Top PlayStation 4 Narrative Games Released In The Last Five Years

Note: This article was updated in June of 2019

There are narratives really for just about every video game, though some take it a bit deeper than others. If you enjoy adventure titles that keep you pulled in from the story alone then you’ll want to check out our list below. We have jotted down our favorite adventure games that kept us playing to uncover more of the story until the bitter end.

These titles were not only fun to play mechanically, but a treat to enjoy as you dug deeper into the story in search of the ending. Here are the best narrative video games to have launch on the PlayStation 4 in the last five years.

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#23 Vampyr

  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Dontnod Entertainment has crafted up some popular titles so far. Their debut title Remember Me sparked the highly beloved Life is Strange IP. Following up the release of Life is Strange is Vampyr, a vastly different IP then what the developers have worked.

Vampyr takes place during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic in London where players take the role of a doctor Jonathan Reid. Our protagonist is in a predicament as he is a vampire with a bloodthirsty nature, but is battling his condition with his Hippocratic Oath.

Being an action role-playing title, players can traverse parts of the world while also leveling up Jonathan in order to unlock new abilities and skills through the skill tree. But being a Dontnod Entertainment video game you can expect a strong narrative journey with some tough choices you’ll have to make along the way.

#22 Observation

  • Developer: No Code
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital

Observation is an adventure thriller that puts players into the role of an AI named S.A.M. Set on a space station, players must control the AI to assist the crew though, in this particular narrative, you’re slowly uncovering what happened to the vanished crew, the space station along with the AI system itself. The game offers some of the classic style adventure titles where most of the game is based around solving puzzles in order to progress the narrative.

#21 Life is Strange: Before The Storm

  • Developer: Deck Nine
  • Publisher: Square Enix

If you enjoyed the first installment to the Life is Strange franchise then you know that there was certainly some stuff that went down prior to the start of the story. Mainly the story that we learned that happened prior to Max returning to the city was about Chloe and Rachel. While we learned what happened after Life is Strange came to a close, we did get the opportunity to watch it unfold with Life is Strange: Before The Storm. We’ll of course refrain from spoilers here but if you enjoyed Life is Strange and want a bit more time to dwell in Arcadia Bay along with a chance for a better understanding of what Chloe had to deal with after Max’s departure, then this is definitely a must play.

The gameplay is again similar to Life is Strange with players being able to look around the in-game world, investigate items and speak with people. There are also some choice based options scattered about that will help direct the narrative towards a certain pathway.

#20 Life is Strange 2

  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Publisher: Square Enix

Life is Strange 2 is the second main installment to the Life is Strange franchise but does not directly connect to the first game. Instead, this narrative follows a new group of characters as they deal with a new unusual phenomenon. This is another episodic adventure that has a total of five episodes, the last two of which have yet to be released at the time of writing this. Overall, players follow two boys who are on the run from the police and a grim backstory that will likely unfold throughout the season. As it stands right now the game has been receiving overall positive reviews online and the game even has some connections to The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a free game demo that was released prior to the launch of Life is Strange 2.

Again just like the other Life is Strange based video game titles, players are mainly going through the game for the narrative storyline. The gameplay is mainly focused on investigating the area, speaking with individuals and making choices that could have a greater impact on the storyline.

#19 Detroit: Become Human

  • Developer: Quantic Dream
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Set in Detroit, Michigan, and developed by Quantic Dream, gamers who enjoy choice-driven narratives will want to keep tabs on Detroit: Become Human. This is a futuristic neo-noir thriller that’s based off an old 2012 tech demo from Quantic Dream that became viral online.

Players will take control of three different characters, all of which are androids. You will have Kara, a female android that has escaped the factory from where she was made. There’s also Connor, who is a male android that is tasked with hunting down deviant androids. Lastly, there is Markus, another male android who has begun an android revolution against the human race.

This video game is all about choices and it certainly seems that there will be a ton of them to choose through within the story. In fact, there are so many choices that each will alter the narrative storyline and can have grave consequences with your characters. Because of the amount of choices players can make we imagine that there will be plenty of replay value in this title.

#18 A Way Out

  • Developer: Hazelight Studios
  • Publisher: EA Originals

A Way Out is an action-adventure journey from Hazelight Studios which is the second video game directed by Josef Fares after his release of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

This is a unique action-adventure video game as it will require two players with the display being split-screen regardless of playing the video game locally or through online. All-in-all, the narrative is based around two prisoners who must survive and escape a prison. Their stories will be told simultaneously and while one character may be in a cutscene, the other will be able to freely move and execute their tasks.

As you can likely imagine, A Way Out will focus on gamers having to work together in order to escape the authorities and complete goals.

#17 Oxenfree

  • Developer: Night School Studio
  • Publisher: Night School Studio

Developed as their first debut title, Night School Studio released Oxenfree. This is a supernatural adventure video game that puts players into the role of a teenage girl named Alex. It’s within her weekend trip to a local island that events turn for worse leaving her and a group of friends stranded with a mysterious being.

