When Sony announced the PlayStation 4 we were promised greatness. While I think we’re all still awaiting that truly next-gen, mind-blowing experience, the PS4, in its first year, has had some pretty decent games. Sure, its launch lineup might’ve been a little lackluster, and Sony’s first-party studios have slacked a bit, but there were still a few gems in the PS4’s first year.
I find it funny that one of the PS4’s best launch titles comes from a small Finnish indie developer (Housemarque). With next-gen, you expect big blockbusters, but there’s no denying Resogun stacks up well with the best of them. If anything, Housemarque set the precedent, proving that indies can also thrive alongside — and even outshine — the AAA big boys. The PS4 is home to indie developers and nothing emphasizes that more than Resogun.
The Last of Us: Remastered
I feel like this one is cheating seeing as how this was already one of the best games on the PS3. But when you take one of the best games of the last-gen, improve the visuals and frame rate, and throw in all of the DLC, it’s also going to be one of the best games on PS4 as well. The story, the gameplay, the graphics all mesh together well. While this may have originally been a PS3 experience, it’s an experience that’s even better on the PS4.
inFAMOUS: Second Son
InFamous: Second Son, for me, was the first “must-buy” game for the PlayStation 4. It was the first true “next-gen” experience, featuring fun gameplay and gorgeous visuals. The story wasn’t nearly as good as the original inFAMOUS, but this was more of a spectacle game. The powers, the city, the facial animations — it was all stunning.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
It's almost surreal that a game managed to take the Assassin's Creed formula and actually make it better, let alone a licensed game based on the Lord of the Rings franchise, which isn't known to have a repertoire of amazing games. Shadow of Mordor defied everyone's expectations by being fun, engaging and introducing some awesome mechanics like the Nemesis System. Taking down an army of Orcs systematically by eliminating various leaders or brainwashing them to side with you felt totally badass.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Much like Shadow of Mordor, Diablo III also managed to catch a lot of people off-guard by offering what was easily the most definitive edition of the game, on consoles. The controls were perfect, the co-op was great, and the amount of content outside of the five main acts, such as Adventure Mode kept us leveling way past the level cap. PC Master Race be damned, Diablo is easily best experienced on the PlayStation 4.
Honorable Mention: Destiny
This one is tough because I think gamers are legitimately split on how they feel about it. A lot of people want to like Destiny, but there’s no denying it leaves a lot to be desired. The potential is there, but Bungie must capitalize. I blame a lot of the pre-launch hype for fan disappointment, but with a 10-year plan, there’s still time for improvement. The good news is, Bungie is clearly listening to fan feedback and reacting accordingly. And think of all the things you’d be missing out on if you bought Destiny on an Xbox.