The video game industry is now in such a place where the term Game as a Service is common knowledge. Some will turn their nose up at it, coining it a phrase associated with predatory microtransactions and dubious business practises, and others will understand what it actually means. Games are now much more than the experience offered on launch day as downloadable content, free updates, and cosmetic items lengthen a game's lifespan long past what would traditionally be considered normal. A whole host of well-supported titles have arrived on PlayStation 4 in 2019, but these select games are the ones which have truly excelled after hitting the market.
This category focuses on PS4 games released in 2019 which were built upon throughout the year with free content and paid updates. Titles that launched before 2019, including those that were heavily updated throughout the year, were not considered.
Bronze Trophy: World War Z
World War Z shipped in a somewhat promising state back in April 2019, making for an online zombie shooter similar in vain to Left 4 Dead which could be built upon in the future. Developer Saber Interactive took that idea and ran with it, however, going above and beyond with post-launch support which has expanded the game in a gigantic manner. Now in its second season, every single gameplay addition has been completely free, including an impressive amount of new levels and weapons.
Weekly challenges kept invested players coming back for more, new difficulty levels allowed the most hardcore to test their skills against the most terrifying zombie hordes, and cosmetic updates gave fans a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. It might have snuck under the radar for much of 2019, but those that got invested in World War Z were treated to a post-launch masterclass.
Silver Trophy: Days Gone
Days Gone was a rather meaty undertaking upon its PlayStation 4 release, serving up roughly 30 hours of content to dig into. It was clear that developer Sony Bend wouldn't be stopping there though as a series of free challenges were patched into the game -- giving horde survivors something to invest in outside of the main campaign. Alongside even tougher difficulty modes for those looking to replay the game, patches also all but completely fixed the experience's few niggling bugs and glitches.
The challenges got seriously creative, too. Leaving behind the deadly serious world of Oregon, Deacon St. John took part in a bit of Crazy Taxi action before heading back into the wilderness aboard a motorbike inspired by Death Stranding. It's safe to say that this was DLC done to perfection as Sony Bend went above and beyond expectations.
Gold Trophy: Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne proved itself to be the king of crossovers throughout 2019, and the Resident Evil 2 shakeup event which introduced Leon S. Kennedy and Mr X to monster hunting is the greatest example of that. The classic green and red herbs were introduced to the art of taking down a beast in its own back yard, with classic Resident Evil skins up for grabs if you could slay it. And that was all entirely free.
That's not all, however. A number of new monsters to slaughter have been added without charge since the September launch, while various patches and updates smoothen out the experience in general. And with even more content on its way, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is a game we could still be seeing new content from this time next year. The shining example of true post-launch support.
Platinum Trophy: Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends was the biggest video game in the world for a hot second, overtaking Fortnite. Things have settled down since then, but a strong online community continues to enjoy daily free updates and additions which keep them coming back for more and more. Now in its third season, the game introduced a second map much, much quicker than Epic Games managed to and supported it with new characters -- all of which shipped with gameplay changing mechanics.
And the best thing of all? It's all completely free. Free to play and free to master, Apex Legends is one of the best Battle Royales on the market and the undeniable leader in its field when it comes to supporting that experience. With a whole host of new modes cycling in and out of its hopper on a regular basis, there is quite literally always something new to do in Apex Legends. The king of support rightly wears the crown for the year 2019.
Do you think we picked the right games? Would you have chosen another title as your winner? Place your vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments below.