With two-and-a-half years under its belt, the PlayStation 4 has matured into a fine games console and no mistake. PlayStation Now is in full swing, offering cloud gaming for a large library of quality PS3 games. And Spotify integration through the PlayStation Music service means you can stream tracks through the device, even with free membership.
But it is the games that have made the PS4 as popular as it is today. It is, after all, "for the players" and the gaming experience has always been central to Sony's philosophy for this console generation.
There's certainly plenty to choose from. Some might even think there's too many games out there now, especially if you have limited funds and are wondering which title would be best for your particular tastes.
That's why we've put together a list of games we've enjoyed over the last couple of years, each of which having its own merits. Just click through our gallery above.
Some of them are brand new, having only recently hit stores, some have been around for a while - years even - but still offer a fantastic experience. The latter games might even be available for a hearty discount, so could make your budget stretch further.
So if you've just got a PS4, had one for a while, or are hoping to get one soon, here's a mighty list of games we recommend you should check out.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Uncharted 4 isn't just the result of Naughty Dog's learnings throughout the previous trilogy, it also benefits greatly from the developer's work on The Last of Us. While radically different in tone, A Thief's End undoubtedly borrows some elements from its enduring horror-based stablemate, resulting in the studio's most rounded, balanced game yet.
Dark Souls 3
As anyone who has played a Dark Souls game would expect, Dark Souls 3 is huge, gothic, creepy, studded with bosses which, when you first encounter them, seem impossibly daunting, yet irresistibly addictive. At times, you will curse the impulse which propels you back into its fetid world, as you struggle to advance even a couple of hundred metres. But the pay-off is that any small triumphs you manage to pull off will be so hard-won that they feel like mighty victories.
Tom Clancy's The Division
The massively multiplayer world of The Division has had its issues in the past, with some strange gameplay decision present on release. But through numerous updates and patches, it is becoming the game it promised from the beginning - an excellent role-playing shooter that can be played in groups or on your tod just as capably. The Dark Zone also throws something fresh and interesting into the mix. Yes, you can just take on and take out other players for the fun of it, but the weapon-fuelled game of tag increases the tension and pleasure.
It's clear even from playing just the first episode of Hitman that the move to an episodic structure has proven a liberating experience for Io Interactive. The whole exercise would not have worked if the missions themselves had been in any way half-baked, but they have turned out to be the richest, most detailed ones ever seen in any Hitman game.
Read more: Hitman review: Agent 47's regaled return
The Last of Us Remastered
With a very tidy graphical overhaul and the Left Behind DLC added as part of the pack, The Last of Us Remastered is perhaps the finest refreshed game in the PS4's line-up currently. It's also an essential purchase and play for all those who didn't get a chance to join Joel and Ellie on their post-apocalyptic zombie-style journey on the PS3. Not only does it look beautiful, it is a masterwork of storytelling that resonates long after the game has been completed.
Read more: The Last of Us Remastered review
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
Ahead of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End being released, Naughty Dog remastered the previous trilogy of Nathan Drake games to whet appetites. They each star the all-action adventure hero that has become as endearing to gamers as Indiana Jones has to movie fans and are a great intro to his fourth and final (?) appearance. The three included games look better than ever before, in 1080p at 60 frames per second, and even the control system of the first in the series has been improved to better match the sequels.
Also by Media Molecule, the developer behind the Little Big Planet series of games, Tearaway Unfolded is inventive and unique on a console dominated by blockbuster action titles. Its art style is fantastic and the platform/puzzle gameplay offers enough variety to have you hooked as you progress through the cardboard and paper-inspired world.
All RedLynx's Trials games are fantastic and ridiculously addictive and Trials Fusion is no exception. Set in a future landscape, the sideways-scrolling motorbike racer ramps up the difficulty to crazy levels, yet still you want to come back for more each and every time your rider dies in spectacular fashion. The PS4's graphical presentation is also awesome for such a simple to pick up and play game. There's also a stack of great DLC available too.
Sony's interactive horror story was one of the unsung hits of 2015, we feel, presenting a chilling tale where your actions decide how many (if any) of the teenagers trapped with a killer survive the murderous spree. Scary and intelligent, while well acted, Until Dawn has plenty of replay value too as you'll want to go back to see if you can do things differently.
Mortal Kombat X
Although Street Fighter has always been the most talked about franchise among die-hard fighting game fans, we’ve always preferred the Mortal Kombat series. And Mortal Kombat X is a welcome return to the madcap, absurdly violent days of the past, with “finish him” end moves that are hilarious and gross in equal measure.
A PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne is from the same stable as Dark Souls and you can tell almost instantly. It matches its stablemate series graphically, albeit with current generation flair, but the main similarity is that both action-adventure/RPGs are as difficult as each other. Prepare to throw your DualShock 4 around. A lot.
