There's a rich library of AAA games exclusive to the PS4: Spider-Man, Bloodborne, The Last of Us Part 2 and God of War, to name a few. And then, of course, there are the cross-platform titles and indie games. It's an embarrassment of riches.
So, you're ready to start gaming. However, before you buy, consider the following:
- We've included links to the digital version of each game that is available at the PlayStation online store (which isn't all of them), if you don't want the disc version, which are sold at linked retailers via the red buttons.
- Apex Legends is free to play (for PlayStation Plus subscribers), .
- In addition to freebies like Apex Legends, Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, subscribers to get two free games per month. It's fine, but comparatively stingy when put up against the collection, which offers subscribers open access to dozens of games.
- Nearly all PS4 games should be playable on the PS5, so any investment you make in these games should transition easily if and when you upgrade to the new console.
With those caveats in place, on to the games.
FromSoft's latest entry Elden Ring has dominated the gaming world ever since it was released in February. It brings the punishing combat you love to hate from Dark Souls to a massive open world where death is waiting around literally every corner. The clear front-runner for 2022 game of the year.
The Horizon series is back with what our reviewer called a "near-perfect sequel." Continue Alloy's journey in a deadly new environment, with new gear, armor and tons of cool new robo-dino adversaries.
You can head here for our full, detailed look at The Last of Us Part 2, but we'll give you the Cliff Notes here: This is a brutal, profound video game experience that not only works in terms of its second-to-second combat but also has plenty to say about the dark nature of revenge and the cyclical nature of impulsive violence.
Ghost of Tsushima is yet another open world banger from Sucker Punch Productions, one of the most consistent first-party studios under Sony's vast umbrella.
Set in Japan during the first invasion of the Mongols in 1270, Ghost of Tsushima may borrow heavily from open world tropes seen in other, superior titles -- but it's still a gorgeously made video game. A real visual swansong for the PS4.
Fall Guys is a battle royale game unlike any you've ever played before. Sixty players start, but after a cut-throat series of insanely fun and bafflingly unfair mini-games, there can only be one winner. Think Ninja Warrior crossed with Peppa Pig. It's currently only available for digital purchase at the PlayStation store.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of those games that turned out better than anyone could have realistically expected.
It's beautiful -- utterly gorgeous -- and its reinvented combat system is a great balance between old and new.
Endless online discourse about its difficulty aside, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is another masterpiece from Dark Souls creator FromSoftware.
Sekiro shares a little of the DNA that made Dark Souls so compelling, but it's absolutely a brand-new beast, even more distinct from the Souls series than Bloodborne. It requires learning a whole new skillset (mainly parrying), but it's worth the initial pain.
It's a complete reinvention for one of the PlayStation's most consistent series.
God of War is extremely good. The new combat system takes a while to get used to, but once it clicks, it really clicks. God of War is an absolute showcase for the PlayStation 4 (and especially the PlayStation 4 Pro). Get that thing going on 60 frames per second. You'll have yourself a good time.
Spider-Man is probably the best superhero video game since Batman: Arkham Asylum. It's a little derivative, but there's no denying it's a well-made, supremely polished video game. You should probably check it out.
I mean obviously.
It's been awhile since Rockstar has released a new video game, but Red Dead Redemption 2 has been worth the wait. This is a video game dripping in detail. Get through the slow start and engross yourself in one of the best video game worlds ever built.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a very big game. It takes around five hours for the opening credits to roll and, depending on how fast you go, it might take around 20 hours for the game to properly hit its stride.
But once it gets good, it gets very good. Just prepare yourself for a bit of time investment on this one.
Well this game came out of nowhere.
Apex Legends is the game no one saw coming. In 2018, Fortnite literally ruled our cultural universe, but now its position atop the battle royale genre is being challenged by Apex Legends and with good reason. Designed by the core team responsible for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and, more recently, the excellent Titanfall series, Apex Legends just feels so good minute to minute. Look for this game to stick around. It's currently free to download at the PlayStation store.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is like Video Games: The Greatest Hits.
It has the sprawling mission structure of The Witcher 3, Metroid Prime-style scanning, Tomb Raider-esque bow and arrows and survival.
And it has fricken' robot dinosaurs with fricken' laser beams.
