While blockbuster titles often hog the spotlight in the gaming world, the PlayStation 4 library is home to a myriad of underrated gems that offer unique and memorable experiences. These hidden treasures may not have received the acclaim they deserve, but they have captured the hearts of dedicated fans who appreciate their charm and innovation. In this article, we will dive into the world of underrated PS4 games, exploring 30 titles that deserve more recognition and attention. From engaging storytelling and challenging gameplay to nostalgic experiences and humorous adventures, these lesser-known games have something special to offer to all types of gamers.
1. Transistor: A Real-Time Tale of Mystery
Unearthing the Beauty of Transistor
Transistor takes players on a mesmerizing journey through a sci-fi world filled with real-time battles and engaging storytelling. Developed by Supergiant Games, the creators of Bastion, this game boasts a stunning art style and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack that adds to its allure. Players control Red, a singer with a mysterious weapon, the Transistor, and unravel the truth behind the city of Cloudbank. Despite its artistry and narrative brilliance, Transistor remains an underrated gem that deserves more recognition in the gaming community.
2. Helldivers: Galactic Cooperative Shooting
A Co-op Adventure in the Cosmos
Helldivers is a twin-stick shooter that offers a thrilling cooperative experience as players take on the role of elite soldiers fighting against a variety of alien enemies. Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios, the game features procedurally generated levels, ensuring that each mission is a unique challenge. Communication and teamwork are essential to survival in the intense battles, making it a standout co-op title. Despite its solid gameplay mechanics and enjoyable cooperative shooting, Helldivers often flies under the radar in the gaming world.
3. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments – Unravel Intriguing Mysteries
Becoming the Master Detective
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is a detective adventure game that allows players to step into the shoes of the iconic detective himself. Developed by Frogwares, this game presents players with intricate cases to solve, challenging their deductive skills and attention to detail. The well-written portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and the engaging investigation gameplay set it apart as one of the most underrated PS4 games. If you enjoy stepping into the world of mysteries and riddles, this hidden gem is worth adding to your gaming collection.
4. Cat Quest: A Charming Feline Adventure
Pawsome Adventure Awaits!
Cat Quest brings a delightful and charming world to life where players embark on a feline adventure filled with puns and whimsical storytelling. Developed by The Gentlebros, this action RPG features a clever grid-based battle system, allowing players to engage in real-time combat while navigating through a vast open world. The adorable visuals and light-hearted humor make Cat Quest a refreshing experience for gamers looking for a whimsical and entertaining journey. Despite its appeal, this adorable feline adventure remains underrated.
5. The TakeOver: A Nostalgic Beat ’em Up
Reliving the Beat ’em Up Glory
The TakeOver delivers a nostalgic arcade beat ’em up experience, harking back to the golden age of side-scrolling brawlers. With catchy music and retro-inspired graphics, this game is a love letter to classic beat ’em up titles of the past. Developed by Pelikan13, The TakeOver offers intense action, a variety of characters, and a fun cooperative mode that will undoubtedly delight fans of the genre. Despite its dedication to nostalgia and enjoyable gameplay, this hidden gem often goes unnoticed in the vast gaming landscape.
6. Fairy Tail: A JRPG of Magical Proportions
Delving into the World of Magic
Fairy Tail brings the beloved anime and manga series to life with an engaging JRPG experience. Developed by Gust Co. Ltd., this game allows players to join the ranks of the Fairy Tail guild and embark on a magical adventure. With a clever grid-based battle system and a plethora of characters to choose from, Fairy Tail captures the essence of the source material while offering a compelling gaming experience. Despite its faithfulness to the anime and its strong JRPG elements, this title remains underrated among many gamers.
7. Shenmue III: Nostalgia and Controversy
The Long-Awaited Sequel
Shenmue III continues the epic saga of Ryo Hazuki as he seeks revenge and uncovers the mysteries of his father’s death. This sequel, developed by Ys Net, retains the nostalgic charm of the original series while incorporating modern gaming elements. The game boasts a vast open world, detailed environments, and engaging martial arts combat. However, Shenmue III has also faced its share of controversy, making it a divisive entry in the series. Despite its loyal fan base, this game remains underrated in the broader gaming community.
