There’s a moment early in DOOM where any worries long-time players had were put to bed. As soon as the booming soundtrack synchronises perfectly with Doomguy’s cocking of his shotgun, every single one of the game’s doubters came aboard the ride and refused to get off.
DOOM is everything you could want from a modern reimagining of a series that acted as a template for countless others to follow. It’s breathless, dizzying in the amount of action going on at once, rarely giving the player a second to recuperate before the next batch of bad bastards need their face kicking in. We fell utterly in love with it, as you could probably tell from our review:
“Doom was a revolution in 1993 and in 2016 it has emerged from development hell to pick up exactly where Id left off. It’s a masterful return to form and essential.”
Buy if: you like stomping heads in while listening to a metal as hecking heck soundtrack. Avoid if: you’re too used to modern FPS games to consider an alternative.
7. Dying Light
Developer: Techland Publisher: WB Games
Dying Light is a game that just won’t die. Despite releasing right at the start of 2015, it’s had a constant stream of updates pouring into it in the years since with developers Techland only just recently revealing that more was yet to come. If you’re looking for the complete zombie game package, look no further.
Exhilaratingly fun and nail-bitingly tense at the same time, Dying Light mixes an open-world, the undead, and parkour into something quite unique and a game that not enough people appreciate. Sure, its story isn’t amazing and its conclusion leaves a lot to be desired, but for the sheer amount of content and different ways to dispatch of zombies, it’s hard to beat. We reviewed The Following edition of the game and fell in love:
“If you’re yet to check out the original Dying Light, this Enhanced Edition is the perfect way to introduce yourself to what could be the start of a phenomenal franchise.”
Buy if: you want to dropkick zombies off of a bridge. Avoid if: zombies aren’t your thing.
8. God of War
Developer: SIE Santa Monica Publisher: SIE
This generation of gaming has been all about revitalising old franchises, putting a spin on well-worn conventions and delivering something completely different with its combat system and so muchg. God of War is possibly the most successful and accomplished example of that, a game that not only does its name justice but also stands above as the best entry in the series to date.
If this was a list in any order other than alphabetical, God of War would be the best PS4 game there is. Featuring a storyline worth investing your time and heart into, a massive overhaul of combat, and a father/son dynamic at its center that’s completely captivating, God of War on PS4 should be your first buy as a new console owner.
God of War is certainly one of the best games on the console. Hell, it might be a ballsy call, but God of War could go down as the best game of its generation.
“It’s not the God of War you once knew, but Kratos’ debut on PS4 brings the franchise back into the limelight in a big way as one of the best games of its generation.”
Buy if: you love Kratos and his fatherly ways. Avoid if: you work for social services.
9. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
An early version of this list somehow omitted Hellblade and for that we can only apologise. An oversight of that size means we should not be spared the rod, because Hellblade is quite comfortably one of the PS4’s best and most unique titles. It seeks to educate as well as entertain, achieving both in a balanced way.
You play as Senua, who finds herself on a seemingly hopeless quest with her demons being the biggest enemies she will confront. Dealing heavily in mental health, Hellblade isn’t a pick up and play game — you have to really commit yourself to and get lost in her downwards spiral. With the success of Hellblade contributing towards Microsoft snagging them as an in-house developer, it will be interesting to see where they go next.
“Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice isn’t always perfect, but it’s a remarkably meaningful and sincere exploration of self-doubt and depression all the same.”
Buy if: you want to be gripped by the turmoil of an unconventional heroine. Avoid if: you want something to cheer you up.
10. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Developer: Guerrilla Games Publisher: SIE
A game so good it could get away with having a terrible name, Horizon: Zero Dawn looked like it could at least be pretty interesting, but it wasn’t expected to be this beloved. It feels and sometimes plays like Breath of the Wild’s cousin, which isn’t meant as an insult. Horizon wears its influences proudly.
If you want to know what Horizon is all about, here’s the simple version: you hunt dinosaur robots in a post-apocalyptic setting as a warrior with great hair. If you’re searching for one of the most fun PS4 games that lets you climb up a robot giraffe, check out Horizon, which is quite simply one of the best open world games. If that hasn’t sold you enough, here’s what Nick thought in his glowing review:
“Horizon Zero Dawn boasts a stunningly realized vision of the post-post-apocalypse, accompanied by a fascinating and chilling mystery surrounding the fall of civilization and surprisingly deep and strategic combat which combine to create one of the best new IP’s in years.”