It also -- somehow -- weaves its ludicrous high concept into a story that not only works, but is actually incredibly compelling, affecting and features great writing and layered characters.
It's arguably the best game on the PlayStation 4.
FromSoftware doesn't make bad video games. It makes classics, stone-cold classics, one after another.
Before Elden Ring, Bloodborne may have been the best FromSoftware game.
A brand new universe, a faster paced combat style, ludicrously well-designed environments and beautiful enemy design. Bloodborne is difficult, but it's intensely rewarding. Crucially, it's a great entry point into the "Souls" genre.
The Witcher 3 is glorious.
A mind-bendingly massive open world that somehow doesn't sacrifice depth. Visually glorious. It also features surprisingly good writing and a mission structure that makes traditional side-quests feel meaningful.
Prepare to sacrifice much of your life to this behemoth.
Do you like inter-dimensional, high school drama anime featuring tremendously good-looking teenagers fighting demonic manifestations from another universe?
Boy, do I have the video game for you.
Spoilers: The game is Persona 5.
From a storytelling perspective Metal Gear Solid V is a brutal, unfinished mess.
But that doesn't even matter.
Because the absolute core of Metal Gear Solid 5 -- the sneaking, the moment-to-moment cat-and-mouse game of evading guards -- is just so mechanically dense and polished.
Metal Gear Solid is simultaneously the most accessible Metal Gear game ever made and the most complex. I'm still scratching my head as to how they achieved that.
Play this video game.
A wild, spectacular (and completely bizarre) video game, Control is one of the most ambitious and interesting big budget games of the year. Fans of the X-Files (and maybe even Twin Peaks) will enjoy this.
Mortal Kombat is still kicking and, some might say, is better than ever. Ignore. Once upon a time Mortal Kombat was a gimmicky ultraviolent competitor to the sublime Street Fighter II. Now it's a spectacular fighting game in its own right, with its own set of strengths. This is the best Mortal Kombat game to date.
Rocket League is soccer with cars, and it is so good I can't even believe it exists in this broken, corrupt world.
It's not quite as popular compared with when it was initially released and everyone was going crazy, but Rocket League still has a massive core community.
And the game is just so instantaneously fun. So you should probably play it. And right now, it's free to download at the PlayStation store.
Uncharted 4 isn't the strongest entry in the series (that's still the bar-setting Uncharted 2), but it's still a benchmark in visual storytelling excellence.
It's a little bit too long, with way too many shooting sections, but Uncharted 4 does some truly ground-breaking things in terms of video game storytelling.
And it's one of the most beautiful games ever made.
The Witness is designed to make you feel like a complete idiot.
In a good way.
You know how games like Metroid and Zelda sort of guide your progress by slowly giving you items that act like keys to unlocking brand-new areas?
The Witness is sorta like that, only it upgrades your actual brain. With puzzles.
This game is extremely good. It typically lists for $40, but right now you can pick it up on sale for just $12 at the PlayStation Store
Undertale is for people who have played a lot of video games.
It's got in-jokes, subverts tropes, it's razor sharp and properly funny. It's also a really interesting RPG and you should play it.
Punching Nazis: The Video Game.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was one of the best games of 2017 when it was originally released. A culturally relevant one as well.
A unique, story-focused game that'll pique the interest of folks that liked Gone Home, Dear Esther or games of that ilk.
Like those games, What Remains of Edith Finch is narratively driven, short but affecting.
Doom is extremely good. This is established fact. This reboot had no right being as good as it is. It harks back to a different kind of first-person shooter. It's about getting up close and personal with monster-demons and spilling their innards on blood-stained floors.
Nier: Automata was released in the same calendar year as games like Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey and Horizon: Zero Dawn, but there are people who think Nier: Automata was better than all of those video games.
I disagree, but even coming close to that level of quality is intense. Nier: Automata deserves your attention at the very least. It's extremely good.
Every so often Resident Evil becomes awesome again. There's a cycle.
Resident Evil 2: awesome.
Resident Evil 4: very awesome.
Resident Evil 5 through to 6: not awesome.
Resident Evil 7: extremely awesome.
It's great to see the granddaddy of video game horror series back to its best. This game is wild. Brace yourself.