The PlayStation 4 is quite the little console. It’s singlehandedly taken this generation by storm. While the Switch has managed to only rise in popularity, the PS4’s head start will likely keep it in the lead for the rest of time. If nothing else, Sony demolished Microsoft so soundly that the Xbox brand no longer carries the same weight it once did.
This is less due to Sony themselves and more the PS4’s stellar library. Not only is it home to several great exclusives, it’s also the definitive console to play most multi-platform titles. In terms of value, it’s the console to buy this generation. Especially for anyone looking for a good, memorable story.
10 Devil May Cry 5
DMC5’s logistics are a bit off kilter, but the story itself is quite thematically sound. It’s also surprisingly poignant, reflecting on the nature of the series quite often. Devil May Cry 5 tells a story that only gets better the more familiar someone is with the franchise. It’s a love letter to all things Devil May Cry.
A Souls-like that wears its inspiration with pride, it can be easy to overlook Nioh, but it’s actually an incredible action game. In many respects, it’s even better than most Souls games, emphasizing fast paced action while telling a very engaging story that only gets better as it goes on.
At first, Nioh seems content just taking players through some key moments in Japanese history, but it doesn’t take long for the plot to start building to so much more. By the end, the story has turned Japan into a battlefield all while layering the main character’s arc into the narrative. Is it as in-depth as most Souls stories? No, but it’s not trying to be.
8 Persona 5
Some pacing issues aside, Persona 5 has an excellent story. Not only is it culturally relevant, it’s more candid about Japanese society than most games are. Persona 5 also places a greater emphasis on plot progression, ensuring that its plot doesn’t end up as sloppy as Persona 4’s overall narrative.
Better yet, Persona 5 styles itself off Shin Megami Tensei more than Persona 3 and 4. As a result, its plot is considerably more mature, dealing with more “adult” themes. It does lean a bit too much into the standard JRPG fare near the end, but the finale is at least thematically relevant so it all ends up working either.
7 Yakuza Kiwami 2
A remake of one of the greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time, Yakuza Kiwami 2 isn’t a perfect remake by any means (far from it,) but it manages to be an incredibly told crime drama nonetheless.As a remake, key scenes are missing iconic songs that once elevated the story, but the plot itself is 1:1 more or less.
It is worth noting that Yakuza Kiwami 2 should only be played after playing both Yakuza 0 and Kiwami 1. Both are great games, the former easily one of the greatest games on the PlayStation 4, but the latter is worth playing as well, even if it isn’t nearly as good as 0 or Kiwami 2.
6 Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana
Ys has always featured well told stories, but the series’ focus has never been on the storytelling. Ys is action front and foremost with world building second. That said, the franchise has had some standout entries as far as stories go: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana being one of the best examples in recent memory.
In fact, it might actually tell the best Ys story by virtue of relegating Adol to co-protagonist. His relationship with Dana not only carries the game, but manages to give more depth to Adol, a silent protagonist. Well themed with narrative layers, Ys VIII’s story is one of Falcom’s best.
They do exist, but they’re hard to understand. Once the story is processed, however, Bloodborne turns into something far more horrific and compelling. This is a world with a stories history, but it’s going to take some effort into fully understanding. That in itself has quite a lot of value.
4 Red Dead Redemption II
The long awaited sequel to Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar decided to take fans back to the past with Red Dead Redemption II. What could have been a lazy prequel ended up being one of the greatest sequels of all time, reflecting on the original game in a rather poignant way despite taking place before it.
The Epilogue alone elevates Red Dead Redemption II to new heights, giving the game a narrative edge that few video games have. Red Dead Redemption II feels genuinely epic in scope, telling a story about redemption between two men. As far as Rockstar scripts go, it’s one of their very best.
3 Nier: Automata
Yoko Taro is a confusing writer to understand. Not in terms of prose or theming, but in regards to his intent. What is he trying to say with Drakengard’s Ending E? Why does Nier have to be wiped out of existence in Ending D of his own game? Whatever the answers may be, they’re meant to be questions worth lingering on.
2 Yakuza 0
A prequel to the Yakuza franchise as a whole, Yakuza 0 is actually an excellent starting point for anyone looking to get into the series for the first time. Both Kiwami 1 and Kiwami 2, remakes of the first two games, actively use 0 as its narrative jumping off point, giving it an added degree or relevance.
Plus, it’s just a great crime drama, better than even Kiwami 2. The character arcs are rich, the themes are clear, and the plot is fantastically paced, swapping between two point of view characters every two chapters. It makes for one of the best told stories on the PlayStation 4; but not the best.
1 Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
A remake of Odin Sphere on the PlayStation 2, Odin Sphere Leiftrasir is arguably the single greatest video game remake of all time, taking a decent if a bit choppy game and turning in into an incredible action RPG with in-depth combat. No changes were made to the story, but none needed to be: Odin Sphere’s story was already outstanding.
Operatic in nature, Odin Sphere is a layered epic told from the perspective of five playable characters, each one playable in a different point in the story’s timeline, everything ultimately culminating in a potential world ending disaster. It’s the rare video game story that manages to be classically epic in every way imaginable.