8. The Witness: Puzzling Enigmas on a Mysterious Island
Unraveling the Mysteries of The Witness
The Witness is an enigmatic first-person puzzle game set on a visually captivating island. Developed by Jonathan Blow, this game challenges players with a series of intricate puzzles, designed to stimulate their minds and test their problem-solving abilities. The absence of tutorials and hand-holding encourages players to explore and uncover the island’s secrets on their own. The game’s minimalist storytelling and thought-provoking puzzles have earned it critical acclaim, but its niche appeal contributes to its status as an underrated gem in the gaming world.
9. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: A Haunting Mystery
A Haunting Adventure in Red Creek Valley
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person adventure game that immerses players in a haunting and atmospheric narrative. Developed by The Astronauts, the game follows a detective investigating the mysterious disappearance of a young boy named Ethan Carter. The stunning visuals and haunting soundtrack add to the eerie ambiance, creating a captivating and emotional journey for players. Despite its positive reception from critics, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter remains overlooked by many, making it one of the most underrated PS4 games.
10. What Remains of Edith Finch: An Emotional Journey Through Family History
A Tale of Mystery and Tragedy
What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative-driven adventure game that invites players to explore the tragic history of the Finch family. Developed by Giant Sparrow, this game delves into themes of loss, family, and the passage of time. Each family member’s story is presented as a unique interactive vignette, offering a diverse and emotionally charged experience. With its poignant storytelling and innovative gameplay, What Remains of Edith Finch is a hidden gem that deserves more recognition for its exceptional narrative.
11. Dust: An Elysian Tail – A Whimsical Adventure in a Hand-Painted World
An Artistic Journey Unfolds
Dust: An Elysian Tail is a visually striking action RPG that stands out for its hand-painted art style and captivating world. Developed by Humble Hearts, the game follows the tale of Dust, a warrior wielding a sentient blade, as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery. With fast-paced combat, rich storytelling, and charming characters, Dust: An Elysian Tail offers a delightful and whimsical adventure that often flies under the radar.
12. Gravity Rush 2: A Gravity-Defying Sequel
Flipping Gravity in a Seamless World
Gravity Rush 2 continues the gravity-defying adventures of Kat, a gravity-shifting superheroine. Developed by SIE Japan Studio, this action-adventure game features an open-world environment where players can freely manipulate gravity to traverse the city of Hekseville and take on various challenges. The unique gravity mechanics and compelling story make Gravity Rush 2 a standout title, but it remains underrated compared to other mainstream releases.
13. Owlboy: A Tale of Flight and Friendship
Soaring Through the Skies
Owlboy is a beautifully crafted platform-adventure game that tells the story of Otus, a young owl who embarks on a journey to save his homeland. Developed by D-Pad Studio, the game features stunning pixel art and a heartfelt narrative that explores themes of friendship and courage. With its challenging gameplay and emotional depth, Owlboy has received critical acclaim, but it still deserves more recognition from the gaming community at large.
14. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition: Lucha Libre Platforming Fun
Luchadores and Dimensional Portals
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a vibrant and humorous Metroidvania-style platformer that infuses Mexican folklore and luchador wrestling. Developed by DrinkBox Studios, the game follows the journey of Juan Aguacate as he sets out to rescue El Presidente’s daughter from the clutches of an evil skeleton. With its colorful visuals, lively combat, and witty humor, Guacamelee! delivers a refreshing and entertaining experience for players. Despite its well-deserved accolades, this gem is often overlooked among the sea of indie titles.
15. A Way Out: A Co-op Prison Break Adventure
A Way Out is an innovative and gripping co-op adventure that requires two players to work together to plan and execute a daring prison break. Developed by Hazelight Studios, the game focuses on the unique bond between its two protagonists, Vincent and Leo, as they navigate through various challenges and obstacles. The seamless blend of storytelling and gameplay mechanics earned A Way Out praise from critics, but it still remains a hidden gem in the co-op gaming landscape.
