If you're one of the six million gamers who bought the PlayStation 4 within the first three months of the console's life, you're probably eager to get the best out of your new games system. The catalogue of PS4 games has already expanded beyond forty titles, which isn't exactly paltry considering the short space of time since the system's release date.
Below you'll find CVG's collection of the ten best PlayStation games available to buy today. The list also takes into account each game's value (that doesn't necessarily mean we'll favour the cheapest PS4 games, but it does recognise what titles offer the greatest entertainment at the best price).
These ten best PlayStation 4 games were chosen in retrospect from CVG's editorial team based in London. They tend to reflect the review scores CVG has awarded to each game, though not as a rule.
We'll be sporadically updating this article as the weeks and months pass, expanding the list of best PS4 games available today and continually consider the inclusion of certain titles and test if they age well. You can also, of course, recommend a top game yourself in the comments section below.
Known as the PlayStation 4's digital dark horse, Resogun was available at launch and quickly established a community of players eager to impress with multi-million high scores. Finland developer Housemarque is no stranger to arena-based 2D shooters (the studio has shipped several Stardust titles), but Resogun is arguably the group's crowning achievement. Resogun carries the elegance of being straightforward at first play but gradually unpeeling layers of new strategies for the hardcore.
From CVG's Resogun review
One of the most impressive things about Resogun is how enthusiastically it harkens back to the golden age of late '70s/early '80s arcade design - most notably Defender and, to a lesser extent, Asteroids - while delivering visual flourishes that would herniate last-gen hardware. Housemarque has delivered one of the most exciting, lavishly produced twin-stick shooters in the history of the genre. Geometry Wars finally has a proper rival. - Jason Killingsworth
Try it if:
- You're a twitchy shmup aficionado
- You loved Geometry Wars / Ikaruga / Defender / Border Down / UN Squadron / R-Type
- You love streaming game footage on Twitch
- Gigerman70: "Love these modern takes on old school twitch gaming. Hope there's plenty more of this quality going forward. Well done Housemarque, you rock!"
- Pydpipper: "This game is awesome and hope the dlc will add more levels, ships and multiplayer."
- Raredevice: "Haven't been able to complete the last level yet! I thought I was pretty good at it until I hit that."
Don't Starve: Console Edition
Originally released for PC, Mac and Linux in March 2013, the PS edition of Don't Starve was released nearly a full year later yet still managed to establish itself as an essential digital download for PlayStation owners.
Straight away Don't Starve throws players in the deep end, teaching the rules of survival by threatening death at every corner. The game tasks players with managing a set of basic needs against the clock; they must continually service hygiene, hunger, mental health, and keep a fire burning at night. Its procedurally generated world means players are unable to carefully plot the safest route; they must seize the moment instead.
Challenging, funny and at times creepy, Don't Starve offers a unique adventure for PlayStation 4 owners to pursue.
From CVG's Don't Starve review
Don't Starve isn't just about staying alive, it's about taming the uncivilised through trial and error and taking fantastic leaps into the unknown, whether that's jumping into a wormhole (an actual worm, with a ring of teeth) without knowing what's on the other side, exploring dank underground caves by torchlight, or eating everything you lay eyes on in the name of science.
And that's what makes it such a fine conduit for storytelling. The lack of respawns give weight to each life; every attempt to apply a stiff sense of Britishness to the wild is meaningful, not just because you have to start again from day one should you die, but because you'll never encounter that particular wild again, just randomly generated likenesses. Quite apart from a game about managing resources, about taking risks, about strategising and surviving, Don't Starve is a platform for endless surprise and adventure that sparks wonder at everything you discover - and have yet to learn - about its world. - Nathan Ditum
Try it if:
- You enjoy the discovery in Zelda more than anything else
- You're a fan of roguelikes
- You think you're a bit Bear Grylls
- Buffig: "I'm pleasantly surprised by this game. Word of advice. Don't read any wikis, they'll spoil the sense of exploration which this game depends on."
- TheLastDodo: "I had an hour on it over the weekend, loved it, you can't really help but compare to Minecraft with all the resource gathering you need to do (especially with how the game starts) but yeah the better comparison is Spelunky. If you enjoy Spelunky then give Don't Starve a try, it's about experimenting and learning how to make progress by trying (and failing) new things and this is actually fun. You will die a lot, there's no getting around it, embrace dying and take the knowledge from your previous life into your next life and the game gets better every time you respawn."
- ChrisKellyFilms: "Don't eat the Red Mushrooms raw."
