With the advent of digital media, collectives, and powerful free-to-use game engines, the barriers to entry in creating a game have never really been lower.
Though still a mammoth task in nearly every respect, these welcome changes have meant that we’ve been positively spoilt when it comes to game releases these past few years, there’s literally more releasing now than ever before.
As a result, even the most studious of players can be forgiven for not playing even a fifth of what’s releasing at any given time – and during the last generation especially there was a glut of games that we feel didn’t get enough love from players and high time we highlight some of them, so here are 10 Of The Best PS4 Games You Haven’t Played In 2021.
10 Of The Best PS4 Games You Haven’t Played In 2021
10 of the best PS4 games you haven’t played in 2021:
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Snake Pass
- The Forest
- Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
- Nex Machina
- Hunt: Showdown
The fact that Downwell is under a quid on many store fronts – and averaging a fiver on PSN – is an affront to pricing economics. Similar in the price-to-game ratio that’s seen Hollow Knight crowned one of the bargains of the generation, Downwell is an utterly essential roguelike that’s equal parts mesmerising and frustrating.
Exploring a three-colour palette with just basic left and right movements, a jump button, and your trusted Gunboots, (a timed reprieve from the constant vertical scroll) Downwell is more than the sum of its parts, and anyone who takes a punt on it will find a treasure trove of charm and an intense, rewarding challenge that’s not to be missed.
A video game’s tagline is usually quite general and nondescript but for Thumper, the phrase ‘’Rhythm Violence” goes a long way to explaining what you can expect. Powering a chromatic beetle on rails through an unnerving spatial expanse with foreboding music – think Peep Show’s Super Hans’ description of music needing more ‘dread’ and you’re on the right track – Thumper is ostensibly an adrenaline simulator and quite possibly the most intense rhythm game ever made, save for specific bouts of Lumines. Not only is the game on PS4 but also PSVR, so you can take it to the next level and experience anxiety in a whole new dimension.
3. A Plague Tale: Innocence
Released in the middle of 2019, A Plague Tale: Innocence took many – but not nearly enough – by surprise. Though some may have had pre-conceived notions of the sort of polish that was to be expected from a Focus Home Interactive-published title, those fears were allayed within the opening hours of the Hundred Years’ War-inspired game. Hell, the first 20 minutes still stick with us to this day. Revolving around Amicia de Rune and her brother, Hugo, during the surge of the black plague, A Plague Tale: Innocence is well paced, gruesome, and brimming with character.
4. Snake Pass
Despite the recent – and very much welcomed – glut of platform games these past couple of years, Snake Pass is one such colourful caper we find ourselves thinking about often. Maybe it’s the underrated soundtrack by ex-Rare maestro David Wise, or the rhythmic gameplay whereby you have full control over the game’s titular snake, Noodle, (without a requisite jump button, of course). Whatever it may be Snake Pass is a unique platformer that presents standard ‘collectathon’ fodder coiled smartly around an acute consideration of snake physics and is well worth the time of fans of games such as Banjo-Kazooie.
5. The Forest
A terrifying marriage of brutal survival and perseverance, The Forest confidently threads and builds upon well-worn survival game territory to present a visceral experience that sticks with you long after the credits. Originally released on Steam Early Access four years before its making its way to PS4 at the tail end of 2018, The Forest’s emergent gameplay is masterful in its ability to create tension, unease, the likes of which can only be rivalled by Subnautica and another game further down this list. If you’re an adrenaline junkie who appreciates near- unparalleled tension, look no further.
6. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Though a remake of a game that released on PS2 nearly half a year into PS3’s life cycle, Vanillaware’s side-scroller found new audiences when it released on PS4 in 2016, but not nearly enough have jumped in. Lending itself well to a bump in resolution owing to its painterly style and the fact that many of the original game’s assets were initially created in high definition before then being reduced to fit into the scope of PS2 development, the game marries non-traditional role-playing elements with beat ‘em up-style gameplay to create a wonderful experience.
7. Nex Machina
Though not on our list, it’s well established that, for most, Resogun was the shining beacon of the PlayStation 4’s launch lineup, and developers Housemarque’s stock only rose further with the subsequent release of Alienation. It wasn’t until 2017, however, that they arguably hit their peak, combining their shoot ‘em up talent with the mercurial mind behind Defender, Eugene Jarvis, to create Nex Machina, a top-down twin-stick shooter that is one of the most fiendishly addictive arcade-style games in recent memory.
While for some Housemarque’s arcade offerings may have worn thin by this stage, for our money it doesn’t get much better than Nex Machina.
Given away as part of PlayStation Plus’ game offerings in December of 2018 and now available for a paltry 9.99, Onrush is the only racer on this list and it’s a push to even call it that as it’s much more about pulling off flashy stunts and smashing up your opposition than it is about winning races. As a result, Onrush is a breath of fresh air and another feather in the cap of esteemed driving developer Codemasters. Let’s just hope that following on from EA’s acquisition of the UK based developer that they’re still able to deliver original offerings such as this long into the future.
While Hades is getting the lion’s share of attention (and rightfully so) it’s worth remembering that Supergiant Games‘ follow-up to Bastion, 2014’s Transistor, is an accomplished offering that manages to be one of the better early releases on PS4. Exuding the confidence of a budding developer finding its voice, Transistor maintains a consistent tone with sharp writing, tight design, and some fantastic tactical gameplay. It’s also got a dedicated ‘whistle’ button which is reason enough to give it a go if Supergiant Games’ subsequent games were to your liking.
10. Hunt: Showdown
Similar in tension building to that of The Forest, though in its own unique way, Hunt: Showdown is a cooperative multiplayer that has maintained a competitive player base since its release in February of last year. An unexpected offspring of the Darksiders series, Hunt: Showdown employs a brooding atmosphere, ammo scarcity, and a bounty system that can pit players against one another, and is genuinely one of the more engaging and original multiplayer games from this past generation. If you’re in the market for something a little bit different in amongst bouts of the staples in the generation, Hunt: Showdown certainly deserves your time.