16. Tokyo Xanadu eX+: A Fusion of RPG and Action Elements
Blending Two Worlds
Tokyo Xanadu eX+ combines the elements of RPG and action gameplay in a modern setting infused with fantasy elements. Developed by Nihon Falcom, this game follows the story of Kou, a high school student who discovers a hidden world filled with monsters and mysteries. With its fast-paced combat, engaging storytelling, and anime-inspired visuals, Tokyo Xanadu eX+ offers a unique and enjoyable experience that often goes unnoticed among other RPG titles.
17. Alienation: An Intense Sci-Fi Shooter
Battling Extraterrestrial Threats
Alienation is a top-down sci-fi shooter that pits players against hordes of alien invaders in a dystopian future. Developed by Housemarque, the game offers intense co-op gameplay and a vast array of weapon customization options. Players can choose from various character classes and team up to fend off the extraterrestrial threats. Despite its polished gameplay mechanics and cooperative focus, Alienation is one of the underrated PS4 games that might have flown under the radar for many gamers.
18. Iconoclasts: A Metroidvania with Heart
A Tale of Rebellion
Iconoclasts is a 2D action-adventure game that combines the exploration of Metroidvania with a richly crafted narrative. Developed by Joakim “Konjak” Sandberg, the game follows the story of Robin, a mechanic who embarks on a journey to confront an oppressive regime. With its beautiful pixel art, clever puzzles, and engaging characters, Iconoclasts has earned praise from those who have discovered its hidden beauty.
19. I Am Setsuna: A Classic JRPG Experience
Embracing the Spirit of the Classics
I Am Setsuna pays homage to classic JRPGs with its nostalgic gameplay and melancholic storytelling. Developed by Tokyo RPG Factory, the game follows the journey of Setsuna, a young woman destined to be sacrificed to appease the monsters threatening her world. With its turn-based combat and emotional depth, I Am Setsuna evokes the spirit of classic RPGs and provides an engaging experience for fans of the genre.
20. Child of Light: A Fairy-Tale Adventure
A Journey Through a Watercolor World
Child of Light is a beautifully crafted fairy-tale adventure that takes players on a journey through a watercolor-inspired world. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the game follows the story of Aurora, a young girl on a quest to reclaim the sun, moon, and stars from the clutches of darkness. The game features turn-based combat, enchanting visuals, and a poetic narrative that makes it a standout title in the indie gaming scene. Despite its artistic brilliance and captivating gameplay, Child of Light is often overlooked as one of the most underrated PS4 games.
21. Bee Simulator: The World from a Bee’s Perspective
Bee Simulator takes players on an extraordinary journey into the shoes of a bee, offering a fresh perspective on life in a bustling hive. This charming simulation game allows you to navigate through lush environments, collect pollen, and embark on missions that revolve around protecting your hive and its inhabitants. With its immersive gameplay and educational elements about the importance of bees in the ecosystem, Bee Simulator is an ideal choice for gamers looking for a unique and family-friendly experience.
22. Bad North: Tactical Strategy Amidst Viking Invasions
Bad North blends real-time strategy with rogue-like elements, creating an engaging and challenging gameplay experience. As the ruler of a small island kingdom, players must defend their territory from waves of Viking invaders. Strategic thinking is crucial as you deploy troops, utilize the island’s terrain for tactical advantage, and manage resources effectively. The game’s minimalist art style and straightforward mechanics make it accessible to both strategy enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre.
23. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon – Mech Warfare Evolved
Fans of mecha combat and customization will find delight in Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon. This game brings colossal mechanized units into the spotlight, allowing players to engage in adrenaline-pumping battles and equip their mechs with an array of weapons and upgrades. The Fires of Rubicon expansion introduces new challenges, providing an exciting experience for both veterans and newcomers to the Armored Core series.