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
The paradox of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is that it is both highly recommended and a game to avoid. It all hinges on whether you have played the 2013 original - if you have, this PS4 update offers little aside from a cosmetic face-lift, but if you haven't, this is an essential purchase.
In terms of structure, Tomb Raider plays like a more open-ended entry in the Uncharted series; there are tons of gunfights, action set pieces, platforming sections and puzzles to solve. The main difference between Lara's and Drake's adventures is that, at some stages, players have a wider corridor to explore and they're also able to double back on themselves, picking up trinkets and collectibles they may have missed, or were unable to obtain, in earlier stages of the game.
Much has been said of about the sheer brutality of Lara's new adventure, but the lasting memory of this 15 hour game is its excellent story and its exotic, mysterious and beautiful island.
From CVG's Tomb Raider Definitive Edition review
Tomb Raider is a great game and if you've never experienced it before, it's certainly worth picking up a copy, but it's hard to unreservedly recommend the Definitive Edition at full price. The PC version has been gorgeous to behold since its release a year ago and even with their marginally inferior visuals, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are fantastic value for money at their current prices. The DLC extras don't significantly add to Tomb Raider's brilliance, so unless the only gaming platforms you own are either an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 (or both), this feels like a lot of money to shell out on a game that's nearly a year old. - Nick Cowen
Try it if:
- You haven't played the 2013 original
- You're a fan of Uncharted
- Bows and arrows get you hot
- Superfruit: "Considering it was £5.99 on Steam recently I certainly won't be buying when I finally get my PS4."
- Padua: "I'm loving Shadow Fall multiplayer at the moment but will stop to play this. Under £40 seems a no brainer if you have never played it before."
- Skullet: "Played it on PC when it was released and thoroughly enjoyed it, easily the best Tomb Raider game for a long time. That said I tried to play through it again a couple of months ago and I got bored and gave up after an hour or so, I really wish they had added some decent single player DLC as it definitely deserved more."
We know what you're thinking. What in god's name is a dead-on-arrival online multiplayer game doing here? True, Battlefield 4 was unequivocally broken at launch, on all platforms, prompting developer DICE to postpone work on DLC in order to create a series of patches and fixes.
But try a little forgiveness. Now that most of the issues have been resolved, what we're left with is a strikingly attractive, immediate and intense multiplayer showpiece. The star of the show is the Frostbite 3 engine that renders at 900p60 on PlayStation, but what keeps players hooked is the stupendous variety and chaos of the online gameplay.
From CVG's Battlefield 4 review
At its best, there's nothing to touch Battlefield 4's multiplayer for all-encompassing war. A triumph on a multitude of levels, Battlefield 4 is the series' most compelling package to date, a delightfully slick introduction to the next-generation of consoles and more than a good enough reason on its lonesome to pick up a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One to see what high-end PC-owning players have been banging on about for years." - Rob Taylor
Try it if:
- You live for multiplayer
- COD Ghosts didn't do it for you
- You like watching virtual buildings collapse
- IanTheBassist: "It kind of annoys me actually that a game that had been out this long and is as big as battlefield STILL isn't fixed. I have gotten a tonne of glitches online and to be honest, it has ruined the experience for me."
- Surboy:"I don't work at EA neither own company shares but I think when you look at the evolution of gaming in the last 10 years the developers have done a superb job with the latest iteration of BF. The world is rich and the possibilities endless, a few teething issues I know but DICE's reaction has been fast and professional. Personally I feel they deserve a lot of praise for all the hours they have put in bringing us such an incredible experience. Perhaps I am getting old and getting too soft but credit where it's due!"
- DrakeAndSully: "I'm sorry, but you've basically given it 9/10 based on how good the multiplayer is - not everyone is crazy about multiplayer, you know."
- Video: Battlefield 4 jet ski jousting should be an official sport
- Battlefield 4 Netcode issues are 'top priority", says DICE
- Battlefield 4 DLC
Need for Speed: Rivals
Possibly the most criminally overlooked next-gen release of 2013, Ghost Games' debut racer offered accessible, slick and gorgeous arcade racing for PlayStation 4 fans.
It's more original than you think too. Rival's sun-kissed island is populated with both AI vehicles and up to six online players, which makes racing against them impeccably straightforward. There's no lobbies, no stop-start procedures; just ride up next to an opponent and signal for a race. It's organic, immediate, and surely a new template for next-gen racers.
