The best PS4 games: 25 of this generation’s must-play titles

When it comes to buying new games, PlayStation 4 owners certainly won’t ever find themselves short of options. More often that not, the most difficult part of buying a new game for the PS4 is narrowing down your wide array of options to find the title that’s most worth your time and money.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. To make the PS4’s extensive catalog of games slightly less intimidating, we’ve put together this best of list so that you can spend less time shopping and more time playing. 

In this list you’ll find everything from new platform-exclusives like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Uncharted 4 to highly popular ports of PS3 games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto 5. We like to think we’ve found something that will suit everyone’s tastes.

In constructing our round-up we’ve tried to cover a variety of game styles and genres from big to small, single-player to multiplayer. So whether you’ve owned a PS4 since launch, or whether you’re a newcomer to the system, you should find something new to love in our 25-item-strong, best-of-the-best list.

(P.S. If you can’t get them all right now, this list is a great reminder which games you should pick up during Black Friday!)

This is the PS4’s next rising star

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive that owners of the console absolutely should not miss. 

Set in an aesthetically prehistoric post-apocalyptic world inhabited by robot dinosaurs, the game puts players in the shoes of Aloy who hunts these creatures and scraps them for parts. It’s an interesting premise to say the least but it works. 

Our own review classes it as a Play It Now title and although it has a few shortcomings we think it’s an huge open world game that gets it right. It’s a “must-own game of 2017” with visuals that will be particularly impressive for PS4 Pro owners. 

A flawed masterpiece

The Last Guardian has been in the works for ten years and now that we’ve finally played it we think it deserves to be on this list, in spite of its flaws. 

The game has moments of brilliance that will appeal to fans of puzzle solving and platforming. However, it’s often pulled back from true greatness by some technical bugs that range from an annoying camera to frustrating companion AI. 

Still, players with patience and a willingness to see past some of these more annoying technical aspects will be rewarded with an unforgettably stunning and emotional gaming experience.

Read our full review of The Last Guardian here.

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A chilling return to form

Your gaming collection isn’t really complete if it doesn’t have a quality horror title and if we had to suggest one it’d be the newest installment in the Resident Evil franchise. 

Resident Evil is the franchise that put survival-horror games on the map and though it lost its way slightly in later titles, the newest game is a return to form for Capcom. 

By going back to the survival-horror basics and getting them dead on, Capcom has made Resident Evil 7 a genuinely frightening and exhilarating gaming experience. If you have the stomach for the gore, it’s absolutely worth playing.

The PlayStation 4 version of the game has an added bonus for PS VR owners – a virtual reality adaption of the game which Capcom has absolutely nailed.  However, you’ll need to be brave to play it all the way through. 

Don’t miss our full review of the game.

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They had the technology to rebuild him, better than before

The original Titanfall was a great game, but unfortunately it didn’t come to the PlayStation. Fortunately, its sequel, Titanfall 2, improves on it every conceivable way: the motion is more fluid, there are more distinct titans to choose from and, hold onto your hats here, there’s actually a single-player campaign that might take the cake for the best first-person shooter story of the year. 

This game’s pedigree is inherited from one of this generation’s smartest and most unusual shooters. The original Titanfall married ninja-fast on-foot combat to the gloriously thuggish thrill of piloting giant mechs, which are summoned from orbit a few minutes into each match.

The skill with which Respawn has balanced this mix of styles in the sequel is remarkable – Titans have firepower in excess but they’re easy to hit, and maps offer plenty of places for infantry to hide. These ideas coalesce into one of this year’s most remarkable entries in the genre and is well-deserving its own shot in the spotlight as well as a Game of the Year nomination.

The end of the long and dusty road

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End hasn’t been out for very long, but we can already tell that this is going to be a Game of the Year contender come December. The game was tasked with an impossible task by bringing a satisfying close to Naughty Dog’s classic adventure series and delivered something well above our expectations. Exceptionally high production values, an engaging story about a wayward brother and an adventure to remember, Uncharted 4 has them all in spades.

Though Naughty Dog’s Uncharted journey has finally reached its destination, you’re guaranteed to treasure the memories it created forever.

