This list was originally published on February 13, 2018, but it's time for its very first update!
The PlayStation 4 has had quite a lifetime. In fact, it's far from dead—it's still kicking, with dozens of big and small games on the way.
To celebrate the PlayStation 4, we've been meaning to make a list of the best games for it. Whether it's souped up ports of last-generation games with an online mode that will never die, or technical marvels that are impressive by any standard, we've put all our heads together to come up with a sorta-definitive list of the very best PS4 games available. If you've been fishing for a new game to play that you maybe missed out on, or are late to the console in general, then you're in luck.
And it won't remain static either. As the months and years fly by (and with the PlayStation 4 Pro, who knows if the PS4 will ever truly die), we'll update this list of the 15 Best PS4 games accordingly, replacing games and noting the changes as they come. In the meantime, here they are, the 15 Best PS4 games the console offers.
Bloodborne might be the best of the Soulsborne milieu. For those turned off by the deliberate, tactical combat of Dark Souls, it offers something decidedly different—fast-paced duels that lean heavily on parries. That's not to say that it's your typical hack-and-slash action game, but it perhaps does a better job than the Souls games of finding a good middle ground. On top of that, Bloodborne brings a Victorian horror sensibility that feels appropriate for the genre, but also manages to feel fresh and unique. Bloodborne was arguably the first great PlayStation 4 exclusive, and it remains quite well-regarded today. It's an essential addition to any PlayStation 4 owner's library.—Kat Bailey
God of War
The newest addition to the list is actually a soft reboot of one of Sony's past successes. Sony Santa Monica looked back at its God of War franchise, grabbed an anvil, and hammered out a new future for the franchise. Rage monster Kratos is older, wiser, and joined by his young son, Atreus. Together, the pair journey across the realms of Norse mythology, which let Sony Santa Monica's artists wow you with some beautiful environmental design that puts even the PlayStation 4 Pro through its paces. Combat refocuses around the new Leviathan Axe, which allows for more tactical options than Kratos' old Blades of Chaos. Ultimately, it all comes together in something that feels like an epic fantasy adventure, like The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or The Wizard of Oz. God of War might be the newest addition to this list, but it stands alongside the others. —Mike Williams
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the MMORPG I dreamed about while watching anime about MMORPGs (like .hack). A Realm Reborn is one of the purest MMO experiences, offering players a streamlined system that feels simple and unrestrictive. The world is huge and gorgeous, the beauty of the game alone ignites a genuine excitement for adventure. I want to live and breath the world of A Realm Reborn, which should be the goal of any MMO that wants to end up on a Best-of list. —Matt Kim
Imagine a sandbox, like a literal sandbox. The ones you played in as a kid. That's what playing Hitman feels like. When Hitman was first announced, and then peddled backwards as an episodic release, the world was skeptical. An episodic release for a Hitman game? It can't work. And yet, it did work. It worked better than anyone could have intended. And it has all to do with the intricate level design for each chapter's playable space. In Hitman, a hit can go in any wild direction. You can choke out a million waiters and pile them in a bathroom for no reason, or follow objectives to a tee to get that man to whack a golf ball that explodes when he goes out to practice. The world is truly your oyster in Hitman, and that's what makes it such a delight. —Caty McCarthy
Inside is a puzzle-platformer from the same developers of Limbo. Like Limbo, Inside is a bleak, eerie little game. You play as a young boy once more, only instead of nature being out to get you, it's a world of nefarious adults, biting dogs, and a creepy factory filled with mysterious beings. At the start, seemingly, you're breaking out of something. Soon, it becomes apparent that you're actually breaking in, and what you find inside gets increasingly more disturbing the deeper you travel. Overall, Inside is an ambiguous game. Some will say it's a game about video games. Others will say that's bullshit. But it doesn't matter: like all great art, Inside is endlessly open to interpretation. It just so happens that no matter your interpretation, you'll be saying, "what the hell" by its end. —Caty McCarthy
The Last Guardian
If you've ever had a pet that you loved very dearly, then The Last Guardian is an essential game to play. From Fumito Ueda, the creator behind Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, The Last Guardian is his underrated masterpiece. It's a moving story about unlikely companionship between two species, and how they grow to care and understand one another. Trico, the giant griffin-like creature you befriend, was hyped before release to have remarkable lifelike AI. Playing the game, that hype becomes the goshdarn truth: no other game has ever captured the feeling of a live animal, until this one. —Caty McCarthy
Persona 5 is one of those rare games I wish I could experience all over again for the first time. Unfortunately, it's impossible to re-capture those foggy, rainy April days when I ate fresh fruit while slowly unravelling the mystery set before my team of misfit teenagers. If you haven't played Persona 5 yet, put the pedal to the metal and drive straight into everything it has to offer. The latest entry in this beloved series isn't too terribly different from other traditional turn-based JRPGs, but even its well-worn elements feel fresh and fantastic thanks to the game's vivid shades of black and red. And the soundtrack … oh, gosh. I can't wait until the inevitable "update" to Persona 5 arrives (on the Nintendo Switch. Calling it). I miss those dumb demon-summoning kids. —Nadia Oxford
Monster Hunter: World
