The Best PS4 Exclusives, All 35 Major Titles Ranked
It’s time to count down the best PS4 exclusives, ranking each major title in order according to how we think they line up. This is an article that’s bound to divide opinion, so strap in and let us know what you think in the comments below.
If you’re looking for some more detailed comparison between the PS4’s best and most popular exclusives, check out our comparison of Spider-Man vs. God of War, or Spider-Man vs. Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Elsewhere, we’ve ranked our top 30 best PS4 games, including third-party titles; and if you’re a fan of couch co-op, we’ve got a list for you too. Now, onto the best PS4 exclusives ranking!
Editor’s note: This list includes games that are found on PC, but are at least console or platform exclusive to PS4. Please enjoy this list of best PS4 exclusives.
Drawn to Death
From the first moment we saw Drawn to Death, its unique art style and premise had us super intrigued. In the end, though, the mediocre third-person shooting mechanics and technical didn’t quite do enough to elevate this title beyond a novelty. Still, it does just enough to rank on our list of best PS4 exclusives.
A PlayLink game that’s actually worth trying, Hidden Agenda succeeds as an interactive movie experience on the merit of its nail-biting story. In this crime thriller, players are in charge of piecing together the story, and there’s even a competitive mode for parties. It’s a shame that technical issues and a lack of replay value (for the main story) slightly detract from the overall experience.
Shadow of the Beast
A remake of an Amiga classic, Shadow of the Beast has one foot in the old school but somehow makes everything feel fresh. It takes the side scrolling-design and melee combat of the original and spins in clever mechanics that add new depth to the experience. The presentation is also top-notch, with vibrant visuals and a cool kill-camera that makes each dismemberment super satisfying.
A PS4 launch title, Knack was the brainchild of Mark Cerny, the talented architect behind the entire PS4 console. It was a game that promise inventive platforming mechanics and stylish visuals, but only really ended up delivering the latter. Knack is just ok, and nothing more –an entertaining enough weekend romp without the substance or class to elevate it to the special title it looked at one stage as though it might be.
The Order 1886
The Order 1886 made a big splash when it was first teased for the PS4 thanks to its superb graphics. In fact, it might still be one of the best-looking games on the system.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much substance beyond that pretty aesthetic. It’s such a shame, too, because The Order 1886 had so much potential. It boasted a world, story, and lore that deserved so much more than the bland cover-shooter we ended up with. Here’s hoping the IP isn’t dead forever.
Until then, though, The Order 1886 has to go down as a huge example of a missed opportunity.
Bound is a game that transports you. It’s a tranquil, relaxing experience which is as much about soaking in the beauty of its setting and serenity of its ambiance as it as about actually playing it. In Bound, you’re a ballerina who dances her way over obstacles and enemies, moving graciously from point to point.
If you’re looking for depth of gameplay or heart-stopping action, this isn’t it. Still, Bound is well worth trying if you can pick it up at sale price.
Mark Cerny wasn’t prepared to let Knack end on a low, so despite absolutely nobody asking for a sequel, that’s what we got. And do you know what? It turned out alright. Knack 2 adds the depth of gameplay and a new level of polish that was missing from the first. Importantly, co-operative play is significantly improved, and it’s now probably the best way to experience Knack. We still wanted more from the characters and story, though.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
Previously an arcade-only title in Japan, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT finally made its way over to PS4 last year. This is a unique fighting experience that blends action-RPG combat to drama and intensity of anime-style Final Fantasy battles.
Don’t be fooled by its flashy, cinematic combat, though, because Dissidia has a very steep learning curve that takes plenty of time to adjust to. Elsewhere, the narrative is disappointingly dull for a game with so many iconic characters. And in the end, it’s a lack of content that really lets Dissidia Final Fantasy NT down.
Killzone Shadowfall came out so long ago that it’s easy to forget the series ever made its debut on PS4. That would be a shame, too, because this is a title that’s well worth playing. It’s often –unfairly if you ask us– remembered as a tech-demo launch title for the PS4, but there’s actually plenty of solid gameplay and an interesting enough story to enjoy here.
Sure, Shadowfall isn’t anything more than above average, but if you like shooters and dig the sci-fi/cyberpunk genre, you’ll enjoy this one.
In a break from its typical isometric arcade-style shoot em’ ups, developer Housemarque created Matterfall. This side-scrolling shooter actually blends platforming with the same shmup gameplay of its previous games, and the result is a super entertaining gameplay experience. It’s typically stylish and boasts a super production value, too.
