Since late 2013, Sony have been on a tear with the best PS4 exclusives that have arguably been the biggest selling point for the console.
All good things must come to an end, though, and the PlayStation 4 is now starting its retirement lap with the PlayStation 5 now out in the wild. God of War, Bloodborne and Marvel’s Spider-Man among many others have already delivered in a big way, which means that it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see where they land on this list.
Here are the best PlayStation 4 exclusives that you can’t find anywhere else. That means it can’t be on Xbox One, PC, or even the Switch – heck, no other PS system, for that matter; exclusive means exclusive. Remasters are also excluded for the sake of variety — The Last of Us Remastered unfortunately can’t make the cut for that reason. Remakes are all good, however.
Some of the other notable exclusions from our list of the best exclusives are the majority of Yakuza games (only 6 is an exclusive now anyway, though that may also come to PC at some point) and Persona 5 (also on PS3, possibly coming to Switch too).
Without further ado, here are the essential PS4 only games that you can’t find anywhere else.
18. The Last of Us Part II
Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: SIE Release date: June 19th, 2020 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
They said that The Last of Us didn’t really need a sequel, and they may have had a bit of a point.
Make no mistake, The Last of Us Part II is by no means an awful game, but it falls someway short of what the first game offered.
That’s down to the narrative and how it’s structured, which turns things into a joyless, overly long slog.
There’s very little hope in The Last of Us Part II, which, when coupled with the game’s shocking twists, can make it quite the ordeal to get through.
Still, the gameplay in general has been improved, and it’s likely the most beautiful game we will see as the PlayStation 4 edges towards the end of its life. There’s also something to be said for the insane amount of detail and love poured into it.
It’s a controversial game, but one we’d still recommend to check out for yourself.
“The Last of Us Part II discards the best aspects of its predecessor to provide a rote revenge tale that is ill-considered, ending on a note that makes everything — all the violence, all the loss, all the struggle — feel utterly, hopelessly pointless.”
17. Infamous Second Son
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions Publisher: SIE Release date: March 21st, 2014 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
Expected by many to be the PS4 game before release, Infamous Second Son never quite managed the greatness of those in the series before it, probably because its protagonist, Delsin Rowe, is an annoying dweeb.
If you can look past the melodrama and angst, Second Son is an essential game for the PlayStation 4.
Looking undeniably beautiful and handling like a charm, Second Son’s gameplay picked up where its predecessors left off, as well as adding some interesting ways to make use of the DualShock 4.
It has been sort of forgotten about now, but there’s no doubting Sucker Punch’s open world is one worth exploring if you’re yet to.
Developer: Evolution Studios Publisher: SIE Release date: October 7th, 2014 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player*
It takes something special for a racing game hater like myself to drop some serious hours into one.
Punishingly difficult yet rewarding, DriveClub is one of the best racing games on PlayStation 4 and potentially across all platforms, though there is some seriously stiff competition.
Nothing quite compares to being behind the wheel of a monstrously, superbly detailed car while you careen around the track, listening to your perfectly curated Spotify playlist.
I am no master at the game (fairly sure I have only won a handful of races), but it’s still some fantastic vehicular escapism whether you’re good at it or not.
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: SIE Release date: April 12th, 2016 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
Probably PlayStation’s most unfairly unsung mascots, Ratchet & Clank were a mainstay of the PS2 platformer but didn’t quite have the same impression during the next generation — they didn’t really seem to connect with an audience as much, for whatever reason.
Luckily, the bizarre decision to turn it into a film meant that a new generation of gamers would have the chance to experience a piece of PlayStation history.
A tie-in for the critically panned (but actually not terrible) movie, Ratchet & Clank is a re-imagining of the original game with updated visuals and more contemporary controls.
It’s a faithful rework of what made the series so special to begin with in the first place.
Developer: Pixelopus Publisher: SIE Release date: October 8th, 2019 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
Whether it’s allowing you to mold your own worlds or bring derelict towns back to life, Sony have really tried to get players to be creative this generation.
Dreams is probably the most famous example, though Concrete Genie deserves a lot of attention, too.
You play as Ash, a young boy who travels to a town filled with happy memories of his childhood but one that’s seen better days, an oil spillage unleashing darkness and leaving it almost empty.
