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Additionally, PSVR-only games have not been included in this list. While we have loved plenty of experiences in PlayStation VR, because there’s a second barrier to entry, and the intention of this list is that you could buy a PS4 and play any of these 25 games immediately, we have omitted them from this list. If you’d like to see our opinion on that, we have a list of the best PSVR games you encourage you to check out.
Lastly, know that not we get that not every game could be included — it is a top 25, after all. And though many of our favorite games have been omitted — if you’ve met me, you know my Kingdom Hearts love — know that this list should set you up to have dozens and dozens of hours of fun, no matter what genre you enjoy.
The Best PS4 Games (2020 Update)
25. Nier: Automata
Nier Automata delivers a ridiculously entertaining journey full of awesome ideas that is equal parts strange and beautiful. There are few games like Automata, which bounces between game genres and styles with aplomb. Taking place in a futuristic dystopia, this “action-RPG” offers a roller coaster of different gameplay opportunities, wrapped up in a fascinating story that has many multiple endings that encourage poking into every corner of this engrossing world. There are few games that attempt what Nier: Automata does, and it’s absolutely worth checking out this Yoko Taro-directed adventure.
Read our Nier: Automata review
24. Monster Hunter World
The long-running Monster Hunter series broke through with the 2018 hit Monster Hunter World, which not only impressed us with its rewarding gameplay but also with how accessible the game proved to be. For a series that can take some learning to get the hang of, Monster Hunter World produced a fully realized, expansive world
Read our Monster Hunter World review
23. Apex Legends
Amid the rise of the battle royale genre, Apex Legends manages to stand out, even as a later addition to the fray. Set in the universe of Respawn’s Titanfall series, Apex utilizes similar gameplay mechanics which give it a unique edge over other battle royale games. In addition to its faster pace, Apex incorporates the use of specific “Legends” who all have different skills and abilities that create the need for teams to work together and synergize between the different characters. Similar to how Overwatch operates, the roster of different heroes allows players to constantly change their playstyles in order to secure the win. With constant updates and new limited-time game modes being switched in and out, Apex Legends is a high-octane game that constantly leaves you wanting to go for “just one more match.”
Read our Apex Legends review
22. Yakuza 0
Yakuza 0 is the high bar for SEGA’s long-running open-world series, packed with an extraordinary amount of things to do and centered around a genuinely compelling crime story. Since it’s a prequel, it’s also unburdened by the series’ increasingly intricate backstory and thus supremely approachable for newcomers. While its melee combat may lag slightly behind modern genre standards, Yakuza 0 still hits far more than it misses and is a big, bold and bruising tour through the Japanese underworld.
Read our Yakuza 0 review
21. Fortnite: Battle Royale
Epic has done a tremendous job keeping its blockbuster hit Fortnite: Battle Royale fascinating, engaging, and just fun to play. Epic continues to add new modes, new items, and new oddities — what other game has a Weezer-branded island you can visit — and Fortnite’s actual gameplay remains as solid, and open to fan feedback, as ever.
But it’s Epic’s continued promise to keeping the world of Fortnite fascinating that has made such a mark on the industry, including even those who don’t really play it. From Avengers tie-ins to in-game items appearing in the real world to in-game Marshmello concerts, Fortnite has become one of the biggest cultural touchstones of this moment in entertainment, while also handily remaining so fun to play. Even if you, like me, often hide for as much of the match as you can.
Read our Fortnite: Battle Royale review
20. Tetris Effect
How do you make Tetris, one of the best-selling and arguably perfect games, even better? You add in dazzling light shows, music that reacts to your moves, and one of the most blissfully zen gaming experiences of the generation. Tetris Effect, even without its PSVR component, is a transcendent experience, making a stalwart of the video gaming medium fresh.
Its Journey mode includes a couple dozen stages of memorable music, which melds to the blocks you move and place, with backgrounds that, quite literally, take you on a journey from the ocean depths to jungle and desert terrain to the reaches of space. There’s something almost spiritual to the experience, which doesn’t do anything to majorly twist the Tetris formula, but enhances it in a memorably powerful way.
