Few developments in the history of the gaming industry had an impact comparable to the advent and proliferation of video game consoles.
Although PC gaming was often the one to push the boundaries of what’s possible, it was consoles that really made gaming such a widespread recreational activity.
A combination of being able to reliably run every game for a number of years coupled with a much lower upfront cost (no peripherals needed except for a TV) and vast libraries of high-quality products was a definitive winning strategy that works great even today.
What makes consoles unique, though, is the availability of platform-locked games or franchises.
Unfortunately, the sheer number of amazing exclusives is so high that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and be unable to pick anything up.
With that in mind, we have prepared a list of essential titles that you can play this winter, and that’ll transform your experience of gaming forever, including the God of War series for PlayStation, Dreams for PS4, Gran Turismo franchise for PlayStation, and Forza Horizon series for Xbox.
Read on and learn more about these timeless pieces of art!
Forza Horizon Series
The Forza Horizon series is one of the most popular racing franchises in the world.
While the first game released in 2012 was an open-world racing title, the series has evolved over time into the spiritual successor of the long-running arcade racing series Forza Motorsport.
If you search long enough, you can obtain many games from this series for an excellent price — either using CDKeys discount codes or purchasing it on sale.
No matter what title you opt for, it will be a perfect addition to your gaming room.
The first Forza Horizon game introduced several elements that have become staples of the franchise ever since, including a high degree of car customization, a number of breathtakingly beautiful racetracks, and other additions that made the game stand out from its competitors.
The game received very positive critical reception and was nominated for several awards for its pioneering approach that introduced many new features to the genre.
The follow-up release, Forza Horizon 2, came out in 2014 and once again proved to be a massive success on account of its revolutionary approach to racing games.
The series’ first entry on Xbox One was a major technical achievement and an absolute visual masterpiece.
It was also the subject of unprecedentedly positive reviews praising the game’s high production values and gameplay variety.
The most recent release in the Forza Horizon series, Forza Horizon 5, is undoubtedly the best entry in the franchise so far.
The game was developed with the aid of actual professional race car drivers, allowing it to achieve a level of realism rarely seen in video games.
It also managed to retain everything that made previous entries so good while adding a host of new features.
Forza Horizon 5 is easily one of the best racing games released in years, thanks to its revolutionary nature and unbelievable attention to detail. It’s a must-play for anyone who likes racing games.
Gran Turismo Franchise
Gran Turismo is arguably one of the most important franchises in all of gaming history.
It’s often regarded as the gold standard when it comes to realistic driving simulations and is responsible for bringing motorsports simulators to the mainstream.
The first game in the series was released in 1997 on PlayStation and proved to be a smash hit. It was followed up by several sequels on PlayStation 1 and 2, as well as Gran Turismo HD Remaster on PlayStation 3 that allowed fans to play their favorite titles once again on their current-gen console.
The most recent release, Gran Turismo Sport, was published in 2017 and became the first entry for the PlayStation 4 console.
While the game received a lukewarm response from critics and players alike, it’s still a must-try for any motorsport fan due to its massive selection of cars and racetracks as well as an impressive level of realism that’s hard to find elsewhere.
If you want to get your hands on some of the most outstanding racing titles ever made, you should definitely consider buying one of the older games from the Gran Turismo franchise.
God of War Series
Sony’s biggest exclusive IP is, without a doubt, God of War. The series revolves around Kratos, a Spartan warrior who seeks revenge against his family’s murderers.
Kratos is an antihero who wants nothing more than to kill every Greek god in existence and break free of his blood oath, which forces him to do anything he’s asked by his father, Zeus.
The series is known for its brutal combat and dark narrative, which often deals with mature topics such as death, loss, and vengeance.
Most of the games from the series are set in a fictionalized version of Ancient Greece and feature large, beautifully sculpted maps.
There’s a lot to do in God of War, including many side-quests, platforming, and of course, slaying your enemies with your signature chained blades.
The latest release, God of War (2018), marked the start of a new chapter in the franchise.
It received very positive critical reception and was praised for its graphics, level design, soundtrack, and emotionally compelling narrative.
As a result, it was nominated for several awards and is rightfully considered one of the best games released on PlayStation 4 so far. It’s an absolute must-play for any PS4 owner.
Dreams is one of the most ambitious titles ever developed by Sony.
It’s a revolutionary creation tool that allows players to create and share their own worlds, characters, and stories.
It’s a true sandbox in every sense of the word, making the possibilities it offers virtually limitless.
The program features a very intuitive user interface that allows players to create and edit their worlds through numerous simple interactions.
There’s also support for multiple people working on the same project, as well as a built-in creation tool that allows players to work on their creations without having to use your PC.
If you’re into creative gaming, Dreams is a must-play for you.
Whether you want to create your own worlds, play through levels that other people have made, or just play around with the toolset, there’s plenty to do in this game.
We’ve just covered some of the best gaming exclusives that you should try out if you own a PS4 or Xbox One.
There are plenty of others to choose from, so make sure that you pay attention to your favorite genres and give titles like God of War, Forza Horizon 5, and Dreams a shot!
Instead of sticking to your usual set of games, do not be afraid to explore new titles, as many incredible experiences are waiting for you.
Just imagine how much you can gain if the game you decide to pick up is amazing! Have fun playing, and good luck!