If you can believe it, Sony’s PlayStation 4 turned five years old in November 2018 after churning out plenty of contenders for the best PS4 games since launch. Since 2013, it’s climbed to the top of the console hill, helped in no small part thanks to its wide variety of out-and-out exclusives.
Adding to that, 2018 was a banner year for the console with titles like God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man being bloody excellent, and release date dodging games like Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding and The Last of Us 2 still to look forward to not long from now, both possibly sometime in 2019. The PlayStation 5 is due to land sometime in 2020, but that doesn’t mean for one second that the old girl doesn’t still have a lot of life left in her.
But what if you just want to collect a whole bunch of great games, no matter the exclusivity? More and more games are available on multiple platforms (just because it makes financial sense), so if you’re looking to amass quite the haul of possibilities for your PS4, you’re in for quite the fine selection to choose from.
Trust us when we say that you will want to make yourself a big cup of tea as you make your way through this guide. We have over five years of PS4 games to wade through, and we’re trying to be as diverse as possible with our picks.
As we gear up to recommend some of the best PlayStation 4 games to you, bear in mind that these aren’t exclusives, neither are they in any order apart from alphabetical. We’re also excluding remasters and ports from older generations for the sake of variety, so don’t be sad when you notice that The Last of Us Remastered and GTA V aren’t included.
Note: we initially had a much longer list, but it was too long. We’ve decided to cut it down to 25 and add no more. New entries will replace the old.
The Best PS4 Games You Should Own
1. Apex Legends
Developer: Respawn Entertainment Publisher: EA
Where on Earth did this game come from? Well, we know it came from the minds at Respawn (who will appear again later in this list), but Apex Legends just kind of sauntered in without warning and took over the lives of many. It’s a battle royale game, but try not to hold that against it — even those who hate BR games are finding something to love.
With an emphasis on teamwork over personal glory, Apex Legends rewards communication and interplay like few games in recent memory, which is the dream when paired with Respawn’s superlative understanding of what makes an FPS feel so damn good to play. It’s only just getting started too, so watch this space to see what the future holds for Apex Legends. Oh, it’s also free.
“Respawn’s premier gunplay paired with some exceptional twists on the battle royale formula create an irresistible concoction that’s only just getting started. With a clear roadmap already laid out for the year ahead, surely Apex can only get even better from here.”
Buy if: you want Overwatch x Blackout x Siege. Avoid if: sweating profusely gives you bad rashes.
2. Astro Bot Rescue Mission (PSVR)
Developer: SIE JAPAN Studio Publisher: SIE
Hands up if you thought that a VR platformer featuring the PlayStation 4’s forgotten mascot would be not only one of the best virtual reality games ever made, but also one of the console’s best? Our hands are firmly down on this one, which made Astro Bot Rescue Mission even more of a joy.
Appealing to anyone who’s ever played a collectathon platformer, Astro Bot Rescue Mission tasks you with tracking down a tonne of missing robots after an alien wreaks havoc. You’ll visit many different locales with plenty of secrets to find and cuteness overloads that will make you want to vomit, but in the best way possible. A true shot of optimism straught to the heart of our all too cynical modern world.
“In a sea of dark and gritty games that take themselves far too seriously, it’s nice to have the respite provided by kicking little robots up the backside and then flossing in celebration at the end of the level. Astro Bot Rescue Mission is silly and eccentric, and sometimes that’s all you need from a video game.”
Buy if: you want Mario to come to PlayStation. Avoid if: you have neck problems.
Developer: FromSoftware Publisher: SIE
FromSoftware’s Bloodborne was one of the first essential PS4 games and it still is, so much so that expectations for a rumoured sequel are astonishingly high. You know your game is good when you punish your players so much that they want to come back for seconds.
Although not a million miles away from the Dark Souls experience we know and love/hate, Bloodborne took what made the series so great, gave it a quicker, more ruthless edge and made something that felt different but absolutely still belonging to the FromSoftware school of pain. If you haven’t played it yet, be sure to pick up its GOTY edition, which comes with DLC to extend your suffering.
Buy if: you like Dark Souls. Avoid if: you don’t like Dark Souls.
4. Dead Cells
Developer: Motion Twin Publisher: Motion Twin
An uncompromising blend of old and new conventions, Dead Cells is a love letter to the likes of Castlevania with a gorgeous aesthetic and suitably bastardy difficulty. While those with previous experience in the Metroidvania subgenre will come to grips with it pretty quickly, everyone else may find the climb to be an uphill one.
Once you feel “good” at Dead Cells, however, it’s irresistible. Every inch of progress feels like it should be celebrated, or when you finally overcome a boss that you will later grow to view as nothing other than a slightly beefier grunt. There’s a great sense of progress in Dead Cells as it’s a PS4 single-player game that you will sink dozens of hours into without even realising it.
“An utterly compelling and challenging ride, Dead Cells is a dense and consistently evolving game that is what every budding Early Access game should aspire to become.”
Buy if: you want to lose yourself on an island. Avoid if: you need a deep story.
5. Devil May Cry 5
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
While no two people will probably ever be able to agree on DmC, the return to the original narrative really pays off for Devil May Cry 5: the most explosive and possibly most fun game in the franchise to date.
With three protagonists to play as, and one who is just a SSS factory, Devil May Cry offers a glorious cacophony of violence and metal that will transport you all the way back to your teenage years. If you’re a dedicated Devil May Cry fan, you will be totally in your element here — it’s like 3 met 4 and then turned the dial up to eleven on all fronts.
“Multiplayer and loading screens aside, Devil May Cry 5 is exactly what it was meant to be and more. With a great plot, beautiful visuals, and near perfect gameplay, Capcom delivers possibly the best Devil May Cry to date.”
Buy if: you need to beat the heck out of demons and look cool doing so. Avoid if: your hand cramps up easily.