Sony’s PlayStation 4 is host to a lot of great games. God of War and Spider-Man round out some of my favorite games of all time. However, there are plenty of games for gamers who want a slightly slower pace, something to sit down and strategize over. This is a breakdown of some of the best games that RPG fans have to pick through.
With hundreds of hours of content crammed onto one disc. Not all of the titles on this list are standard, turn-based RPG fare. The genre has evolved since the days of the old-school Final Fantasy titles. A lot of developers are doing great work to bring fans of the genre something new to the table, and as gamers, we are better off for it. Bringing a new experience is something all developers strive to do. From war torn cities to jazz infused dungeons, here are our picks for the best RPGs available for PlayStation 4 owners.
6. Valkyria Chronicles 4
We don’t get many tactical RPG’s anymore. The incredible Disgaea and XCom franchises are about all we get anymore, but Valkyria Chronicles 4 scratched that turn based tactical RPG itch I’ve had since XCom 2 launched. This latest entry from Sega features a wonderful cast of characters, and busy city streets filled with enemies to take down.
For the uninitiated, Valkyria Chronicles 4 can be a little overwhelming. There are lots of classes and characters to utilize, along with weapon and vehicle upgrades. There’s a lot to manage, but the reward for taking the time to build the proper team pays off. My playthrough took me about 50 hours while doing a ton of side content, meaning this isn’t a small game. Expect to sink some time here while positioning troops around the battlefield.
5. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Ubisoft broke the Assassin’s Creed mold when it released Origins back in 2017. The formula had changed, and for the better. This was less about exploration and more about building up your character. The new RPG formula allowed players to have more intimate experiences with their protagonists, and for the first time, there were two!
Players chose between a male and female protagonist, uncovering their backstory as the campaign progressed. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is set in Greece, with a living world to explore and lots of people to assassinate. Large battles to take control of a region were a sight to behold with a large number of fighters killing each other. Tough legendary beasts residing in remote areas provided an additional challenge for players wanting to see everything Odyssey has to offer. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is arguably the best in the franchise, and the future is still looking bright for Ubisoft.
4. Nier: Automata
Nier: Automata is one of the weirder games on this list, and probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Hell, I liked it when it originally released far more than the writer who covered the Game of the YoRHa Edition. Nier: Automata tells its story from different perspectives, which is something really special. A lot of the playthroughs are similar, but still manage to feel different.
While not all of the environments look great, Nier: Automata is still visually impressive with great character design and fluid, rewarding, combo-based combat. While I do think parts of the game are a little overly-sexual, I didn’t find that it really detracted from the experience, and Nier: Automata’s incredibly varied content deserves at least one playthrough for RPG fans.
3. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn was the first outing from developer Guerrilla Games that wasn’t a Killzone title. Released in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn follows Aloy as she explores a post-apocalyptic world filled with robotic monsters (let’s be real, they’re robot dinosaurs), trying to discover who she is and where she comes from. Set hundreds of years in the future, Aloy finds herself stuck in the middle of a tribal war as she meets new people and uncovers the mystery of her world.
Horizon Zero Dawn was developed on the new Decima engine, and the world looks absolutely stunning. Nature has taken the Earth back, and enemies have their own personalities. HZD is easily worth players’ time, and there’s even a large DLC pack (The Frozen Wilds) for players to sink their teeth into once they’re done with the main campaign.
Anyone who has subjected themselves to the difficult Soulsborne titles should know why Bloodborne is on this list. Not only is Bloodborne one of the most difficult titles I’ve played, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. That trend continues through every Dark Souls title, as well as the recently released Sekiro. Discovering the lore of Yharnam in the dark, dismal environment is incredibly eerie.
The combat is fluid and tight, and without much in the way of a blocking system, far more rewarding (in my opinion) than defeating most of the Dark Souls bosses. It’s hard to put into words why most of the FROMSOFTWARE games are so good, but the sense of progression and accomplishment is an addictive high while slaughtering enemies.
1. Persona 5
Persona is a franchise that players hear a lot about, but don’t see a lot of entries over several years. There are spin-offs that occur occasionally like the really great Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and the rereleases like the upcoming Persona 5 Royal. However, the main core entries are few and far between.
Immediately at the outset, Persona 5 oozes style. From the menus to the musical score, Joker and his growing band of Phantom Thieves are an incredible cast of characters. I remember being on vacation when Persona 5 launched, and I spent upwards of 130 hours of that vacation playing this incredible RPG from Atlus. Great dialogue, dungeons, voice acting, and story twists make Persona 5 worthy of a spot on the shelf for any RPG fan, and is in my top five RPGs of all time.