Every trophy we earn—while meaningless to outsiders—tells a personal story about the time we beat a game on its hardest difficulty; proving that there is no match for our snappy reflexes and ruthless ability to kill the poor binary souls that inhabit our games. They tell a story of the hard work and perseverance it took to find a hundred tiny flags littered throughout the lovingly hand-crafted worlds that we spent hours exploring. Or they just tell the funny tale of that time we tried to look up 2B’s (NieR: Automata) skirt for a cheeky glimpse at her high-poly bum only for her to seemingly notice and swat the camera away. No matter what the story is, every trophy has one and they are altogether unique.
Recently, I reached a personal goal of 200 Platinum Trophies—an achievement that took 4 years of my life—and I’ve spent the last few days just staring at my giant trophy list; reminiscing about some of the truly breathtaking journeys I’ve been on. So, in celebration of my personal achievement (that really only means anything to me) I’ve compiled a list of my personal favourite Platinum Trophy Journeys of the last decade.
Before you continue, please note that these entries are in no particular order and may contain spoilers.
Top Platinum Trophy Journeys From 2010-2019
#1 Monster Hunter: World
I was first introduced to Monster Hunter when I was about 22; I was hanging out at TheDblTap’s place when he pulled out his Nintendo 3DS and booted up Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Almost immediately, my interest peaked as I saw giant, terrifying creatures battling significantly smaller humans with weapons so large you’d think the designer in charge was compensating for something. It was like Shadow of the Colossus, but the monsters fought back and you could play it with friends. Sadly, I did not own a 3DS of my own and after deciding the price was too much to pay to play one game, I gave up on ever owning MH4U.
Three years later and Monster Hunter: World was released for the PlayStation 4. Finally, I was able to dive into Monster Hunter and experience the thrilling battles for myself, but little did I know exactly how many hours I would sink into this game in pursuit of the Platinum Trophy. I spent the first 100 hours without even looking at the trophy list, but when I did take a peek and saw the Giant and Miniature Gold Crown trophies I thought to myself “Easy. I can do that!”. And I was right… Mostly. I did manage to get all the required gold crowns, but it wasn’t easy and took me almost 400 hours.
As crazy as it sounds, I absolutely would platinum this game all over again. Fighting giant Rathalos’, Diablos’ and Anjanath’s with my friends was some of the most fun I’ve had in a video game since the first year of Destiny.
#2 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
I could have put any of the Uncharted games here, but Uncharted 4 is the most focused and polished Uncharted experience that Naughty Dog has made to date. Nathan Drake is a little older than when we saw him in Uncharted 3 and he’s trying to settle down into domesticated life with Elena. However, the call of adventure is too strong for Drake to ignore forever and when his brother—who was presumed to be dead—turns up on his doorstep; well, Drake is, once again, sucked into another great treasure hunt with plenty of dangers and obstacles to face along the way.
I was so excited about Uncharted 4 that I pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition with the Nathan Drake statue and the Grey Blue controller. The moment I accepted the package from the delivery driver, I rushed off to my PS4, threw the disc in the tray and played until I saw the credits. And then I played it again (after a short break of course). It wasn’t until I finished my second playthrough that I stopped to look at the trophy list and notice the speedrun trophy and a huge grin spread across my face (I adore speedrun trophies).
#3 God of War 2018
Kratos has appeared in his own game on every PlayStation console since 2005, so I was expecting a brand new God of War pretty early in the PS4 life cycle. However, it didn’t happen and the months turned to years until one day in 2016—when I had given up hope of seeing Kratos on the PS4—God of War was announced and it looked great.
Kratos has left Greece behind and journeyed to Midgard where he seems to have settled down and is living a peaceful life. That is until a stranger shows up at his door and the God of War must, once again, beat the snot out of all the other gods only this time the gods in question are Norse. I don’t want to spoil anything about this game since it’s only been 2 years since it was released, but the moment when you first meet Jormungandr (a.k.a The World Serpent) is absolutely one of the best moments in gaming history.
#4 A Way Out
What good is a story if you can’t share it with a friend? Well, A Way Out is a story that you need a friend to even experience which, in my opinion, makes for a tip top tier tale, truly—I appear to be stuck in alliteration.
A Way Out is a 2 player co-op game that you can play online or on the same couch (which I recommend) where both players have to work together and complete tasks to escape prison. The story continues after your grand escape but to reveal more would be an injustice to this masterpiece. The game features a dynamic split-screen that shrinks or expands depending on which character is doing the more exciting or important task at the time, which happens frequently.
