The PlayStation 4 is now out for a suggested retail price of $399. It's an exciting time from a technology perspective, but which games should you buy? Here's the complete PS4 launch list. We've highlighted the games we've already reviewed, so just click on a name if you want to read more. Below the list, Team USG talk about their own personal favorites and why they're recommending them.
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Battlefield 4
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- Need for Speed: Rivals
- Madden NFL 25
- Blacklight: Retribution
- NBA 2K14
- Pinball Arcade
- Skylanders Swap Force
- Super Motherload
- Switch Galaxy Ultra
- Sound Shapes
- Tiny Brains
- War Thunder
- DC Universe Online
- FIFA 14
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- Just Dance 2014
- Killzone Shadow Fall
The great news is if you already own a PS3 copy of this game, you can download it for free on the PS4. And if you don't - well, you need to check out what you missed the first time around. This next-gen Flower is basically the same as the PS3 version, but it's had a full hi-res makeover. Even so, it doesn't look like much from the screenshots, but that's because it's a game that's all about its movement. The way everything flows, the stunning lighting, and the subtle detail of the landscapes is just gorgeous. It's so simple, so relaxing, and so fun - a serene chill-out game that's like a breath of fresh air.
While there are plenty of bigger name launch games that are very tempting to buy, Flower is well worth a look. It's a classic. Really different, and it's something that everyone can enjoy playing. It also shows off your PS4 in a way that'll really surprise you.
Need for Speed: Rivals
Right now, I think Need for Speed: Rivals is the best PlayStation 4 game currently available. I've played it extensively, and it's easily one of the best chase-and-race games yet seen. It builds on the features seen in the franchise's much-loved Hot Pursuit, but adds even better multiplayer integration, and gives you even more things to do. What makes this game particularly good is the fact that single-player and multiplayer are seamlessly integrated, so if you play with friends, you can see exactly what they're doing and join in on their missions if you want. Or you can just drive straight past them and carry on doing whatever it is you're doing. Or even turn around and give them some grief.
With its great roster of cars, comprehensive cop and racer career modes, tons of missions and stunning looks and sound, Need for Speed: Rivals is flat-out brilliant.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
While Ghosts' single-player game won't keep you busy for much more than perhaps an afternoon and a bit of an evening, it does have some spectacular set-pieces and is really good fun while it lasts. But what you'll stay for is the multiplayer, and this time around it's... well... it feels like more of the same, but it's been refined, fettled and tweaked to perfection. The Dualshock 4 pad also works superbly, and coming from a mouse-and-keyboard snob like me, that's high praise.
My favorite aspect of the game is Extinction, which is a multiplayer co-op mode where up to four players work together to fend off an alien invasion. Unfortunately it doesn't take long to work through it, but it's immense fun while it lasts. A special mention should also go to Squads, which is a bot mode that lets you experiment with different loadouts for your AI team and then take them into battle against other bots. In many respects, it's just as much fun as multiplayer - only you don't have to deal with real people. Great fun, and something I hope Infinity Ward continues to develop in future iterations of the Call of Duty series.
I wrote about Resogun in pretty respectable detail back at TGS, but here's the budget version: Take Defender, make it look all funky and flashy in the Tempest 2000 style, slather it with more ridiculous particle effects than any one game could ever need, and hey presto.
A fairly simple shooter -- you move along what amounts to a 2D plane, though it wraps around a torus -- Resogun uses sparkly graphics and a huge amount of moving objects to take a 30-year-old arcade game and give it the sort of sweaty-palmed intensity kids crave in their games these days. With resources to fret over and defend, power-ups to acquire, and wave after wave of escalating threats to deal with, Resogun is the twitchy fallback favorite for PS4 -- its Geometry Wars, to evoke a well-worn cliché. Of all the PS4 games I've played so far, it's easily the most entertaining... and I suspect it's a sign of things to come for the platform. Certainly it's why I'm excited about PS4. Those big-budget multiplatform titles are known quantities at this point, but the exclusive, digital-only projects by small games will keep things lively.
