Though Sony’s PlayStation 5 has been available for a few months, the PS4 will likely still be supported for a couple of years. This includes games made by Sony itself, some of which will release as cross-gen titles. And since the vast majority of PS4 games are backwards compatible on PS5–some of which even have next-gen updates–the PS4 is still alive and well. The PS5 library is still really small, so even if you have the new system, you still have plenty of time to check out PS4 games you didn’t get to play when they launched. There is no shortage of PS4 games to choose from, and cutting it down to pick the very greatest was no easy task. To celebrate this past console generation, we’ve rounded up the 25 best PS4 games of all time. Note that there’s no ranking within this list; the games are presented in alphabetical order.
From stellar exclusives like God of War and The Last of Us Part II to brilliant indies such as Celeste and Undertale, our list focuses on the PS4 games that we will remember for years to come. If you own a PS5 and are specifically interested in PS5 exclusives or games that have received next-gen enhancements, we have a separate guide on the best PS5 games for 2021. Looking for more recommendations? Check out our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games and the best Xbox One games as well as the best Xbox Series X games.
No genre defined the last console generation more than battle royale. And if we had to pick one battle royale game that stands above the rest on PS4, we’re going with Apex Legends. Respawn Entertainment’s free-to-play battle royale released in 2019 and was incredibly polished out of the gate, offering a diverse roster of playable characters, fast and fluid gunplay, and a cleverly designed map that set up well for high stakes confrontations. Since launch, Respawn has added new legends, multiple maps, and game variants, all within seasonal arcs that keep the loop fresh and exciting. While Apex Legends will undoubtedly continue to evolve throughout the PS5’s life cycle, we’ll always remember its exceedingly promising start on PS4.
See our Apex Legends review.
Featuring one of the most captivating worlds we’ve ever seen in a game, From Software’s Bloodborne is one of the PS4’s best exclusives. Though Bloodborne is a departure in many ways from From Software’s Dark Souls series, it still maintains the brutal difficulty that leads to a thrilling sense of reward when bosses are toppled. An action-RPG infused with horror inspired by the likes of Lovecraft and Bram Stoker, Bloodborne creates a foreboding atmosphere that never lets up. Yharnam is a beguiling, danger-filled world populated by a wide variety of monsters and ghoulish baddies. The risk-reward elements in Bloodborne’s satisfying combat make each combat encounter feel consequential. It’s a game that begs to be replayed to further unravel its myriad of secrets.
See our Bloodborne review.
Celeste is both a masterfully crafted platformer and a moving story about mental illness and overcoming fears and anxieties. Rendered in lovely pixelated graphics, Celeste stars Madeline, a young woman with severe self-doubt who travels to the eponymous mountain to prove to herself that she can conquer her demons. Celeste’s side-scrolling platforming is finely tuned and constantly evolves as Madeline scales the mountain. While Celeste is a rewarding challenge by default, a comprehensive assist menu lets you tweak the difficulty to your liking. It’s a great perk, considering Celeste’s lasting power comes from its heartfelt story that delivers an accurate depiction of the battles we face against ourselves. Celeste is a can’t-miss game for multiple reasons, and it’s certainly one of the best indies to release on PS4.
See our Celeste review.
Though old-school role-playing games like Divinity: Original Sin 2 tend to feel most at home on PC, Larian Studios’ masterpiece moved over to PS4 and other consoles beautifully. The fantasy world of Rivelion is teeming with life, and the good versus evil battle that rages throughout the lengthy campaign is an absolute joy to experience thanks to superb writing and an interesting cast of characters. It’s one of the best turn-based RPGs on PS4, with clever systems and a deep tactical bent that has a fairly high level of complexity. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a thoroughly engrossing role-playing game and a shining example of why building off of an already sturdy foundation can yield such spectacular results.
See our Divinity: Original Sin 2 review.
