The console wars are battles among the ages that will wage war for generations! However, I’m not interest in being loyal or labelled a fanboy to particular brand, I’m only interested in the best gaming experience and I’m a happy gaming enthusiast as long as video games are the best they can be, regardless of the console. This article is subjective, I will only feature ‘console’ exclusive games for PS4 and Xbox One that I have played (no remasters) and I will only pick 5 from each format.
Bloodborne (FromSoftware) – 2015
From the creators of the Dark Souls series, FromSoftware brought this new and challenging action role-playing game exclusively to the PlayStation 4. Set in the gothic city of Yharnam full of mystery, wonder and a dark history, you the Hunter must hunt, kill and survive the monstrosities that lurk in this nightmarish world and discover its dark secrets, while taking on some hard as nails boss fights that will push you to your limits. You can call upon other players to help bring down a big bad boss fight (as long that player doesn’t double-cross you) and Bloodborne even features the Chalice Dungeons, a procedurally generated challenge that offers players something a little different each time they dare to venture with or without a companion to take on new demons or punishment. There’s something luring about the world of Yharnam that pulls you in to learn and discover more.
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Gran Turismo Sport (Polyphony Digital) – 2017
Gran Turismo Sport has only recently released, and if it wasn’t for last month’s update added a proper singleplayer career, it may not have made my list. However, even without that addition, being a fan of the racing genre, this game offers a refined gameplay experience, tons of tweaks and customisable options to tune out your perfect car for the petrol head within, an all-new livery editor to make your favourite cars to standout from the crowd, enjoyable online features and it looks absolutely gorgeous (even without a PS4 Pro). This offers everything I want from my favourite racing series and with bargains looming post Christmas, GT Sport is a game that PS4 console needs to home.
Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games) – 2017
This new IP ventured into new genre territory for the developers of the Killzone franchise, Guerrilla Games. Leading up to release, many had wondered that despite revealing trailers detailing the gorgeous, vibrant and deadly world that Horizon Zero Dawn had to offer, would it all be too good to be true and would this be yet another game to be derailed off the hype train? Thankfully this game was as good as anybody had wished it to be, some might even say it far exceeded expectations. If you’re yet to go on an adventure with Aloy to discover the secrets of the old ones, and why robot beasts dominate our planet, you need to purchase a one-way ticket on this hype train, because once you walk with Aloy in this beautiful open-world full of wonders, you’ll never want to leave her side. Horizon Zero Dawn is a worthy Game of the Year 2017 contender.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog) – 2016
Will this really be Nathan Drake’s last adventure with developers Naughty Dog? If it is, then his story has bowed out at the top of its game. This series has been at the forefront of the PlayStation exclusive elect for many years now and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brought us an older, wiser (still wise-cracking) Drake with only his old friend Sully by his side, but also his long-lost brother Sam. Uncharted 4 offered us a visually stunning, emotional, yet high octane singleplayer campaign and a very enjoyable multiplayer mode. A good story will always end on you wanting more and in Uncharted 4’s conclusion, it did just that.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory) – 2017
Developers Ninja Theory took a gamble when they decided to go it alone without the aid of an AAA publisher backing, but their gamble most certainly paid off. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice may not have the most diverse of gameplay mechanics, but aside from its cruel, yet beautiful world, Senua’s story is one that will live long in my memory and explored her constant struggle with the mental illness known as Psychosis. However, what was truly amazing about this game was not only with its powerful message and compelling story, but it also got its players talking about mental illness. Oh and aside from all that, it’s a fantastic game and one of my favourites in recent years. If you own a PS4 (or PC), Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a game you should strongly consider picking up. This has now been released on Xbox One as well but it is PlayStation exclusive launch.
