The 8 Best PlayStation 4 Shooter Games to Buy in 2017

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 2017.

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.

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.

This is a tough one because it’s so easy to be critical of multiplayer modes for most games, and there hasn’t been a breakthrough one quite yet for the PS4. But the massively successful Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises have come awfully close to perfection. Both series have placed an emphasis on customization with their PS4 shooter releases, allowing gamers to feel like their experience is uniquely their own. From camos on weapons to dozens of attachments and weapon types, Call of Duty has really made an industry out of warfare variety, which is what most gamers look for when choosing a multiplayer shooter. And Activision has an ability to keep you hooked throughout the year by releasing map packs and zombie modes between full games.

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. 

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.

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.

2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order was an undeniable success, a clever reboot to a series that none of us saw having a life on the current generation. The follow-up was less widely acclaimed and far more ridiculous, but has its own guilty pleasure charms. It’s quick and brutal, a downloadable game that really plays like an expansion pack for The New Order in a lot of ways, and it offers players an alternative timeline in which the Nazis won and monsters exist. Intense firepower, clever level design and giant Nazi creatures — what more do you want from a shooter, really?

While the first-and-only PS4-exclusive Battlefield game (Battlefield Hardline) was a disappointment, Battlefield 4 still really works, and shows off the system’s graphic capabilities better than any shooter. The reason is the Battlefield franchise’s trademark “Levolution,” which makes the backgrounds and environments feel tangible and realistic. The squad approach to multiplayer combat is addictive, but gamers stay loyal to the Battlefield franchise because of its emphasis on destructible environments. In Battlefield, gamers can fall victim to an incoming hurricane as easily as they can mortar fire, and it’s all rendered in stunning detail. Cover explodes in front of you, pavement shatters and entire buildings collapse. By the time you’re done with a match, the landscape has been forever changed.

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