The PlayStation 4 turns a decade old at the end of November and has arguably been one of my favourite ever consoles. Releasing in 2013, though I got mine in 2014 and upgraded to the PS4 Pro in 2018, the eighth generation of consoles saw the capability of video games as a medium progress leaps and bounds.
There were dozens of excellent games released on the platform during its life cycle, and so this week to commemorate a decade of the PS4 I’m looking back at my five best memories with the console.
Defeating a Thunderjaw – Horizon Zero Dawn
Battling to the death against a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex armed to the teeth with rockets and lasers will never not be as cool as that sounds. While they can represent a steep difficulty curve if you choose to take one on the first time you see it, the outstanding open world design in Horizon Zero Dawn meant you could retreat like a coward over a nearby hill if or when you found yourself overwhelmed by the beast.
Unlocking better weaponry through Aloy’s journey made the temptation to keep testing your skills against one of the most formidable enemies in the game all the sweeter, with any victory yielding an unbeatable feeling upon crushing the colossal creature.
Exploring Tsushima – Ghost of Tsushima
One of the last games to release exclusive to PS4, the ridiculously high graphical quality of Ghost of Tsushima remains outstanding to this day. I was sceptical in the build-up to release on whether the game would be able to deliver on the deep combat and stunning views promised in its gameplay trailers but, suffice to say, it surpassed expectations. I was hooked on this game from day one, and have completed three playthroughs of it across its PS4 and PS5 versions.
It’s also the first ever game which completely engrossed me in its photo mode, with dozens of pictures taken during my time with it. We have so many games releasing now that merely come close to replicating the standard we saw with this back in 2020, which to me serves to highlight just how strong the presentation was even on last gen’s hardware. A superb showcase of what the PS4 was able to do, even if it pushed the console to its limit.
Taking Over Seattle – Infamous Second Son
While it was delayed from being a PlayStation 4 launch title, a brand new Infamous game was the main reason I wanted the console. The game itself definitely suffers from some balancing and pacing issues, such as only getting the fourth power after the story had finished, but the gameplay was as ‘next-gen’ as you could wish for.
The PS4 really was working hard to keep the amount of particles on screen while also keeping the graphics shiny and frame rate as dip free as possible. The finishing moves that accompanied each power were clearly meant to showcase the console during every use, and it took longer than you’d expect for the spectacle to wear thin. Overall a tremendously fun game and a great introduction to the console, even if it launched nearly six months later.
Becoming The Best Spider-Man – Spider-Man: Miles Morales
I just couldn’t get into 2018’s base Spider-Man but decided to give Miles Morales a go as I’m a sucker for a game that gives me powers and an open world. Everything I wasn’t into the base game for, namely Peter, were suddenly fixed this time around, and thanks in part to its shorter length I completed two playthroughs back to back.
The electric (now confusingly named) ‘Venom’ powers injected the extra burst of fun into the experience that I craved, and despite the improvements made to Peter in this year’s Spider-Man 2, I will still play as Miles whenever the game allows me to choose, with a Miles Morales Displate on my living room wall.
Being Dad of the Year – God of War
The triumphant return of the Ghost of Sparta in 2018 is a moment that I expect will feature highly on many players list for best moments in the generation. The euphoric cries when a newly bearded Kratos emerges from the shadows in the 2016 E3 game reveal are a sound I will never forget, with the game delivering an intense and meticulously planned rebirth of the franchise following Kratos’ apparent demise in 2010’s God of War 3.
The sensation of arcing the Leviathan axe through a cluster of Draugr or slamming the blazing Blades of Chaos into the ground never gets tired no matter how many hours I play, and with a compelling story blended seamlessly with the experience, 2018’s God of War is a phenomenal adventure which I will still be replaying for years to come.
Those are my top five picks for the best of the PlayStation 4 generation! Let me know your favourite PS4 memory in the comments, and thanks for reading!
Written and edited by Alexx.