The 8 Best PlayStation 4 Shooter Games to Buy in 2018

Play the best campaign, multiplayer (and more) shooter games for the PS4

The shooter genre can be a little hard to navigate, because almost every game nowadays eventually gets around to shooting villains, even a narratively driven one like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. However, for the purposes of the "Best Shooter" list below, we tried to stick with games for which shooting, either first-person or third-person, is essential to the experience. Read on to see our best shooter games of 2018.

Best Overall: Call of Duty: Black Ops III

There isn’t really yet a PS4 game with a perfect balance of shooter elements as defined in the categories below, but Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the most commercially successful game in the history of Activision’s juggernaut of a franchise. Set in 2065, the most recent Call of Duty game blends traditional combat with futuristic weaponry and gadgets for an addictive blend of shooter action. While Uncharted 4 has a better campaign and Advanced Warfare has a deeper multiplayer mode, Black Ops III is the most active multiplayer game at this moment. Activision is still releasing packs and servers are still crowded with players, making it the best choice if you just have a PS4 and want to jump on a fast-moving shooter train today. Black Ops III still has millions of gamers online waiting to show you what it means to be a Call of Duty expert. And Activision’s brilliant way of keeping gamers engaged from one annual iteration to the next with new map packs and zombie modes every other month? It’s more of an addiction than it is a game.

Best Graphics: Call of Duty WWII

Whether you love it or hate it, Call of Duty (COD) aims to impress, and one of the most graphically heavily and realistic to shooters you can get on the PS4 is with its new iteration: Call of Duty WWII. Typically, COD games focus extensively on multiplayer, but Call of Duty WWII gives players a thorough campaign that feels so lifelike and real that it gives the game its own definition from the rest.

Call of Duty WWII does an impressive display of presentation and visuals. Players start off by storming the beaches of Normandy while they take in the subtle lighting in glaring helmets and rough subtleties of the soldiers among their midst, anticipating for a rushed invasion as the water beside them sloshes and explodes in bursts from artillery rounds. Gameplay varies in pace, but players will get their moments of urgency as they rush trenches, barricade and run out of crumbling churches, and glue themselves to war-torn brick walls as bullets whiz past their heads and they aim down their sights. Like other games in the COD series, Call of Duty WWII includes intensive online multiplayer matchmaking and even a co-operative mode for its main campaign story.

Best Campaign: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

While some might argue that Uncharted 4 isn’t a traditional shooter, the masterful campaign contains more than enough gunfire to qualify. The final chapter of the saga of Nathan Drake brings perfect closure to this legendary character, a treasure hunt cut from the same cloth as Indiana Jones. Over the course of the best PS4 campaign to date, gamers travel the world in search of a legendary treasure, and they do most of it with their brother Sam at their side. As they did with The Last of Us, the writers of Uncharted 4 recognize that character issues like family are as important as the action sequences. And that’s why Uncharted 4 is so memorable — it’s a shooter, but it’s also so much more.

Best to Play with Friends: Tom Clancy’s The Division

When it comes to co-op play, one PS4 masterpiece is Tom Clancy’s The Division. Set in a future in which you’re trying to take back the incredibly-rendered city of New York, The Division can be played solo, but it’s really made to be played with friends. For casual co-op players, it’s incredibly effective, allowing you to find partners quickly before an encounter, and then go back to playing by yourself when you’re done. In other words, it’s a co-op game that works for everyone — those who have dozens of friends online all the time and those who need to be matched up with people to proceed. 

Best Soundtrack: Doom

Imagine playing through a Judas Priest album cover and you have some idea what Bethesda’s clever reboot of the ‘90s shooter template known as Doom has accomplished. In their reboot, you play the last man alive on Mars after a portal to Hell has opened on the red planet. Naturally, that’s a plot that demands some head-banging metal as you literally rip demons apart with your bare hands. At one point, you literally go to Hell, and the entire experience is accompanied by guitar chords that Tenacious D would love. It’s a heavy metal game with a sound mix straight from the devil’s 8-track tape collection, and the blend of demonic sounds and face-melting rock riffs is fantastic, adding a layer to the entire experience that it wouldn’t otherwise have. This is honestly an element that too many shooter games neglect, and just one of several ways that the people behind Doom got it right.

Best Guilty Pleasure: Killing Floor 2

There is something very therapeutic about shooting waves of zombies — which is the exact style of gameplay for the best guilty pleasure shooter on PS4: Killing Floor 2. Gamers who don’t want a demanding or heavily competitive game, but are yearning for a mind-numbingly fun shooter should definitely pick this one up.

Killing Floor 2 allows players to choose from one of six interchangeable classes — such as Medic and Sharpshooter — each with their own tactical advantages that can be leveled up. There are multiple difficulty options, so you never feel it’s too easy when you’re taking out the undead army. Killing Floor 2 features online co-op multiplayer, so you and a friend can join up as you barricade yourselves behind wielded doors and sirens, crawlers, and flesh pounders break through and get your heart pumping.

Best Multiplayer: Titanfall 2 Deluxe Edition

Titanfall 2’s release may have been overshadowed by the new Call of Duty, but that doesn’t distract from the fact that it’s one of the best multiplayer games out there. Players love it for its advanced, action-packed gameplay and immersive single-player campaigns that put you in the shoes of a Militia rifleman rising up the ranks to Pilot against all odds. Where the game really shines, though, is in its multiplayer mode. It has six new Titans, a smattering of new Pilot abilities, additional modes and so much more, which earned it the Best Online Multiplayer Award from the E3 Game Critics Award. One Amazon reviewer rejoices that the game doesn’t include microtransactions: “EVERYTHING in the game can be earned from leveling up or completing challenges. YES! YES! YES!” It’s rare that a game can be so captivating to play alone and in multiplayer mode, but Titanfall 2 hits the mark.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best multiplayer PS4 games can help you find what you're looking for.

Most Addictive: Grand Theft Auto Online

Which shooter is going to drain your social calendar? Which one should you not consider when you’re trying to find a pick-up-and-play casual experience? Welcome to the world of Grand Theft Auto V, which contains not only one of the most addictive open-world campaigns in the history of PlayStation, but one of the most consistently updated and robust online experiences ever produced, and all for the price of the game itself. The developers took the environment of Grand Theft Auto and made it come alive, and the reason it’s the biggest time consumer is because they never stopped. GTA V is over two and a half years old, and Rockstar is still updating the experience for those who can’t stop playing, promising even more to come.

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