The 9 Best PS4 Story Games of 2019

From alternative universes to open world games

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BioShock: The Collection

BioShock: The Collection is a remastering (in 1080p HD and with all the DLC) of the first three original BioShock games with a premise that asks this question: What happens when perfect utopias crumble? Upon BioShock’s release, social critics examined it as a demonstration of a video game as an art form due to its compelling storyline, immersive atmosphere and unique setting.

Book lovers will love BioShock; it’s a mix of Orwell, Huxley and Rand, with incorporations of objectivism and observations based on John D. Rockefeller and his writings. The first two games will have you dive deep in the ocean to investigate and uncover the history of the underground city of Rapture, an isolated utopia left in ruins that fell to unregulated DNA altering super drugs. BioShock: Infinite will fly you to the theocratic police state of the airborne city of Columbia where proletariat underground rebels seek to destabilize its militant, cultish, racist and elite rule and you’re seen as the false shepherd, battling against foot soldiers and Americana-style steam machine robots.

Best Action: Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience

Legendary video game creator Hideo Kojima makes his final Metal Gear game on the PS4 with Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience. With multiple titles in the series that span from the 1960s to 2010s, Metal Gear Solid V wraps up the loose ends of the long-lasting franchise that first debuted in 1987.

Set in 1984, Metal Gear Solid V is an action-adventure, stealth game that follows the mercenary leader Punished “Venom” Snake in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and Africa where he exacts revenge on the forces that destroyed his militia. The open world sandbox game has you slowly rebuilding your military as you face off against various clandestine forces, questioning every action you take, and then finally leaving you with a phantom pain feeling in the end. If this is your first Metal Gear game, then you’ll have many questions concerning the whole story, enough to where you’ll pick up the other games while looking into real-world historical conflicts concerning the Mujahideen, the use of language and David Bowie.

Check out our picks for the best Metal Gear Solid games on the market.

Best Alternative Universe: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

What happens if the Nazis took over America like they do in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus? Well, it's up to you to stop them and liberate the United States as you take up arms in a small resistance group right in New York City and plan for the second American Revolution.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a first-person shooter that features incredible voice acting and animations. Characters jump out of the screen and pull you right in with a similar premise to The Man In The High Castle. The well-made game allows you to take cover and have access to a number of high-tech weaponry as you take in the horrors of a Reich uprising. Part of what draws you into Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus isn’t its big idea, but rather the slow break down of the story, with flashbacks showing you where everything went wrong.

Best Prequel: Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the entire Yakuza series, telling the tale of where it all began as you dive into the beginnings of a life of crime. The PlayStation 4 exclusive is like a window into the 1980s, capturing the decade of conspicuous consumption during Japan’s bubble economy in the heart of a glittering, luxurious and neon-lit replication of Tokyo’s entertainment and red-light district, Kabukicho.

Yakuza 0 has you switching between the series protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, and reoccurring character, Goro Majima, during predetermined points in the story. Kiryu is a young “debt collector” who is suspected of a murder and must prove his innocence, while Majima runs, under heavy surveillance, a cabaret club after being exiled from a clan but is given the opportunity to redeem himself. Yakuza 0 is ultimately an action-adventure game set in an open world environment in a third-person perspective and has beautiful cinematic cuts that unravel an otherwise thrilling and exciting crime story.

Also check out our picks for the best PlayStation 4 exclusives.

Best RPG: Undertale

Undertale tells the tale of a human child who falls deep within the Earth and travels to the surface, discovering the history of when humans and monsters once lived in harmony but were banished after waging a war.

Undertale is a 2D, top-down perspective RPG that takes a unique twist on the RPG genre with a combat system where players dodge mini-bullet hell attacks and choose whether to fight, act, use an item or show mercy. The game features three different endings depending on how you play it​ and can be beaten without causing any harm to anyone. Undertale shines with its simplistic Earthbound-style graphics and story, but the real fun takes place when you start figuring out and resolving the problems of the various diverse set of characters.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best PS4 role playing games

Best Sci-Fi: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the year is 2029 and it's finally possible to augment humankind with robot parts, but, unfortunately, as the title suggests, the practice is polarizing. The cyberpunk story is set with the premise of mechanical apartheid with rogue groups corrupting augmented beings to do some dirty work.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a first-person perspective (with a third-person cover system) that combines the genres of a first-person shooter with stealth elements, an RPG upgrade system and dialogue choices. You’ll play as Adam Jensen, an operative in a task force backed by a biotechnology company where you’ll fight off against cyborg weapon smugglers and augmented mercenaries, uncovering a conspiracy involving cutthroat corporate entities and shadow governments while infiltrating servers and selling classified information. Fans of sci-fi action movies like Terminator or Blade Runner will fall in love with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Best Mystery: What Remains of Edith Finch

The story of What Remains of Edith Finch involves “America’s most unfortunate family” where every member is cursed, dying an untimely death. You'll play as Edith, the last remaining member of the family who explores the family house and its outside wilderness while figuring out…why?

Guided by the expository voice narration of Edith, players interact and encounter various shrines and memorials of deceased relatives, reliving and experiencing the death of each of them. Each experience thrusts the player into a new realm of gameplay in different manifestations like flip books, first-person, mini-games, and cutscenes. What Remains of Edith Finch may be the most emotionally inducing and touching game on the list, causing you to care for the characters and their experiences much like reading a book you just can’t put down.

Best Adventure: Rise of the Tomb Raider

Archaeologist Lara Croft makes a triumphant return on the PlayStation 4 with the Rise of the Tomb Raider, the best action-adventure story game on the list. Seeking to find closure from a prior adventure involving the supernatural, Lara dives into her father’s research and quests to the lost city of Kietzh with the promise of immortality.

The Rise of the Tomb Raider is a third-person, action-adventure game where you'll traverse overseas in various lands such as Siberia and Syria and perform various feats of swimming, avoiding traps, jumping from ledges and engaging in combat with improvised weapons while solving puzzles. The Rise of the Tomb Raider feels like a mix of Indiana Jones and National Treasure with a whole lot of action and twists and turns that’ll keep you at the edge of your seat.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best PS4 adventure games can help you find what you're looking for.

Best Open World: Fallout 4

In Fallout 4, after humanity endures a nuclear holocaust in 2077, the last known survivors emerge from a cryogenic fallout shelter vault only to discover the world has changed. With aesthetics from the 1940s and 1950s and retro-futuristic designs, the Sole Survivor character (you) embarks on an unfolding story where you must find your kidnapped son.

Fallout 4 is an action, RPG game with first-person shooter elements set in an open world environment full of super mutants, feral ghouls, robots and synthetic humans that’ll aim to fool you. The game will have you traveling through a wasteland in Mad Max-style cities and abandoned towns where you’ll meet various surviving characters and organizations who all drive the plot in uncovering the mystery surrounding your son. Decisions matter in Fallout 4, and you’ll make a lot of friends (a loyal dog, for one) and enemies while engaging in conversations that can turn the tide of humanity’s history forever.