The best PS4 exclusive games

null

2018 is a brilliant year for PS4 exclusives. We've already had God of War - which is potentially the game of the generation - Yakuza 6, and Ni No Kuni 2. Coming later in the year, we've got Detroit: Become Human and Spider-Man, with titles like The Last of Us part 2 and Days Gone lurking in 2019. That is a killer line-up! Our list of the best PS4 games is going to be harder and harder to define, as is the following line-up of the best PS4 exclusives. 

It's worth noting that we're talking about console exclusives here, so you'll find some games - like Ni No Kuni 2 - that are both PS4 and PC. And they have to be full exclusives too, so no games that are only available on Sony's console for a limited time, or with exclusive bits of DLC or anything. We've kept the list to 12 to help boil down to the very best titles - the ones you really need in your collection to make the most of your PS4 and to stick it to any friends who insist that their Xbox is a superior console. And if you're wondering what's next, here is our breakdown of the upcoming PS4 games.

12. Ni No Kuni 2

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Level-5
Genre: RPG
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes 

Who wouldn't want to play a Studio Ghibli animation? That's essentially what you're getting with Ni No Kuni 2, a sprawling, beautiful RPG from Japanese developers Level-5 (who have worked on classics like Rogue Galaxy, Dark Chronicle, and the Dragon Quest franchise). This game progresses from the original by offering a bigger story and... oh, yeah, a town-building and management sim, which gives you incredible ownership of the world. The battle system is robust and visually thrilling, so you get a virtual pyrotechnic display every time you fight. Monsters and characters are well imagined and... oh come on, just look at this game. It's exactly the kind of place you'd want to spend months of your life. So why don't you?

11. Driveclub

Release Date: 2014
Developer: Evolution Studios
Genre: Racing
PS4 Pro Enhanced? No

Let's be perfectly honest - Driveclub's launch was a mess, and the game has taken a long time to find its feet on PS4. Now, though? It's a damn good racer, almost fit to rival Xbox's Forza series (although not quite up to the same standards). If you've only got a PS4, though, it's not like you're missing out. The emphasis here is on online racing and competing in championships, but the infrastructure is now in place to support a smooth multiplayer experience. There are heaps of cars to collect, and plenty of races to tackle - you could be grinding this game for months, and that's kinda the point. There's even a VR mode which - if you can stomach it - is heaps of fun.

10. Until Dawn 

Release Date: 2015
Developer: Supermassive Games
Genre: Horror
PS4 Pro Enhanced? No  

Until Dawn manages to play off your favorite horror movies tropes and cleverly subvert them in equal measure, following a group of teens with a shared dark secret as they try to survive a cabin trip that quickly descends into a living nightmare. The choices you make throughout the story determine whether these nuanced characters make it out alive, which lends itself to plenty of replayability: maybe you'll do your best to prevent any bloodshed, or perhaps you want to see a particularly annoying character meet an appropriately gruesome death. Whichever path you choose, prepare to be scared out of your wits (or at least grossed out) along the way. 

9. Yakuza 6 

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Sega
Genre: Action RPG
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes  

If you've never experienced the PS4 exclusive Yakuza series... what the hell have you been doing with your gaming life? It's time to rectify that mistake with the latest Yakuza. No, really, the sixth core outing for the series is actually one of the best places to start as it does a great job of telling the story so far, while offering the best action and elements from previous games in one, meaty adventure. It's essentially an action-RPG set in Japan, where you play as ex-Yakuza boss Kazuma Kiryu, who is now a good guy fighting for his adopted children and the people of his town. There are mini-game distractions galore, loads of wonderful side-stories to experience, and a gripping overall narrative.

8. Street Fighter 5 

Release Date: 2016
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Fighting
PS4 Pro Enhanced? No  

It might've launched in relatively rough shape, but after over a year of additional content, new characters, and countless refinements, Street Fighter 5 has realized its full potential as a phenomenal fighting game. Its ever-growing roster of unique characters has the perfect fit for any playstyle, and the inventive V-Skill and V-Trigger systems add another layer of excitement and strategic depth to each intense match. Whether you go with an old favorite like Ryu or opt for an oddball newcomer like Necalli, Street Fighter 5 delivers more of the infinite replayability and limitless skill ceiling you've come to expect from Capcom's fan-favorite fighting game series.

7. Persona 5 

Release Date: 2016
Developer: Atlus
Genre: JRPG
PS4 Pro Enhanced? No  

Playing Persona 5 borders on overstimulation due to its sheer sense of style, where everything from the colorful visuals and snazzy soundtrack to the vibrant menus and peppy voice acting is vying for your rapt attention. This accessible-yet-deep JRPG is like a playable anime, following a group of Japanese high schoolers who become empowered as the Phantom Thieves, bettering society by stealing the coveted items corrupting the hearts of delusional adults. Whether you're infiltrating the psychological palaces of your chosen target or simply hanging out and building friendships via a wide variety of after-school activities, Persona 5 offers over 100 hours of joy to anyone with even the slightest affinity for JRPG adventures. And yes, you can technically play it on PS3 - but then you'd be missing out on that sweet, sweet 1080p resolution.

