The best PS4 games of 2019 you might not have heard of

Discover some of the incredible titles created by independent developers this year.

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Developer: Playtonic
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer

Hot on the heels of 2017’s Yooka Laylee, developer Playtonic is back with a sequel. The original’s cast returns, but gameplay takes a sideways step, moving the action from full 3D to side-scrolling 2D. The result is an action-packed platformer filled with intricate levels, smart puzzles, tonnes of collectibles, and secrets galore.

Knights and Bikes

Developer: Foam Sword
Players: 1-2
Genre: Action-adventure

This ’80s-inspired adventure is fun played solo and even better with a friend. Step into the shoes of Demelza and Nessa, two imaginative girls exploring the coast of Penfurzy on their bikes in search of a legendary lost treasure. Work together to solve puzzles, fight cursed enemies and even challenge each other to a friendly race or two.

 
 

Cat Quest II

Developer: The Gentlebros
Players: 1-2
Genre: RPG

Don’t let the name fool you! Whether you prefer playing solo or teaming up with a good friend, Cat Quest II is the purrfect game for cat and dog people alike. Play as both a cat and a dog as you explore a world filled with dungeons, magic, monsters and ridiculous animal puns.

Children of Morta

Developer: Dead Mage
Players: 1-2
Genre: Action RPG

Families who slay together, stay together. This roguelike story-driven RPG tells the tale of an extraordinary family of heroes guarding Mount Morta against an ancient evil. Play as six unique characters with plenty of defensive and offensive skills to unlock and upgrade, whether you’re a playful mage, a nimble archer or a bold warrior.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Developer: Artplay
Players: 1
Genre: RPG platformer

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a love letter to the classic action-platformers of the late ’90s. Offering colossal boss-fights, dozens of weapons and power-ups to collect, and a wealth of hidden secrets, Bloodstained’s sprawling, interconnected world is one that begs to be explored. Combat is snappy, levels intricate and gameplay systems are deep.

 
 

Wargroove

Developer: Chucklefish
Players: 1-4
Genre: Strategy

War has shattered the Kingdom of Cherrystone in this colourful and comprehensive turn-based strategy, so take your pick of four factions and crush your enemies. Order everything from archers to fire-breathing dragons, using a choice of 12 commanders each with their own campaign, motivations and on-field abilities. From the inspiring canine Caesar, to the teleporting Nuru, each choice can drastically alter the fate of your people. 

Risk of Rain 2

Developer: Hopoo Games
Players: 1-2
Genre: Action

Complete with towering bosses, hordes of monsters, and a massive variety of loot, this unpredictable roguelite shooter is a thrilling explosion of colour and chaotic combat. Bring up to three more friends into the mix and it becomes all the more manic, in the best possible way. Keep an eye out for additional free updates that widen the game’s already impressive scope. 

Blazing Chrome

Developer: Joymasher
Players: 1-2
Genre: Shoot ‘em up

A shameless but seductive throwback to the side-scrolling arcade shooters of the ’90s, Blazing Chrome pays homage to 16-bit classics like Contra, Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes. In real terms, that means pixel-art retro stylings, oodles of oversized weapons and enormous, mechanised monstrosities to blast back into B-movie obscurity.

 
 

Return of the Obra Dinn

Developer: Lucas Pope
Players: 1
Genre: Mystery adventure

The entire crew of the merchant ship Obra Dinn have mysteriously died, and only you can discover the unsettling truth usinga handy stopwatch which lets you return to the moment of each crew member’s death. Return of the Obra Dinn makes you feel like the greatest detective on Earth as this gripping whodunnit unfolds… 

Streets of Rogue

Developer: Matt Dabrowski
Players: 1-4
Genre: Action RPG

Blending the hacking elements of Deus Ex, the open-world of 2D Grand Theft Auto titles and the fast-paced chaos of Enter the Gungeon, Streets of Rogue almost defies definition. Interact with dozens of citizens in a complex, procedurally generated city and tackle missions your way, whether it’s as an all-guns blazing solider, a pacifist doctor, a bloodsucking vampire or myriad other possible character types.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Developer: Simogo
Players: 1
Genre: Rhythm action

This on-rails action game is instantly captivating thanks to its gorgeous dream-like visuals and electro-pop score. Weave through city traffic, ride stags through forests and soar like Superman through canyons, collecting hearts as you go. But as you find your rhythm, the endgame becomes clear: chasing high-scores. Much like the best albums, this is a game that improves with repeat plays.

