Adventure games: if you’ve played one — you’ve played them all, right? Well, no — not exactly. In fact, with the adventure category being so vague and open to interpretation, you’d probably struggle to find two titles that are anywhere near the same these days. Of course, a cliché or two is expected, as they are in most video games. But other than that — no ends usually meet in the world of adventure.
It takes a great deal to make a lasting impression in the gaming industry. That’s not something every John or Jane can simply acquire through ideas alone. Oh no, it takes thousands of hours of devotion and creativity in order to stand even the slightest chance of gaining recognition. Just take a look at these five titles, for example. These games, in specific, illustrate the diversity of the genre, and also set the benchmark for the world to observe. And when it comes to PlayStation — these guys know how to produce top-tier adventures.
5. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Prior to Horizon: Zero Dawn shaking up the adventure domain back in 2017, Guerilla Games were known mainly for the Killzone series as well as, you know, Shellshock: Nam ’67. But despite the level of praise that the entire Killzone franchise had acquired over the years — nothing quite captured the same essence as this enormous open-world power hit. Who’d have thought that clashing prehistoric wastelands with rogue mechanical beasts would’ve been such a noteworthy concept, right?
From its enchanting landscapes to addictive combat, Horizon: Zero Dawn fleshes out its world with enough juicy content that’ll keep you exploring for weeks. However, should you be on the hunt for something a little more story-driven and nothing too nonlinear, then you’ll be pleased to know that Zero Dawn also thrives from its intriguing plotline that keeps you hooked from the moment you cross the threshold into the dystopian world.
4. Days Gone
It’s fair to say that zombies have been washed up and recycled more times than we can probably count. That’s not to say that any new entry to the undead domain is unworthy of our time, of course. It’s just that, well, it’s not exactly an easy task to harvest recognition with so many others pouring from the same ocean. Rival titles come and go, but only a few of them make a lasting mark which goes on to survive years down the line. Days Gone, fortunately, was one of them.
So, what did Days Gone do that others didn’t? How did this PlayStation exclusive alter the undead world in order to give the concept new life? Well, other than making the game entirely open-world (which is rather uncommon, albeit not unheard of), Days Gone packs in an enticing little selection of stories that still manage to keep us on our toes even outside of combat. Biking around from one spot to the next in search of a lost love, a dying hope of curing the world, and a place to call home — Days Gone makes us feel as though we’re truly at the centre of an apocalyptic tale where only we control the outcome.
3. Ghost of Tsushima
It’s not very often you can quite literally let your hero idle without feeling the urge to press on. However, with Ghost of Tsushima, sitting idly by and watching the world unravel can wind into some of the most memorable moments in your gaming career. And, while Sucker Punch’s approach to transforming war into beauty is truly a mesmerizing feat in itself, Ghost of Tsushima is also wondrously captivating for a million other reasons too. From its fascinating island lore to its fast-paced combat — playing as “The Ghost” has never been more of a satisfying experience.
Exploring Tsushima in a last-ditched effort to reclaim the lands from the invading Mongolian armies makes up for some truly excellent gameplay. Even drifting miles apart from the core of the main story just to submerge deeper into the island history is a hook in itself. That being said, Ghost of Tsushima possesses one of the most heart-wrenching stories we’ve seen in quite a few years, and it’s something we never wanted to disconnect from — despite our intrigue over the hundreds of additional quests and locations that beckoned to be discovered.
2. God of War (2018)
Talk about reinventing the wheel, right? As if God of War wasn’t already a major icon within the community prior to the 2018 chapter. Only now, with a few major tweaks and the addition of a genuinely heartwarming plotline, Kratos has ramped up the franchise to a whole new mouth-watering degree. That’s not to say that all previous entries to the series are unworthy of this list, though. It’s just that, well, the 2018 journey did something a whole lot more than shove gore down our throats.
Prior to the 2018 chapter of the Spartan’s journey, players never really took the time to understand the reasoning behind the blind fury. Sure, we delved deep into the mind of the bloodthirsty warrior from time to time — but never enough to feel a genuine connection with the monster. Luckily for us, however, all of that changed with the 2018 newcomer. From that moment on, everybody knew Kratos, and, rather than fear him — everybody wanted to understand him like never before.
1. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
When we picture Naughty Dog during the early days of PlayStation, we automatically associate them with Crash Bandicoot and other witty releases. However, when we picture the same studio today — we’re immediately drawn to some of the most iconic franchises in the history of gaming. And we’re not just talking about The Last of Us, either. Of course, there is that, as well as the entire Jak anthology, though none of these come as close to perfection as the Uncharted domain. Bold statement, for sure — but true in so many ways.
Admittedly, when we first put our fingers on Nathan Drake we didn’t take him for anything more than a Lara Croft clone; one that you’d typically find in your everyday bargain bin at a local store. But oh boy — how we were wrong on so many levels. Not only was Uncharted a far more superior contender to the Tomb Raider franchise — but also a phenomenal take on adventure gaming as a whole. From heartwarming connections to death-defying stunts, Uncharted ticked every single box with minimal effort whatsoever. We just wish it didn’t have to end so soon.