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10 best PS4 games: From ‘God of War’ to ‘Resident Evil’, don’t miss these classic titles

·16-min read
We looked for a wide range of gameplay styles that show the off console’s technical capabilities (iStock/The Independent)
We looked for a wide range of gameplay styles that show the off console’s technical capabilities (iStock/The Independent)

The PlayStation 4 is a machine of real beauty. Released in 2013 to critical acclaim and noted for its glorious technical performance, it’s sold over 100 million units in less than a decade.

And while its successor, the PlayStation 5, launched last year and is expected to supersede the PS4 in sales, the PlayStation 4 still offers a vast and intricate library of excellent games which are, of course, compatible with the PlayStation 5.

If you’re still searching for a PS5, you’re not alone. People up and down the country are still struggling to get their hands on the elusive console – we track PS5 restock dates and times every day on our PS5 stock-tracking page.

Our favourite PS4 games include the likes of eerie cosmic horror Bloodborne and soulful apocalypse simulator The Last Of Us. Not just a place to play the latest AAA games, PlayStation has also crafted a multitude of platform-exclusive releases, including the otherworldly God of War – which sees you battling gods and monsters alike in a Norse-mythology-inspired world.

We’ve tested a swathe of games to put together our round-up. In order to make the list, titles had to exhibit a wide range of gameplay while also showcasing the most majestic aspects of the console’s technical capabilities.

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Whether you’re looking for grisly Old West antics, haunted soul searching or tentacled horrors from the beyond, we have the best PS4 games for you, including the best single-player PS4 games.

The best PS4 games for 2021 are:

‘God of War’

Best: Free PS4 game (with Playstation Plus)

  • Developer: Santa Monica Studio

  • Release date: 20 April 2018

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Runs at 30fps in 4K, and at close to 60fps in 1080p

Mythological hack-and-slash adventure series God of War has entertained the console crowd for years with seven titles. But none were truly prepared for its latest offering, which delivered emotional complexity and soaring one-shot cinematic nature along with captivating gameplay.

Set in the world of Norse mythology – and all the vast serpents, tricksy gods and epic ice-capped mountains associated with it – you play ex-Greek god of war Kratos, whose wife has just died. Your young son, Atreus, accompanies you on a journey to fulfil her last wishes. Over the course of the quest, stoic, rage-fuelled Kratos works through his grief and grows genuine affection for his boy, as he teaches him the art of fighting (and chatting to) monsters and gods alike. You’ll meet all sorts of interesting characters, included but not limited to a decapitated head that talks, all while releasing god-like fury upon your foes.

Buy now £12.99, Amazon.co.uk

‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

Best: RPG

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red

  • Release date: 19 May 2015

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Runs in 4K, or at a boosted frame rate in 1080p

Met with universal acclaim from critics, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the finest role-playing games (RPGs) available on PlayStation 4 right now. You play the silver-haired Geralt, a grizzled fighter who uses the dark arts to slay monsters. You must traverse a colourful yet dark fantasy world inspired by Slavonic mythology to find your missing daughter, who is fleeing the mysterious and deadly Wild Hunt. An enthralling action game, you’ll find yourself battling monsters and upgrading otherworldly skills.

As an RPG, the game also features a maze of different choices and open-world exploration. Your decisions will determine one of numerous endings. Additionally, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is up there with Western classic Red Dead Redemption 2 in terms of sheer scale: we sank hundreds of hours into its mammoth fantasy world.

The Witcher 3 currently has £10 off at Amazon.

Buy now £12.95, Thegamecollection.net

‘Resident Evil 7: Biohazard’

Best: VR game

  • Developer: Capcom

  • Release date: 24 January 2017

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Resolution and frame-rate improvements

Among one of the most horrifying entries of the wildly popular Resident Evil series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is essentially a grim slasher movie. A survival-horror, it sees you playing a non-distinct chap named Ethan, who is searching an abandoned and derelict mansion in the swampy, fly-infested backwaters of Louisiana for his wife. The house is, predictably, filled with cannibal maniacs fuelled by sadistic glee, and their curious “inventions”. You’ll have to survive the mansion, while also investigating a horrible mystery, and grabbing whatever weapons you can.

Genuinely terrifying and beautifully directed, Resident Evil: Biohazard is sure to please fans of horror games and films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre alike. It’s challenging but also thrilling, its terse atmosphere builds near constant tension. Honestly, it’s one of the scariest experiences around.

Buy now £14.95, Amazon.co.uk

‘Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice’

Best: Action-adventure game

  • Developer: Ninja Theory

  • Release date: 8 August 2017

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Runs at 1440p, boost mode targets 60fps in 1080p

A deep and moving adventure game that explores everything from Celtic mythology to mental health and the nature of grief, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a game like no other. It follows Pict warrior Senua, on a stygian odyssey to save the soul of her lost lover Dillion from the Norsemen that killed him. You’ll roam strange plains, battle folk-horror style monstrosities and face off Darkness itself. We found it to be a truly intense experience, and one of those rare PS4 games that moves into art.

