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The 25 PlayStation 4 games that every collection needs

UPDATED: Everything you need to play on your PS4 (or PS5!)

Whether you have the enhanced PlayStation 4 Pro, the original PS4 model (or Slim revision), or the brand new PlayStation 5, you really can’t lose: you have access to the best console game library today.

Not only does the PlayStation 4 have a hearty selection of AAA third-party games, but it also has a more consistently appealing selection of indie experiences – as well as some really spectacular releases from Sony’s own studios.

Just grabbed either PS4 or PS5, or simply looking to refresh your own library? You’re in luck: here are our picks for the 25 best PS4 games available today, including the latest and greatest releases alongside some of the earliest gems still worth savouring.

Looking to get some excellent gaming for very little cash? Check out the 11 best PS4 games for under £20.

Red Dead Redemption 2

As Rockstar’s next game after Grand Theft Auto V and the successor to the brilliant original, Red Dead Redemption 2 had a whole lot to live up to. Amazingly (but unsurprisingly), the studio pulled it off.

Rockstar’s latest open-world Western odyssey is a true sight to behold, with stunning vistas, impressively lifelike characters, and a compelling story across a vast campaign. The attention to detail here is consistently phenomenal, and while the slow pace may not be for everyone, this is a game that you might want to live in for a long, long while. And it comes with access to Red Dead Online, as well. Red Dead Redemption 2 is our pick for the best game of 2018.

God of War

Worried that the rage-fueled, hack-and-slash action of God of War would be left back in a different era? Worry not: with the simply-titled God of War, Sony has found a way to update the old formula without losing what made it so appealing in the past. And it’s simply brilliant.

God of War sees Kratos on another epic adventure, but instead of singlehandedly ravaging foes, he’ll quest alongside his young son. That adds a new kind of dynamic to the action, as does the Norse-flavoured world, but there’s still plenty of jaw-dropping, axe-swing action in the mix. Like Horizon: Zero Dawn, it’s the kind of meaty, memorable exclusive worth buying a PS4 for.

Read MoreGod of War review

The Last of Us Part II

Naughty Dog’s original The Last of Us was voted by Stuff staff as the greatest PlayStation game of all time… so yes, it’s fair to say that anticipation ran immensely high for the sequel. Luckily, it’s amazing. The Last of Us Part II is even more spectacular than the original game, delivering incredible graphics and acting performances, a deeply compelling storyline with unexpected twists and turns, and rich combat encounters. Definitely play The Last of Us Remastered first, if you haven’t already, but then be sure to fire up this brilliant follow-up.

Read MoreThe Last of Us Part II

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Sony’s original Spider-Man game was previously on this list, but we’ve swapped it out for compact semi-sequel Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The games are similar at heart, using the same open-city map and mostly maintained swinging and combat mechanics. But Miles is a much more compelling and emotionally gripping lead, and his quest to come into his own as Spider-Man amidst difficulties with family and friends resonates even more than Peter Parker’s own strong campaign.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Bloodborne will probably long have a spot on this list (keep reading), but developer FromSoftware changed course from its familiar Dark Souls-esque approach for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – and the results are deeply compelling.

Like "Souls-borne" games, Sekiro is immensely challenge and demands precise play – but getting the job done here is much different as you’re a shinobi. You’ll have to balance both Posture and Vitality in combat and utilise tactics such as stealth to win out and survive for another battle. And yes indeed, you’ll surely die more than twice. But it’s worth it.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

After years and years of fan demand, Square Enix finally gave us Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is… well, it’s about one-quarter of the original game. But that originally compact chunk is expanded into a much more robust, refreshed, and thankfully modernised role-playing quest, giving us all the more time to savour our faves like Cloud, Tifa, and Barrett. It might be a while before we get the rest of it, but this is such an enthralling start to the revival.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft’s open-world adventure series keeps firing on all cylinders with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which explores a new locale and era by tapping into the Viking invasion of England. You’ll start in snowy Norway before the game opens up a bit, savouring the likable lead Eivor and the dreamy terrain, but it ultimately feels vast and enormous – a quest that you can easily pour dozens of hours into. And you really should.

