Ever since Nathan Drake leapt, punched, shot and stole his way into our hearts all the way back in November 2007 with the PS3 action adventure Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, developer Naughty Dog has gone the extra mile with each subsequent installment in the series, expanding the sprawling ambition of the Uncharted games while maintaining the essence of the treasure hunting, action platforming beats and compelling characters that made the first game so essential in the first place. Out of the entire Uncharted franchise then, which spans some fifteen years and multiple consoles, which is the best Uncharted game? Well, we’ve got the answer to that very question right here. Please note though – spoilers do follow, so be aware.
So What Is The Best Uncharted Game Then?
The best Uncharted game in the opinion of this humble scribe is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. An entirely fresh entry in the series that was built from the ground up for the now humble PS4 all the way back in 2015, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a proper globetrotting, treasure hunting adventure without equal. With sky-high stakes that reach far back into the past of the Drake family and establish their troubled upbringing all the way through to the current day, we see the pair form new friendships and alliances as they attempt to track down the lost treasure locked within a forgotten pirate city. Quite simply, Uncharted 4 presents a charming, spectacle-stuffed action adventure that effortlessly sits at the apex of the entire series.
A Massive Globetrotting Odyssey With Unparalleled Eye-Opening Sweep And Spectacle
Though the Uncharted games have long prided themselves on providing players with a wealth of breathtaking locales for wannabe treasure hunters to lose themselves in, Uncharted 4 goes a step further and then some. From long lost catacombs hidden underneath the snow-dappled peaks of the Scottish Highlands to a long forgotten pirate city in deepest Madagascar, a sprawling Panamanian prison and even the aristocratic heights of an exclusive antique auction for the super-rich on the picturesque Italian coast, Uncharted 4 is a true globe-trotting odyssey with sweep and spectacle that is simply without peer in the Uncharted franchise.
The Introduction Of Nadine Ross
Even though Nathan Drake is certainly recognised as the leading man of the Uncharted franchise, developer Naughty Dog has always done sterling work in introducing new and compelling characters to the series that can ably stand on their own two feet. Falling directly into this hallowed category is Nadine Ross. Making her debut in Uncharted 4, Nadine Ross first appears as an archvillain-adjacent, hard-nosed mercenary with a thing for putting her foot in Nathan Drake’s rear end, but it isn’t long before a series of betrayals take place and Nadine finds herself doubting those initial allegiances. With a pair of iron fists that are only equalled by her acerbic wit, Nadine Ross rapidly became a fan favourite character and played an effective yin to the yang of Chloe Frazier in the superb series spin-off, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
Some Of The Best Set Pieces Ever Seen In An Action Adventure
Another defining aspect of the Uncharted series that arguably aids in fashioning its Hollywood adjacent veneer is the penchant for high-octane and spectacular set pieces that have long separated it from its genre peers. With Uncharted 4, developer Naughty Dog has completely outdone themselves here. From a breathtaking jeep and bike chase through multiple Madagascan villages that results in the sort of screen-filling chaos that one would normally associate with a Michael Bay flick, through to an action-packed sword fight in the rapidly burning hull of a pirate ship hold filled with treasure, Uncharted 4 looks and plays every bit like a Hollywood action movie on steroids and I for one, am absolutely here for all of it.
An Emotional Look At The Past, Present And Future Of The Drake Family
Essentially bookending the adventures of Nathan Drake as far as we currently know them, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, gives players a deep dive into Nathan Drake’s formative years and more importantly the various scrapes, adventures, trials and tribulations that Nathan got into with his brother, the equally roguish and mercurial Sam Drake. As well as beautifully fleshing out Nathan Drake’s past, Uncharted 4 boasts a post-game coda that gives players a glimpse at the future of the Drake family in a beautifully low-key playable sequence. Certainly, it’s a neat epilogue of sorts that potentially serves to set up a range of different directions that the series could take moving forward.
A Much Needed Humanising Of Nathan And Elena
As was the case in many of the previous Uncharted games, the relationship dynamic that exists between Nathan Drake and Elena once again takes center stage in Uncharted 4, but this time they feel much more like a real couple then they arguably ever have. Though Nathan Drake and Elena both find themselves swept up in all manner of skirmishes and scrapes, Uncharted 4 makes sure to take plenty of time to show the pair during their more slice of life moments. From managing businesses, to enjoying a meal together to even playing a competitive game of Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted 4 makes the mundane feel worthwhile as it shows that there is much more to our lovable protagonists than just shooting dudes in the face, stealing treasure and escaping death by the skin of their teeth. More of this please, Naughty Dog.
What’s The Best Way To Play The Best Uncharted Game?
No longer purely exclusive to Sony’s beloved last generation console, Naughty Dog have since remastered and released Uncharted 4 as part of the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PS5 and PC – the latter of which is arriving this October. Included alongside Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which coincidentally is the runner up for the best Uncharted game, Uncharted 4 gets the royal remaster treatment with full 3D audio, practically instantaneous load times and an array of visual presets which allow players to choose from a native 4K resolution presentation running at 30 frames per second, a performance mode that locks in at 1440p resolution at 60 frames per second and finally, a 120 frames per second visual preset that runs at 1080p resolution for lucky owners of HDMI 2.1 compliant displays. Quite simply, these visual options all serve a common purpose to underscore the incredible environments, highly detailed character models and evocative Hollywood spectacle that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has perfected.