Essential Games Every PS4 Gamer Should Play

The Playstation 4's chapter is nearing the end, with announcements about the Playstation 5's release date coming any day now. Since the system is winding down, it seems like a perfect time to look back at the best games to release on the platform. Below are ten of the best PS4 games, presented in no particular order.


1. God of War

God of War got its start way back on the Playstation 2, and it's continued to be one of those series that has defined the Playstation brand. Kratos is an amazing figure, but God of War managed to do something almost impossible - it made him likable. Kratos' journey as a father helps to temper him as a protagonist, allowing players to not only enjoy the combat of the game but also the main character. This isn't just a great Playstation game by any stretch of the imagination - it might be the best game of this generation regardless of the platform.

2. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of those games that makes a strong argument for games being art. Yes, it's a game that's ultimately about running around a fictionalized Wild West and committing crimes, but the actual story of the main game is a rumination on greed, vengeance, and what it means to choose between right and wrong. An excellent prequel that actually adds something to the story of the original game, it also allows players to strike out on their own in Red Dead Online.

3. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is the game that became so successful that it might have actually killed off its own series. One of the first games to legitimately span three generations of consoles, Grand Theft Auto V does feel like it's the kind of GTA game that Rockstar always wanted to make. While the base game is a fun crime story with an engaging plot, most players now come to GTA V for GTA Online. Ever-expanding and with plenty of its own stories, even those who don't love online games will want to check this one out.

4. Persona 5

The Persona series is one of those Playstation series that might not have ever really cracked the mainstream, but it's still widely praised by those in the know. Persona 5 is definitely an incredibly popular game in and of itself, but what's amazing is that it manages that level of popularity by still being an amazing Persona game. With some great characters, cool art, and a creative story, Persona 5 is actually as good an introduction to the series for new players as it is a continuation of the series for long-time fans.

5. Bloodborne

Bloodborne might have its own unique title and lineage, but don't be fooled - this game has Dark Souls all over its DNA. What that means for those who aren't fans of the series is that the game is brutally, almost unforgivably hard but strangely very fair at the same time. The game demands everything of its players, but those who are careful, cautious, and observant will feel like legends when they complete the game. The game's world is visually beautiful and its stories quite interesting, but make no mistake - this is one game that lives and dies by its gameplay challenge.

6. The Last of Us: Part 2

The Last of Us 2 is a divided game online, but those who have actually played it almost universally praise the game. A fantastic sequel to the original, The Last of Us 2 brings plenty of stealth and violence while asking players to grapple with some tough choices. Though the story beats aren't going to work well for every player, the sheer amount of work that's gone into making this game has to impress even the most jaded player. This game is a testament to all the work that's gone into making the PS4 a hit from day one.

7. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Billed as Nathan Drake's last adventure, Uncharted 4 completes a story that began back in the earliest days of the Playstation 3. Though the Uncharted series has had its ups and downs over the years, A Thief's End was a real return to form. While it might not have anything quite as gripping as Uncharted 2's train set-piece, it's probably the smoothest-playing entry in the series. Filling in a lot of Drake's backstory and finally bringing some resolution to some dangling plot threads, A Thief's End is a must-play for fans of this beloved series.

8. Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of those unique exclusives that make players remember why they picked up a Playstation in the first place. Aloy is a unique protagonist dropped in a fantasy world, one that combines some of the PS4's most beautiful scenery with some incredibly interested gameplay mechanics. The game's PS5 sequel is definitely one of the most eagerly awaited releases for a reason, but Zero Dawn is still a game that Playstation owners new and old owe it to themselves to try out. This is by far Playstation's most unique new world this generation.

9. Marvel's Spider-Man

Spider-man has a rich legacy on game consoles, but Marvel's Spider-man has taken the ball and run with it to a place that few could imagine. With an incredibly detailed world, an amazing plot, and some of the best swinging mechanics ever created, Spider-man is a game that's worth playing even if you aren't a fan of comic books. This isn't just one of the best Playstation games - this is one of the best superhero games ever made.

10. Ghost of Tsushima

Grabbing the final spot on the last is 2020's Ghost of Tsushima, a game that casts players in the role of a samurai in 13th century Japan. The sheer scope of the game is much more than most first-time players will expect, with a vast island to explore and scores of sidequests. What makes the game stand out, though, is the attention to detail - this is a world that feels like it takes all of the PS4's power to bring to life.

Related: Top 10 Samurai Games to Play Right Now

Looking To the Future

There are a few more PS4 exclusives left to drop in 2020, but it's going to be hard to beat any of the games on this list. From incredibly cinematic masterpieces to niche games that have fired up the imagination of the internet, these are the games to beat. Only time will tell if the Playstation 5 manages to match the sheer brilliance of the Playstation 4's catalog.