The 25 best PS4 games
PS4 is now over a year old and really starting to hit its stride, having already accumulated a remarkable library of games. That's only going to get better, too, as more upcoming PS4 games continue to release. Is the machine itself better than Microsoft's Xbox One? Well, that's a different question, and indeed a different article: PS4 vs Xbox One - which will rule next-gen?
Right now, we want to talk you through the 25 best PS4 games, as ranked by the esteemed editors of GamesRadar+. There's something here for everyone, as you're about to discover. So let's count them down to the best game on PS4 (so far), starting with...
25. Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
It's perhaps a little surprising that one of the best Final Fantasy games to release in the past five years is an MMO--but so it is. Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn captures a lot of what we love about the franchise: It's got a great story, deep RPG combat and progression, and a fantastic musical score (composed by Nobuo Uematsu himself, no less!). And, despite it being an MMO, which are typically overly complex, it's a game that plays quite well with a controller.
Sure, it'll take some getting used to, and yes, FF14: ARR is a bit overwhelming at first. Its ginormous world is mostly open to you right at the start, and if you've never played an MMO before, it will definitely take you a while to gain your footing. But once you do, and once you get acclimated to the controls, you'll be partying up with others to take down towering raid bosses (Titan, anyone?) in no time. Do be warned, however: because of the constantly-evolving nature of this MMO, you will have to pony up a monthly subscription fee to play it. Worth it? You bet.
24. NBA 2K14
Wait... not NBA 2K15? That's right. The series' debut installment on new-gen remains the best basketball game around. It’s not just about shiny men with wavy shorts (although the player models and cloth physics are amazing). NBA 2K14 on PS4 has beautiful on-court animations and smooth flow between them. It also adds more immediate tactical options over its predecessors, and refreshes the presentation with mid- and post-game interviews.
The My Career mode is a proper story, too, with cut-scenes, characters, and interesting scenarios to smash through, revamping the tired old-gen single-player career in some style. Meanwhile My GM makes franchise-management easier on the eye, and My Team gets online tournaments. There are some rough edges on the presentation and the rosters may now be less than 100% accurate, but the gameplay remains a supreme sporting experience.
23. Don't Starve
Don't Starve isn't actually about not starving. Well, technically starvation is something you need to worry about as you explore the procedurally generated world, but in our experiences you're much more likely to be killed in other, more disturbing ways. Like, maybe you'll freeze--or get eaten by a Beefalo you decided to poke while it was in the middle of mating. And then you're dead, and you need to start over.
But you'll want to start over. It's entrancing. In the time between arriving in the world and dying, you'll experience a wonderful, dreadful survival simulation, where you'll learn which enemies to fight, which berries to eat, and how to live off the land. Every death is a lesson, and one you'll gladly learn before jumping back into the wilderness again and again.
Combat in Transistor is remarkably clever and strategic. You don't just dash around the battlefield and spam attacks on robotic enemies, you freeze time and plan out incredibly precise battle maneuvers. That might mean combining your 'Get' attack with your ranged 'Bounce' attack to pull enemies toward you, and then knock them all into the sky with another move. It's a rewarding approach to battle that never gets stale.
But there's more to Transistor than its combat. There's also the sword itself - a talking blade that guides you through the futuristic world of Cloudbank. It narrates your journey, giving context to the world and helping you find your way as you attempt to take down the robotic Process, and their leaders, the Camerata. Oh, and the game is absolutely beautiful and has an amazing soundtrack. Look, it's just great. Try it, you'll love it.
21. InFamous: Second Son
Delsin Rowe really, really likes having super powers. He can't get enough of 'em. When he's blasting puffs of charcoal into the throats of his enemies and running at super speeds with his neon powers, he does so with a giant smile on his face. And we totally get why, because we had the same expression while playing InFamous: Second Son.
