It’s been over a year since the Horizon: Forbidden West.first hit shelves, but getting your hands on Sony’s next-gen console is still as difficult as it was on launch day. But don’t worry, your trusty PlayStation 4 still has plenty to offer. Right now, the device has a huge catalogue of new games and old classics, and plenty of next-gen titles are still playable on this older console, including recent hits like and
There’s a rich library of AAA games exclusive to the PS4: Spider-Man, Bloodborne, The Last of Us Part 2 and God of War, to name a few. And then, of course, there are the cross-platform titles and indie games. It’s an embarrassment of riches.
So, you’re ready to start gaming. However, before you buy, consider the following:
- We’ve included links to the digital version of each game that is available at at the PlayStation online store (which isn’t all of them), if you don’t want the disc version, which are sold at linked retailers via the red buttons.
- Apex Legends is free to play (for PlayStation Plus subscribers), just use that digital link to download it.
- In addition to freebies like Apex Legends, Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, subscribers to get two free games per month. It’s fine, but comparatively stingy when put up against the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate collection, which offers subscribers open access to dozens of games.
- Nearly all PS4 games should be playable on the PS5, so any investment you make in these games should transition easily if and when you upgrade to the new console.
With those caveats in place, on to the games.
FromSoft’s latest entry Elden Ring has dominated the gaming world ever since it was released in February. It brings the punishing combat you love to hate from Dark Souls to a massive open world where death is waiting around literally every corner. The clear front-runner for 2022 game of the year.
PlayStation / SIE
Sucker Punch/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET
Ghost of Tsushima is yet another open world banger from Sucker Punch Productions, one of the most consistent first-party studios under Sony’s vast umbrella.
Set in Japan during the first invasion of the Mongols in 1270, Ghost of Tsushima may borrow heavily from open world tropes seen in other, superior titles — but it’s still a gorgeously made video game. A real visual swansong for the PS4.
Fall Guys is a battle royale game unlike any you’ve ever played before. Sixty players start, but after a cut-throat series of insanely fun and bafflingly unfair mini-games, there can only be one winner. Think Ninja Warrior crossed with Peppa Pig. It’s currently only available for digital purchase at the PlayStation store, where it will set you back $20.
Endless online discourse about its difficulty aside, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is another masterpiece from Dark Souls creator FromSoftware.
Sekiro shares a little of the DNA that made Dark Souls so compelling, but it’s absolutely a brand-new beast, even more distinct from the Souls series than Bloodborne. It requires learning a whole new skillset (mainly parrying), but it’s worth the initial pain.
Santa Monica Studio
It’s a complete reinvention for one of the PlayStation’s most consistent series.
God of War is extremely good. The new combat system takes a while to get used to, but once it clicks, it really clicks. God of War is an absolute showcase for the PlayStation 4 (and especially the PlayStation 4 Pro). Get that thing going on 60 frames per second. You’ll have yourself a good time.
Well this game came out of nowhere.
Apex Legends is the game no one saw coming. In 2018, Fortnite literally ruled our cultural universe, but now its position atop the battle royale genre is being challenged by Apex Legends and with good reason. Designed by the core team responsible for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and, more recently, the excellent Titanfall series, Apex Legends just feels so good minute to minute. Look for this game to stick around. It’s currently free to download at the PlayStation store.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is like Video Games: The Greatest Hits.
It has the sprawling mission structure of The Witcher 3, Metroid Prime-style scanning, Tomb Raider-esque bow and arrows and survival.
And it has fricken’ robot dinosaurs with fricken’ laser beams.
It also — somehow — weaves its ludicrous high concept into a story that not only works, but is actually incredibly compelling, affecting and features great writing and layered characters.
It’s arguably the best game on the PlayStation 4.
FromSoftware doesn’t make bad video games. It makes classics, stone-cold classics, one after another.
But Bloodborne might be the best FromSoftware game yet.
A brand new universe, a faster paced combat style, ludicrously well-designed environments and beautiful enemy design. Bloodborne is difficult, but it’s intensely rewarding. Crucially, it’s a great entry point into the “Souls” genre.
CD Projekt Red
From a storytelling perspective Metal Gear Solid V is a brutal, unfinished mess.
But that doesn’t even matter.
Because the absolute core of Metal Gear Solid 5 — the sneaking, the moment-to-moment cat-and-mouse game of evading guards — is just so mechanically dense and polished.
