I’ve spent a lot of my time on the couch recently. Many of you are in the same situation and are probably filling your time the way I am– with video games.
Even with all of this added free time, I haven’t managed to put a dent in the backlog of games I’ve steadily built up. Rather than finally giving The Witcher 3 the undivided attention it deserves or focusing on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I’ve done something new. On Sunday, April 5, I started a free one-week subscription to PS Now.
PlayStation Now > Game Pass? Not Exactly
I know what you’re all thinking. Xbox Game Pass is widely considered to be the superior service, and streaming through PlayStation Now can be pretty spotty. Truthfully, I agree with both of those statements. But, the trial was free, and I’m a sucker for new things. The service’s library is quite impressive. There’s a solid mix of recent AAA titles and classics. However, what caught my eye was the massive amount of collections offered on the platform. From Ratchet and Clank to Sly Cooper to Metal Gear, there are hours upon hours to lose to the platform. So with that, this is my list for the top five offered series on PS Now.
Honorable Mentions: Batman: Arkham, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Wolfenstein, The Lego Series.
I don’t think I could’ve left this iconic role-playing franchise off the list. For nearly a decade, if you were an RPG fan, you were either a Fallout or an Elder Scrolls person. Either way, we were all enchanted by the gaming god that was Bethesda. PS Now does include Oblivion, but does not offer Skyrim or Morrowind. That, coupled with the absence of Fallout 76, ensured Fallout’s selection for me.
You’ll find Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 3, and Fallout 4 on PS Now. Though New Vegas was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the games form the ultimate triad of post-apocalyptic open-world RPGs. Oddly enough, the last series on this list will likely give you the longest combined playtime.
The open worlds, mutated by the fallout of “The Great War,” are not meant for the ill-prepared. They are toxic and highly dangerous. If you’re up for the challenge, there’s no reason to keep waiting!
The Borderlands franchise has received tons of praise and some complaints over the years. It seems that with each new installment, the constant comment is, “its more Borderlands.” Well, I love Borderlands, and more is better. These over-the-top campaigns gave birth to an entirely new genre, the looter shooter.
The original PlayStation 3 copy of Borderlands is available, while the updated Handsome Collection is also included. The collection features a beefed-up version of Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel. Chronologically you’ll want to play in the following order: Borderlands, The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands 2. Though, I always recommend playing in release order. To do so, simply swap Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel.
As a whole, the series is famous for its out-of-this-world levels of zaniness. Every character is straight out a comic book, and their stew of personalities blend sublimely. You’ll laugh, and laugh, and laugh again. There’s an undeniable charm to the series’ brash nature. On top of that, the games implement a revolving door of weapons. Each weapon is unique from the previous and the next. You’ll find yourself switching your weapons layout repeatedly.
Regrettably, I have not played a single minute of any BioShock game. Normally, this would force me to exclude a game from my list. In the case of BioShock, I’ve chosen to make an exception. The franchise is beloved, and many place its titles among their favorite games of all time. This cannot be ignored.
The franchise combines first-person shooter styling with classic RPG features. You’re free to attack each scenario in unique, tailor-made ways, enabling a strong replay factor. You may approach a scenario in an entirely different manner than me, an aspect that generates fantastic water cooler conversations.
With over 34 million copies sold between the three games, it’s one of the best-selling franchises to date. In addition to crafting lively gameplay, the series tackles serious topics through its narrative. Different philosophical theories and concepts are presented throughout. Though I haven’t experienced the games myself, the notion of analyzing the likes of American exceptionalism through video games is mouth-watering. I’ll be starting these games very soon, I assure you.
The number one and two spots essentially came down to a coin toss. Two absolute heavyweights of PlayStation and modern gaming. Unfortunately, Nathan Drake came in second place. Uncharted, and the story of Nathan Drake, is a high-speed action movie. This series is popcorn gaming at its finest. If you somehow don’t know, Uncharted follows the adventures of a treasure hunter named Nathan Drake. Drake is extremely likable, and his action hero antics have kept players on the edge of their seats for years.
I think the Uncharted franchise has resonated so much with fans because it is grounded in reality. That’s not to say that you or I know the day to day workings of a treasure hunter. What I mean is, Nathan is a normal guy in the real world. You don’t travel to space or fight dragons in Uncharted. Drake’s on earth, and his enemies are human beings.
Sadly, PlayStation Now doesn’t include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Instead, the platform consists of the original three games. Although the fourth installment of the series is a PS4 fan favorite, the first three are iconic in their rights. The second title, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, is widely considered one of the premiere PS3 titles.
Nathan Drake’s story is about a treasure hunter who travels the world in search of ancient mysteries. The only remaining mystery is when you will experience the story for yourself?
1. God of War
There wasn’t a moment where I thought God of War wouldn’t make this list. I said it was a coin toss with Uncharted, but in truth, I knew God of War was always number one. PlayStation Now features every single mainline God of War game (even the PSP titles) except for 2018’s PS4 reboot. The franchise has been a fun ride from the beginning, but the 2018 installment rewrote the formula. It humanized a Greek god and told a story, unlike any other I’ve experienced through a video game.
You might be saying, 2018’s God of War shouldn’t carry weight given its absence from the PS Now library. Maybe. But, for me, the latest game changed the entire way I looked at Kratos’ story. Kratos is different in the newest game, but its still Kratos. The resolve and patience he had in 2018 were always there; it was just covered by other emotions. The early tragedies of Kratos hit even harder when knowing who Kratos becomes.
The older games still run smoothly, and combat is highly enjoyable. Right now, I’m about five hours into God of War III Remastered, and I love it all over again! The gameplay is fun, and the animations are crisp, even by 2020 standards. The God of War franchise is the pinnacle of the action-adventure genre, and it is 100% the most must-play series available on PlayStation Now.