#5 NieR: Automata
Yoko Taro may come across as more than a little insane and he probably is, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t make a great game. NieR: Automata is a sequel to NieR, which is a sort of sequel/side story to one of the endings to the excellent Drakengard series; an ending where a giant goddess appears in modern-day Tokyo, disintegrates and creates a disease known as White Chlorination Syndrome. This eventually drives humans to abandon Earth and develop the YoRHa, which is an elite force of gorgeous android ladies, who must fight the aliens invading Earth. Yes, aliens invade at some point. There’s a lot to unpack if you want to understand the events leading up to NieR: Automata, but the good news is that you can absolutely play the game without knowing all of Drakengard or NieR’s story beats.
NieR: Automata was developed by Platinum Games and while the combat isn’t as difficult as Platinum’s other games, it definitely requires more thought than a typical hack ‘n slasher. If you’re a fan of cute ladies with big swords and a story that is deeper and sadder than it has any right to be, then you’ll definitely want to play NieR: Automata.
It seemed like I was the only kid within 100 miles who owned a Dreamcast and a copy of Shenmue. I would go to school and try to talk to my friends about SEGA’s excellent, but criminally underrated, console and the story of Ryo Hazuki only to be met with confused faces and questions like “What’s a Dreamcast?” or “There’s a game called Shemu?”. Thankfully, thanks to the internet and fan communities like ShenmueDojo and r/Shenmue, I know that I’m not alone.
Shenmue is a martial arts themed revenge story about Ryo, a highschool student, who returns home on his birthday only to witness a man called Lan Di murder his father in cold blood. You’d be forgiven for thinking Shenmue is an action-heavy game from that brief description, but actually it’s a detective story with a time management mechanic. Every day Ryo wakes up and heads into town to ask about Lan Di and his henchman until he gets a lead, but he might have to wait until 2pm to investigate further. Luckily there are gachapon machines and an arcade—with some classic SEGA games—to kill time at.
Shenmue was, for the time, the most expensive and revolutionary game that was ever developed. Every NPC was unique and had their own personalities and kept to their own daily schedules. You could go anywhere, do anything and talk to every NPC. You could even use an in-game phone to call the NPCs, providing you had their number. Yu Suzuki—the creative mind behind Shenmue—even used real-life weather data from the 80s; so when it rains or snows in-game, it likely rained or snowed on the very same day at the same time in Yokosuka (the city Shenmue takes place in). Shenmue is a game very close to my heart and I could talk for hours about so I’ll leave it here… Maybe I’ll write a retrospective review series about it one day.
#7 Gravity Rush
It’s undeniable that Japanese developers often make the most creative and intriguing games and Gravity Rush (Gravity Daze in Japan) is no exception. Originally a Vita game, Gravity Rush follows an amnesiac girl called Kat as she wakes up in a strange place only to discover she can manipulate the gravity around her via a cosmic kitten. A power which she immediately used to help defend the citizens of the Heksaville from a mysterious enemy called Nevi. Her efforts aren’t appreciated by everyone and she’s forced to live in the opening of a sewer pipe which actually ends up looking cosier than you’d imagine and you can return here to let Kat rest as you save your game.
Gravity Rush is endlessly charming, a feat which is reflected in its soundtrack (particularly these 2 tracks).
#8 Resident Evil 2 Remake
I’d like to use this entry to thank my parents for dropping the ball when it came to age-restricted content. If they had never left me alone with a copy of George A. Romero’s Dawn of The Day, I likely would never have gone to bed in utter shock of what I just witnessed. I would never have had nightmares so vivid I woke up in a cold sweat with tears in my eyes; so thanks, mum and dad. No, really, thank you because if I hadn’t gone through that admittedly awful 24 hours, I never would have realised how powerful Horror can be and I definitely wouldn’t have put Resident Evil 2’s disc in my PS1.
Playing Resident Evil 2 is one of my favourite memories from my childhood and thanks to Capcom, I get to replay it, completely remade from the ground up, on my PS4 and it came with a platinum trophy.
#9 Days Gone
I know World War Z has its own video game now, but I think the best depiction of WWZ-like, swarming zombie masses is in Days Gone. During the day, the “Freakers” in Days Gone like to hibernate in the nests that they build out of sticks and… Faeces? And it’s all too easy to be scavenging for materials to craft a molotov and accidentally walk into the heart of a nest. Sure, you can lay traps and craft bombs and molotovs to throw at the horde while you desperately gun them down, but the horde is unpredictable and will scurry over fences and cars like a wave. Good job you have your trusty motorbike so you can ride away to safety.
