These Are the Top 20 PlayStation Games of the Decade

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The late 2000s saw turmoil for the PlayStation camp after the less-than-stellar launch of the PS3. PlayStation eventually rebounded, and by the end of the decade, became the most dominant brand in gaming. This is largely due to the slew of killer, must-own first-party and console exclusives released for all PlayStation consoles and handhelds.

With the decade coming to a close — not to mention next year’s release of the PS5 — we wanted to look back at the last ten years of PlayStation. Considering the overwhelming amount of first-party titles across the PS3, PlayStation Portable, PS Vita, and PS4, we had to make some tough decisions. Though there wasn’t room for everything, you can rest assured knowing the games listed below are the cream of the PlayStation crop.

The Last of Us (Remastered)

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Remastered

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: July 29, 2014

The Last of Us is arguably the best PlayStation exclusive out there according to many folks. It is a true “cinematic experience” thanks to its tight script, realistic characters, and arresting cinematography. The game has reached near-mythic status, making its upcoming sequel — The Last of Us 2 — one of the most anticipated games of the current console generation. Whether you play it on PS3 or PS4, The Last of Us is a can’t-miss title.

Shadow of the Colossus

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: February 6, 2018

Shadow of the Colossus makes a strong case for games being “art.” During the course of the journey, players must trek through a desolate open-world to slay 16 colossi. Since these are the only “enemies” in the game, each encounter is unique and memorable. Few titles have managed to capture the sense of awe and terror one feels when attempting to take down a colossi. Frame this game and put it in a museum. It’s that good.

God of War (2018)

God of War 4

God of War 4

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: April 20, 2018

God of War has been one of PlayStation’s core franchises since the first game made its bloody debut on PS2. While most subsequent entries were great, the series needed a shot in the arm. That’s where 2018’s God of War comes in. While this entry retains the core combat, puzzles, and platforming of its predecessors, it’s a decidedly more mature affair. Kratos cuts a bloody swath through ancient deific pantheons, only this time, he does so for the sake of family. God of War is a prime example of how to update a classic franchise for a new generation.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: September 7, 2018

Was there any doubt Spider-Man would be one of the best PlayStation 4 games? Not only does it feature a comic book icon, but it’s developed by Insomniac Games. Spider-Man does a spectacular job of making players feel like the titular wall-crawler. Whether it’s swinging through the urban jungle of New York City beating up supervillains or dealing with the protagonist’s personal struggles, players get the full Spidey experience. You can bet we’ll see a sequel on PS5.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn promo

Horizon Zero Dawn promo

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: February 28, 2017

With Horizon Zero Dawn, Killzone developer Guerrilla Games truly came into its own. Horizon Zero Dawn takes the best parts of modern open-world games and assembles something unique. The post-apocalyptic future setting comes to life thanks to the power of the Decima Engine. Environments, characters, and the game’s signature robotic foes are realized in extraordinarily vivid detail. There is little doubt this will become one of Sony’s strongest franchises.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: May 10, 2016

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brings Nathan Drake’s journey to a grand close. Though it sticks to the tried-and-true Uncharted formula, everything about this entry is bigger and bolder. From its grandiose plot, expansive setpieces, and massive shootouts, Uncharted 4 screams “big.” Amid all the chaos, players get to see a more vulnerable side of Nathan Drake, who knows his days of treasure hunting must come to an end. Uncharted 4 is both an ending and a beginning for the storied franchise.

Gravity Rush 2

Gravity Rush 2

Gravity Rush 2

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: January 20, 2017

Gravity Rush 2 is probably the most underrated game on this list. It’s a shame too because its gravity manipulation mechanic is something that distinguishes it from most titles on the market. Aside from being able to fly through the air or become as heavy as stone, Gravity Rush 2 also features an imaginative world full of eccentric characters and exotic, other-worldly vistas. This is about as “feel good” of a title as you can find on PS4 and one worth checking out.

Bloodborne

Hunter Bloodborne

Hunter Bloodborne

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: March 24, 2015

Bloodborne strays from the standard Dark Souls formula with its Victorian-era setting and cosmic horror-inspired storyline. Its combat is different, too. Instead of slow, deliberate engagements favoring defense, Bloodborne favors a risk-vs-reward approach. Players must remain aggressive in order to survive the terrors before them. The biggest compliment I can give Bloodborne is that it is effectively the 3D Castlevania game we’ve always wanted.

