We didn’t think things could get much better than 2018’s God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but that was just the start. There are some amazing games due out on PS4 this year, including Anthem and Days Gone – check out our most anticipated games to find out
We didn’t think things could get much better than 2018’s God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but that was just the start. There are some amazing games due out on PS4 this year, including Anthem and Days Gone – check out our most anticipated games to find out what’s on the way soon – but what about amazing PS4 games for you to play right now?
Here’s our selection of the best PS4 games available in 2019. We’ve played each and every game in this round-up, and have reviewed all of them to help you decide whether they’re your cup of tea. We’ve got everything from solo adventure games to huge online open worlds, as well as fighting games, shooting games, racing games and more.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption was a phenomenal open world game for its time, and is one of few games that has stood the test of time, so it should come as no surprise that Red Dead Redemption 2 has set a new standard for open world games.
The open world of Red Dead Redemption is sprawling and varied, but it’s the finer details of the open world that make it feel dynamic and lived-in. You can have impromptu conversations with passers-by, intimidate witnesses to crimes to avoid becoming wanted and, when you want a little R&R, you have can hunt over 200 species of animal, go fishing or play dominoes with other gang members at camp.
We’ve been stopped by outlaws trying to rob us, we’ve helped a woman being attacked in her home, we’ve helped convicts escape prison carts and more – all while randomly exploring the open world out-of-mission.
The missions are action-packed, story-driven and wildly varied – from high-pressure missions like robbing a train to more relaxed missions where you simply have to go fishing – the game offers something new at every turn.
And we haven’t even mentioned Red Dead Online, coming to consoles in November 2018, providing a way to explore the vast open world with your friends.
We’ll end with a warning: Red Dead Redemption 2 may ruin every other open world game for you.
God of War
God of War for PS4 was said to be a complete reimagining of the franchise that would step away from what was offered in 2013’s God of War: Ascension. While this made some fans nervous, Santa Monica Studio has produced what could be one of the best games not only for PS4, but of this generation of gaming.
Kratos, the Ghost of Sparta and son of Zeus, has moved away from his ultra-violent, God-killing ways and has instead chosen to settle down far away in the realm of Midgard. Following the death of his wife, Kratos and his son Atreus must take the ashes to the highest point in Midgard to scatter them.
But it’s not as simple as it seems; despite being Atreus’ father, Kratos and his son don’t have a very close relationship. The story is as much about the blossoming of the relationship between father and son, as it is about spreading the ashes. And while that seems pretty deep for a God of War game, the story is told to absolute perfection.
It’s not the story alone that carries God of War though; the gorgeous and varied semi-open world is an absolute joy to explore, and the combat is pretty close to perfection. Why? Because it has been completely reimagined.
Gone are the fiery Blades of Chaos, with Kratos instead wielding the ice-enchanted Leviathan Axe. Kratos can throw the Axe at enemies and magically summon it back to his hand with the press of a button, much like Thor and his hammer Mjölnir.
God of War ticks all the boxes; it looks stunning, combat is satisfying, offers an emotionally gripping campaign and a variety of things to do once you’ve completed the main story. What’s not to like?
Read more in our God of War review.
It’s hard to find fault with Tetris Effect once you’ve played it, even if the initial assumption is: “Well, it’s just Tetris, right?”
Because no, it isn’t just Tetris. I mean, it is Tetris. But it’s also a rhythm game. And a VR experience. And an emotional journey. And a fairly potent hallucinogenic.
Best played on PlayStation VR – though almost as effective on the TV – this take on Tetris syncs your every movement up to the expansive audio, which is in turn connected to a dazzling array of visuals and lighting effects that spill out of the gameplay area and spill all around the screen.
The idea is to enhance the sensation of losing yourself in the game, using an array of audiovisual effects to lull you into a trancelike state as you begin to organise blocks and clear lines without even thinking about it any more.