Need for Speed Rivals
I'm admittedly not much of a racing fan, but I like driving. Need for Speed is really about the latter, with the concept of racing sort of tacked on to offer context rather than substance. Really, Rivals challenges you to get from point A to point B pretty much any way you like, possibly destroying a tremendous amount of private property in the process. There are cop chases and hideouts and secrets galore scattered through an essentially open world. In other words, it's basically the best parts of Grand Theft Auto V minus the horrible, unlikable characters -- and it looks absolutely stunning.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
I'll admit to being surprised by this one. After Revelations and Assassin's Creed III, I thought I was done with this series. But Black Flag, while still kind of a mess and victim of Ubisoft's resolute refusal to rectify some of the franchise's perpetual flaws, swipes a great many of its predecessors' shortcomings from the table. It generally focuses on playability over spectacle, and the more tiresome gimmicks and set pieces of the past few games are in short supply -- well, so far as I've seen, anyway. Since saves don't carry over from PS3 to PS4, I decided to cut short my time with the game on last generation's hardware in favor of holding out for the prettier version. Now I just need to find the time to dig into it....
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was great on PlayStation 3, but the PlayStation 4 version outdoes it; I said as much in my review. The PS4 version brings better lighting, higher-resolution textures, great water effects, real-time foliage, and more to the table. The game also adds Vita Remote Play and touchpad controls for smooth map handling. Ubisoft took one of the last great current generation games and gave it a solid tune-up. If you're getting it on one platform and you're buying a PlayStation 4, how can you pass this up?.
Need for Speed: Rivals
Need for Speed: Rivals looks amazing, and it's one of the highest-rated PlayStation 4 launch titles. We here at USgamer gave it a 5 out of 5 and it's a clear step up from Need for Speed: Most Wanted graphically. The same cops and robbers gameplay for Hot Pursuit is combined with the open-world gameplay of Most Wanted, and the addition of Alldrive online turns every session into one long, continuous race. It's exciting, it's great-looking, and it makes the case for next-gen.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Look, this game doesn't feature those hot next-gen graphics, but if you're a fan of Marvel Comics and you don't have Lego Marvel on another system, you can't go wrong here. I bought it on the PlayStation 4 after finishing the game the first time on Xbox 360. Like I said in my review of the PS4 version, Lego Marvel isn't a system seller, but it's a great game for families and Marvel Comics fans. It's an awesome little title with a lot of love for its source material.
I had the good fortune to sneak a bit of hands-on time with Housemarque's Resogun at the 2013 Eurogamer Expo, and I came away very impressed, much as Jeremy was at TGS. I was more impressed than I was expecting, in fact.
I mean, sure, at heart, it's just Defender on cylindrical levels, but by golly if it isn't the best update of a classic arcade game since Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. It's one of those games that's simple to understand and get started with, but enormously addictive. And it's quite a spectacle, too; the sight of the engine not even breaking a sweat at everything exploding into showers of voxels any time you blow anything up is a good indicator of the increased horsepower the PlayStation 4 brings. There's no better way to unwind than with a good, score-attack shooter.
I love Flower. "Art games" can be hit or miss, but Flower is just a straight-up enjoyable game even if you don't try to contemplate what deeper meaning -- if any -- it might have. If you've never played it before, the PS4 rerelease is a good time to jump in. If you already own a copy, you get the PS4 version for free, so what better time to revisit it?.
Need for Speed: Rivals
A welcome return to form for the series, Need for Speed Rivals is about as much fun as it's possible to have on four wheels. Okay, you can play almost the exact same game on PS3 and Xbox 360, but if you've already picked up a PS4 there's no reason to settle for second best.
Warframe is a great experience, nonetheless. You can't go wrong with a game that boasts of co-operative missions, far too many unlockables and space ninjas in every shape and size. Especially when it's free to download!
It makes sense that Resogun would be the PS4's Geometry Wars since developer Housemarque already made Super Stardust HD, also known as the PS3's Geometry Wars. While Housemarque hasn't produced anything quite as sublime as the original Geometry Wars, they do good work (like Super Stardust and the excellent downloadable Metroidvania game Outland). Add in the PS Plus promotion and this is probably the first thing I'll play on the PS4.
Like Flower, Sound Shapes has already proven its brilliance. It's Jonathan Mak's fine follow-up to his breakthrough game, Everyday Shooter. And where that game was conceived as an album of twin-stick shooters, where each level had its own aesthetic and gameplay mechanic, Sound Shapes takes a similar approach to the 2D platformer genre. There are a few "albums" of levels here, each one featuring its own art and music. And if you're so inclined, you can make your own. If you haven't played this game on the PS3 or PS Vita, it's absolutely worth picking up on PS4. The final Beck level alone made the game worth it for me.
Not to take anything away from the game itself (it's a pretty-looking third-person shooter with space ninjas), but the fact that this free-to-play game is up for a digital preorder baffles me. We have become a culture hell-bent on commercializing, desperate to consume with every passing heartbeat. Perhaps Warframe will help dull the sting of this terrible realization for a few fleeting moments. Get it, I guess. We are all lost anyway.
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