The 12 Best PlayStation 4 Games of 2019

Play the best fighting, sports, family, and adventure games and more for PS4

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: God of War

What We Like

  • An incredible, brutal combat system

  • A surprisingly touching story-line

  • Surreal graphics and sound design

What We Don't Like

  • Violence might be too much for some

So far in this console generation, one game stands out as the clearcut example of what gaming can achieve as an art form. Surprisingly, that game is God of War, which on paper sounds like the most cartoonish and juvenile thing imaginable, but we promise it is not! The critically acclaimed series has updated its tone, setting, style, and main weapon for this reboot. God of War has you playing as Kratos, the demigod son of Zeus who is known for his brutality and constant need for revenge. He makes his way from Greek mythology to Norse this time around and uses a magical ax to fend off foes protecting his son Atreus. Its a game about parenting, the burden of passing on your past to your family's future, responsibility, and trust.

But it retains its patented, sadistic action, the main staple of the series, so you won't have to miss out on fighting monsters and demons. The cinematic nature of God of War is one never attempted in games before: the entire campaign is done in one continuous longshot, never cutting away ever. This game features stylized combat, intricate puzzles, hidden collectibles, a more open world to explore, and an epic story that is much more mature than previous entries.

Best Adventure: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Courtesy of Amazon.com

What We Like

  • Impeccable graphics and gorgeous locales

  • A satisfying conclusion to the narrative

  • Action packed set pieces

What We Don't Like

  • Not the greatest multiplayer mode we've played

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. The story of Nathan Drake comes to such a satisfying conclusion that it actually feels okay 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. Not surprisingly, Uncharted 4 was worth the long wait. And once you finish the end to the series, you can go back and play the first three in the Nathan Drake Collection, as well as a spin-off game to this entitled "Uncharted: Lost Legacy". But if there is one Uncharted to try out first, Uncharted 4 is our pick for the best adventure you can have on a PlayStation 4.

Best Family Game: Little Big Planet 3

Little Big Planet 3
Courtesy of Amazon.com

What We Like

  • Imaginative creation tools

  • Adorable art and world design

  • It's a total blast to play

What We Don't Like

  • Older graphics don't hold up as well

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. Little Big Planet 3 is technically a PlayStation 3 game but is good enough to pop into your PlayStation 4 all over again.

Best Multiplayer: Overwatch

What We Like

  • Beautiful maps and lovable characters

  • Lots of modes and events throughout the year

  • Competitive and fun as an eSports title

What We Don't Like

  • It's best played with friends

With millions of players competing in six-versus-six matchups, Overwatch has cemented itself as one of the leading multiplayer games on the PlayStation 4. Right from the start, Overwatch sets itself up as a fun, playful game with plenty of charm. You have a choice of dozens of colorful characters including a very smart gorilla and a gun-slinging cowboy, each with their own unique battlefield perspectives. Every character has its own set of powers and abilities that can quickly shift the tide of battle. To keep gameplay even, no character's primary weapon will help you achieve victory every time, so mix and match to make your team's synergy better than your opponent.

If your mission is escorting an EMP device in London or protecting the secrets of a temple in Egypt, each battle demands proper tactics. Each of the globetrotting maps takes time to learn and master, which keeps users coming back for more. And there are always new events, new maps, new characters, and new modes being added all the time so the fun truly never stops!

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best multiplayer PS4 games

Best Graphics: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Courtesy of Amazon.com

What We Like

  • A rich narrative with wondrous lore

  • An intricate and deep combat system

  • This game will last you hundreds of hours

What We Don't Like

  • It's a bit overwhelming to start

  • Could take you a lifetime to do everything

The brilliance of The Witcher 3 is that its graphics aren't essential to the experience, but that it stands on its strong gameplay and storytelling to truly immerse its players. 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 every door in that city. This kind of immersive realism takes incredible lore and attention to detail, and thankfully the game is visually stunning so you won't be bored poking through every nook and cranny.

You play as Geralt, a monster hunting Witcher who gets entangled in a search for a king's missing daughter, and a war between two factions. Geralt and his band of whimsical sidekicks and love interests travel around the world by horseback and boat to take on missions, save citizens from ghosts and goblins, and sit down at a tavern to play some cards every once in a while. The Witcher 3 is the epitome of the series, a grand masterpiece of sword-wielding heroes and horrible creatures that rivals any in the fantasy genre. If you're looking to get sucked into a game for months, you need not look further than The Witcher games.