 
 

Outer Wilds

Developer: Mobius Digital
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

You’re stranded on a planet with only 22 minutes before the sun goes supernova. What do you do? This sci-fi adventure drops you into an endless time loop where each fiery death brings you closer to answering the mysteries of your past, the alien race which built this galaxy and, perhaps, why this is all happening… 

Slay the Spire

Developer: Mega Crit Games
Players: 1
Genre: Roguelike, strategy

Pick your cards, battle monsters and die a lot in the process! This fantastic card game marries the deck-building and roguelike genres to create a deeply customisable single-player experience. Mix and match hundreds of cards as you explore randomly generated maps full of different paths, enemies and relics. Will you play it safe, or be bold and risk losing everything?

Frostpunk

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Players: 1
Genre: Strategy

Players of 11 Bit Studio’s previous game, This War of Mine, should know not to expect an easy ride with Frostpunk, a masterclass in emotional storytelling. Lead a band of survivors through asteampunk world plunged into a new ice age. Build a settlement around a towering furnace, allocate jobs to your people, collect resources and make difficult moral choices.

 
 

Ghost Giant

Developer: Zoink Gamesl
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle adventure 

A charming PS VR adventure packed with puzzles, quirky characters and heart-warming storytelling. As the Ghost Giant, you’re the protector of lonely young boy Louis. Explore the dollhouse-like town of Sancourt by lifting the roof off houses, eavesdropping on unsuspecting residents and helping Louis overcome his daily obstacles. 

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Developer: Asobo
Players: 1
Genre: Action adventure

A narrative-driven mix of medieval horror and environmental puzzles, A Plague Tale: Innocence is a lovingly-crafted adventure with the sleek visuals of a much larger production. Contend with paranoid zealots and flesh-eating rats as you guide siblings Hugo and Amicia across plague-ridden 14th-century France, using stealth, guile and your trusty slingshot to stay alive.

Mutazione

Developer: Die Gute Fabrik
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

This gorgeous hand-drawn adventure is best described as a mutant soap opera. Play as Kai, a 15-year-old girl travelling to the mysterious town of Mutazione to care for her ailing grandfather. Explore the land, make new friends and embark on a spiritual journey in a town where personal drama is as important as adventuring. Can you survive the small-town gossip?

 
 

Blasphemous

Developer: The Game Kitchen
Players: 1
Genre: Action platformer

Fast-paced combat, macabre enemies and a nightmarish non-linear world await in this gory and challenging hack ‘n’ slash adventure. Set in the cursed land of Cvstodia, you play as sole survivor The Penitent One, with one goal: to free the world from its terrible fate. Master devastating combos and tricky platforming in environments rife with brutal traps and titanic bosses.

Xeno Crisis

Developer: Bitmap Bureau Ltd
Players: 1-2
Genre: Top-down shooter

With its epic chiptune soundtrack, pixel art and uncompromising difficulty, this top-down shooter is an unabashed love letter to arcade classics like Smash TV. It’ll challenge you (and a friend, if you want to play co-op) to survive waves of increasingly vicious alien enemies. Keep an eye out for collectable dog-tags that can be cashed in for better weapons, while procedurally-generated stages will keep you on your toes.

Indivisible

Developer: Lab Zero Games
Players: 1
Genre: Action RPG

Take the interconnected, 2D level-design of classic Castlevania, the turned-based combat of the ‘90s’ most lauded RPGs and the slick, hand-drawn visuals of a Saturday-morning cartoon and you’re somewhere close to Indivisible’s ballpark. Expect pugilistic combat perfectly fitting the pace of exploration, challenging platforming that keeps the world engaging and an eye-popping cast of characters that brings the whole thing to life.