Read our Tetris Effect review
19. Rocket League
Rocket League’s ridiculous and addicting take on a familiar sport has been a joy from the start, when it made its debut as a free PlayStation Plus title. The joys of car-based soccer has smartly responded to its expansive player base, adding new modes and options that speak to the communities’ interests. And it’s so inherently a fun concept to watch play out, allowing for tense back-and-forth matches and incredible, game-changing moments as players contend with their cars, a giant ball, and gravity. Psyonix’s sports combat game has only gotten more fully-featured as its gone along, and the recent addition of cross-platform play to include PS4 has only helped to maintain its position on our list.
Read our Rocket League review
Dreams is unlike anything else: an ambitious project that has been expertly brought to life by Media Molecule, and an audacious experiment in game design that gives you endless ways to enjoy your time with it. An incredible creative suite made up of tools that allow for and encourage ultimate expression, all inside of your PS4. The vast range of experiences on offer via Dream Surfing means that no two sessions playing it are ever the same, offering fresh ways to have fun every time you start it up and see what community creations have popped up while you’ve been away. Whether you just want to create, purely play, or get involved in a bit of everything, Dreams offers it all to you.
Read our Dreams review
17. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
After a long wait, the 2020 remake of Final Fantasy VII revitalizes one of the most beloved JRPGs of all time in a (mostly) successful and engaging way. This new version of Midgard probably isn’t just how your brain remembers it looking – it’s much better, with a stunning, detailed, and immersive exploration of the steampunk city. Since part one of ‘Remake’ (subsequent releases will cover the rest of the original story) takes place entirely within Midgard, Square Enix is able to really spend time with the city’s ensemble cast, giving them more nuance and screentime to round out the adventure. And that’s on top of its stellar combat system, a marriage of real-time and more tactical, turn-based systems to create something that’s wholly unique and a joy to master. Part 2 can’t come soon enough.
Overwatch is a brilliant multiplayer shooter brimming with Blizzard’s charm and detail, and it’s one that Blizzard has impressively continued to support with new heroes and updates since its launch in 2016. Overwatch earned Game of the Year from IGN in its launch year, sweeping the IGN offices with multiplayer matches after work and at lunches (and sometimes during the workday) that have continued in the months and years since.
Blizzard’s rock-solid gameplay allows players in whatever role they play on a team to matter. And Blizzard’s impressive attention to detail has created a rich world of lore that permeates the experience, allowing those who just want a fun multiplayer experience to enjoy the action but offering those who want something more a wealth of character and location information to delve into.
Read our Overwatch review
15. Ratchet & Clank
The iconic PlayStation franchise Ratchet and Clank only got better on PS4 with a beautiful, funny update of the duo’s first adventure. More a remix of the original PS2 game than a straight remaster, there is a gorgeous level of detail to the lombax and robot’s adventure, which also makes some noted story improvements. The titular duo’s initial meeting and budding friendship feels more fully formed and smartly written, while the series’ signature humor is in full force throughout. Veldin, Rilgar, and other worlds are beautiful, Pixar-like environments with plenty to explore, and modernizations made to the gameplay make the adventure as fresh as ever. And of course, Insomniac’s signature knack for wacky weapons is on full display in HD, from Mr. Zurkon to the Groovitron. Insomniac has obviously put its recent focus on VR and Spider-Man, but this latest iteration proves Ratchet and Clank has plenty of life left in it.
Read our Ratchet and Clank review
14. Red Dead Redemption 2
Both a stunning technical achievement and a gold standard for video game storytelling in an open world setting, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the greatest games Rockstar Games has ever made, and one of the greatest games ever, period. Red Dead Redemption 2’s world is a sprawling and stunning recreation of the wild west, packed so full of detail and activity it’s almost daunting; getting from A to B is virtually impossible without going off the beaten path to some other distraction. Said distractions are incredibly accomplished, too – side quests, mini-games, hunting, and gathering are all deeply considered parts of Red Dead 2 in their own right.
