In case you hadn’t heard, the future of gaming is streaming. The industry will almost certainly move from the hardware-centric model it currently employs to a more cloud-based system by which players can easily stream games to their home. All you’ll need in future to play the most powerful games around is a fast internet connection.
Should you so choose, you can start to participate in that future right now thanks to Sony’s PlayStation Now service. It’s a subscription-based streaming platform that grants access to dozens of the most treasured and well-loved games on the PlayStation 4, as well as retro classics. We’ve gathered the 10 best games to stream on PlayStation Now, as it can be difficult to know where to get started when you first sign up! A quick disclaimer: some of these games may no longer be available when you read this, as the lineup is revolving. Without further ado, here are the games!
From Software’s horror-themed iteration on the Souls series shows that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks, as long as that dog is willing to be experimented on in the name of science. Fast-paced, frenetic combat replaces the old cycle-them-with-a-shield strategy (there’s even a wry joke about this in the game), and the ever-present obtuse background lore gains a new significance with the horror slant the team has added to it. An excellent experience from start to finish.
Have you played System Shock 2? It’s a superlative first-person shooter from the adventurous days of gaming, but it’s also a little creaky by today’s standards. Not to worry – that’s where Arkane Studios’ Prey comes in. It’s essentially System Shock 2 given a modern coat of paint, complete with a sprawling interconnected space station to explore and plenty of gribblies to find and defeat. The enemy design may be a little lacking, but given the sheer scale and intricacy of the world, that’s no hindrance.
A much-needed shot in the arm for the flagging Resident Evil franchise, Biohazard returned the games to their roots: a spooky location in the forest, plenty of monsters, and a well-crafted story to discover underneath all the viscera. Gameplay-wise, Biohazard was no slouch either, managing to combine a satisfying combat system with the old key-hunting style of previous entries in the franchise. It’s a skilfully-made horror game tinged with just the right level of camp irony, and if you love horror gaming, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
4. Fallout 4
It doesn’t offer the kind of deep, complex role-playing shenanigans of the progenitors of its series, but Fallout 4 knows what it is: a superb open-world shooter. Light survival elements and base-building systems buoy the core gameplay, which is as satisfying as ever; explore a building, kill its inhabitants if they’re hostile, and loot it for spare parts before moving on. Overarching story is irrelevant when it comes to Fallout 4 because exploring its world is simply a darn good time.
You may never have heard of Observation, but don’t let that dissuade you from playing it. At its core, Observation is a tribute to the intellectual sci-fi of the 70s, recently revived in movies like Moon and Arrival. It’s an atmospheric adventure game in which you play a sentient AI whose only human companion (initially, at least) is starting to wonder if you might not be on her side after all. Moody, compelling, and irresistibly dark, Observation is an essential game for anyone who loves “real” science fiction.
Combining the expansive exploration of Metroidvania games with the oblique storytelling of Dark Souls, Hollow Knight is a remarkably generous experience. You are a small insect who comes to the ruins of Hallownest seeking…something (treasure? Fame? Glory?) and discovering only an empty kingdom mostly devoid of life. It’s your task to delve into this world, uncover its secrets, and unearth its mysteries, which may or may not involve your plucky little bug hero.
How much enjoyment you’re able to extract from Metal Gear Solid V will depend on what you go in expecting to find. If you want a typical Kojima-style epic that ties up all its loose ends at the conclusion, you’ll be left wanting. However, if you go in wanting a freeform open-world stealth adventure with emergent mechanics and an emphasis on atmosphere, then this is absolutely your game. Replacing David Hayter with Keifer Sutherland as Snake was a travesty, but this is the most open Metal Gear has ever been.
8. Metro Exodus
Relentlessly depressing as it may be in a year like 2020, there’s very little to compare with Metro Exodus for atmosphere and style. Continuing the long-running series, Metro Exodus sees protagonist Artyom journeying through a series of picaresque locations and meeting the colourful locals. The shooting is tight and responsive, but that’s not really the essence of the Metro series; instead, it’s all about narrative and aesthetic, and Exodus has that in spades.
9. XCOM 2
2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a surprise delight. Its reinvention of the classic XCOM formula dialed back the difficulty and the complexity, but at its heart, it was still the same turn-based strategy PC gamers had come to know and love. XCOM 2 introduces more monsters, more tactical options, and more squad abilities, with a narrative that boldly begins as humanity is subjugated by the alien menace. Expect to save frequently.
10. Dishonored 2
Continuing an absolutely superlative 2016 is Dishonored 2, which brings a fresh set of levels and new powers to 2012’s Thief spiritual successor. This time around, you get to choose between playing as Corvo – now sporting Thief’s buttery-smooth Stephen Russell as his voice actor – and Emily, successor to Dunwall’s throne. Otherwise, it’s business as usual; explore huge environments, look for shortcuts, and assassinate your targets in creative and clever ways.