- Kingdom Hearts 2 Best Grinding Spot Guide - December 24, 2022
- Harvestella Review – Final Fantasy Farm House - November 21, 2022
- Tears of Magic Interview – Breath of Fire’s Spiritual Successor - November 2, 2022
Nowadays, defining the RPG genre in a game is a herculean task. To be blunt, it’s virtually impossible to perfectly replicate the tabletop RPG for electronic media – for now. However, the community has reached a consensus-ish defining an RPG game.
That said, I think it is important to say that, like most lists, this one is loaded with personal opinions and will probably not correspond to your taste. Another disclaimer is that I have not played all the available PS4 RPGs – yet – so I will stick to those I have unraveled and delighted upon.
To list the games, I considered two essential ingredients for most RPGs: story and gameplay. Many RPGs are told like a book. You have a clear narrative arc of watching your protagonist evolve, stakes getting higher as the adventure progresses until when you face the last boss, it’s all in. Either you succeed, or the whole world is doomed. Not to mention the massive cast of characters that permeate and garnish the narrative.
Gameplay is essential for any game to keep you hooked and serve the primary function of the media: to entertain. RPGs, by nature, have many different gameplays that can range from action RPGs, turn-based RPGs, strategy RPGs, dungeon-crawling RPGs, and so on. So it’s always a surprise to jump into a new RPG because the gameplay can be totally different from what you expected. Plus, RPGs have a remarkable tendency to still throw new features in your face even after 40-hours of playtime.
Important to note that the list is also not numerically ranked, making it a little less partial. Without further ado, check out the Best PS4 RPG Games list.
Badass monster hunter with a raspy voice, acid humor, and an engaging plot. What’s not to like?
If you have access to the Internet, you have heard of the Witcher. Books, games, and a show. The franchise has achieved the trifecta of entertainment.
In Witcher 3, we play Geralt, a seemingly unfeeling monster hunter who finds his path unsure due to his emotions. Alongside your protégé, Ciri, you will roam the world of the Continent facing monsters, helping passing merchants, beating up drunks, playing Gwent – a fantastic card game – and protecting the world from its impending doom.
Filled with charismatic and beloved characters, Witcher features a semi-open world with numerous events scattered throughout its length.
With its Action-RPG gameplay and customizable skill tree, each of your playthroughs can create a different experience. It’s a tale to laugh, cry, rage, but most importantly, have fun.
Oh yeah, and take care, so your narrative choices don’t end up killing a family…I did that, and well, it haunts me to this day.
Final Fantasy XV
To be honest, it’s one of my least favorite Final Fantasy games. But it’s here on the list because the franchise knows how to make terrific games.
Final Fantasy XV puts you in a boy band who aren’t afraid to share their bromance while caravanning around the world of Eos to the sound of Stand By Me. The game features a contemporary setting, eschewing much of the fantasy presented in other titles.
Noctis and his partners must recover the royal power the protagonist harbors as they travel the open world taking pictures in restaurants and learning new recipes for Ignis to fill the troupe’s bellies.
Square Enix has stepped into the action-RPG mantle for good, but frankly, failed a bit. The gameplay is annoyingly repetitive and hardly challenging at all. Elements such as magic and items become practically obsolete. Those who bought it at launch noticed some glaring plotholes in the story.
Nevertheless, it’s still a worthy entry due to the dramatics and storytelling. Final Fantasy XV should be experienced by fans of the series or RPG enthusiasts, but do remind to get the Royal Edition.
Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World was the first Monster Hunter I played, and I quickly understood the saga’s appeal. We play as a custom character accompanied by Handler, an assistant who is our voice and guide.
We are sent to New World, a landmass populated by monsters, to capture them and study them, because after all, that’s what humans do. With a vast ecosystem, New World is a delight to explore. As we hunt monsters, we collect materials from their warm dead bodies to upgrade our weapons and force more destruction to nature.
However, as we encounter Elder Dragons, who can change the entire world’s ecosystem singlehandedly, our hunter will need to become a hero to prevent our sphere from suffering the consequences.
The action-RPG gameplay with some strategic nuances keeps Monster Hunter: World from being just a mindlessly button-smashing game. Traps, poisoned food, and slingshotting projectiles with particular attributes are essential in the hunt. Multiplayer is also a great feature of the game. However, the instability and slowness to connect with a player can often be quite anticlimactic.
Bloodborne is a game that almost gave me a brain aneurysm. I have never been a big fan of the Souls series because of my inability to play. And don’t even start saying that the series isn’t that hard!
I played Bloodborne after venturing through the original Demon’s Souls and Nioh. I pretentiously thought I would be prepared for what was to come. Spoiler alert: I was not.
Bloodborne has a somewhat complicated plot to follow. As usual, From Software doesn’t offer a linear narrative but spreads its lore among items, documents, and obscure conversations with NPCs in the sneakiest corners of Yharnam.
We play a hunter in search of a cure for an unknown disease. Embarking into Yharnam on the night of The Hunt, we discover that all of its inhabitants have been transformed into feral beasts. We need to slash and blast our way through a frenetic gameplay pace where dodge is your best friend, as the block button is non-existent.