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 has long been considered the best of the early series entries, and this modern remake absolutely does it justice. Rebuilt from the ground up on PS4, it marries the great story, setting, and characters of the PS1 original with the action-packed gameplay introduced in the brilliant RE4.

The end result is honestly stunning, with presentation that raises the bar for the horror genre and a perfect blend of familiar moments, fresh twists, and an assortment of significant upgrades over the original quest. This is the new gold standard for super-tense, ultra-terrifying gaming.

Read MoreResident Evil 2 review

Dreams

Dreams isn’t really a game, at least not in the traditional sense. Hailing from LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule and taking their play-create-share philosophy to bold new heights, Dreams is a game creation suite with astonishing power and flexibility. With a controller and a PS4, we’ve seen players pump out shockingly polished recreations of big-deal games. Even more impressive are the original concepts, though – and the ability to turn dreams into playable reality makes this a must-play.

Read MoreDreams review

Fortnite

Fortnite didn’t become the biggest thing in gaming for nothing: the game’s addictive blend of punchy gunplay and strategic building mechanics helped elevate it atop the battle royale pack, and it’s one of the must-play PS4 multiplayer games right now. Also, it’s free.

Each match drops you and up to 99 opponents onto a large map, and you’ll fight to the finish until just one player, duo, trio, or squad remains standing. The colourful, cartoonish hook makes it quite a bit more compelling than the drab PUBG, while the ever-changing environment and gameplay elements keep things endlessly fresh despite the single (albeit ever-evolving) map.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Guerilla may have been known for the Killzone shooters before, but now they’ll be forever regarded as the brilliant team behind Horizon: Zero Dawn. This vast, open-world adventure – and PS4 exclusive – feels a bit like a mash-up of influences, ranging from Far Cry to Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3, yet the end result is absolutely marvelous.

You take control of Aloy, a tribal hunter in a future ruled by metal beasts, and you’ll use her enviable skills to explore the stunning wasteland and battle those mechanical monsters. It’s action-packed, nicely diverse in terms of objectives, and even has a captivating tale along the way.

Dead Cells

One of the most widely acclaimed indie games in recent memory, Dead Cells puts you in the shoes of… uh, a headless corpse brought back to life in a dungeon. Your task, then, is to fight your way out, but that’s hardly a simple request.

Dead Cells is a no-holds-barred roguelike side-scroller, which means when you die it’s right back to the start for you. Luckily, it’s not completely merciless, as weapon and character upgrades persist across attempts, helping you push further and further with each new try. The Dark Souls-inspired combat is brutal and satisfying, and the 2D Metroid/Castlevania-esque approach is done spectacularly here.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2

Our expectations for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 were relatively modest, being a gussied-up repackaging of a couple of 20-year-old gems. But this Hawk revival hits different than past efforts to revive the legendary skateboarding series, with the easy-to-grasp gameplay still shining after all these years and the completely overhauled graphics giving the bundle a thankfully modern touch.

Monster Hunter World

Capcom’s Monster Hunter always thrived in Japan, but found few takers elsewhere – maybe it was too hardcore, or just not enticing enough. But Monster Hunter World marks a new era for the franchise, and with its overhaul, millions around the globe are singing its praises.

As well they should: Monster Hunter World keeps the alluring premise of co-op battling against enormous, curious beasts of all kinds, but now it’s a lot easier to understand and get into, it has a strong story mode, and the visual update is tremendous. It’s the kind of game you can easily get lost in for dozens of hours… just be sure to keep your hilariously oversized blade at the ready.

Persona 5

Jumping into a role-playing franchise on the fifth entry might seem like a mistake, but then again, how many of us got into the genre with Final Fantasy VII? Likewise, Persona 5 doesn’t require that you’ve played earlier entries – and better yet, it’s one of the most acclaimed PS4 games of all time, not to mention an absolute stunner.

This epic quest drops you into a dazzling vision of Tokyo in which your student hero discovers the ability to use supernatural powers in another realm. It’s thrilling and engrossing stuff, balancing the mystical with the surprisingly not-mundane life of a student, and incredibly stylish to boot. Even if you’re not usually into JRPGs, Persona 5 stands above the rest.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Nathan Drake and his explosive exploits have become synonymous with PlayStation gaming over the last several years, and the long-awaited Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End sends the adventurer out on a staggeringly high note.