24. Sea of Stars: A Stunning Turn-Based RPG
For those seeking a visually captivating RPG adventure, Sea of Stars delivers an enchanting experience. Set in a world of magic and danger, players embark on a journey to save the universe from an ancient evil. The game’s turn-based combat system encourages strategic decision-making, and the beautifully animated visuals add to the overall charm. With its nostalgic feel reminiscent of classic RPGs, Sea of Stars is a must-play for fans of the genre.
25. Assassin’s Creed Mirage: A Historical Adventure in Ancient Baghdad
Assassin’s Creed Mirage takes players on a gripping journey back to 9th-century Baghdad, exploring the roots of the Assassin Brotherhood. Amidst the bustling streets and grand architectures of the Golden Age of Islam, players assume the role of a street thief on a quest for answers. The game’s attention to historical accuracy and captivating narrative makes it a worthy addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
26. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged Kart Racing Fun
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged offers high-speed kart racing action that caters to players of all ages. Choose from a roster of iconic Hot Wheels cars and race across imaginative tracks filled with loops, jumps, and power-ups. The game’s arcade-style gameplay and vibrant visuals provide a thrilling and nostalgic experience for both Hot Wheels enthusiasts and racing game fans.
27. Goodbye Volcano High: A Visually Appealing Emotional Narrative
Goodbye Volcano High is an indie adventure game that captivates players with its hand-drawn art style and emotional narrative. Set in a world of anthropomorphic dinosaurs facing the end of an era, the game explores themes of friendship, love, and self-discovery. With its unique approach to storytelling, Goodbye Volcano High stands out as an unforgettable experience.
28. Exoprimal: Confront Dinosaurs in an Action-Packed Adventure
Exoprimal unleashes players into a world where dinosaurs roam the earth once more. In this action-packed adventure, you’ll engage in thrilling battles against prehistoric creatures and uncover the mysteries of their resurgence. The game’s dynamic combat system and diverse environments make it a promising choice for fans of action games and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.
29. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Asymmetrical Horror Multiplayer
Horror aficionados seeking a multiplayer experience will find The Texas Chainsaw Massacre captivating. This asymmetrical multiplayer game lets players assume the roles of either survivors or the infamous Leatherface. The intense cat-and-mouse gameplay creates an atmosphere of suspense and terror, offering a fresh perspective on the iconic horror franchise.
30. STAR WARS™ Jedi: Survivor – The Last Jedi’s Struggle for Survival
STAR WARS™ Jedi: Survivor immerses players in the aftermath of Order 66, where the player becomes one of the last surviving Jedi. Set in a treacherous galaxy under the Empire’s rule, players must utilize their Jedi abilities wisely to survive and fight back against Imperial forces. The game’s exploration of a lesser-known era in the Star Wars universe makes it a compelling choice for fans of the iconic franchise.
FAQs on Underrated PS4 Games
What are some of the most underrated PS4 games?
The PlayStation 4 has a vast library of games, and while some popular titles receive widespread attention, several underrated gems deserve recognition. Some of the most underrated PS4 games of 2023 include:
Bee Simulator: In this charming adventure, players take on the role of a bee, exploring a vibrant world and protecting their hive.
Bad North: This tactical game challenges players to defend their kingdom from invading Vikings, making strategic decisions to repel the threats.
Knack 2: A family-friendly platformer that features cooperative gameplay and enjoyable puzzles.
Child of Light: A beautifully crafted fairy-tale adventure with a watercolor-inspired world and engaging turn-based combat.
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission: An innovative VR platformer that immerses players in a delightful adventure.
Bastion: A visually captivating action RPG with a dynamic narrator and a richly detailed world.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth: Fans of the Digimon franchise will enjoy this turn-based RPG with a captivating storyline.
Mad Max: An open-world action-adventure set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, delivering vehicular combat and exploration.
Lords Of The Fallen: This challenging action RPG features deep combat mechanics and a dark fantasy setting.
Until Dawn: A cinematic horror adventure that revolves around the choices players make and their impact on the story.
