Top 10 Playstation/ Xbox games of the Generation

As we move into a truly new generation it is the perfect time to reflect on the highs that the now previous generation brought us.

The PS4/ Xbox One generation felt like it lasted a lifetime which is why there were so many games to choose from. No one really knew how far these consoles could push or where the industry would turn to but we saw a lot of things I don’t think we could have anticipated.

In this list I have considered not only the quality of the game but also the impact to the industry it had. As the title suggests I’m only focusing on Playstation and Xbox so if you’re hoping to see Breath of the Wild on here, think again.

I also won’t be posting exact remasters of a game, which means that Last of Us would likely be atop the list, isn’t, as it really was a game for Playstation 3. I’ve tried to be objective as possible and consider the experience, the production, the additional content and the value.

10 – Celeste

Celeste is a wonderful 2D side scrolling game that tackles a big issue for so many people, depression. It’s bold story that is so elegantly told it makes a claim for having a story that doesn’t fit the mould a normal occurrence, or at least relevant. Hopefully more writers take a chance on a topic that so many can relate to but struggle to talk about.

2D side scrollers are still very popular these days and celeste takes advantage of that to bring a top of the class performance showing that straying from the path works wonderfully well.

9 – Spider-Man

After seeing the MCU get so much screen time and success it was brave for Insomniac Games to attempt to recreate that as a video game. Spider-Man is the worlds most popular hero so it was a safe bet there but recently superhero games weren’t hitting the right notes.

This game however was composed correctly. It marked a new height for the best way to traverse an open world. The web slinging alone brings as much fun as much of the rest of the game. But they didn’t cheap out there, the story is well written, the combat is comic book fun and the open world is borderline copy and pasted but in the right way.

It looks great, plays great and is a credit to the way Marvel have been doing things recently.

8 – Fortnite

Remember when I said I would consider impact? Fortnite probably changed the gaming industry for the better, for good. Epic were a successful company before Fortnite but post Fortnite they are massive. This allows them to put massive resource into Unreal Engine for all developers to use.

In addition to that Fortnite introduced a truly successful free to play, pay to stand out model. It introduced the season pass that so many have adopted and brought battle Royales to the top of the Twitch views. They also have big name collabs and live events and keep making strides. Fortnite, whatever your view is one of the greatest of this generation for so many reasons.

7 – Overwatch

It seems that since Overwatch Blizzard have lost some of their integrity and way. However when Overwatch came out, it once again proved that when Blizzard set their mind to it, they make the best game.

Overwatch is an excellent example of a game anyone can pick up, learn and put down and come back to later. It also has a lot for competitive players to master with it’s well crafted balances and team play mechanics.

It was an instant hit on the scene, crushing Battleborn on release, and rising to the top of the e-sports scene. It’s wonderful art style and decent loot box system are examples they themselves need to continue following.

6 – Bloodborne

Bloodborne took me 3 attempts to really play and eventually complete. The first two weren’t down to it being a bad game at all, but that it was just so punishing. I realised that on my second play through I had sold an item that was crucial in providing me with resistance to a boss.

It’s truly gothic horror setting, fast paced combat and brutal difficulty make it a game for gamers. Every little map design makes you feel the need to explore it in the hope of a precious item or a blade to the face, but nevertheless as challenge to overcome.

5 – Final Fantasy VII: Remake

Those guys behind the Final Fantasy games always come up with a new game that really takes our breath away. As a later entry into this generation Remake sought to bring back what some would consider the best game ever.

Remake isn’t just a remaster of VII graphically or an overhaul of systems for better gameplay. It actually takes the story and tells it again, from a similar yet different perspective.

It’s moment to moment combat, gorgeous cut scenes and excellent story make it for one of the best ways to spend 40 hours of your gaming time on Playstation. I also consider this not to break the rules as the game is different to the original.

4 – Red Dead Redemption 2

Okay. this is my least favourite on the list, but objectively I appreciate what Rockstar made. As possibly the first game that said ‘look what we can do with this software’ Red Dead is graphically comparable to anything out there.

Taking us to before the events of the first game, It tells a lengthy story that we’re used to from Rockstar. It’s a story the seems to be worth playing through that is if you’re not distracted by the world around you.

