Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the best-selling console this generation for a reason: It has an absolutely fantastic library of games. From sports to action to role-playing, there is something on the system for just about everyone. We’ve highlighted some of the best PS4 games available, which should satisfy your itchy trigger finger, tickle your funny bone, and maybe even coax out a tear or two. With 2018 bringing titles like God of Warand Red Dead Redemption 2, we expect plenty of new games to join our pantheon of PS4 games soon.
From the studio best-known for the Killzone franchise, Horizon Zero Dawn is quite the change of pace. You play as Aloy of the Nora tribe in a third-person, open-world action RPG across a vast and sprawling post-apocalyptic world overrun by large mechanical beasts resembling animals. It’s arguably the prettiest game ever released on a home console, but Horizon Zero Dawn is much more than just a pretty face. Engaging, fluid combat makes toppling the wide array of robotic beasts consistently exciting and fresh. The copious scavenging and crafting requirements are rewarding because of the diverse combat. The well-spun yarn is equal parts origin story for the captivating world and coming-of-age story for its brave heroine. Horizon Zero Dawn manages to hold onto its bountiful fun-factor throughout its 30-plus hour adventure, making it a standout within its cluttered genre.
Following up on the success of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X, developer NetherRealm delivered its best fighting game to date with Injustice 2. Refinements to the already great mechanics of Injustice: Gods Among Us would have been enough to recommend Injustice 2, but the studio exceeded our expectations entirely. With stunning visuals and character animations, the well written, grim story offered one of the best DC tales in years. But it is the Multiverse and deep customization system that gives Injustice 2 its legs. Each fighter can be leveled up and customized with items obtained from loot boxes. Essentially, Injustice 2 blended the fighting genre with RPG elements, making it a unique brawler to come around in quite some time. Its excellence keeps on giving the more you play, with Multiverse events changing and updated continuously. Perfect for solo players, and a rousing good time online, Injustice 2 easily earns the distinction of best fighting game on PS4.
What do you get when you combine basketball, RPGs, and visual novels? The wonderful, harrowing world of Pyre. Following up Bastion and Transistor, Supergiant Games’ Pyre accomplishes the challenging goal of delivering something truly unique. You play as the Reader, a nameless person who has been banished to an underworld filled with nefarious outcasts. To rejoin society, you must lead a group of outlaws through a series of challenges known as the Rite. The Rite features 3-on-3 challenges that play out as a mix of basketball and an action RPG. Each of the characters — you’ll recruit numerous ones throughout your adventure — have different innate abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Beyond the addicting, deep mechanics, Pyre‘s overworld is a picturesque landscape filled with beautiful writing and many surprises. From its enthralling, mysterious narrative, to its copiously exciting 3-on-3 battles, Pyre easily vaults itself into the pantheon of best PS4 games.
Mightily popular in Japan, Shin Megami Tensei series has steadily become more and more popular among western players with each new entry. Atlus’ Persona 5 was the first in the series to receive an abundance of pre-release hype from North American audiences. Thankfully, it delivered, becoming one of the best RPGs on PS4 to date. You play as a nameless teenage protagonist sent to a new city because of a run in with a powerful man doing bad things. As such, our protagonist is treated like a troublemaker. Soon, a mysterious app on his phone beckons him to an alternate reality built from the thoughts of others. Like most entries in the series, Persona 5 doubles as a traditional turn-based RPG and a visual novel with Japanese dating sim elements. With a creature- collecting system in the vein of Pokémon and an intoxicating story, Persona 5 earns its way onto our list for a multitude of reasons. A deep time sink, you can waste away well over 100 hours in Persona 5‘s brilliantly presented dreamscape.
Bloodborne is not for the faint for heart. This action-RPG adventure, a spiritual successor to Hidetaka Miyazaki‘s Dark Souls series, takes the challenging combat and methodical boss encounters of the aforementioned games but speeds up the gameplay for a more frenetic and tense experience. A dark, gothic setting and Lovecraftian story provide a bleak backdrop for the white-knuckle gameplay. As a Hunter, you’ll make your way through the city of Yharnam, where a strange curse has begun turning locals into mindless beasts. While not technically a horror game, Bloodborne’s setting and high-stakes combat are uniquely terrifying. Be sure to stay alert, because the world of Bloodborne is full of unforgiving monsters and traps around every corner, making it one of the best PS4 games to date.
The Witness, the long-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Blow’s 2008 breakout indie platformer Braid, is a beautiful, sedate, first-person exploration puzzler in the vein of Myst. Much like that ’90s classic, you are dropped on a mysterious island with little to no context, and tasked with solving a series of puzzles, which in turn allow to you explore more and uncover the island’s secrets. Unlike Myst‘s wide-ranging environmental puzzles, however, the challenges of The Witness are very clearly defined as panels laced with grids that you must navigate like a maze. Blow has iterated a rich syntax of puzzle mechanics within that consistent framework, which helps keep up the pressure.
