The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

You're heading to the store to get a PS4 right now, and need to know which games to get. (Keep your eyes on the road, please!) Or you're home, all set up, realizing you want more stuff to play. Or maybe you're suiting up for a battle in the console war, applying your facepaint and trying to remember which games will best help you make the argument for Sony's new console. We are here to help.

As with most new consoles, the selection of games on PS4 has been a bit limited. The selection of good games? Even more so. Then again, mere months into the console's lifespan, there are more good games than ever, with new contenders coming out every week.

Below, find a list of the games we recommend for Sony's machine. We will, of course, be updating this list regularly as more games are released for the PS4. We've capped the list at 12, and in the months and years to come will remove old games to make way for new, better entries. Here goes...

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

You're gliding over rooftops as a puff of smoke, jetting up from street-level through ventilation pipes before erupting off the edge of a skyscraper. Or, you're a neon blur sprinting up a downtown tower, a pink light dancing off the still-wet limestone. You push off the side, and as your leap reaches its pinnacle, you pause for a moment and take in the sunset. "Damn," you think. "This game has a lot of graphics."

That's Infamous: Second Son, an open-world superhero game from Sony and Sucker Punch, and surely one of the PS4's biggest early exclusive games. Designed solely for the PS4 and therefore able to fully take advantage of the PS4's graphical prowess, Second Son looks better than just about any console game out there—particles of light and flame flit outward as strobe lights and neon flashes dance in the darkness. Seattle has rarely looked so beautiful, or, when it comes time to fly across the city and do battle with evildoers, been so fun to navigate.

A Good Match For: Anyone who's ever wanted to leap off of the top of the Space Needle without fear of bodily harm, or run up the side of a building so fast that their body becomes a mere blur of light.

Not a Good Match For: The easily frustrated, or those who want a great story. Delsin's tale winds up being pretty straightforward and boring, and as thrilling as Second Son's super-powered city-traversal can be, the game's combat can be awfully annoying.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

After years of changes both minor and major, the Assassin's Creed series had begun to feel in a rut. Finally this year, with the pirate-themed Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the series has taken a major and unequivocal step forward. It doesn't lose all of the series' bad habits—hello, follow missions—but it improves many longstanding problems with better stealth, easier-to-navigate cities, and sidequests that actually feel like they help make your character more powerful. Best of all, it adds naval combat and a vast Caribbean overworld that make the game feel like, in the words of Luke Plunkett, "Wind Waker for grown-ups."

The next-gen versions of the game look incredibly good, particularly the PS4 version, which runs in beautiful 1080p resolution. Add on the excellent single-player expansion Freedom Cry and Assassin's Creed IV becomes a cinch to recommend, and easily one of the very best games on PlayStation 4.

A Good Match For: Pirate fans; history buffs; anyone who's ever wanted to pull up alongside a British frigate, grab a rope and swing from one deck to the other before fighting their way up the deck to take on the captain. Basically, anyone who's ever wanted to be a pirate.

Not a Good Match For: Those who demand precision controls. The on-foot controls in Black Flag are probably the best of the series, but they're still a far cry from where a third-person stealth/platformer should be. It's time for a crouch button, Ubisoft.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Few modern games have more baggage than Diablo III. If Diablo III were a houseguest, it would be the sort of houseguest that arrives with half a dozen suitcases and their own washer and dryer. But put the last two years aside, look past the troubled PC launch, initially lackluster endgame and failed real-money auction house, and you'll find Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, a console port that is in many ways the game's best version.

The PS4/Xbox One versions look as sharp and play as snappily as the PC version running on high settings. The controls are a natural fit for a controller. Local co-op is great fun. The games work fine offline, because the game never needed to be always-online in the first place. The single-player campaign is meaty, each of the six playable classes offers a distinct experience, and once the four acts and bonus expansion are complete, there's an enjoyable adventure mode to look forward to. When it was released on PC in 2012, we never would have guessed that Diablo III would end up making a list of the best games on a console. Sometimes it's nice to be surprised.