After finding a magic paintbrush, it’s up to him to bring Denska back to its former glory, one stroke at a time.
The real stars of Concrete Genie are the eponymous genies, them following you around Denska and helping you on your mission while also being very adorable indeed. You can even customise them, something you will discover as you put four arms in the wrong place.
“Concrete Genie paints a pretty picture with innovative mechanics and a charming personality that’s hard to resist.”
13. Gran Turismo Sport
Developer: Polyphony Digital Publisher: SIE Release date: October 17th, 2017 Multiplayer/Single-player: Both
The Gran Turismo series took a more competitive turn with the release of Sport: Sony and Polyphony’s attempts to nail a corner in the racing eSports market.
Ultimately, you will get out of GT Sport what you put in, which can see you rise up the ranks online with some dedication and perseverance. For offline players, though, it may leave you wanting more.
While it may divide its playerbase into two different camps, there’s no arguing that Gran Turismo Sport offers some of the most exhilarating racing around, helped in no small part thanks to its beautiful presentation and precise controls.
Driveclub is a more arcade-y (and in some ways, more enjoyable) experience, but GT Sport offers a racing simulator that will have purists panting.
“While Gran Turismo Sport may not be the Gran Turismo some were expecting, it’s still a wholly enthralling racing game that wants to make you become a better driver along the way. The big question has to be whether it was a risk worth taking, to effectively divide its playerbase. For serious racing gamers, Gran Turismo Sport could be the perfect choice, but for those who want the ultimate offline racing experience, Sport may come up short.”
12. The Last Guardian
Developer: Team Ico Publisher: SIE Release date: December 6th, 2016 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
When The Last Guardian was first announced back in what feels like 1882, it caused quite the buzz as the new game from Team Ico, the geniuses behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
And then nothing was heard for years following huge delays. It looked dead in the water until a surprise reveal at E3 2015 showed that it was alive and well, and quite different from the early first impressions we had.
It looked like it belonged in this new generation, but how did it play? Well, it was good, but it could have been far better.
Some of its mechanics are beyond frustrating and your companion’s AI often lacking, but if you can deal with some of its antiquated aspects, there’s a beautiful story of a boy and his bird-dog waiting for you to weep over.
“What it may lack in variety (and tension, for the first half of the game) The Last Guardian provides a meditative experience that rewards patience and gifts a genuine feeling of exploration and discovery quite unlike a lot of quote unquote similar adventure games.”
11. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: SIE Release date: August 22nd, 2017 Multiplayer/Single-player: Both
A spin-off in a series that we’re going to see again later on in this list, The Lost Legacy proved that Naughty Dog don’t cut any corners.
Despite the reduced price, this is every inch the cinematic spectacle we’ve come to expect from the minds behind Uncharted and the peerless The Last of Us.
Switching protagonists for the first time in series history, TLL sees you take the role of Chloe Frazer with Nadine Ross providing back-up.
It was a gamble to make it quasi-open world, but one that certainly works in its favour, offering a sumptuously dense playground with more than enough puzzles than you can shake your head at in frustration without getting whiplash.
If this is an indication of where the series goes from here, the future looks bright indeed.
“Naughty Dog has, again, crafted a nimble little action-adventure game worthy of the Uncharted name and one of the series’ best. Chloe Frazer deserves her own full-on game down the road. Uncharted: Frazer’s Fortune, perhaps? Yes please.”
Developer: Media Molecule Publisher: SIE Release date: February 14th, 2020 Multiplayer/Single-player: Both
Even though it’s already been out of Early Access — the first time that’s happened with a PS4 exclusive game — for a while, Dreams is such a replete and resplendent game that can only get better and better as time goes on.
While the game continues to grow and expand, it looks like the only thing that will hold you back is the limits of your own imagination.
Effectively a starter kit for game development, Dreams gives you all the tools you need to make something totally new or a homage — if you managed to miss out on P.T., Dreams has you covered,
Hell, you don’t even need to make just games thanks to the games’ music production side. Basically, if you can think it, you can make it.
Look, if you’re going to remake Big Rigs but as an arena fighter within Dreams, nobody here is going to judge you.