Best Role Playing Game: Persona 5

What We Like

  • A stylish game with fantastic art and music

  • A deep turn-based fighting system

  • Excellent plotting and characters

What We Don't Like

  • Not the easiest game to get into

Persona 5 stands out as one of the premiere role-playing games in the genre over the last few years. The beautiful anime style pairs well with turn-based combat mechanics making for a combination that’s hard to beat on any platform. The main protagonist adds a satisfyingly deep story-line by discovering how to harness his Persona powers all while studying for midterms and attempting to having a social life.

There’s little time wasted as players are off to the JRPG races being thrown into the deep end of a mystery casino heist. It’s here that the gameplay takes itself to a new level as one moment you're crawling through a dungeon or fighting a boss and the next you're thrown back into that of a teenage life simulator. Both sections of the game are done so satisfyingly that there's no disappointment in switching from one to the next as they're equally engaging. 

Best Fighting Game: Mortal Kombat 11

What We Like

  • Incredible amounts of content to go through

  • The best core mechanics in the series

  • Unparalleled campaign for fighting games

What We Don't Like

  • Might be too visceral for some people

Mortal Kombat 11 pleases both beginners and veterans, allowing the former to punch buttons and hope for the best while the latter has time to be methodical and go for the kill. With each fight, you can customize your character's looks and earn currency to unlock more later. There’s enough contained within the single player and multiplayer modes to add hours upon hours of replayability. In fact, there’s so much single-player content it’s almost easy to forget about the hours of cut-scenes that pace the story-line or the online modes where you can test your might against competitors all over the world. If the stomach-turning fatalities didn't grab your attention initially, the sublime fighting mechanics will hook you in and never let go. This is a love letter to fans everywhere and a bunch of fun to play with your friends, so we highly recommend you jump into the fray.

Best Sports Game: NBA 2K19

What We Like

  • The most realistic sports game on the market

  • It plays like a dream

  • Tons of modes and features to tweak your experience

What We Don't Like

  • Will become outdated by next season

Basketball fans of all ages will find something to love with NBA 2K19, the latest release in this much-loved series. The beautiful visuals of every NBA stadium will immediately grab your attention. Everything from the lighting to the animations and textures looks and feels lifelike — the faces of NBA stars even look like their real-world counterparts. The pre-game commentary is boosted by the likes of real NBA stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. Play calling sounds great, though you have the option of turning it off to focus solely on dropping threes.

Longtime fans of the series and newcomers alike will welcome the refined gameplay mechanics. To be certain, there’s a learning curve, but there’s no reason beginners can’t master the controls in short order. However, AI opponents won’t just let you drive to the basket. You’ll need to focus on strategy, finding the open man or taking a timeout. Beyond just playing a standard 82-game season, there’s a career mode and a new “takeover” mode that’s similar to NBA Jam’s “on fire” feature.

Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best Playstation 4 sports games​ available online. 

Best Remaster: Shadow of the Colossus

What We Like

  • Epic sense of scale to the world

  • Memorable boss encounters

  • The minimalist story

What We Don't Like

  • Not a "pick up and play" type of game

A PlayStation 2 classic, Shadow of the Colossus got a complete top-to-bottom remaster and it looks like a brand new game. It also got some new control options, so it plays a lot better too, since the original had some clunky controls. The game is structured in a unique way, where the bulk of the journey is taking down massive giant monsters in epic boss battles, and if that sounds repetitive and monotonous to you then I'm sorry, that's mostly what you'll be doing. But if that sounds awesome to you, then this is the right game to purchase because you will literally climb skyscraper-sized creatures to take them down in an effort to bring back the love of your life. You ride on your horse and battle boss after boss, some flying around, some in the water, and some charging straight at you like a bull. But no matter the odds, you have to defeat every last one, and it's satisfying all the way until the end.