A Good Match For: Those who like watching tiny people destroy tiny monsters, co-op fans, people who hate goatmen.

Not A Good Match For: Goatmen advocates, those looking for an RPG with tactical combat, a strong story or deep, interactive conversations.

Watch it in action.

Read our review of the original game, and thoughts on the console version.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Need for Speed: Rivals takes the trademark speed-obsessed arcade racing of the Need for Speed series and dials up the jerk-o-meter, casting players as either a street-racer or a cop out to ruin one another's fun. It's one of the most gorgeous next-gen games out there, offering solid performance and beautiful 1080p graphics, sure. But the real draw is the gameplay, that trademark sense of speed that'll have you whooping and fist-pumping as you pull off impossible jumps and daring escapes. Easily one of the most flat-out enjoyable next-gen games available, and a great showcase for new gaming hardware.

A Good Match For: Speed freaks, jerks, people who like ramping a car off of a cliff while pop music plays, anarchists.

Not a Good Match For: Anybody who wants a game with characters they care about. Everyone in Rivals is a jerk, and the dialogue is just so, so awful.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

In 2010, Square Enix launched Final Fantasy XIV Online on PC, and it was just the worst thing ever — buggy, over-complicated, unfinished — a mess. The developers spent three years rebuilding the game from the ground up, and the end result is one of the finest massively multiplayer online role-playing games ever made. It's everything fans love about Final Fantasy — lush artwork, strong story, gorgeous music — only bigger, all wrapped around a traditional MMO framework. It's that Square Enix polish that sets it apart from other games in the genre. The PS4 version is essentially the same as the PC version, albeit with slightly reduced visual fidelity, and works well with a controller, which makes it all the easier to recommend.

A Good Match For: Fans of fantasy role-playing video games looking to take the massively multiplayer plunge. The original Final Fantasy XIV was a tangled mess of conflicting ideas, when all players wanted was a standard MMO game with the familiar features of a Final Fantasy game. That's exactly what Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is.

Not a Good Match For: Folks afraid of monthly subscriptions. Despite the MMORPG genere as a whole moving towards free-to-play payment models, Final Fantasy XIV stands firm by it's $14.95 monthly subscription plan.

Read our review of the PC version.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

You: A beautiful singer without a voice. Them: A weird sentient computer program bent on destroying your beautiful city. Your weapon: A giant sword called The Transistor. A giant sword that talks.

From that setup follows an evocative, exceptionally well-designed action RPG that will challenge you, thrill you, and maaaaybe even move you. Transistor is a marked evolution of the sort of art-driven, musical, mysterious storytelling that developer Supergiant established in their last game Bastion. Come for the great story, stay for the killer soundtrack, stay even longer for the intricately designed action. We're here with you, Red. Fight the Process.

A Good Match For: Cyberpunk fans, tactics RPG fans, anyone who wants a game with a button dedicated to making the main character hum along with the soundtrack.

Not a Good Match For: Those looking for a straight-up action game. Transistor may look like Diablo but it's far less snappy and requires a lot more tactical thinking in order for it to become enjoyable.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the PlayStation Store.

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Everything is awesome, you guys. Everything is cool when you're part of the team. The Lego team, that is—true to form, the game developers at TT Games have managed to take The Lego Movie's template and stretch it out to fit into a full-length video game. In the process, they've made things even bigger, weirder, and more subversive than the already big, weird and subversive film.

While the game's relatively brief campaign is a lot of fun, the real joy comes afterward, as dedicated players unlock the most unlikely hidden characters and replay levels in pursuit of more collectables and hidden surprises. Not only is The LEGO Movie Videogame the closest thing to an interactive Director's Cut of the terrific LEGO Movie, it's a wonderfully weird LEGO playset in its own right.

A Good Match For: Fans of The Lego Movie or fans of LEGO in general. This game has even more LEGO in it than the other LEGO games.

