The Games That Define a Generation: PlayStation 4

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| June 1, 2023

Do you want a PC, but you cannot afford parts to build one? Do you want a VR experience without breaking the bank? And do you love exclusive titles?! Sony has you covered with the PlayStation 4!

From the console’s inception in 2013, the PlayStation 4 blazed the trail like its predecessors, with more processing power to bring even better graphics to the PlayStation family. Also, the controller received a massive overhaul with the DualShock 4, as a touchpad is included to add more interactivity to games, along with motion controls from the DualShock 3. They even dabbled in the world of VR with the PSVR and created new immersive experiences on compatible titles. And yes, you can play used games on a physical disc!

During the life cycle of the PlayStation 4, the library did not slouch either. A Lovecraftian nightmare, a choose-your-own adventure game with all the hard consequences, and Nolan North are part of the list of games that define this console generation as picked by the contributors of the Couch Soup community.

Bloodborne (2015)

The unknown protagonist wielding their trusty cleaver and pistol in Bloodborne (Source: PCgamesN)

The team at From Software did not hold back on this title. Set in the world of Yharnam, players take control of an unknown character. The world is ravaged by a disease resulting from the use of blood ministration originally meant to heal afflictions. Much like their Souls counterparts, the combat is brutal and unforgiving. To remedy this, trick weapons are implemented to give more variety in combat. One mode has a faster attack speed, while the other mode emphasizes damage. Yharnam is also a world that is easy to get lost in. Despite the gloomy atmosphere, I find it calming after a few bouts of the numerous enemies littered in the game world. The bosses are just as formidable and awe-inspiring as the world itself. The first boss alone made me drop my jaw at its intricate design. For a lore junkie, the hidden meanings of certain areas found in notes or even the weapons the player wields shape the game’s story gradually. And the replayability of the game should be noted, as there are three possible endings in the base game!

God of War (2018)

Kratos shows his anger in a cutscene during God of War (2018) (source: Entertainment Weekly)

Kratos went from a brutal Greek God to a tough-loving father in this installment of the God of War franchise. Set after the events of God of War 3, Kratos settles down to a life of parenthood as he becomes a father to a son, Atreus. When Kratos’ wife died, their original plan was to spread her ashes at the highest peak of the Nine Realms of Norse mythology. When a mysterious figure with powers much like Kratos appears, the story goes from a simple scattering of ashes to an epic journey where Kratos learns to be a father.

What was interesting is how detached the gameplay mechanics are from its predecessors. Customization is the name of the game, as gear becomes tailored to suit players’ approach in combat. Though the game is brutal, it wasn’t a splatterfest like the titles before. And seeing Kratos being a father instead of a bloodthirsty warlord is a nice change of pace for this franchise!

Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection (2015)

Nathan Drake in Uncharted 3 (Source: God is a Geek)

I’ve always been a gamer. I was barely six years old when I played Duck Hunt for the first time, it was love at first sight. However, my introduction to the world of Playstation happened rather late in 2014 when my brother (yet again) bought a PS4 with the Uncharted trilogy included. I knew about Nathan Drake’s adventures, but I restricted myself from watching any gameplay on YouTube because I knew that one day my time would come. And surprise, surprise, it did. So the game(s) that defined me were these masterpieces. I was literally glued to the TV, solving puzzles, running around in the wild, and fighting the bad guys. I fell in love with these amazing story-driven games, the characters, and the world itself. Still, to this day, Uncharted has a very special place in my heart, and I honestly hope we will get even more of it. (Lily K)

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)

One of the many driving action set pieces in Uncharted 4 (Source: GamesEar)

What defined my experience playing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End? That’s a loaded question. Looking past all the most obvious answers (pirates, pirates, pirates…and did I mention  PIRATES?) and past the incredible locations, Nate’s story defined the game. Uncharted 4 is the culmination of Nathan’s character development. Without sharing spoilers, A Thief’s End is the story of deciding what matters. Nathan is torn between his love of treasure hunting and his love for the life he’s built with Elena. Who is he when there’s no treasure to unearth or glory to seize? Nathan has spent his life chasing self-worth, and in Uncharted 4 he learns he’s always been worthy. Not because of the gold and discoveries but because this man is a ride-or-die human being. And he is not only worthy but loved. (Liz Phoenix)

Detroit: Become Human (2018)

Markus is one of the playable characters in Detroit Become Human (Source: GameSpot)

When I think of PS4, I think of Detroit: Become Human. Detroit is a visually stunning game. The digital mapping of faces allowed for a fabulously accurate image of each actor. Lieutenant Anderson looks like Clancy Brown, Marcus looks like Jessie Williams etc. Beyond the visuals, the story is detailed and emotionally charged. You have to think about what kind of people you want these androids to be. Set in Detroit, Michigan, in 2038; this game follows three androids as they deal with becoming sentient. The parallels between the androids’ struggle for autonomy mirrors some of the struggles that certain races and classes have faced in our society. Reminiscent of a popular GenX series of books called Choose Your Own Adventure, this game offers 85 different endings (according to its flowchart that appears between each chapter), allowing for extremely high replay value. (Charlotte Merritt)

Thank you, Liz, Lily, and Charlotte, for contributing to the article!

What games define the PlayStation 4 that are not on this list?

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