Best Open World Game: Spider-Man

What We Like

  • It makes you feel like Spider-Man

  • Swinging around New York is mesmerizing

  • Funny, sweet, and touching story

What We Don't Like

  • When the game makes you not play as Spider-Man

While Spider-Man can do whatever a spider can, thankfully in this PS4 exclusive you can do whatever he can as well now. You play as Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, and Miles Morales throughout the campaign, but are primarily the titular webhead, and there is a bustling and riveting New York City to explore. You'll encounter the typical enemies and villains (Doc Ock, Kingpin, Electro, Rhino, etc.) and get upgradeable gadgets to help you take down foes. Spidey can ride the subway to get around, or just run around rooftops listening to a podcast from J. Jonah Jameson. The story follows Peter and Aunt Mae, and the main antagonist Mr. Negative, and you'll swing from mission to mission solving mysteries, stopping crimes, and getting into acrobatic feats of strength and agility. This is a dream come true for comic book fans, and the perfect superhero game to buy for your PS4.

Best Action Game: Horizon Zero Dawn

What We Like

  • Fresh new world to explore

  • Great central mystery in the plot

  • Fighting robot dinosaurs is awesome

What We Don't Like

  • It can get repetitive at times

Robot dinosaurs. There isn't much else that needs to be said to sell you on this game, but that alone is the most awesome thing in a video game and there are plenty of them in Horizon Zero Dawn. This is a new franchise for Sony and the PS4, and it follows protagonist Aloy as she enters into a world that is equal parts post-apocalypse and tribal prehistoric times. She gets sucked into a narrative quickly, and you have to get to the bottom of a pretty good mystery while using arrows and bombs to take down robot dinosaurs and other animals fused with technology. Horizon is an open world game, and you can freely explore the world looking for side quests to complete, merchants to barter with, fast travel points, and unlockables and hidden goodies. But mostly, this is a game about robot dinosaurs, and figuring out ways to either trick them into traps, hack them to fight alongside you, or just bash them down with your bow.

Robot. Dinosaurs. Enough said.

Best Horror Game: Bloodborne

What We Like

  • Atmospheric levels and enemy designs

  • Great combat and RPG mechanics

  • Dazzling graphics and terrifying audio

What We Don't Like

  • Long load times

  • It's a difficult game to beat

While not the first thing to pop up when you think "horror game", Bloodborne is a scary good time and a must-play for thrill seekers and adrenaline addicts. It's not a traditional horror game because its main intent is not to scare you at every possible moment, but this game is definitely frightening and fits the bill perfectly. Bloodborne is an action RPG that is set in a twisted Halloween inspired town, and around every corner is a werewolf or zombie or horrible Cthulu type beast that wants to rip you to shreds. You create as a custom hunter, who wields a blade or ax and a pistol or shotgun, and have to fight your way past the creepy citizens and monsters to earn blood vials and blood echoes. Bloodborne is a game drenched in a spooky atmosphere, with disgusting bosses and haunting sound effects, and is downright hardcore in its treatment towards the player. This is a hard game, but worth it to learn its ways and master its combat, and one of the best the PS4 has to offer.

What to Look for in a PlayStation 4 Game

Gameplay - The way in which you interact with other players and the game’s challenges, also known as gameplay, will largely determine your experience. In cooperative gameplay, for instance, you’ll team up with other players and work together to defeat an AI opponent, whereas in competitive gameplay, you’ll be pit against other players. In linear gameplay, you’ll be tasked with challenges must be completed in a specific order, whereas in nonlinear gameplay, there can be many sequences. Consider what you’re looking to get out of your gaming experience and choose accordingly.

Graphics - Graphics are separate from gameplay. In general, the more realistic the graphics, the more immersive the game will be. That’s not always the case, though, because not all games are intended to be realistic. Some cartoon games are equally as enveloping, especially if they are geared towards younger kids.

Rating -Rated T for Teen,” “Rated E for Everyone.” These are phrases you hear at the end of every video game commercial, but what does it really mean? The letter rating in the corner of each video game box displays its Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating and it’s made up of three parts: Rating categories (“E” for everyone; “E10+” for ages 10 and up; “T” for teens; “M” for mature 17+; and “A” for adults only), Content Descriptors (Comic mischief, mild language, etc.) and Interactive Elements (In-Game Purchases, Users Interact, Shares Location, Unrestricted Internet, etc.). Be sure to check this before buying a game, especially if it’s a gift.