You'll know you're hooked on Monster Hunter: World the first time you encounter a large beast and it roars so loudly that your avatar is frozen, unable to move. Capcom's long-running series finds full expression on the PlayStation 4 as it pits you against hordes of dinosaurs and dragons, each larger than the last. Its world feels lush and real in HD, drawing you in as you hike through jungles, deserts, and boneyards in search of more monsters to hunt. Like so many other games in this day and age, Monster Hunter: World is all about getting loot, but its strength is in the way that you have to plan out every single move—there's no mindless hacking and slashing in Monster Hunter: World. It's a rabbit hole that runs quite deep, especially as you start breaking into the high rank hunts. It's apt to keep you busy for a long time to come. —Kat Bailey
Nier: Automata is a lot of things. First and foremost, it's one of the best games on the PlayStation 4. But Automata is also a success story for long-working Japanese game director Yoko Taro, whose work has only ever been relegated to "cult" status. It's a comeback for a series that never received the recognition it deserved when the first Nier (itself a spinoff of Taro's Drakengard series) flopped on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It's a comeback for PlatinumGames that faced a couple of missteps in recent years, and it's the birth of a new franchise at Square Enix. Nier: Automata is, in short, a miracle, and it deserves to be on the list of one of the best PS4 games of all-time. —Matt Kim
Rocket League is on many platforms these days, but the PlayStation 4 was where many fans discovered its brilliant mix of soccer and RC racing. As always, Rocket League is fun at the outset, but also demands a certain level of technical prowess. Its emphasis on aerials—in which you launch yourself in the air to play the ball—and other advanced moves makes it spectacularly fun to watch, and even more fun to play. It's so good that the creator of SSX said it was the natural successor to his beloved snowboarding series. It's the perfect palette cleanser after a long session with The Witcher 3. —Kat Bailey
First-person shooters are a dime a dozen. But good first-person shooters? A tad rarer. Titanfall 2 rose above everything weighing it down, being a sequel free from the clutches of console exclusivity; a sequel that introduced a single-player story campaign for the first time; a sequel slated for release between two of the biggest shooters of the year (Call of Duty and Battlefield). Titanfall 2 was destined for failure, and yet, it was a critical success (not so much commercially though). The greatest thing about the mecha-centered shooter was its shocking campaign. It's a breezy campaign, playable in six or so hours; every chapter introduces a new, one-level-only mechanic to spice up gameplay. From a time-travel gimmick to a throwback gun that headshots everything, Titanfall 2 leaves no time wasted. And it's a hell of a ride. —Caty McCarthy
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Uncharted 4 had its issues, the most glaring of which was that it was too long and too dramatic. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy fixes both of those problems, the first by opting for a slightly more open-ended structure, and the latter by giving series mainstay Chloe Frazer the spotlight. With a new heroine, and a more condensed structure, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy became the definitive Uncharted experience on the PS4. Lost Legacy is all the fun and excitement the series excelled at on the PS3, but more excitingly, opens up a huge world of possibilities now that we know the series doesn't solely rest on the lovable but retired back of Nathan Drake. —Matt Kim
It should only take you about 10 hours to experience everything Undertale has to offer, but your emotions will swing back and forth like a pendulum in that short time. Toby Fox's deconstruction of RPGs and video games in general will make you laugh, cry, gasp, and cheer. Even though there are three story routes to play through (and one of them contains some famously difficult boss fights), Undertale isn't the kind of game you find yourself going back to again and again. Instead, you just visit it as many times as is necessary to tie its story threads together, and the mark that story makes sits in the center of your heart for a long, long time. By the way, that soundtrack? [Chef's kiss] —Nadia Oxford
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
On the surface, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may seem like any other fantasy-inclined RPG. You primarily play as a gruff man, you have an open world to explore with monsters in it to slay, you have a horse named Roach that magically arises from bushes should you call her. But The Witcher 3 rises above its traditional conventions: soon you're on a journey to find your surrogate daughter, lost loves, and hunt monsters while lending a helping hand to townsfolk per your job title as a Witcher; and what a rich world you end up exploring. Whether it's the smallest, most mundane side quests that are unafraid to go in bold, sometimes harrowing directions—even when you stumble on them by accident on the road to somewhere else, or the many endearing characters you meet all along the way, The Witcher 3 hosts one of the most welcoming and lively open worlds ever crafted. It's not just one of the greatest games of this generation, but of all-time. —Caty McCarthy
For a long time, the Yakuza games were underground, niche releases in the West. A pair of back-to-back Yakuza releases turned the ship around on the series: Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami. This one punch last year saw the Yakuza series reach a wider audience. The truth is, there's nothing better than getting lost in the streets of Kamurocho. Those streets have a lot of fights, sure, but Yakuza is well-loved because there's so much more. The city is packed with interesting characters to meet. There's also a host of mini-games available, including karaoke, classic Sega arcade games like Out-Run, fishing, the batting cages, bowling, and Kiryu's beloved slot car races. Yakuza is a series where you just screw around for hours and Yakuza 0 offers some of the best screwing around in the series. —Mike Williams
Sometimes this list changes as new and better games release. We've catalogued this list's replacements and new entries below.
Update 4/16/18: We said bye-bye to Grand Theft Auto 5, and the God of War himself, Kratos, took its place.
You can find our other rotating Best Of lists for current-generation platforms below:
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