9. Gravity Rush 2
Developer: SIE Japan Studio, Project Siren Publisher: SIE Release date: January 20th, 2017 Multiplayer/Single-player: Both
The original Gravity Rush was a fantastic game that “failed” because of the commercial limitations of the hardware it was found on.
Fastforward a few years and with Sony still forgetting that the Vita exists, Gravity Rush 2 exclusively came to PS4 early in 2017.
It does a lot of the same things as the original while also adding a few neat gameplay tweaks, but the main gimmick remains the same: being able to fly around the air like a balloon with the air going out.
Kat and Raven returned and brought with them just as much acclaim. If you’re put off by the “Japaneseness” of it all, don’t be – it’s just part of what makes it so great.
While a lot of people like to criticise Sony’s recent first-party games as feeling a bit too safe and similar, this is anything but.
8. Until Dawn
Developer: Supermassive Games Publisher: SIE Release date: August 25th, 2015 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
Its detractors might say that it isn’t much of a game, but don’t listen to them.
Until Dawn is one of the greatest horror games ever made and easily one of the best you can find on PlayStation 4 overall. An engaging storyline, ease of accessibility, and a trope-poking script make this an essential horror.
Gameplay is basic, which might dissuade some people, but it actually aids your investment in what’s going on in Supermassive Games’ intricate, insular world.
If you’re ever in the mood for a horror game that can tell as good a story as it can make you revert to the foetal position, Until Dawn should certainly be at the top of your list.
We’re kind of bending our own rules with this, but we will allow it if you do.
While Persona 5 is also available on PS3 and therefore not a PS4 exclusive, Persona 5 Royal, an updated version of the game with new content, can only be found on Sony’s latest.
The good news: if you’ve never played Persona 5 before, Royal is a brilliant entry point. Better yet, even if you have already lost much of your social life to the original, the fact there’s a new school semester, tonnes of unlockable bonus content and even a new addition to your party means it’s worth indulging 100+ hours all over again.
Following a group of schoolkids as they lead second lives as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts on their mission to steal evil from the hearts of adults, Persona 5 is just begging to become your next big obsession.
6. Shadow of the Colossus
Developer: Bluepoint Games, Team Ico (original game) Publisher: SIE Release date: February 6th, 2018 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
Previously given a small lick of paint as a remaster on PS3, Shadow of the Colossus finally received the full makeover it deserves with its remake for the PS4.
Bluepoint, who previously worked on the Uncharted remasters for the same platform, paid a lot of respect to the source material and didn’t deviate too far away from what made the original such a classic.
However, while trying to bridge a gap between old players looking for a nostalgia buzz and new players who had never had the pleasure of guiltily stabbing wondrous creatures in the brain, it did carry over a lot of the, erm, design “quirks”.
Regardless, Shadow of the Colossus may not be 2018’s biggest PS4 exclusive, but its grandeur and heartbreaking themes haven’t lost any of their sheen.
“While it may lack the initial wow factor by way of being a remake, Shadow of the Colossus on PS4 does the original justice, and then some. It cements the legacy of Team Ico’s classic while bringing a few new things to the table, creating the perfect introduction to a masterpiece in design and understated storytelling in the process.”
5. Ghost of Tsushima
Developer: Sucker Punch Publisher: SIE Release date: July 17th, 2020 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
The last big PS4 exclusive before we move into the next generation delivered exactly what many of its fans were after — brilliant samurai action with a gorgeous landscape worth sinking hours and hours into exploring each secret it has to offer.
You play as Jin Sakai, one of the last remaining samurai following the Mongol invasion of the Japanese island of Tsushima. Jin must resort to some unsavoury tactics to stand a chance against the horde. What that means for you is plenty of back-stabbing and sneaky tactics, which comes together to make one of the most effective stealth games out there.
You don’t have to play that way, though. You can challenge your enemies head-on and with honor, the game’s brilliant stand-off system never failing to make you feel incredible when you dice your way through your enemies.
Sure, some parts of Tsushima are derivative, but it doesn’t matter when its whole, including the wild action, is this enjoyable.
Developer: FromSoftware Publisher: SCE Release date: March 24th, 2015 Multiplayer/Single-player: Both
FromSoftware know how to create gruelling masterpieces and Bloodborne is certainly no exception.
