The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the game that catapulted Bethesda into mainstream popularity. The high fantasy RPG didn't have the uniquely imaginative setting of Morrowind, its predecessor, but it did give players a genre-defining open world to explore, which was absolutely peppered with cities, settlements, and dungeons — an incredible achievement at the time. Objectively speaking, Oblivion hasn't aged especially well — its visuals are far too bloomy, its combat is super-jank, and its voice acting is a meme — but there's simply no denying its wonky charm. Perfect if you're looking for a laugh to go along with your role-playing.
Almost as beloved as the original Red Dead Redemption is this zombie-infested spin-off, Undead Nightmare. Taking place in an alternate timeline, it sees John Marston roaming the open world in search of a cure for his infected wife and child. As it so happens, hundreds of zombies stand in his way, turning the western into a spooky survival title. It's a fully fleshed out experience that stands apart from the base game, even offering its own multiplayer modes. A cracking alternative take on Rockstar's PS3 classic.
At first glance it's easy to pin down Hollow Knight as just another 2D metroidvania that boasts a steep challenge, but it's much more than that. There's a fantastic sense of wonder to Hollow Knight — everything that you see and do in this meticulously crafted title is brilliantly contextualised, resulting in an adventure that oozes charm, character, and memorable moments.
Following a string of disappointing releases, Capcom got its beloved horror franchise back on track with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Set inside the dreadful house of the Baker family, Ethan Winters (that's you) must fight for his life and escape his captors. It marks a return to true survival horror, and ups the tension with a first-person perspective. If you want to make things even more claustrophobic, you can strap on a PSVR headset and play the entire thing in VR. Resi 7 drags the series back to its roots and sets the mood for what would come next.
36. inFAMOUS (PS3)
A fan favourite first-party franchise is inFAMOUS, starting life on PS3. Like some of Sony's other studios, this was a step into more mature territory for Sucker Punch Productions, following its run of Sly Cooper titles with a pulpy, open world superhero game. Playing as Cole MacGrath, who gains electrical abilities after a disastrous explosion, you can follow the route of good or evil as you jet about on telephone wires, blast baddies with lightning, and scale buildings in a flash. While it has its flaws, this first entry's entertaining story and fun superpowers laid the groundwork for a series that fans are still campaigning to return.
Originally planned as a Wii U exclusive, the death knell to Nintendo’s ill-fated home console proved positive news for PlayStation fans when it went multiplatform. Building upon the stunning UbiArt Engine of its predecessor, Rayman Legends is a sublime side-scroller from start-to-finish. While not all of the touchscreen gimmicks translate optimally to the DualShock 4, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better platformer than this on PS4.
If you're itching for an angsty JRPG that's very much a product of its time, Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster is the game for you. Square Enix did a great job of updating this saga for both modern and nostalgic audiences. Even though parts of it have definitely aged, Final Fantasy X remains a landmark release, telling a love story that's full of weird twists, spread across an intriguing and unique fantasy world. X-2, on the other hand, borders on fan fiction. A direct sequel to X that's campy beyond measure — but it's still a fun time thanks to well worked gameplay mechanics.
BioShock: The Collection is just what it says on the tin: all three of the fan favourite games in one place, and remastered for play on PS4. The first is a true modern classic, introducing us to the unsettling undersea city of Rapture, while the sequels build on what it achieves in some very interesting ways. Each game places you in a fascinating setting that's in the midst of falling apart, and a mix of guns and powers make them a unique set of shooters. These are bold, unusual games that stand out thanks to their incredible worlds and subversive narratives.
Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima's first game after going independent, and it's a suitably crazy debut. You play Sam Porter Bridges, a delivery man in an age where the world has been devastated by the titular event. Charged with reconnecting a fractured United States, it's down to you to traipse across the land, delivering important supplies and hooking up remote outposts to a shared network. It's unlike anything else, with your biggest obstacles being the uneven terrain and fragile goods on your back. Online connectivity populates the game with useful equipment and structures created by other players, so you're all in it together. Death Stranding is an acquired taste, but its bonkers story and tranquil gameplay help it stand out.
What can be said about Shadow of the Colossus that hasn't been said already? It's truly among PlayStation's best games, and this PS4 remake presents it in the best possible light. Set in a barren open world, devoid of almost all life, you must venture out and slay numerous colossi that are peacefully roaming the land. Each of these boss-style encounters is a puzzle in itself, and they each feel like epic confrontations thanks to incredible animation and music. Remade on PS4, it looks and runs better than ever, too. A bona fide classic.