One four all!
Whether you've just unboxed a shiny new PS4 or you're looking to expand your library, you've come to the right place. Sony's latest console has an amazing range of games from big-budget blockbusters to indie gems. There's much more to look forward to, including a stellar line up of upcoming PS4 games, the PlayStation VR headset and the new 4K-enabled PS4 Pro console. But you've no doubt come here in search of the best PS4 games you can buy RIGHT NOW. Worry not; there's something for everyone here, including online shooters like Destiny: Rise of Iron, the deeply-crafted beauty of Metal Gear Solid 5 and the ethereal wonder of Journey. The following games exemplify the diversity of experiences that await you on PS4, and each one is an exceptional game in its own right. Our list works in ascending order, building up to the coveted number one slot, and contains something for gamers of all tastes.
25. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Who’d have thunk digital childhood trauma could be so entertaining? This ace procedurally-generated dungeon crawler is fiendishly funny and scorchingly difficult. It also boasts a hugely endearing art style. A roguelike from the twisted mind behind Super Meat Boy, Isaac is wonderfully depraved and, well, just downright wonderful. An oozing, squelchy descent into hell, it someone manages to make a poignant commentary on parental neglect, all the while making you fight bosses sporting unborn foetal growths. Whether you pick up on the dark subtext or not, the actual shooting is top notch and the humour hilariously deviant. Good, clean (alright, filthy) fun.
24. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Black Ops 3 is an admirably weird entry in the unstoppable franchise. There’s something for every flavour of COD fan, with an intriguingly madcap story that you can tackle in four-player co-op or solo, a fully (rotting) fleshed-out Zombies mode that takes place inside an entire open-city, and the still criminally addictive online multiplayer with all its perks and Cyber Core abilities and insane weaponry. Also, Jeff Goldblum is in zombies mode, which automatically secured the game’s place on this list. Time will tell if it will be superseded by the impending sci-fi themed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which adds 80s legend David Hasselhoff to its revised zombies mode.
23. Star Wars Battlefront
If you've ever wished you could be in the Star Wars films, blaster in hand, shooting Stormtroopers like a scruffy-looking nerf herder, Star Wars Battlefront is the game for you. Whether it's the perfectly palette-matched leaves under your feet on Endor, or the sense of cold as you peer into an ice cave looking for movement, everything looks and feels just right. The shooting's great fun too, offering a simpler, more instantly gratifying multiplayer experience than the likes of CoD or Battlefield. You can even ride a speeder bike through the Ewoks' forest with full control of direction and firing. No other game is as close to playing a movie, so if you love Star Wars, you need to play this. It's now cheaper than ever to buy, with a range of DLC packs adding locations such as Bespin and, most recently, the Death Star.
22. Rocket League
From the ashes of an obscure PS3 curio that no one can recall comes a PSN sleeper hit so addictive it’s probably illegal. With a tooled-up remote controlled car, a bootful of boost and a giant metal football, Rocket League is a slice of multiplayer heaven. The popularity of this ‘football with cars’ game was completely unexpected, but it now has a thriving community of players and gameplay that has been tweaked and honed to make the absolute best of the concept. Give it a try - it sounds mad, but you will love it.
21. PES 2017
Remove presentation from the equation – where FIFA 17 is still king – and there is no better sports sim out there than PES 2017. Every footballing fundamental – passing, tackling, shooting, heading – feels uncannily like the real thing, and its player AI is exceptional. That’s true on both sides of the ball: never again will you bemoan a team-mate making a stupid run, but you will find yourself constantly challenged by the impressive variety of opposition tactics and strategies. It’s the purists’ football game, requiring thought as well as stick skills, and while the series’ licensing woes grate as ever, they are fixable on PS4 via the option (at last!) to import fan-made option files, rather than the unwieldy previous workaround. Truly, the beautiful game.
