Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a turn-based RPG often overlooked when talking about the best RPG titles on PS4. This is understandable considering Digimon is a niche area, not to mention the PS4 is already home to several noteworthy RPG titles such as Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy XV, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Cyber Sleuth also deserves to be mentioned as one of the best RPG titles on PS4 - and we have three reasons why.

A dark story

Cyber Sleuth features a dark, mature story that might surprise newcomers expecting it to play out similar to the rinse-and-repeat story in Pokemon games. Though the English translation can be questionable sometimes, the story is great, with a good mix of humor and drama.

The main protagonist is a regular-looking teenager who gets caught up in an incident inside a digital hub called "EDEN," a place where people engage in digital activities using avatars. You can think of EDEN as a more advanced form of social media. The incident leaves him (or her) in a half-digital state: his "mental data" - or soul, if you will - is separated from his real-world body, which now lies in a comatose state.

His mental data can freely walk around in the real-world just like any normal human - but with the added ability that allows him to directly "enter" any digital or electronic device. After encountering a detective named Kyoko, he becomes an assistant detective specializing in digital-related cases. Armed with a program that allows him to use Digimon in cyber space, he sets out on a journey to return his body back to normal.

Along the way, he learns more about the so-called "Eaters," the virus-like digital entity responsible for putting him in his half-digital state in the first place. Turns out, an evil plan involving Eaters is carefully being cooked up from behind the scenes, with the ultimate goal of destroying the human world in order to save the Digital World, home of the Digimon, which has been ravaged by Eaters. A sad and shocking twist eventually presents itself deep into the story, one that directly connects the protagonist to the Eaters.

Though not exactly The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite material, Cyber Sleuth features an excellent story that is perfectly complemented by the great soundtrack. The characters are well-developed as well, with the Japanese voice actors giving each one a distinct personality.

Great battle system

Cyber Sleuth features a traditional turn-based battle system. You can carry up to 11 Digimon, with three of them being active battle party members. The battle system follows the familiar formula seen in many turn-based RPG titles.

You have the option to use regular attacks, cast skills, guard, and use items. Skills are filtered into three categories: offense, recovery, and support. The latter includes buff/debuff skills, status skills, and other unique skills such as Safety Guard, which saves a Digimon from a killing blow once. Since you are allowed to carry an 11-Digimon team, you can spread out roles among team members. A rock-paper-scissors system is also present in Cyber Sleuth, which comes in the form of Types (Vaccine, Data, Virus, and Free) and Attributes (Fire, Water, Plant, Electric, Wind, Earth, Dark, Light, and Neutral).

Each Digimon also comes with a passive skill, which usually affects the entire active party. Passive skills make certain Digimon work well with a specific Digimon. For example, Beelzemon's passive skill boosts his attack every turn at the cost of HP. He is best paired with Rosemon Burst Mode, whose passive skill recovers HP for all party members every turn. Mastemon's passive skill, which boosts the power of both Light and Dark skills, makes her a nice complement to Seraphimon (Light) and Lilithmon (Dark).

Cyber Sleuth has a combo mechanic, where Digimon next to each other in the turn order, which is determined by Speed, can hook up for a bonus effect that depends on the action taken. For example, a combo boost will add more hits to a regular attack or make an offensive skill deal more damage. Combos aren't automatic, though. Certain factors are in play in determining the chances of combos such as the Camaraderie stat.

The battle system is accessible to newcomers, with the early game tutorials giving RPG newbies a great way to get into the swing of things. The overall game difficulty is beginner-friendly as well, though RPG veterans can opt to dive directly into Hard Mode for more challenge. Speaking of which, the late-game, post-game, and DLC bosses in Hard Mode can be extremely difficult. And by "extremely difficult," we mean Shin Megami Tensei and Persona level difficult where bosses can only be defeated using specific strategies.

Addicting Digimon training

The highlight in Cyber Sleuth is the Digimon training system. There are over 200 monsters available in the game, which translates to dozens of different party combinations. You can go with personal favorites without worrying about Types and Attributes or you can craft a team with a specific theme like a "Metal"-based team comprised of MetalSeadramon, MetalGarurumon, and MetalMamemon. The number of Digimon gives Cyber Sleuth replay value. You can finish the game using different Digimon every play-through.

Accessing all the different Digimon requires Digivolution and De-Digivolution. For the former, certain parameters need to be met in order to open up a specific Digivolution, which typically includes reaching a specific Level and having the necessary stats. Digivolution is slightly more complicated than the straightforward evolution system in the Pokemon games. Skills can be passed down through Digivolution and De-Digivolution - except Special Skills, which are signature attacks unique to all Digimon, and passive skills. All Digimon can learn all inheritable skills. If you want to pass down certain skills to a specific Digimon, you will need to carefully learn which Digivolution path to take.

Training Digimon is really fun and addicting, especially when building an ultimate team for the aforementioned extremely difficult bosses. You can easily check out Digivolution lines and complete Digimon stats and skills using the Field Guide, which acts as a Digimon encyclopedia. Grinding isn't an issue in Cyber Sleuth, thanks to PlatinumSukamon, PlatinumNumemon, and the Tactician USB item. All three give EXP boosts, making grinding for levels hilariously easy.

Cyber Sleuth may not be the first mentioned when talking about RPG titles on PS4. But in our books, it definitely ranks as one of the best RPG titles the PS4 has to offer. A sequel, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory, is also on the way.