“Why PS4 and not PS5?”, you’re thinking. That’s because there aren’t enough games out on the PS5 (that are any different from how they were on the PS4) to warrant an entire list. The PlayStation 5 has been out in the market since late 2020, but it only features a handful of games built to capitalize on its hardware. More importantly, it is extremely challenging to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 console in these times, and for the foreseeable future. The PlayStation 4 however, has been around long enough to give us a list of great games that still look great, play fantastically and will likely continue to exist over on the PS5.
What do older gamers need? Something that will not make them nauseous, so most first person shooters are out. Then we need something with a great storyline, or fantastic gameplay so the entire effort is worth it. A game with ample discovery and world building, since we can’t really play games in a single go, and the game needs to have enough content to warrant the time investment. The controls need to be simple enough that you don’t have to grow extra limbs just to get through a level. While some of these games are multi-platform, they are built to be played with a controller. Most importantly, the game needs to be fun enough to warrant a return visit.
The games below are in no particular order, we recommend you start with whichever speaks to you most and then come back to this list.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Single-Player, Post-Apocalyptic, Epic Role-Playing, Action-Adventure – Whew, that’s a mouthful, so’s the game.
Horizon Zero Dawn is an RPG game set in a post-apocalyptic future where “The Faro Plague”, a rogue swarm of war machines (robot-dinosaurs) has wiped out humanity in the mid 21st century. You play as Aloy, a human raised from infancy by an outcast to survive this new harsh future. Over the course of the game, you level up your character, gather resources, craft advanced weapons as you understand the history of this world and the role you play in it. With every action, you have a choice to react with your heart, you head, or your fist – these choices do not affect the ending in any way, so feel free to react however you want to situations, no need to be polite.
The game’s engine was developed by Guerilla Games and Hideo Kojima – the creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, and Zone of Enders (for the uninitiated). Kojima also used the Decima game engine for Death Stranding.
Any console running off a Blu-Ray disc, or even a Hard Disk Drive (like the PlayStation 4) would run into frequent loading screens with a game this size, however, this game is constantly loading and unloading textures and backgrounds following the camera movement to deliver an experience devoid of loading screens.
HZD has an appealing story, and good action. The key moments are well-paced and spread evenly enough that you can take extended breaks between playthroughs and you won’t feel like you’ve missed/forgotten key characters or events in the story. If you stick to the main quest, you can expect to sink about 50 hours or so into the game. PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 5, whatever your console, this is a must-have for your game library.
2. Cyberpunk 2077
Single-Player, Futuristic Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk, Role-playing, First Person Shooter – The Cyberpunk bit was obvious
As this article is being written, the latest patch is 1.22 and it has addressed most major concerns people had with the game’s buggy release. Buggy releases should not take away from the fact that this game is representative of a living breathing city, where all interactions have some meaning. The visuals alone are breath-taking, the combat is cool, and the game is as simple, or as complex as you want to make it. Keep in mind, it is a slightly short game (if you stick to the main quest), but that’s not a bad thing. You get into it, enjoy yourself and move on. Having Keanu Reeves play a badass cyber revolutionary (or terrorist, depending on how you look at it) is a great cherry on top.
This might seem a controversial entry as it is not, as of writing this article, available for digital download off of the PlayStation Store, however physical copies are still being distributed. CD Projekt Red have been hard at work trying to reassemble the shattered remains of their reputation since the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and they have made the game far more stable than it was at initial launch. At the time of its release, Cyberpunk 2077 was buggy to the point of near unplayability, however, the bugs have mostly been ironed out since. There might still be a few faulty bits and pieces here and there, but nothing game breaking like ghost police spawning next to you even on top of inaccessible roofs (e.g. this crude video summarizing the issue)
Get it, play it, thank us later.
3. God of War
Single-player, Third-Person, Action-Adventure – Will help you brush up on your Norse Mythology
When the first God of War game came out, it felt like a game along the lines of Devil May Cry with a Greek twist, They leaned further into the mythology as the sequels came and we had the story of a Spartan Warrior turned God of War, turned serial-pantheon-killer. It was all good and fun. However, when the PlayStation 4 took us to a point where gameplay and graphics were a given, it was time for stories and plot to push games forward.
God of War (2018) came out 8 years after God of War 3. The narrative expands on this gap and tells a story of how Kratos, the Greek God of War, has somehow reached the world of Norse Mythology where he started a new life. The game starts at his wife’s death, whose ashes he and his son must scatter from the highest point in all the realms. It’s a simple premise, but it gets considerably deep. It’s action-packed, it’s fun, and all you need to know about this game is that it is definitely worth playing.
4. Read Dead Redemption 2
Single-Player + Online, Open-World exploration, Third-Person, Action-Adventure
Playfully referred to as GTA: Cowboys, or Grand Theft Horse, Read Dead Redemption 2 is a direct sequel to Red Dead Redemption released in 2010 which itself was a sequel to a PlayStation 2 title called Red Dead Revolver. The core concept is that you are a cowboy back in the old west, trying to survive.