20. Life Is Strange
The sublime writing and pacing of this episodic narrative will have you agonising over choices, and then marvelling at their flawless integration. Life is Strange starts off as a fairly innocuous teen-life simulator and throughout the episodes transforms into something… very different. To quote heroine Max’s BFF Chloe, it’s “hella” good, and certainly a lot darker than you may initially think. In an ironic nod to the lead character’s ability to rewind time - you’ll wish you could play it all over again for the first time.
19. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Following closely on the action-RPG heels of Geralt of Rivia (who has since returned in Witcher 3), BioWare’s third trip to Thedas conjures something truly special. Dragon Age: Inquisition has improved combat; an ace cast of characters; a semi-open world full of emergent gameplay; an epic story. The list goes on. What’s more, there are some genuinely tough choices to be made in this game (not just who you decide to try and sex-up), which draws you even further into the narrative. Oh, and dragons. There are proper, scary, bastard-hard dragons too.
18. Until Dawn
Once destined to live its life as a PS Move curio on PS3, Supermassive Games’ ode to the teen slasher movie has emerged on PS4 with a rusty, bloody axe in one hand and a rather nasty looking set of consequence-based choices in the other. The real beauty of Until Dawn is in a) the well-crafted, largely flawed cast of characters, and b) the horrific ends that they meet at the hands of the antagonist(s). In other words, you’ll want most of them to die sticky deaths, and although saving each one is a fun challenge, it’s an accepted and enjoyable nod to horror tropes when they get executed in the most gruesome fashion. There's an impending VR spin-off too, called Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. We can't wait.
In a gaming landscape dominated by mindless violence and blabbering idiots this wordless walkabout stands tall in red robes. Journey is all about joining an online stranger and going for a wander, exploring a beautiful sandy world together in quiet awe. The more time you spend in Journey, getting to know its secrets and quirks, the more entertaining it becomes. And have you seen it? Despite being a PS3 port, it still looks amazing and stands up next to the best on PS4.
16. The Talos Principle
After you're done slaying cyberdemons and defiling ancient burial grounds, why not settle in with a nice, warm cup of existential dread and personal doubt? That's The Talos Principle: a slow, contemplative puzzler where you, as a sentient robotic AI, attempt to discover what it means to be human while you investigate the mystery behind your pristine digital confines. This sounds like the most pretentious game in the world, but thanks to some absolutely stellar writing, The Talos Principle is surprisingly grounded, handling its philosophical themes in a way that is simultaneously cerebral and relatable. It helps that the puzzles are wonderfully designed, too, starting off with simple laser-guidance puzzles and ending with brain-busters that make you feel like you're pulling one over on the game designers. All of it combines to make an experience that actually feels mature without being 'mature', and it's a game no PS4 owner should be without.
Weighed down by a litany of server malfunctions, Driveclub sank like a particularly shiny stone at release. But developer Evolution Studios wasn't about to give up on its motoring labour of love - in the months between then and now the game's been stabilised, expanded and transformed by a steady stream of updates and DLC. Today, Driveclub delivers and even exceeds its promise: a coming together of fanatical graphical detail, a pleasing handling model and social features you’ll actually appreciate. The competition isn’t exactly fierce on PS4 for Evolution Studios’ current-gen racer, but it crushes the rivals nonetheless.
14. Ratchet & Clank
Mascot platforming never looked so good. This PS4 reboot brings back the beloved duo of a Lombax mechanic and his cordial robot pal, following Ratchet and Clank as they traverse wildly unalike planets and acquire an ever-growing arsenal of inventive, destructive weaponry. While this game is technically a tie-in with the recent movie, there's absolutely no need to have seen it beforehand - and really, the story is secondary to the perfectly tuned, run-jump-and-gun gameplay. When you're not leveling up your firepower by blasting every baddie and inanimate object in sight, you'll be staring in awe of the colorful and crisp visuals, which are legitimately on par with an animated feature film.