We love how Everybody’s Golf marries a whimsical aesthetic to arcade controls to turn golf into an accessible package. There’s no frustrating tee shots or agonizing putting misses here –just addictive gameplay and loads of content to sink your ball into. There’s a robust online mode, daily challanges, and a free-roaming open world aspect to gameplay that all add substance without spoiling what we’ve come to love from the series.
Although it was once the king of its genre, Gran Turismo no longer feels like the genre-leader it once way. GT Sport marks an important evolution for the series, moving away from its conventional design for a more competitive-focused experience that puts multiplayer at its core. The transition hasn’t been universally well-received among fans, and both a lack of content next to rival games didn’t sit well with critics either.
In the end, GT Sport gets online racing right, but it fails to provide a complete enough package to warrant choosing it over titles such as Drive Club or Forza.
Infamous First Light
The standalone expansion to Second Son, First Light details the backstory of the main games’ best character, Abigail. The narrative isn’t really the draw here, though. Just as in Second Son, it’s the awesome gameplay that makes First Light a must-play. Both traversal and combat are a joy in this third-person superhero game, and the arena mode of First Light doubles down on that.
There’s not quite enough content here to see this expansion move any further up the list, but it absolutely has our seal of approval and what we consider in the mix for the best PS4 exclusives.
InFamous Second Son
Second Son gets the nod over the standalone expansion simply the for amount of content and greater depth of its story. Ironically, Delsin’s character isn’t actually as compelling as Abigail, but her story lacks the gravity and scale of the main game. Second Son was lauded for its visuals at launch, which was originally supposed to coincide with the PS4’s release. It ended up debuting a little later but it’s still an old game at this point, though it certainly doesn’t look it.
Just as said for First Light, Second Son really shines when it comes to gameplay, which makes traversal and combat a total joy.Overall, Second Son is a great game, held back by a bland story and characters that didn’t match the quality of the previous PS3 games. Still, we consider it one the best PS4 exclusives.
The follow-up to Housemarque’s smash-hit Dead Nation, Alienation continues the studios’ slick shooting mechanics but dials the action up even more. Elsewhere, progression mechanics and an emphasis on finding and upgrading weapons had us invested in the action longer. The visuals also impress, with vibrant splashes of color giving an otherworldly feel to its location.
The lack of co-op play hurts the experience somewhat, though. In the end, Alienation feels like a great iteration rather than something truly special.
Gravity Rush 2
Gravity Rush was one of the PS Vita’s best first-party games, and its sequel brought the action to the PS4. It builds on the original’s quirky gravity-based gameplay, and the unique art style looks even more vibrant running on more powerful hardware.
The combat mechanics and traversal don’t always come together perfectly, but in its best moments it’s a total blast to play. There’s also a decent story to enjoy here and some memorable characters that’ll keep you pushing through any temporary frustration with its gameplay.
Detroit Become Human
Detroit Become Human tells a powerful narrative, brought to life with some of the most photo-realistic graphics you’ll find on PS4. The moving tale of sentient androids fighting against the oppression of their human masters twists and turns throughout scenes of both pulsing action and poignant reflection.
This is another adventure game that won’t feature enough gameplay for everyone, but in terms of what sets out to achieve, it’s up there with the best of its genre and one of the best PS4 exclusives.
Until Dawn takes the crown as the PS4’s definitive adventure game and one of the best PS4 exclusives. There’s all the slick production value and Hollywood actors of a Quantic Dream title, but here its woven into more entertaining package.
Here, players get to make the “correct” decisions that the screaming teenagers of nearly every slasher movie ever seem to get wrong. But unlike the movies, the story here is actually really compelling and it’ll keep you guessing right until the end.
In particular, the “butterfly” choice/consequence system is really impressive in Until Dawn, and there’s a stack of different endings that add replay value.
Uncharted Lost Legacy
Chloe and Nadine’s separate adventure is the first Uncharted not to feature Nathan Drake, but it’s no less exciting as a result. Using the sublime engine from Uncharted 4, it looks every bit as a beautiful, too.
There’s not much to dislike here, save for a slightly short main story and the repetition of a few too many gameplay mechanics from Uncharted 4. Still, you can’t go wrong with this highly polished package. It has the lineage of a series well-known for excellent production values, terrific storytelling, and exciting gameplay –and Lost Legacy certainly ticks those boxes. It’s up there with the best PS4 exclusives.
Street Fighter V
Improving on what was a pretty near-perfect game in Street Fighter IV was no easy task, and Capcom certainly did itself no favors launching its sequel with hardly any content at all. The switch to a “game as a service” style model didn’t go down well with fans at all.
