THE PLAYSTATION 5 IS NOW AVAILABLE, but it’s very difficult to locate in stock everywhere. The good news is that several of the top PS5 games are also PS4 releases. The PS4 isn’t going away anytime soon. This Sony system contains a vast collection of outstanding big-budget and independent video games. We don’t have enough words or pages to list them all. Still, we’ve selected a handful of the top games for PS4 available right now, and they’re all compatible with the PS5. Every player has their tastes, but these titles are worth your time no matter what type of gamer you are.
With PS5 shortages now projected to extend until 2022, this year remains a good opportunity for PS4 users to catch up on all of the good titles from the previous generation. There’s a lot of stuff fighting for your attention between third-party standouts and Sony’s great exclusives, so we’ve compiled this list to showcase the best of the best games for PS4.
The titles on this list were not picked lightly; this list was assembled by the entire IGN content team and reflects what we feel to be the greatest that the PS4 has to offer after much internal debate.
Without further ado, here are our selections for the best games for PS4.
A heinous weapon, a horde of horrifying beasts, and one very horrible night, Bloodborne is perhaps the finest game in the Dark Souls series. It’s a spiritual sequel that takes what made the original great—ultrahard combat, inventive storyline, atmosphere seeping from every pore—and marries it with unimaginable cosmic terror. There’s a little Lovecraft in here, as well as Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. And a lot of brilliance.
Bloodborne is a brutally challenging, horrifying action horror game that will knock your a$$ right in the a$$. You’ll spawn, die, and repeat until you hurl your controller, curse at your television, and swear you’ll never come back. Once beyond the murky confines of Bloodborne’s thick, terrible, snarling network of deformed monsters, awful cries, and stark-raving bloodthirsty lunatics, you’ll be able to take a tranquil, joyful walk in the real world, away from Bloodborne’s terrible methods.
However, a voice in your brain will start to ring and linger, beckoning you back and telling you to return, push through, and triumph. And when you do, you’ll be better and nourished, patient and energetic, ready to take on its gristle, hairy bosses, rotting cathedrals, and moist, rotten tunnels. Then you’ll die again, but this time you’ll be stronger, wiser, and older, ready for the foulest of animals to rush from the shadows and tear you apart once again.
Frustration is unavoidable. But, in the end, triumph is conceivable, and when it is, it is one of the finest emotions in the world.
Last of Us 2
For a good reason, this is a divisive game. Not only is the gameplay saturated in excessive brutality—including cruelty against animals—but the plot also has significant flaws. Too frequently, you’ll find yourself cocking your head to the side and exclaiming, “Really? “Are we doing this right now?” But, if you’re like me and liked the original Last of Us game, you’ll almost certainly want to play the sequel. I was curious as to how it finished.
The sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us is the height of Naughty Dog’s storytelling aspirations during the PS3 and PS4 eras. Part 2’s ambitious, uncompromising drama succeeds at virtually every unexpected turn, with dramatic, dangerous, and tragic character developments. Naughty Dog challenges you, the player, to grapple with moral ambiguity in ways that have elicited some of the greatest overall emotions we’ve seen from any game, ever.
It’s also Naughty Dog’s most mechanically complicated game to date, with stealth and action mechanics that give moments after moments that appear planned yet are fully dynamic. It may be one of the generation’s most polarizing games. However, it’s also one of the finest, an enormous haymaker of a game that we still can’t get enough of.
God of War
God of War, released in 2018, demonstrates an evident degree of care that went into designing its universe, characters, and gameplay, transforming a long-running PlayStation series into a monument to the power of narrative in games and earning our vote for the finest PlayStation 4 game of all time. Every facet of God of War seems deliberate, interacting with every other major part of the game, making exploration of its realm a worthwhile experience. Everything from the main plot to side objectives and apparently insignificant trinkets contribute to your comprehension of this new Aesir-inspired universe and its important characters.
But it never seems like a dull history lesson. God of War is always making smart, efficient use of storytelling. It’s also a lot of fun, with the new Leviathan axe being one of the most rewarding gaming weapons we’ve used since we first got the Blades of Chaos back in 2005. God of War is unquestionably one of the best experiences of the generation as a whole and a prime example of what the PlayStation 4 has to offer, with clever progression, fascinating situations, and an influential and effective story that offers an informative exploration of one of gaming’s most notorious antiheroes.
Rockstar’s newest and greatest open-world criminal simulator debuted after the previous console generation, easily shattering records as the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, so it’s no surprise that it was transferred to current-gen. What is maybe unexpected is how big of an update it received in the process. Upscaled visuals, completely revamped lighting effects, and a fully working first-person mode were just a few of the changes and improvements to the series’ largest and greatest game yet.
Whether you want a sprawling single-player campaign that skewers 21st century American life, a multiplayer component with years of big free updates and an extremely active community, or just a sandbox where you can do crimes alone or with friends, Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online have something for everyone. Is there any other game where you can play the stock market, play a Mad Max death card, and then trip on peyote till you change into a bird?
The legacy of GTA V will be continued on PS5 in the second half of 2021. This new edition of Rockstar’s masterwork “will contain several technological changes, aesthetic upgrades, and performance tweaks to fully exploit the newest technology, making the game more gorgeous and responsive than ever.”
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a masterclass in comic book delight. This beautifully constructed universe wonderfully conveys the child-like delight of staring up at New York City’s enormous, inspirational skylines and the superhero-like victory of casually mounting the Big Apple’s largest skyscrapers. It’s a Spider-Man game created by people that admire Spider-Man, from his outfits to his friends, adversaries, and family.
