The 25 Best PS4 Games – Spring 2019 Update

The 25 Best PS4 Games – Spring 2019 Update

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Welcome to IGN’s top 25 PlayStation 4 games, our bi-annually updated list of the games you should definitely check out on your PS4 or PS4 Pro. We’ve updated the list for spring 2019, making a few additions to the list, while also removing a few other games as a result.

Before we dive in, some information you should know about the selection process. The latest list is compiled via input from Jonathon Dornbush, Brian Altano, Max Scoville, and Lucy O’Brien.

In putting together the list, a number of factors have come into play. We considered the quality of each game, our personal preference, the cultural significance of each title, and its remaster/remake status. (Remasters are eligible for the list, but we do consider the amount and quality of updates from the original game in addition to how much we like them.) Our cutoff for game releases to be eligible was March 1, 2019.

Additionally, PSVR-only games have not been included in this list. While we have loved plenty of experiences in PlayStation VR, because there’s a second barrier to entry, and the intention of this list is that you could buy a PS4 and play any of these 25 games immediately, we have omitted them from this list. (We are looking into doing a separate PSVR list, so stay tuned for more details!)

Lastly, know that not we get that not every game could be included — it is a top 25, after all. And though many of our favorite games have been omitted — if you’ve met me, you know my Kingdom Hearts love — know that this list should set you up to have dozens and dozens of hours of fun, no matter what genre you enjoy.

25. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Release Date: October 5, 2018 Developer: Ubisoft Check out IGN’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey wiki. Moved down one spot on the list.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took the revolutions Assassin’s Creed Origins created for the franchise and evolved them further, creating a gorgeous, dense, and fun version of Ancient Greece to explore. Allowing players to choose either a male or female protagonist, and adding in dialogue choices that can lead to romantic partners, allowed for players to inject more personality into the protagonist than ever before. (Even if the game’s DLC saw controversy for seemingly undermining some players’ choices.) The host of intriguing missions, clever scenarios, and fun combat options — Sparta kicking a foe is never not enjoyable, — Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is undoubtedly one of the best and most robust entries in the franchise yet.

From IGN’s Assassin’s creed Odyssey review: “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a resounding achievement in world building, environment, and engaging gameplay with occasional problems throughout. Its incredible recreation of ancient Greece is something I’ll want to go back to long after I’ve finished its main story, and its excellent systems mesh together in a way that’s hard to beat. While there are definite rough edges, Odyssey sets a new bar for Assassin’s Creed games and holds its own in the eternal debate over the best open-world roleplaying games ever.”

24. Nier: Automata

Release Date: February 23, 2017 Developer: PlatinumGames Check out IGN’s Nier: Automata wiki Moved down three spots on the list.

Nier Automata delivers a ridiculously entertaining journey full of awesome ideas that is equal parts strange and beautiful. There are few games like Automata, which bounces between game genres and styles with aplomb. Taking place in a futuristic dystopia, this “action-RPG” offers a roller coaster of different gameplay opportunities, wrapped up in a fascinating story that has many multiple endings that encourage poking into every corner of this engrossing world. There are few games that attempt what Neir: Automata does, and it’s absolutely worth checking out this Yoko Taro-directed adventure.

From IGN’s Nier: Automata review: “Nier: Automata is a crazy, beautiful, and highly entertaining journey full of nutty ideas and awesome gameplay. It may not include the most sensical story or compelling characters, but its frenzied combat — coupled with beautiful visuals and a stunning soundtrack – make it too much fun to pass up.”

23. Monster Hunter World

Release Date: January 26, 2018 Developer: Capcom Check out IGN’s Monster Hunter World wiki Same spot on the list.

The long-running Monster Hunter series broke through with the 2018 hit Monster Hunter World, which not only impressed us with its rewarding gameplay but also with how accessible the game proved to be. For a series that can take some learning to get the hang of, Monster Hunter World produced a fully realized, expansive world

From IGN’s Monster Hunter World review: “Game subtitles so rarely tell us anything about what’s inside the box. How can warfare be infinite, who was actually doing the reckoning in Kingdoms of Amalur, and what the hell is a ‘Breath of the Wild’ anyway? It’s almost a shock, then, to discover how perfectly “World” sums up Capcom’s achievements with the newest Monster Hunter.”