If you’re a PS4 owner, it would be criminal not to take this ride.

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Naughty Dog’s best, made better

Many games have offered us post-apocalyptic visions of the future, but none have been as brutal, as believable, or as touching as Joel and Ellie’s story.

It was near-perfect on PS3, but with current-gen’s increased performance ceiling Naughty Dog found ways to ramp up the visual fidelity to ‘drop the controller and stare’ levels. A radical tonal departure from Uncharted’s jovial treasure-hunting escapades, The Last Of Us Remastered demonstrates the California studio’s ability to strike a darker mood, populating the overgrown ruins of its setting with a cast characterised by murky morals but still getting you to care for them like your own bessies.

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Lara’s origin story finally makes its way to the PS4

Has it really been 20 years since we first saw Lara in action? How the time flies when you’re upgrading from a 32-bit resolution to upwards of 4K. But no matter how many years go by, Lara still manages to find a handhold in our hearts.

Despite being the sequel to a prequel about the young life of the Lara Croft, Rise of the Tomb Raider feels like the pinnacle of the series. The reboot which saw a brave new direction for the franchise seemed a lot of the time to be little more than a bit of light Uncharted cosplay, but Rise is a far more accomplished game.

There’s now a genuine open world which feels like there is always something to do, and something more than just harvesting up collectibles in exchange for a light dusting of XP. There are also tombs. Yes, that might seem a fatuous thing to say given the name, but the previous game gave them short shrift. In Rise though they are deeper and more plentiful. Plus, on top of everything else, it’s got VR support, which is pretty neat considering that there aren’t many PlayStation VR titles around these days. 

Welcome back to PlayStation, Lara, we’ve missed you. 

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The homecoming we’ve waited seven years for

Update: It’s worth noting that Fallout 4 has now received the update that will allow you to install and play with mods. As if the game wasn’t exciting enough you can now change it up to make sure you never get bored. Visit Bethesda’s site to check out exactly what you can download for your game. 

All things considered, this is one of the best games Bethesda has made. It ticks all the boxes: a massive, detail-oriented open-world; still-fantastic tenets of looting and shooting; a story filled with intriguing side quests and subplots that feel like they matter; and of course a classic soundtrack that brings it all to life. 

In many ways it’s the game we’ve been waiting for since Fallout 3 steered the series away from its top-down role-playing roots. Not only is the world itself wider, but the plot is better, and more digestible, than any of the games before it. There’s still a sense of mystery about what’s happening but you no longer have to dig forever and a day through terminals to piece it together.

Welcome home, stranger.

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Hope you don’t have a swear jar

From Software’s enigmatic and notoriously challenging Souls titles all hold critical and fan acclaim, but none are as stylistically interesting as the quasi-Industrial era Bloodborne.

It plays like an RPG set indelibly on a hidden difficulty mode with all the helpful text pop-ups removed, which is to say it requires more than a modicum of patience from the player.

But that’s the point – in Bloodborne, you get out what you put into it. Victory’s all the more rewarding when you’ve watched your enemy, memorised his attack patterns, struck at the opportune moment and prevailed via the game’s impeccable melee combat.

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Stories don’t come bigger than this

Geralt didn’t have the smoothest of entries to PS4, but after some heavy patching and a lot of angry words about visual downgrades, we’re left with an RPG boasting tremendous scope and storytelling.

Oh, and combat. And don’t forget Gwent, the in-game card game. And there’s the crafting to get stuck into. And the alchemy.

You’re rarely short of things to entertain yourself with in The Witcher 3’s quasi-open world, then, and all the better that you’re in a universe that involves the supernatural without leaning on the same old Tolkien fantasy tropes. Invigorating stuff.

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Our 2016 Game of the Year

Overwatch has without a doubt been one of our favorite games to come out of the last year. 

It’s a classic team arena shooter from Blizzard that sets two six-person teams of wildly different characters against each other in a bright and cartoonish science fiction universe. 

Great graphics, tight maps, and a good roster of characters to enjoy playing. Overwatch is good old fashioned fun and we thoroughly recommend it.  

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Of heists and men…

Not only is it the best sandbox game on the platform, GTA V is also the best golf game, the best tennis sim, the undisputed virtual yoga champ, one of the best racers… it’s even a pretty serviceable MMO.