The sheer act of flying and flipping across the city is so exciting and addicting that you’ll want to explore every nook and gather every treasure before even finishing the plot. When you finally decide to sit down and continue the novel, you’ll discover a wonderful tale of love and loss, awkward adolescence, and plenty and plenty of ass kicking. Along the way, you’ll earn historic Spider-Man outfits, take down wicked villains in massive, explosive setpieces, and revel in the revelation that the current comic book movie renaissance that we’re all so ecstatic about has, at long last, made its way back to video games.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a magnificent technological feat as well as a gold standard for video game storytelling in an open-world environment. It is one of the best games ever developed by Rockstar Games and one of the best games ever produced. The setting of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a large and magnificent replica of the wild west, crammed with so much detail and activity that it’s almost overwhelming; traveling from point A to point B is nearly difficult without deviating off the main road to some other diversion. Distractions are also really well-executed — side missions, mini-games, hunting, and collecting are all fully studied components of Red Dead 2.
But, of course, it’s the characters in Red Dead 2 that stay with you the most: Arthur Morgan, John Marsten, Sadie, Dutch, and others are vivid, multi-faceted characters with complicated dynamics that are always moving and altering, even though their courses are fixed in stone. The sequel to Red Dead Redemption is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch’s new adventure, Ghost of Tsushima, is loaded with poignant narrative and gorgeous visuals that make exploring its broad take on 13th century Japan a thrill. Its cast – which includes actors who speak English and Japanese – does a wonderful job of bringing Ghost’s complicated story of honor and loss to life, both in the main campaign and all the side missions that elegantly echo thematic parts of your main adventure.
While the stealth is easy (and the opponent AI is less than fantastic), the combat is fantastic — a basic but nuanced investigation of Japanese swordplay that is nevertheless enjoyable right up to the final showdown.
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Add to that one of the greatest (and most addictive) picture modes we’ve seen. The Ghost of Tsushima more than compensates for its late entry to the PS4 catalog by becoming one of its greatest titles.
A Ghost of Tsushima film is officially in the works, directed by Chad Stahelski (John Wick), while Sucker Punch is now working on a “spectacular” new multiplayer game.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Uncharted 4 is Uncharted all grown up; an investigation into what happens when Nathan Drake’s Indiana-Jones-style pranks collide with his mature responsibilities. It balances sensitive relationship dynamics with wildly exciting action scenes and magnificent scenery ideal for exploration and pillaging. Uncharted 4 is one of the finest action-adventure games of all time, and one of the finest PlayStation 4 games ever, despite being slowed down by an extremely protracted final act.
The official Uncharted film will be released on February 18, 2022, starring Spider-Tom Man’s Holland as Nathan Drake.
Yakuza 0 sets a new standard for SEGA’s long-running open-world franchise, with an astonishing quantity of content and a really fascinating criminal plot.
Because it’s a prequel, it’s also free of the series’ increasingly complex background, making it ideal for newbies. While its physical action lags somewhat behind contemporary genre standards, Yakuza 0 is a huge, aggressive, and brutal trip through the Japanese underworld that hits much more than it misses.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the most recent installment in the franchise, was published on PS4 in November. Yakuza will continue to be a turn-based RPG in the wake of the success of Like a Dragon.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the most aesthetically pleasing open-world games ever created. Grass sways in the breeze underneath beautiful sunrises, while in the distant, towering cities erected from the ashes of a once affluent society loom.
Most notably, massive, awe-inspiring mechanical dinosaurs armed with a scary arsenal of pseudo-natural weaponry stalk the earth, screaming, chewing, and stomping their prey. When famous PlayStation developer Guerrilla Games announced a departure from the Killzone franchise to create an open world robot dinosaur hunting game starring a warrior redhead dressed like a space cake trader at Burning Man, the world was cautiously optimistic.
Thankfully, the end product was a large, magical, and distinct open-world action game with just the perfect amount of RPG components that come together to produce a spectacular initial entry into what we hope will become a cornerstone series for PlayStation Studios.
Taking down a massive monster with an active strategy of well-placed melee hits and missiles is one of the most exciting PlayStation 4 experiences, and looting the debris of a downed robot for much-needed upgrade components afterward is similarly exhilarating. Horizon combines some of the greatest components of previous open world games to create something completely unique, gloriously new, and tremendously entertaining.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is several things at once: It’s beautiful, tough, and a throwback to one of FromSoftware’s first games. But, above all, it’s a game of savage beauty. Set against the background of feudal Japan, you play Wolf, a shinobi who can never die. Actually, you’ll die a lot—but you’ll come back! This is a game based on the stress of conflict. When should you draw your sword, and when should you sneak past your opponents? What do you do when you don’t have any other option except to fight? These are the questions that Sekiro aims to solve.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red’s huge fantasy epic has gone down in history as one of the most notable games of all time, setting a new bar for open-world RPGs. With a grim-yet-beautiful world spanning the better half of a continent, The Witcher 3 offers something new to explore around every corner, cave, marsh, or city street.
Its 60+ hour main plot is a terrific adventure full of mystery and intrigue drawn from author Andrzej Sapkowski’s books. Still, it’s Geralt’s expertly crafted side storylines, monster hunts, and off-beat excursions that truly distinguish The Witcher 3 and its two massive expansions.
It’s a game where you might easily get lost for hundreds of hours and yet not see all it has to offer – but every one of those hours will be well spent.
The Witcher 3 will be “visually and technically upgraded” on the PS5 (and PC and Xbox Series X) in the second half of 2021. It will be available as a free update to existing owners.