From the mind of designer Hideo Kojima comes Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the fifth (and ostensibly final) entry in the long-running stealth espionage series. The goofy and over-the-top tone the series is known for has been downplayed, and this installment instead delivers a far grittier and more reined-in narrative that follows Venom Snake (Big Boss) as he works to re-establish his mercenary army in his war against the shadowy Cipher. It’s one of the best PS4 games available and has garnered near-universal acclaim thanks to its meticulously designed gameplay, which allows players to complete missions in virtually limitless ways while recruiting and building a mercenary army. Keifer Sutherland lends his voice as Big Boss, in what might be the beast stealth action game of all time.
After fans and critics panned the action-heavy Resident Evil 6, Capcom’s slow and scary new take on the franchise caught us by surprise. With its genuinely terrifying narrative and return to horror-focused gameplay, Resident Evil 7 re-establishes the series as the gold standard in the genre. The Baker family’s mansion is filled with plenty of secrets and almost as many “molded” creatures, and the game’s novel approach to “flashbacks,” told through collectible VHS tapes, allows for gameplay-focused storytelling like nothing we’ve seen before. The move to a first-person perspective, a first for the main Resident Evil 7, only amps up the scares, with a relatively small field of vision leading to just enough jump-scares to keep us on our toes.
While there are plenty of RPGs available on Sony’s PlayStation 4, CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best. In the epic conclusion to the adventure trilogy, players once again don the role of Geralt of Rivia, waging battle against the advancing Wild Hunt army in the Northern Kingdoms. Although the title remains similar in style to previous games in the series, CD Projekt Red included new combat mechanics and significantly bolstered the customization, all of which help it improve upon the gameplay and imbue its open-world with a greater sense of depth. Moreover, few games possess the kind of writing present in The Witcher 3, which features an enthralling story penned by regular series writer Marcin Blacha. Perhaps the game’s biggest draw is the fact that the main storyline takes players roughly 30 hours to complete. That number balloons to more than 100 hours if you take into account side quests and mini-games, rendering its longevity as attractive as its visuals.
The original three God of War games, as well as the prequel God of War: Ascension, are violent, over-the-top, often ridiculous games that center on anti-hero Kratos and his struggle against the gods and monsters of Greek mythology. After so many games, the formula had grown stale, so developer Sony Santa Monica went back to the drawing board for its 2018 reboot/sequel, simply titled God of War. The result? A more grounded and intimate adventure that breaks down Kratos’ character and turns him into a more relatable hero. The combat has also been altered drastically, focusing more on strategy than blind button-mashing, and the new two-person encounters with Kratos’ son Atreus guarantee each fight still feels fresh.
Somewhat surprisingly, the game eschews the linear structure of the previous games for the more open-ended “Metroidvania” style we’ve seen become so popular in action-role-playing games this generation. It isn’t exactly a full open-world game, but God of War provides you with plenty of optional areas and secrets to find. God of War just might be the most visually impressive game to hit the PlayStation 4 to date, so you’re going to want to take some time and just look around and take in the developers’ interpretation of Norse mythology.
God of Warwill be available in stores and for download via PSN on April 20.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End served as a fitting conclusion for longtime protagonist Nathan Drake, but there were still stories to be told in Naughty Dog’s universe. In The Lost Legacy, we’re reunited with Chloe Frazer as well as former antagonist Nadine Ross as they explore Indian ruins and search for the tusk of Ganesh. But it isn’t just “another Uncharted game.” Packed with the same intense action set-pieces of the main series as well as plenty of puzzles and beautiful scenery, its the product of a development team clearly dialed in on what makes an Uncharted game enjoyable.
The dynamic between Nadine and Chloe is different than anything we’ve seen in past installments, which Nadine’s cold, calculated decisions coming into conflict with Chloe’s seat-of-her-pants attitude. Throw in a returning character late in the story, and you end up with one of the best conclusions in the whole series.
For a while, it seemed like Blizzard might never make a new game outside of its three major franchises, Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. Then along came Overwatch. A multiplayer, objective-based shooter with a focus on diverse character design, Overwatch is not merely a new direction for Blizzard, but a shot across the bow of the entire genre. Set in a world where an international team of superheroes once stopped a robot revolution, the game gives players more than 20 unique characters to choose from, each with their own set of abilities. Characters fall into a broad set of roles — offense, defense, tank, and support — and players must cooperate using their particular skills in order to take objectives and fend off the other team.
The game’s heavy focus on teamwork over lone-wolf tactics is refreshing, and the various abilities make for fights that rarely feel the same. Overwatch is also one of the most attractive games of this generation; each character has a distinct look that suits their personality, and the game boasts a vibrant art style that evokes classic comic books.
Though many of us loved the original Destiny, it had a cryptic and confusing story, and a surprisingly empty world. These issues have been rectified in Destiny 2, a game so content-rich and satisfying that we’ve found ourselves playing for three or four hours at a time without much thought. The buttery-smooth combat of the first game returns, but it’s coupled with a cinematic story spanning four different worlds, a huge number of extra “Adventures” to complete, six cooperative Strikes, and a competitive multiplayer component as satisfying as Titanfall 2 or Battlefield 1.
