The PS4 is officially ten years old. We've had a whole decade of Sony's last-gen console, and if you can believe it, games are still being released on the bloody thing. But we're not here to complain — we want to take this opportunity to celebrate a fantastic system.
There's no doubt about it, the PS4 has an outstanding software library. Ten years of bangers from Sony's first-party studios, and near countless third-party greats make up a crazy catalogue. But what games defined the PS4 generation for you? If you could only pick a few titles to hold high as your favourites, which would make the cut?
We asked our editorial team these questions, and we've actually come up with a really varied list of games — an indication of the PS4's excellence, we reckon.
For me there isn’t a game more representative of the PS4 generation’s live-service boom than Destiny. It was the first game I booked a day off work for, and the first game I saw evolve and improve before my very eyes. I have so many fond memories of late night Destiny sessions on what I still believe to be the best feeling first-person shooter ever made (which continued on with Destiny 2).
I really don’t think enough people talk about how much of a step-up in quality Uncharted 4 was for this already brilliant series. With a pinch of maturity thrown into the mix, it’s easily Nathan Drake’s most engrossing adventure, and it somehow managed to top the plane crash of Drake’s Deception with that Madagascar jeep chase. While there are rumblings of a fifth game, for me Uncharted 4 ended on such a perfect note that I’m happy just cherishing the memories I have with this quippy adventurer. And even before the PS5 remaster, it looked insane on the PS4.
The Last of Us: Part 2 was a game I was endlessly anxious about. It was following up one of my all-time favourites — a game that had a perfect ending. Yet in came the tragic continuation of Ellie’s tale with a brutal and unforgiving gaming trip that I’ll genuinely never forget. I was bawling my eyes out as the credits rolled at 4am, wondering if I’d ever be able to go back to shooting aliens and blowing up red barrels after experiencing one of the most profound games of our time. This was truly the PS4’s swansong.
Bloodborne was the first time developer FromSoftware had deviated from its pattern, so I was initially sceptical, being a devoted Dark Souls fan, but I shouldn't have been. The change of pace and shift to the bleakest possible tone make it the developer's best single effort, save for Elden Ring. When thinking of iconic PS4 experiences, the grim, evocative streets of Yharnam are one of the first things that come to mind.
A game I can play endlessly, Darkest Dungeon is one of the most fiendishly addictive, black-hearted roguelike RPGs I've ever played, and it remains a favourite. I first discovered it on PS4, but a special shoutout should be given to the PS Vita version, as cross-save made it something you could play while commuting. Gruelling, with perhaps the most tense turn-based combat system ever designed, Darkest Dungeon is unlike anything else and intrinsically linked in my mind to the PS4 generation.
Before Baldur's Gate 3, Larian Studios made me a devotee for life with Divinity: Original Sin 2. It's the best-written game I've ever played, featuring an unconventional, highly reactive turn-based combat system that, with the benefit of hindsight, was lightyears ahead of its time. Earning its Platinum was an absolute bastard, but it remains my proudest Trophy-related achievement to date.
The (sort of) rebooted tale of Kratos essentially sums up Sony's entire efforts during the PS4 generation: incredible, story-focused experiences that stick with you long after the credits roll. I think God of War Ragnarok bettered it in every single way, but God of War remains a PS4 great having started the new saga and introduced Atreus to the world. With sublime gameplay, great graphics (for the time), and a gripping story, there's still not that much out there better than God of War all these years later.
One of my favourite games of all time, the Naughty Dog sequel is the definition of outstanding. Need I say more?
I don't know if I'd place Rockstar's cowboy simulator in my top five favourite PS4 games of the generation, but there's something about it that has me thinking about it on an almost weekly basis — even five years after launch. Because of its movement system, I was never having fun 100% of the time, but its world is so alive and its story so captivating that Red Dead Redemption 2 had to be mentioned somewhere in this feature. If there's ever a PS5 version, I'm there on day one to truly invest myself in that universe all over again.
I've got to start with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, an RPG that eviscerated my expectations back in 2015. It remains one of my all-time favourite games, and even though the PS5 version is clearly superior, the original PS4 release still holds a very special place in my heart. It really did feel like a landmark title — a swift kick up the arse for the role-playing genre, setting new standards for character writing and side quest design. It was also one of the first 10/10s I ever gave here on Push Square!
Another one of my all-time favourites, Persona 5 Royal took an already outstanding title and somehow made it miles better. For me, this massively enhanced re-release stands as one of the most immaculately designed RPGs ever. It's effortlessly cohesive in everything from its battle system and social links to its insanely slick soundtrack and jaw-dropping sense of style. I've replayed this one more times than I'd like to admit, and for an adventure that typically takes upwards of 100 hours to complete, that's ridiculously high praise.
