Space opera is probably the most popular sub-genre of science fiction next to cyberpunk and post-apocalypse. Its definitive characteristics are a futuristic space setting featuring frequent interstellar or interplanetary travel, advanced technology, weaponry, space combat, and melodramatic storytelling, but the most dedicated fans of this genre already know this.
What they might not know, is what space opera video games are available for the PlayStation console. This question is especially relevant if you are a space opera fan who‘s just received a PS4 gift card. For this reason, we present what can be considered the five best space opera games currently located on the PSN platform.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
The most logical way to start is without a doubt the Star Wars franchise which popularised the space opera genre in the first place. Of course, before the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977, there were Dune books by Frank Herbert. For the longest time, these books served as a science-fiction‘s answer to the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien.
However, nothing shook the imagination of audiences like the revolutionary special effects and an epic story about hero hood like the original Star Wars trilogy conceived by George Lucas. The newest Star Wars game on the PS4 – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – successfully captures the same feeling once again.
Developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is set between the films’ Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope of the series. The story follows a young protagonist Cal Kestis, a Jedi padawan who‘s one of the few members of the Jedi Order that survived Order 66.
The game offers amazing freedom of exploration around the galaxy with a private starship called Mantis. Different planets are of semi-open world deign, featuring secrets, puzzles, platforming sections and satisfying lightsaber combat mechanics inspired by the infamous Dark Souls series by FromSofrware.
It may surprise some but Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is not the only space opera game created by Respawn Entertainment. Before the mentioned action-adventure Star Wars title the studio already established its reputation with fast-paced first-person shooter game series Titanfall.
On top of that, Respawn Entertainment also created an extremely successful FPS battle royale game Apex Legends which is also technically a space opera, at least as far as the setting goes, since it takes place in the same fictional universe as Titanfall games.
Not all space opera settings must feature aliens. The story Titanfall centers around two space-faring human factions engaged in interstellar conflict: the rebellious Frontier Militia and the oppressive Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (or IMC for short).
The familiarities to Star Wars can‘t be missed, but this makes the setting even more engaging. The main weapons deployed in this conflict are mech suits called Titans that can be summed by their pilots into battle. Since the original Titanfall is an online-only experience as well as Apex Legends, those who are looking to experience a space opera single-player campaign on the PS4 should start with Titanfall 2.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Both previously mentioned space opera games have been developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. While this next space opera video game doesn‘t share the same developer, it is once again brought through EA and it‘s a collaboration with RPG masters BioWare. In fact, BioWare‘s Mass Effect franchise arguably has to be one of the most, if not the most definitive space opera video games series as of yet.
While the original Mass Effect trilogy hasn‘t been ported to the 8th generation of consoles, the PlayStation 4 can enjoy the latest iteration in the series Mass Effect: Andromeda.
This is actually very convenient for newcomers as Mass Effect: Andromeda opens up a fresh chapter in the Mass Effect saga and doesn‘t continue with the story of Commander Shepard from the first three games.
The fourth game in the mainline sequence of Mass Effect titles is set around 634 years after the events of Mass Effect 2 because this is how long it took for the Andromeda Initiative to arrive at the neighboring galaxy – the Andromeda – after they left the Milky Way. Assume the role of a Pathfinder! You play as a mixture between scientists and soldiers as you’ll explore the new frontier to find a new home for humanity.
The Outer Worlds
Star Wars had set the tone and direction for many space operas on various media throughout the decades. Sometimes this influence was direct, sometimes it was not. The Mass Effect games of BioWare were inspired by a previous Star Wars RPG game series by the same developer.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: Sith Lords, both set the blueprints of the Mass Effect game design. However, KOTOR II: Sith Lords was not developed BioWare themselves. This legendary title was created by Obsidian Entertainment and in 2019 they returned with a space opera game The Outer Worlds.
It might sound strange, but the space opera has a sub-genre of its own, even though it‘s a sub-genre of science-fiction in and of itself. This secondary sub-genre is a space western, and this is exactly what defines The Outer Worlds.
The setting of the game was heavily inspired by famous space western TV shows like Firefly and it‘s cinematic continuation Serenity as well as cult-classic anime series Cowboy Bebop. The design of the game will be very familiar to Mass Effect and Fallout: New Vegas (another amazing game from Obsidian Entertainment). The game is like the wild west in space as the player will explore a lawless galaxy with their ship – The Unreliable.
One of the most iconic video game space opera series is the Halo franchise, arguably the biggest competition of Mass Effect in terms of scale, storytelling, world-building, and detail. Unfortunately, PlayStation gamers will never get to play it on the Sony platform as Halo is a flagship Xbox game series.
But PlayStation gamers have an amazing space opera alternative from the creators of Halo which is Destiny 2! Just like Halo, Destiny franchise was developed by studio Bungie. The creators used their experience with the Halo games and created a rich space opera MMO first-person shooter, that is also available on the PlayStation 4 console.
The players will assume the role of Guardians. Just as their name implies, Guardians are the protectors of the last human city on Earth. Set in the futuristic and post-apocalyptic Solar System, Destiny 2 has players defending the remnants of human civilization and traveling the entire Solar System as they take on this task.
Guardians come in three distinct classes: heavily armored Titans, mystical Warlocks and the acrobatic Hunters. The game presents a huge variety of customization options, gameplay styles, engaging co-op experience, and your own private interplanetary ship.
Explore the galaxy cheaper!
Some of these games will take you entire lightyears away from Earth and if you‘re no prepared, it might end up a costly journey. We‘re not talking about the cost of your starship fuel, but the price you pay for your gaming needs. Luckily, there is always a better way.
If you‘re looking for space opera games on PlayStation 4, you should know that by purchasing a PS4 gift card through a retailer game store, like Eneba, you can increase the value of your PSN account cheaper! Buckle up your lightsaber, activate the galaxy map, punch the FTL drive and enjoy these adventures amongst the stars for a lot less!