22. Guacamelee 2

Release Date: August 21, 2018 Developer: Drinkbox Studios Moved down two spots on the list.

Equal parts ‘80’s beat-em-up and ‘90’s action platformer, this deliciously comical, vibrantly fun game is a must-have for PS4 owners looking to find themselves entertained and challenged, by this wholly weird and unique story of an ass kicking Lucha Libre wrestler. That’s obviously a very specific niche of people on paper, so to be a bit more specific, Guacamelee is a franchise about battling giant bosses, exploring intricately woven 2D worlds, transforming into a screaming chicken, and running, jumping, suplexing and shifting parallel dimensions your way to victory. When playing alone, the game thrives as one of the best Metroidvanias available, one that will have you scouring every corner for secrets, characters, and upgrades.

With friends, it’s a frenetic multiplayer co-op experience that feels like a vintage arcade game where you’ll basically create a roving gang of over the top cartoon characters. The world itself is a shimmering, dynamic labyrinth that feels like a classic Castlevania castle with a colorful and fun new coat of paint. The music rules, too, with energetic Mexican string guitars and bumping trumpets fluttering around in the background as you elbow drop, drop kick, and explore. It’s fairly beatable game if you just want to stick to a main path and an incredibly rewarding challenge if you want to 100% it. Guacamelee 2 is one of the best games in its genre and one of the best games available on PlayStation 4.

From our Guacamelee 2 review: “Guacamelee 2 does a great job of balancing all of this referential world-building with the beautiful, brightly colored style of the Mexiverse. I often found myself spending extra time in certain areas, flipping back and forth between the two realms just to experience the art styles of both the worlds of the living and the dead. From temples to the underworld to quiet pueblos pocketed by timeline-melding distortions, I adored watching the vibrancy of Juan’s world pop with earthy browns and forested greens in the land of the living and bright blues and shocking streaks of pink in the land of the dead.”

21. Dark Souls Remastered

Release Date: May 24, 2018 Developer: From Software, QLOC, Virtuos Moved down two spots on the list.

Revisiting the first in FromSoftware’s beloved franchise, Dark Souls Remastered is an incredible version of a challenging as-all-hell but rewarding descent into darkness. With all its included updates, smoother performance, and the indelible experience of the original Dark Souls adventure fully intact and as memorable as ever.

From our Dark Souls Remastered review: “Dark Souls remains one of the most demanding yet rewarding action RPGs ever made, set across an intricately designed world that yields its secrets only to the most intrepid and curious.”

20. Tetris Effect

Release Date: November 9, 2018 Developer: Monstars, Resonair, Enhance New to the list!

How do you make Tetris, one of the best-selling and arguably perfect games, even better? You add in dazzling light shows, music that reacts to your moves, and one of the most blissfully zen gaming experiences of the generation. Tetris Effect, even without its PSVR component, is a transcendent experiences, making a stalwart of the video gaming medium fresh. Its Journey mode includes a couple dozen stages of memorable music, which melds to the blocks you move and place, with backgrounds that, quite literally, take you on a journey from the ocean depths to jungle and desert terrain to the reaches of space. There’s something almost spiritual to the experience, which doesn’t do anything to majorly twist the Tetris formula, but enhances it in a memorably powerful way.

From our Tetris Effect review: “The main campaign of Tetris Effect is Journey, an engrossing series of connected boards each with their own diverse art style, music, and ruleset. Each board is unique and I was constantly surprised by what they offered. One might see you starting underwater as a beautiful particle-effect whale swims around you, while the next will be a desert landscape with a meandering caravan of camels that, halfway through, transitions to a realistic-looking version of the moon complete with an astronaut tooling around in a lunar vehicle. Some don’t have music at all, instead opting for a soundscape drawn from the sounds of wind. Another had me inadvertently creating a jazz jam with the sound effects created by rotating, moving, and dropping pieces.”

19. Celeste

Release Date: Januar 25, 2018 Developer: Matt Makes Games Moved down one spot on the list.

