10 Best Linear Games on PS4

A narrative with only one destination in sight
Last of Us Remake in the Works

As someone who loves liner games, we need to see more in the future of gaming. However, the gaming industry is becoming obsessed with free-to-play microtransaction games that we may be nearing the end of linear game. Whilst we acknowledge that some of the best PS4 games are God of War Ragnarok, Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel Spiderman and of course Elden Ring. These games are not fully linear as they have many side quests in a more open-world environment. For this reason, these are not on the list. This top 10 focusses on the best of linear storytelling with in-depth characters that make these games one-of-a-kind. With that out of the way, let me get into my top 10 linear games on the PS4.

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10. SOMA

Image via Frictional Games

SOMA is our number 10 on this list for its excellent story telling. It is one of the best narratives told in a Horror Game. Whilst it follows the same gameplay seen in Frictional Games’ more popular installment, Amnesia, SOMA’s story stands out above anything else. Personally, its flaws lie within its limited gameplay. Where there is not much you can do in regard to facing enemies in the game aside from evading them. However, its story will remain one of the best in Horror Game history. It is so unique and complex, only really seen in Book and Film form. SOMA is an experience that you should take if you are into good storytelling accompanied by a eery atmosphere.

Whilst the game is not particularly scary, aside from the vast, open and terrifying world of being in the depth of the Sea. Every moment I was looking out for some giant squid or shark to appear. It is a type of fear that cannot easily be replicated. As someone with the fear of the Ocean, its entire setting had me on edge. But SOMA’s story is truly special. A sci-fi horror tale through the eyes of a character just as naïve and innocent as us playing the game.

Related: All Games by Frictional Games, Ranked.

9. Resident Evil 7

Image via Capcom

The game that revived a franchise. Resident Evil has had its ups and downs. With the decline of the franchise beginning from the fifth installment, it was time for a change. Resident Evil 7 encapsulated the horror of what the world of Resident Evil could truly be. In its third-person survival horror format, Resident Evil thrived in action gameplay. Its original tank controls made for a scarier experience as you had limited movability. But as time progressed, the franchise turned more into a Michael Bay film than a Ari Aster film. But when Resident Evil 7 released it changed everything.

This game is one of the best of the franchise for its terrifying content. It is very different to the rest of the franchise for it is simply a Horror Game. Nothing more, nothing less. It is the first with Ethan Winters, introducing a new character to the franchise. Finally moving away from characters such as Chris, Claire, Jill and Leon. Seeing the horrors of the T-Virus through the eyes of a new character is such a good choice for the move into a first-person Horror. Everything feels new and exciting, with great boss fights and a mysterious story around the Baker family. The puzzles keep it within the realm of the original Resident Evil but the content is the scariest Capcom have come up with yet.

8. It Takes Two

Image via Hazelight Studios

It Takes Two is one of the best co-op games to come out in recent years. We have not seen a co-op couch game in a long time, aside from games such as Unravel 2. Not many developers go down the route of making games for friends or couples getting together to play a game on the couch. But It Takes Two does that, bringing a fantastic, witty and highly entertaining game. Where our characters are shrunk down into mini-size, transformed into little toy-versions of themselves. It Takes Two can be enjoyed by all ages and it is perfect for a gaming couple to play.

When Cody and May are transformed, there are forced to work together, slowly but surely building their relationship as promised by Dr. Hakim, the book of love. Traverse across the family house as tiny dolls and see life from a different perspective. It Takes Two is endless fun with many obstacles for the couple to face. The gameplay never gets tiresome and with the game being a metaphor for relationships, there is nothing really bad to say about something that has a bit of everything.

7. Until Dawn

Image via Supermassive Games

Until Dawn is one of Supermassive Games’ interactive Horrors. It is the best one they have made, with The Quarry and House of Ashes coming in close. However, what makes this game is the intertwining of two separate narratives. One of which follows a slasher like Horror Game, the other of a supernatural creature hidden deep within the woods. It is Cabin in the Woods meets Scream, with great characters which you can shape through dialogue choices. In regard to its butterfly effect gameplay, similar to that of Life is Strange, there are not many major decisions that drastically change any outcome of the game. Rather the focus on the quick decisions made in a moment of rush and terror.