Remaking one of the most beloved games of all time is risky, especially when the formula is drastically changed. That’s exactly what Square Enix did with Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the end result exceeded expectations. Though Final Fantasy VII Remake only tells part of the story–with subsequent releases planned to finish the narrative–it feels like a full experience. From the writing and characters to the world-building and combat, Final Fantasy VII Remake retains the heart and soul of the original while modernizing it for a new generation of players. The move to real-time action combat works incredibly well and leaves plenty of room for experimentation thanks to unique character builds and flashy combos. Final Fantasy VII Remake lived up to its lofty legacy, and now we’ll have to wait and see if the ensuing parts can continue to impress.
See our Final Fantasy 7 Remake review.
Sony Santa Monica’s 2018 God of War reboot marked a major evolution for the flagship action franchise. Not only did the series trade Greek mythology for Norse, but it brought significant maturation and depth to Kratos. The story, which sees Kratos and his son Atreus go on a journey to spread his wife’s ashes, revolves around the bond between father and son. It’s a far more personal and relatable tale than we had previously seen from the series, and it lands wonderfully thanks to brilliant performances and evocative writing. The world is particularly gorgeous and is breathtaking to behold from the single-camera perspective. Of course, the combat is still front and center, but this time around it’s more methodical, elevated by fantastic weapon mechanics and well-designed enemies. God of War will be remembered as one of the best PS4 exclusives and one of the most impressive action games on the platform.
See our God of War review.
Hollow Knight created a new high-water mark for metroidvanias. Team Cherry’s challenging side-scroller originally released in 2017 but gained significant steam when it was ported to consoles the following year. Since then, it has become one of the most discussed indie games of the past decade. Hollow Knight continues to surprise even after you’ve spent dozens of hours in its labyrinthine bug kingdom. It’s not uncommon to uncover a whole new area that you previously didn’t know even existed. While the combat and progression systems can be unforgiving thanks to some Dark Souls-style flourishes, those who persevere are rewarded mightily. The world is hauntingly beautiful and holds a bevy of secrets that are well worth uncovering. Each new discovery draws you further in, and before you know it, 30 hours have passed and you’re ready to dive in all over again.
See our Hollow Knight review.
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of Sony’s best brand-new IPs in recent years. It was a major departure from developer Guerilla Games’ previous work, the FPS Killzone franchise, but despite being the studio’s first open-world RPG, Horizon Zero Dawn was both a critical and commercial hit. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which hostile machines roam the earth alongside humans, Zero Dawn follows a young warrior named Aloy on her journey to learn the truth about the world and why humanity was brought to the brink of ruin. Its combat is both thrilling and complex, requiring you to identify each machine’s unique weakness and employ a variety of weapons, from bows to traps, to bring them down. Zero Dawn also offers a vast world with diverse environments and countless secrets to discover, and the story that’s revealed slowly over the course of the game is simply fantastic. Horizon Zero Dawn’s Frozen Wilds expansion also unlocks a brand-new area with a new tribe to discover, even harder machines to fight, and a continuation of the intriguing story.
See our Horizon Zero Dawn review.
While there have been no shortage of Spider-Man games over the years, none have come close to the level of prowess seen in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Insomniac Games’ take on the famed Marvel hero is ridiculously fun to play, as it makes you feel like you are actually Spider-Man. From its flashy combat that features near endless variety to just swinging around New York City, donning the Spidey suit has never been this entertaining in a game. It also helps that Marvel’s Spider-Man is more than just cool in motion; it offers one of the most grounded and heartfelt stories we’ve seen in a superhero game. Insomniac’s choice to use an older Peter Parker paid huge dividends, as it allowed us to see the difficulty of balancing life as a young person finding his way in the world and as the city’s hero. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales followed up Peter’s story nicely, but the original laid the brickwork.
See our Marvel’s Spider-Man review.