It’s setting isn’t quickly copied either, probably because of the fine job Rockstar did on this, the bar is set a bit too high.

3 – Uncharted 4

Nathan Drake takes the bronze medal on this list. If I could give it a gold I would because this game is a masterpiece. I don’t think there’s a game that does intense, action packed cut-scenes as well as this game.

Uncharted 4 gets your heart racing and is so incredibly immersive in it’s story it’s hard not to get attached to it. Combine that with excellent gameplay mechanics, challenging puzzles and a seamless story continuing from the previous entries and Uncharted would make any list.

If you need anymore reason take a quick look at some of this games screen shots on Google and you’re probably going to wonder if it’s real and be amazed at how gorgeous it looks.

2 – God of War

I really wanted to put this game top, but you’ve probably guessed why it is not. God of War is worthy of a best year, decade or ever title. It sums up all of Playstation’s achievements in gaming, pretty much ever.

The first remarkable thing of note is the way it goes from gameplay to cutscene and back to tell it’s story. You really are a part of every single aspect of this game. The story is so full of emotion and conflict that it’s a wonder they were able to tell it with remarkable execution.

The combat is brutal and fluid and rewarding all at the same time. Hainge a combination of loot systems, skills, weapons and companion brought so seamlessly together to make you feel every blow is a feat not many games share.

Other than Last of Us: Remastered this is THE game you should play on Playstation.

1 – The Witcher 3

As I said before you’ve probably guessed this entry. The Witcher 3 as a whole package is the best the generation had to offer. First coming out in 2015 it showed how you could build a massive but immersive world with this software.

Each mission is relevant in moving it’s touching story of fatherhood, growth and responsibility on. It’s decisions impacting you in ways you won’t realise for days. Each side mission feels like it has a place within the story of Geralt and feels so relevant to complete. The voice acting for as many scenes are is really something that should be celebrated.

It’s combat systems are truly wonderful to get to grips with, offering you many ways to play the game as the same character. Everyone that plays this game will have a different experience.

It’s additional content are some of the best pieces of additional content you can get your hands on. It’s not often that the DLC is equal to the game itself but for this game they are.

I hope that if you haven’t yet, you give this game the time to really grab you in. I can pretty much say that once you meet the Bloody Baron after around 10 hours this game will start to soar after your initial estimations.

The best game this generation had to offer. Even in my objective opinion.

Honourable Mentions for various reasons:

Horizon Zero Dawn

Forza Horizon 2

AC Odyssey

Last of Us 2

Sekiro

Fall Guys – Standing Out of the Crowd

The sensation that has swept right through mainstream gaming and media is the hilariously fun and down right silly Fall Guys.

A game that places you as a jelly bean with arms and feet against 59 others to race, grab, push and jump to be the last one standing.

A fresh take on the enormously popular battle royale genre Fall Guys is refreshing and a much needed shake up to the stale shooters that are dominating at the moment.

Fall Guys takes inspiration from the likes of Takeshi’s Castle or Total Wipeout putting you in soft battle arenas surrounded by slime. You can knock, grab and bump into other players as you race to the objective.

Sometimes doing one thing really well works, well, well. There’s only three controls in Fall Guys, move, grab and jump. Its really easy to start playing.

The core concept that is so strange to everyone is the ides of just having fun. Fall Guys doesn’t track stats. You can’t brag about winning so many times and there’s a competitive edge that is so joyfully missing.

The satisfaction of winning a game is brilliant though and having that crown for a menu screen before it is lost is enough to satiate that need to win.

When you don’t win its ‘thats bullshit, he knocked into me’ or ‘I definitely jumped’ or I ‘have a crap team’. These may or may not be taken from Nathan Biggin 2020. But still you get over it quickly cause its fun and you’re having a blast.

There’s a season style pass that grants outfit options and currency for its microtransaction store but its all fun cosmetic stuff you can grind for.

They have promised more maps, outfits and fixes coming forward. Their PR is really good to follow so I recommend that. Its free to play on PlayStation and about £15 otherwise.

