 5

It is hard to believe that PlayStation fans will already once again begin a new age of play with the brand’s fifth-generation system launching worldwide. There will be dozens of new experiences to plow through upon the release of the PlayStation 5, however, the magnificent promise of backwards compatibility has already opened a floodgate of gaming options to every new adopter’s front door. Whether you are crashing through the critically acclaimed titles you missed out on over the last decade or are preparing a significant backlog of new games to play in the coming weeks that you can pick up for cheap (or even free with a PS Plus subscription), these are 20 games in no particular order that you owe it to yourself to experience on either your current PlayStation 4 or future PlayStation 5 system- well a little over twenty technically, we may have cheated the limit but we will get there…

Infamous Second Son

Contrary to its title, Infamous Second Son is the third installment in Sucker Punch’s electrified action-adventure series. Second Son does indeed pull plenty of callback cards to Cole’s fight against terrorism from seven years prior within its timeline, yet it smartly decided to stick with the story of Delsin Rowe and his newfound powers during a time where superpowered individuals dubbed as Conduits have become America’s biggest scapegoats and targets. This third coming chapter needs no background studies or extra playthroughs to enjoy from start to finish. Whether Delsin will be the hero or villain of Seattle City is completely up to the player as they delve through an intricate karma system designed to either make their actions have the weight of pop-culture’s finest anti-heroes’ acts or most infamous villains destructive plans. Second Son is the type of sequel both newcomers and veterans will clamor over as it respects its potential new audiences and longtime series fans.

Shadow of the Colossus

Team Ico and Sony Interactive Entertainment’s monolith child from the PlayStation 2 era of breakthrough titles scored one epic remaster- or rather remake this generation from BluePoint Games. After plenty of high-resolution remasters last generation including this entry’s original counterpart, BluePoint’s efforts to completely recreate a title from the ground up further proved the studio’s commendable achievements were simply unparalleled in the genre of revivals. The Shadow of the Colossus remake may not be able to fix all the problems of its indigenous icon, but it does just enough to make sure it fits in with the PlayStation 4’s defining lineup of exclusive games as it properly highlights its artistic themes of unsettling beauty fueled by those fantastical god fighting scale battles. Each colossus battle will give the player an unprecedented amount of guilt and pride as they help restore Mono’s lost life.

Tearaway Unfolded

On a little obscure portable device known as the PlayStation Vita, the developers behind LittleBigPlanet and Dreams attempted to kickstart the doomed handheld with a hand-crafted experience. Tearaway is not only an underlying gem of the PlayStation first-party brand’s golden potential but a story that resonates with the core game-design ideologies of Media Molecule. It is a concept that has only been successfully toyed with twice (at least critically) yet it has never had the chance to be explored on a new surface with shining execution. While it may be a slight retelling of Iota and Atoi’s original story, Tearaway Unfolded is the heartwarming adventure of you and one messenger back on the road racing to defeat a paper-thin force of evil. For any PlayStation fan looking for the closest experience to that indistinguishable Nintendo feeling you find in their platformers and puzzle titles, Tearaway Unfolded attempts to turn a new page on that familiar mix of genres everyone loves.

Death Stranding

Right off the universal success of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and the disastrous state Konami Digital Entertainment was left in after an embarrassing company higher-up fallout, visionary director Hideo Kojima partnered up with Sony Interactive Entertainment to get back to work on imagining his revolutionary future. Death Stranding on the surface looks like a game that anyone would want to play as it flaunts a starstruck cast of Hollywood actors, an ambient yet unsettling score from independent artist Low Roar, and a promising overarching narrative, but in reality, this experimental title will attract far and few. Its concepts of connecting players within a digital web of universally benefiting decisions is nothing short of ambitious, however, it’s core gameplay that will make players suffer for satisfaction can become an overthrowing turnoff. While it will be difficult to connect to, those who find themselves stranded in Sam Bridges broken post-apocalyptic America will find nothing but enlightenment.