Most of the game is revolved around choices when speaking to the other cast of characters while you explore the island in search for a means to escape. There will also be a few puzzles to solve as well, though the main center of focus is the story. Speaking of the story, the game will give players the ability to go back and replay the narrative a few times as there will be multiple endings available depending on the choices that you make.

#16 Until Dawn

  • Developer: Supermassive Games
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Until Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and a horror adventure title. Developed by Supermassive Games, Until Dawn follows a group of eight characters who decide to hold a holiday retreat at a cabin within a fictional mountain resort in western Canada.

However, their holiday retreat quickly turns sour as they learn a psycho killer is on the loose forcing our group of eight to survive until sunrise. If you enjoy choice-based video games then this title will be a must play.

Gamers will be able to control the characters at various points in the narrative while making critical choices along the way. Depending on the choices made will alter the narrative and even result in potential characters not making it through the night.

#15 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

  • Developer: The Astronauts
  • Publisher: The Astronauts

The development team known as The Astronauts, currently only has one title out, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. This an adventure game that follows Paul Prospero who is a paranormal investigator that received a fan letter from a young boy named Ethan Carter.

Inspired by the letter, Paul ventures out into Ethan’s hometown only to learn that something tragic had happened. Now players are left to solve the mystery and find out where Ethan is and the events that occurred prior to his arrival.

#14 The Walking Dead: The Final Season

  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games

Telltale Games has really become a leading development studio over the years thanks to the careful story narrative they take players through. Each IP is handled delicately and delivers fans a unique look at some of their favorite franchises such as The Walking Dead. We’ve been following this narrative journey since it first released in 2012 and now we’re gearing up for its final season.

The Walking Dead has mainly followed a young girl who was raised and adapted to a world filled with chaos and fleshing eating monsters. It’s hard not to love Clementine and cheer for not only her survival but happiness in this world as she overcomes the odds with each season that releases.

This installment came out with its first episode on August 14, 2018, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC platforms. Much like the past stories, this season will follow Clementine and will be concluding her story. Unfortunately, the Telltale Games disbanded since the release of the first two episodes but Skybound has since stepped up and took over the game to deliver the last couple episodes in the near future.

#13 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

  • Developers: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is set in 431 BCE where players will have the choice of being a mercenary that fights for Athens and the Delian League or the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Either way, players will be a descendant of Spartan King Leonidas I during the Peloponnesian War.

Much like the previous Assassin’s Creed installments, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will feature a modern day protagonist as well. Ubisoft will be reintroducing players to Layla Hassan who was present during Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Developers over at Ubisoft seems to also be working more on an RPG progressive system in this title which ranges from dialogue choices to a skill tree that can help in aspects such as stealth and combat.

Likewise, due to the fact that players will have choices when it comes to the dialogue the story narrative is capable of changing. As a result, Ubisoft has incorporated multiple endings giving players an incentive in going back to replay the game.

#12 Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

  • Developer: Sega
  • Publisher: Sega

For those familiar with the Yakuza series, the seventh main installment of the series is slated to launch worldwide in April of this year. Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with the series, you may want to go back and play through some of the past installments as Yakuza 6: The Song of Life picks up the story from the previous game.

The game has already released in Japan where it has received a positive reception. Gamers can still expect a brawler type gameplay set in an open world environment. Players will also step into the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu once again who is on a mission to learn what has happened to Haruka after being locked away for three years.

Likewise, the game series of Yakuza is a rather long narrative journey as a whole making this another chapter for fans to go through. Yakuza 5, the predecessor to Yakuza 6: The Song Life, took gamers an average of forty hours to complete the main campaign story and as such you’ll want to set aside some time to really enjoy this game.

#11 Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

  • Developer: Ninja Theory
  • Publisher: Ninja Theory

Hellblade is a hack-and-slash title described as an independent AAA video game from Ninja Theory because of the game being developed by a small indie studio though with the level of detail expected from a major AAA video game release. The story of Hellblade follows a Celtic warrior named Senua as she travels through Hell. However, this Hell Senua is seeing is through her own psychotic manifestations because of her mental illnesses.

Senua suffers from hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, and depression. Because of these illnesses, our protagonist must embark on a very personal journey, one that Ninja Theory is taking the utmost care to assure it’s accurate and sensitive.

#10 Life is Strange

  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Publisher: Square Enix

Life is Strange was developed under the studio Dontnod Entertainment. This is a mature adventure game that was broken up originally as an episodic format but now that the full game is out, players can enjoy all the episodes rather seamlessly.

Within the game, players take on the role of a female student named Max Caulfield who returns to her hometown in order to attend a prestigious academic school. Early on, Max discovers the ability to rewind time followed by reacquainting herself with her former best friend.

Now with the new ability at hand, Max can aid her best friend Chloe in discovering what happened to a local missing girl. This is another title that focuses on choices and consequences as you dive deeper into the world and the characters that dwell within it.

