Graphics, it is often said, aren’t everything. It’s true that a game can enthrall and bewitch without the most advanced visuals in the world; games like Undertale and Axiom Verge prove this with aplomb. That said, there’s still something magical about a really gorgeous-looking game. Walking out into that open-world vista for the first time and seeing acres of beautiful scenery stretch out before the protagonist is something that just never gets old. We’re pretty spoiled for amazing-looking games on our beloved PS4, so we thought we’d be cruel and limit ourselves to 5. Here, without further ado, are the 5 most beautiful games on the PS4. Obviously, all of these look better on a PS4 Pro and with a ridiculously massive TV, so fill your boots.
Bloodborne - $25.71
Despite being a few years old now, Bloodborne still wows with its visuals right out of the gate. The city of Yharnam is alive with rich detail, from the grotesque statues which litter the ruined streets to the glistening eldritch monsters lurking just out of sight. It’s not just a visual spectacle, though. The excellent graphics on display in Bloodborne reinforces its central theme in a way that feels deliberate and thought-through. The first encounter with the Cleric Beast, a wailing monstrosity with flailing limbs and fur slicked down with blood, just wouldn’t feel as impressive if each individual strand of hair didn’t billow in the Yharnam breeze.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End - $21.97
From the sublime to the ridiculous, and we mean that as a compliment. Uncharted 4’s scenery and character models are so beautiful the characters themselves actually comment on it throughout the course of the game. Seriously – count the number of times you hear the phrase “look at that view” or “check that scenery out, woo” as you play through it. Of course, such self-praise is entirely warranted, as Naughty Dog knocks it out of the park yet again with a sumptuously gorgeous trek through exotic locales. Everything from rock textures to skyboxes looks incredible in Uncharted 4; it’s really possible to see all of Naughty Dog’s blood, sweat and tears in every shred of anti-aliasing and bloom lighting.
God of War - $59.29
Well, it would be churlish not to mention this one, wouldn’t it? God of War sold over 3.1 million units in its first 3 days on release, going on to break several PS4 records and generally landing in many people’s lists as a pretty great game. We’re not going to suggest that all of that is down to the visuals, but this epic sins-of-the-father journey just wouldn’t feel the same without the breathtaking graphical fidelity of the Nine Realms. Some of the most advanced graphics tech in the industry was used to create this masterpiece, and it shows. Environmental objects get destroyed with nary a frame drop, checkerboarded 4K rendering makes the whole thing pop off the screen, and massive enemies with several moving parts don’t even make the engine blink. God of War is a truly satisfying game to play through, but it’s also bloomin’ gorgeous (pun intended).
Horizon: Zero Dawn - $25.90
Guerilla Games’ open-world epic really needed to bathe our eyeballs in golden light to succeed in impressing us, and it did just that. Playing Horizon: Zero Dawn on a 4K TV is nothing short of a revelation. Whether Aloy is moving through vast fields of flowers which sway back and forth in the breeze, or taking on a huge robotic monstrosity surrounded by uncaring snowy mountains, Horizon: Zero Dawn never looks anything less than brilliant. Some think the facial animation leaves something to be desired, but we like it; although there’s the occasional judder, Aloy’s companions and enemies alike are helped no end by a superior lighting engine and wonderful hair physics.
Final Fantasy XV - $39.82
Last, but certainly not least, we have Noctis and his enduring bromance with his three besties. Final Fantasy XV is the first entry in the series to truly go open-world, and the change only benefits the game from a visual perspective. Cruising through Eos in an open-topped sports car, blasting out classic Final Fantasy tunes and taking in the gorgeous scenery was a delight at every stage of the journey. For arguably the first time in the series, the signature chocobos actually looked like birds, with feathers shimmering and beaks glistening in the rain. If you’re a graphics connoisseur, you owe it to yourself to check out Final Fantasy XV.