Many were skeptical when Sony announced they were planning to launch the PlayStation Now streaming service for games back in 2014. With internet speeds drastically fluctuating from home to home, the new service was regarded as an interesting but impractical option for a majority of console owners. However, Sony has made great strides to improve PS Now over the years, adding the option to download select titles and maintaining a decent catalog of classic games and recent releases.
With a staggeringly large library of over 750 titles, scouring PS Now’s catalog in search of the next hidden gem isn’t as easy as it used to be. That’s why we’ve decided to help out and highlight some of the best experiences included with a PS Now subscription. We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
While Phantom Pain’s unconventional storytelling may be offputting for some, the game’s solid stealth mechanics and emergent gameplay are enough to hook even the most skeptical players. Serving as the ninth installment in the Metal Gear series, and notably the last project to be developed by Kojima Productions, Phantom Pain is set after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and has you playing as Big Boss, who after waking up from a coma, enlists a group of mercenaries to help him exact revenge on those that put him in said coma.
Sure, cutscenes can be ridiculously long and characters aren’t always compelling enough to make you feel invested, however, the real star is Phantom Pain’s open-ended mission-structure. This grants you a lot more control when deciding how to carry out an objective; You can choose to go in guns blazing and eliminate every bad guy or take it slow, picking up every piece of intel and rescuing every prisoner in an enemy camp.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest and most controversial entry in the superhero series, stemming from gameplay changes along with a poorly optimized PC version. However, look past some of its blemishes and what you have is a solid, action-packed open-world game set in the Batman universe.
The game picks up after the events of Arkham City and sees the Caped Crusader taking on both Scarecrow and the mysterious Arkham Knight in a showdown spanning all of Gotham City. Additionally, Arkham Knight marks the first appearance of the Batmobile and the introduction of vehicle-based combat in the series.
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is the best way to play the first entry in the classic tactical RPG series, with all DLC included and support for 60 FPS. Set during the early days of WWII, the game sees you leading a battalion of soldiers with the goal of protecting your nation’s natural resources and quelling an enemy invasion.
Movement takes place in real-time and sees you using action points to get a unit into position before targeting an enemy, at which time freezes, allowing you to land headshots and perform other maneuvers. The game has been praised for offering players a multitude of ways to strategize during battles and for its interesting map designs.
Bloodborne maintains the high level of difficulty FromSoftware is known for injecting into their games while featuring more fluid, fast-paced combat than Dark Souls. Decrepit, Victorian era-inspired environments pair nicely alongside your character’s gruesome attacks which send enemies’ blood shooting out as you methodically slash away with an array of blades and axes.
Just like with the Souls series, Bloodborne features a number of well-designed enemies and intense boss battles that will leave you sighing with relief once you’ve managed to get past them. The game does a great job at immersing you in an unsettling world where danger lurks around every corner and the only way to escape is to kill first, ask questions later.
Prey is an open-world first-person shooter with some stealth, survival, and RPG elements. You take on the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard the Talos 1 space station which becomes overrun by a species of violent aliens known as the Typhon. Your task is to survive by collecting resources and using weapons in order to defeat the Typhon and uncover the secrets behind Talos 1’s history.
The game offers a lot in terms of player choice, allowing you to pick Morgan’s gender, what weapons and upgrades you want to use, and make decisions in the world that affect how the story plays out. Among Prey’s best features are the Typhon aliens you encounter, which have various sub-species, including shape-shifting creatures called Mimics. These spider-like aliens can take on the appearance of common items in the open-world, attacking when you least expect it.
Red Dead Redemption
Before Arthur Morgan, we had John Marston, a man forced to bear arms and hunt down his old gang after federal agents threaten his family. The third-person action game has you exploring an open-world set in the Wild West during the year 1911. Outside of the main story, the game has you taking part in a variety of activities you’d expect to encounter in the Old West, such as animal hunting, dueling, and bounty hunting to name a few.
A stand out feature in Red Dead Redemption is its “Dead Eye” shooting mechanic, which allows you to target multiple enemies in slow motion before shooting them all at once. The game’s been highly praised for its powerful story as well as its use of a morality system, which sees characters responding to the player based on how many good (or bad) deeds they’ve committed. If you’ve never played the first Red Dead Redemption, PS Now is a great way to experience it on current-gen consoles.
Borderlands 2 manages to create a vibrant depiction of Pandora’s world and when compared to the first game, is much more ambitious across all fronts. Characters feel more fleshed out and have increased dialogue exchanges, new enemy types keep things interesting, and more side quests give you opportunities to explore beyond the beaten path.
What’s bound to be most divisive for players is the game’s cel-shaded art style. While textures don’t always look the best, depending on your preference, the style either enhances Borderlands 2’s gameplay or completely ruins it. Overall, the game is a great improvement over the first, and doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel but rather streamlines concepts introduced in the original.
Styx: Shards of Darkness
Styx: Shards of Darkness is the sequel to Cyanide Studio’s 2014 game Styx: Master of Shadows. The game has you playing as the title protagonist, Styx, a badmouth goblin skilled at assassination. Just like the first game, Shards of Darkness focuses on stealth gameplay and has you sneaking around enemy bases, skillfully taking down targets.