You can play a variety of individual stages and different game modes, but the heart of it all is the Journey mode: a single-player campaign that takes you on a journey across human history – and gets unexpectedly emotional – all through the medium of Tetris. We never saw this one coming.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2017, exclusive to the PS4 and PS4 Pro. But what makes the post-apocalyptic open world of Horizon Zero Dawn so attractive? Apart from roaming mechanical dinosaurs and a fiery red-headed heroine, of course.
The game’s storyline is much like a Hollywood movie with an engaging and intriguing storyline: after proving herself worthy to those that labelled her an outcast as a child, it’s up to Aloy to unmask the secrets of her past and in doing so, shed some light on why the world it is as it is, and where the mysterious dinosaur-like Machines are coming from.
Now, combine that with extended cut scenes and a game where every frame could be a painting and you’ve got something that’s engaging, gorgeous and hands down one of the best games to grace the PS4 ever.
Frankly, what’s most impressive about Horizon Zero Dawn is that it’s powered by a PS4, and not a high-end gaming PC. This is especially true when running Horizon Zero Dawn on a PS4 Pro, as we did, offering a 4K output at 30fps by rendering the game in 2160p checkerboard.
Lines are clear and defined, textures are of an extremely high quality and the frame rate is stable while providing one of the greatest gaming experiences available on a console. We take our hats off to you, Guerrilla Games, we really do.
Read more in our Horizon Zero Dawn review.
The Last Guardian
We had to wait nine years, and it managed to somehow skip the PS3 entirely, but it was worth it: The Last Guardian is the sort of exclusive that should make anyone without a PS4 very jealous indeed.
The latest game from the creator of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus sees you play as a young boy tasked with escaping a derelict castle. Your only companion? A giant, magical, half-bird, half-cat creature named Trico, who you’ll have to befriend and help if you want to make it out in one piece.
Across the game’s platforming, puzzles, and fights, it’s that bond with Trico that’ll keep you coming back for more, as you slowly build up trust between the two of you, until by the end of the game you’re happily plunging off teetering towers, confident that the big fluffball will catch you on your way down.
There are a few performance issues and occasional frustrations with the controls, but The Last Guardian is beautiful – and emotional – enough that you’re not likely to care.
Resident Evil 2
After 2017’s Resident Evil 7 marked a return to form for the faltering franchise, the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 sees it full return to – and arguably surpass – its former glory days.
This remake of the 1998 classic takes everything that worked in the original and amps it up, while carefully excising, tweaking, and modernising the elements that either never worked or have simply aged badly.
The controversial tank controls are gone, replace with a more fluid control and camera system that’s still just slow enough to keep the tension going. The map and story have both been remixed to keep things interesting, and enemy AI has been updated to make things less predictable – especially in the case of the terrifying Tyrant, which now takes after Alien: Isolation’s relentless xenomorph.
It’s still Resi through and through though, from the ever-tight inventory spaces to the continued insistence that eating a couple of plant pots will pop you back up to full health. And we love it all the more for it.
Read more in our full Resident Evil 2 review.
As sure as the sands of time, FIFA is out again but it genuinely is better than ever. Tweaks to game mechanics, superior player likenesses and an unparalleled online community makes FIFA 19 the ultimate football game.
Kick Off mode adds great offline multiplayer options for the first time in ages to reinvigorate a game that still excels in online, where you will have to practice very hard not to get thrashed. But it’s worth it.
And with exclusive Champions League rights this is a true pinnacle of football gaming for the Sky Sports generation.
Read more in our FIFA 19 review.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
After Assassin’s Creed Origins revamped the long-running series, Odyssey took the baton and ran with it, building on Origins’ foundations to deliver a bigger, bolder game.
Set even earlier, before the Assassins even existed, this ancient Greek historical fantasy expands on the RPG elements that Origins carefully introduced, throwing in branching dialogue, romance options, customisable combat skills, and upgradable gear.