Even just exploring the different planets is a joy this time around, thanks to the frequent Public Events as well as Lost Sectors — secret areas containing gorgeous mini-dungeons culminating in a battle against a boss. Once you’ve completed what the game has to offer for solo players, you can jump into a raid and earn even higher-level loot, or try out Trials of the Nine for bragging rights over other players.
It took a while for Rise of the Tomb Raider to make its way to PlayStation 4, but it was worth the wait. Developer Crystal Dynamics’ reinvention of the Tomb Raider franchise has, so far, produced two awesome titles, and Rise of the Tomb Raider deserves credit for refining a lot of the good ideas from 2013 reboot. We called Rise of the Tomb Raider the best blockbuster video game of 2015, and for good reason: It’s is brimming with phenomenal set-piece moments that are perfectly paced and expertly deployed, bringing the kind of intensity that makes triple-A action-adventure games like this one such a blast. But the best part of the game is undoubtedly Lara Croft herself, who has become one of the best protagonists in gaming through her last two titles. She’s earnest and human in all the right ways, which makes her unbelievable action-movie antics just believable enough. And Rise of the Tomb Raider has no shortage of unbelievable action.
Wolfenstein: The New Order took us by surprise with its unique mix of over-the-top action and emotional storytelling, and for the game’s sequel, developer MachineGames doubled down on both fronts. Armed with a hatchet, a flaming grenade cannon, and enough shotgun ammo to make the Doom marine jealous, B.J. Blazkowicz is prepared to take down hundreds of Nazis, and he is more than willing to do so on his way to exact revenge on the sadistic General Engel. With crazy twists and phenomenal level design, Wolfenstein II bests its predecessor in nearly every way.
Developer IO Interactive reimagined its long-running stealth assassination series Hitman as an episodic game, revitalizing the series and creating a surprise contender for one of the best games of 2016. Released as a series of six episodes, each piece of Hitman felt like a game unto itself, taking players to unique settings filled with unique, often hilarious challenges. Hitman is like figuring out an elaborate clockwork mechanism of carefully executed murders, but one that also includes goofy costumes, perfectly timed explosions, and some really funny nonplayer character dialogue as they stumble on your hapless victims. Plus, getting caught resulted in some great escapes, too.
Director Yoko Taro’s games have always been delightfully bizarre, but their moment-to-moment gameplay has never been able to reach the same heights as Taro’s stories. For Nier: Automata, the semi-sequel to 2010’s Nier, Taro partnered with PlatinumGames to create a game with stylish action, tight twin-stick shooting, and clever perspective shifts. For the first time, Taro has delivered a game that is just as engaging to play as it is to watch, and it also happens to feature one of the best narratives, and endings, in the entire medium. It takes three “playthroughs” to see the entire story, but the time you invest will be well worth it by the time the final credits roll.
Don’t mistake the PS4 version of Grand Theft Auto V — Rockstar’s extraordinary open-world opus — for a mere cash-grabbing re-release. The next-gen version of the already impressive game blows the original out of the water, even if the storyline and locales are identical. Rockstar’s unique additions, such as the first-person mode, allow the title to stand out from the crowd, bolstering it more than the updated visuals and expanded heists every could. The re-release also allows for larger online matches, adds a number of songs to in-game radio stations, and even allows PlayStation 3 players to upload their previous characters. Couple all this with some of the finest writing and voice acting of any video game to date, and you have a title that’s the cream of the next-gen crop.
In a year of pretty phenomenal first-person shooters, Titanfall 2 stands above the crowd by providing an extremely quick, polished, varied experience. While the first Titanfall never made its way to the PlayStation ecosystem, its sequel has — and it’s better in every way. The main event is multiplayer, in which players battle it out as Pilots, who have the ability to run on walls, climb just about anything, double-jump, and more. At about the midway point of every match, though, out come the Titans: giant, walking mechs that totally change the course of every battle.
Whether you’re a Pilot zipping around the map, a Titan lumbering into battle with other mechs, or a little guy jumping on the back of a giant robot to drop a grenade inside it, Titanfall 2 is full of amazing, crazy moments, and intense battles. And unlike the last title in the series, Titanfall 2 also packs a single-player campaign that’s really a standout from a design perspective. Every level is a little different from the one before, providing a host of interesting challenges to work through.
Sony’s tentpole action-adventure series Uncharted finally comes to an end with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and it’s quite a sendoff for fan-favorite character Nathan Drake. Developer Naughty Dog takes Drake on another globe-trotting, treasure-hunting adventure, this time focusing on a lost pirate utopia and featuring Drake’s long lost brother. Uncharted 4 tells a story about Drake coming to terms with who he is and who he wants to be; reconciling his family obligations with his inner adventurer. It’s a pretty phenomenal (and action-packed) way to bring the series to a close.
The PlayStation 4 is easily the most impressive leap in the console’s history, bringing constant connectivity and high-power processing to a gaming crowd not easily impressed. Sony has been a powerhouse for years, and the PS4 — and the recently-released PlayStation 4 Pro — are worthy additions to the company’s legacy.