From CVG's Need For Speed Rivals review
"A fine debut effort from Ghost Games, Rivals is gorgeous, invigorating, progressive and anything but a makeweight in the next-gen launch line-up. It's the strongest NFS in an age and a cheeky right-hook to the jaw of the likes of Forza Horizon, Gran Turismo and Grid 2. Burnout Paradise remains the genre king of open-world arcade racers, but there's the seed of something rather remarkable here. Here's hoping it germinates under EA's new racing wing." - Rob Taylor
Try it if:
- You want a next-gen visual showpiece
- You want everything to go faster
- You loved Burnout Paradise
- Ali_: "Rivals, like Most Wanted, was a great game that felt unfinished. If Ea would move NFS to a two yearly release, they'd go down a lot better, feel fresher and give the studios time to finish them. As it is, Rivals had a lovely big world and a great idea of integrating police and racers, but a lobby of only 8 actual humans in that big world simply wasn't enough. You often had to drive across half the map to find anyone. Shame, but EA are to blame, not the studios."
- MacbethPlays: "Actually, Rivals had the potential of being an excellent game but it is so broken [across all platforms] that there is no joy to be had in playing it. The 'bugs/glitches/issues' are so many that it is clearly evident that this title was rushed out in time for Christmas purchases and the release of the new generation games consoles. Furthermore, the much lauded 'All-Drive' designed to integrate single and multiplayer game-play, has failed. With only 6 players to a huge map, it's nearly impossible to initiate a race/event challenge, in essence, there is no multiplayer. my parting shot ..... a driving game that does not support 'wheel' controllers? .... what next? a shooter without weapons?"
- Toaplan: "NFS Rivals was a fine entry in the long-running series, so [EA's layoffs] can't be down to deteriorating game quality. I blame the relentless yearly release schedule of the NFS series. Only the commercially strongest brands like CoD and Fifa can withstand the yearly release schedule without burning out."
Descending from a strong lineage of atmospheric first-person horror games including Amnesia, Red Barrel's Outlast is an expertly designed survival horror that delicately balances a suffocating atmosphere with shock scares.
As Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist, players must infiltrate Mount Massive asylum to expose the details of the 1971 scandal that resulted in its closure. Armed with a night vision-equipped camera, players must creep through dank, dark and dreary corridors and pitch black rooms uncovering information on what went down, while staying out of the clutches of the various insane and goulish inmates that have been left to rot there.
Outlast is a game that keeps palms sweating and hearts pounding. Even with the ability to open and close doors slowly, as well as peek around corners, you never quite feel safe. You'll spend every moment frantically looking for batteries for you camera, and being mindful of hiding places for the moments when you're inevitably set upon. Although it owes a lot of its tricks to PC games that came before it, Outlast is perhaps the first of its kind to get it right on a console. There really is no reason to avoid it... unless you're too scared, of course.
Try it if:
- You like getting creeped out
- You're not prone to heart attacks
- You were an Amnesia fan
- Budge: "I was playing Outlast last night and i've not felt so on edge in a game since I played the first Dead Space. It's one of those atmospheric games where you think something is going to happen but nothing does, then when you're least expecting it..."
- JD_Method: "Great to see this is getting positive reviews. I just don't know if I want to pick it up though.I never finished the Penumbra series, and though I did finish Amnesia, it took me way too many months (maybe over a year, can't remember) to finish it. These horror games are one hell of an experience, no doubt, but they're not really "fun" in the traditional sense of the word. I'm all for experiences that aren't necessarily just "fun", but if this is anything like Amnesia I'll probably just see it in my Steam library and remember how stressful it was to play, then decide to play something else instead."
- Barca_Azul: "I downloaded it, but not had the balls to play it yet."
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
As the likes of Call of Duty Ghosts will attest, building cross-gen games for PS3, PlayStation 4, PC and the Xboxes puts a lot of strain on developer resources. As a result, a lot of cross-gen games are understandably reined in; safe, lacking the ambition to push the series and concerned with a safe landing on next-gen platforms.
Assassin's Creed 4, however, is a flagship Ubisoft title and one of the boldest deviations in the series' template. Swashbuckling naval battles carry a degree of scale, detail and cinematic flair that we didn't expect from the Ubisoft Montreal team - certainly not in their first attempt.
Meanwhile, the on-foot adventure is a robust as ever, although it's clear that some digression is necessary to breathe new life into the series. Still, this is a fantastic early game for next-gen consoles, and hopefully a sign of the versatility that Ubisoft can bring to its triple-A franchise.
From CVG's Assassin's Creed 4 review
The fact that ACIV is so good was by no means a foregone conclusion. There was a sense that, as the dust settled after ACIII, Ubisoft had missed a beat. Brows rightly furrowed as commentators pondered whether the series had already overshot its zenith. Much like the first Assassin's Creed, Black Flag isn't perfect. But the treasure trove of memorable experiences on offer here put all but the very best open worlds to shame. - Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman
Try it if:
- You want to be a pirate
- You want to wash the taste of AC3
- You don't know enough sea shanties
- iN5OMANiAC: "After being bored with AC since Brotherhood, I took a punt on AC4 (I thought 3 was awful) and it's by far the best of the series."
