PlayStation Now, Sony’s take on cloud gaming, has been around for a while. Just recently, though, Sony dropped the price and opened up game downloads. Although PS Now isn’t quite on the level of Xbox Game Pass, it still features excellent games. In this guide to the best PS Now games, we’re going to show you our favorite ones.
Spider-Man has always been caught in the mediocrity of movie tie-in games, outside of the standout Spider-Man 2. Nabbing the rights from Activision, Sony put Insomniac Games in charge of creating a new generation of Spider-Man games. Marvel’s Spider-Man is the result, and it’s a treat for longtime fans. No movie required, Marvel’s Spider-Man forges its own path, with a beautifully detailed open world, refined combat, and, of course, excellent web-slinging mechanics.
Spider-Man doesn’t pull any punches. It features New York City as your playground, with a handful of collectibles and side missions dotted across the map. The combat is fairly stock, too, adopting an Arkham City-esque system. All of these elements blend beautifully together, though. Spider-Man is the Spider-Man game players have been asking for.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid 5 was Hideo Kojima’s swan song for his time with Konami. Despite the mess that resulted, The Phantom Pain is among Kojima’s best work. You’re free to approach every mission in any way you see fit. Maybe you attack an inspection point with guns blazing, or sneak in silently and take out enemies one by one. Even more impressive, both are viable options.
The Phantom Pain takes place 11 years before the original Metal Gear. You play as Big Boss, who, after a nine-year coma, adopts the alias “Venom Snake.” After escaping the Cyrpus-based hospital, it’s your job to find those responsible for the destruction of the Militaires Sans Frontières, the military base feature in the prequel game Ground Zeroes.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
It’s tough choosing the best Uncharted game, but for us, it has to be Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Unfortunately, only the PS3 version is on PlayStation Now, meaning the only way to play it is streaming. The Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection is the best way to play the game on PS4, but Sony, annoyingly, only has the PS3 versions of each game available on PS Now.
Regardless, Among Thieves is a great game. It takes place two years after the events of the original when Drake’s former flame Chrole Frazer bursts unto the scene. It’s another globe-trotting, treasure-filled adventure, with your goal being to find the Chintamani Stone, a hidden artifact from Marco Polo’s 1292 voyage to China.
The Last of Us
Like Uncharted 2, only the PS3 version of The Last of Us is available on PS Now. Compared to the remastered version, the textures are a bit muddy, and you’ll have to download the Left Behind DLC manually. Even with those caveats, The Last of Us is an engrossing and moving game, with survival horror gameplay backing up the story.
Unlike most other zombie-themed video games, The Last of Us really drives home the human impact of a zombie apocalypse. You play as Joel, a smuggler who’s on the hunt for a stolen weapons cache. Promising double the loot, the leader of a group called the Fireflies asks Joel to escort a girl named Ellie to the Massachusetts State House far outside the quarantine zone. Of course, this journey isn’t easy, as Ellie and Joel encounter friends and foes, some human and some not.
Destroy All Humans
The Destroy All Humans remake is almost here. In the meantime, you can play the original and its sequel on PlayStation Now. Compared to our other entries, there’s nothing special about Destroy All Humans. It doesn’t have any sort of moving plot, the graphics are dated, and the gameplay is as simple as it gets. Destroy All Humans doesn’t need any of that, though. It’s just pure fun.
It’s a PS2 game — lovingly upscaled with trophy support on PS Now — and it carries the same sensibilities of most games from that era. It’s a parody of Cold War-era alien movies. This time, though, you take the role of an alien blasting away humans with an assortment of intergalactic weaponry.
Until Dawn is a survival horror game from Supermassive Games. This is the same studio responsible for The Dark Picture Anthology: Man of Medan and Hidden Agenda, the latter of which is one of the best games like Jackbox. It’s an interactive drama in the same vein as Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls — both games on PS Now — where you interact with the story through a series of quick-time events.
The story plays out like an ’80s slasher. A group of friends meet at a lodge a year after two of their friends disappeared there. Of course, the group is terrorized by a masked man throughout the lodge and the woods that surround it. The story is stock, but there are still plenty of twists to make Until Dawn worth a playthrough. Plus, it features the acting prowess of Rami Malek and Hayden Panettiere.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
It’s easy to write off The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. After all, it’s just another in a long line of “walking simulators.” If you play it for a few minutes, though, you’ll quickly see what all the fuss is about. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter tells a tragic story in a beautiful environment.
