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.
The mid-gen update for the PS4 has also helped to give the console an extra lease of life, the PS4 Pro and Slim offering plenty of player choice, the former bringing extra fidelity and performance with the latter being, well, slimmer. 4K gaming is on the rise, and the Pro has brought some of the PS4’s most stunning games into even clearer focus.
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 still to look forward to not long from now, though that may be a cross-generational title with the PS5.
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. They would otherwise make the cut.
Developer: Respawn Entertainment Publisher: EA Multiplayer/Single-Player: MP PS4 Pro Enhanced: Dynamic 1440p
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: Yes
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: No
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.
Rumours persist that we might see a Bloodborne sequel for the PlayStation 5, so watch this space.
Buy if: you like Dark Souls. Avoid if: you don’t like Dark Souls.
4. Dead Cells
Developer: Motion Twin Publisher: Motion Twin Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: No
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.
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. And, let’s not forget, most insane.
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.
Developer: id Software Publisher: Bethesda Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: 4K, 60fps
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: No
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.
A sequel is due out in 2020, so here’s hoping it’s a smash hit out of the gate rather than a slow grower like its predecessor.
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: Dynamic 4K, HDR
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
Developer: Ninja Theory Publisher: Ninja Theory Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: 60fps
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: 4K, HDR
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: No
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: 3840×2160, variable fps, HDR
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: upscaled 4K
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: 1800p, HDR
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 Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: 60fps, HDR
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.
A game so popular that it became cool to hate on it within a couple of weeks of it being out, Blizzard’s Overwatch is a simple, addictive team-based shooter with bags of personality. It may not agree with all gamers, but once its cartoonishly appealing visuals and tight gameplay has you, you will struggle to want to play anything else.
It’s not perfect, however. What’s holding Overwatch back is it lacking in modes and making its players put the pieces of its narrative together instead of stitching together any cohesive itself. That being said, when what’s on offer is this good and replayable, it makes a mighty fine case for quality over quantity.
We may have drifted away from the game in recent months, but we had a lot of love to give it in our review:
“Magical. Ridiculous. Exciting. Infuriating. Overwatch is all of those things and much more that’s hard to define. One of the first essential gaming experiences of 2016.”
Buy if: you think Team Fortress 2 should have been made by Pixar. Avoid if: you need a million modes from your multiplayer games.
17. Persona 5
Developer: P-Studio Publisher: Atlus Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: No
The wait was worth it: Persona 5 dropped early in 2017 to the sound of jubilant tears. A massive success, Atlus’ massive RPG balances outright weirdness, a gripping story, and some seriously unforgiving gameplay to make it one of the most addictive games on the market.
Finally breaking the franchise out of its cult status and into as close to the mainstream as such a barmy franchise can be, Persona 5 sees you playing as Joker, who wakes up and discovers he has special powers, backed up by the Phantom Thieves of Hearts.
Our reviewer, Leon, who sunk over 100 hours into his simulated second life, hasn’t been seen since awarding it a 10/10. We’re worried about him.
“With a gripping story, quirky characters, witty writing, and everything that you need to make a good game, Persona 5 will take hold of you for its 100+ hours of gameplay and have you wishing you didn’t need to take a break.”
Buy if: you want to get utterly lost in a game. Avoid if: you have children to feed.
18. Red Dead Redemption 2
Developer: Rockstar Games Publisher: Take-Two Interactive Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: Enhanced graphics, HDR
Red Dead Redemption 2 promised to show that Rockstar were no longer content to sit around on their laurels with GTA Online, but did it deliver? Apart from some controls that take some getting used to and a couple of straight up bizarre mechanics, Red Dead Redemption 2 may well just provide the best open world to explore in all of gaming.
When you’re done skinning everything or completing the side quests, the story of Red Dead Redemption 2 is also something that you won’t want to miss. Arthur Morgan is an exceptional protagonist and every inch the perfect stand-in for John Marston as he anchors a haunting tale of the end of outlaws that is surprisingly emotive. Once RDR2 has you, say goodbye to pretty much everything else.
It’s hard to get remakes right, especially those for properties that are basically untouchable. Luckily for us, Capcom approached the Resident Evil 2 remake with as much care and attention as a brand new game while also staying close to what made the original game such an undoubted favourite.
A major overhaul sees Resident Evil 2 looking every inch the modern game while also playing like one of the most frightening games of its generation — no easy feat considering you’re a lot less vulnerable this time out. Treasure the time you have before Mr. X lifts up that helicopter and stomps his way towards you.
“Resident Evil 2 is, quite simply, one of the best remakes of all-time. Capcom have nailed their new vision of a classic just like they did back in 2002 by modernising a decades old game to feel like something completely fresh. Whether you want to take a trip down memory lane or are just experiencing the disconcerting decadence of the police station for the first time, Resident Evil 2 is the first essential purchase of 2019.”
Buy if: you want a faithful refresh of a Resident Evil classic series that’s showing age. Avoid if: tank controls are vital to your love of Resi.