The core loop of exploration, stealth, and combat is mostly unchanged, with a return of your trusty eagle companion too (this time named Ikaros, in keeping with the setting). Sprawling across the Greek mainland and myriad islands against the backdrop of the Peloponnesian War, the lush setting is up there with the series’ best too, and you’ll want to explore it to the fullest, whether on foot or at the helm of your trusty ship.
It’s worth noting that Assassin’s Creed Origins is still fantastic in its own right, and remains one of the best PS4 games too.
Find out more in our full Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review.
Far Cry 5
Set in the fictional region of Hope County, Montana, you find yourself in the shoes of a Deputy in the local police force, sent in to arrest the leader of a separatist cult – Eden’s Gate – known as Joseph Seed. Upon his arrest and subsequent escape, it soon becomes apparent that to deliver justice to Joseph, the land must be liberated and his “Heralds” must be brought down first.
One upside of being set close to the Rockies in the US is that Far Cry 5 looks stunning. Luscious green forests, sprawling lakes, and towering mountains cover the landscape, making every view a breath-taking one. It’s well populated too, with tons of friendly people trying to take their homeland back and cultists trying to kill everyone, but even the local fauna has a huge amount of range from Deer to Bears, and even a few Caribou and Moose.
When not out liberating the land from cultists, there are plenty of other side activities to carry out: Hunting animals, base jumping with a wingsuit, mimicking a stuntman, and even fishing. Few give tangible rewards unless the skins of certain animals are required in a mission, but everything that is done can grant perk points in order upgrade abilities.
Far Cry 5 is a rollercoaster of emotions; from the sheer adrenaline of the gameplay to the psychological trauma resulted from the most disturbing underlings in the series’ history. A hugely enjoyable experience, even if it’s certainly got a few pacing and open-world teething issues to address.
Read more in our Far Cry 5 review.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PUBG may not be new, but it is relatively new to the PS4. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 100-player matches kicked off the Battle Royale phenomenon back in 2017, offering a blend of survival and shoot ’em up games that appealed to gamers. In fact, it appealed so much that it inspired waves and waves of clones, including the incredibly popular Fortnite.
PUBG is synonymous with poor performance – the PC game ran poorly for quite some time before being optimised, and it was a similar story with the Xbox One game at launch. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the PS4 variant; PUBG on PS4 is smooth, lag-free and gorgeous, especially when run on a PS4 Pro.
You get access to the same suite of maps, skins, weaponry and vehicles as the PC and Xbox variants of the game, although there is currently a slight delay before becoming available on PS4.
Apart from that, it’s the same 100-person Battle Royale experience that has been available on other platforms for a couple of years, offering a more realistic, gritty experience than Fortnite with a variety of weapon attachments and item upgrades.
Kingdom Hearts 3
We’ve been waiting 14 years for Kingdom Hearts 3, but it’s finally here. If you’re new to the series, it’s Disney meets Final Fantasy in a completely bizarre and incredibly fun mashup of characters and combat that’ll have you hooked.
It once again follows series protagonist Sora, accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy, as they travel between a variety of worlds drawn straight out of Disney and Pixar films, including Hercules, Tangled, Frozen, Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Despite its deceptive child-friendly veneer, the combat system is quite complicated, with interlocking systems that take a bit of thought and planning to make the most of. You’ll find that you can now switch between Keyblades during battle, upgrade your Keyblades over time and launch new Attraction Attacks and Link Summons for spectacularly bright and brilliant finishers.
The story is still as complicated as ever, so newcomers may find it difficult to get into Kingdom Hearts 3, particularly as its cutscenes can be incredibly long and cheesy, but for fans of the series it sheds light on some of the questions you’ll have had about Sora and his friends (and also his enemies) after the events of previous games.
Read more in our Kingdom Hearts 3 review.
It’s probably fair to say that Insomniac’s PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game isn’t the most original or innovative game on this list, but it makes up for it by being ridiculously fun to play around in.
This open-world take on the wallcrawling superhero owes a ludicrously large debt to Rocksteady’s Arkham Batman games – most obviously in the combat and stealth systems, which are lifted almost directly from those games, but also in the multi-villain story structure, open world mechanics, and even the traversal mechanics.