We’re used to scale and scope from Grand Theft Auto, but what Trevor, Franklin, and Michael bring us is a staggeringly well-realised city seen from three entirely different perspectives. Trevor, the maniacal rampage killer whom we discover to be in all of us when we play a Rockstar game; Franklin, the classic rags-to-riches character with street smarts and the ability to pull off a bandana; and Michael, the troubled criminal with a dysfunctional family and a beer gut to show for his life of violence.

However you play GTA V – a multiplayer muckabout, a story-driven third-person actioner, a flight sim – it reveals itself to be the best game on both this generation and the last.

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Out of this world online multiplayer

Taking the place of the original Destiny on this list is, of course, its sequel Destiny 2. With its original game, Bungie managed to create a huge triple-A success as well as a cult hit.

Now, however, it’s opening up to the masses and anyone that felt like they couldn’t jump on the Destiny band wagon the first time shouldn’t miss the opportunity to do so now. 

This huge online multiplayer shooter will reel you in with its universe, single-player story, satisfying gameplay and addictive online modes. In our full Destiny 2 review, we call Destiny 2 “the Destiny you know, and the Halo you used to love, all in one loot-filled package.”

If you’re just getting started, it’s also worth taking a peek at our handy tips and tricks guide which will allow you to hit the ground running.

A refreshing jump back in time

In the latest Battlfield game, DICE takes players back in time to World War One and by doing so completely rejuvinates the once stagnating franchise. 

Battlefield 1‘s historical setting helps it to stand apart from the rest of the modern military shooters on the market with all new weapons, vehicles, and level designs that feel fresh and capture the chaos and brutality of war.

The game offers a poignant and entertaining single-player campaign that sets a new standard for first-person shooter. Broken into six sections, each following a different character and front line location, the campaign never feels dull or repetitive.

The single player campaign even feeds neatly into Battlefield 1’s multiplayer mode which, while familiar, also benefits from the much-needed breath of life that the change in setting gives. 

Graphically impressive, entertaining, and sometimes touching, Battlefield 1 is a return to form for the series. 

A smart, stealthy, steampunk adventure

Following the surprise 2012 hit Dishonored wasn’t going to be an easy task, but Dishonored 2 has more than lived up to its expectations. 

Picking up 15 years after the events of the original, Dishonored 2 takes players back to the Victorian Steampunk city of Dunwall. This time, though, you have the choice of whether or not you want to play as the original title’s protagonist Corvo, or his equally-skilled protegee Emily. 

Dishonored 2 doesn’t differ wildly from the first game, but there was nothing wrong with Dishonored in the first place. What we get is a vastly improved and close to perfected take on it. 

Anyone who likes their games filled with atmosphere, character, and a bit of wit and intelligence will find Dishonored 2 worth picking up. 

You can read our full review here.

Multiplayer doesn’t get any better than this

We do a lot of whining about Call of Duty. We roll our eyes and joke how there’s a new one every year and how there’s, like, no difference. We say all these things and yet every year we know how we’re going to spend the month of November: fragging friends and family in the latest Call of Duty game.

Black Ops 3 deserves a spot in your gaming armory for two reasons: it has awesome multiplayer – and there’s almost no better way to blow off steam than going 10 kills in a row and calling in an airstrike on a team of people you’ve never met before but suddenly want to beat in the worst way imaginable – plus, it has one of the greatest game modes ever conceived, zombies.

If shooting zombies straight in the face doesn’t you feel like it’s money well spent then nothing will.

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The best, most terrifying Souls game yet

PS4 owners have already been blessed by FromSoftware’s perverse sense of creativity this console generation with BloodBorne. Well, lucky you, they’re back it again with Dark Souls 3.

If you’ve played previous Souls games, you’ll be right at home here. But don’t get comfortable. This game might be more accessible to new players, but it isn’t easier. The gameplay is faster, the enemies are tougher, and the victories are more satisfying.

Play this if you’re looking for a challenging game that will keep giving you reasons to come back.

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Seeking fun, weirdness and excellent combat? Look no further 

If you want to play a game that will feel different to anything else you’ve played recently, we heartily recommend NieR: Automata. 

