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The 25 best PS4 games

GamesRadar logo GamesRadar 06/01/2017 GamesRadar Staff

Sony's PS4 is blessed with one of the greatest line-up of games ever. The latest PlayStation is also this generation's most popular console, and there's a game for pretty much every taste.

Ahead are the finest PS4 games you can buy right now – including recent releases like the magical The Last Guardian, brilliant shooter Titanfall 2, the multiplayer behemoth Battlefield 1, and some real PlayStation heritage in Rise Of The Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration.

Our list works in ascending order, building up to the coveted number one slot. Every entry will tell you whether that particular game is enhanced for the new PS4 Pro – and offer alternate recommendations should you want even more of a particular genre. Best of all, many of the best PS4 games can be picked up at bargain prices, and we'll update you on the best deals as we go.

Weighed down by a litany of server malfunctions, Driveclub sank like a particularly shiny stone at release. But developer Evolution Studios wasn't about to give up on its motoring labour of love - in the months between then and now the game's been stabilised, expanded and transformed by a steady stream of updates and DLC. Today, so long as you avoid playing it in VR, Driveclub delivers and even exceeds its promise: a coming together of fanatical graphical detail, a pleasing handling model and social features you’ll actually appreciate. The competition isn’t exactly fierce on PS4 for Evolution Studios’ current-gen racer, but it crushes the rivals nonetheless. Which only makes Sony's decision to close down the studio in March 2016 all the more dispiriting.

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes (for Driveclub VR)

Also consider: Dirt Rally

Seemingly the result of an improbable dare issued to Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation not only allied itself with the erstwhile toxic Aliens license but threw gunplay out of the window almost entirely. Instead, the game is a perpetual cat-and-mouse game between the under-equipped player and their xenomorph pursuer. A brave and exceptionally well-crafted first-person horror, Alien Isolation allows you to explore Ridley Scott’s original vision of a horror-tinged future in startling fidelity, with an attention to detail that borders on the obsessive. It’s time to remember what made the xenomorph so scary in the first place... and then get killed by it. Repeatedly.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Styx: Master Of Shadows, Stealth Inc

If you've ever wished you could be in the Star Wars films, blaster in hand, shooting Stormtroopers like a scruffy-looking nerf herder, Star Wars Battlefront is the game for you. Whether it's the perfectly palette-matched leaves under your feet on Endor, or the sense of cold as you peer into an ice cave looking for movement, everything looks and feels just right. The shooting's great fun too, offering a simpler, more instantly gratifying multiplayer experience than the likes of CoD or Battlefield. You can even ride a speeder bike through the Ewoks' forest with full control of direction and firing. No other game is as close to playing a movie, so if you love Star Wars, you need to play this. It's now cheaper than ever to buy, with a range of DLC packs adding locations such as Bespin and, most recently, the Death Star.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Remove presentation from the equation – where FIFA 17 is still king – and there is no better sports sim out there than PES 2017. Every footballing fundamental – passing, tackling, shooting, heading – feels uncannily like the real thing, and its player AI is exceptional. That’s true on both sides of the ball: never again will you bemoan a team-mate making a stupid run, but you will find yourself constantly challenged by the impressive variety of opposition tactics and strategies. It’s the purists’ football game, requiring thought as well as stick skills, and while the series’ licensing woes grate as ever, they are fixable on PS4 via the ability (at last!) to import fan-made option files, rather than unwieldy previous workarounds. Truly, the beautiful game.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider:NBA 2K17, FIFA 17, MLB The Show 16

Blizzard's team-based blaster - Overwatch - blitzed the 2016 Golden Joystick awards, scoring gongs for [deep breath] best original game, best multiplayer, best gaming moment, best competitive game *and* best PC game. It’s just as essential on PS4, with its six-on-six battles packed with charismatic heroes, crazy abilities and shouty, sweary, spectacular moments – getting Play Of The Game at least once is a genuine life goal. Each mode has specific objectives, which deliver a tangible aim to every match, and like Street Fighter everyone who’s played it for any length of time gets attached to their particular favourite. GR+’s choice? Jetpack-powered Pharah. Come at her, bros.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Planetside 2

The sublime writing and pacing of this episodic narrative will have you agonising over choices, and then marvelling at their flawless integration. Life is Strange starts off as a fairly innocuous teen-life simulator and throughout the episodes transforms into something… very different. To quote heroine Max’s BFF Chloe, it’s “hella” good, and certainly a lot darker than you may initially think. In an ironic nod to the lead character’s ability to rewind time - you’ll wish you could play it all over again for the first time.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

