What are the PS4’s best games after over four years on the market? We rank the top 25.
If you’re just now picking up a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro, you’re in luck — there are a lot of fantastic games to play. So whether you’re just buying a system, or have owned once since the 2013 launch and are looking to play the greatest hits, these are the best 25 games you can play, as ranked by a group of our biggest and most knowledgeable PS4 fans.
Review scores factored into compiling this list, but the ranking takes many more aspects into account. The ways these games take advantage of the PS4, the design risks they’ve taken, the unique experiences, the influence they’ve had on the industry, and more all played a role in helping us narrow down the system’s wide library to just 25 games.
The selection for this iteration of the list, made up of games released before May 1, 2018, included Jonathon Dornbush (News Editor), Andrew Goldfarb (Executive News Editor), Lucy O’Brien (AU Games & Entertainment Editor), and Marty Sliva (Executive Features Editor).
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy thankfully doesn’t break what wasn’t broken, and the reverence for the original maddening yet rewarding challenges that still remain fun is clearly on display. On one hand, that leads to the frustrating limitations of the original Crash Bandicoot persisting 20 years later. But it also results in the incredible visual and aural overhaul on display, and a few quality of life tweaks, making for a cohesive, fun, and challenging package.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
From our Assassin’s Creed Origins review: “Assassin’s Creed Origins is a dark, multifaceted, deep dive into one of the series’ most alluring settings yet: ancient Egypt. As Bayek of Siwa, who is simultaneously compassionate, bold, and driven by revenge… players experience a tense journey that challenges your concepts of right and wrong, making you consider the morality of those you kill in the process – and, in a dramatic shift for the series, it’s all part of a full-on roleplaying game.”
From our Monster Hunter World review: “[Monster Hunter] World takes a dramatic leap into a look, feel, and size that feels truly new, simultaneously staying true to the series’ ideals by maintaining the addictive loop of combat, intimidating monsters and meaningful upgrades that fans love. The sheer depth and commitment required is still intense, but it clearly isn’t Capcom’s aim to court a casual crowd. This is as all-consuming and incredible a ride as ever.”
From our Hellblade review: “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a masterclass of atmosphere, storytelling, and the marriage of mechanical and conceptual design. While there are moments that feel shoehorned in to remind us we’re playing a video game, the care and attention Ninja Theory has clearly poured into Senua and her story has created something amazing. This is a game everyone should play, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have lived inside the mind of Senua, however briefly.”
As our Final Fantasy XV review states, when we’re riding chocobos across the beach at dusk with our three friends and hunting iconic Final Fantasy monsters in a huge, picturesque open world, Final Fantasy XV feels like nearly everything we could want from a modern Final Fantasy. There is so much good here, so much heart – especially in the relationships between Noctis and his sworn brothers. And given that Square continues to improve the game with constant updates, XV is one of the best games in the series in a decade.
Like our Inside review states, Inside is an absolutely gorgeous follow-up to Limbo, improving upon Playdead’s first moody platformer in nearly every aspect. The atmosphere is as spooky as ever, and a new mystery (or unspeakable horror) lies around every corner, plus occasionally mind-bending puzzles that are as challenging as they are satisfying. From gameplay to art direction to general design, it’s amazing how much meticulous detail went into every inch of this creepy world, and the love with which Playdead polished Inside is second to none. There was a six-year gap between Limbo and Inside, but it was worth the wait.
As our Celeste review said, Celeste is a surprise masterpiece. Its 2D platforming is some of the best and toughest since Super Meat Boy, with levels that are as challenging to figure out as they are satisfying to complete. But the greatest triumph of Celeste is that its best-in-class jumping and dashing is blended beautifully with an important and sincere story and an incredible soundtrack that make it a genuinely emotional game, even when your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Much like our Rocket League re-review from 2017 said, the idea of rocket-powered cars flipping through the air in Thunderdome-esque matches of cage-soccer sounds like the incoherent ramblings of a madman, but it turns out to be just crazy enough to work. Psyonix’s Rocket League, the follow up to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, finds dumb fun in pulling turbocharge-assisted front flips in an ice cream truck, and the white-knuckle strategy in working with your team to control the giant ball on offense and defense. The fast and fluid absurdity of Rocket League fuses into one hell of a good time.
As our Dark Souls 3 review said, if this entry truly is the last in the series as we know it, then it’s a worthy send-off. Weapon arts allow stylish and versatile new moves without tarnishing the purity of the combat system. Lothric’s awe-inspiring locations provide visually stunning arenas for rigorous exploration and fierce face-offs with hosts of deadly enemies and even deadlier bosses. While not all the risky changes land as neatly as others, Dark Souls 3 is a powerful journey and the sequel the series truly deserves.
Fortnite Battle Royale
From our Fortnite: Battle Royale review: “Mastering Fortnite Battle Royale’s many systems is worth every second of investment. Whether you go it alone or queue up with a squad, even if you’re the first to die or you actually manage to earn the Victory Royale, Fortnite’s zany style and unique blend of shooting and building almost never offers anything less than an outstanding time. It may not be the first battle royale game, and it certainly won’t be the last, but Fortnite sets itself apart from the crowd by giving you the freedom and tools to express your own personal playstyle.”
Much as our Nier: Automata review says, Nier is a crazy, beautiful, and highly entertaining journey full of nutty ideas and awesome gameplay. It may not include the most sensical story or compelling characters, but its frenzied combat — coupled with beautiful visuals and a stunning soundtrack – make it too much fun to pass up.
As our Ratchet and Clank review says, the latest entry is a culmination of everything Insomniac has done with the series over the past 14 years. It takes the characters that we fell in love with long ago, and sets them off on their most gorgeous quest yet. The deep and rewarding weapon system, beautiful and varied worlds, and charming-as-heck story make it an adventure that anyone with a PlayStation 4 should strap in for.
The Last of Us: Remastered
As our The Last of Us Remastered review notes, The Last of Us is one of the very best games on the PS3, so it makes sense that Remastered is one of the very best on PS4. Naughty Dog’s harrowing tale of trying to find hope in a hopeless world tells one of the most emotional stories that our medium has ever seen. While the core single-player game is more than enough to make this list, the addition of a fantastic multiplayer suite and the incredible Left Behind DLC makes Last of Us: Remastered a must-have on PS4.
As our original Overwatch review said, Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter is an incredible achievement in multiplayer shooter design. It manages to maintain addictive, fast-paced action whilst also demanding thoughtful strategy. There are an array of masterfully balanced classes and characters, and it’s that diversity that really defines Overwatch. The group seem like they should look utterly ridiculous standing next to each other, or even belonging in the same battlefield, but Overwatch lives at an intersection between design and artistry, and tactile joy and refined, intelligent gameplay.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Like our original Rise of the Tomb Raider review noted, Lara Croft’s first post-reboot sequel raises the bar for the entire action-adventure genre. Freeform exploration sections plus a thorough crafting and XP system mean you’ve always got a new goal in mind. Combine it with Rise’s gorgeous set pieces and compelling human story and you get one of the most complete, top-to-bottom excellent games on PS4.
The PlayStation 4 edition of Grand Theft Auto V earns extra points for taking an already huge, deep game and adding more soundtrack songs, more props to cutscenes, more vehicles, and, biggest of all, an incredible first-person mode that makes the already seminal GTA V feel like a completely different game. And, as echoed in our original GTA V review, with an open world so packed to the brim with an attention to detail, it’s little things that combining together that make GTA V on PlayStation 4 a definitive experience on the young console.
Shadow of the Colossus
From our Shadow of the Colossus PS4 review: “The true definition of a classic, the gameplay and story of Shadow of the Colossus are every bit as great and emotional today as they were in 2005. This outstanding remaster skillfully enhances those qualities with improved controls, performance, and sheer graphical beauty. It remains one of the best PlayStation games ever made, and it’s wonderful that Sony has brought it back to the fore so a new generation of gamers can experience it without having to look past its aged facade.”
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
As echoed in our Uncharted 4 review, the sequel combines the kind of realistic beauty that stops you in your tracks with a level of blockbuster storytelling that’s rarely seen in games. The adventure takes you across multiple totally diverse countries, uncovering an alluring mystery about politics, betrayal, pirates, relationships and responsibility, both in the present day setting, and in the game’s fictitious history lesson. Smooth, third-person action is spaced apart by genuine, heart-felt character moments that are likely to get you invested whether you’ve played and loved the Uncharted trilogy or this is the first one you play. To top it all off, there’s a solid multiplayer component, too, which maintains the series’ proud style and polish.
As our The Witness review mentions, this puzzler has a power and pull that carried us through its wonderful journey. Its graceful combination of tangible goals, obscurity, and freedom creates ample opportunity for small victories and grand revelations alike. Its themes weave themselves beautifully throughout the gorgeous world and wide variety of puzzles, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after completing a particularly-tricky puzzle is unrivaled.
- See The Witness on Amazon
The Witcher 3, as our review mentionsz, is a remarkable feat of open-world design savvy. Its two main sandbox areas are beyond massive, but their density actually matches their breadth. You can’t go anywhere within its breathtaking landscapes without running into things to do. The best part is that almost every point of interest you come across ties back into one of the deepest lore pools in gaming, providing motivation, and context for its detailed RPG systems and its brutal, responsive combat.
In a time seemingly all about various genres and franchises stepping out into the open world format, Metal Gear Solid V stands tall above the rest in terms of adapting its gameplay to the new structure, as we mentioned in our MGS V review. Where some other franchises struggle to maintain their identity within a sandbox, Metal Gear’s thrives on it, turning all that open space into a tactical espionage playground. It hands you a useful set of weapons, gadgets, helpers, and support abilities and incorporates them all masterfully into the minute-to-minute gameplay, empowering you to conceive and execute a plan your way. No game in recent memory has rewarded player intelligence so generously.
As noted in IGN’s Persona 5 review is a massive, gorgeous JRPG with well over 100 hours of gameplay for completionists. With more to do than ever and the series’ strongest story to date, it stands out as an extraordinary, memorable experience and easily one of the deepest JRPGs of the last decade. Its sprawling dungeon design and stylish, fully realized world are an absolute joy to explore. This is a new gold standard for Japanese RPGs and by far the best entry in the series yet.
Across a vast and beautiful open world, Horizon: Zero Dawn, as said in IGN’s Horizon review, juggles many moving parts with polish and finesse. Its main activity – combat – is extremely satisfying thanks to the varied design and behaviors of machine-creatures that roam its lands, each of which needs to be taken down with careful consideration. Its missions are compelling thanks to a central mystery that leads you down a deep rabbit hole to a genuinely surprising – and moving – conclusion. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the absolute best looking console games ever made.
From IGN’s God of War review: “I expected great action from God of War, and it delivers that handily. But I didn’t expect it to be a thrilling journey in which every aspect of it complements the others to form what is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a game in which Kratos, a previously one-note character, becomes a complex father, warrior, and monster, embattled both on the field and within his own heart about how to treat his son; one in which the world opens up and shifts, offering rewards in both gameplay and knowledge of its lore that I treasured with each accomplishment. The obvious care that went into crafting its world, characters, and gameplay delivers by far the most stirring and memorable game in the series.”
As mentioned in IGN’s review, Bloodborne is an amazing, exacting, and exhausting pilgrimage through a gorgeous land that imposes the feeling of approaching the bottom of a descent into madness. From Software has taken the formula they conducted with the Souls games, and injected it with a sense of speed, anger, and urgency that makes for an unforgettable experience. There’s an incredible power to unlocking its mysteries, and in succeeding, despite its demand for a pound of your flesh.