The Playstation 4 is home to some impressive titles. Unfortunately, snagging all the latest AAA titles can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. Thankfully, as the popularity of Fortnite has proven, you don’t have to break the bank in order to snag some quality titles for your PS4. In fact, the Playstation Store is home to various games that will provide hours of entertainment for the low, low price of nothing.
The “platform fighter” sub-genre of fighting games is dominated by a single game – Super Smash Bros. There have been imitators such as the unfortunately named “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale;” however, they have failed to achieve the popularity of Nintendo’s Super Smash series. Unfortunately, due to Super Smash Bros. being a Nintendo property, players have had to shell out for a Nintendo console if they wanted to play it. Thankfully, Brawlhalla offers a similar experience on the PS4, with addictive gameplay and tight controls.
Brawlhalla is a frenetic cartoon fighter that features thirty-four different characters with unique weapons and abilities. Players can choose between a variety of different game types, from local matches to online brawls. The free version of the game only gives you access to six characters; however, players can grind it out in matches to earn coins. These coins can then be used to purchase additional characters. Alternatively, players can shell out real world cash to unlock all of the characters immediately.
2. Let It Die
From the twisted mind of game developer Sudo51, who brought you over-the-top insanity like “Shadows of the Damned” and “No More Heroes,” comes Let It Die. This game is a must-play for those who enjoy the grueling difficulty of the Dark Souls series. In Let It Die your goal is to reach the top of the mysterious Tower of Barbs, something no one has ever done before. Along the way you’ll have to battle nightmarish enemies with a variety of wacky weapons you’ll craft from items you find. It can be punishingly difficult, but you do have a condescending NPC named Uncle Death to help you out.
Let It Die’s absurd premise, enemies and weapons make the game worth checking out; however, there is a bit of a catch. As the name of the game implies, be prepared to let your character die. A lot. This can be frustrating, as dying in game means losing that character (including all of their gear) indefinitely. That means hours of progress can go down the drain if a battle doesn’t go your way. Of course, you can always open your wallet to revive your character and continue on as if nothing happened.
Paladins is a fast-paced, team-based shoot-them-up that offers fun gameplay with a lot of variety. Players control a “champion,” a character with unique battlefield abilities to suit a variety of play styles. Do you like to overwhelm your opponents with brute force? Prefer to cut down your enemies with a sniper rifle from the shadows? Perhaps you like the idea of using speed to cut down your foes with a knife. Fortunately, the roster of Paladins is chock-full of characters that have a little something for everyone.
As a team-based shooter, players will have to work together in order to complete objectives. Fans of Blizzard’s Overwatch will find the mechanics and even the art style of Paladins very familiar. The only downside to Paladins is the clunky card system that it employs. These cards can increase the effectiveness or duration of a player’s abilities. As is typical of free-to-play games, various bits of the game are locked to non-paying players.
Even if you only have a passing interest in gaming, you’ve probably heard the term “MOBA” before. For those unfamiliar, “MOBA” stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Typically, this sub-genre of games pits teams of players against each other, where strategy and teamwork are paramount. Unfortunately, many MOBAs are of the point-and-click variety, meaning those who prefer more action-oriented games usually give them a pass. Fortunately, Paragon is one MOBA that is heavy on fast-paced action.
Players will come for the adrenaline-pumping action, but they will stay for the strategic teamwork necessary to win. Unfortunately, it looks like Paragon’s servers will be shutting down at some point this year, so queue this one up soon if you want to give it a try.
5. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters
Tecmo’s fighting series has a somewhat infamous reputation, thanks to the buxom female characters. Fortunately, this isn’t the only thing the series has going for it. The Dead or Alive series has been a competent and often underrated entry in the fighting genre. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is one of the more bare-bones free-to-play games the PS Store has to offer. The expansive roster of the full game is limited to just four playable characters. Furthermore, most of the game modes are unavailable, including online play and story mode. Although, who plays fighting games for the story anyway?
As a result, DOA is one of the more predatory “free” games out there, as it monetizes everything. In addition to paying real world cash to unlock characters or arenas, you can shell out for new outfits and other fashion accessories for the myriad of characters. If someone were inclined to own every bikini or pair of sunglasses, it could cost well over $1,000. Despite these shortcomings and relatively shallow experience, DOA is still a slick, good-looking fighter that will satisfy casual fans of fighting games.
What are your favorite free-to-play PS4 games? Let us know in the comments!