The Last of Us Part 2

So I finally finished my first playthrough of the much anticipated sequel to The Last of Us, PlayStations most highly rated exclusive title. While the game is stellar in some ways I was ultimately left unsatisfied with my experience.

Warning: SPOILERS. It lets me talk openly about this game.

Story

The Last of Us Part 2 carries on 4 years after the events of the first film, in which Joel and Ellie have found a permanent settlement in Jackson. They have joined Joel’s brother Tommy to help be part of a thriving environment contributing their own skills.

The story takes some bold decisions and takes them early. Joel is killed. Brutally and in front of Ellie screaming for mercy.

This fills Ellie with hatred and a thirst for revenge that Tommy is reluctant to at first. After all, everything was almost perfect in Jackson. Ellie manages to convince him and Dina that they should go after Abby, Joel’s killer and sets up the plot.

This story is all about revenge. In some ways it uses the characters from The Last of Us to tell this. For the first 10-15 hours you play as Ellie tracking down the location of Abby and her band of friends from a group called ‘WLF’.

During this part I was generally satisfied with where the story was going. Ellie’s need for revenge had no mercy but this led to her making decisions that you wouldn’t always agree with. In some ways I started to dislike Ellie as a person, where I previously held a lot of admiration.

I started to fall out of love with the game.

In a climatic turn of events, Abby actually finds Ellie and it all goes to shit. This character I started to dislike I was now worried for, maybe not for her death but for what this event might do to her after so many bad decisions.

Then the story stops. Why? So we get to see the last 3 days from Abby’s perspective. For me this is where I started to fall out of love with the game.

I think, like most people, I had no desire to understand the character of Abby. Unfortunately Naughty Dog don’t do anything with her character to change my mind.

Abby is one of those characters that’s just dislikeable. Her reputation is for killing ‘Scars’ a faction of believers that they should start again and are somewhat primitive in some ways.

Scars – a new faction of silent enemies.

She has her friend cheat on his pregnant partner with her and everyone around her starts to die.

This goes on for 10-15 hours and by the end of it, I just didn’t care. Then to top it all off I play as Abby in a fight against Ellie, almost killing her and Dina. She actually says ‘good’ when learning Dina is pregnant with a knife to her throat.

However after these events I felt some content. We see that Ellie and Dina have settled down with a family and have moved on. I would have been happy for it to end here. Ellie had seen the consequences of her actions and knew that revenge would only lead to despair or worse.

The last section of the game sees Ellie go back to find Abby as she cannot live with Joel’s death. This ends up destroying everything around her and she loses everything, her life with Dina, relationship with Tommy and herself in so many ways.

Combat

The combat in this game is very good in the most part. Like the original game I’m given the choice of stealth, all guns blazing or a blend of both. The skill trees are okay, but I’m not sure I liked them as they lacked choice and the weapons are good.

There are some new enemies that are silent, so your listening mechanic is kinda pointless at times and you can only fight in reaction to your environment.

There’s too many fist fights that are boss battles and a knock back mechanic that is frustrating as its totally random (I got knocked back by arrows, pistol bullets and sniper rounds).

The game is still satisfying to play though. It probably has the best combat for a survival horror game it really is that good.

Environment

This is where the game is at its best. The environments were and are amazing. They feel real, alive and dangerous. I found myself constantly saying ‘makes sense’ when finding bits and areas.

The game looks, probably, the best of any game out currently.

I was just in constant awe of how this game looks and feels technically. I just wish I hadn’t played what for me was the best section of the game as Abby.

You fight through a hotel and eventually a hospital against infected and it’s just amazing. I kept thinking, as Ellie I would be so engrossed right now, but part of me just wanted it over.

In Summary

My initial reaction after finishing the game was ‘what’s the point?’

I really felt that this story didn’t enhance on what we had from the first game. Ellie became unlikable, Abby is unlikable and Joel is barely anywhere to be seen. We have some flash backs that just break your heart as you eventually learn at the end of the game Ellie hadn’t forgiven Joel, but wanted to.

This left me rethinking her motives the whole time. It seemed that she didn’t need revenge at the cost of everything because in some ways Joel had taken her meaning away from her. What she had as a result of realising her truth was a life she could make for herself (and did).