Thankfully, slowly but surely, the content trickled in, and years later, Street Fighter V is the complete experience it should have always been. In fact, it’s arguably the best fighting game on the entire platform. It’s easy to see why the game continues to be hugely popular in esports and why we consider it among the best PS4 exclusives.
Resogun encapsulates everything we love about Housemarque games, It’s fast, exciting, addictive as hell, and looks utterly stunning on PS4. Somehow, the developer took an ancient genre and breathed new life into it, making it relevant versus a market full of huge open world adventures and AAA military shooters.
It’s hard to think of any negatives, save for some slightly too easy boss fights. Overall, though, you can’t go wrong with Resogun –it’s one of the best PS4 exclusives.
The Last Guardian
After years in a vacuum, having seemingly disappeared forever, The Last Guardian made its triumphant return to the spotlight at E3 2015. Yet more delays followed until we finally got to ride on Trico’s big fluffy back, and it was definitely worth the wait.
Sure, the antiquated controls and occasionally wonky frame rate sometimes broke our immersion, and Trico can be one stubborn bird-dog at times, but this is a special, unique gaming experience that’s worth enduring until the end.
There’s just nothing else quite like The Last Guardian, and we’d take a bold, inventive experience that’s a little rough around the edges over something generic and polished any day.
Nex Machina is a sublime mashup of intense twin-stick shooter gameplay, eye-popping visuals, and headbanging music. It’s a frantic, no holds barred arcade shooter with punishing difficulty that somehow urges you to keep playing, chasing that high-score and executing each level as perfectly as possible.
It’s the developers final hoorah for the genre, but some niggles with the progression mechanics hold it back from becoming its greatest work.
Yakuza 6 presents one of the most compelling game worlds we’ve ever played. The quirky, exciting, and often stunning Japanese cities had us totally immersed throughout our playthrough. The story and characters that bring it to life are equally superb, and it’s a fitting end to the Kiryu saga.
As for gameplay, it doesn’t quite move things forward as much as we would have liked, and the combat is rather simplified from previous versions. That makes the experience nice and accessible but sometimes repetitive. Still, clever writing, a brilliant setting, and a great story make up for its shortcomings.
Ratchet and Clank
Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank somewhat took us by surprise when it released back in 2016. Price at $40 and launched without a tremendous amount of a marketing push, the remake completely blew our expecations out of the water. This is absolutely one of the best platforming games ever to grace a PlayStation console.
Shadow of the Colossus
Even though Shadow of the Colossus os PS4 is a like-for-like remake of the original PS2 game, it’s such a triumph that we couldn’t possibly not include it.
Make no mistake, despite its age, this is an experience that still holds up today. Yes, there are still some clunky control and camera issues, but the magic of Fumita Ueda’s iconic game is still every bit present. Like The Last Guardian, it’s a special sort of artistic experience with an awe-inspiring setting.
There’s a sense of scale, both because of the enormous enemy colosai and the breathtaking open world environment. It’s also absolutely one of the best-looking games of all time.
Shadow of the Colossus is required reading for all video game enthusiasts.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just another cookie-cutter Souls-like. Nioh is absolutely one of the best PS4 exclusives out there. Sure, there are elements lifted from that iconic series, but Nioh injects plenty of its own unique gameplay to make it stand apart. Its a faster, often more brutal experience that demands sharp reactions, as well as careful strategy, thanks to the range of different fighting and weapon styles. There’s plenty of replayability, too, thanks to co-op and special Twilight missions.
It’s only some slightly bland level design and an underwhelming story that prevent this from pushing deeper into our top 10.
Ni No Kuni 2
Ni No Kuni 2 had a lot to live up to after its predecessor’s immense critical success. So instead of trying to copy the same blueprint with a direct sequel, developer Level 5 took some massive risks to make the second game its own unique and equally brilliant experience. They succeeded.
There are so many layers Ni No Kuni 2’s gameplay, from the awesome battle system and skirmishes to the addictive kingdom building. And its story, while not quite reaching the highpoints of its predecessor, is still every bit as charming.
Aside from some minor gripes with its easy difficulty (which has since been fixed) and some repetitive side quests, Ni No Kuni 2 stands as an example of why developers should always seek to innovate and experiment with news mechanics rather than rely on tried and tested designs. It was a sequel well worth the wait. It’s absolutely deserved of a spot in our top 10 best PS4 exclusives, and we can’t wait to see what Level 5 do next.
