2018 is finally here and though that means we can finally get excited about some of the new games coming to the PS4 this year, we think it's important to acknowledge the games that are making the system shine right now.
[Update: Monster Hunter: World is our first game of 2018 to make its way onto our must-play list.]
Sure, this is the year that will bring exciting platform exclusives such The Last of Us 2 and Spider-Man. Yes, we've very aware that we've also got big third-party releases such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3.
But we're not going to let our anticipation for these new games distract us from the fact that there are already some greats on the PlayStation 4 and we're still trying to work our way through them.
Since its release five years ago, the PS4 has built up an enviable library of game. There's no system quite like it for big-budget single-player exclusives including Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last Guardian and Uncharted 4. But it also boasts some of the biggest and best third-party hits like Destiny 2 and Assassin's Creed Origins.
It's really not a struggle to find great games on PS4. What is challenging is narrowing them down to the ones you absolutely cannot afford to miss.
It doesn't matter if you're a new member of the PlayStation family, drawn in by the new 4K visuals, or you're a veteran gamer on the market for something different in the new year – we'll have something here for you in this list of the best.
Keep checking back for new additions – we're always updating.
Trying to decide which PS4 set-up to get? Watch Jon and Gerald discuss the differences between the PS4, PS4 Pro and PS4 VR.
- Need some more space to store all these great games? Don't miss our guide on How to upgrade your PS4, PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro hard drive
Making the old feel new again
After a year away, Assassin's Creed is back and it's bigger and better than ever. In Assassin's Creed Origins you go back to ancient Egypt, before the brotherhood and before the Templars, where you play as the original assassin Bayek.
Assassin's Creed is a series that was growing increasingly stale but with Origins the formula has been refreshed with new RPG mechanics, story-driven side quests and a far more free-flowing combat system.
Whether you're new to the series or a fatiguing fan, Assassin's Creed Origins is absolutely worth playing as it's the strongest and most stunning installment we've seen in years.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. HDR support coming November 6.
Say hello to the triple indie
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is developer Ninja Theory's first attempt at publishing its own game and it's quite an achievement. The game follows Senua, a Celtic warrior suffering from psychosis who travels to Hell to rescue her lost lover.
The game uses an interesting mix of binaural audio and innovative visual techniques to communicate Senua's experience with her psychosis to the player, resulting in a game that's likely to be quite different from anything else you've played recently.
Disturbing, insightful and extremely enjoyable to play, this is a game worth taking a look at.
You can read all about our experience with the motion capture tech behind Hellblade right here.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. Dynamic resolution adaption for stable framerates.
If you thought the Uncharted series was over, you were very wrong. Though Nathan Drake's story is now finished, we're glad to see the globe-trotting treasure-hunting adventures continue with former supporting characters Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross.
The Lost Legacy isn't a full Uncharted game in the traditional sense. Instead it's being pitched as a spin-off title that's slightly shorter in length and lower in price. It is, however, an excellent addition to the series. TechRadar's own Jon Porter likened it to adding an extra verse to your favorite song.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 2560×1440 at 30 fps with HDR.
This is the PS4's next rising star
Horizon: Zero Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive that owners of the console absolutely should not miss.
Set in an aesthetically prehistoric post-apocalyptic world inhabited by robot dinosaurs, the game puts players in the shoes of Aloy who hunts these creatures and scraps them for parts. It's an interesting premise to say the least but it works.
Our own review classes it as a Play It Now title and although it has a few shortcomings we think it's an huge open world game that gets it right. It's a "must-own game of 2017" with visuals that will be particularly impressive for PS4 Pro owners.
If that's not enough commendation, the game was the winner of our 2017 reader's choice award.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 4K, 30fps and HDR support.
A chilling return to form
Your gaming collection isn't really complete if it doesn't have a quality horror title and if we had to suggest one it'd be the newest installment in the Resident Evil franchise.
Resident Evil is the franchise that put survival-horror games on the map and though it lost its way slightly in later titles, the newest game is a return to form for Capcom.
By going back to the survival-horror basics and getting them dead on, Capcom has made Resident Evil 7 a genuinely frightening and exhilarating gaming experience. If you have the stomach for the gore, it's absolutely worth playing.
The PlayStation 4 version of the game has an added bonus for PS VR owners – a virtual reality adaption of the game which Capcom has absolutely nailed. However, you'll need to be brave to play it all the way through.