- neogreyfox: "Let this series die. I love this series, but it should have ended with AC3. If you wanted to go to different eras and settings, then you should have done that before finishing the series, and instead of having 3 games set in Ezios era. In my opinion, AC4 should have been released just as a pirate game, a new IP with a fresh faced Blackbeard or complete unknown as the protagonist would have been great. No need to remove the game mechanics from AC, incorporate them as you did with other franchises like Far Cry and Splinter Cell. Ubisoft needs to let this series go, and take the risks on new IPs that they have been known for in the past."
- SilverShane: "Love to see ubisoft make a pirate game or even a series that has nothing to do with assassins creed as they have done a fantastic job on the naval gameplay in both black flag and ac 3 and with the power of next gen now I'm sure it would be special"
- Assassin's Creed 4 DLC
- Ubisoft considering standalone pirate game
- Two new Assassin's Creed games reportedly due for 2014 release
Here's something Nintendo would have hoped to see more of: A multiplatform game that plays better on Wii U because of its touch-screen capabilities.
It's true that Sony's console does not offer the definitive Rayman Legends experience, but nevertheless it's a beautiful, must-have platformer for those who haven't played it yet. It's astoundingly generous, offering the Rayman Origins levels on top of an even bigger pile of new ones, as well as multiplayer modes, daily challenges and an assortment of bonuses.
It's mezmerisingly pretty at 1080p60, and with the added bonus of shortened loading times on PlayStation, Rayman Legends remains a mighty fine platformer.
From CVG's Rayman Legends review
Rayman Legends remains a mighty fine platformer whichever hardware you play it on. Occasionally ramshackle but frequently entertaining and consistently dazzling to look at, it's a great game, but if you already own it - and you've still got your old console to play it on, of course - there's little reason to double-dip. - Chris Schilling
Try it if:
- You understand Super Mario World is one of the greatest games ever
- You don't have this on Wii U or Vita
- You want to test your platforming abilities
- Hollywood111: "It's hard to improve on perfection, Rayman Legends is the best platformer ever made, Mario takes a massive backseat in comparison."
- Karkify: "Makes you wonder why Ubisoft bothered with Wii U exclusivity in the first place. I can't blame them really, Rayman Origins deserved so many more sales than it achieved; brilliant game. Although from the sounds of things, the Wii U and Vita version will be the definitive versions, assuming there is no cross-controller/play functionality on PS3.
- Dijon: "Still sounds like the Wii U version is definitive. But honestly it's a wonderful game on any hardware, thoroughly recommended for anyone curious. The most fun I had playing any game last year."
Towerfall is not only the best game on PlayStation 4 today, it's also destined to be remembered as one of the best local multiplayer games of the generation.
This is archery's answer to Bomberman, with two, three or four players duelling in painstakingly designed and startlingly beautiful boxed arenas.
It's as if the last twenty-five years of gaming has led us all to this point. TowerFall calls upon our institutionalised gaming knowledge and puts those raw skills to use in battle. It is immediately intoxicating gameplay with a depth as infinite as chess.
Try it if:
- You have friends
- You loved the four-way multiplayer in Bomberman / Goldeneye / Mario Kart
- You like the pixellated look
Trine 2: Complete Story
Underrated and overlooked, Trine 2 is a smart and attractive puzzle-platformer that deserves real consideration.
Players must traverse a side-scrolling world using three characters; a wizard with telekinetic abilities, a thief who swings through the air, and a portly knight reminiscent of Arthur in Ghouls N Ghosts. The game's core challenge is knowing when and how to mix these three characters' abilities. It's a chemistry lesson of stereotypical game heroes, and every bit as clever as that seems.
Though Trine 2 was first released on PC as far back as 2011, developer Frozenbyte has gradually expanded the game with DLC, add-ons and a director's cut for Wii U. This Complete Story edition bundles in the Goblin Menace expansion, the Dwarven Caverns level (previously available only on the Wii U version), as well as the latest build of the core game.
Though the voice acting and script is an acquired taste, Trine 2 keeps the player thinking and feeling smart when conquering the game's most wily puzzles.
Honourable mentions: NBA 2K14, Flower HD, Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, Doki Doki Universe, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Contributors: Rob Crossley, Tamoor Hussain. List gathered by the CVG editorial team in London. Prices accurate at time of publication.