10 Best Games With Pixel Art On PS4/PS5

Originally associated exclusively with older 8-bit and 16-bit games from the '80s and '90s, pixel art has become a purposeful stylistic choice in modern years. Games that feature pixel art often go to great lengths to showcase the artists’ skills. Lending a nostalgic ambiance to modern games, pixel art has grown from the simplistic visuals of Space Invaders to the visually complicated aesthetics of games like Hyper Light Drifter.

Some artists have compared pixel art to embroidery or beadwork; they both involve manipulating very small units of color to create stunning images and both require someone highly skilled. In the past, pixel artists used to be hard to come by. However, the genre's growing popularity has grown into a much more massive community. For Playstation users, here are some games available for the PS4 and/or PS5 that are not only fun, but also feature incredible pixel art.

10 Stardew Valley

It’s hard to not think of Stardew Valley when we hear “pixel art.” Its initial release may have been in 2016, but this evergreen indie game has continued to remain relevant with a series of updates and additional content.

With new lands, new characters to meet, extra starter plots, and additional things to add to your farm, even seasoned farmers have a reason to keep coming back to Pelican Town. This modern take on farming simulators like the Harvest Moon series is not only fun, but it is also beautiful to look at (and listen to).

9 Carrion

Described by reviewers as a “reverse horror game,” Carrion puts you in the shoes (or rather tentacles) of a strange monster. Your job is to make your way through the facility without being killed by the humans and various traps. And, of course, you'll have to feed. Be careful – if the humans figure out you’re nearby, they’ll attack first.

As you progress through the game, you'll piece together the origins of the monster you control and eventually uncover the truth of the facility you’ve been trapped in.

8 Vampire Survivors

This indie shoot ‘em up will immediately have you asking, “Where are all the vampires?” Despite its name, it seems you’ll fight just about anything but vampires. Nevertheless, Vampire Survivors is an incredibly fun and deceptively simple roguelike.

You’ll unlock an arsenal of weapons, new maps, upgrades, and special characters as you search for the titular monsters. Try different combinations of abilities to evolve your weapons into powerful armaments that will decimate the increasingly frenzied waves of enemies. And be sure to come back now and again; more content is being released!

7 Blasphemous

Traverse the nightmare world of Cvstodia and unlock its many secrets in Blasphemous, a hack-and-slack Metroidvania that takes some notes from Dark Souls and Roman Catholicism.

Your character, known only as The Penitent One, is a silent knight who is on a pilgrimage through this cursed land to find the Cradle of Affliction, but first, he will have to complete the Three Humiliations to prove his worth. You’ll have to master spellcasting and sword-wielding to progress through the challenging levels of Cvstodia.

6 Dead Cells

Dead Cells is a soulslike Metroidvania. Since its initial release in 2017, the game has grown exponentially as the developers have added lore, levels, and new weapons for your character, the mysterious Prisoner, to wield as he traverses the island and uncovers its secrets.

With a diverse set of equipment, every run has the potential to be a bit different. The storytelling is minimal but effective – slowly but surely, you’ll unravel the sad tale of what happened on the island, and how its occupants were transformed (or killed) by a disease called the Malaise.

5 Celeste

Celeste was originally developed in a mere four days during a game jam. The fully fleshed version was released two years later by the original creators.

The fictional Mount Celeste is the backdrop for this game, and you control Madeline, a climber who must face more than steep inclines as she attempts to reach the summit. This platformer is not only challenging, but also beautiful. From the Forsaken City to the Mirror Temple, you’ll have to help Madeline reach the top unscathed. By climbing, dashing, and collecting items.

4 Hyper Light Drifter

The lead developer Alx Preston described Hyper Light Drifter as a combination of Zelda: A Link To The Past and Diablo. You’ll play as the Drifter, who can use ancient technology that the other inhabitants of this world have forgotten how to use – not unlike Aloy in Horizon.

Afflicted with a mysterious illness, the Drifter will have to face increasingly difficult monsters to achieve his goal. Hyper Light Drifter has been praised not only for its great gameplay, but for having some of the most spectacular pixel art in recent memory.

3 Undertale

Indie darling Undertale’s tagline is: “The RPG game where you don’t have to destroy anyone!” You control a child who mistakenly wanders into the monster realm beneath the earth. You’ll have to find your way home by getting past a magical barrier meant to separate the human world from the monster world.

Despite the tagline, there are several ways to play Undertale, and several outcomes. With funny dialogue, critically acclaimed music, and an imaginative landscape, this game is worth playing through more than once.

2 Coffee Talk

In this visual novel from Indonesian studio Toge Productions, you run a coffee shop in a fantastical Seattle populated by elves, orcs, and other mythical creatures. You serve warm drinks and a sympathetic ear to your patrons, who will tell you their stories over time (with a little prodding from you, that is).

The game spans a two-week period, and each day functions as a vignette. This game focuses on narrative rather than gameplay, but is nevertheless quite engaging. It’s reminiscent of the world of Shadowrun, but from a lonely barista’s perspective.

1 Unpacking

Another narrative game, Unpacking tells its story not through dialogue, but boxes. You’ll play as a girl through various stages of her life, with each level divided by years: 1997, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018. Each of these years represents a significant move (literally) in the protagonist’s life.

At each stage, you’ll help her unpack her belongings and move them into her new home. A sweet game with lovely pixel art, Unpacking explores one of the most relatable adult experiences: moving.

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