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Also consider: Tales From The Borderlands

Four adrenaline-driven teens embark on the journey of a lifetime, but this ain’t no Road Trip. The RPG tale of Prince Noctis and his merry band straddles fantasy and reality with almost balletic grace, throwing in titanic monsters and classic missions alongside conversations about the weather and visuals that just sing "America". Final Fantasy 15's story is bonkers and its final destination a genuine surprise, but it's still a winding, delight-strewn road that Square converts are duty bound to travel – with sufficient appeal in its blockbuster battles and eclectic quest mix to suck in Fantasy novices, too. 

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Dragon Age: Inquisition 

Once destined to live its life as a PS Move curio on PS3, Supermassive Games’ ode to the teen slasher movie emerged on PS4 with a rusty, bloody axe in one hand and a rather nasty looking set of consequence-based choices in the other. The real beauty of Until Dawn is in a) the well-crafted, largely flawed cast of characters, and b) the horrific ends that they meet at the hands of the antagonist(s). In other words, you’ll want most of them to die sticky deaths, and although saving each one is a fun challenge, it’s an accepted and enjoyable nod to horror tropes when they get executed in the most gruesome fashion. For those who've invested in a PS VR headset, be sure to make spin-off Until Dawn: Rush of Blood one of your first purchases. Then lock all doors and windows before first play.

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes (for Until Dawn: Rush of Blood)

Also consider: Gone Home

Like the very best puzzle games, The Witness has a way of making you feel like a certified genius, even though it's teaching you the path to success every step of the way. There are no time limits, lives, or stakes in general to worry about here - you're simply wandering through a gorgeous and mysterious island littered with line puzzles that are far more engaging than they sound. The difficulty curve is brilliant, and exploring your picturesque surroundings might be just the mental break you need to arrive at a 'Eureka!' moment whenever you get a bit stuck. There's also a serene appeal to mulling over all the heady concepts conveyed by bits of evocative poetry and films scattered about the island, if that sort of thing floats your boat. Oh, and the hidden images tucked into the environment are simply breathtaking.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Day Of The Tentacle Remastered, Journey

You haven’t lived until you’ve enjoyed a four-player free-for-all in this instant couchplay classic. There's a level of depth to TowerFall Ascension's arena-based archery bouts that continues to surprise, delight, and forces you to evolve your play style practically every time you go back to it. And you'll go back to it a lot. The solo campaign is an enjoyable sideshow and an opportunity to hone your skills, but almost nothing beats the arrow-grabbing, death-defying last-second kills of local multiplayer mayhem. Best of all, the replay function shows you that maelstrom of pixels in ultra-satisfying slow-mo after each round-ending kill.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Assault Android Cactus

It's become so routine to chastise both major shooters at every turn that any praise for Battlefield or CoD these days immediately turns into a flame war. However, the former's place on this list is absolutely justified. Battlefield 1's slight taming of vehicle sections, for instance, drives you into more intimate combat – with brutal results that remind you this consequence-free video game takes roots in a conflict that was all-too-real. To that end, solo war-based missions are a welcome break from the chaos of 64-way multiplayer, although the series' gunpowder-baked bread-'n-butter is as frantic and moreish as it's ever been. It doesn't transform the genre the way its longstanding rival did with Modern Warfare – but that doesn't make it any less playable.

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes

Also consider:Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare

If you've ever wanted to become the Batman, Batman: Arkham Knight is the closest you can get (outside of actually donning a pointy-eared cape and cowl). The series' final instalment sets you free in a massive open-world ripe with Riddler trophies to find, crimes to stop, and thugs to brutally incapacitate. It's got all of the series staples like the intricate combat system, sneaky predator sequences, and crime scene investigations, but the Batmobile adds a new dimension to your heroics. Need to get from point A to B? Hop in the Batmobile. Want to take down some goons? Shoot them with the Batmobile's 'non-lethal' cannon. Need to break down a wall? You know the Batmobile has that covered. Batman: Arkham Knight is the complete Batman experience, and you don't want to miss it.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Batman: Return To Arkham, Batman Arkham VR

Exactly two decades on from her PlayStation debut – hence the PS4 version of Rise Of The Tomb Raider being subtitled the '20 Year Celebration' edition – Lara Croft delivers another must-own round of substantive combat and taxing-yet-enjoyable puzzling. The storyline, with Crofty venturing through Siberia in an attempt to complete her father's work in the lost city of Kitezh, doesn't scream originality but packs in some genuine shocks, while the platforming and zip-lining mechanics take Lara to heights she's never before reached – and not just figuratively. Choose to pick it up on PS4 and you also get all previous DLC, a new co-op Endurance option, and Blood Ties single player content. And you really should choose to pick it up.