An action-adventure, the protagonist suffers from psychosis, which she believes to be a curse. One of the ways this is represented is through an eerie and compelling narration, as all the voices inside her head speak over the gameplay, and visual hallucinations. They are brutal and ceaseless, a constant chatter that permeates even in battle. Senua’s tragic backstory is also revealed throughout, making the game a very personal, empathetic experience overall. At its centre, is the raw and vulnerable performance of its heroine.

Buy now £19.59, Amazon.co.uk

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

Best: Survival game

  • Developer: Rockstar Games

  • Release date: 26 October 2018

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Improved resolution and performance

The finest cowboy simulator around, Red Dead Redemption 2 takes you on a gigantic tour of the Old West, complete with plenty of bandits, shoot-outs and hungry wolves. It’s a bleak tale that serves as a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption. You play as Arthur Morgan, a gang enforcer trying to keep the Van der Linde gang alive after a heist goes wrong and they find themselves on the lamb.

As well as its savage narrative, morality plays a key part in Red Dead Redemption 2, with your actions affecting your honour rating. You’ll have to make tough decisions at times, whether that’s what to do with hostages or ways to keep your group alive.

We love that the world is one of the biggest ever seen in games, with a treasure trove of side-quests along with a cinematic ongoing narrative. There’s a real joy to be found galloping on its sun-drenched, sometimes bleak and snowy, plains. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a visceral, yet hugely polished experience that takes you to another world.

Buy now £21.00, Ao.com

‘Bloodborne’

Best: Co-op game

  • Developer: FromSoftware

  • Release date: 24 March 2015

  • PS4 Pro support: No

A cosmic horror nightmare from the same folks that created the legendary Dark Souls game series, Bloodborne is a punishing dark-fantasy action game steeped in miles of eerie, grimly captivating lore. You play a hunter, seeking the cure for a horrible plague that is destroying the decrepit (and delightfully gothic) town of Yarnham.

Along with the disease, come an array of hideous and deadly monsters. You’ll fight these with a range of increasingly deadly weapons, while also unravelling the secrets of the dark and terrible world you’re trapped in through exploration. You’ll need a lot of patience, determination and attention to detail to stay alive in its haunted reaches.

Inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft and Bram Stoker, Bloodborne is a compelling action-game that also packs incredible storytelling, whether through its rich atmosphere, or its wild and weird mythology. Cursed town Yharnam is exquisitely rendered, and we found it a sinister joy to explore. Be warned though, it’s a hard game that requires time to master – but the payoff is totally worth it.

Buy now £7.95, Thegamecollection.net

‘The Last Of Us’ Remastered

Best: Shooting game

  • Developer: Naughty Dog

  • Release date: 29 July 2014

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Runs in 1440p at 30fps

In The Last of Us series, the world is overtaken by a grisly mutant fungus that turns folks into hostile killing machines. The first instalment’s opening is a front row seat to the end of the world, and things only get more intense from there. An action-adventure, there’s lots of brutal combat, head-pounding escapes and a soulful story to boot.

The Last Of Us is generally considered one of the best games of all time, and its epic story continues with its direct sequel, The Last Of Us 2. We found it to be utterly heart-rendering, its narrative quality on par with a dark sci-fi film. The main story follows what happens 20 years after things go under. Protagonist Joe, now a smuggler, is charged with a very important cargo indeed: a young girl, who he must escort across what’s left of the US. The world now is formed mostly of quarantine zones crawling with cops, nomadic groups and occasionally, friendly settlements.

Buy now £8.95, Thegamecollection.net

‘NieR: Automata'

Best: Single-player game

  • Developer: PlatinumGames

  • Release date: 23 February 2017

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Improved graphics and 60fs at 1080p

On first appearance, NieR: Automata looks a little too much like a kinky-anime RPG, complete with doll-faced protagonist. However, it’s actually an existential tale drenched in ultra-violence, philosophy and pitch black humour. It follows the wild journey of a combat-android and her companions through a world ruled by machines. Beset by aliens, humanity has scarpered off to the moon, leaving an android army to fend off the invaders.

A genre-bender: it predominantly features action, but through different playthroughs, switches into other genres, including brawler and text adventure. It’s not always the most seamless transition, but captivating nonetheless. Curiously, you have to play through it multiple times, the game changing on each play. The battles themselves are frenetic, smooth and jam-packed with enemies. Overall, NieR: Automata is a gorgeous, and rather strange, experience.

Buy now £17.99, Argos.co.uk

‘Until Dawn'

Best: Multi-player game

  • Developer: Supermassive Games

  • Release date: 28 August 2015

  • PS4 Pro support: No

A choice-based adventure game where your actions tend to have terrible and unforeseen consequences, Until Dawn sees you controlling eight young adults desperate to stay alive in a mountain lodge and its surrounding, definitely cursed, woods. It also includes a captivating storyline steeped in everything from native mythology to college politics.

