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The Best Walking Simulator Games on PS4

Walking Simulator, or Narrative-Driven Adventure?

The term walking simulator has started springing up in the last few years.

We don’t particularly like the term, but “walking simulator” is useful in describing a particular genre of games. It’s the kind of game that’s somewhere between a point and click adventure and a narrative experience; a game that requires some input from you – usually some light puzzle solving – but mostly, you’ll spend your time travelling through environments while the story unfolds around you. We’ve rounded up some of the best walking simulator games on PS4 right here.

Like getting absorbed in a good story? Enjoy meeting intriguing characters? Then the chances are you’ll love some, if not all, of the games on this list. If narrative-driven adventure is what you love, then click on through to see our picks.

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch tells the story of the titular Edith Finch, a young woman returning to her childhood home. It’s been several years since she’s been there, and she’s not quite sure what will be waiting for her. We, as players, aren’t sure either. And what ensues is a touching adventure filled with twists and turns.

At its heart, it fits perfectly as one of the best walking simulator games on PS4; Edith moves around her old home and its grounds, an infinitely interesting place that begs exploration and discovery. But at each room she stops in, she’ll learn more about the resident, a family member who has passed away. And through a creative interactive flashback, we’ll learn what happened to them.

What Remains of Edith Finch mixes genres and methods of storytelling, leaving us with an experience that’s emotional, captivating and entirely worthy of our attention. Few narrative-driven games on PS4 come close to Edith Finch – it really is a special adventure.

Read our review of What Remains of Edith Finch

Firewatch

Set in the late 1980s, Firewatch casts you as Henry, a park ranger stationed in Shoshone National Forest. He’s alone in a massive park with not much to do besides be on the watch for a forest fire breaking out. His only means of communication is with his supervisor Delilah over a walkie talkie.

Throughout the game we learn a little more about Henry and the difficult life decisions that have led him to Shoshone. The meat of the game, though, lies in discovering strange goings-on in the forest. We learn of a past lookout and his son who mysteriously disappeared; and a group of teenagers seemingly causing trouble in the park who also seem to disappear.

Throughout Firewatch‘s short play time, these events unravel and Henry delves deeper into the strange happenings. Like the best games of the genre, what is and isn’t real in Firewatch is often thrown into question. Its that mystery that keeps us hooked, and what makes this one of the best walking simulator games on PS4.

Read our review of Firewatch

Gone Home

Gone Home feels at times like a horror. The first time you play, you’re almost expecting something to jump out around every corner. It’s much more simple than that though. Gone Home, one of the best walking simulator games on PS4, puts you in the shoes of Kaitlin. She’s just returned to her family home after being away for a while. Expecting her family to be there to greet her, she’s faced with an empty house. It’s your job to explore, learn more about Kaitlin and her family, and figure out where everyone is.

It’s the little details of Gone Home that make the game stand out; set in the mid 90s, its full of nostalgic nods to our childhoods – VHS recordings, cassette mix tapes, Street Fighter. Through found notes and recordings, Kaitlin pieces together a picture of her family while she’s been away. It’s a very simple game with no major plot twists or turns, but being grounded very much in reality, it’s loaded with emotion and nostalgia – and that alone makes it worthwhile.

Read our review of Gone Home

Dear Esther

Dear Esther is often said to be the first ‘walking simulator’; any similar game that has come after it is often considered to be inspired by it. True or not, Dear Esther is still an important game in the genre, and one that set a very high bar in terms of visual and production value.

Dear Esther tasks you with exploring a quiet and mysterious island from a first-person perspective. You have no idea who you are, or why you’re there. The only story that plays out is told by a narrator, whose voice kicks in as you pass certain points in the environment. It’s a story shrouded in mystery, and right up until the end, it’s never quite clear what’s going on. A beautiful environment to wander around certainly helps this short experience to be one of the best walking simulator games on PS4.

