With the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X the next frontier of video games has begun: The Next Generation. With new technology ushering in a brand-new set of standards to measure games on, we’ll quickly leave behind the games of the past. So with that said, now was the perfect time for the staff at Rocket Chainsaw to put their heads together and determine our top 10 PlayStation exclusives of this generation.
There are some provisos in how we selected games for this list. Given Xbox’s policy of releasing all of their games on PC, it was determined that console exclusivity at the time of selection would determine a game’s eligibility. This means that games like Horizon Zero Dawn were eligible for this list, while others are instead counted as multi-platform releases due to their Nintendo Switch or Xbox One releases.
The PlayStation 4 generation was nothing short of a monumental success for PlayStation. While they didn’t sell as many consoles as they did with the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 4 was far and away the best-selling console of the generation, aided by Xbox’s missteps early. They solidified that early position with some utterly brilliant (critically and commercially) games that took the world by storm. Naughty Dog continued their impressive run of games, Guerilla Games successfully pivoted into a new genre, Sony Santa Monica re-emerged and Insomniac Games joined the PlayStation fold after their biggest ever success. Now, without further ado, here are Rocket Chainsaw’s top 10 Xbox exclusives of the generation:
Tenth Place: Ratchet & Clank
Our top 10 PlayStation exclusives of the generation kick off with a developer that also appeared in our Top 10 Xbox Exclusives of the Generation list: Insomniac Games. This time they’re here with their reboot/reimagining of their first PlayStation 2 game, Ratchet & Clank. In typical Insomniac Games fashion, Ratchet & Clank is another fantastic 3D Platformer/Shooter filled with crazy weapons, hilarious moments and plenty of fantastic action and platforming sequences.
Ninth Place: Bloodborne
After cementing themselves as the masters of killing you, From Software branched out from the medieval fantasy they’d become known for in Dark Souls with the gorgeously gothic Bloodborne. With an emphasis on constant movement and aggression, as opposed to the slower and defence heavy Souls games of the past, Bloodborne stands apart from its predecessors. With gloriously grotesque enemies, plenty of hidden secrets to find, engaging and mysterious lore, and plenty of bosses to utterly destroy, Bloodborne is nothing short of amazing.
Eighth Place: Death Stranding
Death Stranding is easily one of the most unique and memorable games to have hit during this generation. Its story is incoherent at points, but pulls you in all the same, and the world itself is something I find myself going back to periodically. It introduced some amazing online co-op functionality in how it shares structures between players instances, while its walking mechanics are nothing short of amazing. It’s easily the best package delivery simulator released.
Seventh Place: Until Dawn
It felt like Supermassives Games came out of nowhere with the release of Until Dawn. Having previously worked on smaller titles, Until Dawn was their first foray into the world of AAA games and they didn’t disappoint. Perfectly nailing the pomp and charm of a campy horror movie, Until Dawn is thrilling and horrifying throughout. Its lineup is filled with lovable scamps and absolute douches that are fun to hate, and its twisting and turning narrative rife with player choice and consequence make it an amazing game.
Sixth Place: The Last of Us Part II
Beginning the Naughty Dog bloc of our top 10 PlayStation games of the generation we see the inclusion of The Last of Us Part II. A bleak and harrowing journey unlike much else in games, The Last of Us Part II isn’t ‘fun’ in the way that many other games are, but the incredible narrative and voice acting are truly something to behold.
Fifth Place: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Concluding the Naughty Dog bloc is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. A darker and more emotionally charged adventure than the past games in the series, it sees Nathan Drake leave an early retirement to help his previously unmentioned brother Sam seek a new treasure. It perfects the gameplay formula set throughout the series and is an incredibly engaging narrative adventure.
Fourth Place: Ghost of Tsushima
It comes as no surprise that our 2020 game of the year features highly in our top 10 PlayStation exclusives of the generation. Ghost of Tsushima was a change of pace for Suckerpunch Studios and a refreshingly new open world game that feels like the ultimate samurai experience. With an astonishingly gorgeous open world that is simply a delight to explore, tight and rewarding melee combat and a delightfully flawed and human cast of characters, Ghost of Tsushima blew past what we expected from it. Whether the game becomes a franchise is yet to be seen, but assuming it does, we can’t wait to take more adventures with Jin Sakai.
Third Place: Horizon Zero Dawn
When you thought of Guerrilla Games prior to this generation, a sprawling RPG set in a massive beautiful post-post apocalyptic world is hardly what you expected from them. That’s exactly what we got after they set Killzone aside to instead develop Horizon: Zero Dawn. With Aloy we had a strong female protagonist, in a medium often dominated by male heroes, taking charge in a world overrun by mechanical dinosaurs and other animals hellbent on your destruction. With a sequel set to release this year, we can’t wait to see what’s next for Aloy.
Second Place: Marvel’s Spider-Man
Three times in two lists Insomniac Games has appeared, and this time its for Marvel’s Spider-Man. Another reminder that licensed games can be amazing, Marvel’s Spider-Man was the Spider-Man game we’d been waiting for since Spider-Man 2 released all those years ago. Its web-swinging feels amazing, its combat is fluid and enjoyable and its portrayal of Spider-Man was fantastic. With a pseudo-sequel already out, Marvel’s Spider-Man is set to be a long running franchise and for good reason.
First Place: God of War
If you had told me in 2017 that the best PlayStation exclusive of the generation would be a God of War game I would have laughed you out of the room. I’m more than happy to eat crow though, as Cory Barlog’s God of War sequel/reboot is nothing short of amazing. Kratos has been reinvented from his previously comic personification of rage into the Dad of War, filled with emotion and nuance that was never expected from him. The World of Midgard is beautiful, the story surprisingly touching, and the gameplay deliberate and rewarding. God of War was easily the winner of this award, and with good reason.
There you have it, the top 10 PlayStation exclusives of this generation as determined by Rocket Chainsaw. Check out our top 10 Xbox exclusives of the generation and check back later this week for our top 10 multiplatform games of the generation.