Cinematic (it comes complete with movie star voice actors) Until Dawn runs along at break-neck pace, and actually feels like you’re playing your very own horror film. Along with making dialog decisions for the characters, you’ll also need to work out how they navigate through the world and what general actions they take. These decisions are often under high pressure, with timers and expert button mashing required to instil tension. These will also culminate and cause other events later down the line. You will reap as you sow.

It’s no easy task to keep them all alive, as the doomed youngsters find themselves preyed by some hideous threats. Most likely, plenty of your characters will die, and you’ll get to one of the unique endings with only a couple left in tow.

Buy now £12.90, Amazon.co.uk

‘Ghost of Tsushima'

Best: Open-world game

  • Developer: Sucker Punch

  • Release date: 17 July 2020

  • PS4 Pro support: Yes. Improved resolution and boosted frame rate

Set in 13th century Japan, Ghost of Tsushima is the perfect PS4 game for anyone who’s ever dreamed of being a roaming samurai. Drawing from the cinematic epics of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, you play Jin Sakai, a samurai charged with protecting Tsushima Island from the relentless and brutal invading Mongols. In order to do so, you’ll need to master underhanded tactics that are apparently at odds with the honourable ways of the samurai.

What follows is cinematic gameplay with a unique fighting system that sees you using wild new tactics to fend off the Mongols once and for all. As well as stealthing and assassinating, you’ll also enjoy intense one-on-one duels reminiscent of films like Yojimbo.

Ghost of Tshushima is an atmospheric deep-dive into the world of feudal Japan, and an excellent homage to samurai tales generally. An open-world action game, it has sold over five million copies thus far, and was met with critical acclaim.

Buy now £34.99, Very.co.uk

PS4 games FAQs

When did the PS4 launch?

The PS4 is the successor to the PS3 console and was first launched in North America on 15 November 2013. It was then released in Europe, South America and Australia on 29 November 2013. The PS5 launched on 19 November 2020.

What is PlayStation Plus?

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service that can run across one-, three- or 12-month payment plans. With it, you can access exclusive monthly games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends and use its online multiplayer service so you can play with friends (even if they don’t own the game themselves) along with 100GB of cloud storage to save your game progress.

Monthly payments are £6.99, or £19.99 every three months, or you can pay a single, annual fee of £49.99.

Can you play PS4 games on PS5?

Yes, the new PS5, launched on 19 November 2020, has been made to be backwards compatible with more than 4,000 PS4 games, however, some functionalities that were available on the PS4 console may not be available on PS5 consoles. As a result, some PS4 games may display errors when played on a PS5.

Therefore it’s recommended to make use of the PS5 console's “game boost”, which will allow PS4 games to run with a smoother or higher frame-rate and make for easier play.

Can you play PS3 games on PS4?

The PS4 on the other hand is not backwards compatible and so you cannot play PS3 games using a disc or download from the PlayStation Network Store.

A way around this is by using PlayStation Now, which is a streaming service that allows you to play PS3 games on PS4 over a wifi connection. In order to do this, you need to download the PlayStation Now app from the PlayStation Network Store with an internet connection of 5Mbps or faster.

How do you delete games on PS4?

To free up storage space on your PS4 to make room for new games, you will need to uninstall them. This can be done by finding the game you want to delete on the games menu and select delete in the options menu and simply confirm.

How to gameshare on PS4

If you want to share your gaming experience, progress or score with others, you can use the “share” button on your PS4 controller to do so.

This will allow you to screenshot or capture video content mid-game and share on social media before picking up where you left off. You can access all your screenshots and video clips in the capture gallery.

If you want to gameshare with friends and family, you can select settings in the PS4 menu, scroll to “account management”, pick “activate as your primary PS4” and select “activate”. In order to do this, you will need to deactivate your own PS4 console as the primary console. Doing this will allow access to all the games in your library on your friend’s console.

How to get a refund on a PS4 game

If you are unhappy with a game you’ve purchased, you can claim a refund within 14 days. However, you will not be eligible for a refund if you have already started to download or stream what you’ve bought unless it is faulty.

In order to request a refund, you will need to fill out this form on the PlayStation website.

Are PS4 games still being made?

PS4 gamers rejoice! Although everyone is scrabbling to get their hands on the elusive PS5, it seems that PS4 games are still going to be made and released by Sony. A number of PS5 games, like Spider-Man: Miles Morales will also be released on the PS4. As for new titles, Hideaki Nishino, Sony’s head of platform planning, implied in an interview with AV Watch that new PS4 games will be made for at least two more years.

The verdict: PS4 games

God of War is among one of the finest games ever made, and draws you into an epic odyssey that’s just as gripping as it is deep. The rich rendering of Norse mythology is a treat in and of itself. Special mention goes to Bloodborne, which creates a distinct, dark fantasy world that is as unnerving as it is beautiful, and complements its bleak gothic charms with hard action gameplay that is a grim delight to master.

For a game that’s easier to play, but comes with all manner of vicious consequences, horror adventure Until Dawn is absolutely the best – and just as fun to play by yourself as it is with friends, despite being a single-player game.

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