The level system is similar to the Souls series. You collect Blood Echoes by killing enemies or using items and spend them in the Hunter’s Dream – a place well frequented by players – to increase your stats or upgrade your weapons.
As fans love to say, the game is punishing, and by learning enemies’ patterns, you will manage. The problem is, by the time you learn the said pattern, you will have kissed the ground dozens of times.
My favorite single-player PS4 RPG. Persona 5 is a masterpiece. The game puts us in a familiar setting of the franchise: a high school student becomes involved in a supernatural parallel world filled with demons. With this power, we can alter our reality for the greater good.
The difference is that Persona 5 does this by avoiding almost all of the tropes of a JRPG. Even when it follows a cliché, it does so amazingly. With numerous intriguing supporting characters and captivating party members, it’s one of the few games that I didn’t mind the silent protagonist because even though he speaks few words, he says a lot.
The game begins with the protagonist infiltrating a casino with the aid of his companions. But after things go sideways, we go back to where it all started. In this story, our protagonist is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. So he moves to another city to escape the drama but gets involved in broader mysteries with a contemporary theme. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Persona 5 is a great gateway.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
My favorite multiplayer PS3/PS4/PS5 RPG. God, I’ll try to be brief, but Final Fantasy XIV exceeds my expectations with every new update.
Final Fantasy XIV is a magnet of references for the franchise. If you are familiar with the series, you can be sure you will recognize a character, monster, location, magic, or any other element within the colossal world of Hydaelyn.
Despite being an MMORPG, you get to play much of the game solo and witness a plot that has developed over 10 years since A Realm Reborn.
Its gameplay style uses a familiar formula from MMOs. Managed by a global cooldown, each attack or skill delivered has an interval before it is performed again, and this repetition shuffling between skills is what brings you victory against enemies.
In Final Fantasy XIV, we are the Warrior of Light, the champion of the Mothercrystal. With this power, we will engage in any and every corner of the world to help the helpless and protect the unprotected from antagonistic forces as we unravel the secrets that permeate both our existence and the very shape of today’s world.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age
The classic franchise that maintains its roots intact but continues to please old and new. Dragon Quest is the defacto example for the proverb “don’t change a winning team.”
The world of Dragon Quest XI is fantastical, colorful, and bright. With an uncomplicated plot of good versus evil, you control the Luminary, a pre-destined hero who must embark on a journey to save the world. Since our protagonist is silent, we have a lively cast with a wide range of personalities and quirks.
The plot is not extraordinary, but the journey that surrounds it is. You meet many familiar faces from the series throughout the adventure, especially the franchise’s monsters. The turn-based combat is enduring the industry passage of time, unlike its cousin Final Fantasy. Character progression is also simple. Earn level and distribute points on a skill tree to unlock abilities and increase status.
If you are going to venture into Dragon Quest XI, be prepared to spend 80 hours in front of the screen, but all of them will be amazing.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon’s Dogma is an Action-RPG that carries similarities to the Souls series but is unique in its own right.
The game starts with a tutorial where you face a dragon. Then, after customizing your character, your village is attacked by the same dragon, who does you the favor of leaving a hole in your chest by ripping out your heart. With this, you are dubbed the Arisen and assigned to slay the dragon to prevent doomsday.
You level up by killing monsters and completing quests while enabling new skills and evolving your class. But the highlight of Dragon’s Dogma is the Pawns. These AI-controlled party members can be generated by the game or lent from other players connected to the online world.
Although the plot is not that complex, the number of quests, random encounters with monsters, and different scenarios give Dragon’s Dogma a grandeur that makes it one of the best PS4 RPGs.
Divinity: Original Sin
Many have been trying to bring tabletops RPGs to consoles for a long time. Although efforts are hindered by technical matters, a few games come close. Divinity: Original Sin is one of them.
While I recognize that the second game is an improvement on the first, I have not played enough of it to include it in the list. My cousin accompanied me through the entire Divinity game, which added extra flavor to the gameplay.
The gameplay is turn-based and has all the attributes you would expect from a tabletop RPG. Dice rolling on the back-end, body savings, numerous traits and attributes to evolve, and narrative branching according to your choices. How often have we started a battle at a total disadvantage, with low HP or after falling into a trap, but emerged victorious through the strategic use of the environment or sheer luck.
In Divinity, we play with a pair of protagonists, known as Source Hunters, whose objective is to end the forbidden magic called Source. Amnesiacs, we learn more about the duo’s lives as we progress through the main quest, but not before we get off track with the dozens of sidequests.
I was unprepared for the roller coaster of feelings that NieR: Automata gave me. Still, even suffering, I recommend this game to everyone.
Set in the same universe of Drakengard and NieR Replicant, but far in the future, we play with the androids 2B and 9S to retake the planet earth of the machines that expelled humans to space. The game has 26 different endings, and while some are borderline fillers, others hit straight home.
The frenzy of Action-RPG combat is mixed with some bullet hell instances also platforming elements. Everything feels fast-paced in NieR – minus the fantastic soundtrack – giving a sense of urgency to save humanity. Although we can equip other weapons and upgrade them, the combat doesn’t differ much.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
If you played Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, know that Battle Chasers: Nightwar was produced by the same developer. The similarities are striking, both in visuals and in the turn-based combat.