Ellie and Dina

I would have liked to see Ellie maybe not kill Abby but save her from the infection (we’re told she gets bitten) as mercy and taking Lev (Abby’s equivalent to Joel’s Ellie), back to Jackson.

The idea that revenge brings peace is one I can’t get behind. I also love a happy ending and this game doesn’t give it. Its such a poor ending.

As a result the game ends up feeling detached from its characters of the first one and becomes a commentary of the world as a whole. It looks the best of probably any game currently out, plays amazingly but ultimately poor story decisions, terrible pacing, and a lack of interesting characters leaves an unsatisfying game.

PlayStation 5 Showcase Summary

Last night (11/06) PlayStation had their first showcase for their next generation of games for their next console. I thought I’d summarise what was shown and my highlights.

The Console.

Firstly the console design was showcased right at the very end. It was probably what people were actually tuning in for as much as what games to expect. Fair to say, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Personally I think it looks like a wireless router. While I like the white design they have adopted, I’m not so sure this works as well. In addition to the disk drive looking like an attachment, it’s just not as sleek as previous consoles.

Apparently it can be laid horizontally.

They also showed a bunch of themed accessories, I would assume for optional purchases including a headset, ‘media remote’ and a HD camera (I assume for those that want easy streaming?).

Regardless, I think the way it looks is possibly the least important part of the console overall, so lets move on.

First up, I know this is highly subjective but these are my personal standouts. First and foremost the one that has gotten everybody talking.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

At the time of writing this there is some confusion as to how this is being defined. Is it an expansion or stand alone title? Well from the looks of it, it’s both.

Miles Morales has his own story to tell and he’s telling it at the end of the year. It is a stand alone upgrade to Spider-Man but also expands on the current world they have built for Peter.

Looks to be set a couple years later. Morales has grown a bit!

Insomniac have promised some enhancements to performance and graphics as well as delivering a story for Miles. Personally I can’t wait. Spider-Man was excellent, maybe not the best but still very good, my full thoughts are here.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

This is the game that’s left me excited. It’s from Ember Studios and came out of nowhere to almost steal the show.

This game is gorgeous.

Kena is an action adventure game coming at the end of the year. While not too much is known, what we saw looked really promising. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Godfall

This is a game we’ve known about for a while. More was shown in the showcase and I’m pretty much fully sold. My only question is this, does it have enough to separate it from God of War?

Godfall promises great action combat, weapons and armour. Not much has been said about the story or the world it is set in.

It looks very God of War premise, you are out to take down the gods in a Monster Hunter style, you kill them and wear their armour and equip their weapons.

The upcoming ‘looter-slasher’ is on my to-do list for 2020.

Horizon II: Forbidden West

So, I need to confess. I have yet to play Horizon Zero Dawn (I will, promise) but that doesn’t mean this looks any worse. It was the final game in the showcase and probably the hardest hitting.

I was hoping for Uncharted 5 after playing Uncharted 4 recently, but I’ll settle for this as we have Last of Us 2 next week.

Horizon II carries on from the first game, whatever that might be (I kinda know tbh) with new monsters and what looks like a whole new world to explore as Aloy.

Although it’s not out for a while it still has many people excited. It looks phenomenal and will likely be the first game to show off the capabilities of the PlayStation 5 software.

Best of the Rest.

There were a lot more games shown. The full showcase can be found over on their blog.

Some other standout games were:

Resident Evil: VIIIage (Village). The next chapter in Capcom’s series promising an end to Chris’ story. Set in an eerie looking village that seems to be hosting all sorts including cults, worship and monsters. This will surely bring out a trademark Resident Evil scare.

Returnal. An odd looking Sci-Fi shooter. We didn’t see much other than a woman in a space suit in unfamiliar territory. Some gameplay was shown that displayed it as a third person shooter adventure game.

Project Athia. Square Enix showed of a new IP during the showcase. This picture seems to be what they’ve come up with so far. Knowing Square its probably stunning to look at and most likely a high quality game. Its unclear of much else at this stage.

Some really nice looking worlds being built. Project Athia is only one example.

