Throughout the company’s 27 years as a console manufacturer, Sony has built up an impressive collection of fantastic first-party development studios. From Naughty Dog to Insomniac Games, there aren’t too many genres that they don’t have covered, and this has played a huge part in the PS4’s success.
Over the last decade, Sony has published some of the best games ever created and they’ve all been exclusive to PlayStation consoles. Although Microsoft seems to be making moves of its own on the exclusivity front, it’s difficult to see how the company could ever truly compete with Sony’s amazing lineup of games.
10 Marvel’s Spider-Man (87)
There have been plenty of great Spider-Man games over the years, but never before has swinging through the streets of New York ever felt quite as exhilarating as it does in Marvel’s Spider-Man. The animation is fluid and the attention to detail paid off when recreating the sprawling metropolis that is Manhattan.
Superhero games can have a tendency to be very hit or miss, but there’s very little about this game that doesn’t meet its mark. Combat is incredibly varied, the visuals are stunning and the voice acting exceeds expectations in every possible way. When it comes to superhero games, this is now the gold standard.
9 Horizon: Zero Dawn (89)
Work on Horizon: Zero Dawn began in 2011 following the completion of Killzone 3. It was Guerrilla Games’ first foray into the world of action RPGs, although the game’s quality would perhaps suggest otherwise. It may have taken almost six years for the development team to fully realize their ambitious ideas, but the end result was definitely worth the wait.
Video games set in a post-apocalyptic future are a dime a dozen these days, but it’s rare to see one that’s as committed to its setting as this. The development team even went as far as consulting with anthropologists in order to accurately depict the planet’s decay over the course of a thousand years, and it’s this kind of meticulousness that makes the game feel so authentic.
8 Dreams (89)
The idea behind Dreams might seem like a novel one at first, but the creative freedom that the game allows its players is really quite remarkable. It certainly has its limitations, but as an accessible tool for helping to bring new ideas to life, it really is second to none.
The game provides a wide variety of tools and models with which players can create new content and using them all is surprisingly intuitive. That’s not to say that players won’t need to consult the game’s many tutorials from time to time, but it’s certainly not a game that requires too much mental acuity to enjoy.
7 Astro Bot: Rescue Mission (90)
Sony’s hunt for a Mario-like mascot has seen them try out a number of candidates over the years. Lara and Crash each tried their hand at being the face of the PlayStation back in the nineties while Nathan Drake and Kratos each featured heavily in the years that followed. Recently, however, it feels like the Japanese company has been grooming Astro for the role.
Having first appeared in The Playroom back in 2013, this cute little robot has gone on to feature in several other explorative games. Most recently, players saw him in Astro’s Playroom for the PS5, but his standout title is undoubtedly 2018’s Astro Bot: Rescue Mission. It’s picked up several Game of the Year awards and does a fantastic job of showcasing the potential of PS VR.
6 Shadow Of The Colossus (91)
Despite taking place in such a bleak and desolate world, there’s something incredibly endearing about Shadow of the Colossus. The distinct lack of NPCs and the barren, empty landscapes that players must traverse help to capture the loneliness of the game’s protagonist, Wander, which in turn makes him an incredibly relatable character.
It’s through this relatability that players become so invested in his story and ultimately what makes the game’s conclusion so hard-hitting. This is backed up by some wonderful boss battles and a soundtrack that manages to hit all the right notes. It may not have aged too well visually, but the 2018 remake at least brings it a lot closer to modern day standards.
5 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (92)
Although not quite up to the same standard as the series’ fantastic second entry, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is still an exceptional game that delivers another great adventure in true Uncharted style. The Middle Eastern locations visited throughout the game are all incredibly well designed and the puzzles and problem-solving elements are just as strong as ever.
There’s perhaps an argument to be made that Naughty Dog changed too much too quickly, but, aside from the new aiming system, it’s hard to single out any one alteration that didn’t improve the experience in some way, shape or form. Sales weren’t negatively affected by the changes either, with the game going on to sell more than six million copies.
4 The Last Of Us Part II (93)
The Last of Us Part II‘s subversive narrative may not have been to everyone’s liking, but it clearly wasn’t a deal-breaker for many of the game’s reviewers. It recently became the most critically acclaimed video game of all time after being awarded its 261st Game of the Year award and its 93 rating on Metacritic isn’t too shabby either. Of course, the 5.7 user score does paint a slightly different picture.
Regardless of one’s views on the game’s story, however, it’s hard not to be impressed by its stunning visuals and the fantastic voice acting performances throughout. It’s easy to see why it took so long for the game to finally see the light of day and – considering its critical and commercial success – it’s difficult to argue that it wasn’t time well spent on Naughty Dog’s part. Well. Apart from the crunch, that is.
3 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (93)
That Nathan Drake’s adventuring days may now be behind him is incredibly disappointing, but there’s definitely some consolation to be found in the knowledge that he was given a near perfect send off. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a truly wonderful game and one of the very best to ever grace the PlayStation 4.
Unlike its predecessor, the changes made to the series’ combat system worked incredibly well and everything looks fantastic. The writing is as strong as ever too; both in terms of the dialogue and the narrative. What really makes the game stand out though are its many high octane set-piece moments which are sure to keep players on the edges of their seats.
2 God Of War (94)
Although he can be a little annoying at first, the introduction of Atreus to the God of War series was a stroke of genius. As well as opening up new combat and gameplay mechanics, he also serves as a tool with which the game’s writers were able to further develop Kratos’ character. It’s perhaps this new side to Kratos that makes God of War such an enjoyable game.
Combat has also been revamped and the game squeezes every drop of power out of the PlayStation 4 in order to render its beautiful world. The transition from Greek to Norse mythology also works incredibly well and helps to set things up perfectly for a sequel. With Ragnarok expected to arrive later this year, the future looks bright indeed for this long-running franchise.
1 The Last Of Us (95)
Sony had a very fruitful relationship with Naughty Dog long before it acquired the developer back in 2001. Since then, however, the studio has gone from strength to strength. Precise platformers like Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Dexter have made way for a new breed of narrative-driven adventure games which has completely changed the way that many people think about gaming.
The Last of Us released for the PS3 in 2013 and became an instant hit thanks to its harrowing story and the beautifully rendered graphics that helped bring it to life. The developing relationship between Ellie and Joel serves as the perfect vehicle with which to explore the game’s post-apocalyptic world while the game’s cinematic qualities can at times make it feel more like an interactive movie than merely a game.