God of War
The dramatic return of Kratos marked a huge change of pace for the God of War franchise, and it’s easily one of the best PS4 exclusives. Chaotic hack and slash combat was replaced by a more measured, action-RPG focus. But the biggest change was the introduction of a poignant narrative, and a totally new Norse setting. It was exactly what was needed to thrust God of War back into the spotlight and modernize the design into a package that stands against the best games of this console generation.
The graphics and production quality of God of War are practically unrivaled, and we loved the added exploration thanks to the grander scale of its environments.
But it doesn’t quite do enough to top our best PS4 exclusives ranking. For us, the story and characters were a huge improvement but still ultimately not on part with a Naughty Dog game. The final twist was intruiging enough, but the story left out so many great opportunities to introduce new antagonists in favor of a sequel tee-up. Elsewhere, the progression system often felt cluttered, and the side quests, while adding content, weren’t especially memorable.
God of War is a fantastic game, but there were too many niggles to make this a console-defining exclusive.
A new standard for licensed games, Spider-Man on PS4 is everything we could have wanted from a superhero video game. Super traversal mechanics, cinematic combat, brilliant acting performances, and a production value that rivals the platform’s most visually impressive games.
Insomniac Games’ decision not to go with an origins story for Spider-Man was a brilliant one and a refreshing change of pace from what we’ve come to expect from superhero stories in other mediums. His rivals were wonderfully worked into the narrative, which kept a breathtaking pace throughout. We also loved the ability to play as Miles Morales and MJ, too, who were great characters themselves.
Our only complaints would be some monotony in the sometimes tropey open world design, and what by the end of the game feels like one-dimensional combat. But other than that, Spider-Man and its New York setting are a triumph, which it easily makes it a top 5 in our list of best PS4 exclusives.
Persona 5 is a different sort of RPG experience, and it’s certainly among the best PS4 exclusives. Dungeon crawling a strange realm by night, eating ramen and hanging out with friends by day, it’s completely unique –the sort of game you think you have no interest in and then find yourself playing until 4 am because you just can’t put it down.
Beyond the captivating story and excellent characters, though, there’s a fantastic turn-based battle system that proves action-RPGs aren’t the be all and end all of the genre’s future. The Persona series has found a way to make it exciting and fresh, and you can say the same for virtually every facet of the experience.
The story is off the wall and unique, the progression system is innovative, and it somehow feels more polished than virtually any game we think of without having AAA graphics and famous voice actors.
Persona 5 is stylish, charming, and memorable. It sets a gold standard for Japanese RPGs.
FromSoftware’s best Souls game isn’t a Souls game –it’s Bloodborne. It’s certainly one of the best PS4 exclusives. Without a doubt, the studios most accomplished package, Bloodborne is a triumph of level design, graphical detail, and superb combat.
In a break from the medieval design of their previous games, the Victorian, gothic-inspired setting of Bloodborne is rich with atmosphere. It’s terrifying but often beautiful, with its stunning vistas and striking architecture hiding all manner of creatures that want to kill you again and again and again.
The extreme difficulty will be off-putting to some, and there’s a case to be made that it doesn’t do enough to help newcomers settle into the experience. But you could also argue that would sully what it sets out to achieve. It seeks to test you, to make you uncomfortable, and reward with a sense of gratification that urges you to keep battling forward and push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of.
We can’t get enough of it, clearly.
Horizon Zero Dawn
And so we’ve arrived at what Twinfinite considers the best of the best PS4 exclusives yet to grace the platform: Horizon Zero Dawn.
What a superb game this is, from its remarkable and inventive narrative premise to the design and execution of its striking environment. It’s open world near-perfection from a studio that used to make linear shooters. Who would have thought?
Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that does a lot of things very well. It hones the open world blueprint to a fine art and offers a point of difference from other games in its genre across nearly every facet of its design. It plays in a unique way as a result by nature of its unusual enemies; the setting is unlike any other game, and its story is just so exciting.
Indeed, perhaps its greatest achievement is that it tells a cohesive and exciting narrative that never loses pace as a result of a sandbox design. You’re always moving forward, desperately trying to understand how the world came to an end, and where it goes next. It poses interesting questions to the player, and it’s impossible not feel an urge to discover its mystery.
Like many of the top contenders on this list, Horizon Zero Dawn’s quality of production is top-notch. It’s a blockbuster for the ages. But it edges out other experiences as a result of offering us something unique and special that we’ve never seen before and would never have ever dreamt up ourselves. Buy the game here.
Editor's note: This list includes games that are console exclusive only.
Alex has a BA in Political Science and English Writing, but he's also a self-proclaimed history and meteorological expert. He loves cyberpunk and fantasy, and RPGs are kind of his thing too.