Far Cry: New Dawn can quite easily provide a weekend of fun, but when it comes to recalling your favourite games of 2019, don't expect to remember this post-apocalyptic adventure. Its streamlined RPG elements do add some welcome structure, but this trek through Hope County may seem familiar to a fault. It's almost a shame that Ubisoft didn't go all-in on making New Dawn a totally over-the-top spin-off, rather than a sequel that struggles to tell an all-too-serious story.
Jump Force can be fun with friends when you're just looking for a quick and easy scrap, but as a celebration of all things Jump, it's a borderline embarrassment. Thanks to a truly egregious art style and comically bad story presentation, this is an accessible and often fun crossover brawler let down by its disappointingly shoddy packaging. Ultimately, it's difficult not to feel as though all of these classic manga and anime properties deserve much better than Jump Force.
God Eater 3's another frenetic action RPG where the enjoyable rhythm and flow of combat is enough to outweigh most of the negatives. Whether you're up for a lengthy session or you're just stopping by to farm some materials, the game's easy to sink your teeth into, and there's plenty to chew on should you find yourself hooked thanks to the in-depth character progression. While more could and probably should have been done to bring God Eater's visuals and cumbersome menus up to speed, there's still plenty of skilful hack and slashing on offer here.
Shadow Heritage is another fine addition to Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition brings one of, if not the best Tales game to PS4, and that alone will no doubt be enough to persuade fans of the series. But really, ten years after its original release, Vesperia deserves more credit than that. It's a borderline classic Japanese RPG, and one that still holds up in 2019 thanks to a great cast of characters and some finely poised action.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales features some of the sharpest writing on PS4, and it's all embedded within a superb story stuffed with brilliant characters. Meanwhile, Gwent makes up most of the gameplay, and although the card-based system does have flaws, it's easy enough to look past them when the surrounding journey is so masterfully told. Ultimately, Thronebreaker is an easy recommendation for Witcher enthusiasts and fans of strategic RPGs -- a surprisingly robust and rich tale that shouldn't be overlooked.
Override: Mech City Brawl is good fun with a friend or two sitting on your sofa, but it lacks the kind of depth that a smaller release like this needs to be consistently compelling. The game's got some cool mech designs and watching big robots tumble through buildings is always enjoyable, but it's just not quite enough to carry the rest of the release.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade - Episode 1: Hunted is a solid starting point for what could turn out to be an interesting story. While the DLC doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of gameplay variation, it does provide a well made slice of open world adventuring, complete with some thoughtful character moments. It goes without saying, but if you're a fan of Odyssey, then you're going to enjoy Hunted.
Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight has some of the best music on the PS4, and mastering its beats is immensely rewarding. It's a top tier rhythm game that's sure to strike a chord with fans of the PS2 classic, but more than anything, it's made us realise just how desperate we are for a Persona 3 remake or remaster.
Warriors Orochi 4 is a disappointingly cheap sequel. Stripped back and basic, it feels like a quick and easy apology aimed at fans who were left disgruntled by the dire Dynasty Warriors 9. There's still enjoyment to be found here, with the series' trademark action holding strong, but poor presentation and unstable performance drag the experience down. Koei Tecmo really needs to get its Warriors games back on track, but until that happens, you're better off nabbing the far superior Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate.
Truly egregious commentary aside, FIFA 19 is another winner for EA Sports. The improvements over last year's entry are subtle but many, resulting in a footie sim that feels incredibly refined. Better balance across the pitch opens options for more tactical play, and there's more nuance to explore than ever before. More casual FIFA players may not see the difference immediately, but there's a deliberate intricacy to FIFA 19, and it's enough to keep the series in top form.
Destiny 2: Forsaken is an undeniable return to form for Bungie's shooter, boasting a very enjoyable campaign and breathing some much needed life into the overall experience. It reestablishes Destiny 2's status as a 'hobby' game, once again giving players good reason to come back on a regular basis, but your mileage will no doubt vary depending on your tolerance for the grind. With a hefty price tag, it's best to make sure that you know what you're getting into before lining up the shot.
Dragon Quest XI sticks to what it does best, offering a traditional Japanese RPG experience that's simply a joy to be a part of. It's an old school adventure wrapped up in gorgeous current-gen visuals, but it's the lovable characters that win the day. The game's fit to burst with personality, wit, and charm, superbly localised and meticulously crafted. It may not push the genre forward, but it's peak Dragon Quest, and it's absolutely one of the best RPGs on PS4.
On a surface level Brawlout is a decent Smash Bros. clone. It's colourful and easy to pick up, but the brawling itself lacks impact and edge. If you're looking for a more casual fighting game experience -- something to play with friends, perhaps -- then it's worth a shout, but keep your expectations in check.
Adding to a growing list of great PS4 remakes, Yakuza: Kiwami 2 is up there with the best games in SEGA's series. While PS2-era design does rear its ugly head now and again, another brilliantly dramatic story steals the spotlight. Throw in some superb optional content, and you've got a prime Yakuza package that's ultimately very difficult to fault.