Between console hardware, home cinema setups and peripherals, video games can feel like quite a costly hobby. Not only is the equipment required to play video games expensive in itself, but the games themselves can often go for quite a pretty penny as well. New games usually retail at around $60, and that’s not factoring in extras like special editions or DLC season passes. Put simply, it’s not cheap to be a gamer.
At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. If you know where to look, though, there’s a veritable treasure trove of underappreciated (or rightly appreciated) gems going for an absolute song. The PlayStation Store is rife with bargains and deals, many of which are updated on a weekly basis. That’s not what we’re here to talk about today, though. All of the games on this list can be had from the PS Store for less than $20, and barring a massive price increase for no reason, that’s the way it’ll stay. Without further ado, here are the best games you can get on your PS4 for under $20.
Bloodborne - $19.99
After the phenomenal success of hack-and-slash adventure Dark Souls, developer From Software was in high demand among publishers. Sony ended up being the ones to snag the coveted exclusive from the Japanese studio, which resulted in Bloodborne, a decidedly more horror-inflected take on the established Souls formula. Bloodborne sees players hunting deadly beasts through the deserted city of Yharnam, fighting for their lives as a darker truth lurks just under the slick surface of blood and fur. Bloodborne is not for the faint of heart; its frantic combat, epic boss battles and relentless difficulty may well put off neophytes. Hardcore action-RPG fans and those who like a challenge will find their $20 well spent on this one, though. For an extra $15, you can pick up the Complete Edition bundle, which comes with the game’s excellent The Old Hunters DLC.
Dishonored: Definitive Edition - $19.99
The complete version of Arkane Studios’ immersive stealth-’em-up offers an embarrassment of riches for such a meagre price. Dishonored follows royal bodyguard Corvo Attano as he works to clear his name of a crime he didn’t commit. The backdrop for his adventures is the rat-infested city of Dunwall, home to many oddball inhabitants and a veritable playground for Corvo’s burgeoning abilities. Dishonored plays very similarly to PC classic Thief: The Dark Project and its sequels, offering superlative first-person stealthing with plenty of branching pathways and alternate options for dispatching targets. The Definitive Edition comes complete with all of the game’s DLC, which adds a number of story missions, challenge maps and other tidbits to enjoy.
Undertale - $14.99
We’ll be upfront about this: Toby Fox’s RPG is best played on a PC if you can get your hands on it. We can’t explain why, but the PC version has some...features...which the PS4 version simply couldn’t emulate. That said, Undertale on PS4 is still an absolute steal at $14.99. You are a child who falls into a world inhabited by monsters, and you must find your way out and back to your homeland. Along the way, you’ll meet a cast of unforgettably wonderful characters and engage in an idiosyncratic version of turn-based JRPG-style combat with many of them. Undertale has far too many twists and turns to give them all away here; the central conceit of the game is that you can either fight your enemies or show them mercy, but saying any more than that would ruin the game’s myriad surprises and emotional moments. You should play this game yesterday if you haven’t already. The physical copy however falls into the category of a rare PS4 game and actually retails at around $80 - so if you're looking for a deal, go for the digital copy.
DOOM - $19.99
Do you ever wish modern video games weren’t quite so insistent on the whole “go everywhere, do everything” philosophy? Ever wanted a game that just plonks you in the middle of an unfolding disaster, hands you an incredibly satisfying gun, then shows you a bunch of enemies and assures you that the world really would be better off without them? If so, then your prayers have been answered in id Software and Bethesda’s DOOM. A reboot of sorts and a sequel of other sorts, DOOM is an old-school callback to shooters like the original of its name, as well as Serious Sam, Painkiller and other arcadey action titles. After 2004’s disappointing Doom 3, the focus here is squarely on the shooting, with the Doom Marine wielding a range of cathartic weapons with which to dispatch deadly demons. Throw in some levels chock-full of secrets and a surprisingly well-implemented perk system and this one’s an instant classic.
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition - $14.99
Super Metroid is a real good game, right? So’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and, for that matter, Dark Souls. Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight pays homage to all of these titles, packing in an absurd amount of content which will easily stretch to 20-plus hours. Players take control of an unnamed sword-wielding insectoid, who must travel into the ruined kingdom of Hallownest to discover what happened to its inhabitants. The adventure along the way is Metroidvania at its best and most satisfying. The level design here is some of the strongest the genre has ever seen, and just as the game seems to be coming to a close, it reveals new avenues and pathways for you to take numerous times. The Voidheart Edition of Hollow Knight throws in 4 post-release DLC packs, each of which is huge, as well as the full original experience. Hollow Knight is a game you really can’t afford to miss.
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