Nex Machina (also on PC)
Housemarque recently decided to leave the arcade shooter genre behind in favor of something a little more contemporary, the studio certainly gave its old games a proper sendoff with Nex Machina. Designed with the help of Robotron 2084 and Smash TV designer Eugene Jarvis, Nex Machina is a lightning-fast classic shooter with perfect controls, plenty of secrets to find, and nearly infinite replayability.
It only takes a few hours to make it through the game from start to finish, but that’s if you’re playing relatively well. Nex Machina is brutally difficult, particularly when you face some of its later bosses, but the satisfaction you feel after finally reaching the end is immense, and you’ll be ready to start it right back up for another run.
Read our Nex Machina review
A launch title initially available for free through PlayStation Plus, Resogun is a remarkably simple side-scrolling aerial shooter, but it also happens to be one of the best games on the PlayStation 4. As you move a small ship around the tube-like levels that make up the game, you blast away at enemy obstacles and rescue small green humans struggling to survive on the ground.
Resogun is all about hitting a high score, but making it through a stage and defeating a new enemy for the first time is still a rush. Of course, once your friends pass your score, you’ll immediately have to go back into the game and kick their butts again.
Rez Infinite (also on PC)
A remastered version of one of the most underrated rail shooters of all time Rez Infinite is absolutely stunning on the PlayStation 4, with its gloriously weird visuals displayed at 1080p resolution in 60 frames per second. The music-basic shooting is addictive enough to keep you glued to your screen for hours, and the songs are sure to get stuck in your head.
When you do tire of staring at the television, you can jump into the game – literally – with its PlayStation VR mode. It’s included for free with the standard version of the game, and 3D audio means you’ll be even more immersed.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Killzone: Shadow Fall served as the perfect technical showcase for the PlayStation 4 in 2013, with its gorgeous and varied environments, impressive weapon effects, and detailed facial animations showing new console owners why they purchased it in the first place. The campaign’s morally ambiguous take on the conflict between the Helghast and ISA makes for some unexpected moments near the end, and it sets up an exciting next chapter – if we ever get one.
Shadow Fall’s multiplayer shouldn’t be overlooked, however. Though relatively basic, the quick matches are engaging and rewarding, without fewer frustrating “who killed me?” moments than other, similar games.
Read our full Killzone: Shadow Fall review