Despite having a good one, story isn’t the driving force behind this game. The fact that you get to experience, in tremendous detail, the life and times of people in the old west is a lot of immersive fun. You don’t have to hop between quests, there’s so much to do just by traveling and visiting different towns. You can be kind and understanding, or you could be bloodthirsty, and the game adjusts accordingly.
The fact that it came out about 8 years after the last one, really shows in just how advanced it has become. The graphics are gorgeous, the landscape full of scenic vistas, and the actual gameplay is fun, engaging, and it does not let you get bored.
There is an online component to it as well, which mimics regular gameplay with the addition of other players online. You can choose to stay away from that, even though the game pushes you to experience it, you don’t really have to.
5. Ghost of Tsushima
Third-Person, Open-World, 13th Century Samuari Epic
The PlayStation 4 birthed many great titles, Ghost of Tsushima might be the culmination of all those ideas. It builds on a familiar open-world gaming experience to tell the story of Jin Sakai, a Samurai out to avenge his clan. Simple premise, but the story is great, gameplay is fun, the visuals are a work of art on their own.
Without going into too much detail on just how immersive the world is and how well crafted the game is, all we should say without spoiling anything is that this is a great game and definitely worth trying. They’re going to be pumping out sequels for decades to come.
6. Detroit Become Human
Single-Player, Third-Person, Choose your own adventure
Detroit Become Human is set in the near future where AI has become advanced enough that it can mimic actual intelligence, emotions and individuality. This game takes us through the story of 3 androids, a house maid, a law enforcer, and a ward for a rich aging painter.
The game plays like a visual novel where you are given many choices between actions for your characters, all of which branch out into varying outcomes for each characters. There are 40+ endings to this game, which will keep you engaged for many playthroughs.
7. Marvels Siderman
Single-Player, Third-Person, Open-World, Action-Adventure, Superhero Webslinging
Spiderman movies have had a fun bunch of stories to tell, the games however, have been on a tumultuous journey of their own. Each release had a few things you liked, and a few you’d absolutely abhor. However, when the original Spiderman was demoed for the PlayStation 4, it was clear that we’re finally getting the full Spidey experience. You have access to a fully populated living breathing city where, if you do nothing else, you can just swing around without getting bored.
This game’s Spiderman is Peter Parker, and there’s a sequel in which you play as Miles Morales. While you will be tempted to draw comparisons with the Arkham Trilogy, but you’ll immediately notice how this game stands out all on its own.
If you’ve young kids around the house, then that just compounds the fun.
8. Resident Evil (2017 and ahead)
Single-Player, First-Person, Survival Horror.
The Resident Evil 6 was evidence that the franchise had gotten significantly out of the developer’s hands. However, instead of doubling down on the weirdness, they took a deep breath and came back with a very powerful survival horror story in Resident Evil 7 (with the Roman VII worked into the title). The best part is that it was followed up with a remake of Resident Evil 2, which was great, and just recently we’ve been graced with Resident Evil Village (which is the 8th one). The 8th one is slightly shorter than the other 2, but us aged gamers can appreciate a simple, to-the-point story.
It does not hurt the situation one bit the fact that one of Resident Evil Village’s antagonists is one Lady Dimitrescu. We’ll let you google her and form your own opinion.
So, if you are interested in Survival Horror games, then you need to get your hands on whichever Resident Evil (if not all three mentioned above) you can find.
9. Witcher 3
Single Player, third person, high-fantasy, open-world, action-adventure epic.
It is arguably one of the best games of all time. Despite that, it is listed towards the end of this list simply because of its age. It is almost 6 years old now, and has been discussed to death by just about everyone. However, if you are new to console gaming, then ours can be one more recommendation for this title.
Set in a fictitious world where magic and mythology are real, the game puts us in the shoes of Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher (demon hunter for hire). Despite there being a looming world-ending threat, as well as all out war between powerful armies, the story is centered around Geralt and two quests very personal to him. Even though Geralt ends up playing a role in all these events, it is only because they revolve around people he loves. Honestly, that is quite a challenging balance to achieve for any work of fiction. Being that it is an RPG, your choices affect how the stories turn out.
There is a fully realized world with events happening all over, and things are happening in parallel to your own life. There are certain rescue missions, that if you don’t go to them straight away, they die (check out xLetalis’ channel for tonnes of hidden details that are still being discovered to this day). The action is great and grows with your preferred combat style.
Witcher 3 is bound to keep you engaged for around 70-100 hours if you stick exclusively to the main campaigns. Keep in mind though, this game can be graphic, both in violence and nudity, you might consider playing this after the kids fall asleep (where applicable).
You might have noticed how this list does not the contain the much reviled (at least here at Aged Gamer) the words “Assassins Creed”, that is because it is not a standalone game. If Assassins Creed Valhalla was just a one-off, we’d heartily recommend it. However, this franchise features about 20 different stories that continue to expand with every iteration. We want to make video game recommendations and not assign homework, which some games in the AC franchises definitely require.
That said, these games will sustain you for the longest time possible, perhaps even until the PS5 is about to expire into a new console.