The PlayStation 4 sits comfortably atop the throne of this generation’s arbitrary console wars. It’s the best-selling platform of the lot, with its early success being pinned mostly to its solid exclusive titles and aggressive timed DLC deals in the face of the competition. Things have evened out in recent years when it comes to exclusives, but over the course of the generation, Sony’s wedge of a machine has built up a healthy catalog of games across every conceivable genre. With its successor, the PS5, on the horizon, we’ve combed through the archives to build this definitive list of the best PS4 games for you to check out before the next generation drowns out the past.
The Surge 2
The PS4-exclusive Bloodborne is one of the best games on the entire system, and developer Deck13 took major inspiration from it when the studio created the original The Surge back in 2017. The game introduced a limb-targeting mechanic and a science-fiction dystopian setting but retained the speed and aggression of Bloodborne to great effect, despite environments blending together after a while.
With The Surge 2, Deck13 has clearly listened to fan feedback, as the story has been moved into a large, open city with tons of secrets to uncover and enemies to battle. There are far more bosses in the sequel than in the original, and they force you to use every trick at your disposal in order to succeed. What hasn’t changed is the limb-targeting system, and slicing off a head or arm is as satisfying as ever.
PlayStation players couldn’t play Remedy Entertainment’s last major game, Quantum Break, but they have been given something much better in Control. The third-person shooter builds on Quantum Break’s mix of traditional gunfights and superhuman powers, but it trims most of the fat and is set in a much more interesting environment — the titular Federal Bureau of Control.
As new director Jesse Faden, it’s your job to uncover the mystery surrounding your brother’s disappearance and defeat the strange “Hiss” enemies you come across. This is easier said than done, but with the right abilis and knowledge of the shape-shifting Service Weapon, you’ll be able to save the world from certain doom.
Read our full Control review
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
The Dark Souls formula got a healthy dose of speed and horror when Bloodborne released back in 2015, and From Software has managed to make things even more extreme in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Set in Sengoku-era Japan rather than a wholly original world, the game is nonetheless filled with magic and monsters ready to kill you at a moment’s notice. No enemy is too weak to deserve your attention, and many are formidable in one-on-one fights.
The real meat of Sekiro, however, are the boss fights. They play out like choreographed dances, requiring you to learn a boss’ every move before you’re ready to go in for the kill. With a “Posture” system becoming more important in most fights than a standard health bar, you need to stay aggressive, but getting greedy will result in a swift death.
Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 is a sequel to a game released over a decade ago, but you wouldn’t know that from playing it. The flashy combat is brought to life with the power of the impressive RE Engine – also used for Resident Evil 2 – and with three protagonists using very different combat styles, you never do the same thing twice in Devil May Cry 5.
Nero and Dante both make their return alongside the mysterious “V,” who makes use of demons to do his fighting for him. Regardless of who you’re controlling, Devil May Cry 5 is an over-the-top adrenaline rush, with plenty of humor and ridiculous weapons that should please longtime fans.
Bloodborne is not for the faint at heart. This action-RPG adventure, a spiritual successor to Hidetaka Miyazaki‘s Dark Souls series, takes the challenging combat and methodical boss encounters of the aforementioned games but speeds up the gameplay for a more frenetic and tense experience.
A dark, gothic setting and Lovecraftian story provide a bleak backdrop for the white-knuckle gameplay. As a Hunter, you’ll make your way through the city of Yharnam, where a strange curse has begun turning locals into mindless beasts. While not technically a horror game, Bloodborne’s setting and high-stakes combat are uniquely terrifying. Be sure to stay alert, because the world of Bloodborne is full of unforgiving monsters and traps around every corner, making it one of the best PS4 games to date.
Read our full Bloodborne review
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
The launch of Diablo III is infamous. Hotly anticipated, the game was hit with awful server issues and serious gameplay flaws, like a real-money auction house, that sucked out the fun. Thankfully, Blizzard revamped the game through a number of patches and one full-blown expansion. Then, it released the game on console with support for up to four players in co-op.
The result is a fiendishly entertaining, supercharged action-RPG that’s a blast to play with buddies on a couch or online. While other games might have a better story or better graphics, Diablo III is pure stress relief. Sit down, obliterate some demons, and watch your numbers shoot into the stratosphere.
Read our full Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition review
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
From the mind of designer Hideo Kojima comes Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the fifth (and ostensibly final) entry in the long-running stealth espionage series. The goofy and over-the-top tone the series is known for has been downplayed,…