Read our review of Dear Esther

Fragments of Him

Fragments of Him is a beautiful game about love, loss, and growing up. With a basic yet striking art style, it’s impossible not to get drawn into the grounded and relatable stories that Fragments of Him tells.

Told from a number of perspectives, the game is about a young man called Will. You’re put in control of his grandmother, his ex-girlfriend, his current boyfriend, and Will himself to discover fragments of his life as he grows up, moves away to university and discovers his sexuality. Not only does it shine a lens on the difficulties of coming to terms with who you are as you’re growing up, it reflects upon the importance of family and love, and how difficult the most simple things in life can be at times. Fragments of Him is a beautiful story, and that alone makes it one of the best walking simulators on PS4.

Read our review of Fragments of Him

The Park

The Park is psychological horror-meets-walking simulator. You play as Lorraine, a single mother who’s accompanied her young son to an amusement park for the day. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite go to plan, and what should be a fun day at the fair turns into a literal nightmare for her. Her son, Callum, goes missing, and the game follows Lorraine as she frantically searches for him around the suddenly abandoned park.

It’s only a short experience, but as The Park unfolds, so does Lorraine’s mental state, and it’s not long before you’re left questioning what is and isn’t real. It’s a cleverly told story filled with horror and mystery that will keep you hooked until you reach the end. If you’re not a fan of scares, then perhaps give this one a miss – but if you’re a horror fan, The Park is undoubtedly one of the best walking simulator games on PS4.

Read our review of The Park

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

easy ps4 platinums

What would you do if everybody you knew had suddenly just disappeared? That’s the basis for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, a PS4 exclusive game set in a quaint English village where everybody has mysteriously vanished. Of course, the objective of the game is to try and discover what’s happened to everybody.

It’s dark and mysterious in tone, yet the locations you explore are often beautiful and peaceful. The story unravels as you interact with a series of objects and strange lights. Like most of the best walking simulator games on PS4, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture isn’t a particularly long experience, but one with a strong narrative that’ll keep you, er, enraptured, ’til the end. (Sorry.)

Read our review of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Virginia

Virginia is a bizarre game. A very bizarre game, actually. It can flick between multiple scenes with barely a chance to blink, and its plot jumps around so much that it can be hard to keep up. It’s rather brilliant though, and its unique method of storytelling – that often feels like an episode of Twin Peaks – means it stands out as one of the best walking simulator games on PS4. It’s certainly the most unique, that’s for sure.

You take on the role of Anne Tarver, an FBI agent investigating a missing person in the town of Kingdom. What seems like a very grounded premise eventually turns to the supernatural, and you’re never quite sure what’s going on. The fact that Virginia contains absolutely no dialogue whatsoever sets it apart from anything else – albeit making a little harder to follow – but also means it’s much more open to interpretation than other games.

Read our review of Virginia

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear perhaps leans more into the horror genre than anything else, but it still very much fits the description of a walking simulator. Just stay away from it if you’re not a fan of jump scares.

Layers of Fear unravels a mysterious story as you explore the abandoned home of a painter. You’re never quite sure what’s waiting for you around the next corner, but if you’re brave enough to make your way through its dark and sinister rooms, there’s a brilliant environment to explore with a dark and captivating story to unravel.

If you’re a fan of horror and are after one of the best walking simulator games on PS4, look no further than Layers of Fear.

Read our review of Layers of Fear

Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition

“Walking simulator” isn’t quite the right term for Three Fourths Home; you’re driving a car through very basic scenery rather than wandering through well-realised locations. But in every other sense, Three Fourths Home very much fits into the genre.

In Three Fourths Home, you’re placed in the role of a young woman who finds herself back living with her parents after a tough few months at college. You’re out driving – clearing your head – but the weather’s turned bad, and a hurricane is on its way.

Cue a series of phone conversations with your family back at home as you try to reach home before you get stranded out in a storm. You’ll finish the game in less than a hour, it’s poignant and powerful. It’s the sort of thing that keeps you on the edge of your seat despite its simplicity, and that’s what makes it one of the best walking simulator games on PS4.

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