Ratchet & Clank

While the next entry in the franchise is looking to surpass Insomniac’s previous work to revive their intergalactic franchise on PlayStation 5, there is still no denying that the Ratchet & Clank reboot is still well worth your time. Ratchet & Clank could practically be considered Sony’s current stand-in for Super Mario as the lombax and miniature robot’s tales have managed to remain prevalent for almost two decades. There is no other platformer that manages to cram in so many weapons and playstyles to use on the same journey. Ratchet & Clank involves more personal player input than you would think as you have to customize an arsenal that will accommodate your own fun factor. Now is the perfect time to catch up on the duo’s reimagined origin story of becoming simpletons to responsible heroes before they enter their next interdimensional rift. Just do not get excited for that tie-in movie released in theaters once you finish your playthrough- trust us, it’s literally just the game’s rendered cutscenes with a couple more sequences.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Chloe Frazer has always been Uncharted’s underdog. The charismatic and culture-caring two-time helper of Nathan Drake was well in need of her own title and Naughty Dog absolutely delivered before they could refocus all their efforts on The Last of Us Part II. In the same vein as some of the other sequels on this list, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy does not necessarily require any background knowledge or playthroughs to enjoy- although the same can be said about the rest of the series- but it is recommended that you play Uncharted: 3 Drake’s Deception and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End beforehand. The Lost Legacy takes players to India as they explore Chloe’s ideas of cultural justice while working with the bankrupted Nadine Ross who is searching for the next big score that will put her back on financial track. On top of the series’ incredible action sequences and treasure hunting options for completionists, its engulfment in India’s culture makes The Lost Legacy’s cultural-perspective and beautiful landscapes pop out from Nathan Drake’s adventures.

Nioh

Nioh is Koei Techmo’s samurai-centric, action RPG set in the bloody Sengoku era of Japan. Out of all the entries on this list, Nioh blends historical real-life events with its own interpretations of dark fantasy and folklore to create an unsettling and urgent atmosphere. Its hack and slash gameplay allows it to spotlight the acrobatic and swift characteristics of legendary samurai rather than their thoughtful precision and accuracy seen in other titles. Nioh is for those looking for a challenge as it asks players to think quickly and draw their weapons faster. William Adam’s path to becoming a lauded swordsman opposes many of the ideas present in other samurai titles. Only after completing the title, you will find yourself unearthing the legendary lore that inspired its narrative.

Dreams

Dreams is not necessarily a game at its core. A more fitting way to describe its manipulative architecture would be to compare it to a computer program crammed into a social media app. This is not a title that will always have you playing, rather it aims to have you peruse the creative minds of game developers, musicians, and artists from around the world. Whether you are looking to browse the creations of other users, get your foot in the door of basic game-design with a dedicated engine, make some sculptures, cook up a delicious-looking meal, or even conduct your own orchestra, Dreams might just be the sandbox you are looking for. If companies like Naughty Dog and Insomniac are the soul of PlayStation, then Media Molecule is right at the heart as they constantly have attempted to bring out the creative side of players. The endless possibilities of your imagination are what Media Molecule asks you to delve deep into.

Journey

Journey is one of those odd cases of when a major developer steps in to co-create a title with an independent studio. Thatgamecompany and Sony’s Santa Monica collaborated to create a PlayStation 3 game (later imaged to its full extent on PlayStation 4 through a magnificent port that could practically be considered a remaster) who could succeed their previous projects Flow and Flower. Journey is one of the few story-driven titles out there that tells its narrative entirely through visuals and orchestration as the game lacks any speech and contains little to no text. As a robed figure in the desert, it is your destiny to reach the summit of a distant mountain, but along the way you will have to connect to other living players who will help you on your path. Journey is a simplistic title that may take two to three hours to fully complete, yet its enlightening theme of reconnection and destiny has never been paralleled by another developer in the same fashion. Its philosophies and sense of connection is nothing short of heavenly.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a game that many PlayStation One players will initially have an intimate connection to only to grow surprised by its vast amount of changes. While it is indeed not the complete story players experienced over two decades ago, one should consider this remake to be the first chapter in a new ongoing series. It exceeds itself by crossing a boundary most reimaginings would never dare to cross: rewriting and expanding upon what fans once loved rather than just creating the same thing. The Final Fantasy VII Remake, is going to inevitably be the first entry in one long twisted saga we think we know the outcome to but likely will not down the line. For anyone interested in seeing the story of Cloud Strife and his crumbling planet, Remake is a great option to both step into his world and the Final Fantasy series as a whole.