An incredible platformer with a wealth of heart, Celeste is packed with secrets that are as enjoyable to find as they are challenging. The beauty of Celeste comes in how its story and themes are echoed so beautifully in the gameplay. Celeste follows Madeline as she attempts to overcome a mountain of a challenge — literally, as she’s trying to scale a dangerous mountain. Simultaneously, Celeste’s story is a touching exploration of mental illness, the very human challenges that come with it and the incredible ability and spirit of those who face it. Those themes come to life in Celeste’s gameplay, strewn across a series of tough but fair platforming levels that have their fair share of challenge, but are so rewarding to complete. Celeste’s instant death-and-respawn system never makes a loss in Celeste feel like one — they’re learning opportunities to improve and overcome the challenges in your way.

From our Celeste review: “Occasionally, while playing Celeste, I’d get light-headed because I’d focus so hard on a sequence of jumps that demanded precise timing and perfect button presses that I’d forget oxygen was a thing my body needed. Trying and failing and trying again, getting a little closer each time, I let the beautiful art and adaptive music of the titular Celeste Mountain – alongside the passionate, relatable story told there – completely whisk me away.”

18. Dead Cells

Release Date: August 7, 2018 Developer: Motion Twin Moved down one spot on the list.

Motion Twin’s roguelike makes the act of dying again and again more rewarding than many of its genre. Live, die, repeat in a world replete with lightning-fast combat that leads to some tense, nail-biting moments but also such relief and accomplishment as you make your way through Dead Cells labyrinthine locations. The meta of unlocking new items and abilities that can be employed in each run is a great hook for those whittling their way through rooftops, grimy sewers, and tough boss battles. And though Dead Cells’ world changes each time you die, it’s a fascinating series of locales to explore, replete with tiny details about the world and a host of video game Easter eggs. And MotionTwin’s commitment to updating the game makes it worth revisiting, even if you have to die a few extra times to get back into the swing of things.

From our Dead Cells review: “On my second run through Dead Cells I made it to the last level and was pretty sure I had it figured out. 63 runs later, when I finally took down the boss and stepped into my post-game replay, I’m one-hundred-percent sure I’m just now starting to understand the deep nuances of Motion Twin’s incredible action-platformer. Dead Cells is a triumph of shockingly good game design: the ever-changing guts of its beautifully illustrated levels, a staggering array of game-changing weapons and gadgets, and its breakneck motion fuse into an engrossing loop. It’s so engaging that even after dozens of hours clawing through its island fortress, I’m still discovering and devouring new morsels.”

17. Shadow of the Colossus

Release Date: February 6, 2018 Developer: Bluepoint Games Moved down one spot on the list.

Team Ico’s classic was one of the best games of the PS2, and its stunning PS4 remake captures the isolated action of the memorable, original adventure. Shadow of the Colossus has always presented a unique, isolated adventure, making a series of boss fights its main mechanic, but the upgrade in visuals only makes the haunting experience more affecting. The landscapes are more beautiful and the colossi more awe-inspiring, better invoking the mixture of triumph and sadness that comes with each battle. Bluepoint Games honors Team Ico’s original creation by giving it new life, making this iteration well worth revisiting for fans or exploring for the first time.

From our Shadow of the Colossus review: “Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 4 is a stunning return to the classic that first wowed us on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. With completely redone art and spectacular lighting, it expertly captures the original’s unique beauty, awe-inspiring scope, and absolutely heartbreaking story while simultaneously fixing a handful of imperfections. The result is not only an incredible remaster, but one of the best and most beautiful games the PS4 has to offer.”

16. Rocket League

Release Date: July 7, 2015 Developer: Psyonix Moved down one spot on the list.

Rocket League’s ridiculous and addicting take on a familiar sport has been a joy from the start, when it made its debut as a free PlayStation Plus title. The joys of car-based soccer has smartly responded to its expansive playerbase, adding new modes and options that speak to the communities’ interests. And it’s so inherently a fun concept to watch play out, allowing for tense back-and-forth matches and incredible, game-changing moments as players contend with their cars, a giant ball, and gravity. Psyonix’s sports combat game has only gotten more fully featured as its gone along, and the recent addition of cross-platform play to include PS4 has only helped to maintain its position on our list.

From our Rocket League review: “Rocket League’s colorfully absurd cars-playing-sports concept works so well because the energy of its arcadey gameplay meshes with its deep team-based strategy and variety of modes. It’s exceedingly rare to find a multiplayer game that’s welcoming and approachable for new players and so intricate that the best players can earn a living by mastering its depths. Rocket League is a golden example of turning a good idea into something truly amazing.”

15. The Witness

Release Date: January 26, 2015 Developer: Jonathan Blow, Thekla, Inc. Moved down one spot on the list.

The Witness is an unrivaled-puzzler with a power and pull that carried us through its wonderful journey. The ingenious design behind The Witness’ central mechanic makes something seemingly simple deeply complex and multifaceted. You start out thinking The Witness is just a bunch of line puzzles, but the beautiful, multi-biome island the game depicts adds brilliant layers to this core mechanic, simultaneously teaching players the game’s unique language. Sure, you could probably cheese your way through puzzles now and then, but The Witness really demands that you learn what it’s trying to teach you, not just in how to solve one puzzle and then the next, but so that you can fully understand the hidden secrets of its world.

From our The Witness review: “The Witness is a game brimming with secrets: daunting and multilayered mysteries that sunk into my subconscious, tracing snaking paths across my brain until I was literally seeing mazes every time I closed my eyes. That’s the kind of power The Witness has. It hooked me in with its masterful puzzle design and gorgeous visuals, then compelled me forward as I began to carve out my own purpose on the island. It’s a freedom granted by a world as welcomingly open to exploration as it is enjoyably challenging to solve.”

14. Overwatch

Release Date: May 24, 2016 Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Moved down one spot on the list.

Overwatch is a brilliant multiplayer shooter brimming with Blizzard’s charm and detail, and it’s one that Blizzard has impressively continued to support with new heroes and updates since its launch in 2016. Overwatch earned Game of the Year from IGN in its launch year, sweeping the IGN offices with multiplayer matches after work and at lunches (and sometimes during the work day) that have continued in the months and years since. Blizzard’s rock-solid gameplay allows players in whatever role they play on a team to matter. And Blizzard’s impressive attention to detail has created a rich world of lore that permeates the experience, allowing those who just want a fun multiplayer experience to enjoy the action but offering those who want something more a wealth of character and location information to delve into.

From our Overwatch review: “Overwatch exists at an intersection between design and artistry, a crossroad at which pure tactile joy meets refined, intelligent design to create a rare spark of magic. As a 6v6 multiplayer, objective-based shooter, it finds accessibility not by lowering the skill ceiling, but by broadening the definition of skill. The person with deadshot aim is no more valuable than the person with the decision-making ability to know when a well-timed ability will turn an engagement, or the person with the map-sense to find the optimal locations to place sentry turrets. While it didn’t exactly drown me in options, maps, and modes, it’s blessed with a multitude of tactical layers, and none of them ever came between me and my enjoyment of its intense, swirling teamfights, and thrilling overtime comebacks.”

13. Ratchet & Clank

Release Date: April 12, 2016 Developer: Insomniac Games Moved down one spot on the list.

The iconic PlayStation franchise Ratchet and Clank only got better on PS4 with a beautiful, funny update of the duo’s first adventure. More a remix of the original PS2 game than a straight remaster, there is a gorgeous level of detail to the lombax and robot’s adventure, which also makes some noted story improvements. The titular duo’s initial meeting and budding friendship feels more fully formed and smartly written, while the series’ signature humor is in full force throughout. Veldin, Rilgar, and other worlds are beautiful, Pixar-like environments with plenty to explore, and modernizations made to the gameplay make the adventure as fresh as ever. And of course, Insomniac’s signature knack for wacky weapons is on full display in HD, from Mr. Zurkon to the Groovitron. Insomniac has obviously put its recent focus on VR and Spider-Man, but this latest iteration proves Ratchet and Clank has plenty of life left in it.

From our Ratchet and Clank review: “Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank on PlayStation 4 is one of the most charming, creative, and rewarding adventures in recent memory. Tagging along with the peppy Lombax and his stoic robotic pal as they jet across the galaxy and blow up everything in sight is an absolutely gorgeous adventure brimming with hilarious writing, beautiful worlds, and an awesome array of weapons. Though it follows the same story as the 2002 original, this is far more than a remake or a remaster. Ratchet on PS4 is completely rebuilt from the ground up, pulling in some of the most successful elements of the series’ later installments, while simultaneously bringing in some great new and refreshing ideas.”

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