About a year and a half into its lifecycle, the PlayStation 4 is booming: the console sales are strong, system updates keep bringing new features, and most importantly, the games are great. Like, really great.
In fact, we had trouble settling on just 15 games to spotlight for this list of the essential games to play as of now, but this is what we settled on.
It's a mix of flashy, big-budget smashes and charming, bite-sized wonders, plus we've got franchise favourites, wonderful newcomers, and even a couple of the better last-gen games given fantastic facelifts. Whatever the case, these are all games that you need to play. Like, now.
Continuing the tough-as-nails legacy of the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne is one of our absolute favourite PS4 exclusives to date.
Sure, it's extremely challenging, but that level of difficulty manages to pull you in rather than pushing you away, getting you deeply involved in its brutal action.
You'll need tenacity as much as skill to get very far in this extensive fantasy quest, but if you have a high tolerance for frustration, it may be rewarded with intense satisfaction here.
EA Sports has cemented its dominance of digital footy with FIFA 15, adding a greater sense of weight and momentum to gameplay along with vastly improved goalkeepers. The tweaks make for much faster, more exciting gameplay; the king of football games is safe upon its throne for another year.
The Last of Us Remastered
One of the absolute best games of the last generation is made better still on PS4, with enhanced graphics, a faster frame rate, and tons of extra content.
The tale of one man's journey across a mutant-infested United States with his child companion, The Last of Us delivers a harrowing quest punctuated by intense action sequences. But it's also far more than a mere action game, instilling its story with incredible emotion and leaving you with deep connections to the characters. It really is the complete package.
Far Cry 4
Ubisoft's open-world adventure series takes a trip to the Himalayas in its latest instalment, plunging you into the midst of a protracted civil war.
Despot Pagan Min makes for a memorable antagonist, but as with previous entries in the Far Cry series, the real draw here is the endless distractions of its picture-postcard setting. Kyrat's mountains and plains teem with life – most of it hostile – and there are innumerable side-quests and challenges to distract you. Once you've taken out an enemy base with a rampaging elephant and a gyrocopter, you'll feel like a true action movie star.
New to Far Cry 4 are the massive Fortress strongholds, designed to encourage co-operative play; you can even pal up with a friend who doesn't own a copy of the game.
Grand Theft Auto V
"But I've already played Grand Theft Auto V!" you say. To which we reply: there's so much new content in this exhaustive update that it's practically a new game.
Never mind the graphical overhaul – which leaves the mean streets of Los Santos looking better than they ever have – or the new weapons and missions and vehicles. The real change for the PS4 is the all-new first-person mode, which gives you a whole new perspective on Grand Theft Auto, turning it into an FPS to rival the likes of Far Cry.