Separate from the Dark Souls games with the same unmistakable formula of trial, error, and reward, Bloodborne might just be up there as the best Souls-like ever made.
A nightmarish Yharnam is yours to explore and be killed in (lots and lots) with it having a fascinating story to uncover behind its walls, nooks, and crannies. The uninitiated might struggle with the insane difficulty spikes and unconventional combat, but once Bloodborne has you, it refuses to let go.
Even when you’re visiting the same lamp for what seems like the hundredth time after yet another death, it’s irresistible and euphoric once you finally make some progress.
What makes Bloodborne so brilliant is that while it may initially appear similar to Dark Souls, they’re actually different beasts when you pick apart their bones. Bloodborne is a far more aggressive time with a Lovecraftian slant, though they both share the hallmarks of a FromSoftware game: punishing, unrelenting difficulty.
If you’re a PlayStation 4 owner and don’t have Bloodborne, I am reporting you for console negligence and abuse, especially with it previously being free on PlayStation Plus. Rumours persist of a sequel, though that’s more likely for PS5 at this point.
3. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: SIE Release date: May 10th, 2016 Multiplayer/Single-player: Both
We all knew this would place highly and rightly so.
With the PS4 nearing the end of its life, few PS4 games have been able to squeeze every drop of life out of it quite like Uncharted 4 does, its cinematic scenes dripping with visuals that will remind you why you fell in love with gaming to begin with. The set-pieces are jaw-dropping, the narrative compelling, and Nathan Drake’s dad jokes just as awful.
While not a revolution for the franchise, it’s the sheer spectacle of Uncharted 4 that makes it such a compelling play. From historical architecture to pirate havens (and all the destruction Drake brings with him), Uncharted 4 is a worldwide adventure that serves as a brilliant end to Nathan Drake’s story.
Away from all the action, the family drama bubbling in the background is just as compelling.
Don’t just take my word for it, either. It’s one of only an elite few games to get a 10/10 on Cultured Vultures with Kieran McLoone being full of praise and love for Naughty Dog’s last foray into the series:
“Once the curtains close and the credits roll, you’ll be left with a certain sense of melancholy. Yes, it’s likely that this will be the final instalment in the Uncharted series, but Naughty Dog certainly know how to end on a high, and I cannot wait to see what they start working on next.”
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: SIE Release date: September 7th, 2018 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
Marvel’s Spider-Man feels like a throwback in the best ways. Packed with content not locked behind a paywall, players can earn upgrades through just playing the game, which itself is a remarkable thing. With this release, we can finally stop looking back on Spider-Man 2 as the pinnacle of the Spidey adaptations.
“With all the freedom it gives you to web-sling through New York City and stick goons to walls, Spider-Man for PS4 is the best Spider-Story I’ve had the pleasure to experience, and even on its own is a brilliant game.”
1. God of War
Developer: Santa Monica Studio Publisher: SIE Release date: April 20th, 2018 Multiplayer/Single-player: Single-player
God of War has changed, and so has its protagonist — and all for the better, too.
Kratos’ debut on the PS4 was a long wait, but boy, was it worth it. It feels like the culmination of the series, the zenith of multiple games in a beloved franchise and the biggest example of why drastic changes aren’t always something to be worried about.
You get the sense that God of War is squeezing every drop of power out of the PS4; it’s almost staggering what the guys at Santa Monica were capable of with hardware that is over half a decade in age. It all takes place in one glorious shot, including the side quests, a movie of redemption that you’re front and center for.
With a combat system that evolves as the game progresses, a stunning sense of spectacle (especially on a PS4 Pro), and a feel of final polish that is missing from so many big games, God of War is the best PS4 exclusive there is and a testament to the power of single-player games, but it could also just prove to be the game of its generation.
It’s hard to think of any other PS4 exclusive games that might capture as many plaudits as God of War – the thing has been a phenomenon, a title that’s earned so many rave reviews from critics and gamers alike as the console’s greatest exclusive released to date, possible even to the surprise of Sony themselves.
“Gone are the combo meters and the landscapes of ancient Greece, replaced by more grounded combat and the beauty of the Norse wilds. These changes may be too jarring for some, but God of War stands as the jewel in the series and arguably the best game released on PS4 to date.”
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