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes

Also consider: Lara Croft and the Temple Of Osiris

Like a full-bodied Stilton, this modern masterpiece just gets stronger with age. The Last of Us Remastered is a starkly brutal, emotionally-honest take on the end of the world, Naughty Dog’s stealth shooter is quite simply one of the best written, most wryly-paced video games ever. With the jump to (a mostly stable) 60fps on PS4, TLOU has never been sharper to play or more devastating to watch. Whether refining the undead or redefining what a game script can be, this is Naughty Dog at the peak of its powers. And with Left Behind bundled in, you’re also being treated to arguably the finest slice of DLC in PlayStation history.

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes

Also consider:Metro Redux

The first Dishonored was so great there isn’t much room for manoeuvre here, in terms of quality: you’re again getting an options-packed adventure brimming with deftly woven narrative tales, set in a thoroughly believable world. What Dishonored 2, set 15 years later, adds is a second playable character – choose between original hero Corvo or super-powerful protege Emily. Supernatural abilities such as the latter’s grapple-like Far Reach again deliver both flair and fun, while a small-but-major improvement to melee combat is being able to turn a parry into a non-lethal knockout, making murder less of a necessity if stealth is your jam. The only notable drawback is assumed knowledge – the storyline makes little sense if you've not played the first game.  

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes

Also consider: BioShock Collection 

After roughly a million years in development (ok, it was revealed back in 2007), The Last Guardian is finally out on PS4. And it’s a glorious, beautiful thing to behold. Essentially a puzzle game, it focuses on the relationship between a lost boy and his adopted pet Trico. Not sure exactly what Trico actually is, but it seems like a giant cat-eagle thing. What makes this so special is how alive the creature seems, its behaviours as realistic as they are endearing. 

The journey that the two share as they escape a mysterious prison is magical, and many of the scenarios you play through will leave you heart-in-mouth, strengthening the bond between you and both on-screen protagonists. Was it worth the wait? A few framerate issues aside, yes, as this is one of the most wonderful, unique games you’ll play on PS4. 

PS Pro enhanced: Yes

Also consider: Journey

This modern reboot is worthy of the name Doom, and is basically the FPS equivalent of a muscular body: it's speedy, empowering, and hits incredibly hard. You awake as the classic Doomguy to begin another spree of demon genocide on a Mars colony, with a surprisingly intriguing plotline that explains how you're able to murder so many Hellspawn. There's a primal satisfaction to whipping out a Super Shotgun, blasting an Imp's innards into oblivion, and then performing a lighting-fast, stunningly violent Glory Kill on the demon who caught shrapnel just behind him. The classic weapons and enemy types benefit from new additions like upgrades and double-jumping, making Doom one of the most frenetically fun shooters of all time. 

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider:Wolfenstein: The New Order

Blurring the lines between single-player shooting and co-op camaraderie, Bungie has created an epic MMO hybrid built on incredibly fluid firefights. The first 20 hours and a relatively disappointing ‘campaign’ eventually blossom into the real Destiny; a near infinite end-game of Raids, Nightfall Strikes and chasing delicious Exotic gear. In the Vault of Glass Raid, Destiny may well play host to the most expertly designed, sustained shooting gallery on PS4. Couple that with the wonderfully balanced Crucible PvP and the insatiable desire to keep improving your Guardians' gear, and this is an essential experience with friends. 

Now a vast, wide-ranging platform of RPG shooting delights - rather than the mere 'great game' it once was - Destiny's latest Rise of Iron expansion builds up on the colossal Taken King with hours upon hours more exploration, experimentation, growth, and plain old, moment-to-moment fun. 

