Game Informer’s Top Shelter-In-Place PlayStation 4 Games
Even with a new generation of games on the horizon, PlayStation 4 has plenty of life let in it with The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima on the way in the future. Whether you're an old fan or a new adopter, the Game Informer crew has rounded up a variety of games for you to play during this lockdown. Most of these games serve up escapism that should help keep your mind off of the real world, but not all of them. A couple of entries deal with contagions and separation. As we are learning, board games like Pandemic are selling out, and movies like Contagion are being streamed more. Some people want to live in the moment, even in their gaming.
No matter what path you take, we hope these games deliver plenty of entertainment. Stay safe, and just know we are all one day closer to getting through this. If you don’t have a PlayStation 4, we have created similar lists for Xbox One and Switch.
As always, we'd love for you to join in on the conversation with your own personal picks in the comments section below. We'll be back next week with a list of PC games to play during the lockdown.
Looking back, Death Stranding seems eerily prophetic now. It’s a story about a world so hostile that its people have retreated into underground bunkers, isolating themselves from each other and relying on delivery workers to bring them essential supplies. So, if you’re looking for an escape from your shelter-in-place reality, Death Stranding is not a great choice. But if you want an interesting and unconventional experience, then look no further. The gameplay loop initially seems simple; you pick up packages one place, and then you bring them to people at other places. However, Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear fame) and his team use this structure to convey a message about the importance of human connection. As you traverse a barren-but-beautiful landscape, you unlock a satisfying array of new items, vehicles, and structures that improve your efficiency. If you don’t expect too much from the narrative, Death Stranding is a compelling (and surprisingly peaceful) journey through a post-apocalyptic America. - Joe Juba
A story of family in an uncertain time unfolds within Children of Morta, an action/RPG that dazzles with its narrative just as much as its dungeon-crawling combat. Whether you are playing it by yourself or with someone at your side, I think you’re going to adore just how clever, heartwarming, and rewarding this experience can be. The randomized dungeons bring plenty of challenge, pushing you to play in different ways each time. In one dungeon run, you may find more success relying on close-range melee, whereas the next run in the same space may deliver better results if you pick away at foes from afar with archery or magic. Excellent story sequences are dispersed liberally throughout the entire adventure; some develop the evil that is spreading across the land, but most focus on the Bergson family. You watch them grow, experience highs and lows, and come closer together as the darkness spreads. Developer Dead Mage has created a game that is as clever as it is fun. Children of Morta constantly hits on both of these notes and ends up being a wonderful journey from start to finish. - Andrew Reiner
The delay of the movie Black Widow has created a gap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's steady flow of releases, so you might be craving an awesome story with one of your favorite superheroes right now. While gaming has always been a great alternative to movies when you're itching for an adventure, Insomniac's Spider-Man stands tall as one of the greatest superhero games ever released. Not only do you get a terrific story starring all your favorite Spider-Man characters like Peter and MJ, but you also get to take on Spidey's iconic nemeses in a thrilling adventure to save New York. To top it all off, it serves as a terrific introduction to Miles Morales, who many people now know as the star of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. - Brian Shea
Sure, the subject matter in Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment's game hits a little close to home, but look at it as a grim form of escapism. After all, things haven't hit green-poison levels of destruction in our timeline quite yet. I understand that some people might want to avoid something as narratively grim as The Division 2's post-pandemic apocalypse, but it hasn't been bothering me the past few weeks. I've gotten back into the game in a big way, marching through Washington D.C. from mid-game, where I fell off it last year, to a feverish race through to end-game. Best of all, I've been keeping the streets relatively safe through some co-op with my oldest kid, which has been a lot of fun. I'm a sucker for seeing familiar places in various states of ruin, which is something The Division 2 excels at. The Manning National Zoo level, in particular, is a memorable set piece in a game that's jam-packed with them. - Jeff Cork
I’ve been playing this game every day since it came out, chipping away at the different modes. Sometimes I’ll play a game or two in March to October or take a turn on a Conquest map in Diamond Dynasty. Either way, there’s always something that fits my mood. Regardless of the actual mode I’m in, I’m really enjoying getting better as a batter and a pitcher. I’m developing a better eye in the batter’s box, and consequently making pitchers work more for the out. On the other end of the equation, as a pitcher I’m setting up batters better through my pitch selection and placement. I’m not sure that I’ll ever earn 300 stars in a single Inning program in Diamond Dynasty, or take my franchise to 2029, but for someone who’s not a diehard baseball fan per se, these past couple years of MLB the Show have really gotten me hooked, and none more so than this year. - Matthew Kato
Many weren’t sure what to expect from Guerilla’s departure from the Killzone franchise, but the change of scenery ended up being fantastic for the studio. As a new IP and PlayStation 4 exclusive, Horizon Zero Dawn had big shoes to fill, but Aloy’s journey to uncover the mysteries of her strange world and own origins is full of memorable moments, and fighting against giant robotic creatures is an adrenaline rush.