Not a Good Match For: People with dried up prunes where their hearts should be, people who don't really like LEGO games. At this point, you pretty much know what you're getting.

Read our review.

Read our review of the movie it's based on.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Launch games have a unique responsibility. Not only do they have to be good games on their own accord, they've got to showcase the console for which they've been designed. Resogun is a great example of a game that executes both of those missions successfully. It's a solid twin-stick shooter that takes place in a chaotic, cylindrical map full of tons of different kinds of enemies. You'll have to protect helpless humanoids from this surge of colorful, bug-looking creatures. What makes Resogun stand out as a shoot 'em up—you know, besides looking gorgeous—is just how much control it gives you. There are so many ways to rack up points, all of which send you on a more aggressive path to kill enemies. Enemy choreography is damn near Broadway-worthy, too. Watching your foes bend and weave in groups is pretty, but it's also tied to gameplay, as you can learn to adapt to through practice. And when thousands of blocky bits are exploding all over the screen, the graphical power of the PS4 comes through, too.

A Good Match For: People who like to be challenged and enjoy a fast-paced, action-packed experience full of pretty colors.

Not A Good Match For: Gamers who get easily discouraged by death. Some of Resogun's boss fights hurt, and it takes a while to really get the hang of your abilities and learn how to use them to their fullest potential. There isn't much substance outside of obsessing over leaderboards and redoing levels for practice, so if that's not your thing you might get bored easily.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the PlayStation store.

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

If you asked me to sum up Wolfenstein: The New Order in two words, I would say, "Max Hass." Who is Max Hass? Well. You might expect a game bearing the Wolfenstein brand to be another anonymous Nazi-shooting game, but Wolfenstein manages to surprise at almost every turn. Its story is a fun bit of dark alternate history that takes itself just seriously enough, its levels are open-ended and fun to explore, and its cast—Herr Hass among them—steals the show. Wish you could get a bit of dramatic musing on the nature of time and consciousness mixed in with your gunfights and explosions? This is your game.

A Good Match For: Fans of late-90s first-person shooters, those who want something a bit smarter than your average linear modern action game…but not too smart.

Not a Good Match For: Those who need multiplayer, Nazi-sympathizers.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

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The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Sometimes a name says it all. In the case of Don't Starve, the name says most of it, though it really could've been called Don't Die. Or maybe even Have Fun Dying! The game, which tells the story of one man (or woman)'s fight to survive a deadly, Edward Gorey-influenced fantasy world, is often brutally difficult. You may not always starve, but you will most certainly perish, and you'll perish a lot. But therein lies Don't Starve's appeal—like Minecraft before it, the game allows players to explore and gradually master the various interlocking ecosystems of a complicated and mysterious world. All of the smart and addictive design of the PC version is present in the PS4 version, and the controls translate well to a controller.

A Good Match For: People who like deep, uncompromising games; masochists, survivalists, anyone who wishes people's voices sounded like weird brass instruments.

Not a Good Match For: Anyone looking for a game they can easily sit down and have fun with. Don't Starve is a punishing experience that only opens up after hours of play, and the steep initial difficulty curve can be off-putting.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the PlayStation store.

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Naughty Dog's violent, heartfelt, emotionally exhausting epic The Last of Us is the studio's crowning achievement, and was easily one of the most impressive games on the PlayStation 3. Its story of survival in a post-apocalyptic world may be built on a foundation of zombie-movie clichés, but the tale of the embittered smuggler Joel and his relationship with a young girl named Ellie is so full of heart and wrought with such subtlety that any concerns about overfamiliarity quickly fade away. Better still, in addition to its beautiful art, gorgeous soundtrack and eye-popping cutscenes, the game itself is quite well-made. It's an often terrifying, exhilarating mixture of stealth, action and horror that plays out over sprawling levels and is unafraid to make the player feel disoriented and disempowered. The new PS4 version of the game is a marked technical improvement, with a smoother framerate and higher-res visuals. It also includes the terrific Left Behind DLC, as well as a bunch of maps for the game's largely underrated online multiplayer.

