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Top 20 RPGs for the PS4

Calendar02.04.2020
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Sony’s PlayStation 4 has done little other than dominant this generation of the console wars, and how couldn’t it?

With more single-player experiences than ever before, Sony’s library of games for its current console is unenviable and pretty hard to beat.

One component, in particular, has dazzled audiences once again this generation as that is the role-playing game.

A genre that largely took a back seat during the PS3 era, the PlayStation 4’s RPGs are nothing less than a study in the best of the genre.

That not only made coming up with a top 20 list harder than heck, but it also made us really think about our criteria here.

For one, we decided to leave out Rockstar’s vast open-world experiences in the forms of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2.

It isn’t that these games aren’t “RPGs,” it’s just that they have a lot of other stuff going on as well.

This list tries as hard as it can to stick to what we would call a “traditional” perspective on what makes an RPG.

Because of that, you’ll see a lot of familiar JRPG franchises as well as some more modern, action-heavy titles.

20. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir - A beautifully realized game that smacks of an animated dream

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A beautifully realized game that smacks of an animated dream, Odin Sphere is, ostensibly, an action-RPG that looks somewhat like a beat ‘em up side scroller. While it combines so many things without breaking a sweat, that doesn’t mean you, the gamer, won’t. This game can become button-mashing insanity and it’s that combination of intense action and deep skills and RPG elements that make it a classic.


19. NieR Automata

NieR Automata - game that,  will always be near to our hearts.

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Square knows how to do RPGs, and NieR Automata is like looking into the past and seeing what the Square of then should be making now - and that is NieR Automata. From its decidedly washed-out appearance to its Ninja-Gaiden-like action, NieR is one of those game that, excuse the pun, will always be near to our hearts.


18. Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII -  an absolutely amazing JRPG from multiple standpoints.

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Technically a PlayStation 2 game remade for the PS4 era, FFXII is, nonetheless, an absolutely amazing JRPG from multiple standpoints. Whether you enjoy an amazing story or you want to engage in a deep combat system with a leveling mechanic unmatched by even modern titles, then you can’t really do better than this title.


17. Fallout 4

Fallout 4 - enjoy the quirky yet interesting world that Bethesda have built

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This romp in post-apocalyptic Boston is polarizing for hardcore Fallout fans, but it’s an amazing game for the rest of us. Whether you’re into the first-person shooter/RPG aspect of it all or you enjoy the quirky yet interesting world that Bethesda (and Interplay before them) have built, there’s a lot to love about this game.


16. Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV - The story is hit or miss but the combat is insanely fun once you give into its oddities

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Sometimes you have to shake up the formula when it comes to an older franchise, and that is exactly what FFXV does for the Final Fantasy series. It’s action heavy, but it retains a lot of the tropes of Final Fantasy games so it isn’t completely jarring for those who were raised on the turn-based experiences of yesterday. The story is hit or miss but the combat is insanely fun once you give into its oddities.


15. Nioh 2

Nioh 2 - action RPG with a pseudo-samurai setting

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Who doesn’t want a action RPG with a pseudo-samurai setting? Nioh 2, again, reminds us of the modern Ninja Gaiden games and that’s a good thing. Of course, awesome action wouldn’t be much without a lot of window dressing around it and Nioh 2 is styled within an inch of its life. If you’ve ever watched the classic anime Ninja Scroll and said “I want to do that,” then Nioh 2 is for you.


14. Dragon’s Dogma

Dragon’s Dogma - is an open-world title with heavy RPG elements

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A game that originally came out on the PS3, Dragon’s Dogma is an open-world title with heavy RPG elements and an interesting day/night conceit that shakes up the gameplay in unique ways. Travel and combat at night is extremely dangerous, but it also has its rewards. In many ways, this game set the tone for titles like Demons Souls and the rest that followed by From Software.


13. Skyrim

Skyrim - one of the best RPG for PS 4

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Bethesda knows how to make a first-person role-playing game, and Skyrim is their current “peak” in that department. A game this old shouldn’t be this good but it is. Originally arriving during the PS3 era, the PS4 version has few substantive changes over that game and, frankly, doesn’t need to have any at all. This game was great from the outset though far from perfect. If you want to watch the hours of your life drift away, Bethesda knows how to rule the day.

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12. Yakuza Kiwami 2

Yakuza Kiwami 2 -  It is the realization of the long-held dream that video games could equal movies in terms of storytelling.