What separates this game from the others is the consistent, well-written and great storytelling of both narratives which blend into one another as the game goes on. You are tricked in thinking that this is a normal slasher when it is far from it. Which its cast of likeable characters (aside from Em), your goal is simple. Survive the night with as many characters are you can whilst uncovering the secrets of the Cabin. Until Dawn is one of the best linear Horror Games out there for its blending of two horrors. There is something in it for everyone so long as you are into horror.

6. Alien Isolation

Image via Creative Assembly/ Feral Interactive

Alien Isolation is an excellent game. It encapsulates the terror of the alien perfectly from its portrayal in the Film franchise. The coding of the alien AI is some of the best I have seen in gaming history. With its ability to learn wherever you hide and to use it against you. This is one of the few Horror Games where I never truly felt safe. Your save stations are found scattered around the levels where you can only use them if the alien is not nearby. There is a sensor to find in the game which motion detects the enemies in the game. From humans to hostile robots and ending on the terrifying alien.

This game is one of the best horror experiences I have played through. If you are a fan of horror and have not played this game yet, you must. The fact that it even got my mom (who never plays games) hooked to see how this one ends should tell you just how good Alien Isolation really is. Do not sleep on this one.

5. Resident Evil 2

Image via Capcom

Resident Evil truly pioneered the survival game genre. This has later been transformed into games where you cannot fight back, such as Amnesia and Outlast. But the original survival horror as seen with the likes of Cold Fear, Dino Crisis and Resident Evil are classics that I would love for developers to revisit for making new Horror Games. Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic game made better with its remake on the PS4. It is a well-oiled machine of fantastic design, detail and gameplay. Whilst the tank controls of its original adds to the horror inside the Police Station and Labs, its remake allows anyone the option to play this game. Although it follows two stories in its game, the paths these characters take are completely linear.

Now, why on earth they have made everyone in the Resident Evil universe in the PS4 remake incredibly attractive I am not sure. But, ignoring that, this game has the best of the best for survival horror and the offering of two different experiences is something we hardly see in gaming anymore. Resident Evil do some of the best boss fights in Horror Games. This game is filled with puzzles, where you have to strategically think around your limited inventory space.

4. Little Nightmares 2

Image via Tarsier Studios/ Supermassive Games

When cute meets evil, Little Nightmares is a unique little Horror Game which should be appreciated by a much larger fanbase than it already has. Whilst many may prefer the first, I adored the story of Little Nightmares 2. Observing Six from an outside perspective of another character. This game is filled with incredible monsters and detail that is rarely seen in AAA Horror Games. It takes the style of a side-scroller game in the setting of a strange post-apocalyptic world. Did this use to be a part of Earth or are we somewhere completely alien? It is Spirited Away meets Yomawari. With a long-neck teacher, headless mannequins (done right) and faceless viewers addicted to static televisions.

This game has the betrayal of the century with a mind-blowing paradox at its conclusion. Little Nightmares is an immensely fun and at times horrifying little trip as Mono and Six.

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Image via Naughty Dog

From here on out it is just Naughty Dog games. In my opinion, this developer is the best at creating linear games. Their focus is always on well-thought out plots, excellent dialogue and likeable characters. Everyone is fleshed out, including that of the villains. With Uncharted being that of a blend of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider, there are no annoying stereotypes for their villains that would normally take away from the story. Uncharted 2 is the best of the best in regard to Nathan Drake’s story. The prologue is one of the best I have experienced as it throws you immediately into the deep end from the second you press New Game.

Its characters are one-of-a-kind, all with their own charismatic dialogue and witty banter between themselves and Drake. This game is non-stop fun, with gameplay that has aged better than that of the first TLOU. Whilst some moments can be a bit clanky with jumping in and out of cover and I admit the AI could use a little help. Uncharted 2 is still an excellent game. With many puzzles to solve as you raid temples and fight off militia intent to steal what you have. Drake is always one step ahead however, even in his naivety and innocence.

If you have not played Uncharted 2, you must. It is available as a remaster on PS4 and part of the Drake Collection which we highly recommend playing. Uncharted 2 was my introduction to the franchise and it is one of those games which will stay within my top 10 for many years to come.