Cruising through the streets of Seattle is extremely fun, and battling enemy DUP soldiers never gets old. It's disappointing that there's not much to do outside of completing the main story missions, and you'll definitely see the credits roll sooner than you'd want, but the time you do spend putting down enemies with blasts of smoke and navigating the world is wonderful.
20. Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs merges the things you like about the sandbox genre into one game, and does so brilliantly. Batman, Ezio, Niko... their influence is everywhere you look. You're given the ability to hack the world, raising street pylons to block cars and knocking the power out to escape enemies. Oh, and you can view literally anyone's personal data with the touch of a button. It's addictive in a perverse, voyeuristic way.
The world is jam-packed with things to do, too - you'll be able to compete in street races, hunt down criminal convoys, stop crimes in progress, and engage in all manner of vigilante justice. Most impressive, though (besides the beautiful visuals), is the game's multiplayer. It's seamlessly weaved into the game, and has you occasionally being hunted down by players in your own game, Dark Souls-style.
19. Rayman Legends
Fact: Rayman Legends was easily one of the best games of 2013 thanks to its colorful, hand-drawn aesthetic and accessible but challenging level design. So, naturally, we were pretty pumped to see it get a next-gen release on the PS4.
Though the visuals look marginally better on Sony's latest console than they did on the PS3, there isn't really enough new content here to convince those who have already played through the game to buy it all over again. A few new playable characters have been added, and you can now use the DualShock 4's touch pad to pause the game and take screenshots. But, if you haven't already played this gem of a game, adding it to your small but growing PS4 library is a no-brainer.
18. FIFA 15
Whether you’re a diehard fan or a recent World Cup convert, there’s something mesmerizing about the beautiful game. Unfortunately, football (soccer?) is also an incredibly demanding sport when it comes to our aging bodies and inefficient lungs. As much as we’d love to be the ones bouncing a header into the net for an adrenaline-fueled victory, such moments are reserved for live broadcasts and day dreams.
FIFA 15 is, realistically, the closest most people will ever get to the pitch, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle for a second rate experience. Just about everything a fan could dream of if included in the latest entry, with years of refinement contributing to the game’s jaw-dropping polish. If nothing else, it’s the best chance to give our team the win we know they deserved. Oh and yes, PES 2015 is probably slightly better in its passing play, but FIFA 15 trumps every other aspect, making your decision easy.
17. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
We can already hear it: “Call of Duty again? You guys know there’s one of these things released every single year, right?” Yes, dear readers, we do, and we also know that each and every year the franchise sells a few million more copies of the biggest shooter on the market. However, we were just as surprised as anyone when we found out that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the most innovative entry the series has seen in some time.
The game still comes with an unbelievable amount of content across its single-player, co-op, and endless online multiplayer campaigns, but the futuristic equipment throws a monkey wrench into the whole shebang. Mobility-enhancing jetpacks transform the run-and-gun to which we’ve become accustomed into run-dash-leap-fire-leap again-fall back madness. It may seem like a small change on the surface, but play a round or two before you write this one off as merely another annual iteration.
16. Wolfenstein: The New Order
Remember when shooters were still a new-ish genre, and the only thing that mattered was running around with the biggest guns you could find and blowing shit up? Wolfenstein: The New Order perfectly recaptures that oldschool feeling, yet it employs mechanics and concepts that feel distinctly modern.
The basic gunplay is awesome; you'll run around while dual-wielding shotguns, annihilating everything (well, just Nazis, really) that moves. When the bullets start flying, an easy-to-use cover system will save your hide time after time, while a well-implemented upgrade system will have you eager to experiment with various playstyles. The gunplay is further enhanced by open, arena-like levels that give you plenty of room to maneuver, and just about every gun in your entire arsenal is really fun to shoot. Add to the mix some surprisingly great character development - and the fact that you're dishing out some payback to the evil Nazi overlords - and you're bound to have a great time.
15. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is an utterly fantastic twin-stick shooter, taking everything that made the top-down shape-exploding gameplay so good on old-gen and augmenting it with news ideas and features. The simplicity of moving and shooting is still there, but now with awe-inspiring depth for players who choose to delve deeper into its workings.
It's got bosses, power-ups, 3D stages, drones, special attacks and a massive 50 single-player levels, each with its own set of rules to master. That's not to mention bonus stages and multiplayer games. Single-player is all you'll need, though, as everything is linked to online leaderboards, encouraging 'friendly' competition. The reality is anything but. Trying to be the best Geometry Wars 3 player among your peers may take over your life. And you won't even care.
Nothing quickens the pulse like a wall of incoming fireballs, speeding at you amidst an eye-popping chaotic neon light show. And - wouldn't you know it - that feeling encompasses every moment of Resogun, an arcade shooter that's traditional in its gameplay and stunningly advanced in its presentation. This PS4 downloadable is exceptionally well-designed, from its scoring system through to its deceptively simple controls. It's been tweaked with a patch since launch and keeps getting fun DLC packs (and ace expansion modes), though the core remains exceptional in its own right.
When you're not engrossed by the frenetic shooter action, you'll be in awe of Resogun's particle effects, which fly around the screen at a furious pace. Your reward for completing levels is actual Armageddon, as the whole mother-loving cityscape explodes around you into itty-bitty fragments. It's glorious destruction at its best, and serves as a fitting incentive for saving the last remnants of humanity.
13. Metro Redux
Tired of the same old FPS shootin' and scootin'? You definitely need to spend some time exploring the horrifying, monster-infested tunnels of the Metro series. And the best way to visit the post-apocalyptic wasteland is definitely the re-released Metro Redux edition. Metro Redux gives both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light a visual overhaul for the new-gen consoles, puts the gameplay at a silky smooth 60fps, and features new game modes to customize your playthrough.
In Metro, there's more to survival than being a crack shot with an automatic rifle. Limited resources force you to use tactics other than just going into a firefight guns blazing - and then you have to worry about the deadly, irradiated environment. Running out of air filters for your gas mask? You're going to die of radiation poisoning. Low on flashlight power? Good luck fending off those giant spiders. If you're looking to give the Metro series a shot, Metro Redux is the best version of both games that you're going to find.
12. Child of Light
Take one look at Child of Light. Then, take a listen to its music. Take in a couple of lines of its enchanting dialogue. Then say, honestly, that the game isn’t for you. Pretty tough, right? So dig in, and see that Child of Light’s striking aesthetic and musical direction aren’t just for show - they’re perfect complements to its narrative and gameplay. It’s not often that a game this thoroughly devoted to a singular, cohesive vision comes along. It’s even less often that it executes uniformly well in every aspect supporting that vision.
Child of Light's unique combination of light RPG mechanics and puzzle-platforming is a welcome addition to the PS4’s burgeoning library. There may well be 24 games on this list that appear to be more up your alley, but if you have a PS4, you must play Child of Light. Simple as that.
11. Far Cry 4
The core experience in Far Cry 4 may not be that far removed from Far Cry 3, but when that was a fantastic open-world first-person shooter in its own right, that's no bad thing. And besides, you're now in the Himalayas, which means you've got all kinds of exotic wildlife out to get you as well as hundreds of gun-toting lunatics. Lovely.
The best part about this is the freedom you're given to approach each situation as you see fit. Sure, you can just wade in, all guns blazing, but is that really the most effective technique? Why not scout around first then silently take down every guard, one at a time? Or chuck a lump of meat into a clearing full of enemies and let the local fauna do your dirty work for you? It's up to you. And it's all fun... at least until a Honey Badger spots you, at which point it's sheer hell.
10. TowerFall Ascension
Once upon a time, primitive internet connections (or the complete lack thereof) meant multiplayer gaming consisted of inviting some friends over to play a few rounds of your favorite game. TowerFall Ascension, a downloadable local multiplayer-only game on the PS4, is perhaps the ultimate callback to that era. Its premise is simple but insanely fun: four archers enter an arena, and the last one standing wins.