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider:Overwatch, Titanfall 2

The White Wolf himself finally rides onto PS4 in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and brings with him one of the most diverse and challenging RPG worlds ever seen. Mesmerising to look at and utterly engrossing to play, CD Projekt RED’s farewell to Geralt is a new high for the genre. What really impresses are the genuinely entertaining missions, and the eclectic cast of characters that bring the world to life. While combat can be challenging at first, once you get into it, there’s enough depth here to keep you interested for the duration. Not to mention it's recently been further bolstered by the often-astonishing Blood And Wine expansion DLC. Essential in every way.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, Shadow of Mordor

One of the biggest shocks in 2016? This cyber-shooter sequel entering game of the year contention. Where its fun-yet-shallow predecessor quickly developed rust, Titanfall 2 is an absolute colossus of a game, overflowing with unique twists in a genre which long ago anchored itself in a sea of wash-rinse-repeat. Its campaign offers true freedom while still retaining a sense of the familiar, its navigation and combat feel truly three-deminsional, and its big-gun battles are an adrenaline rush even Optimus Prime would struggle to contain. A special, special game which, in execution, is anything but robotic.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider:Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare 

Bloodborne is PS4’s first truly great, bespokely created exclusive. In Yharnam, From Software has made one of the most unerringly atmospheric worlds on PS4. This is a city that drips with dread; every corner potentially hiding a grotesque beast or fascinatingly twisted piece of lore. Though there may be fewer weapons than in Dark Souls, the new Trick variants (capable of morphing between long and short-form states) are among the most empowering virtual slaughtering tools you’ll ever find. With the finest third-person melee combat in all of games, drool-worthy art design and the most twisted monsters in the biz, this is a gorgeously gothic must-have. Bit hard, mind.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Dark Souls 3, Salt & Sanctuary

Uncharted 4’s true successes lie in the details. Oh, sure, you have the big action set-pieces that the series is known for, where everything hero Nathan Drake touches falls apart around him. And the attention to detail in those moments - how wood splinters into pieces under gunfire, or how Nathan's clothing gets caked in mud during a high-octane car chase - certainly makes it shine as a bit of impressive tech to show off to your friends. But it's how Uncharted nails the small moments that makes it truly great. 

For the first time in the series, Naughty Dog has given the series' characters some room to grow as actual people, filling in the details where you least expect them to, and these smaller moments make the big ones feel all that more impactful. As explosive as Uncharted 4 is, it's also deeply personal - and it's a hell of a showpiece for your PS4, to boot. 

PS4 Pro enhanced: Yes

Also consider: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

Hitting PS4 with the atomic force of a Fat Boy, Fallout 4’s excellent gunplay and crafting systems can trigger a nasty case of RPG-itis. There’s so much to do and see here, and quite often you set off to complete a mission and get completely side-tracked when you find something wonderful/horrific along the way. Giving the main character a proper voice adds an extra layer of polish to proceedings, and the expanded set of companions and customisation options are very welcome too. It’s not without its faults (or vaults), but the scale of Bethesda’s wasteland will keep you bunkered down for weeks.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The magic of Grand Theft Auto 5 - our favourite PS3 game - and its reappearance on current-gen hardware isn’t in the improved textures, shinier cars or even the brilliantly executed new first-person mode. It’s in the way each addition and improvement combines to enthral and seduce you all over again to sink another blissful 50 hours into Los Santos without it ever feeling like a re-run. Also: an unhealthy dose of first-person cat-stomping. If tabby-kicking isn’t your thing, GTA: Online – with its mega online Heists and improved character creator – is sure to gets it claws into you. Quite simply, it represents the definitive edition of the greatest open-world game ever made.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs

Konami might try to scrub Hideo Kojima’s name from the ultimate in tactical espionage action, but it’ll never remove his fingerprints. While retaining that distinct storytelling and sense of wonder that defines the Metal Gear series, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain offers a level of freedom and creativity unheard of in any sandbox. It’s something to be explored for days, weeks, months – each little secret and hidden slice of gameplay just waiting to be found and to make players rethink the way they approach the game. 

Plus, it’s got a killer '80s soundtrack, and some wonderfully gruff voice-acting from Kiefer Sutherland. Grand, majestic and bittersweet, this is an instant classic and the finest thing you can shove into your PS4. It's also recently been re-released as MGS5: The Definitive Experience, which contains prologue MGS5: Ground Zeroes plus all the Metal Gear Online DLC items, so that's the version to go for.

PS4 Pro enhanced: No

Also consider: Hitman

Looking for something to play next? Here's all the best upcoming PS4 games of 2017 and beyond, including Resident Evil 7, The Last of Us 2 and more.


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