But of course, it’s Red Dead 2’s characters that stick in the memory most: Arthur Morgan, John Marsten, Sadie, Dutch et al are vibrant, multi-faceted characters, their complex dynamics always shifting and changing, even if their trajectories are set in stone. Red Dead Redemption 2 is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Read our Red Dead Redemption 2 review
13. Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil fans were begging for a remake of the much-beloved Resident Evil 2 for over two decades. After the original RE1 received its stellar GameCube REmake all the way back in 2002, fans waited, and waited… and waited. When it eventually came, it was everything they dreamed of and more. The Resident Evil 7’s RE Engine was reworked into a third-person tour de force, showcasing intensely realistic gore with blood dripping from mangled zombies. Mr. X returned as a force to be reckoned with, its shooting mechanics were pitch-perfect, and terror was palpable throughout. Here’s hoping RE3’s remake raises the bar even further.
Read our Resident Evil 2 Remake review
12. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Uncharted was nicknamed ‘Dude Raider’ when it was first released over how Nathan Drake seemed to be a generic stand-in for Lara Croft in Naughty Dog’s treasure hunting adventure. Over the course of four games, Nathan Drake was able to establish himself as a compelling leading man, but Uncharted: Lost Legacy proved that the same was true for Drake’s supporting cast. Lost Legacy moved the spotlight to treasure hunter Chloe Frazer and mercenary Nadine Ross, Drake’s co-stars in Uncharted 2 and 4 respectively, and discovered there is a verve and chemistry in the cast without Nate. Not only does Lost Legacy open the door for any number of spinoffs that focus on other characters in the Uncharted universe (I think Sully and Elena would make a great duo), but the open sandbox structure unique to Lost Legacy serves as a path forward for the gameplay as well. Huh, actually maybe Nate is a bit more replaceable than we thought.
Read our Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review
11. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is without question the most ambitious entry in the Metal Gear series. So ambitious, in fact, that it’s something of an unfinished masterpiece. While a lot of hardcore fans of the series were disappointed by the game’s scattered story, it’s hard to deny that the moment-to-moment gameplay is absolutely phenomenal. On top of rock-solid movement and a huge, sometimes literal, sandbox to explore, The Phantom Pain gives players a huge arsenal of weapons, vehicles, gadgets, and AI companions to approach missions creatively. As always, stealthy tactical gameplay is rewarded heavily, but if a mission goes sideways (or if you’re feeling squirrelly) the game doesn’t punish you too hard for getting get loud and messy. Even if you’ve never played another Metal Gear game, this is a hell of an experience. If the plot leaves you with a big question mark over your head, don’t feel left out. That’s part of the fun.
An exceptional third-person shooter with a trippy supernatural twist, Control is not only our Game of the Year for 2019 but stands out as one of the most unique adventures of the generation. The seasoned team at Remedy Entertainment brought their years of experience to bear on one of the coolest ability/weapon sets in recent memory, which made for some of the most satisfying and frenetic telekinetic combat ever put to pixels. On top of its excellent super-powered gunplay, Control features some truly inspired environmental design, its Oldest House a shape-shifting labyrinth-like something from a fever dream shared by Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. Throughout its monster-filled halls, you’ll undertake memorable side quests, hunt for upgrades to your abilities and gear, and hunt down a litany of collectibles that all help flesh out the eerie bureaucracy that’s at the center of Control’s impossibly unique experience.
9. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a masterclass in comic book joy, an expertly built world that perfectly encapsulates the child-like wonder of looking up at the looming, inspiring skylines of New York City and the superhero-like triumph of effortlessly scaling the tallest buildings in the Big Apple. It’s a game about Spider-Man made by people who deeply, truly, genuinely adore Spider-Man, from his costumes to his friends, foes, and family.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a gorgeous technical triumph that is utterly sublime to play. One second you’ll be zipping webs above a crowded midtown street, hoisting yourself up into the sunset and flawlessly dashing between giant skyscrapers. The next, dive kicking a thug from a mile in the air, chaining combos between his criminal cohorts, webbing them to walls, and leaping back towards the rooftops without ever touching the ground.