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The Yakuza series appears twice on this list and for good reason. It is the realization of the long-held dream that video games could equal movies in terms of storytelling. The Yakuza series proves this is the case and the unique gameplay and atmosphere that come along with that revelation make it a series that is nearly impossible to imitate.


11. Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

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Love it or hate it, this is the series that brings out a lot of varied opinions among gamers and for good reason. Probably one of the most consequential RPG series aside from Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts is not only adored by fans but is also very influential on the course of future RPGs. Heck, even FFXV took a lot of inspirations from its more action-heavy gameplay. Kingdom Hearts III is the long-awaited thread in a saga that literally stretches back for years. You don’t need to have played the other games to appreciate the on-point gameplay here, but it helps in terms of grasping what an amazingly awesome story you’ve got on your hands here. In sum, Disney and Square have done it again and gamers win in the process.


10. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Bleeding the old and the new together, Inquisition takes your expectations of an action RPG and combines it with the classic features of a squad-based game. And then there’s the whole Tolkien-esque world and story that comes along with all of this. When you find yourself needing a story like Final Fantasy with action like that out of a tactical role-playing game, Dragon Age: Inquisition offers just the right unique blend of gameplay that could satisfy that itch.


9. Dragon’s Crown Pro

Dragon’s Crown Pro

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A side-scrolling beat ‘em up with RPG elements and a beautifully hand-drawn graphics style, Dragon’s Crown oozes with character and its addictive gameplay will keep you coming back time and time again. One of those rare titles that combines modern gaming concepts with classic ideas from arcade gaming, Dragon’s Crown is a time-sink that would have destroyed your wallet if it had been an arcade game back in the day.


8. The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds

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A sci-fi themed game with open-world elements and a choose-your-own-adventure style tree of causality? Sign us up. A well polished, at times weird, game, The Outer Worlds is Obsidian’s way of showing us all that a sequel to New Vegas does, indeed, need to happen.


7. Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III

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Another action RPG masterpiece, Dark Souls III is also bleeding-edge cool in terms of game design, graphics, world concept, and overall execution. Probably it’s single best quality, however, is that it is a game that keeps on giving. Sinking hundreds of hours into this game will yield mastery, but it might not show you everything there is.


6. Yakuza 6

Yakuza 6

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The Yakuza series is like what would have happened had Shenmue come out in the modern era. A thoroughly cinematic experience, Yakuza is instantly reminiscent of the Shenmue series because of its blend of the movie-like story and the kung-fu-action sequences that interlace it all together. A unique experience, Yakuza 6 is perfect for gamers who crave hard-hitting, well-made stories with their console gaming.

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5. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

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You never know what games will break out in the West, but Monster Hunter World was that title for the series that had posted up several games without as much global fanfare prior to this release. Gamers who love action, grinding, loot, and customization need to make a beeline for this title - NOW.


4. Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest XI

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The franchise that won’t give up on its roots (nor should it), Dragon Quest XI is a like a finely-crafted Disney tale that explodes with beautiful, colorful art, flowery dialogue, and a convoluted plot that is right at home with this series.


3. Bloodborne

Bloodborne

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Gothic horror isn’t for everyone, and, then again, intense Japanese-style gaming isn’t either. For those of us that enjoy the old school Castlevanias and NES-hard games of yesterday, titles like Bloodborne are breaths of fresh air in an otherwise fetid swamp of endless sequels and iterations. Itself a spin on the Dark Souls formula, Bloodborne is an incredibly


2. Persona 5

Persona 5

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Persona has always had a hard time catching on outside of Japan. The fifth installment in that series of games changed all of that - and for good reason. There’s more style in this game than on a Milan runway. Everything explodes with color and vibrant, bold art. And then there’s the story. Strange, compelling, and ultimately one of the best of this generation, Persona 5 is best described as an experience and it is certainly one that you will not forget.


1. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

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This game almost needs no introduction, but we’ll try our best. There are few titles, outside of Skyrim, that are as immersive as this game. And there are few games outside of those by Square Enix that have such a great story and level of production. The Witcher III has everything and, in sum, offers us all a glimpse of what great action gaming and RPG immersion can be. Plus, the graphics and the world are endless gorgeous and full of life. Starting a game in The Witcher III is akin to the first page of an epic novel and all of the magic that comes with such an experience.

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