For others, the key aspect of a good video game is the gameplay. The narrative is the most significant thing for some.
With the promise of another surprise on the horizon just enough to keep you going, a great story may be what pushes you through an otherwise dull collection of mechanics and systems.
Best of all, as the gaming industry matures, these are the very stories that keep getting better – 2020 is proof of that. While some developers took chances, others stuck to their weapons and provided fans with another worthwhile story. Both approaches are fine, but only one winner can be a winner. Here are the best news of the year on the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.
Trophy of Bronze: Yakuza: Like a Dragon
It was time for Kazuma Kiryu to take a well-deserved break, but nothing would deter the Yakuza franchise. Newcomer Ichiban Kasuga takes the reins as the protagonist and sets off on a journey to find out why he was deceived by a former boss (literally, because he loves Dragon Quest so much), leading to a long 18-year prison stay. It can sound like Yakuza: it has a fairly serious story like a Dragon, but as befits the series, Isezaki Ijincho’s quirky and very bizarre side exposes itself with insane optional objectives and funny plot points very quickly. If you ever played a game with Yakuza, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
This eighth installment continues the tradition and has everything you might possibly want in the main series.
Check out our Yakuza: Like a Dragon PS4 review for more details.
Gold Trophy: 2077 Cyberpunk
There’s no doubt that Cyberpunk 2077’s storyline is unforgettable, even though you have to put up with a console crash or two and far too many bugs for it. Supported by the holographic Johnny Silverhand, V’s voyage through Night City takes the protagonist to the big leagues and then all the way back down again.
The plot often offers unexpected surprises and a certain amount of flexibility to make your own ending, filled with suspense and intrigue. It’s quick to get lost in Cyberpunk 2077, with side quests that take full advantage of the futuristic vision of the US, while the rock-solid storyline keeps you coming back for more.
Check out our Cyberpunk 2077 PS4 analysis for more details.
The Last of Us: Part II The Gold Trophy:
In the sequel to the masterful PlayStation 3 original, Naughty Dog has dared to do something new, bringing together a two-pronged story that tells the events from both her side and the enemy of Ellie’s journey through Seattle.
As Abby reveals the motives behind her actions as Ellie and Dina work to put an end to her, the outcome is an excellent plot that is totally justified on both fronts. Controversial to others, but entirely comprehensible to others.
And when it all looks too sweet, in a world overrun by infected hordes, The Last of Us: Part II manages to tell such a human story. As Sony’s leading first-party studio proves once again how far ahead of the game industry it really is, one for the record books.
Check out our The Last of Us: Part II PS4 review for more details.
Trophy Platinum: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a storytelling wonder. It’s a complicated and nuanced story, divided between the lives of 13 different characters, but one that captures you early on and doesn’t let go. It’s filled with sci-fi elements, but there’s a role for every single character, and the twists are always surprising. The complexity and ambition of 13 Sentinels’ story is truly remarkable even for a visual novel – and the fact that everything stays together until the end credits is an excellent accomplishment. Not just the year’s best story, this is one of PS4’s best stories, period.
Check out our review of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim PS4 review for further details.
Are you in agreement with our selection? What stories do you think were the best PS5 and PS4 stories in 2020? In our poll, cast your vote and share your ideas in the comments below.
What was your favorite story about the PS5 and PS4 in 2020?
Thirteen Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Assassin’s Valhalla Creed
The Spider-Man of Marvel: Miles Morales
The Ultimate of Us: Part II
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV
Yakuza: Like a Dragon