Buy if: hunting robots even sounds remotely cool to you. Avoid if: open-world fatigue has set in.
Developer: Playdead Publisher: Playdead
When Playdead released Limbo, it was an indie delight, a dark and challenging puzzle platformer with a tone rarely seen in games before. I mean, you could cause the death of a child over and over and over again. So when Inside came around, we all knew what to expect. But that didn’t stop us from being surprised by just how much better it was.
With an unforgettable aesthetic and minimalist storytelling, Inside gets under your skin. No matter how hard you scratch, you will never be able to get rid of it, whether it’s the scenes of being chased down by dogs or the unsettling use of mind control. Our own Kieran McLoone was smitten with it:
“Inside is definitely a worthy successor to Limbo, and a mesmerising experience throughout. It takes the platformer genre, and propels it far beyond anything you’ve tried before.”
Buy if: you liked Limbo, or just want games to make you feel uncomfortable. Avoid if: you need every piece of a game to be broken down for you.
12. The Last Guardian
Developer: Team ICO Publisher: SIE
The Last Guardian was never truly going to live up the lofty expectations that were thrust upon it after years and years of waiting. Team ICO are fantastic developers, but even they can’t bring a game out of development hell without some problems – The Last Guardian certainly shows its age in some areas, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the PS4’s best games.
If you can look past some of its awkwardness, though, The Last Guardian will totally charm you. The tale of a boy and his birddogthing, it’s an emotional, strangely relatable game with a good heart. Dan Solomon, when he managed to stop weeping, reviewed it for us and rated it highly:
“If you think the Uncharted series features too many humans and has too much story, give this sparse game about a boy and his oversized companion a spin.”
Buy if: you want a beautiful platformer with tonnes of love poured into it. Avoid if: shonky companion AI is your weakness.
13. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: SIE
It’s been a long time for Spider-Man fans to wait to see a game that gets at least close to emulating the feeling of web-swinging found in the PS2’s Spider-Man. Marvel’s Spider-Man provides exactly that, as well as a whole host of web-based content to keep you entertained for many more hours after its excellent story concludes.
Playing as a Spider-Man who’s been around the block for a while, the game wastes no time in throwing you into the action. Action which feels like a sped-up version of the Arkham series. With plenty of appearances from Marvel legends and some of the most beautiful visuals you’re likely to see in this generation (regardless of if you have a PS4 Pro or not), Marvel’s Spider-Man is simply one of the best superhero games there is.
“With all the freedom it gives you to web-sling through New York City and stick goons to walls, Spider-Man for PS4 is the best Spider-Story I’ve had the pleasure to experience, and even on its own is a brilliant game.”
14. Monster Hunter: World
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
It isn’t to easy appease your long-time fans and also appeal to new ones, but Capcom somehow managed it with Monster Hunter: World. Prior to the newest entry, the series had never been a massive hit in the west, but with its gigantic sales, that’s all changed.
By retaining the addictive core of a Monster Hunter game while streamlining some stuff that needed streamlining, Capcom have delivered what may well be the definitive Monster Hunter experience. It’s uncompromising in its difficulty and packed to the gills with content, so you’re bound to be having fun for hours on end. It’s something of a grind, but a grind that you will no doubt relish.
“Monster Hunter: World isn’t for everyone. The focus on loot and grinding ensures that, but everything it does is superlative, making it an essential purchase for any RPG fans looking for something new. As for the established fans, it’s everything you loved about the old games, but prettier. A win/win, all round.”
Buy if: you love MH or just want to take on some dinosaurs. Avoid if: you have any kind of life.
15. NieR: Automata
Developer: Platinum Games Publisher: Square Enix
A bewilderingly dense game with more layers than an onion wrapped up for winter, NieR: Automata is a real joy. You’re always bound to come across something unexpected as once you think you’ve got it all figured out, it changes itself. It’s basically a chameleon of a video game.
Blending several genres and styles into one wild experience, Automata is an easy recommendation, even if you haven’t played its cult predecessor. Better yet, it keeps on giving, so once those end credits roll, be prepared to for another go-around. Our own WB Mason was smitten with it in his review:
“Nier: Automata is an incredibly well made, beautiful and challenging Japanese action-adventure RPG.”
Buy if: traditional AAA games bore you. Avoid if: you aren’t capable of getting weird.