A Good Match For: People who like their games intense—The Last of Us is relentless, and the intensity of its narrative is matched by its discombobulating, often panic-inducing combat. This game is also great for those who like cinematic, movie-like games, and it's a good game to show off to your friends, roommates, or significant others. It's the rare game that looks so good (and is written so well) that it's fun to watch as well as play.

Not a Good Match For: Anyone looking for something fun or lighthearted. The Last of Us is a ceaselessly grim, often emotionally wrenching experience. Very bad things happen to good people, and it never gets easier to watch. Its closest literary analogue is Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and in terms of grimness, The Last of Us matches and sometimes exceeds McCarthy's often horrifying novel. The often difficult combat is exceptionally violent, so this game is not for the squeamish.

Read our review, our review of the DLC, and our thoughts on the PS4 version.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

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The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

It's difficult to describe the sheer joy of a heated four-player match of TowerFall Ascension—you kinda have to play it to get it. But rest assured, it is easily one of the most enjoyable local multiplayer games on any console, and a cinch to recommend for anyone with more than one PS4 controller. The game is incredibly simple—ammo and supplies are limited, and your character will quickly be scrambling to re-gather fired arrows and snag power-ups to get a fast leg up on the competition. There are few moments in multiplayer gaming as thrilling as when a skilled player leaps, grabs an incoming arrow out of the air, and fires it straight into an opponent. TowerFall Ascension is, to embrace the cliché, easy to pick up and very difficult to put down.

A Good Match For: Smash Bros. fans, those looking for a hectic competitive game to play in their living room. TowerFall is easily the most fun local multiplayer game currently available for the PS4, and is the latest in a growing (and welcome!) trend of games that channel Nintendo's storied Smash Bros. fighting series.

Not a Good Match For: Loners. TowerFall Ascension lacks online multiplayer, and while that makes sense—the game is clearly designed for local play and would lose a lot if you could play it against online opponents—it does leave solo players in the lurch.

Watch it in action back when it was an Ouya exclusive.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the PlayStation Store.

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:

Update 8/28/2014: Two games enter, two games leave. Outlast and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition make way for Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and The Last of Us: Remastered.

Update 6/18/2014: Change is in the air, as Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Fez, and Injustice: Gods Among Us clear out to make room for Wolfenstein: The New Order, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and Transistor.

Update 4/14/2014: Our PS4 list has hit its 12-game ceiling, and we've added (and removed) more games than in any other single update so far. Rayman: Legends, LEGO Marvel Superheroes, Doki Doki Universe and Strider all clear out to make room for Infamous: Second Son, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Towerfall: Ascension, The LEGO Movie Videogame, and Fez.

Update 3/10/2014: Two more games make it onto the list: Last year's fine Rayman Legends and the satisfying remake of the NES classic Strider. One more and we'll be at 12, after which we'll have to start cutting games to make new additions.

Update 2/14/2014: Our second update brings with it two games: The graphically enhanced Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and the pee-your-pants-scary Outlast. Only three more additions before we hit our ceiling of 12 and have to start cutting games to make room for new ones.

Update 1/27/2014: Our first addition to the PlayStation 4 Bests list is Klei's excellent survival game Don't Starve, which brings the total number up to seven.

The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4

Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:

The Best PC GamesThe Best PS4 GamesThe Best Xbox One GamesThe Best Wii U GamesThe Best 3DS GamesThe Best PS Vita GamesThe Best Xbox 360 GamesThe Best PS3 GamesThe Best Wii GamesThe Best iPhone GamesThe Best iPad GamesThe Best Android GamesThe Best PSP GamesThe Best Facebook GamesThe Best DS GamesThe Best Mac GamesThe Best Browser GamesThe Best PC Mods