6. Nier: Automata 

Release Date: 2017
Developer: PlatinumGames
Genre: Action
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes  

Experiencing the cult-classic action RPG Nier isn't a prerequisite to loving Nier: Automata - if anything, you'll be all the more surprised and delighted by this sequel's hauntingly beautiful post-apocalyptic world, unique character designs, moving orchestral music, and intricate, philosophical, emotionally stirring storyline. But where Nier: Automata really stands out from its predecessor is in its super smooth, fast-paced brawling developed by PlatinumGames, the studio renowned for its mastery of flashy, combo-centric third-person combat. As the sword-wielding android 2B, you'll fight hulking robots on humanity's behalf in a war rife with existential paradoxes and gripping, 60fps skirmishes, with shifting perspectives that mix things up, and near-limitless possibilities for how you want to dice up your metal opponents.

5. The Last Guardian 

Release Date: 2016
Developer: Sony
Genre: Adventure
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes  

Fumito Ueda's games are renowned for the way they stir the player's emotions and sense of wonderment, and after years of waiting and wondering if it would ever see the light of day, The Last Guardian lives up to the same high standard as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. You play as a young boy marooned among ancient ruins, befriending a humongous bird/dog hybrid named Trico as the two of you make your way towards freedom. Trico's unique, at times disobedient, AI makes him feel like a truly living creature you need to coax and cooperate with in order to solve a variety of third-person puzzles, creating a bond between player and animal that's not unlike the companionship of a real-world pet. 

4. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End 

Release Date: 2016
Developer: Naughty Dog
Genre: Adventure
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes  

Like all the greatest action movies, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End knows when to balance explosive set-pieces and riveting car chases with quieter moments of human drama and warmth. Nathan Drake's still a lovable modern-day Indiana Jones, hunting for treasure and evading armed goons with panache, but watching him interact with his loved ones - Elena, Sully, and even his newly introduced brother Sam, all brought to life via fantastic mocapped performances - is more rewarding than the discovery of any ancient secret. Uncharted 4 is a fitting end for Nathan's story, and playing it feels like completing the satisfying final chapter in a beloved adventure book that's made an indelible mark on your heart.

3. Bloodborne 

Release Date: 2015
Developer: FromSoftware
Genre: Action RPG
PS4 Pro Enhanced? No  

The night is dark and full of terrors, the majority of which will mercilessly kill you in seconds if you're not careful. But that's a risk you'll just have to take to explore and experience Bloodborne's gorgeous gothic city of Yharnam, the setting for From Software's brilliant spin-off that experiments with the studio's own Dark Souls designs. This elegant third-person action RPG opts for a quicker pace of play compared to classic Souls without devaluing the need for constant caution and alertness, lest you fall prey to a diverse range of horrific monsters lurking through the Victorian-era environments. The dual forms of each melee weapon, mixed with the careful timing of pistol-enabled parries, gives you even more room to express your preferred fighting style as you claw your way from one memorable boss encounter or picturesque vista to the next, guided (or hostilely invaded) by the ghosts of other players.    

2. Horizon Zero Dawn 

Release Date: 2017
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Genre: Adventure
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes  

We've seen far too many desolate, lifeless, post-apocalyptic wastelands in games, to the point where they've become as dreary as the crumbling world they portray. But Horizon Zero Dawn dares to push far, far beyond the fall of modern society to give us a glimpse at a new chapter for humanity, where primitive tribes have slowly begun to rebuild among unique species of sentient, robotic wildlife that roam and own the now-verdant ruins of metropolitan areas. You explore Horizon's expansive, enchanting open world as Aloy, an instantly likeable lead who's a capable and courageous hunter in this far-future frontier. Establishing diplomatic relations with other human tribes, exploring the breathtaking environment (and capturing Kodak moments with the delightful photo mode), hunting down every last secret tucked away in the sprawling landscape, trying to bag yourself a massive dino-like Thunderjaw - whatever you set out to do in Horizon Zero Dawn, it's going to be incredible.

1. God of War

Kratos and Atreus in God of War

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Sony Santa Monica
Genre: Adventure
PS4 Pro Enhanced? Yes  

Yes, it's that good. The latest God of War, which essentially reboots the franchise and takes it to a whole new setting, is the best game you can play on PS4. And that's something we may well be saying until PS5 inevitably rolls out. Ditching the linear action structure of the originals, this outing lets you explore a fully realised, utterly beautiful Norse world, picking fights and solving puzzles as you go. The story is both well written and well paced, with Kratos far more than a one-dimensional murder-machine now. Enemies are well constructed too, and the combat is just as fluid and thrilling as it always was. There are heaps of things to discover, and each new area is more jaw-dropping and feature-packed than the next. Only Horizon comes close to showing the power and versatility of the PlayStation in the same way, making God of War an essential purchase for anyone with a Dualshock in their hands and a hankering for a fresh experience. 

Looking for more PS4 greatness? Be sure to check out our list of the best free PS4 games.