The PS4 may be getting on a little in years, but it can still offer a great gaming experience. While availability for the PS5 is certainly improving, it’s still fairly difficult to get a new console right now, so if you’re falling back on your trusty PS4 to provide all of your gaming entertainment, rest assured that you’re far from alone. Happily, January will provide plenty of excuses to hold off on getting a PS5 for just a little bit longer, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the best PS4 games January 2023 has to offer!
Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider – January 12th
Describing itself as a platformer that “channels the golden age of classic 16-bit action games”, Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is the newest game from Blazing Chrome developer JoyMasher and publisher The Arcade Crew. Like that game, it’s a throwback to its forebears, but this one owes more of a debt to Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi, and Mega Man X than it does to Metal Slug or Contra. In short, if you love your retro action platformers, you’re definitely going to enjoy this one.
One Piece Odyssey – January 13th
It’s Dragon Quest, but with One Piece characters and settings. What’s not to love? One Piece Odyssey tells a new story set in the One Piece world, but it still stars all the faces you’ve come to know and love, like Monkey D. Luffy, Zoro, and Nami. Luffy is separated from his friends when they end up shipwrecked on an island, and he must journey across said island in order to find them, engaging in classic JRPG turn-based combat and exploration as he does so.
A Space for the Unbound – January 19th
Have you played through the entirety of Life Is Strange and Tell Me Why, and now you’re looking for a brand new narrative adventure experience? If so, look no further than A Space for the Unbound, Indonesian developer Mojiken’s slice-of-life adventure game about the lives of two rural teens dragged into supernatural events they don’t quite understand. Of course, teenagers’ lives don’t grind to a halt just because the fundamental truths that govern them are upended, so expect lots of relationship drama.
Persona 3 Portable – January 19th
Finally, Persona 3 makes its triumphant return to the PlayStation ecosystem. Originally released for PS2 in 2008, a remake of Persona 3 titled Persona 3 Portable was subsequently released for the PSP in 2011, and that’s the one you’re getting on PS4. Admittedly, it does have some shortcomings compared to the PS2 version, not least its lack of fully 3D environments to explore, but this could well still offer the definitive Persona 3 experience depending on what you’re after.
Persona 4 Golden – January 19th
Persona 4 Golden made its way to Steam back in 2020, allowing Persona 5 fans to rediscover the game that introduced many to the Persona series. For a lot of people, Persona 4 is the superior experience. Nobody will argue that the gameplay is better, but the setting and characters are a little more intimate and homely than Persona 5’s grand, sweeping heists. If you’ve ever had that feeling that you’ll probably never see your best friends again after college, this is the game for you.
Monster Hunter Rise – January 20th
Monster Hunter Rise is the latest in the long-running franchise of monster-slaying RPGs, and both it and its expansion, Sunbreak, are headed to PS4 in 2023. Rise introduces the Wirebug, a small device that opens up traversal and allows you to launch yourself around each of the game’s maps. As always, you’ll be hunting down monsters and trying to get the drop on them in order to craft new and ever more exotic equipment from the loot they leave behind.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake – January 31st
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom may not have been the greatest platformer ever made, but it was a fun and diverting game that provided more than enough laughs and entertainment for a SpongeBob fan who also happens to like platforming. That’s exactly what The Cosmic Shake is purporting to offer; it’s a spiritual sequel to Bikini Bottom that once again sees SpongeBob leaping and fighting his way across a series of themed worlds.
Season: A Letter to the Future – January 31st
Just like A Space for the Unbound, Season: A Letter to the Future promises to offer a more sedate, slow-paced experience for those who have had quite enough of action-packed thrill rides, thank you very much. Armed only with your trusty bicycle and a suite of recording devices, you must set out from your village in order to record the sounds, sights, and experiences of the world before a mysterious cataclysm wipes it out. Light-hearted it may not be, but A Letter to the Future promises to be profound at the very least.
Eight games isn’t a bad slate for January, right? It’s definitely worth considering getting a PS5 at this point; you’re missing out on the likes of Dead Space and Forspoken, neither of which have been confirmed or even rumoured for last-gen platforms, if you don’t have one.
If, however, you can’t access or buy a PS5, January should give you more than enough reasons to hang onto your old faithful machine for a little while longer. You can also play some of December’s biggest releases, including Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII: Reunion and Wavetale, so your PS4 isn’t out just yet.