Xbox One Exclusives
Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games) – 2016
Pretty much most of the Forza games on Xbox One could have made this list, well a part from Forza 5 perhaps, but here I’ll go with the series spin-off instalment of Forza Horizon 3. This spin-off series offers a great alternative to the main Motorsport series, with Forza Horizon 3 being arguably the best of the bunch. Having a huge open-world to explore with a whole host of varied terrains, this game offers just about a bit of everything to cater for the racer within. However, it’s not just the glorious world that wet’s the appetite, but its pick-up and play approach with gorgeous 4K visuals (depending on your Xbox One system), Forza Horizon 3 stands-out as one of the leading exclusives of this console generation.
Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries) – 2015
While the Halo of today is some way off the Halo of yesterday, Halo 5: Guardian’s in its own right is a decent game. Yet, in my opinion, it’s the competitive multiplayer offerings that allow the game to shine most. Featuring over 30 multiplayer maps for more tradition modes and 12 Warzone maps (granted there are variations of certain maps), and having no season pass, there was a lot that Halo 5 did right with its multiplayer component. Warzone is perhaps the standout mode, offering a large battlefield of players and assisting bots as Spartan’s attacked and defended their set objectives to win the war. Halo 5 did have its fair share of microtransactions, but much of the “REQ Points” were obtainable across its many modes as you level-up in its Requisition System. However not once did I ever feel tempted to spend real-world money as the Halo 5 levelling-up progress seemed very fair, especially when compared to today’s standards.
Halo Wars 2 (343 Industries/Creative Assembly) – 2017
RTS games on the console shouldn’t really work, but somehow that is achieved with the Halo Wars series. On the Xbox One, the two teams of 343 Industries (the main Halo series developers of today) and The Creative Assembly (Total War series) have not only made a game proves this kind of game can exist on the console, but it’s a damn fine game too. Set 28 years after the original Halo Wars and just before the events of Halo 5, you play as a group of UNSC warriors known as The Sprit of Fire after awaking from a deep cryosleep to find that once more the existence of the human race is at jeopardy by the hands of a dominating alien faction known as The Banished. The campaign is gripping as you might expect from the Halo series, the stunning cinematic cut-scenes and gameplay that perhaps much better than it should be when using a control pad. You can also dabble in its challenging multiplayer modes, though I often found the most fun to be had is playing against a friend to see who can unleash the most ridiculously over-compensated army!
Gears of War 4 (The Coalition) – 2016
Even though this carries the number 4, much of this instalment feels like a reboot for the series. While Gears of War 4 features the tried and tested (though slightly tweaked) gameplay that fans know and love, we were introduced to a set of new heroes that would dawn a new chapter in one of Microsoft’s flagship series’. Taking place after the events of Gears of War 3 after wiping out the Locust, a new threat now plagues humanity on the planet Sera with a new threat perhaps even more deadly then the Locust. Leading the charge in the fight to save humanity is a rebellion group known as The Outsiders and at the forefront of that charge is Delmont “Del” Walker, Kait Diaz and J.D Fenix, and yes you’ve guessed it, J.D is the son of the legendary Marcus Fenix. Gears of War 4 may not revolutionise the series, but it gives much of its fans the service it wants, expects and then some, and it’s one of the systems best looking games too. If you own or plan on owning an Xbox One, then Gears of War 4 should be on your hit-list of must-owns.
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios) – 2015
Now I would have included the more recent Cuphead on this list, but as I’m yet to play it, it hasn’t made this list. However, another indie darling just as deserving is 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest. The first thing you’ll notice about this game is just how beautiful it looks, the second thing you’ll notice is its mesmerising soundtrack and the thirdly is just how wonderful this 2D platformer handles. In this indie darling, it stars two distinct characters, Ori, a white spirit guardian and Sein, who is said to be the light and eyes of the Sprit Tree of the forest. But don’t be fooled by its louring offerings, because you’ll have to use all your wits and cunning if you are to navigate yourself through to the end of this unforgettable tale and be warned, prepare to shed a tear or two.
There are some great titles on both sides of the coin, but in my subjective and humble opinion, the PlayStation 4 has the best overall quality of exclusives to offer. Yet, both systems have many more titles that couldn’t make this short list, so sound out your favourites in the comments.