Like other games of the genre, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is best experienced blind, but we’ll give you a brief primer. You play as paranormal investigator Paul Prospero, who, after receiving a letter from a fan, travels to Red Creek Valley, Wisconsin, to investigate recent violent events. As you find more bodies, you’ll begin to piece together what happened in the town. Excuse our vagueness; we really don’t want to spoil what this game has to offer.
LittleBigPlanet 3 is the only numbered game in the series not developed by the series creator, Media Molecule. Although the third entry isn’t as good as the first two games, it’s still filled with charm, and an impressive showing for developer Sumo Digital. Plus, it’s the only LittleBigPlanet game on PlayStation Now.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing this series, let us get you acquainted. LittleBigPlanet 3 is a puzzle platform game where you’ll solve headscratchers to progress in relatively simple levels. There’s a single-player mode, but the game comes into its own with multiplayer. Like Super Mario Maker, you can create and share levels online, as well as download and play other user-created levels. The series is known for having a slew of objects you can place in your level, leading to wildly varied level designs.
Unfortunately, Hollow Knight has fallen victim to an endless stream of video game comparisons. It’s a Metroidvania, sure, but Hollow Knight establishes an identity all its own. It tells the story of a kingdom in ruin and of a ruler who will stop at nothing to save it.
You’ll have to dig deep to find that story, though. Hollow Knight is all about exploration, rewarding players who explore every nook with more items, expanded lore, and frequent upgrades. The gameplay itself borrows Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night, but it’s easy to see why Hollow Knight stands apart from them. The world of Hollownest is alive — even if many of its inhabitants are dead.
Fallout 3 showed what a first-person, open-world Fallout game could look like, despite its long list of problems. Fallout 4 improves on its predecessor in every way, with refined gun mechanics, better visuals, and deeper gameplay systems. Although it’s easy to crown Skyrim as the king of Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout 4 shows just how far the studio has come since the days of Morrowind.
Like any Bethesda game, there are hundreds of hours of quests and world building in Fallout 4. For us, though, the kicker is base building. As you progress through the story, you’ll be able to build a base where you can craft, store gear, and fend off raiders. This seemingly small addition pushes Fallout 4 beyond another Bethesda RPG, throwing survival elements from games like Ark: Survival Evolved and 7 Days to Die into the mix.
Alienation may not be as well known as games like The Last of Us or Horizon Zero Dawn, but it was still published by Sony. It’s an isometric action RPG similar to Diablo. Instead of working your way through a fantasy landscape filled with demonic creatures, though, you’re fighting off aliens invading Earth.
What’s so surprising about Alienation is how expansive it is. Developer Housemarque made a name for itself with simple twin-stick shooters like Resogun and Super Stardust Delta. Alienation features a lot of shoot ’em up elements. However, that core gameplay is backed up by a relatively engaging story, looting, and RPG systems.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Ni No Kuni is one of the best JRPGs ever made. It features a meeting of the minds, with the prolific Studio Ghibli on art duties and Level-5 on development. Prior to making Wrath of the White Witch, Level-5 worked on a handful of instant classics from Japan, including Dragon Quest VIII, Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy, and the Professor Layton series.
Wrath of the White Witch’s gameplay isn’t too groundbreaking, outside of a Pokémon-esque creature capture system. The story is what sells the game. It’s a modern fairy tale with evil wizards, fantastical creatures, and beautiful environments. Furthermore, the signature art style from Studio Ghibli pairs perfectly with the experience.
Of all the Souls-like games to come out of FromSoftware, Bloodborne may be the best. It ditches the slow, methodical combat of Dark Souls for something much more frantic. You’ll still be dodging and parrying to survive, but this time at breakneck speed. Unlike previous games, Bloodborne allows you to regain life for damaging enemies after you’ve been attacked, leading to much more aggressive combat.
The world of Bloodborne is rich with lore, too, though it’s buried pretty deep. We won’t spoil the finer points, but in short, you’re a traveler who’s arrived in Yharnam on the night of The Hunt. The Hunt happens every so often — you’ll learn about the time frame in the game — where humans inflicted with a blood-borne disease transform into hellish creatures.
Do we even need to include Rocket League on this list? It’s one of the best games ever made, and if you haven’t played it yet, you’re missing out. Rocket League is soccar — no, that’s not a typo — where you race around an arena in a supercharged death machine, with your only objective being to hit a ball into the opposing goal.