Though it’s a sequel to 2010 game Nier, you don’t have to have played the first game to enjoy this one. Set in a dystopian future, the story of the game revolves around a war between machines created by alien invaders and the remnants of humanity. Humanity has fled Earth to seek refuge on the moon but has sent combat droids down to fight for them.

You play as one of these droids, 2B, accompanied by another droid called 9S. Combat in this game is intensely satisfying, the game world is stunning with a huge sense of scale and the story is strange (sometimes to a fault) but incredibly entertaining. You won’t be disappointed.

There’s always time for a little game…

Life is Strange is emblematic of episodic gaming, beautifully crafted. Sure, Telltale’s games have been great examples too, but the writing and themes of Dontnod Entertainment’s tale of teenage angst and temporal superpowers is something else.

With a story where your actions have real, and far-reaching, consequences it can be rather tense when it comes to making your choice. And trying to figure out all the possible consequences given the time-shifting fun makes them all the more tricky.

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How many Snakes does it take to change a lightbulb?

Okay, so Hideo Kojima’s last game for Konami – and his last ever Metal Gear game – might be a little tough for the MGS n00b to get to grips with, but it’s still one of the best stealth-action games ever crafted. The open-world shenanigans will satisfy all your behind-enemy-lines / Rambo fantasies and probably confuse you with crazy plot twists and a million characters all with the same gravel-toned voices.

But hey, that’s all part of its charm, right?

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DC’s films can be hit or miss, but its games are proving to be consistently entertaining. A prime example of this is Injustice 2 – a superhero game done right.

If you’ve been looking for a good fighting game to get stuck into on your PS4 this is one you might want to consider picking up. It offers excellent mechanics, a genuinely enjoyable single player story, depth, and (most importantly) it allows you to pit your favorite DC characters fist to fist.

Whether you’re a casual button masher or a seasoned fighter looking for intricacy, you’ll find something here. 

Make sure you check out our tips and tricks guide to get started on a strong foot.

It was massively successful on PC, so it makes sense that Stardew Valley has brought its relaxing exploration and farming gameplay to consoles.

In the game you play a new citizen who’s come to the town of Stardew Valley to start a new life as a farmer. You get your own land, crops and animals to take care of but every day you’re free to do whatever you like in the town. 

Stardew Valley is definitely a title that’ll appeal to those who have enjoyed games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon as it’s pretty much perfect for curling up and sinking hours of your weekend into it. It’s also very reasonably priced on the Xbox Live store. 

Looking for a game that you can dip into between those long-winded RPGs? Take a gander at the online extravaganza that is Rocket League.

Cars essentially playing football shouldn’t really work but thanks to Rocket League’s outstanding mechanics and physics system it really does. You play with and against others online in matches of varying numbers and though each match only last 5 minutes so it should be easy to break away. Invariably, though, you’ll find yourself hours later murmuring about winning “just one more”. Rocket League has been available for a while now and as a result it’s built up a dedicated and skilled community. Prepare yourself for a challenge.

Final Fantasy 12 is one of the most underappreciated and anomalous Final Fantasy games, first released in 2006. With this remake, Square Enix gives players a chance to take a second look at the game, this time at a games that runs much more smoothly with less obvious faults and cracks.

In The Zodiac Age you’ll find a beautiful game world, fast and exciting combat, and a sweeping storyline that’s an example of the JRPG genre at its best. Whether you’re a fan of Final Fantasy or not, 12 is enough of a series outlier that it’s a good place to dip in and see what you might be missing. It’s a PlayStation 4 exclusive, too.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is developer Ninja Theory’s first attempt at publishing its own game and it’s quite an achievement. The game follows Senua, a Celtic warrior suffering from psychosis who travels to Hell to rescue her lost lover.

The game uses an interesting mix of binaural audio and innovative visual techniques to communicate Senua’s experience with her psychosis to the player, resulting in a game that’s likely to be quite different from anything else you’ve played recently. 

Disturbing, insightful and extremely enjoyable to play, this is a game worth taking a look at.

You can read all about our experience with the motion capture tech behind Hellblade right here

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