When a new console comes around it’s always exciting to imagine the potential of the new games it brings with it. Looking back over both the familiar and the newly established franchises throughout the near six-year span of the PlayStation 4, you’ll see some truly remarkable video games.
The PlayStation 5 is sure to see many of these well-loved and highly-acclaimed franchises return. However, alongside these, there exist those franchises that were critically ravished, failed to hit the mark, or ran their course. Here’s our pick of a few of the games to grace the PS4 that are worthy of a place on the next generation of consoles, and some that absolutely do not.
10 Should Return: The Witcher
With developer CD Projekt Red revealing that The Witcher was only intended to be a trilogy, Geralt’s story seems to have come to an end. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any stories left to tell.
The Witcher is a flagship franchise of CD Projekt Red and the studio may feel tempted to turn their attention back to the series following the release of Cyberpunk 2077. While the PlayStation 4 may have seen the last of Geralt of Rivia, the PlayStation 5 could welcome a new tale in the series and a return to the realm of monsters, men, and witchers.
9 Shouldn’t Return: Knack
With dull characters and a lackluster story, there’s not much to get excited about with Knack. Action-platformers devoid of any real platforming, Knack focus on monotonous, repetitive button-mashing to clear levels. While there was some charm to the design of its characters and the graphics were polished, Knack didn’t bring anything new or innovative to the table.
The first Knack was a PS4 launch exclusive, while the second installment landed four years later. So far, Knack has only ever graced one console generation and it should remain that way.
8 Should Return: Ratchet & Clank
Taking the longest break between games in the whole franchise, 2016's Ratchet & Clank brought the series back with a bang. As a reimagining of the original 2002 game, the PS4 version struck the balance between new and nostalgia perfectly, breathing new life into what seemed to be a plateauing franchise.
The two entries that succeeded the original Ratchet & Clank were two of the best in the series and are undoubtedly deserving of the same fine-tuning treatment. Insomniac already has one of the best games on the PS4 in Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Ratchet & Clank has the potential to offer the same for the PS5.
7 Shouldn’t Return: Anthem
Despite once brimming with potential, at best, Anthem might slowly be updated to become a passable AAA game. However, the MMO's post-launch bugs, weak story, uninspired missions, and general lack of content was way below the standard expected of a big-budget studio release.
Developer BioWare has seen a gradual decrease in its quality of games, eventually culminating in the disparaged launch of Anthem. We can only hope the studio manages to rediscover its lost mojo in time for the PS5; until then, Anthem is best left forgotten.
6 Should Return: Dishonored
With some of the most unique and satisfying abilities in a stealth role-playing game, Dishonored’s world is one of the most fun to traverse and explore. With many mysteries remaining unanswered, a return to this cruel and corrupt steampunk world would be most welcome.
While it is another series to have likely seen the story of its protagonist come to an end, Dishonored is no stranger to giving the player control over new characters, either in the main narrative or as part of an accompanying DLC’s. The story may yet continue from a new perspective, or perhaps even a familiar one. Tales of revenge never get old, after all.
5 Shouldn’t Return: Fallout 76
Bringing multiplayer to the post-apocalyptic world for the first time, Fallout 76 failed to capture the magic of its single-player counterparts. A complete lack of NPCs coupled with a flimsy story made the already-desolate world feel even emptier, counterintuitive to its multiplayer design. Add the slow-pacing, stiff controls, and bulky menus characteristic of a Fallout game, and 76 simply did not translate well to a multiplayer experience.
While Bethesda continues to attempt to fix the game through updates, it’s clear the studio should stick to what it knows best and leave the multiplayer scene to the experts.
4 Should Return: God Of War
Following Kratos’ return to the PS4 eight years after the release of God of War III, it immediately became clear it was a game far different from its predecessors. Offering a simplistic yet compelling story, visuals which pushed the capabilities of the PS4 to its edge, and action-packed gameplay, this game elevated its franchise to another level.
Often hailed as the best game on the PS4, God of War was always going to be included on this list. While at the moment another God of War title only exists as a rumor, it would be far more surprising if a follow-up wasn’t released on the PS5.
3 Shouldn’t Return: Uncharted
While far from being a bad game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was a fitting end to the adventures of Nathan Drake. It also seemed to be a definitive end. To take the story any further at this point would seem unjustified and work against the incredible action games that came before.
Every great franchise should work to tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. Once it’s over, let it be. While Naughty Dog has explored the Uncharted series further with the spin-off Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Nathan Drake’s story has run its course.
2 Should Return: Bloodborne
Bloodborne’s unforgiving, unrelenting world sets up obstacle after obstacle to test the player's patience and capability right from the get-go. The grim, gothic world of Yharnam shines when you begin to feel the sense of satisfaction as you claw your way through its murderous streets, overcoming the obstacles that once seemed impassable.
From the same developers as Dark Souls, this is a PlayStation exclusive that undoubtedly has more to offer. While it shares an inherent likeness to the Souls series, Bloodborne is very much its own entity, worthy of spawning a franchise of its own.
1 Shouldn’t Return: The Playroom
A rather unimpressive game – if you can call it that – which aimed to demonstrate the capabilities of the PS4’s camera and DualShock 4 controller. However, similar to the Xbox Kinect, the PS4 camera never really took off as a worthwhile feature until VR was introduced.
Aside from some controversy that led to The Playroom becoming banned from Twitch, there is little reason anyone would remember or miss this game by the time the PS5 comes around. And with it being pre-loaded onto every PS4, we can only hope that the game (or something akin to it) doesn’t make its way onto the next generation of consoles as well.