As ever, the latest Uncharted dazzles with incredibly tense set pieces and stunning locations, but Drake’s proper PS4 debut takes everything up a notch and adds in palpable emotion as the hero’s quest finally draws to a close. If you somehow haven’t played any of this amazing series, The Nathan Drake Collection can get you caught up right on your PS4. And when you finish Uncharted 4, be sure to hit the newer spinoff Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, as well.

Overwatch

The latest breakout multiplayer sensation is undoubtedly Overwatch – no surprise that it’s another gem from the Warcraft wizards at Blizzard, but it is surprising that the team was able to deliver the quintessential first-person online shooter experience with its first shot.

Overwatch is colourful and original, with a diverse cast of heroes that ensures that every player can find a specialty. However, success in combat requires not only working together with allies, but also choosing complementary heroes to build a rock-solid squad. We’ll be playing this for years; it’s truly a gift that will keep on giving.

Read MoreOverwatch review

Dragon Ball FighterZ

If you asked us a year ago, we never could have imagined truly loving a Dragon Ball Z game. There have been a couple of solid ones over the years, but most have been passable or much worse. But Dragon Ball FighterZ is legitimately awesome, even if you’re not a super-fan.

FighterZ adapts the legendary anime series with incredible precision, with pitch-perfect graphic recreations of characters and key moments. But the biggest draw is just how much fun and accessible the fighting is. It hails from Arc System Works, the team behind some super-hardcore genre entries, but FighterZ never feels overcomplicated. It’s a thing of beauty – spiky-haired, bulging-muscles beauty.

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Looking for a fantasy epic to lose yourself in for a hundred or more hours? Look no further than The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, simply one of the finest role-playing games there’s ever been.

It’s vast and stunning, but the beauty is more than skin-deep: the characters are richly drawn, there’s plenty of interesting stuff to do in the world, and the combat is quite sharp to boot. Even if you didn’t play earlier entries – probably a lot of you – this is a fine place to start, especially as it’s now available in a Game of the Year edition with the two brilliant expansions built-in.

Rocket League

Knocking around a football as a four-wheeler sounds mighty dumb – and it is, but in the very best way possible. Rocket League is utterly ridiculous, tossing you into a stadium as a little car or truck as you try to score goals with an oversized ball, but it provides some of the most fun we’ve had playing anything on the PS4.

And the high-level play, complete with dazzling aerial moves and saves, offers something to aspire to as you gradually elevate your skills. It even has basketball and hockey modes!

Doom Eternal

Doom turned the first-person shooter genre into a phenomenon, and 2016’s Doom reboot thankfully found a way to make the aging format bold and exciting again. Doom Eternal, now, is even better. It’s absolute chaos, as you command the armour-draped Doom Slayer through literal hell on Earth, ripping and tearing (and blasting) as you explore the enemy-packed terrain. It’s delightfully aggro and can really hit the spot, if that’s what you’re into.

Read MoreDoom Eternal review

Journey

Journey provides an amazing online cooperative experience, but you’ll never (intentionally) match up with your mates, chat with your partner, or even know his/her PSN ID: this stunning, contemplative puzzler challenges you to work together and form a bond without speech of any kind.

The result is a quiet but emotionally powerful and mesmerising trek across the desert as you marvel at each new scenario. It began life on PS3, but it’s no less essential now on PS4.

Read MoreJourney review

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.

Bloodborne

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 will be rewarded with intense satisfaction. Of course, you could instead opt for the equally essential Dark Souls III, but Bloodborne’s PS4-only status gets it the nod from us for this list.

Read MoreBloodborne review

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

We spend a lot of time in games dealing out death – as seen on this list! – but rarely any time at all ruminating about it. Or life, for that matter. So Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is an anomaly in more ways than one.

See, everyone but you has suddenly vanished, and you’ll wander a sleepy English village reliving their memories as you try to piece together what happened. It’s minimally interactive, but massively compelling.

Where to buy Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture