The 9 Best PlayStation 4 Games to Buy in 2017

Play the best graphics, sports, role-play, family games and more for PS4

So you finally bought a Sony PlayStation 4, but with almost four years of games, including bestselling exclusives, how do you know where to begin when it comes to filling your game library? Or perhaps you’ve had a PS4 for a while now, but feel like maybe you’re missing out on one of the best games? Below you can discover the top games for the PS4, including our favorite picks for graphics, sports, role-play, the family and more.

Is it too soon to claim a May 2016 game as the best of a generation? The most deeply cinematic game ever made, Uncharted 4 is the product of a team of developers who understand how to meld gameplay and storytelling in fluid ways that we’ve never seen before. To date, it is the game that most takes advantage of what the PS4 can do. (If we're being honest, it wins Best Graphics and Best Campaign below too but we’ll “spread the wealth.”) The story of Nathan Drake comes to such a satisfying conclusion that it actually feels OK to say goodbye to one of the most influential characters of his era. When Sony announced the PS4, this was one of the games they teased, making us wait almost two years for its actual release. Most surprisingly, Uncharted 4 was worth the long wait.

The brilliance of The Witcher 3 is that its graphics are essential to the experience. What we love so much about Wild Hunt is the sense that the world in which it takes place is alive — that there are creatures hiding over the hill on that horizon or people behind the door in that city. This kind of immersive realism takes incredible storytelling, which this masterpiece definitely has, but it’s also a product of a world that contains depth and detail. The character designs, the creature movements and the detailed environments make The Witcher 3 one of the most beautiful games ever made.

For any hardcore sports gamer, it comes down to physics. Nothing kills the mood like a computer-generated animation that doesn’t feel real. More than any other sports series, the 2K basketball games feel right. The developers have brilliantly replicated the strengths and weaknesses of the real NBA players, right down to their hot streaks and flaws. Sure, a Lebron animated dunk will sometimes kick in, but any Cavs fan can tell you that sometimes happens in real life, too. 

Although some might say The Division is currently infuriating a lot of gamers with its weak endgame and troublesome post-release updates, we still think the core of this game is masterful and that Ubisoft will do what it takes to fix its flaws. For hours, “The Division” is the most fun we've had playing co-op on a PS4. However, getting to a tough mission, finding gamers in the same position as us online, and then taking it down as a team? It doesn’t get more rewarding.

Although hardcore RPG fans might not agree this qualifies, Dark Souls III contains enough customization, leveling up and staring at your inventory to count in my book. It’s also arguably the most rewarding game yet released for the PS4 in that when you actually kill a boss or discover a secret, it feels like you’ve accomplished something. The trick of these games is that they don’t hold your hand at all, offering no “hints” or “maps” or anything that so many gamers use to guide you from point A to point B. And the bosses are terrifying nightmares from the darkest recesses of your nightly visions. You will die…a lot. But you will love every minute of it.

Telltale Games proved that they're the kings of episodic gaming and the best one on the market for the PS4 is Tales From the Borderlands. Using the hit 2K Games series Borderlands as a launching point, the developers at Telltale crafted an engaging and even emotional story of adventure, sacrifice and the very art of storytelling. “Tales” is about the intersection of legends and normal human beings, and how circumstance dictates how the latter becomes the former. It’s funny, creative and has surprises in every chapter. It’s a must-play.

This was a close call, because the wallet-emptying toy-to-life trend has shown signs of flagging lately as rumors persist that the Skylanders and Disney Infinity franchises are looking for ways to reinvigorate their once-dominant sales figures. We're giving the slight edge to the newest entry in this genre, the inventive and playful LEGO Dimensions. The LEGO franchise has one of the highest batting averages of any current series, but what we love about Dimensions is how much it embraces the anarchy of the way kids really play with these toys. Unless your children are remarkably more organized, kids blend their LEGO toys together, allowing characters from one movie or series to play with another in their creations. And so a game that encourages a mash-up of titles as different as The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard of Oz and Ghostbusters taps into that “anything goes” aspect that has made LEGO so timeless.

This one was arguably the easiest on this list. Why? Other than perhaps the exception of Uncharted 4 (from the same geniuses at Naughty Dog), there hasn’t been a game this good released since “The Last of Us” came out. The most emotionally moving action-adventure game ever made, The Last of Us looks incredible remastered for the PS4 graphics engine. It’s quite simply essential for the current generation of gamers. Not playing it and calling yourself a gamer is like not seeing Star Wars can calling yourself a movie fan.

Little Big Planet 3 is a Sony exclusive, and this imaginative and creative family game follows the latest joyful adventure of Sackboy, another iconic Sony creation. What’s so remarkable about LBP 3 is the scope of it. Not only does it include a clever stand-alone campaign, but the franchise has long encouraged gamers to build their own levels and mini-games, and this iteration allows you to play every fan-created experience back to the first Little Big Planet. In other words, from the minute your family fires it up, it offers a wide array of things to do. A lot of family games guide little ones down a specific path, but Little Big Planet games encourage children to create their own and travel those that their peers have already brought to life.

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