Metal Gear Solid is simultaneously the most accessible Metal Gear game ever made and the most complex. I’m still scratching my head as to how they achieved that.
Play this video game.
Warner Bros./Screenshot by CNET
Mortal Kombat is still kicking and, some might say, is better than ever. Ignore. Once upon a time Mortal Kombat was a gimmicky ultraviolent competitor to the sublime Street Fighter II. Now it’s a spectacular fighting game in its own right, with its own set of strengths. This is the best Mortal Kombat game to date.
Psyonix/Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET
Rocket League is soccer with cars, and it is so good I can’t even believe it exists in this broken, corrupt world.
It’s not quite as popular compared with when it was initially released and everyone was going crazy, but Rocket League still has a massive core community.
And the game is just so instantaneously fun. So you should probably play it. And right now, it’s free to download at the PlayStation store.
Uncharted 4 isn’t the strongest entry in the series (that’s still the bar-setting Uncharted 2), but it’s still a benchmark in visual storytelling excellence.
It’s a little bit too long, with way too many shooting sections, but Uncharted 4 does some truly ground-breaking things in terms of video game storytelling.
And it’s one of the most beautiful games ever made.
The Witness is designed to make you feel like a complete idiot.
In a good way.
You know how games like Metroid and Zelda sort of guide your progress by slowly giving you items that act like keys to unlocking brand-new areas?
The Witness is sorta like that, only it upgrades your actual brain. With puzzles.
This game is extremely good. It typically lists for $40, but right now you can pick it up on sale for just $12 at the PlayStation Store
Giant Sparrow/Screenshot by GameSpot
Doom is extremely good. This is established fact. This reboot had no right being as good as it is. It harks back to a different kind of first-person shooter. It’s about getting up close and personal with monster-demons and spilling their innards on blood-stained floors.
Nier: Automata was released in the same calendar year as games like Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey and Horizon: Zero Dawn, but there are people who think Nier: Automata was better than all of those video games.
I disagree, but even coming close to that level of quality is intense. Nier: Automata deserves your attention at the very least. It’s extremely good.
Every so often Resident Evil becomes awesome again. There’s a cycle.
Resident Evil 2: awesome.
Resident Evil 4: very awesome.
Resident Evil 5 through to 6: not awesome.
Resident Evil 7: extremely awesome.
It’s great to see the granddaddy of video game horror series back to its best. This game is wild. Brace yourself.
Just when you think it’s safe to write the first-person shooter off as a banal genre devoid of innovation, along comes Titanfall 2. Titanfall 2 is like any other shooter except wall running, double jumping, turning into gigantic robots and uh…
Actually, it’s not like another shooter at all. That’s why it’s so great.
Did you like Destiny? Do you like replaying the same levels over and over, grinding till you can grind no more with your friends? Abandoning the real world in search of ephemeral pleasures?
Boy, do I have a game for you.
Nah, just joking. Destiny 2 is mostly good, and the updates that came along with Destiny 2: Forsaken made it even better.
Dark Souls 3, like all Dark Souls games, is an acquired taste. But once you acquire that taste, everything else is ash in your mouth.
These games are good.
Dark Souls 3 is great because it’s refined and modern and eliminates a lot of the clunk of Dark Souls. It also features some of the best level design in any Souls game to date.
Inside is short, disturbing and stays with you long after you’re done.
It really is one of those unforgettable gaming experiences. To explain more would spoil it. Just know that it is polished, smart, unique, interesting: It’s a well-made “thing” that you should experience. (Note that the retail version, linked below, comes packaged with Limbo, another excellent — albeit short — game.)
Monster Hunter: World is the new kid on the block.
In a lot of ways, it feels like a coming-out party for the Monster World series, which has always been huge in Japan, but has only flirted with success in the west.
Now, it feels like everyone is talking about Monster Hunter, and with good reason. It takes what we already love about Monster Hunter and makes it more accessible and… bigger. We’ve been used to playing Monster Hunter on underpowered handhelds. Playing it on a big boy console just takes Monster Hunter to the stratosphere.
Doom Eternal rules. It’s very much in the vein of the Doom reboot that launched in 2016, but that’s a good thing. We say it’s the most metal game ever made.
Cool additions include all-new methods of maneuvering throughout the game’s insanely violent universe. Very cool stuff.