The simple act of soaring and flipping through the city is so satisfying and addictive that you’ll likely want to explore every corner of it and nab every collectible before even finishing the story. Once you do decide to settle down and move the narrative forward, you’ll find a heartwarming story of love and loss, awkward adolescence, and tons and tons of ass kicking. Along the way, you’ll unlock iconic Spider-Man suits, take down nefarious villains in gigantic, explosive setpieces, and bask in the realization that the modern comic book movie renaissance that we’re all so gleefully enjoying has finally, finally made its way back to video games.
Read our Marvel’s Spider-Man review
8. The Last of Us: Remastered
Virus-induced post-apocalyptic zombie survival stories are kind of a dime a dozen across nearly every pop culture medium these days, but The Last of Us manages to stand above the rest by focusing less on the horrors of the world or even a group and more on the core dynamic between two incredibly well written but ultimately tragic characters.
Joel and Ellie begin as two strangers – one of them, a grieving father and the other an orphaned teenage girl – and navigate a nightmarish, creature infested landscape by crafting survival tools, scavenging for weapons, and traversing the crumbling remnants of a once normal society.
With only each other to rely on, their bond strengthens as it tested by not only the deformed, screaming monsters that roam the land, but also the last remaining humans scattered about, some of which turned to vile, sinister acts after the downfall of normalcy. The Last of Us: Remastered tells a tale that is just as engaging to unravel as it is to actually play, thanks to a series of highly polished combat and survival systems and a gorgeously bleak world to explore. It’s equal parts Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and James Mangold’s Logan and the end result is one of the most beautiful and haunting stories ever told in a video game and one that will stick with you for years to come.
Read our The Last of Us Remastered review
7. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon is one of the most beautiful open world games ever crafted. Blades of grass sway in the wind beneath blooming sunrises. Woodland creatures skirt across mossy hills and babbling brooks. Towering cities formed from the ashes of a once prosperous society loom in the distance. And most importantly, giant, awe-inspiring mechanical dinosaurs outfitted with terrifying weaponry roam the land, roaring, gnashing, and trampling their prey. When iconic PlayStation developer Guerrilla Games revealed they were pivoting away from the Killzone franchise to make an open world robot dinosaur hunting game starring a warrior redhead who was outfitted like a pot brownie dealer at Burning Man, the world was cautiously optimistic.
The end result, however, is a vast, wondrous, and unique open world action game with just the right amount of RPG elements that come together to create a brilliant first entry into what players hope will become a legendary franchise for years to come. Taking down a gigantic boss with an active strategy of well-placed melee strikes and projectiles is one of the most thrilling experiences on PlayStation 4, and looting the shrapnel of a downed robot for much-needed upgrade parts afterwards is equally satisfying. Horizon takes some of the best elements of existing open world games and weaves them together to make something wholly original and new.
Read our Horizon Zero Dawn review
6. Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar’s latest and greatest open-world felony simulator made its debut at the tail end of last console generation’s life cycle, breaking records as the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, so it’s no surprise that it got ported to current-gen. Whether you’re after a sprawling single-player campaign that provides ruthless skewering of 21st-century American life, or a constantly-updated online multiplayer component with an extremely active community, or a sandbox where you can do crimes, Grand Theft Auto V really does have something for everyone. Seriously, is there any other game where you can play the stock market AND trip balls on peyote so hard you turn into a deer?
Read our GTA V review
5. Persona 5
A massive, gorgeous JRPG, Persona 5 is an engrossing adventure brimming with style and flair. Set around the fictional Shujin Academy, Persona 5 sees you navigating school life by day and descending into the corrupted mind palaces of villainous opponents in order to change them away from their corrupt endeavors. The students who make up Persona 5’s ensemble cast make indelible marks on the game as they are introduced and further become embroiled in the Phantom Thieves. Persona 5 does a great job of balancing the two facets of its gameplay, letting players really dive into the social connections in the real world and allowing those to influence the dungeon exploration and turn-based action of the massive and varied palaces. Coupled with a continually engaging combat system, a soundtrack full of earworms, and a twisty, wild story, and Persona 5 delivers one of the deepest JRPGs of the generation.