Deathloop: Finally I’ll tell you about Deathloop. Its a shooter from Bethesda Softworks that pits you in a endless cycle of kill and be killed. Each time you start again in groundhog day fashion you learn more and more. The trouble is you’re against someone doing the same thing and they’re out to get you before you them. I was won over in the end.

Summary

To conclude there was so much to look forward to. I think this only about 15% of everything we saw. Rachet and Clank had their say. New Little Big Planet, Astro, Gran Turismo and more all shown off.

I think it sealed the fact I want a PlayStation going forward. I’m late to the PS4 party but it feels better than my Xbox and I wouldn’t be losing any IPs carrying on with PlayStation. I hope the rest of my friends follow!

The Last of Us and why Single Player Games are the Future.

I have recently finished my playthrough of The Last of Us and it made me think about Playstation’s back catalogue of exclusive titles and what they all have in common. Including the anticipated Game of the Year The Last of Us 2, all of Sony’s exclusives are single player story driven games that might propel them to the most successful console launch ever.

The Last of Us

Firstly, lets talk about The Last of Us. This is a game I had played/ watched in bits and parts but never sat down to take it all in chronologically myself. So with the upcoming release of The Last of Us 2 I rectified this.

I’m so glad I did. I don’t need to tell you that this game is fantastic, it speaks for itself. It is a iconic game for the right reasons. A story driven survival adventure game that does it all right.

The story is fantastic and has one of the best scripts/ direction out there. There’s no wonder HBO want this made into a series, the material is too good to miss out on.

It follows the story of Joel and Ellie on their way to a group called the Fireflys interested in saving humanity from an infection that turns them to zombie like creatures.

Joel is rough, closed of and very typically masculine and makes for a good protagonist on this kind of adventure. His only priority is staying alive and keeping promises. His promises is to make sure 14 year old Ellie makes it to the Fireflies.

Ellie is, for want of a better phrase, humankinds cure. She is unique and immune (kinda typical in a story like this). However its her relationship with Joel that really carries the narrative.

On their journey it is full of turmoil and struggle as they fight through ‘infected’ – those that have caught the disease and turned. The infection is like a fungus that grows and gives them deformities from the brain. It also gives them a horrible clicking noise.

The combat is really good and follows your typical survival mantra. You never have ‘enough’ ammo but multiple ways of approaching combat. There are puzzles, loot and an upgrade system. Its all very well put together.

As I said the story takes its turns, ups and downs its amazing and leaves you wanting more after every little interaction. You really should pick up this game.

The Future is Single Player

The thing is, I find myself constantly saying that after every Playstation game I play. The story is really good, the combat, graphics, systems and everything else is all really good.

Sony really are way ahead of everyone with games like Uncharted, Final Fantasy VII Remake, God of War and Spiderman being top tier, single player games to boost and sell their platform.

There is often a debate over the future of gaming. Will single player titles that were a staple back in the 90’s and 2000’s die out in favour of always online, multiplayer games?

The answer is no. They’re driving the industry forward. The current release for The Last of Us 2 is some of the biggest hype I’ve seen for a long time and it doesn’t even have Co-Op. It’s sales will likely exceed any multiplayer game. Even GTA V launched without multiplayer and gained over $1 billion in revenue.

After it has released we are only left waiting for Cyberpunk 2077, another single player title with as much hype as The Last of Us 2. This kind of unprecedented excitement is rarely seen for releases of multiplayer titles such as Call of Duty, FIFA or a free to play like Fortnite.

September 17th cannot come soon enough.

Moreover, single player titles have always been a benchmark for how well a generation is performing. We think back to games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto for earlier generations and the titles mentioned on Playstation for later titles of how well we are utilising software.

Once developers are dying for more performance to work with for games, we normally see the next generation release. In this case games like Assassins Creed Odyssey, Death Stranding and FFVII Remake are probably the end of this currents generation capability. Without a new generation we probably wouldn’t see more titles.

This is where the need for innovation really comes in, to make more of these games. Unreal Engine V will push forward these experiences and world building even further but Epic didn’t make it for Fortnite and without it, Apex Legends would carry on for many years, thats the difference.

Multiplayer games are often the current that keep us gaming when really we’re waiting on the next single player driven content to get absorbed in.