Styx has a variety of tools and abilities in his arsenal to navigate the environment. He can turn invisible, create clones of himself, set traps, and use his “Amber Vision” to scan areas and find useful items. Shards of Darkness features a more fleshed out upgrade system than the previous game as well as larger levels packed with interesting environmental puzzles to solve.
Equal parts side-scrolling platformer and 360-degree shoot-em-up, Rive offers an addictive and rewarding experience centered around the phrase, “Wreck, Hack, Die, Retry!”. The game sees players navigating a versatile spider-tank through treacherous environments while battling waves of mechanical enemies.
The main standouts are Rive‘s fluid controls and shooting mechanics, which result in chaotic shootouts that demand precise dodging and aiming. Additionally, upgrades keep things interesting and allow you to expand the spider tank’s arsenal by acquiring new abilities and equipment such as hacking enemy turrets and a magnet for collecting loot.
Project Cars 2
Project Cars 2 is a motorsport racing sim that totes an impressive catalog of 140 tracks in 60 different locations and 189 cars to race in. In addition to looking absolutely stunning on a PS4 Pro, the game also introduces new dynamic weather and track temperature systems, resulting in a more immersive racing experience.
New race types such as off-road and rallycross make the sequel feel a lot more versatile than the original, making it appealing to a wider demographic of players. However, if realism is your thing, fear not since Project Cars 2 uses a LiveTrack 3.0 physics engine to render realistic track conditions that will put your racing skills to the test.
Catherine is a puzzle-platformer developed by Atlus, most known for the Shin Megami Tensei games. The game has you controlling Vincent Brooks, a man who begins having nightmares after his girlfriend, Katherine, starts bringing up marriage and commitment. Things get even more complicated once he meets a girl named Catherine, with whom he begins having an affair with.
The game’s main story mode, Golden Playhouse, alternates between Daytime and Nightmare scenarios. During the daytime, Vincent will hang out with his friends and try to manage relationships with Catherine and Katherine through texting and making phone calls. At night, Vincent will experience Nightmares that have him climbing up giant staircases that are slowly collapsing beneath his feet through platforming mechanics.
Dandara sticks out among all the other 2D action-platformers released this generation by taking some big risks. And luckily for the game, it manages to nail the landing. Where Dandara differs from other games is its unique traversal, which sees you leaping from one surface to any other in your reach, regardless of gravity or direction. The result is a stylish, fast-paced game that forces you to plan out how to approach each area.
While exploring caves you’ll encounter enemies which will grant you salt upon defeating them and can be used to purchase upgrades. This becomes one of the most important parts of the game as the odds are heavily against you from the start and upgrading your health bar from the initial three hearts helps a lot. However, don’t expect much hand-holding as Dandara has a steep, but ultimately, rewarding learning curve.
Velocity 2X sees players swapping back and forth between top-down shoot ‘em up sections and side-scrolling platforming, making for a unique combination that feels incredibly fast-paced and stylish. You take on the role of Lt. Kai Tana after having been abducted by a race of villainous aliens.
Using her advanced weaponry and quick reflexes, Kai Tana sets out to eliminate the alien threat, rescue any humans that have been taken prisoner, and find a way back home. The game is a sequel to Velocity Ultra and sports a number of new features to boost replayability such as daily challenges, leaderboards, and a rotating map-selection.
Coming from the same developers of the LittleBigPlanet series, Tearaway Unfolded shares a similar hand-crafted, textured look in its art style. Originally released on the Vita, Unfolded is a remake that features new control mechanics redesigned specifically for the Dualshock 4 controller.
The game has you take control of either Iota or Atoi, a messenger who’s been tasked with delivering a letter to a mysterious portal in the sky. Along the way, you’ll encounter Scraps, small evil creatures which are using the portal to invade your paper-world. Tearaway Unfolded features fun and challenging platforming sections and finds some unique uses for the Dualshock’s controls not found in other games.
Lego City Undercover
Imagine combining the expansive open-world of something like a GTA with the mindless fun and playful humor of a Lego game and you have yourself Lego City Undercover. The action-adventure game is unique in that it is one of the few Lego games set in an original universe and not connected to any existing property.
In it, players take on the role of Chase McCain, a police officer who goes undercover to hunt down an elusive criminal named Rex Fury, and put a stop to his city-wide offenses. While the game may lack the cooperative gameplay that Lego games are known for, it makes up for it with great writing and activity-rich environments.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Based on the Battle Chasers fantasy comic book series by Joe Madureira, this turn-based RPG has you playing as a cast of heroes who, having been marooned on an island, are forced to stop a wicked sorceress’s evil plans in order to escape. Your band of heroes consists of a swordsman, a golem, an assassin, an old mage, and a young girl who fights with a pair of magical gauntlets.
Gameplay has you and your party traveling along a linear path in an overworld, fighting enemies, and exploring dungeons filled with more powerful foes and deadly traps. The game makes use of an interesting mechanic during battles, where performing non-magical attacks generates “overcharge”, which can be used in place of mana. Battle Chasers: Nightwar allows you to play through dungeons on varying difficulties, with more challenging runs yielding better rewards.
Whether its PC or console, AAA or Indie, New-York born and raised Justin has a natural curiosity to seek out hidden gems and share them with other gamers. He also maintains his own YouTube channel in addition to writing and managing the social media profiles for GamingScan.