#9 Night in the Woods

  • Developer: Infinite Fall
  • Publisher: Finji

Night in the Woods is another title that has become a favorite for fans of the adventure genre. Within the game, players take on the role of a young character by the name of Mae who dropped out of college.

Now back at her hometown and living with her parents, Mae discovers how much time has passed which changed not only her hometown but the friends that she grew up with. This adventure title quickly takes Mae into the woods where she begins to uncover a hidden secret that the town kept long ago.

Digging deeper into the history of Possum Springs, Mae will learn of the reason the coal mines were officially shutdown and the disappearance of her childhood friend.

#8 What Remains of Edith Finch

  • Developer: Giant Sparrow
  • Publisher: Annapurna Interactive

What Remains of Edith Finch is a title from developers Giant Sparrow, the team behind The Unfinished Swan. Overall, the video game follows Edith Finch as he begins to explore a colossal house owned by her family. As she learns more of her family history, she begins to discover what happened to each member during their last day alive. It’s up to you as fit together the puzzle pieces which will reveal this family history.

#7 Nier: Automata

  • Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Publisher: Square Enix

Nier: Automata is a sequel to the 2010 video game release known as Nier, a spin-off title from the Drakengard series. Overall, the story is set within a proxy war between machines developed by alien invaders and the last surviving members of humanity. Through the narrative, players will learn more about the androids who are sent into war for the humans that sent them into battle.

If you’re not persuaded on picking up Nier: Automata or not then take a look at our Before You Buy series. In the video posted above, we go over the video game and ultimately tell you if it’s a worth purchase.

#6 Horizon Zero Dawn

  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Horizon Zero Dawn marks as the first IP developed by Guerrilla Games since their release of Killzone in 2004. This is an action role-playing video game title that is set a thousand years into the future.

Mankind has mysteriously fallen with cities only a shell of a once thriving society. Now only small tribal groups remain with giant mechanical beasts roam the world openly. The plot will revolve around a female hunter named Aloy who sets out on a journey to explore the open world, meet with other tribes, and potentially learn of the reason mankind fell to being with along with her true origins. This is also one of the exclusive video game titles that is a must buy if you own a PlayStation 4 and likely one of the first video game titles you’ll pick up if you’re just getting into the platform.

#5 Shadow of the Colossus

  • Developer: SCE JAPAN
  • Publisher: SCEE

Shadow of the Colossus is an iconic title, one of which that originally released back in 2005 for the PlayStation 2. Overall, players take on the role of a young man named Wander who has entered into a forbidden land. Your goal in the video game is rather straightforward, players must track down and fight these massive creatures known as Colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono. This is more of a story that is slowly played out for your interpretation.

The video game as mentioned was introduced and released for the PlayStation 2, however, it was later re-released with enhanced graphics in 2011 for the PlayStation 3. During Sony’s E3 2017 press conference, we were once again taken back to the classic title as Sony unveiled their intentions to remake the video game for the PlayStation 4 console which you can pick up today.

#4 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Publisher: CD Projekt

Fans of western RPGs will no doubt have played at least one of the Witcher games. With its deep rich narrative journeys and fleshed out worlds, the trilogy has wrapped up with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. As expected the third installment not only saw a massive overhaul in terms of graphics but provided gamers with a much more lively world filled with quests and exploration.

While still taking the role of Geralt of Rivia, players will find that that they must deal with the invasion of the Norther Kingdom along with the growing threat of the Wild Hunt. Outside of just a massive world to explore, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt delivers campaigns and quests to keep you busy for hours on end.

#3 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

  • Developer: NaughtyDog
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Uncharted franchise has been immensely popular with Sony gamers with the fourth main installment, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was set to be the conclusion to the Uncharted series starring Nathan Drake.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End takes place several years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, where Nathan Drake has been retired from fortune hunting. That is until he is reunited with his older brother Sam and partner Sully where the trio must search for clues to the location of Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure in order to save Sam’s life. Just like past Uncharted titles, players will be exploring new exotic locations in search of clues and treasure while on an overwhelming force is closely behind the heels of Drake.

#2 God of War

  • Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

What can we say about God of War that you probably are not already fully aware of? The video game franchise got its start back in the days of the PlayStation 2 and is still going strong today. However, this title, in particular, is more of a soft reboot to the franchise.

If you’re familiar with the past installments, this time around Kratos has ended his time with Greek mythology and has since moved onto Norse mythology. Likewise, Kratos will not be alone anymore as he will be looking over his son named Atreus, preparing him for the real world after the recent passing of his mother.

#1 The Last of Us Remastered

  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

The Last of Us saw countless awards once the studio unleashed this video game into the market.

This is an action-adventure survival horror type video game set in a world where a disease that turns people into mindless creatures similar to zombies has started to spread globally. Players take on the role of Joe who must deliver a young girl named Ellie to a group safely across the United States.

With bandits, thieves, military, and lastly infected between Joel and his objective, players will have to carefully maneuver around the levels strategically. However, the narrative journey will tug on your heartstrings leaving you begging for more.