Picking out just three PS4 games for this article was incredibly difficult, but in the end, it felt right to go with Ghost of Tsushima. Being a big fan of samurai cinema, Jin Sakai's timeless tale of vengeance really struck a chord with me — to a point where I think it's probably one of the greatest samurai games ever made. The combat system does an amazing job of portraying cinematic swordfights, and the title's open world is truly gorgeous. For me, it's the most memorable first-party Sony release of the PS4 generation.
The scattered release schedule of PSVR2 seems to have triggered confirmation bias among sceptics, as they seek to rewrite history about virtual reality being a fad all along. Maybe it was, but PSVR – antiquated as it seems now – was seriously impressive at the time. And Astro Bot Rescue Mission, a platformer extrapolated from the excellent proof of concept demo The Playroom VR, was perhaps the most mind-blowing of the lot. This wasn’t just a spectacular demonstration of VR’s capabilities – it was a truly sublime adventure in its own right, as reinforced by its pancake PS5 successor, Astro’s Playroom. I’ve always maintained that if Nintendo had made this exact same game, and replaced the assets with Super Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom, it’d be lauded as one of the greatest releases of all time.
Truth be told, I’ve always been a bit of a Guerrilla fanboy, and I’ve been rooting for the Dutch developer since the early Killzone days. (I mean PS2, Halo killer era, obvs.) But besides perhaps Killzone 2, the studio had never really had a true breakout hit. Horizon Zero Dawn changed that – it shocked me. The war against the Helghast had always had outstanding lore, but it was never catalogued in a truly compelling campaign; Aloy’s inaugural adventure was all about the lore – yes, there was the story of the modern-day tribes, but it was the backdrop of humanity’s decline that made it such a figurative page turner in PlayStation form. Even more importantly, the studio paired that engaging RPG storytelling with the robust, responsive gameplay it was known for. This game literally transformed one of PlayStation’s perennial underperformers into a true juggernaut – and it’s evidenced by the sheer number of ex-Amsterdam talent now occupying executive positions at the Japanese giant’s top table.
I went early on Resogun – like, really early. In fact, I think I was a little bit insufferable insisting how good it was going to be – but a broken clock is right twice a day, eh? Look, I don’t think Housemarque’s cylindrical shooter is necessarily the best game of the PS4 generation, but while the rest of the world was fawning over Killzone: Shadow Fall and, yes, even Knack, I was obsessed with this blisteringly fast arcade shooter. The Finnish developer has gone on to bigger and better things with Returnal, of course, but a part of me still misses its era of addictive, bite-sized titles – a segment of the market Sony has, sadly, now left for indie developers to occupy.
Dreams is still the only game I've awarded a 10/10, a score I fully stand by to this day. Less a singular game and more of a platform, Media Molecule's PS4 exclusive is a treasure trove, full to bursting with unique, absurd, and genuinely brilliant community creations. Enabling the thousands of weird and wonderful games, music, artwork, and more is an incredibly innovative set of tools, streamlining three-dimensional creation without sacrificing depth. As well as that, the developer has produced several games within Dreams itself to serve as inspiration for players. It's an incredible package, and one that only gets more valuable over time — even now the studio has ended its post-launch support. While it'll always be a shame it didn't find a massive audience, it's easily among PS4's best games, and certainly its most original.
Psyonix's football-but-with-cars multiplayer smash hit is proof of PS Plus' potential power. The PS3 predecessor never really got off the ground, but Rocket League launched as a PS Plus monthly title, and it was more or less an overnight success. Physics-driven and incredibly responsive to play, the game is the very definition of easy to pick up, hard to master, and that's at the very heart of its ongoing popularity. Customising your vehicle with a range of fun cosmetics before taking to the pitch for five-minute rounds of soccar, this was an early multiplayer breakthrough, and remains immensely popular today after years of consistent support. Now free-to-play, Rocket League's wide variety of modes, short and moreish rounds, and a steady flow of cosmetic unlocks has kept it one of PS4's best, and most fun, online multiplayer games.
Revealed alongside the PS4, The Witness always intrigued me with its gorgeously presented island setting juxtaposed by countless grid-based puzzles. It took a number of years to arrive, but it was absolutely worth the wait. It's become a firm favourite of mine for several reasons, chief among them how the game invisibly teaches you how to "read" its puzzles. You essentially learn the game's language simply by exploring and playing with its hundreds of panels; it's incredibly intelligent design, and it results in one of the most rewarding and satisfying puzzle games I've played. That it also has numerous very meta secrets to discover only makes playing through it all the more compelling. If ever there was a game I wish I could play for the first time all over again, it's this one.
Now that we've had our say on the PS4, we want to hear your thoughts on the decade-old console and its many, many games. So vote in our poll, and then give us your own list of favourite PS4 titles in the comments section below.
What do you think of the PS4, 10 years later? (1,200 votes)
- It's my favourite PlayStation console32%
- It's a great console65%
- It's an okay console2%
- It's a disappointing console 0%
- It's the worst PlayStation console1%