25 best PlayStation 4 games

The PlayStation 4 is a powerhouse, boasting some of the finest games ever developed for the eighth generation of video game consoles. The rivalry between Microsoft and Sony has been going strong for years, with both sides claiming a healthy chunk of the market, but what makes the PlayStation 4 the console of choice for Sony fans? We believe it all comes down to the games library, so we've dropped a few of what we think are the very best titles you can find for the PlayStation 4 in this list. If you own a PlayStation 4 or are planning to buy one, these games should definitely be in your collection.

NieR: Automata

If you're a fan of the fast-paced action titles developed by Bayonetta creators Platinum Games, then you need to get your hands on the curiously-named NieR: Automata. This offering from Square Enix blends genres and puts you in the butt-kicking shoes of androids 2B and 9S as they fight their way through hordes of unique enemies in standard third-person, action-RPG perspective, 2D sidescrolling action, or even in a sort of shoot-'em-up style that calls to mind some bullet hell games. This title is stylish, flashy, and everything you've come to expect from a Platinum Games project with even more RPG trappings. Buckle up and prepare for an assault on your senses.

Metascore: Critics – 89/100, Users 9.0/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, any JRPG

Horizon Zero Dawn

We have a new PlayStation icon in Aloy, the tough-as-nails protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn. If you've ever wanted to explore Jurassic Park but felt that it needed more robots, then this game will fulfill your very specific desires. As Aloy, you'll stalk robot dinosaurs through tall grass, collect materials to craft powerful items, and use all of your skills to survive in a gorgeous, post-apocalyptic world. Horizon Zero Dawn is a must-have for anyone with a PlayStation 4, and we dare you not to cry out in awe the first time you see Guerrilla Games' beautifully-rendered vistas.

Metascore: Critics – 88/100, Users 7.9/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Tomb Raider (2013), Shadow of the Colossus, Uncharted 

Nioh

Nioh is sure to scratch that Dark Souls itch for gamers who love a challenge. While it's easy to call this game a mix of Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls with a shiny, Japanese veneer, there's something about the charm of the Sengoku period and the unique enemies you can conquer that makes it so satisfying. You'll relish the feeling of defeating particularly difficult foes and completing missions after failing a number of times. Practice makes perfect and we're hoping Team Ninja's practice on this game makes for an even better experience in any follow-ups.

Metascore: Critics – 87/100, Users 8.9/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Dark Souls 3, Bloodeborne, Ninja Gaiden Black 

Resident Evil 7

We hope you're not afraid of the dark, because your stay with the Baker family from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will have you peeking around every corner of your house at night and diving under your covers. This first-person take on the Resident Evil formula is a departure from previous third-person adventures in the series, but it does a good job of conveying all sorts of horror. Remember the tension and the terror you felt whenever the door-opening animations played out from a first-person perspective in the original games? Yeah, that's amplified here as you survive against the Bakers and the "Molded" creatures that seek to bleed into your nightmares.

Metascore: Critics – 85/100, Users 7.6/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Outlast, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Alien Isolation 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you've ever felt like taking a short vacation in a land of swords, spells, and intriguing characters, then stepping into the boots of Geralt of Rivia should be on your list of things to do. Although this RPG's release was delayed by a few months, the wait was well worth it. As Geralt, you set out on a mission to find your loved ones. The only rub is that a group called the "Wild Hunt" is also tracking them down, so you've got to unleash your own brand of magic and brutal swordplay in order to cut down anything in your path. The graphics are breathtaking, the world is expansive, and being Geralt never felt so good. If you're an RPG fan, then this deserves to be on your shelves, and all the great downloadable content adds even more of a bonus.

Metascore: Critics – 92/100, Users 9.2/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Final Fantasy XV, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration

The second game in the Tomb Raider reboot series sees Lara Croft undertaking her very first "tomb raiding" adventure. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, you'll witness Lara's growth as she becomes the legendary adventurer we've known and loved for the last two decades. The story puts her at odds with a group called Trinity as they both race to find the Lost City of Kitezh. There are plenty of puzzles, combat, and amazing environments to explore, making you really feel as if you were an adventurous archaeologist like the young Miss Croft. The PlayStation 4 version even supports PlayStation VR, allowing you to play the "Blood Ties" chapter with the virtual reality headset and see the world through Lara's eyes.

Metascore: Critics – 88/100, Users 8.3/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate 

Battlefield 1

The Battlefield series is back and kicking it old school with Battlefield 1, set in the horror that was World War I. This means maps littered with old tanks, armored trains, dirigibles, and even the odd horse or two. While the meat of any Battlefield game has always been the multiplayer suite, it's worth mentioning that the single-player campaign is more compelling than ever, putting you in the roles of several soldiers across different points in the war. These War Stories should give you a glimpse into the brutality of the conflict while offering solid introductions to the fights you'll see in the multiplayer portions. Any veteran Battlefield fan will be right at home with all of the open-world ridiculousness that can happen online, so don't be surprised to see "Battlefield Moments" like dudes dropping out of biplanes only to land on a zeppelin, blow up an enemy, and then jump back off just in time to get into another plane mid-flight. Yeah, that kind of stuff happens.

Metascore: Critics – 89/100, Users 8.4/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Star Wars Battlefront, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare 

Titanfall 2

If you've ever wanted to live out your dream of having an Iron Giant-like buddy, then Titanfall 2 can make it happen. The story mode partners you up with a Titan named BT, a gigantic hunk of metal and fury that becomes your best friend as you go on adventures together. Get ready to have an emotional attachment to a video game robot, folks. Once you're done singing "Kumbaya" with BT, you can get into the multiplayer portion of the game and level up your skill as a Pilot, unlocking different Titans and loads of customization options to really make yourself stand out. The controls for the game are buttery smooth, allowing you to transition from sprinting to wall-running to hopping onto your Titan with ease. The addition of new Titans like the sword-wielding Ronin, the flame-happy Scorch, the sniping Northstar, and more will also get you wanting to keep sampling different Pilot and Titan builds in order to find the perfect combination. Get out there and start stomping around.

Metascore: Critics – 89/100, Users 8.4/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 

Dishonored 2

The first Dishonored was an exercise in both stealth and choice. You, as Corvo Attano, were given supernatural powers to help kill your enemies and traverse the city with speed, all in the name of rescuing the Empress-to-be, Emily Kaldwin. And while you could have slaughtered every person you came across in the game, you can also complete the story without killing anyone, taking out targets non-lethally. In Dishonored 2, the same rules apply, only now you get to pick between Corvo and Emily herself, who is now a young adult woman with her own supernatural powers. Or, if you choose, you can do away with the supernatural powers and try to take on the game armed only with your own skills… and weapons, of course. Take a non-lethal route during playthrough—then see how things differ if you spread chaos and caused bloodshed instead. In a game like Dishonored 2, freedom of choice is your greatest weapon.

Metascore: Critics – 88/100, Users 7.7/10

Play this if you enjoyed: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 2, Thief, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is an interesting game for the PlayStation VR that puts one player in a room by themselves, tasked with defusing a time bomb. The other one to three players are meant to talk to the defuser, helping them with instructions by looking up what to do in a manual. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, the problem is that the "experts" don't know what the bomb looks like, so it's up to both parties to communicate in order to identify the bomb and properly defuse it before the big boom happens. You're likely to feel a lot of tension and excitement as you work with others, but just remember that it's not real and you'll be able to keep your cool—probably.

Metascore: Critics – 88/100, Users 6.210

Play this if you enjoyed: Spaceteam 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a piece of art that takes everything we love about the Metal Gear Solid series and amps it up. The open-world gameplay allows you to approach missions however you want, whether it's through stealth or with guns blazing. If you really wanted to, you could order a helicopter to descend upon your enemies while your soldiers blast a-ha's "Take On Me" through the speakers. The fact that you can customize everything from your weapons to your very own base is amazing and helps foster the sense that you're truly in charge and you're building up a formidable army. Add a dash of Kojima's trademark storytelling and characterization, and you've got an adventure that will last you a long while.

Metascore: Critics – 93/100, Users 8.2/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Thief, Splinter Cell: Blacklist 

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Nathan Drake's final adventure is outlined in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, dipping into his past and giving us another jaunt into the adventurer's life. Anyone who's played the Uncharted games knows these titles play out like big summer blockbuster movies, and A Thief's End is no different. We wouldn't be surprised if you whipped out some popcorn and started munching while you played through this chapter in Nate's life, in which he has to wrestle between his old life as an adventurer with his brother and his quiet new life at home with Elena. The gameplay is as tight as ever, with satisfying third-person shooting that works well in both the single-player and multiplayer modes. And this is a good thing, because once you're done the amazing final chapter in Nate's story, you're going to want to jump online and show people how incredible you are.

Metascore: Critics – 93/100, Users 7.9/10

Play this if you enjoyed: The Last of Us 

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us is perhaps one of the best video games ever created. There's just something about the game that fills you with equal parts dread, awe, and excitement. Thanks to this remastered version, you'll be able to play through Joel and Ellie's journey through the post-apocalyptic world on the PlayStation 4, with even better graphics. Every spore that dances through a ray of sunlight and every puddle that sits undisturbed in an otherwise chaotic and destroyed cityscape is gorgeous, so you're in danger of spending hours in front of your TV just taking in the sight of the desolate beauty. There's an incredible narrative and the bond that forms between Joel and Ellie puts you on a rollercoaster of emotions that will grip you and won't let go until you're done.

Metascore: Critics – 95/100, Users 9.0/10

Play this if you enjoyed: RIse of the Tomb Raider, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End 

Bloodborne

Live life as a Hunter in the creepy world of Yharnam in Bloodborne. If you've ever played any of the Dark Souls games, then you know what to expect from this FromSoftware game, which features tough boss battles, exploration, and honing your combat skills so you can glide through enemies like a hot knife through butter. The aesthetics of the game are horrific and leave you with a sense of dread as your explore different areas of Yharnam—if you're going to play, you'd better be made of stern stuff. You'll be grinding for hours, perfecting your moves and finding out more about the world as you discover new areas. If dungeon-crawling is for you, then Bloodborne will sate your need.

Metascore: Critics – 92/100, Users 8.6/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Lords of the Fallen 

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

You might not be a military strategist, but you can pretend that you're one in the remaster of Valkyria Chronicles. You'll command troops with characters like Alicia, Gunther and more as you march against the Empire in battle. If you've ever played a tabletop war game, then you'll be right at home on the battlefield as you spend action points to move your units and have them engage the enemy with guns, tanks, and even supernatural powers. Aside from the tactical gameplay, the art style is gorgeous and makes the game look like a sketchbook come to life. You owe it to yourself to play this first chapter in the Valkyria Chronicles series.

Metascore: Critics – 84/100, Users 8.3/10

Play this if you enjoyed: XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. 

Dark Souls 3

The Dark Souls series returns with Dark Souls 3, offering adventurers the chance to die over and over again in the Kingdom of Lothric as they explore every nook and cranny while facing off against horrifying creatures. Most of the series staples are back, complete with bonfires, a variety of weapons to master, and dodge-rolling to avoid certain doom. The grotesque beauty of the world looks even better on the PlayStation 4 and we know you'll spend hours praising the sun and avoiding trolls online who only want to bring death and destruction to your world. You might get frustrated every now and then if you get stuck dying to the same enemy, but the satisfaction you feel once you've conquered a difficult foe is amazing.

Metascore: Critics – 89/100, Users 8.7/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Lords of the Fallen, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 

Guilty Gear Xrd Sign

There are few fighting game series in the world as bombastic and unique as Guilty Gear. With Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, Aksys Games has brought the very best of their franchise to the PlayStation 4. giving us their trademark frenzied fighting action in stunning HD. With brand new cel-shaded graphics, you'll feel like you're fighting in an anime series as you battle characters like Ky-Kiske, Sol Badguy, and Millia Rage. In fact, you're able to execute Instant Kill attacks that shift the action into an anime cutscene complete with voice-acting and a hard-hitting attack that destroys your opponent. The graphics and music are so slick that it's almost an assault on the senses, but in a good way.

Metascore: Critics – 84/100, Users 8.0/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Street Fighter V, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend 

Transistor

Transistor is from the creators of Bastion, and just as with Bastion, the audio is everything in this game. The music is absolutely gorgeous, moody and thrilling all at once, setting the tone for every fight and every cutscene. The noir vibes are augmented by the visuals, calling to mind a futuristic city that's seen better days. As Red, you use the Transistor, a sword that speaks with the voice of a dead man, to fight back against enemies that belong to the Process. You have the ability to stop time and queue up your actions so combat's silky smooth, assuming you know the proper attacks for different enemy types. You can spend hours getting lost in the story, and if you don't find yourself bobbing your head along to the music at least once, we'll eat a physical copy of the game.

Metascore: Critics – 83/100, Users 8.2/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Bastion, Child of Light 

Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition

Have you ever played a PC game that was ported to a console only to find that the console version was superior? Yeah, that's what you'll get with Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition for PlayStation 4. Blizzard Entertainment's addictive dungeon-crawler finds its home on consoles once more with the Ultimate Evil Edition, packaging both the core game and the Reaper of Souls expansion together in one handy bundle. The hacking and slashing seems better suited to a controller and the multiplayer action just feels right on the PlayStation 4. It doesn't matter if you play a Barbarian, a Crusader, or a Wizard—you'll probably roll all sorts of characters just so you can keep playing.