The Naughty Dog Remasters

When I said there might be a little over twenty games on the list, technically this entry does make it twenty-three games in total- trust us though we have good reasoning. For anyone looking to embrace the definitive video game storytelling experiences from the seventh generation of consoles, you absolutely without any question need to pick up both Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and The Last of Us: Remastered. Both of these starstudded action-packed updated releases fix all the little nuances in their retrospective titles while providing some graphical updates and extra content to meander with. Whether you are looking for an Indiana Jones reminiscent adventure through the charismatic stories of Nathan Drake or are looking to journey across America in a depressing zombie-infested wasteland with Joel and Ellie, these two titles will give you all four of PlayStation’s definitive must-play games.

Tetris Effect

Tetris Effect PlayStation 4

They say if it is not broken then you should not fix it and that sentiment applies to the long-lasting Tetris formula. Ever since its public debut on the GameBoy Tetris has dominated the world with hundreds of different interpretations from dozens of companies. So many companies such as Sega, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts have attempted to alter Tetris’s main structure time and time again, but of course, leave it to the measly independent studios to one-up the lead triple-A powerhouse developers. Tetris Effect is a mesmerizing collaboration between Resonair, Monstars, and Stage Games that never fails to fall out of its therapeutic beats. It can only be described as the type of puzzle game where you sit back and become engulfed in its visuals and beautiful score for hours. It does not matter whether you are playing just to relax or smash the online leaderboards because Tetris Effect is willing to constantly cater to your personal appetite and keep you in that calming groove.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima PlayStation 4

Sucker Punch Studios has always had its head deep in the age of ninjas and samurai, but their opportunity to fully explore the latter only arrived after they ditched the Thievius Raccoonus and the age of rising superpowered Conduits in exchange for telling a heart-wrenching tale packed with methodical swordplay and ancient philosophy. Ghost of Tsushima is the definition of the samurai game you have dreamed of playing alone or with friends. The act of picking up a sword and preparing for that nail-biting duel is always awaiting you as you explore the war-torn land of Tsushima. It even manages to include those relaxing moments of meditation where players are given a break from the action and are allowed to create their own haikus while taking in their local tranquil environments.

Resogun

There are an overwhelming amount of developers that have attempted to recapture the golden-age arcade experience yet many fail to find a balance between reinvention and recreation. In the same vein as Tetris Effect, Resogun absolutely nails reimagining and reminiscing upon a familiar structure from a new albeit original perspective. It may have been the most simplistic PlayStation 4 launch title and was also widely available on the previous home and handheld consoles, but Resogun blasted through its competition’s critical legacies as it arguably now lives as one of the system’s best first games. The most mind-blowing aspect of Resogun though is just seeing how far the developer Housemarque have come as they are now exploring the realistic horrors of extra-terrestrial life on PlayStation 5’s Returnal. Resogun has landed on the PlayStation Store’s sale page numerous times throughout the year so grab it cheap while you can as it is upsettingly a digital-only title!

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II PlayStation 4

In a growing time of violence and hate, The Last of Us Part II is a difficult game to swallow. Naughty Dog certainly did not hold back any punches when it came to confronting the darkness we all live in. The story is reflective of a nonfictional possibility with an inner coat of realism. The prospect of a divided world is a scary one and Part II’s cycle of never-ending revenge demonstrates that. The follow-up to 2013’s hit apocalyptic title does not follow the same path as its predecessor. This is no journey across a shambled America reliant on a scientific cure to its problems. The problems lie in the fascinating conflict of its characters. The similar gameplay it touches upon is nothing in comparison to its ultimate act of terror it is out to concede with. There is no comfort to be found in The Last of Us Part II, as there is no comfort to be found in a divided world of hate. Only those looking to confront the truth of reality and look for a hopeful future will find meaning in this sequel whose reception is only demonstrative of its core ideology.

Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royale PlayStation 4

Take it from someone who is personally not a fan of Japanese role-playing games- Persona 5 Royal might be one of the most brilliant and unexpected surprises you can play only on PlayStation 4. From its stylistic choices of a noir-inspired minimalistic presentation to its phenomenal miniaturized stories that all eventually click together, there is no other RPG comparable to Atlus’s fifth numbered outing in this franchise. The Phantom Thieves may have left an incredible landing upon their first heist, but the upgraded Royale version of the title is truly the definitive way to play through Joker and the gang’s mysterious mind-bending adventures through Shibuya as it adds even more of that delectable story to an already extensive in-game school year. Despite its mature rating, while young-adults will definitely appreciate its daring encounters with difficult subjects, it is likely a title that teenage audiences will be able to resonate the most with,.

Horizon Zero Dawn

After years of work articulating some of PlayStation’s breakthrough first-person action titles, Guerilla Games converted to a behind the shoulder perspective. Their goal was to create a world that blended the stone ages and future together in one preternatural world. Years of brooding through the Killzone series only brought this studio to their marksman shot. Horizon Zero Dawn is an odd one out action joyride littered with jaw-dropping spectacle and scale. It is the best of both worlds as its focal point lies on gameplay, yet it manages to continually impress players with its mysterious overarching narrative. It’s as if someone took The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and mashed it together with a futuristic Monster Hunter. On top of all that, it would be an absolute disservice to the title to not mention the fact that its brilliant protagonist Aloy stands as one of gaming’s most superlative female leads.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Marvel's Spider-Man PlayStation 4

Over the years, Marvel has always had a struggle licensing out their characters to create titles on par with DC Comics’ critically acclaimed Batman Arkham series. As the pop-culture titan has ripped their way through the box office elites, they have always seemed to struggle in adapting their characters to other moving mediums. After years of mixed attempts creating games featuring Queen’s most popular wall-crawler, of course, leave it to Sony’s own studio Insomniac to finally perfect the Spider-Man formula. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a marvelous piece of comic book-inspired material. Insomniac has paid attention to their previous failures and successes as they have swung their way to another victory. Marvel’s Spider-Man manages to deeply respect its lore while giving players exactly what they would want in a game spotlighting the web-heads city that never sleeps. It does not matter if you are an avid comic book reader or just a fan of the movies because this is the Spider-Man that will make you want to be greater.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

PlayStation 4 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Naughty Dog’s monumental conclusion to Nathan Drake’s saga is Uncharted’s finest entry to many critics and fans. There is no need for a theatrical adaptation of this series because Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the definitive title to fill the void of both players who yearn for a cinematic experience on par with Hollywood’s greatest and watchers going through backseat gamer syndrome. As if the previous entries did not do enough in forging the status quo of what a cinematic game should strive to be, A Thief’s End constantly ramps up the stakes while thriving off a compelling narrative and loveable cast of new and pre-established characters. Its addictive online modes can only be considered the cherry-on-top of what could quite possibly be PlayStation’s most recognizable franchise to date. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End showcases everything that PlayStation’s first-party studios are truly capable of.

God of War

God of War PlayStation 4

God of War is this generation’s breathtaking masterpiece that redefined what its original counterparts set out to be. It is an action game capable of claiming the title of one of history’s most well-written fantasy tales as it aims to tell a heart-warming father and son dynamic portrayed by the struggles of Kratos and Atreus. Deep inside of all the intense blood-curling action and the constant rising climax of events is a theme only those who see the adventure through till its credits roll can understand. God of War is not just a standard action game out to satisfy players through exhilarating combat and massive-scale battles while treading the line of a hero’s journey. It is a genuinely complex form of art that will be interpreted from dozens of perspectives for years to come. Its effort to form coherent and tear-worthy character arcs through a combination of Norse and Greek mythology is commendable. Players can only begin to imagine how the PlayStation 5’s boost in power will continue to accelerate Sony Interactive Entertainment’s proudest achievement yet.

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