Journey

Platform: PlayStation 3
Release date: March 13, 2012

Many still consider Journey as Thatgamecompany’s masterpiece. The only goal in this 2-hour adventure is getting to the top an enormous mountain that looms on the horizon. However, the path isn’t easy as players must navigate vast deserts, labyrinthine caves, snowy summits, and more. The payoff is still one of the most majestic moments in all of gaming; one that has even made grown adults cry. That alone should tell you how captivating this journey is.

inFAMOUS: Second Son

infamous second son

infamous second son

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: March 21, 2014

inFAMOUS: Second Son was one of the first “must-own” exclusives of the PS4’s early life. Like its predecessors, Second Son stars a morally-conflicted protagonist who suddenly attains a variety of superpowers. Aside from all the mayhem players can unleash with said abilities, the main draw is the different paths one can take. Will the hero be a force for good or evil? Though the choices are decidedly binary (i.e. no true grey line), it’s entertaining to try out both paths.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: April 17, 2018

The Yakuza series has been a PlayStation staple for most of its life but it only attained mainstream recognition in recent years. We could have easily tossed titles like Yakuza 0 or Yakuza 4 in here, but we’re going with Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. This entry closes the saga of protagonist Kiryu Kazuma and ties together threads that have been dangling since the franchise’s inception. Powered by the Dragon Engine, the world of Yakuza has never been as alive and dynamic. It is the perfect distillation of all that makes the series great and is an excellent entry point despite it being the final chapter.

God of War III Remastered

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: July 14, 2015

God of War III was and remains one of the most graphically impressive games both on PS3 and PS4. There are moments where you’ll swear you’re watching a modern version of Jason and the Argonauts. Kratos rips through the Ancient Greek world on his quest for vengeance against the gods who’ve wronged him. This game represents the final time we see the original incarnation of Kratos before he matured in the latest God of War. It’s one hell of a send-off for the trilogy and one of the very best action games out there.

Persona 5

Persona 5 group

Persona 5 group

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: April 4, 2017

Persona 5 finally brings the once-obscure franchise into the limelight with its focus on characters and deep role-playing mechanics. Players become genuinely invested in the lives of the heroes as they go about solving the game’s core murder mystery. The fact Persona 5 is one of the most visually stylish games is just icing on the cake. This one is an instant classic.

Death Stranding

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: November 8, 2019

Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima unfiltered. The game takes its sweet time to get going and has absolutely no qualms about leaving players confused for the majority of its duration. Fetch quests aren’t especially loved, but Death Stranding manages to make them engaging by giving players various tools to complete deliveries. The expanse of the world is impressive, and the variety of threats (both natural and supernatural) keep users on their toes. Death Stranding is a difficult game to categorize but that’s part of its allure.

GT Sport

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: October 17, 2017

GT Sport had a rocky start but it inevitably became the best racing game on PS4. This online-focused racer has fewer cars and tracks than some of its predecessors. Instead of quantity, it focuses on quality with expertly-designed levels meant to test one’s racing prowess. The inclusion of a VR mode puts players right in the driver’s seat; further cementing the series’ promise of being the ultimate driving experience. GT Sport takes the series where it needs to go and lays a solid foundation for future titles to build on.

Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V - Cammy vs Ryu

Street Fighter V - Cammy vs Ryu

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: February 16, 2016

Like GT Sport, Street Fighter V had a less than perfect launch. Now, it is one of the premiere fighters of the generation. Its status as an EVO and Capcom Cup staple is a testament to this. What makes SFV so great is how it takes the series’ near-perfect mechanics and improves upon them with smoother animations and quicker response times. Plus, having a game containing so many Street Fighter and Capcom characters is just plain awesome.

Ratchet & Clank (2016)

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: April 12, 2016

2016’s Ratchet & Clank is notable for being both a remake of the original 2002 PlayStation 2 title and a movie-tie in which is also based on the first game. Like its predecessors, Ratchet & Clank is a platformer with a heavy focus on crazy alien weaponry. Sure, you can blast enemies away with a normal (normal being a relative term) gun but it’s more fun to turn them into chickens. Insomniac will likely spend its immediate future cranking out Spider-Man games. Let us hope they don’t forget about the franchise that put them on the map.

The Last Guardian

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: December 06, 2016

The Last Guardian took its sweet time releasing but it was well worth the long wait. Like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the game is set in a decaying world that is virtually devoid of life. There is little in the way of an overt plot. Instead, the narrative unfolds through gameplay as the protagonist and his giant monster friend navigate through the dangerous landscape. This is one of those games that’ll stay with you long after you’ve finished it. Another classic from Team Ico.

Persona 4: Golden

Platform: PlayStation Vita
Release date: November 20, 2013

Persona 5 may have brought the franchise to a wider audience but its predecessor, Persona 4, paved the way for its success. This enhanced PS Vita port features new cut-scenes, voice work, music, revamped UI and mechanics, and an all-new character. It is rightfully considered the best game on Vita because of its gripping story and memorable characters. Though Persona 5 now grabs the spotlight, Persona 4: Golden is deserving of recognition since it is such a great JRPG experience.

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit

Detroit

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: May 25, 2018

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls both did a brilliant job of updating the classic point and click adventure genre for the modern age. They paved the way for what is now Quantic Dream’s best title: Detroit: Become Human. In truth, Detroit tells a familiar tale of androids rising up against their human creators. What makes it unique is how players can affect the narrative in ways both big and small. On a technical level, its photo-realistic graphics make it a title you want to show off to your friends. If you only check out one Quantic Dream game, this is the one.

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