It’s rare for a series to consistently deliver top-tier games, but Metal Gear Solid managed to do that all the way up to its (likely) conclusion in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Taking advantage of the PS4 hardware, The Phantom Pain offered players a level of freedom not seen before in the stealth series. The lush open world and dizzying number of ways to approach objectives make The Phantom Pain all the more rewarding and surprising. In typical Metal Gear fashion, the story is anything but easy to digest, though superb characterization and excellent writing make it an engrossing tale. Even more than five years after its release, The Phantom Pain remains remarkably fresh and stands tall as one of the best stealth games ever made.
See our Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain review.
Before 2018, Capcom’s Monster Hunter series had a relatively small but dedicated community in North America. Monster Hunter World completely changed that when it exploded onto the scene, bringing the satisfying hunting loop to new heights with the added benefit of significantly better processing power. For the first time in franchise history, the maps are seamless, with no loading screens between zones. The monster AI is greatly improved, leading to dynamic hunts and plenty of surprise encounters. And the combat, which is greatly altered depending on which of the 14 weapons you use, adds a welcome degree of fluidity. With a lengthy campaign, tons of endgame challenges, and a massive expansion in Iceborne, Monster Hunter World offers hundreds of hours of enjoyable content. It’s a unique action-RPG that essentially has a singular loop that never gets old. That’s a rare feat.
See our Monster Hunter World review.
One of the most surprising games of the generation, Nier: Automata managed to finally put auteur director Yoko Taro in a different light. No longer was he a weirdo who wrote great stories with average gameplay; instead he was a weirdo who just made great games. It definitely helped that Nier: Automata was developed by PlatinumGames. Taro’s unique storytelling skills and PlatinumGames’ action game prowess were a perfect match. The post-apocalyptic tale of androids learning the meaning of their own existence blends genres together to create something wholly unique, and the multi-perspective structure changes how you see events from beginning to end. Nier: Automata is undeniably Taro’s masterpiece, and it’s a game that some of us haven’t been able to stop thinking about in the nearly four years since it was released.
See our Nier: Automata review.
Outer Wilds began as a student project and, over the course of seven years, evolved into what is now one of the best PS4 games ever released. It’s set in a solar system that, for mysterious reasons, is trapped in a 22-minute time loop, and you, a rookie explorer from one of its planets, are the only person who seems to remember what’s happening between each loop. The solar system is small yet hand-crafted, with secrets to explore behind every corner, and as you visit each planet, you’ll slowly begin to piece together a story that will have you hooked until the very end–and the ending is one you won’t soon forget. One word of advice: Don’t read anything about the game before you start playing and go in completely blind. You’ll thank us later.
See our Outer Wilds review.
Persona 5 was already one of the best JRPGs for PS4, and then Atlus decided to make it even better with the 2020 expanded version dubbed Persona 5 Royal. In addition to adding a wealth of brand-new content, Persona 5 Royal alters the story in welcome ways, creating a stronger and more impactful narrative revolving around difficult but important subject matters. The blend of social simulation and turn-based dungeon crawling is exquisite, which keeps the 100-plus hour adventure lively and varied until the credits roll. It also has one of the best art designs and soundtracks in the genre. As far as JRPGs go, it doesn’t get better than Persona 5 Royal on PS4.
See our Persona 5 Royal review.
The PS4 console generation put an emphasis on live service multiplayer, and no game grew and evolved more effectively than Rainbow Six Siege. While it’s still easily recognizable as the game that launched back in 2015, Ubisoft has tweaked and adjusted almost every aspect of it to provide a better experience with every passing year. What started as a tactical shooter with 20 operators and 11 maps has ballooned to an impressive 57 operators and 20 maps–many of the original 11 stages have also been redesigned and reworked to improve balance. With Ubisoft’s dedication to improving Siege at every turn, it’s created not only a thrilling multiplayer experience but also one of the best first-person shooters of all time.