Don't miss our full review of the game.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 1080p supersampling and HDR.
They had the technology to rebuild him, better than before
The original Titanfall was a great game, but unfortunately it didn't come to the PlayStation. Fortunately, its sequel, Titanfall 2, improves on it every conceivable way: the motion is more fluid, there are more distinct titans to choose from and, hold onto your hats here, there's actually a single-player campaign that might take the cake for the best first-person shooter story of the year.
This game's pedigree is inherited from one of this generation's smartest and most unusual shooters. The original Titanfall married ninja-fast on-foot combat to the gloriously thuggish thrill of piloting giant mechs, which are summoned from orbit a few minutes into each match.
The skill with which Respawn has balanced this mix of styles in the sequel is remarkable – Titans have firepower in excess but they're easy to hit, and maps offer plenty of places for infantry to hide. These ideas coalesce into one of this year's most remarkable entries in the genre and is well-deserving its own shot in the spotlight as well as a Game of the Year nomination.
PS4 Pro Support? Yes. Higher resolution and more stable frame rates.
The end of the long and dusty road
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End hasn't been out for very long, but we can already tell that this is going to be a Game of the Year contender come December. The game was tasked with an impossible task by bringing a satisfying close to Naughty Dog's classic adventure series and delivered something well above our expectations. Exceptionally high production values, an engaging story about a wayward brother and an adventure to remember, Uncharted 4 has them all in spades.
Though Naughty Dog's Uncharted journey has finally reached its destination, you're guaranteed to treasure the memories it created forever.
If you're a PS4 owner, it would be criminal not to take this ride.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 2560 x 1440 resolution with HDR and 30 fps in single-player.
Naughty Dog’s best, made better
Many games have offered us post-apocalyptic visions of the future, but none have been as brutal, as believable, or as touching as Joel and Ellie's story.
It was near-perfect on PS3, but with current-gen's increased performance ceiling Naughty Dog found ways to ramp up the visual fidelity to 'drop the controller and stare' levels. A radical tonal departure from Uncharted's jovial treasure-hunting escapades, The Last Of Us Remastered demonstrates the California studio's ability to strike a darker mood, populating the overgrown ruins of its setting with a cast characterised by murky morals but still getting you to care for them like your own bessies.
If you love this one, make sure you keep an eye on all the latest news surrounding its sequel: The Last of Us 2.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. Choice of 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps with HDR.
Lara’s origin story finally makes its way to the PS4
Has it really been 20 years since we first saw Lara in action? How the time flies when you're upgrading from a 32-bit resolution to upwards of 4K. But no matter how many years go by, Lara still manages to find a handhold in our hearts.
Despite being the sequel to a prequel about the young life of the Lara Croft, Rise of the Tomb Raider feels like the pinnacle of the series. The reboot which saw a brave new direction for the franchise seemed a lot of the time to be little more than a bit of light Uncharted cosplay, but Rise is a far more accomplished game.
There's now a genuine open world which feels like there is always something to do, and something more than just harvesting up collectibles in exchange for a light dusting of XP. There are also tombs. Yes, that might seem a fatuous thing to say given the name, but the previous game gave them short shrift. In Rise though they are deeper and more plentiful. Plus, on top of everything else, it's got VR support, which is pretty neat considering that there aren't many PlayStation VR titles around these days.
Welcome back to PlayStation, Lara, we've missed you.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 3 display modes available; choose between 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps or 1080p at 30 fps with enriched visuals.
Hope you don’t have a swear jar
From Software's enigmatic and notoriously challenging Souls titles all hold critical and fan acclaim, but none are as stylistically interesting as the quasi-Industrial era Bloodborne.
It plays like an RPG set indelibly on a hidden difficulty mode with all the helpful text pop-ups removed, which is to say it requires more than a modicum of patience from the player.
But that's the point – in Bloodborne, you get out what you put into it. Victory's all the more rewarding when you've watched your enemy, memorized his attack patterns, struck at the opportune moment and prevailed via the game's impeccable melee combat.
PS4 Pro support? No.
Stories don’t come bigger than this
Geralt didn't have the smoothest of entries to PS4, but after some heavy patching and a lot of angry words about visual downgrades, we're left with an RPG boasting tremendous scope and storytelling.
Oh, and combat. And don't forget Gwent, the in-game card game. And there's the crafting to get stuck into. And the alchemy.