Sony are the currently the leaders in this movement. Xbox are heavily reliant on their multiplayer franchises to boost console sales and community approaches and PC rarely have exclusives as hyped up as console releases. (That’s a whole other argument that console wins!).

Even the Switch is driven by single player franchises such as Zelda and Pokémon (in the most part) and is incorporating more single player franchises such as Bioshock onto its platform.

Personally I’m a selfish gamer and have always leaned towards single player approaches. I’ve dabbled in some FIFA when I was younger (alot before I found proper good games) and Destiny’s Crucible or Fortnite with buds but it never gave me a feeling like God of War or The Witcher did. Partly because I’m terrible at them, mostly because I love world building and RPG mechanics.

What Sony have is only going to be aimed towards (studios like Bethesda aren’t far off) and I think it is excellent. Ubisoft has seen some joy with their single player orientated releases more than their multiplayers and seem to be going in this direction. People are already asking for Elder Scrolls 6, GTA 6, God of War 2. No one wants Call of Duty 267.

Uncharted 4 Review

I recently finished my play through of Uncharted 4, my first in the series. Its a tremendous game, so here are my thoughts.

I originally was going to start with the Nathan Drake collection as it has been free to play on Playstation but thought I’d first look at 4. Mostly because its the most recent so everything would be at its best technically.

Before going into this game I already knew a few things such as its an action adventure game. Its similar to Lara Croft in that you treasure hunt, has a good story and its linear.

I chose to play on hard as recently I’ve been doing that for all of my games. I’m not the best at games, especially shooters. I fair better at more fantasy RPG like Assassins Creed or Diablo but want to get better and have a challenge.

My first impressions were very positive.

I have to say my first impressions were positive. It puts you right in the middle of a story in a boat getting away from some enemies before bringing you back to a more sombre home life of the main character Nathan Drake.

The story goes through several chapters to really get going and set you off on your adventure.

That adventure is to find the pirate treasure of Henry Avery to help pay off a debt.

It hunting this treasure that this game really starts to really show off why it’s so highly regarded.

This game is hands down one of the best visually and it came out like 4 YEARS AGO.

I was constantly just taking time to look at the beautiful scenery Naughty Dog had created here. Mix that with the great character models and attention to detail it was one of the best all round packages.

Naturally on your adventure you have to run into a few bad guys. I enjoyed the combat, for the most part but I would have had a better time playing on normal difficulty. It felt like I had to be John Wick just to prevent myself from getting overwhelmed.

The enemies are aggressive and towards the end of the game take several headshots to take down. So if you’re not quick, you’re surrounded. Mix that with the low health pool Nathan has and its game over. Often.

In addition to this there’s the stealth. I fucking hate the stealth in this game. I am no stranger to the stealth aspect of games but this one wound me up. There would be occasions where the person that ‘sighted’ me would have their back to me or no line of sight (like a fucking cliff between us dude!).

While I’m ranting about the unlikely, lets talk about the grenades. They just appear next to you. There was an occasion early in the game where the only person left alive was shooting me, but I had a grenade land on my toes. I get it, you want me to change position but make it realistic.

Just look at it.

Anyway, back to the good. Which is everything else. I loved the story, its well paced and it’s tense and keeps you hooked. The characters are interesting and you love hearing their little bits of small talk about their lives. The puzzles, they’re not the most challenging but give you something to think about. The mix of things to do such as driving, platforming, combat, sailing and more keep this game feeling fresh. And lore collecting makes you explore more, this game really is a true great.

If this game is on your ‘to do list’ put it to the top. Its not too long to play ~20 hours and is so worth it. I haven’t played through the multiplayer or anything else so there’s more if you want to return.

All in all this is definitely a treasure worth finding / 10.

p.s bonus points for that protagonist being called Nathan. Every time they complained about Nathan, it felt personal as we share the name.


I do just want to take a moment to say, if they’re making a film for this series and it is Tom Holland. I hope they get it right. We’ve had some casualties in that department and this series won’t deserve that treatment.

The core material is good enough to make something worth watching, Lara Croft wasn’t bad but this can be better. Sounds unlikely with the trouble going on with it production.