Read our Persona 5 review
4. The Witcher 3
CD Projekt Red’s open-world fantasy epic immediately established the Polish studio as a major contender in the world of AAA video games. Based on the fantasy novels of Andrej Sapkowsky, The Witcher 3 puts players in the role of Geralt of Rivia, a monster-hunter with superhuman abilities.
He’s essentially the archetypal “woodsman” from so many fairy tales, or sort of like a fantasy version of Wolverine who works for the department animal control. When he’s not beheading critters and beasties, Geralt must navigate the tense human political climate, help townsfolk with a variety often hilarious tasks, and still find time for a game of cards and some hot, sensual lovemaking. The Witcher 3 is one of those games where it’s hard to see the bottom. While there’s a big, huge, epic story to get caught up in, it’s just as easy to fall in love with The Witcher 3’s little details and charming character moments.
Read our The Witcher 3 review
Bloodborne is a brutally difficult, immensely terrifying action horror game that will immediately kick your ass. You’ll spawn, die, and repeat until you throw your controller, swear at your television, and vow to walk away forever. Once outside the dim confines of Bloodborne’s dense, evil, snarling network of contorted beasts, wretched howls, and stark-raving murderous lunatics, you’ll enjoy a quiet, cheerful walk amidst the sunshine in the real world, free from Bloodborne’s punishing ways.
But a voice in your head will begin to ring and linger, calling you back, urging you to return, push forward, and conquer. And when you do, you’ll find yourself improved and fueled, patient and energized, ready to tackle it’s gristled, hairy bosses, rotting cathedrals, and wet, corrupt catacombs. Then you’ll die again, but this time you’ll be stronger, wiser, and older and prepared for the foulest of beasts to leap from the shadows and tear you apart all over again. Bloodborne is a horrible, vile world where every reward brings risks and fear is palpable. And while its challenges feel insurmountable and out of reach, your skill and determination will eventually prevail and you’ll press forward through the night. Death is frequent. Frustration is certain. But ultimately, victory is possible, and when achieved, becomes one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Read our Bloodborne review
2. The Last of Us, Part 2
The follow-up to 2013’s The Last of Us is the pinnacle of Naughty Dog’s storytelling ambitions during the life of the PS3 and PS4. Learning from the successes and relative failing of past Uncharted games – and even the original The Last of Us – Part 2’s ambitious, uncompromising story delivers at nearly every unexpected turn.Its character studies are poignant, risky, and powerful, in large part because Naughty Dog forces you, the player, to play through them and do your best to understand them, even if you don’t agree with every choice. It’s also perhaps Naughty Dog’s most mechanically complex game to date, with its stealth and action delivering moment after moment that feels like it should be scripted but is instead organic. The variety and room for both planning and improvisation instill every encounter with tension, perhaps only matched by the incredible storytelling throughout.
Read our Last of Us Part II Review
God of War shows an obvious level of care that went into crafting its world, characters, and gameplay, evolving a longstanding PlayStation franchise into a testament to the power of storytelling in video games, and making it our choice for the best PlayStation game, period. Every aspect of God of War on PlayStation 4 feels intentional, interconnecting with every other major aspect of the game, making exploring every inch of its world a rewarding opportunity.
Everything from the main narrative to side missions to seemingly innocuous collectibles factor into your, and Kratos’, understanding of the world and its major players. And God of War brilliantly never makes any of that feel like a dry history lesson, from the use of Atreus’ journal as a way of communicating information through his eyes to the many hilarious but insightful musings from Mimir, God of War is constantly making smart, economical use of storytelling. It’s also just such a fun experience, with Kratos’ axe being one of the most satisfying game weapons we’ve used in a while, and bundled with smart progression, fascinating environments, and an impactful story, God of War is undoubtedly one of the best experiences of the generation.
Read our God of War review