The plot is set in an arcanepunk world, and although not as grand, it is endearing. Five protagonists find themselves stranded and must defeat an evil necromancer just… because it’s good to beat the bad.
The main feature of Battle Chasers is the dungeons. Each dungeon is almost-random-generated, and their items, traps, and monsters vary between these versions. Although they are not procedurally generated like Diablo, the diversity of the same dungeon makes the game replayability exist.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
First of all, Whispers. Second, it’s Final Fantasy VII.
I’m torn because although seeing a treasure like Final Fantasy VII being entirely remade in 3D, with living characters, an updated but entertaining battle system, and all the nostalgic cargo carried for years, they had to go there and mess the story.
I don’t want to be a nit-picker, but I wasn’t expecting these changes that prevented me from considering FFVIIR the best PS4 game. But in no way does that take away from its excellence.
Final Fantasy VII Remake shows why the original game was an instant classic. Cloud, Barret, Tifa, Aerith, and troupe return with all the pomp they can muster while rocking their silky hair in high-resolution – especially our silver-manned with godhood tendencies villain.
The main plot stays the same – for now, at least. We play as Cloud, a mercenary who joins forces with the eco-terrorist group Avalanche to take down a megalomaniac corporation but soon finds himself involved in a world-shattering adventure – classic JRPG.
The combat has been adapted to a more action-oriented style but retaining the ATB bar and that dose of strategy involving materia.
For now, Final Fantasy VII Remake is only a fraction of the original. But if it continues down this glorious path – without crucial changes to the story – FFVIIR has the potential to steal the crown from its predecessor.
Kingdom Hearts III
Though named the third, the amalgamation between Final Fantasy and Disney is the twelfth game in the series that has transited countless consoles, handhelds, and every medium to leave you discombobulated in an incredibly confusing plot.
But the magic and charm of the game draw our hearts into it. Unfortunately, Kingdom Hearts III has a shortage of Final Fantasy characters. Still, the lovable Sora, Goofy, and Donald continue to steal the scene, as do the numerous worlds we travel through.
Technically, this game was supposed to be the story’s endpoint, concluding Sora’s struggle between light and dark and uniting the current Keyblade Wielders separated by generation and different games. But apparently, it wasn’t.
The action-RPG combat keeps its roots but is more flashy than ever. This time, you can even ride on familiar attractions to the Disney park, but instead of your enemies having fun, they have a hell of a hard time.
World of Final Fantasy
Ever wondered what a Pokémon from Final Fantasy would be like? Wonder no more because World of Final Fantasy delivers something very akin.
We play two siblings, Lann and Reynn, who lost their memories and are on a journey to get them back. On this quest, we must tame Mirages, which are the known enemies of the franchise, and use them in combat. Characters like Squall and Cloud are champions and manifest as summons in battle.
Acquiring new Mirages, training, and evolving them is a delight! The turn-based battle becomes incredibly dynamic with all the monsters, and their abilities learned from a skill tree.
World of Final Fantasy is much more lighthearted than any other game in the franchise but worth all your attention whether you are familiar with the series or not.
Tales of Zestiria
Why not Vesperia of Berseria? I hear you ask. Simple because I haven’t played them yet. But since I love the Tales of franchise, I couldn’t leave it out.
Tales of Zestiria follows the same battle pattern known as LMBS (Linear Motion Battle System) but adds the Fusionic Chain as a prefix because the focus of the battle is the fusion between the protagonist and his party members in a system called Armatization.
The story of Zestiria is what makes many players dislike the game. In its world, monsters called hellions are born from negative emotions. Destined to face them, we have the Shepherd, which coincidentally is our protagonist, Sorey. With this power, we defeat the hellions while searching for seraphs to help us in this quest.
The game’s ending is bittersweet and the main reason for its adverse reactions. The prequel Tales of Beseria helps feed both tales and makes them better.
Listing 15 RPGs was complicated because the PlayStation 4 has a beautiful repertoire of games. While many games today have the notorious “RPG elements,” which makes it difficult to distinguish the genre, others simply innovate and improve upon proven formulas.
I know you may have a different list of RPGs that have won you and helped you create captive and enduring memories. But if my list motivates you to try any of the above, then my job here is done.
Question: Are there a lot of RPGs in PS4?
Answer: Plenty of them! From AAA releases to indie games, PlayStation 4 has a library of RPGs from old series and new IPs that are sure to please you.
Question: Should I buy a PS4 to play RPGs?
Answer: Trick question. PlayStation 4 constantly innovates the RPG formula and has a wide selection of games. Nintendo Switch has more traditional RPGs if you are nostalgic or a longtime fan. However, you can’t go wrong with either. Xbox is also expanding its RPG library gradually.
Question: What PS4 RPG should I buy?
Answer: Honestly, I would suggest any in the list that resonated with you. There are action, turn-based, and a mix of both in there. If you are new and don’t want to risk too much, perhaps games like God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn would be an ideal place to start since they contain elements of an RPG.