Developer: Clap Hanz, SIE Japan Studio Publisher: SIE Release date: 2017
As well as teaching me that I really struggle to type golf instead of gold, Everybody’s Golf is a fun introduction to golf for people of all ages that doesn’t ever take itself too seriously. It’s a leisurely ride through pick up and play gameplay that probably won’t convert people into golf fanatics but does a good job of getting the family swinging (not in that way) all the same.
“Ultimately, Everybody’s Golf is the same charming and rewarding golf experience it always has been, with enough simplicity to cater for beginners and enough depth for players who decide to master the game. Whilst the single player Tour Mode has a lot offer, the online options need bolstering further if the game is to truly succeed.”
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions Publisher: SIE Release date: 2014
A perfectly decent standalone game related to Infamous Second Son (more on that one later), First Light is a superpowered open-world action game with a likeable heroine. It takes the basic template from Second Son with a fraction of the powers available, limiting you to just Fetch’s.
It’s about as long as you would expect a spin-off to be as you can speed through it in about six hours. There’s plenty of collectables to hunt down for Platinum trophy hunters, which is also pretty straightforward to accomplish. If you’re a fan of the Infamous series and want the full experience, don’t discredit First Light.
Developer: Housemarque Publisher: SIE Release date: 2017
The second game from Housemarque in 2017 in quick succession, Matterfall didn’t exactly capture the imagination quite like the earlier Nex Machina did, or any other Housemarque game for that matter. Whether it was because they were trying to do too much at once or not is neither here nor there, but Matterfall still retains hints of the Housemarque magic.
A side-scroller with a heavy retro aesthetic, Matterfall’s brand of throwback charm doesn’t always charm as it much it should, though there’s plenty enough here to tide you over for a few hours. Don’t expect the universe of this sci-fi distraction and you could walk away from it relatively impressed. Shame that Housemarque are abandoning arcade games altogether, really.
22. Killzone Shadow Fall
Developer: Guerrilla Games Publisher: SIE Release date: 2013
Launch titles seem to be always doomed to obscurity once a console is fully established. Admit it, you forgot that Killzone Shadow Fall even existed, didn’t you? So did I. It’s a great game that was never quite good enough to lead the charge for Sony’s newest console, but it still has some hooks to enthuse FPS lovers.
Adding in a lot of sometimes awkward functionality with the Dualshock 4 (still one of the only games to try do something interesting with the controller), Shadow Fall had more than competent gameplay and beautiful graphics to negate its underwhelming story. It’s just unfortunate that so many were still struggling to decide if they could make the console leap. I’d really be up for a new Killzone game.
21. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
Developer: Team Ninja Publisher: Square Enix Release date: 2018
There have been so many spin-offs and side-distractions in the Final Fantasy franchise that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all. Dissidia, one of the PSP’s brightest lights, went onto become a cult classic but never really a system-shifter. So when it was revealed that Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, an updated sequel that was previously only available in arcades, it was quite the surprise.
NT, despite often being a little overwhelming, was worth the wait, a spellbindingly frenentic game where Final Fantasty’s biggest names would kick the chocobo out of each other. It’s confusing to begin with, but if you can keep up with the madness of 3-on-3 combat and all of the things going on at once, it’s one of the most unique and worthwhile fighting games out there.
“Dissidia was a unique experience for me. What they gave in one hand they were not afraid to taketh away in the other, only what they took away was small and it didn’t completely ruin my experience. Fans of the PSP games will get a tremendous kick out of this and while newer fans may find the control scheme a little daunting to grasp with, they will get into the swing of things very easily.”
20. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise*
Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega Release date: 2018
Ever played a Yakuza game and felt like there was about 100% too little in the way of exploding heads? Say hello to Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, which combines the classic and beloved ultraviolence of the anime with the stylings of Sega’s beloved flagship open world series. It’s about as bonkers as you would expect.
Featuring combat that is beyond making any logical sense and plenty of quirky humour, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise revels in its absurdities and creates something that’s sure to appeal to series fans and newcomers. It has a brand new storyline set in the Fist of the North Star universe, so this many be the perfect introduction to those new to the Church of Kenshiro.
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions Publisher: SIE Release date: 2014
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: 2014
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: Ryu ga Gotoku Studio Publisher: SEGA Release date: 2019
The old saying of “if it ain’t broke, change the gangsters for private detectives and make it every bit as weird” certainly applies for Judgment. While those who have travelled to Kamurocho many times before in the Yakuza games might initially find themselves disappointing not to be travelling somewhere new, Judgment’s slight reimagining pays off for it — even if we do and always will miss Kazuma.
You play as Yakayuki Yagamai, a former lawyer turned private detective who is just as punchy as Kazuma, as he gets swept up in a gritty noir following murders in the criminal underworld. The story is great, but it’s the veritable Ryu ga Gotoku Studio madness you’re here for. Tuck into some great minigames, take a few selfies, and hunt down some suspects as you lose yourself in one more trip to Kamurocho.
“While mechanically flawed, Judgment bridges the gap between new and old Yakuza fans marvellously and points towards a confident future for a new franchise. Court adjourned.”
16. Ratchet & Clank
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: SIE Release date: 2016
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 — here’s hoping the influx of new players from it being on PlayStation Plus brings it more attention and the fully-fledged sequel we all so dearly crave.