You're rarely short of things to entertain yourself with in The Witcher 3's quasi-open world, then, and all the better that you're in a universe that involves the supernatural without leaning on the same old Tolkien fantasy tropes. Invigorating stuff.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 4K resolution or improved performance at 1080p.
Our 2016 Game of the Year
Overwatch has without a doubt been one of our favorite games to come out of the last year.
It's a classic team arena shooter from Blizzard that sets two six-person teams of wildly different characters against each other in a bright and cartoonish science fiction universe.
Great graphics, tight maps, and a good roster of characters to enjoy playing. Overwatch is good old fashioned fun and we thoroughly recommend it.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 1080p with 60 fps. 4K UI overplay.
Of heists and men…
Not only is it the best sandbox game on the platform, GTA V is also the best golf game, the best tennis sim, the undisputed virtual yoga champ, one of the best racers… it's even a pretty serviceable MMO.
We're used to scale and scope from Grand Theft Auto, but what Trevor, Franklin, and Michael bring us is a staggeringly well-realised city seen from three entirely different perspectives. Trevor, the maniacal rampage killer whom we discover to be in all of us when we play a Rockstar game; Franklin, the classic rags-to-riches character with street smarts and the ability to pull off a bandana; and Michael, the troubled criminal with a dysfunctional family and a beer gut to show for his life of violence.
However you play GTA V – a multiplayer muckabout, a story-driven third-person actioner, a flight sim – it reveals itself to be the best game on both this generation and the last.
PS4 Pro support? No.
Out of this world online multiplayer
Taking the place of the original Destiny on this list is, of course, its sequel Destiny 2. With its original game, Bungie managed to create a huge triple-A success as well as a cult hit.
Now, however, it's opening up to the masses and anyone that felt like they couldn't jump on the Destiny band wagon the first time shouldn't miss the opportunity to do so now.
This huge online multiplayer shooter will reel you in with its universe, single-player story, satisfying gameplay and addictive online modes. In our full Destiny 2 review, we call Destiny 2 "the Destiny you know, and the Halo you used to love, all in one loot-filled package."
If you're just getting started, it's also worth taking a peek at our handy tips and tricks guide which will allow you to hit the ground running.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 4K at 30 fps.
A refreshing jump back in time
In the latest Battlfield game, DICE takes players back in time to World War One and by doing so completely rejuvinates the once stagnating franchise.
Battlefield 1's historical setting helps it to stand apart from the rest of the modern military shooters on the market with all new weapons, vehicles, and level designs that feel fresh and capture the chaos and brutality of war.
The game offers a poignant and entertaining single-player campaign that sets a new standard for first-person shooter. Broken into six sections, each following a different character and front line location, the campaign never feels dull or repetitive.
The single player campaign even feeds neatly into Battlefield 1's multiplayer mode which, while familiar, also benefits from the much-needed breath of life that the change in setting gives.
Graphically impressive, entertaining, and sometimes touching, Battlefield 1 is a return to form for the series.
PS4 Pro support? Yes.
A smart, stealthy, steampunk adventure
Following the surprise 2012 hit Dishonored wasn't going to be an easy task, but Dishonored 2 has more than lived up to its expectations.
Picking up 15 years after the events of the original, Dishonored 2 takes players back to the Victorian Steampunk city of Dunwall. This time, though, you have the choice of whether or not you want to play as the original title's protagonist Corvo, or his equally-skilled protegee Emily.
Dishonored 2 doesn't differ wildly from the first game, but there was nothing wrong with Dishonored in the first place. What we get is a vastly improved and close to perfected take on it.
Anyone who likes their games filled with atmosphere, character, and a bit of wit and intelligence will find Dishonored 2 worth picking up.
You can read our full review here.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 2560×1440 at 30fps.
Multiplayer doesn’t get any better than this
We do a lot of whining about Call of Duty. We roll our eyes and joke how there's a new one every year and how there's, like, no difference. We say all these things and yet every year we know how we're going to spend the month of November: fragging friends and family in the latest Call of Duty game.
Black Ops 3 deserves a spot in your gaming armory for two reasons: it has awesome multiplayer – and there's almost no better way to blow off steam than going 10 kills in a row and calling in an airstrike on a team of people you've never met before but suddenly want to beat in the worst way imaginable – plus, it has one of the greatest game modes ever conceived, zombies.