13. The Witness
Like the very best puzzle games, The Witness has a way of making you feel like a certified genius, even though it's teaching you the path to success every step of the way. There are no time limits, lives, or stakes in general to worry about here - you're simply wandering through a gorgeous and mysterious island littered with line puzzles that are far more engaging than they sound. The difficulty curve is brilliant, and exploring your picturesque surroundings might be just the mental break you need to arrive at a 'Eureka!' moment whenever you get a bit stuck. There's also a serene appeal to mulling over all the heady concepts conveyed by bits of evocative poetry and films scattered about the island, if that sort of thing floats your boat. Oh, and the hidden imagestucked into the environment are simply stunning.
12. TowerFall Ascension
You haven’t lived until you’ve enjoyed a four-player free-for-all in this instant couchplay classic. There's a level of depth to TowerFall Ascension's arena-based archery bouts that continues to surprise, delight, and forces you to evolve your play style practically every time you go back to it. And you'll go back to it a lot. The solo campaign is an enjoyable sideshow and an opportunity to hone your skills, but almost nothing beats the arrow-grabbing, death-defying last-second kills of local multiplayer mayhem. Best of all, the replay function shows you that maelstrom of pixels in ultra-satisfying slow-mo after each round-ending kill.
11. Batman: Arkham Knight
If you've ever wanted to become the Batman, Batman: Arkham Knight is the closest you can get (outside of actually donning a pointy-eared cape and cowl). The series' final instalment sets you free in a massive open-world ripe with Riddler trophies to find, crimes to stop, and thugs to brutally incapacitate. It's got all of the series staples like the intricate combat system, sneaky predator sequences, and crime scene investigations, but the Batmobile adds a new dimension to your heroics. Need to get from point A to B? Hop in the Batmobile. Want to take down some goons? Shoot them with the Batmobile's 'non-lethal' cannon. Need to break down a wall? You know the Batmobile has that covered. Batman: Arkham Knight is the complete Batman experience, and you don't want to miss it.
10. Alien: Isolation
Seemingly the result of an improbable dare issued to Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation not only allied itself with the erstwhile toxic Aliens license but threw gunplay out of the window almost entirely. Instead, the game is a perpetual cat-and-mouse game between the under-equipped player and their xenomorph pursuer. A brave and exceptionally well-crafted first-person horror, Alien Isolation allows you to explore Ridley Scott’s original vision of a horror-tinged future in startling fidelity with an attention to detail that borders on the obsessive. It’s time to remember what made the xenomorph so scary in the first place... and then get killed by it.
This modern reboot is worthy of the name Doom, and is basically the FPS equivalent of a muscular body: it's speedy, empowering, and hits incredibly hard. You awake as the classic Doomguy to begin another spree of demon genocide on a Mars colony, with a surprisingly intriguing plotline that explains how you're able to murder so many Hellspawn. There's a primal satisfaction to whipping out a Super Shotgun, blasting an Imp's innards into oblivion, and then performing a lighting-fast, stunningly violent Glory Kill on the demon who caught shrapnel just behind him. The classic weapons and enemy types benefit from new additions like upgrades and double-jumping, making Doom one of the most frenetically fun shooters of all time.
Blurring the lines between single-player shooting and co-op camaraderie, Bungie has created an epic MMO hybrid built on incredibly fluid firefights. The first 20 hours and a relatively disappointing ‘campaign’ eventually blossom into the real Destiny; a near infinite end-game of Raids, Nightfall Strikes and chasing delicious Exotic gear. In the Vault of Glass Raid, Destiny may well play host to the most expertly designed, sustained shooting gallery on PS4. Couple that with the wonderfully balanced Crucible PvP and the insatiable desire to keep improving your Titans’ gear and this is an essential experience with friends and the perfect platform for PS4’s social features.