Metascore: Critics – 90/100, Users 8.0/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Torchlight 2, Titan Quest, Gauntlet: Slayer Edition 

Life Is Strange

Life Is Strange gives you the chance to step into the sensible shoes of a teenager named Max as she uncovers the mystery of a missing girl while trying to figure out why she saw a vision of her town being destroyed by a storm. Oh, she also obtains the power to rewind time so she can relive events to achieve different outcomes. Set to a catchy indie-pop soundtrack, each episode of Life is Strange makes you feel like you're living out a TV show, complete with cliffhangers. The narrative isn't always the most lighthearted, so your emotions are definitely going to experience some turbulence with this game. With that said, it's an incredibly rewarding experience that really explores the power of choice and how we deal with circumstances. Few adventure games reach this level of sophistication.

Metascore: Critics – 85/100, Users 8.6/10

Play this if you enjoyed: The Walking Dead: Season Two, The Wolf Among Us 

Overwatch

Overwatch has become something of a phenomenon, getting millions of players running around every day and participating in its MOBA-styled first-person shooter action. With all of the different heroes available for play, your experiences will differ greatly and you might find yourself getting Play of the Game every match as you improve. The rush of working with a great team and overcoming skilled opponents is something you can only get in a game like Overwatch, so make like Winston and jump headfirst into the multiplayer fracas on the PlayStation Network. Just watch out for those Bastions hiding behind Reinhardt's shield in turret form.

Metascore: Critics – 90/100, Users 6.1/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Team Fortress 2, Warframe 

Inside

Inside is Playdead's followup to the eerie yet beautiful Limbo. With Inside, they've managed to catch lightning in a bottle again, presenting us with a beautiful puzzle-platformer that looks like it could have been an animated feature film. There's a quiet beauty in Inside, letting you experience a haunting desolation with every frame through the eyes of the young protagonist, a red-shirted boy. You'll feel like you're playing through an art piece that belongs in a museum rather than a 2D platformer. As with Dark Souls 3, you're probably going to die a lot, but you shouldn't let that stop you from trying to figure out how to conquer the game's puzzles and experiencing more of this surreal world. It doesn't take long to beat the game, but you'll probably keep coming back, especially since there's an alternate ending.

Metascore: Critics – 91/100, Users 8.0/10

Play this if you enjoyed: The Swapper, Limbo 

Axiom Verge

Do you like Metroidvania games? Then you're going to love Axiom Verge. In this fun and frenetic side-scrolling adventure, you take on the role of Trace, a scientist who awakens on an alien world after a laboratory accident. As Trace, you'll explore the alien world of Sudra and use a variety of strange weapons to fight off enemies and destroy fantastic bosses. This game begs to be completed, as there's a different ending players can attain with a high completion rate—be sure to play through everything.

Metascore: Critics – 84/100, Users 8.0/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Metroid Fusion, Super Metroid 

I Expect You to Die

Most people have probably wanted to be a secret agent at one point or another. In I Expect You to Die, you can fulfill that dream with one fun bonus: you're also equipped with telekinetic powers. As a secret agent endowed with amazing powers, you try to stop a global weapons and pharmaceutical corporation called Zoraxis and survive different missions by interacting with everything around you. This VR game is sure to leave you feeling like James Bond, Jason Bourne, or even Austin Powers.

Metascore: Critics – 83/100, Users 7.5/10

Play this if you enjoyed: any escape-the-room game. 

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 is the prequel to the entire Yakuza series, and it also happens to be one of best open-world games available for the PlayStation 4. You can dive into the seedy underbelly of the Japanese gangster world as you uncover plots and build up side businesses to bolster yourself. You can play as Kiryu and Majima, both of whom have different playstyles that change how you approach combat. You'll probably be engrossed in the story as much as the spectacular open-world gameplay, but we'd advise against getting any yakuza tattoos after playing.

Metascore: Critics – 84/100, Users 8.9/10

Play this if you enjoyed: Saints Row the Third, Grand Theft Auto 4 

Updates

11/29/2016: Until Dawn was removed. While a great game with a fascinating—and horrifying—story, new additions edged past this title (for now). Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt all joined the list.

2/2/2017: Resident Evil 7, Axiom Verge, I Expect You to Die, Gravity Rush 2, and Yakuza 0 have all joined the list.

3/5/2017: Gravity Rush 2 and Infamous: Second Son have exited in order to make room for strong newcomers like Horizon Zero Dawn and Nioh.

4/4/2017: Rez Infinite has been retired to make room for the frenetic NieR: Automata.

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