Rocket League is already five years old, and the community is still going strong. There’s a lot of skill involved with Rocket League, sure, but the core gameplay is simple enough that anyone can pick it up.
Control isn’t a horror game in the same way that Resident Evil 7 is. More than anything, Control is simply unsettling. Fear of the unknown is the driving force behind this game, as you explore the dementedly twisted depths of a government building. Developer Remedy Entertainment has always been known for its engrossing storytelling, but Control may be its finest work to date.
The game wastes no time in getting started. After a brief, vague cutscene, you arrive at the Oldest House, a sprawling government building that used to house the Federal Bureau of Control. Guided only by a telepathic force known as Polaris, you’ll venture further into the Oldest House and uncover the secrets that lie within.
Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7, despite being the latest entry in the series, is one of the best Resident Evil games. It breaks all of the traditions of the franchise, and in the process, provides a fresh take on a tired series. Unlike previous games, Resident Evil 7′ s story is told through a first-person perspective, with a far greater emphasis on exploration than action.
If you’ve played any Resident Evil game, you know they center on large stories with world-ending consequences. Resident Evil 7 doesn’t. It focuses on a smaller story, one that’s stuffed to the brim with detail. The game supports PlayStation VR, too, in the event you’re crazy enough to experience this game in VR.
Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege is the first game in the series that’s multiplayer only. Although there are a variety of game modes, each one is based around the same premise. There are two teams. If you’re defending, it’s your job to patch windows and build your defenses to defeat the opposing team. If you’re attacking, it’s all about figuring out the best way to breach the building and overcome the defenses your opponents have set up.
The gameplay itself is simple. What you do with it, however, isn’t. In true Rainbow Six fashion, Siege is all about careful planning and tactical advantage. Running around with your gun blazing is a quick way to die. Rainbow Six Siege is a methodical game that places heavy emphasis on teamwork, leading to a tactical shooter unlike any other on the PS4.
Before Housemarque made Alienation, it made Resogun. Keeping with the theme of the studio, Resogun is a simple twin-stick shooter. Simple, sure, but not mindless. Resogun shows what a studio focused on a single genre can do. Each level is just the right amount of challenging, and although you’ll often fall victim to the bullet hell mayhem on screen, it never feels like it’s the game’s fault.
Resogun borrows a lot from classic games like Defender. As you move around each circular level, you’ll be dodging bullets and blowing up enemies. However, you’ll also need to pay attention to humans locked up in each level. Delivering these humans to one of the two checkpoints will award you with bonuses. If you don’t deliver one in time, they’ll be swallowed up by an alien ship. It’s a simple addition, but it adds a level of depth seldom seen with shoot ’em ups.
Doom Eternal is here, and although it improves on the original in almost every way, 2016’s Doom is still a hellish ride you should take. It doesn’t fuss about with irrelevant things like “story” or “world building.” Doom is all about big guns and killing demons, and it does a hell of a job on both fronts.
Granted, there still is a story, and it’s decent enough should you look for it. However, Doom is operating at full speed when your guns are blazing. Simply put, the game feels great to play, with plenty of platforms to work your way around each area and an arsenal of guns that’ll excite even the most battle-hardened FPS players. After the armies of Hell invade Earth, there’s not much else to do besides engage in an incredibly epic campaign complete with advanced weaponry and let’s face it: a little hell raising.
Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath HD
The best way to describe the Oddworld series is, well, odd. These games play by their own rules, and we love them for that. Out of all of the games in the series, Stranger’s Wrath stands out most to us. Unlike the games that came before — and the game that came after — Stranger’s Wrath is a first-person shooter. Despite the change in genre, the game still feels like Oddworld.
You play as the Stranger, a bounty hunter who must bring in targets dead or alive. Instead of a gun store in your backpack, though, all you have is a crossbow. The crossbow is where Stranger’s Wrath shines. You can load it up with a variety of live ammunition in the form of small (and admittedly adorable) creatures. Each creature has a different effect, allowing you to approach bounties in any way you want. Your motivation for earning money as a bounty hunter is to earn enough to afford a special operation that the Stranger definitely needs. You’re worried about your health and the best solution is — you guessed it — bounty hunting.
- The best PS3 games of all time
- The best PlayStation 4 exclusives
- The best single-player games
- The best PS4 games for September 2020
- The best Xbox 360 games backward compatible on Xbox One