20. Rocket League
Developer: Psyonix Publisher: Psyonix Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: 4K
The best game ever given away for “free” with PlayStation Plus, Rocket League is one of the biggest success stories ever seen in gaming. It went from a surprise hit to a worldwide phenomenon and shows no signs of slowing down. Once you’ve sunk an hour or two into it, you’ll know why.
Football (or soccer, to you American sorts) with cars is an idea so simple that you wonder why someone didn’t come up with it sooner. Well, Psyonix actually did with Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, but they refined the formula for Rocket League and made it just about most addictive game on the market. Flip, spin, and boost your way to victory, or completely miss the ball and have your teammates swear at you. It’s one or the other with this game.
Buy if: you want fast-paced multiplayer fun that’s tense as heck. Avoid if: you aren’t willing to put in the practice.
Quite how Tetris became cool again is something that only Tetris Effect can answer: a stylish and emotive ride through existence that will have the hairs on your arms on end while your head bops along to its beautiful beats.
While the main Tetris experience is the same, it’s in the presentation and overall mood of the game in which Tetris Effect excels. If you’ve never played Tetris (somehow) or just want to possibly reconnect with a childhood favourite, this is the perfect way to do so, whether in virtual reality or not.
“An absolute delight, Tetris Effect twists and bends the mind of the player like few other games are capable of. While not quite a revolution of the classic premise, Effect provides players of all experiences the chance to discover what has made the franchise so iconic while also pointing towards the future.”
Buy if: you have some pent-up feelings you need to unleash. Avoid if: you want to be the best at a game. Somebody will always be better than you at Tetris.
22. Titanfall 2
Developer: Respawn Publisher: EA Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: No
Even if it might not have hit sales expectations, it’s hard not to look at Titanfall 2 as anything but a success. Respawn’s follow-up managed to win back a lot of goodwill that its predecessor squandered, helped in no small part by one of the best FPS single-player campaigns seen in years, making it one of the best PS4 FPS games in the process.
And it kept on giving once the credits rolled on the story, too. Its multiplayer offers some of the purest, most addictive shooting we’ve ever had the pleasure of hollering with joy through. It does a wonderful job of making you feel like an utter badass – zipping through the air and wreaking destruction inside a Titan always feels fresh and exhilarating. We gave it a positive review at launch:
“A passionately produced FPS that shows 99% of the opposition how it should be done, Titanfall 2 deserves to rank alongside the year’s very best.”
Buy if: you want to tuck into some supremely smooth shooting, inside a giant robot or out. Avoid if: We genuinely can’t think of any reason why you would swerve this. Not an FPS fan, we guess?
23. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: SIE Multiplayer/Single-Player: Both PS4 Pro Enhanced: 2560×1440, HDR
Perhaps it leans too heavily on its cinematics over gameplay, and maybe it doesn’t do anything new to further the gameplay of the series, but there’s no denying that Uncharted 4 is an awesome spectacle. Naughty Dog seem to revel in throwing gorgeous vistas and extravagant set-pieces at players every few minutes, making Uncharted 4 one of the best PS4 games at showing off the console’s potential.
With perhaps the strongest story in the franchise to date, it’s easy to get sucked into the family drama of Uncharted 4. There’s also the traditional amount of death-defying stunts and jumps to make, but the game’s highlight? Definitely playing Crash Bandicoot. Here’s Kieran with the verdict, a rare 10/10:
“From every single standpoint, Uncharted 4 is the pinnacle of the series, a technical masterpiece, and one of the best games that I’ve ever played.”
Buy if: you want a satisfying conclusion to Nathan Drake’s arc. Avoid if: lengthy cutscenes aren’t your thing.
What Remains of Edith Finch isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s short and fairly basic in the gameplay department, but if you can allow it, the game will leave a lasting impact on you. It’s been a long time since we played it, and yet it’s never far from our minds. Edith Finch is a modern fable, a bittersweet tale of family and loss.
While you could easily pigeonhole it into the “Walking Simulator” genre, that doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a moving, deeply affecting few hours with so many stories -all beautifully told- that seem like they come from a personal place of the developers. It isn’t technically without fault on PS4, but we could look past that in our review:
“…it’s easy to call Giant Sparrow’s game the new standard-bearer for interactive storytelling, even if it stumbles along the way. Just like the tall tales passed through generations of the Finch family, What Remains of Edith Finch will stay with you for a long time.”
Buy if: you want to lie down, try not to cry, cry a lot. Avoid if: walking simulators just aren’t your thing.
25. The Witcher 3
Developer: CD Projekt Red Publisher: CD Projekt Multiplayer/Single-Player: SP PS4 Pro Enhanced: 4k
As a game so densely packed with content (and sex), The Witcher 3 is a role playing game that’s going to tide you over for a long, long time.
Having sunk 100 hours into the main game with Blood and Wine -its second expansion- still to tuck into, we don’t have to say goodbye to Geralt anytime soon. Which is good, because we managed to get the worst possible ending. It’s nearly four years later and we’re still not over it.We will never be over it.
If you like anything Bethesda have ever done but just wanted it to be better, take a look at CD Projekt Red’s fantasy epic and prepare to say goodbye to your family for a couple of months. Be sure to check out the Family Matters sidequest as soon as you can – that thing is a masterpiece.