What makes these underrated PS4 games worth exploring?
These underrated PS4 games offer unique experiences, innovative gameplay mechanics, and compelling narratives that make them stand out from mainstream titles. Here’s what makes them worth exploring:
Bee Simulator: Provides an educational and immersive experience of being a bee, promoting awareness about the significance of bees in the ecosystem.
Bad North: Offers a challenging tactical gameplay experience with beautiful visuals and intense Viking battles.
Knack 2: Provides enjoyable platforming and action-packed gameplay, perfect for players of all ages.
Child Of Light: Immerses players in a visually stunning world with engaging turn-based combat and a touching story.
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission: Delivers an adorable and immersive VR platforming experience that showcases the potential of virtual reality gaming.
Bastion: Stands out for its dynamic narration, beautiful art style, and satisfying combat.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth: Appeals to Digimon fans and offers deep RPG mechanics with a variety of digital monsters to collect and train.
Mad Max: Provides an open-world experience with vehicular combat and intense battles in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Lords Of The Fallen: Offers challenging combat and character progression in a dark and atmospheric world.
Until Dawn: Combines interactive storytelling and horror elements, giving players control over the fate of the characters.
Why are these games considered underrated?
These games are considered underrated because they might not have received the same level of attention and acclaim as some of the blockbuster titles. Factors contributing to their underrated status include:
Niche Appeal: Some of these games cater to specific audiences or genres, making them less mainstream.
Timing of Release: Some underrated games may have been overshadowed by other major releases or faced tough competition.
Marketing and Promotion: Limited marketing efforts or smaller promotional budgets can lead to lower visibility for certain titles.
Limited Awareness: Not all gamers may be aware of these underrated gems, especially if they haven’t been widely covered in gaming media.
Unique Gameplay: Some of these games offer innovative gameplay mechanics or niche concepts, which might not resonate with a broader audience.
Are these underrated games worth playing?
Absolutely! Underrated PS4 games often bring fresh and unique experiences to the gaming landscape. While they might not have achieved the same level of mainstream success, they often appeal to players who appreciate something different and extraordinary. Whether you enjoy exploring the world as a bee, strategizing against Viking invaders, or embarking on a whimsical fairy-tale adventure, these underrated games offer something special that can leave a lasting impression.
Where can I find these underrated PS4 games?
You can find these games on various platforms, including digital storefronts like the PlayStation Store and physical retailers that sell PlayStation 4 games. Some of the games might also be available on online marketplaces or gaming platforms like Steam. Additionally, check gaming communities, forums, and social media platforms for recommendations and discussions about underrated titles.
Can I play these games on the PlayStation 5?
Yes, most of these games are compatible with the PlayStation 5 due to backward compatibility. Sony has made efforts to ensure that a large portion of the PS4 library can be played on the newer console. However, it’s always a good idea to check individual game compatibility on the PlayStation website or through the game’s official sources to confirm compatibility with the PS5.
Are there any other underrated PS4 games worth checking out?
Absolutely! Besides the ones mentioned above, here are a few more underrated PS4 games worth exploring:
Helldivers: A cooperative twin-stick shooter with procedurally generated levels and a focus on teamwork to defeat alien enemies.
Shenmue III: A satisfying sequel for fans of the series, but newcomers might find the story confusing without prior knowledge.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments: Offers a compelling adventure with multiple conclusions, staying true to the original detective’s spirit.
Transistor: A visually captivating action RPG with an engaging story, innovative combat, and beautiful art style.
The world of gaming is vast and diverse, offering a multitude of experiences beyond the blockbuster titles that dominate the mainstream. The PlayStation 4 library is a testament to this diversity, featuring a plethora of underrated gems that have captured the hearts of dedicated fans. From real-time battles and challenging puzzles to nostalgic adventures and emotional narratives, these 20 most underrated PS4 games of 2023 offer something special to every type of gamer. So, the next time you’re searching for a unique and unforgettable experience, consider delving into these hidden treasures and discovering the magic they hold.