The PlayStation 4 has been a massive success since its original launch in 2013, and this is due in no small part to its incredible selection of games. From exclusives developed by Sony and its partners to third-party releases, the best PS4 games cross a gamut of genres from first-person shooters to action, role-playing sports, racing, strategy, and even puzzle games. If you’re just now picking up a PlayStation 4 for the first time, it can be daunting to choose where to start, but we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the best PS4 games and divided them by genre, so you’ll be able to find the perfect games to suit your preference.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
The Dark Souls formula got a healthy dose of speed and horror when Bloodborne released back in 2015, and From Software has managed to make things even more extreme in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Set in Sengoku-era Japan rather than a wholly original world, the game is nonetheless filled with magic and monsters ready to kill you at a moment’s notice. No enemy is too weak to deserve your attention, and many are formidable in one-on-one fights.
The real meat of Sekiro, however, are the boss fights. They play out like choreographed dances, requiring you to learn a boss’ every move before you’re ready to go in for the kill. With a “Posture” system becoming more important in most fights than a standard health bar, you need to stay aggressive, but getting greedy will result in a swift death.
Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 is a sequel to a game released over a decade ago, but you wouldn’t know that from playing it. The flashy combat is brought to life with the power of the impressive RE Engine – also used for Resident Evil 2 – and with three protagonists using very different combat styles, you never do the same thing twice in Devil May Cry 5.
Nero and Dante both make their return alongside the mysterious “V,” who makes use of demons to do his fighting for him. Regardless of who you’re controlling, Devil May Cry 5 is an over-the-top adrenaline rush, with plenty of humor and ridiculous weapons that should please longtime fans.
Bloodborne is not for the faint at 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.
Read our full Bloodborne review
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
The launch of Diablo III is infamous. Hotly anticipated, the game was hit with awful server issues and serious gameplay flaws, like a real-money auction house, that sucked out the fun. Thankfully, Blizzard revamped the game through a number of patches and one full-blown expansion. Then, it released the game on console with support for up to four players in co-op.
The result is a fiendishly entertaining, supercharged action-RPG that’s a blast to play with buddies on a couch or online. While other games might have a better story or better graphics, Diablo III is pure stress relief. Sit down, obliterate some demons, and watch your numbers shoot into the stratosphere.
Read our full Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition review
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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. Kiefer Sutherland lends his voice as Big Boss, in what might be the best stealth action game of all time.
Grand Theft Auto V
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.
Read our full Grand Theft Auto V review
Hitman 2 almost failed to see the light of day, as publisher Square Enix cut ties with developer IO Interactive before it had a chance to release the game. Now independent, the studio not only salvaged its legendary assassin series, but delivered an impressive sequel that builds on everything that made the 2016 reboot so impressive. There are dozens of ways to take out each target, and the game’s enormous, sprawling maps are loaded with secrets and hilarious interactions that fit the Hitman tone perfectly.
Unlike the 2016 reboot, Hitman 2 also released as a retail release from the very beginning, rather than being split up as episodes over the course of several months. Players who own the 2016 game even get access to all of those missions in Hitman 2, complete with the enhancements IO Interactive included in the sequel.
Read our full Hitman 2 review
Director Yoko Taro’s games have always been delightfully bizarre, but their moment-to-moment gameplay had never reached 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.
Read our full Nier: Automata review
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is the result of decades of development experience, delivering one of the strongest stories we’ve seen from the studio despite often being limited to characters we’ve already known from the original game. Over its long, slow-burn tale, we are shown the heartache and pain that came with the end of the Wild West era, and protagonist Arthur Morgan’s gruff-but-nurturing personality makes him the perfect star during this transition.
If you don’t care about dialogue, however, Red Dead Redemption 2 is just an absolute joy to play. Exploring the open world almost always results in finding something you haven’t seen before, whether it be a new species of animal to hunt or a bizarre murder scene to investigate. Getting lost in the Wild West is easy, but we don’t ever want to leave.
Read our full Red Dead Redemption 2 review