If shooting zombies straight in the face doesn't you feel like it's money well spent then nothing will.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 4K at 60fps.
Still the best football sim money can buy
FIFA is, for many console owners, a highly anticipated annual event. The latest and arguably greatest installment in the football sim series has arrived in the form of FIFA 18.
Whether you're looking to play against others online, build up a management career on your own or play a cinematic story mode that'll give you an insight into the dramatic life of a premier league footballer, FIFA has a game mode just for you.
The best thing is, there's always more than enough to throw yourself into and agonize over until the next game rolls around with further incremental improvements that'll convince you to upgrade.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 4K and HDR.
Seeking fun, weirdness and excellent combat? Look no further
If you want to play a game that will feel different to anything else you've played recently, we heartily recommend NieR: Automata.
Though it's a sequel to 2010 game Nier, you don't have to have played the first game to enjoy this one. Set in a dystopian future, the story of the game revolves around a war between machines created by alien invaders and the remnants of humanity. Humanity has fled Earth to seek refuge on the moon but has sent combat droids down to fight for them.
You play as one of these droids, 2B, accompanied by another droid called 9S. Combat in this game is intensely satisfying, the game world is stunning with a huge sense of scale and the story is strange (sometimes to a fault) but incredibly entertaining. You won't be disappointed.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 1080p at 60 fps.
How many Snakes does it take to change a lightbulb?
Okay, so Hideo Kojima's last game for Konami – and his last ever Metal Gear game – might be a little tough for the MGS n00b to get to grips with, but it's still one of the best stealth-action games ever crafted. The open-world shenanigans will satisfy all your behind-enemy-lines / Rambo fantasies and probably confuse you with crazy plot twists and a million characters all with the same gravel-toned voices.
But hey, that's all part of its charm, right?
PS4 Pro support? No.
Superb in every sense
Looking for an incredible single-player shooter? Look no further than the 2017 wonder that was Wolfenstein II. Picking up from where the original game left off, this game is a timely social commentary and a superbly silly adventure all rolled into one well-written package.
With tight mechanics and a story worth caring about this is one of the most satisfying first-person shooters we've played in a long time. In our full review we called it "expertly crafted" and recommended that you play it now.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 2560x1440p.
Friends who slay together, stay together
Monster Hunter is a classic franchise that's been going for a long time, but with its return to console it's been given a new lease on life and dragged kicking and screaming into 2018.
Whether you want to play solo or team up with a group of up to three friends, this game has you enter a stunning game world that feels genuinely dynamic and alive in order to hunt down monsters. For research, of course.
There's a learning curve here, and the dark-souls style of combat has the potential to frustrate, but this is the most accessible Monster Hunter game we've seen in years. If you've been looking for a chance to break into the series, this is it.
In our review we called the game "a bold and confident new chapter" and gave it a "play it now" recommendation. Thinking of becoming a Monster Hunter yourself? Make sure you check out our full survival guide.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. Can choose between 60 FPS, 4K resolution, or prioritized graphics. All with HDR support.
The JRPG genre at its best
Final Fantasy 12 is one of the most underappreciated and anomalous Final Fantasy games, first released in 2006. With this remake, Square Enix gives players a chance to take a second look at the game, this time at a games that runs much more smoothly with less obvious faults and cracks.
In The Zodiac Age you'll find a beautiful game world, fast and exciting combat, and a sweeping storyline that's an example of the JRPG genre at its best. Whether you're a fan of Final Fantasy or not, 12 is enough of a series outlier that it's a good place to dip in and see what you might be missing. It's a PlayStation 4 exclusive, too.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 2560×1440 resolution.
Gran Turismo drives onto the PS4
Fans of the Gran Turismo series will welcome Sport with open arms as it finally cruises onto the PS4 platform. If you're looking for a racing simulator that looks great and handles like a dream, Gran Turismo Sport is well worth picking up.
The inclusion of a virtual reality mode is a real bonus for PlayStation VR owners, too.
PS4 Pro support? Yes. 4K at 60 fps and HDR.
Bold, brilliant and brutal
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the accomplished Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and builds upon all of its strengths.
Taking up the role of Talion once more, this game takes you back to a beautifully realized world that's bursting with originality. If you were a fan of the original game, we highly recommend that you pick of Shadow of War as it's an improvement in almost every way.
PS4 Pro support? Yes.