2. The Last of Us

Image via Naughty Dog

With The Last of Us TV Show about to air on HBO, January 15th, 2023, many non-gamers are about to be introduced to the brilliance that is TLOU. However, I acknowledge that most Video Game adaptations do not do well within the TV Show format. So many Game adaptations are on the horizon for the near future. In my opinion, what makes TLOU brilliant is the storytelling within the Video Game format. The story is nothing special if it was translated into a TV Show format. So many zombie apocalypse TV Shows and Films exist. But nothing phenomenal existed in the realm of gaming. What The Last of Us did was take what would typically seen in other media forms and create what is seemingly the perfect narrative.

If you have not played The Last of Us yet, do not worry as Naughty Dog released a remake of the game available on PS4/PS5. Follow the story of Joel, an incredibly well-written character with a depth that you have never seen before in gaming. He is the perfect balance between what makes a person good and bad. For there is no inherently good or bad person, but humans that do either good or bad things. Joel is not a good person, period. His actions demonstrate this in a world where humans are desperate to survive on limited resources. He is cold and calculating, smart but fair. Until he meets Ellie, a girl who is immune to the virus, he begins to change back into the human he used to be pre-apocalypse.

Ellie is a smart but impressionable girl, as most her age would be. She is incredibly strong and whilst her development is primarily seen in the sequel, her relationship between Joel is what makes this game. The dialogue between the characters is where Naughty Dog thrives and the cutscenes are worth more than watching any TV Show adaptation. The only downside of this game (as someone who has played this game a lot since its release) is that its gameplay is flawed. Parts of levels lack replayability for you can only play in one way, fight through the area to get to the next part. There are parts of TLOU that I did not enjoy playing through on the second, fourth and sixth time round which are the human v human levels.

1. The Last of Us II

Image via Naughty Dog

Yes the sequel is here and it is here to stay. Let me explain why I think TLOU II is a masterpiece and a greater game than its predecessor. TLOU II follows Ellie, older now, similar to the time jump with Joel at the beginning of the first game. Whilst this time jump is much smaller, it explains a lot for Ellie’s development as a teenager. For this is when we would see the biggest changes in a person’s life. Whilst many fans would probably disagree with me here, what happened to Joel in the early portion of the game needed to happen or there would be no sequel. The whole point of the game was a demonstration of how revenge is not the way forward to overcome trauma such as PTSD.

Another fault people found within the game was the length of it, but as someone who completed it within 18 hours, I felt that this length was perfect. It gave enough time for you to align yourself to the villain of The Last of Us which is another teenager, Abby. This character is so well-written that people are being blindsided simply by one action she committed. Just because it affected their favorite character. But Abby is everything Ellie is but at a later point in life. She is one-three years ahead of Ellie; older, wiser and just as angry. Her father was taken away from her, much like Ellie and her reaction to this is to get physically strong enough to take revenge. But as the game demonstrates, this does not work.

It is only when she finds a family again that she is able to overcome her trauma, meaning that actually Ellie at the beginning of the game was exactly where Abby wanted to be. Without going too much detail into this game as I do not want to ruin the excellent storytelling of TLOU II. Ellie and Abby are two sides of the same coin. The game is beautiful, both narratively and in its design. I love the dialogue throughout levels between Ellie and Dina. The queer representation is brilliant and one of the few games that do it properly. Why I put this above the first game is due to the polished gameplay, the AI is much better this time around and you have much more freedom to get through the levels how you want (stealth or not).

I strongly believe that we will look back at this game in 10 years and collectively call this one a masterpiece as many have done with the first TLOU. What are your top picks for the best linear games on PS4? Feel free to follow us on Gamer Journalist’s Facebook. Where you can stay up to date on all the latest gaming content. From guides and walkthroughs to top 10s and tier lists. For more of our lists, feel free to take a look at Best Interactive Supermassive Games, Ranked or Every Silent Hill Protagonist, Ranked.

About the author

Hadley Vincent

Hadley is a Freelance Writer for Gamer Journalist. They have been with the company since October 2022. With a BSc Honors in Psychology, Hadley focuses their creativity and passion for Video Games by primarily covering Horror, FPS, and anything with a great narrative. You will often find Hadley covering the latest indie horror games or deploying into Call of Duty's DMZ. They love a good story and one that can keep them up at night, be that for its scares or its lore.

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