7. The Last of Us Remastered
Like a full-bodied Stilton, this modern master-piece just gets stronger with age. The Last of Us Remastered is a starkly brutal, emotionally-honest take on the end of the world, Naughty Dog’s stealth shooter is quite simply one of the best written, most wryly-paced video games ever. With the jump to (a mostly stable) 60fps on PS4, TLOU has never been sharper to play or more devastating to watch. Whether refining the undead or redefining what a game script can be, this is Naughty Dog at the peak of its powers. And with Left Behind bundled in, you’re also being treated to arguably the finest slice of DLC in PlayStation history.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The White Wolf himself finally rides onto PS4 in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and brings with him one of the most diverse and challenging RPG worlds ever seen. Mesmerising to look at and utterly engrossing to play, CD Projekt RED’s farewell to Geralt is a new high for the genre. What really impresses are the genuinely entertaining missions, and the eclectic cast of characters that bring the world to life. While combat can be challenging at first, once you get into it, there’s enough depth here to keep you interested for the duration.
Bloodborne is PS4’s first truly great, bespokely created exclusive. In Yharnam, From Software has made one of the most unerringly atmospheric worlds on PS4. This is a city that drips with dread; every corner potentially hiding a grotesque beast or fascinatingly twisted piece of lore. Though there may be fewer weapons than in Dark Souls, the new Trick variants (capable of morphing between long and short-form states) are among the most empowering virtual slaughtering tools you’ll ever find. With the finest third-person melee combat in all of games, drool-worthy art design and the most twisted monsters in the biz, this is a gorgeously gothic must-have. Bit hard, mind.
4. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Uncharted 4’s true successes lie in the details. Oh, sure, you have the big action set-pieces that the series is known for, where everything hero Nathan Drake touches falls apart around him. And the attention to detail in those moments - how wood splinters into pieces under gunfire, or how Nathan's clothing gets caked in mud during a high-octane car chase - certainly makes it shine as a bit of impressive tech to show off to your friends. But it's how Uncharted nails the small moments that makes it truly great. For the first time in the series, Naughty Dog has given the series' characters some room to grow as actual people, filling in the details where you least expect them to, and these smaller moments make the big ones feel all that more impactful. As explosive as Uncharted 4 is, it's also deeply personal - and it's a hell of a showpiece for your PS4, to boot.
3. Fallout 4
Hitting PS4 with the atomic force of a Fat Boy, Fallout 4’s excellent gunplay and crafting systems can trigger a nasty case of RPG-itis. There’s so much to do and see here, and quite often you’ll set off to complete a mission and get completely side-tracked when you find something wonderful/horrific along the way. Giving the main character a proper voice adds an extra layer of polish to proceedings, and the expanded set of companions and customisation options are very welcome too. It’s not without its faults (or vaults), but the scale of Bethesda’s wasteland will keep you bunkered down for weeks.
2. Grand Theft Auto 5
The magic of Grand Theft Auto 5 - our favourite PS3 game - and it's reappearance on current-gen hardware isn’t in the improved textures, shinier cars or even the brilliantly executed new first-person mode. It’s in the way each addition and improvement combines to enthral and seduce you all over again to sink another blissful 50 hours into Los Santos without it ever feeling like a re-run. Also: an unhealthy dose of first-person cat-stomping. If tabby-kicking isn’t your thing, GTA: Online – with its mega online Heists and improved character creator – is sure to gets it claws into you. Quite simply the definitive edition of the greatest open-world game ever made.
1. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Konami might try and scrub Hideo Kojima’s name from the ultimate in tactical espionage action, but it’ll never remove his fingerprints. While retaining that distinct storytelling and sense of wonder that defines the Metal Gear series, MGS5 offers a level of freedom and creativity unheard of in any sandbox. It’s something to be explored for days, weeks, months – each little secret and hidden slice of gameplay just waiting to be found and to make players rethink the way they approach the game. Plus, it’s got a killer 80s soundtrack, and some wonderfully gruff voice-acting from Kiefer Sutherland. Grand, majestic and bittersweet, this is an instant classic and the finest thing you can shove into your PS4. It's shortly being re-released as MGSV: The Definitive Experience, which contains prologue MGSV: Ground Zeroes plus all the Metal Gear Online DLC items, so that's the version to go for.