Despite the fact that the PS4 is getting on in years, 2022 offered many worthwhile gaming experiences for the last-gen console. If you haven’t quite managed to get your hands on a PS5 yet, you need not despair; you can head into a game shop and still pick up plenty of goodies for your PS4. Many of the most popular and well-liked games of the year launched on the last-gen console as well as its next-gen successor, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the best PS4 games of 2022.
Make no mistake: Elden Ring is the game of the year no matter which platform you play it on. Souls veterans will appreciate its familiarity; its combat is almost a comfort zone for many, despite its brutal difficulty and unforgiving nature. If you’re new to these games, though, Elden Ring has more difficulty-easing options built into it than ever, including new summoned monsters to help you through combat encounters. That doesn’t mean Elden Ring is any less savage and beautiful than its predecessors, though
In 2018, Sony successfully rebooted God of War, recasting Kratos as a reluctant and penitent warrior trying to make a clean break from his brutal and violent past. Ragnarok continues Kratos’ story of redemption; his son is now a teenager, and together, they must try to make sense of what they saw at the end of 2018’s odyssey and attempt to prevent the oncoming Norse apocalypse of the title. This is a mature, grown-up story, and while the combat and puzzling are fairly ordinary, the narrative isn’t.
It may have been the PS5 version that turned heads thanks to its incredible visual beauty, but Horizon Forbidden West is no slouch on PS4, either. Sony managed to wring every last drop of power and performance out of their last-gen console, rendering Aloy’s second journey through the post-apocalyptic dino-filled hinterlands even more gorgeous than the first. An expanded toolkit for bringing down dinosaurs and a wider cast of supporting characters make the story of Forbidden West worth experiencing if you liked Zero Dawn.
Is traditional survival horror dead? We don’t think so. Indie gem Signalis seems to be carrying the torch all by itself, so thankfully, it’s a success, by and large. Nervy, panicky resource management-based gameplay and awkward, sticky combat are the staples of this genre, and Signalis pulls them both off with aplomb, giving players a huge facility to explore in the process. The ending may lose you if you haven’t been following the preceding story with absolute attention, but it’s still a success in its own right.
Endwalker may be an expansion to an existing MMORPG, but it’s so huge and rewarding that it’s essentially a game in its own right. This latest expansion wraps up the ongoing story that’s been cooking since Final Fantasy XIV’s disastrous original launch, and it feels every bit as satisfying as it should. If you’ve followed this story right from the start and you’re not in floods of tears by the time of Endwalker’s incredible conclusion, then you might want to check you still have emotions.
Tunic’s vast, immersive world is easy to get lost in, both figuratively and literally. If you remember the days of primarily physical gaming and you’ve ever borrowed a slightly suspect cartridge or CD from your friend, popping it into your console and wondering what you’re supposed to do thanks to a lack of instructions, Tunic is for you. It captures that magical, nostalgic feeling of getting by with an instruction manual in a language you don’t understand, primarily because putting one together is exactly how you make progress.
When Disney Dreamlight Valley was originally announced, many scoffed at what they considered to be the cynicism at the core of its premise. An Animal Crossing-style life sim? With Disney characters? Surely not. Still, when Gameloft’s title arrived, it proved the naysayers wrong and then some. Disney Dreamlight Valley turned out to be a delight, a wonderfully-crafted paean to the works we’ve known and loved over the years and a damn fine life sim in its own right as well.
Depending on your personal preferences, the aesthetic of Cult of the Lamb will either make or break the experience for you. If you have a low tolerance for “quirky”, you may want to look elsewhere, but if you can vibe with the game’s slightly hackneyed mashup of cutesy and dark, then you’ll find a seriously compelling and engaging roguelite. Its combat and management mechanics are fairly simple, but they mesh together incredibly well, creating an experience that’s surprisingly addictive.
Aww. If you like cats, then you need to play Stray yesterday. Its protagonist is instantly adorable; we open with them hanging out with their cat family, playing a little, curling up next to their friends to sleep, and generally being as cute as cats always are. Before long, the adventure begins, and you must journey through a futuristic slum to unravel the mystery of what happened to humanity and why the city is now full of robots. Stray is light on gameplay, but it’s heavy on atmosphere, endearing characters, and cute cats, and hey, what more can you ask from a gaming experience in 2022?