See our Rainbow Six Siege review.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most technically impressive games on PS4. From the picturesque western landscapes and lovingly rendered late 19th-century buildings to the character models and all of their subtle animations, Red Dead Redemption is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. At times, due to some seriously impressive editing and a phenomenal score, it feels like you’re in a movie. Red Dead Redemption 2 also features brilliant writing, offering a sweeping tale chronicling the decline of the Wild West through the eyes of Arthur Morgan. It’s methodically paced, there’s a huge stable of varied missions, and the gameplay aims and succeeds at being realistic. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open-world game that stands out for its originality and its steadfast dedication to making even the tranquil moments between shootouts feel critical to its identity. Even when the journey finally comes to a moving close, you get to make your own adventures in the ever-evolving Red Dead Online.
See our Red Dead Redemption 2 review.
After drifting away from its horror roots in favor of guns-blazing action gameplay, Resident Evil made a triumphant return to survival horror in Resident Evil 7. Capcom also changed the camera perspective to first-person, which wound up adding to the frightening atmosphere–especially if you played in PlayStation VR. After receiving a letter from his wife three years after she went missing, Ethan Winters travels to rural Louisiana to find her. As this is Resident Evil, it’s quickly realized that not everything is as it seems, and Ethan finds himself trapped inside the terrifying Baker residence. With stellar, haunting writing and plenty of genuine frights, Resident Evil 7 is survival horror at its finest. Every moment is fraught with tension, pushing you to the edge of your seat as you work to bring an end to a terrible nightmare.
See our Resident Evil 7 review.
Like all From Software games, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a steep learning curve. Rather than preaching dodging or waiting for an opportune moment to strike, Sekiro demands that you put yourself in danger at all times in order to find success. And once it clicks, you’d be hard pressed to find a more rewarding game than Sekiro. The timing-based combat hinges on parries, which, when strung together successfully, leave enemies open for the kill. It’s a brilliant concept that evolves throughout the lengthy adventure. Sekiro has some of the best boss battles we’ve seen in an action-adventure game, each of which seriously puts your skills to the test. The fictionalized version of Sengoku-period Japan is a joy to explore and helps the game strike a nice balance between stealth and face-to-face combat.
See our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review.
Stardew Valley was already a great game when it first released on PC back in 2016, but in the years since its launch, it’s evolved into something truly remarkable. Now available on practically every platform (including PS4), this country-life RPG begins with you ditching your soul-draining corporate job to take over your grandpa’s farm in the blissful, thriving community of Stardew Valley. As the days and months pass, you’ll build up your farm, explore the local mines, and foster friendships with people in the nearby town–you can even court and marry someone to start a family. Developer ConcernedApe has continued to support Stardew Valley with free updates, and since launch, new features like multiplayer have been added along with extensive new content, items, and more–the most recent (and biggest) update, 1.5, just released in December 2020. Stardew Valley may have started as a Harvest Moon clone, but there’s no question that at this point, it’s surpassed its influences to set a new standard for the farming and social sim genre.
See our Stardew Valley review.
Many thought Naughty Dog’s PS3 swansong The Last of Us didn’t need a sequel. And perhaps that’s still true, but The Last of Us Part 2 capped off the PS4 era in essentially the same way as its predecessor: by being one of the best games on the platform. Taking place five years after the original, The Last of Us Part 2 is centered around revenge and moving on. It tells an exceedingly gritty and often grim story focusing on Ellie and newcomer Abby. While it’s difficult to discuss The Last of Us Part 2’s story without giving away key plot details, the yarn that Naughty Dog spun is utterly captivating, with masterly performances, a poignant score, and a bold vision that isn’t afraid of taking risks. It’s often not an easy game to play, as the subject matter is so dark, but it’s an important and highly affecting experience. The mix of stealth and combat, which also creates a visceral reaction at times, makes it fun to play as well. The Last of Us Part 2 is also one of the most visually stunning games on PS4, from the character models to the darkly gorgeous post-apocalyptic world.
See our The Last of Us Part 2 review.