For the most part it’s merely an able imitator, but it’s that traversal that brings Spidey into his own, building on Batman’s foundation and elevating itself far above them: swinging around NYC is breathtakingly enjoyable, and it’s easy to lose hours to nothing but webslinging, swooping between skyscrapers and only stopping for the odd selfie.
Everything else about the game is fun – the story is schlocky comic book far, the combat is fast-paced, and the open world is lively (if undeniably repetitive) – but it’s the webslinging that makes Marvel’s Spider-Man almost an essential PS4 game.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the final instalment in the Origins trilogy, offering an all-round darker experience than those that came before it. Lara is good at killing, and she knows it. In fact, we think she even revels in it at points in the gritty campaign.
Alongside a dark, Hollywood-esque storyline, new exploration mechanics provide the most immersive open world experience in the Tomb Raider series. You can now spelunk, allowing you to fully explore complex cave systems, and you can swim underwater too.
Lara can cover herself in mud and stealthily approach enemies, taking them out one-by-one. The takedowns are pretty brutal too, but what’s new there?
The Challenge Tombs are more extreme than ever, with complex puzzles to solve and deadly traps to avoid. They’re bigger, more detailed and generally better than those in previous games – what’s not to like?
Take a look at our Shadow of the Tomb Raider review for more information.
Final Fantasy XV
At 200 hours for a complete playthrough (and at least 40 for the main story alone), Final Fantasy XV is pretty undeniable value for money- luckily, it’s also a good enough game that you’ll probably want to stick around for all 200 of those hours.
The game sets you on a road trip with a few buddies, but since this is a Final Fantasy game, there’s obviously a lot more to the story than that, and it’s packed with all the requisite twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout.
FFXV shakes up the series’ turn-based combat with a new dynamic, real-time system that lets you perform joint attacks with your teammates. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do it’s effective, intuitive, and above all fun.
The open world lets you travel just about as far as the eye can see, and visit everything along the way, and the game world is packed with activities and side quests to keep you occupied.
Set at the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 London, you play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a renowned doctor, scientist and now, vampire. You’re tasked with helping the 60 night-dwelling residents of London stay healthy, while also trying to find out where the virus originated – and how to stop it from spreading.
If you’re looking for a semi-open world, story-focused RPG, Vampyr is a solid option. It offers in-depth conversation options, game-changing choices to make and an intriguing storyline full of plot twists and betrayal.
But it’s much more than that too; combat is satisfying, especially as you unlock new vampiric abilities and upgrade your weaponry, and the world feels more alive than most open world games. Every person you see has a name, a story and relationships with other characters in the game, and deciding to feed on them can have a knock-on effect on the community and availability of quests. It makes you second guess your every move, and will leave you wondering if you made the right choice long after it was made.
But it’s the way that Vampyr makes you feel bad for killing citizens that makes it impressive – I’ve never felt more guilty playing a game in my life.
Find out more in our Vampyr review.
When have secret experiments on space stations ever gone right? Throw in memory modifications and eery aliens and it’s hard to really feel surprised that everything went a bit skewy on Prey’s Talos I.
You step into the shoes of Morgan Yu, one of the station’s head scientists, as you contend with the outbreak of the Typhon, an assortment of gooey black extraterrestrials with a penchant for mind control and murder.
While most of these enemies are pretty typical, the best are the Mimics, scuttling spiders that also have the ability to disguise themselves as every day objects – potentially making Prey the first game to scare you with a coffee cup.
There’s a pretty open character progression system, with options to focus on strength, hacking and repairing, or more outlandish Typhon powers of your own, while Talos I itself is also open to explore (mostly) freely.
If there’s a downside to Prey it’s that the story, while initially promising, never quite comes together entirely. That, and it’ll all feel very familiar if you’ve played the likes of BioShock or Dishonored before. Still, it’s tremendous fun, and easy to recommend.