If you’re looking for an action/RPG set in an interesting world, look no further. Horizon Zero Dawn has rewarding exploration, tons of interesting side quests, and exciting battles that keep you on your toes (and cycling through your weapons). But, really, its biggest delight is getting lost in its rich world; there’s this sense of discovery that pervades your journey, whether it’s finding audio logs or learning about new tribes. After all, where did these dangerous machines come from, and why are they getting deadlier? And why is the world in this primitive state? In addition, Aloy quickly became one of my favorite characters due to how her confidence grows throughout the journey – seeing her come into her own is certainly a highlight, and the story wraps up in a satisfying way. Horizon Zero Dawn will keep you busy and entertained, so this is the perfect time to give it a try – or another playthrough – if you’re looking for a great world to explore. - Kimberley Wallace
Destiny 2 is a great game with deep and rewarding gunplay, rich science-fiction world-building, and the opportunity to endlessly level and improve a consistent character across years of built-up content. Several distinct campaigns and storylines wait to be explored for new players, offering plenty for even solo players to discover. If you can wrangle some friends, you can expect to find a wide variety of cooperative activities, from simple strikes to complex raids. If competition is more your thing, then honing your skills in the Crucible offers no end of opportunities for skill advancement. No matter your playstyle, you’re always advancing your hero with new gear on their path to become a legend. Veteran players will endlessly debate the merits of any given season of content, and after you’ve played for a few hundred hours, you may join in on the praise and critique. But there’s no debating the breadth of game modes, adventures, and challenge variations that a player can encounter if they’ve never played before – there’s plenty to keep you busy.
In the early days of the Destiny franchise, Activision and Bungie’s close relationship with Sony made the PlayStation 4 the best place to be a Guardian, thanks to numerous exclusive weapons, maps, and quests. While Bungie’s more recent path of independence is more platform-agnostic (including cross-save options), many players still play on the PS4 to stay engaged with the many friends and clanmates they’ve built up over the years. As such, it’s a great place to dive in and explore this massive game with lots of other players by your side. - Matt Miller
Bloodborne may seem like a strange pick during tough times, but you owe it to yourself to go through this incredible game, and being locked down indoors might make pushing yourself against the werewolves and beasts of Yharnam easier. Bloodborne is one of the best games on PS4, if not the best game of all time (I sure think it is), and the insane voyage through Victorian and cosmic horror begs to be experienced. Bloodborne is more accessible than From Software’s other offerings (like Dark Souls and Sekiro), so that’s another reason you shouldn’t be afraid to take a seat on the mind bending, atmospheric ride. Much of Bloodborne’s difficulty is front-loaded, so don’t be dismayed if the first few hours are rough – you’ll be dashing through the gothic darkness in no time. Of course, you should absolutely pick up The Old Hunters DLC as well, and make sure to explore it before finishing the base game. Bloodborne is not exactly the happiest of journeys, but it’s so powerful and showcases the incredible breadth of From Software’s atmospheric and environmental storytelling that it’s an absolute must-play, during lockdown or not. And hell, we could all use a little triumph after taking down a big boss right now. - Daniel Tack
Feeling stuck in the house? The perfect antidote might be a globetrotting adventure. The Uncharted series is a powerful mix of Indiana Jones adventuring, real-world history, and modern-day action. Uncharted 4 is easily one of the best entries in the series. Nathan Drake is pulled out of adventuring "retirement" when his brother comes back from the grave with promises of finding a long-lost pirate treasure. During that treasure hunt, you break out of a Panamanian jail, infiltrate an illegal auction in Italy, and visit a dilapidated cathedral in the Scottish Highlands – all before finding a secret pirate island. The story moves as fast as the nonstop action. The Naughty Dog team is full of master storytellers, and Uncharted 4 is not only a rollercoaster thrill ride, it’s a heartfelt story that touches on brotherly love, personal obsession, and the legacy we leave behind. It helps if you’ve already played the previous Uncharted games, but you don’t need experience with the series to really enjoy this stunning adventure, so what are you waiting for? - Ben Reeves
When things aren’t necessarily going my way in life, I often look to the best storytellers for a dose of escapism to enthrall me with their lovingly-crafted worlds. God of War may not be the upbeat, cheery story some may need in the age of the pandemic, but Sony Santa Monica’s return to the world of gods and those who defy them makes for one of the most engrossing video game narratives this console generation has seen. Kratos’ journey through Norse mythology is different than his vicious tirade tearing apart ancient Greece. It focuses on a man filled with not only regret and pain, but a deep love for his son and recently departed wife. It’s a mature story that deals with how we move on from our past mistakes, but also straddles those heavier themes with some of the biggest and most thrilling boss battles we’ve seen on the PlayStation 4. Make no mistake, as much as God of War is focused on telling a nuanced tale, it’s also features one of my favorite combat systems in recent memory. The Leviathan axe is an incredibly satisfying weapon that shreds through Valkyries and feels as solid as Thor's hammer. Because of this, chopping away at the denizens of the forest can feel borderline cathartic in these trying times. The impeccable weapon design is complemented beautifully by useful abilities, enemy variety that keeps the game challenging but rewarding, and a world teeming with mythical mystery. It’s those pillars that prop up God of War as one of the PS4’s truly great titles, and offers people looking to avoid the stress of the real world one hell of an adventure to get lost in. - Alex Stadnik