CD Projekt Red’s adaptation of The Witcher had a relatively small but loyal following for the first two games. Then The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launched in 2015, and the series became a massive sensation. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt significantly overhauled the combat system, making it a much more enjoyable experience. But where The Witcher 3 really shines is in its world-building and characters. With a lengthy narrative filled with memorable characters and compelling stories within stories, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is simply one of the best fantasy role-playing games ever made. The world is absolutely massive and filled with engaging activities. And the two wonderful expansions that add even more to the already impressive tale cement The Witcher 3 as one of the standout games of the generation. The Witcher 3 will likely still be talked about for decades to come.
See our The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review.
Titanfall 2’s online multiplayer modes shined thanks to wildly entertaining traversal, precise gunplay, and an entertaining dynamic between Pilots and Titans, but multiplayer isn’t the reason why Titanfall 2 is on this list. In an era where shooters sometimes viewed campaigns as an afterthought, Respawn Entertainment crafted one of the best first-person shooter campaigns ever made. The riveting campaign has some of the most inventive level design we’ve seen in the genre, including a time travel level that is legitimately mind-blowing. Of the many first-person shooters that have released on PS4, no game pushed the bar higher than Titanfall 2.
See our Titanfall 2 review.
As one of the great modern adventure series, Uncharted has delivered Indiana Jones-style plots and a cinematic presentation since early on in the PS3 era. Thanks to the added horsepower of the PS4, Naughty Dog was able to expand on these ideas with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, a brilliant and fitting conclusion to Nathan Drake’s story arc. Not only does Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End wrap things up nicely for Nate and Elena, but it expands on the action-adventure gameplay by giving more freedom to the player. Environments are larger and scenarios are more elaborate, giving you more versatility in how you approach combat. The cinematography and performances are top notch. When you factor in the gorgeous world and high stakes combat situations that funnel directly into the narrative, you have yourself a new peak for the Uncharted franchise. If we never see Nathan Drake in action again, at least he went out on a high note.
See our Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End review.
Over the past decade, no indie game has made more waves than Toby Fox’s retro RPG Undertale. Released in 2015 to much fanfare, Undertale immediately drew comparisons to the beloved Mother series. In Undertale, you play as a boy who falls into a strange place called the Underground. Throughout your journey, you’ll encounter monsters and all sorts of peculiar beings. Where Undertale really excels is in its choice-based gameplay. Your dialogue decisions directly affect battles and the overall story. Undertale constantly subverts your expectations and pulls on your heartstrings, whether you’re simply chatting up a monster or trying to decide how to approach a battle. It’s also darkly funny and features some of the best, most thought-provoking writing in the genre. The old-school look works wonderfully with the tone, and the mesmerizing soundtrack further feeds into Undertale’s novel atmosphere. Undertale is a gem that should be played by anyone who savors good writing and world-building.
See our Undertale review.
A simply sublime tactics game, XCOM 2 made the jump from PC to PS4 without missing a beat. The 2016 game from Firaxis Games received heaps of rave reviews upon release, and even nearly five years after its release, it remains exceedingly popular in the tactics game community. Your job is to thwart an alien invasion, which proves to be a tall task indeed. XCOM 2’s systems feed into each other wonderfully. From recruiting and managing your infantry in your ship to waging war on the battlefield against aliens, XCOM 2 is a consistently delightful and enriching experience. It stands out in the crowded and sometimes all-too-familiar genre by featuring one of the most elaborate and tactically sound battle systems around. XCOM 2’s expansion, War of the Chosen, adds to the overall experience in fun ways, too. XCOM 2 is the best tactics game on PS4 and is in the conversation for best ever within its genre.
See our XCOM 2 review.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in March 2020 and has been completely refreshed as of February 5, 2021. Previously, we included dozens of PS4 games that scored an 8 or higher from GameSpot; now, we’ve curated our picks to highlight only 25 of the best PS4 games of all time.