Every match is a frantic battle to the death and plays out on a single screen. As you leap around each stage trying to dodge the one-hit-kill arrows of your enemies, you must be wary of the location of each player while trying to pick up power-ups that will give you an edge in battle. Hilarity ensues when an arrow from above just happens to pierce your skull unexpectedly, and the instant replay feature that follows each round means laughing all over again as you watch your demise unfold in slow motion. If you've been looking for a new party game on your PS4, it doesn't get much better than this.
9. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
We weren't too sure what to think when we heard that the Assassin's Creed franchise would be heading to the high seas in a pirate-filled adventure. What we definitely didn't expect, though, was for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag to be the best AC. Seriously, it's that good. Unity wasn't even close. The land combat is as strong as ever, and features some of the most interesting outdoor locations we've explored in the series, but it's really the open ocean where AC4 is at its best.
When you're sailing through a massive storm, raiding enemy ships for rum and harpooning whales for crafting materials, it's easy to forget how mediocre AC3 is. In fact, you probably already have forgotten that one. Which one? Exactly. Blasting apart enemies is rewarding thanks to refinements to the ship combat, and boarding vessels provides a non-stop source of entertainment. Turns out, Assassin's Creed's combat works really well within the bounds of a pirate game. Who knew?
8. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
In the last-gen version of this Tomb Raider reboot, you saw heroine Lara Croft get impaled on rebar, narrowly escape exploding buildings, and attempt to survive the mysterious and beautiful island of Yamatai. The game takes you through Lara's first desperate, life-or-death adventure in the early days of her tomb-raiding career. So you'll watch Lara transform from a scared, lost historian to a brutal, do-what-it takes survivor plunging into ancient ruins, crafting makeshift weapons, and scaling impassable cliffs. Not to mention killing pretty much everyone she sees.
How do you make a great game even better? Why, give it a complete graphical overhaul, of course. The Definitive Edition does just that, as it offers a revamped, more detailed Lara model, adds new environmental elements to enhance the island's visual storytelling, and vastly improves the lighting effects to the point you see every raindrop in the sky light up from a flash of lightning. If you haven't experienced Lara's newest adventure, the PS4 version of the Definitive Edition is clearly the best version you can buy on console.
7. Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4 on PS4 is hands-down the best way to experience this absolutely thrilling multiplayer shooter on console. The difference between playing it on your PS3 and a shiny new machine packing seven years of technological advancement is nothing short of astonishing. The visuals look roughly a billion times cleaner, which has a direct effect on the amount of enjoyment you'll derive from playing it. Few things are as exhilarating as fighting in massive battles with a total of 64 players, watching soldiers duke it out in the streets while tanks hurl shells at anything that moves.
You'll instantly understand why we fell in love with this game the second a humongous battleship comes plowing through the shoreline, while player-controlled fighter jets dogfight in the sky overhead. The environmental destruction is more impressive than ever, the battles are tense, and even the single-player campaign has been greatly improved in comparison to the tragedy that was Battlefield 3's solo offering. If you're planning on playing Battlefield 4 on consoles, go PS4 or bust.
6. Shadow of Mordor
Muzglob the Defender. Ugroz the Gentleman. Mormog the Trainer. These orcs, and many more, are forever burned into our minds, but not because they were perfectly sculpted by some far-off setpiece designer. From bad habits to badass battlescars, they were the rivals that we molded with each encounter until, at last, it was time to let them go.
Such is life for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor’s ghostly Ranger, Talion. But while he may have had nothing but hatred for his foes, we couldn’t help but respect and love their colorful personalities and endless desire to put us down. The game’s Nemesis system kept us engrossed hours after the final boss fight, while the unique captains we struck down kept us dying to swap stories with our pals. Here’s hoping that other open world games took some notes.
5. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Righting the wrongs of the first sequel to the much-loved Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Inquisition gives us exactly the sort of role-playing adventure we've been longing to see on new-gen. The densely-populated environments are both beautiful and absorbing, filled to the brim with things to see, do and kill. Or sentence to death, for that matter, as you get to sit on a throne and decide the fate of some hapless crooks. Executions for all!
The game world is absolutely huge and features every kind of terrain, with each area looking markedly different thanks to some excellent art design. But for all of this, it's the weighty combat that makes playing the game so enjoyable. From magic to maces, it's all massively satisfying.
4. The Last of Us Remastered
The Last of Us Remastered is the sort of game that only comes along once or twice a console generation - a landmark experience that it not only defines its genre, but also the era in which it was released. Well, it appeared on last-gen already, but its quality is such that even a second time around has similar impact now it's on PS4. Its combination of subtle, crushingly-earnest storytelling and gritty action survival gameplay makes it a journey you'll never forget.
This post-apocalyptic tale tasks Joel, a man hardened by tragedy, with escorting a 14-year-old girl named Ellie clear across what remains of America. Most of the world's population has been transformed into genuinely terrifying zombie-things, and the pair must sneak, fight, and run their way past the many dangers that populate their journey. The slow-burn action gameplay is often uncomfortably tense, forcing you to think about and adapt to each enemy encounter. Do you have enough bullets to take out a group of infected head-on? Do you try and sneak past them? Do you have the tools necessary to thin them out with traps? Survival here is rarely easy, but your reward is watching the brutal, heartbreaking story unfold.
3. Alien: Isolation
Video games have spoiled us with power. We expect to kill our enemies when we see them, staying in complete control in every situation no matter the odds. Undead armies? Gigantic bosses? Give us twenty minutes and we’ll take care of them no problem. Then a game like Alien: Isolation comes around and reminds us just how squishy and vulnerable the human body really is.
Unlike the later sequels, Alien is all about surviving one, infinitely terrifying beast. Cunning, calculating, and totally unpredictable, we were blown away by how well the game translated into an unforgettable horror experience... if you’re brave enough to get past the first few hours, that is.
Years from now, when our grandchildren ask us how we spent the fall of 2014, we won’t be able to say that we had a life-changing, character-building experience. We didn’t have too many grand adventures or meet the girl/guy of our dreams. Heck, we didn’t even go outside--and it’s all
Bungie’s experiment into the MMO universe isn't perfect, but it's still our Game of the Year 2014. The gunplay is tight, the vistas are gorgeous, and we’ll grind day and night for the best loot we can get our hands on. We play Destiny all the time. And with all of the upcoming content that’s been promised, it looks like our PS4s won't be getting a rest any time soon. Hooray!
1. Grand Theft Auto 5
Grand Theft Auto 5 was already one of the greatest games ever made when it appeared on last gen consoles, but its leap to new-gen is a revelation. First-off, everything now looks incredible. But the visual upgrade is made all the more effective with the addition of a true first-person mode for (almost) the entire game. This makes everything seem so much more immediate and real, not to mention wince-inducing once you get into a scrap.
But if the level of detail is astonishing, the freedom offered to you is even more incredible. Fly, swim, drive… you can even turn into animals if you find the hidden Peyote flowers. Add in countless fun and engaging missions, three interesting and well-written lead characters and a load of gleeful misbehaving and you have a true showcase not only for PS4, but the medium itself. This is amazing.
Well, does the next generation of gaming give you everything you want? No? Well, if you wait a bit there'll be plenty more to get excited for. There's bound to be a new entry in [insert your favorite franchise here] that'll blow your pants clean off. Like, you'll be without pants. Pantless. Where your pants once were, there will be a pile of PlayStation 4 games that you'll happily play (without leaving your house, because pants).
Think the grass might be greener on the other side? Check out the best Xbox One games and the best Wii U games.
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