The Invisible Hours is a slightly different type of walking simulator, as it casts you as a kind of voyeur in a choreographed story that unwinds over the course of 60 or so real minutes. Staged in Nikola Tesla’s mansion, this whodunnit explores the idea of overlapping narratives, as different events occur all over the house. You can only ever be in one place at any given time, so you need to replay the title multiple times in order to eke out every last drop of its brilliantly imaginative narrative.
The bizarre Virginia wears its Twin Peaks inspirations on its minimalistic, polygonal sleeve. Assuming the role of FBI agent Anne Tarver, this seemingly grounded story delves heavily into the supernatural, as it hops around unnervingly and leaves its story open to interpretation. It’s different to the other walking sims on this list, but that’s what makes it stand out.
With Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, The Chinese Room produced a gorgeous, emotionally-charged, and downright creepy adventure title with oodles of atmosphere. A mysterious orb of light guides you through the abandoned English village of Yaughton to help you piece together where everybody’s gone, as if the title wasn’t a clue. The village is exquisitely detailed, and the 80s setting gives the game a nostalgic feel, but it’s the melancholic atmosphere and the story itself that really hit home. While it moves too slowly for some, this is a wonderful walking sim that’s well worth your time.
One of the originators of the genre, Gone Home is still a fantastic walking simulator, with a narrative that beautifully interweaves with the setting. The more you poke around the stranded Greenbriar household, the more you’ll discover about protagonist Katie and her family, and why everyone has suddenly disappeared. A masterful example of environmental storytelling, Gone Home is an emotional ride that you absolutely shouldn’t pass on.
Giant Sparrow’s thoughtful, innovative, and engrossing adventure takes the top spot on our list. Guiding a grown-up Edith Finch around her old family home, the heartfelt story is framed by the bizarre curse that blights the Finch name, with several unique scenarios that constantly subvert your expectations. The house itself is excellently put together and fascinating to explore. Its complexities unfold as you venture further into the plot, but it’s the vast variety of ways the developer merges the storytelling with the gameplay that makes this one of PS4’s most memorable experiences.
What do you think are the best PS4 walking simulators? Take a stroll in the comments section below, and be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to the best PS4 games.