#10 The Last of Us
TheDblTap briefly mentioned this in his review, but when The Last of Us released, we were sitting in my living room just watching the minutes pass by. Then came a knock at the door. To be honest, I moved so fast I don’t even remember greeting the delivery driver; I just took the box out of his hands and shut the door. We spent the rest of the day just playing through the gritty yet somehow beautiful world that Naughty Dog had kept under wraps so well. We did eventually take a break from the story to dabble in the multiplayer, where I’m happy to report that I came 1st in most of the matches we played that day (nobody had figured out what weapons and systems they could abuse to ruin everybody’s game yet).
The Last of Us is a game that I sit down and play a few times a year even though I have the platinum in both PS3 and PS4 versions. I play it because of the excellent story that Naughty Dog wrote and for the masterful performances by Troy Baker (Joel), Ashley Johnson (Ellie) and Nolan North (David). TLoU truly is a masterpiece of a game.
#11 A Plague Tale: Innocence
The coolest thing about this generation of gaming is that it’s easier now, more than ever, for independent developers to get their games onto the PS4 system. I know a lot of gamers don’t share my love for a well-crafted indie game, but we can all admit that things are better when you have more choices.
A Plague Tale is one of the better choices you can make when deciding what indie game to play. You play as Amicia as the world around her descends into ruin due to swarms of plague-carrying rats that act in unnatural ways. The rats aren’t the only threat, however, as there is a particularly nasty Inquisition and the soldiers are even nastier. Amicia must use her slingshot to defeat enemies and solves puzzles all while keeping her little brother, Hugo, safe from harm.
If you’ve ever fallen into the YouTube hole, you’ll likely have come across many weird yet wonderful videos you never knew existed. For me these were SCP videos, a fun collection of stories detailing paranormal objects and creatures all written as incident reports to give them a sense of realism. If you like the sound of that then you should absolutely check out Control.
The Oldest House is a giant building—that seems to be alive—where a secret government agency houses otherworldly objects and entities. You play as Jesse as she discovers this building during an outbreak of something referred to only as the “Hiss”. Shortly after entering the building, Jesse finds a gun which automatically promotes her to the Director of this secret agency and it’s up to her to save everyone and drive back the Hiss as she is the only person with the power to do so.
#13 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
One of the more interesting stories in the Star Wars universe is the genocide of all Jedi in the galaxy. I’ve always wondered what it was like in the years after Order 66, but were never satisfied by the available information until Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Cal Kestis was a young padawan when Order 66 was executed—which he only just managed to survive—and has since been living as a scrapper. Of course all great stories need an event to force the hero into action and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is no exception. Cal is discovered by the enemy and is forced to flee whereupon he meets another Jedi who survived the genocide. Together they set out, along with their lovable pilot Greez, to restart the Jedi order.
Spiderman and Horizon Zero Dawn
Both are amazing games that definitely deserve to be on the list, but I’ve talked about them a lot and I feel like everybody already knows about and agrees with me when I say they were some of the best games of the last decade.
Spyro Remake Trilogy, Medieval and Crash Bandicoot Remake Trilogy
All three of these franchises probably deserve to be in the list too, however, I chose to add them here because they’re all remakes and I already included RE2 Remake, Shenmue remastered and Gravity Rush Remastered. I also haven’t got the plat for the Crash Bandicoot games (I’m really close though) so it would probably come across as a bit disingenuous if I added them.
Sleeping Dogs is one of my all-time favourite games, but I understand that it’s far too dated and janky for it to be considered one of the greatest Platinum Journeys of the Decade. It is, however, a really good journey that I absolutely recommend.
The Grand Tour Game
I wanted to add this to the main list, however, it’s not really the game that made it great. It was the fact that with each episode of The Grand Tour that was released on Amazon Prime Video, so too was an episode released in the game. The whole gimmick was that you could watch the episode in-game and play the parts where Clarkson, May and Hammond race around tracks or drive ridiculous vehicles over dodgy terrain. Still, I didn’t feel right adding it to the main list so here it lies.
So there you have my list. There are so many more games that should be on it, but I’d probably never finish writing it if I were to include them all. Maybe I’ll do another list in the future…
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