Read more: Bloodborne review: Hard as nails
Life is Strange
With Telltale having so much success with episodic adventure games based on massive movie or TV licences, Life is Strange could have escaped your notice, even though it features every bit as engrossing a story as The Walking Dead. The five episodes, which follow teenage girl Max after she discovers she can turn back time, feature fantastic voice acting and twists and turns that will have you guessing until the very end. And the best part about it is that your actions determine the outcome.
Like many other games available for the current generation consoles today, The Escapists adopts 8-bit graphics, although that hides a cunning level of depth in gameplay terms. It is a puzzle adventure game of sorts where you have to successfully escape a series of more difficult prisons. Where it succeeds is in its sense of humour and simple gameplay mechanics – a trademark of Team 17, also the creator of the Worms series. You probably won’t find many games as addictive as this little gem either.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Strangely not including the original Borderlands, you can’t really describe The Handsome Collection as being the definitive package but the remastered versions of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, plus all DLC previously released are plenty enough to warrant a purchase. Part role-playing game, part first-person shooter, each Borderlands game holds enough action and humorous adventure to keep you going for months.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
This chapter is the third-part in the Dragon Age trilogy and easily eclipses all that has gone before. As with The Last of Us, it is the story that stand out more than any other aspect of the game, and Bioware's traditional mastery of dialogue helps tell it in a natural a way as possible. It's also a mighty role-playing game with hours and hours of gameplay at your disposal. Just make sure you've got the time to invest in it. You will definitely be rewarded.
Grand Theft Auto V
It took a while to get GTA V onto the PS4 but nobody could complain considering how much extra the improved game offers over the original version. For a start, Rockstar added a whole new first-person mode, which enables the player to experience the game from a different perspective, even if completed before. Plus, the graphics were given a tasty overhaul to make San Andreas look more spectacular than ever. And let’s face it, GTA V was always one of the best games available anyway.
Being one of the most sprawling games of all time, Fallout 4 is trickier to get into in comparison with the previous chapters on former generation machines, but it rewards stoicism with one of the biggest role-playing adventures of all time. It also adds a base building mechanic to the gameplay, where you can construct your own settlements for fellow survivors, so adds something new to the first or third-person shooting and looting action of before. There are few games available today that were as long awaited as this one, and even fewer with such scope.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Remarkably, Syndicate was the third main Assassin’s Creed game that has been released for PS4 yet is the first we’ve truly been wowed by. Black Flag was a simple port of the previous generation version and was more a pirate simulator if truth be told, and Unity’s co-op gameplay took something away from the series rather than add – it was also riddled with bugs, which didn’t help. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate though invokes memories of the fantastic years of Ezio Auditore and its Victorian London playground is a splendid set for plenty of parkour shenanigans.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
Finally, there is a Pro Evo game worthy of its forebears. The franchise might have lost its way over the years, but 2016’s entry reminds us of why we played it religiously to begin with; it is so much fun. The action is faster than on rival FIFA games, while scoring goals seems a little more superhuman than realistic. And that’s what any Pro Evo fans want. Fast, frantic footy to play against your mates. Welcome back PES, welcome back.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Kojima’s last Metal Gear Solid game for Konami also happens to be his grandest moment. Taking the franchise into the realms of open world seems to have been an inspired decision, with so much to do and missions to complete that you will be playing for hours. We know, we’ve still not seen everything there is to see in the game. We also love the way you can tackle just about everything in multiple fashions – run and gun or sneaking around are just two ways you can complete objectives, each causing different reactions. We also recommend you check out the prequel, Ground Zeroes, too.
With the Mad Max: Fury Road movie being a critical and box office hit, the long-awaited Mad Max game needed to be every bit as good. Cleverly, the massively open-world adventure took the hand-to-hand fighting system from the Batman: Arkham series, which makes being on foot and exploring post-apocalyptic ruins more fun, while the car combat is fluid and great fun. There’s not really much of a plot – you must rebuild your car after the first one was stolen – but then there isn’t in the Mad Max films either. Doesn’t stop us loving them so much.
Read more: Mad Max first look review: Vast and furious
You might have previously wondered what a "toys to life" game was, but the genre has really taken off of late, with the Disney Infinity and Skylanders franchises under attack by one of the world's biggest toy brands, Lego. And considering how good the Lego Dimensions game is, it's easy to see why. For once a USB portal is used for more than just transporting characters into a game, at times it becomes an integral part of the on-screen puzzles. Plus, with the amount of licensed characters that feature, including Batman, Doctor Who and Back to the Future's Marty McFly, there's always something for everyone.
Star Wars Battlefront
This was the first major Star Wars console release since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the rights to the franchise, so naturally lots of eyes have been on Dice’s reimagining of the Battlefront games. Thankfully though, not only did it craft one of 2015’s most accessible multiplayer titles, it set the stall for in-game graphics. Every level and map in Battlefront looks like it has been lifted straight from the movies, even the cast. It is, quite simply, stunning.
It takes a little more getting used to than previous iterations, but FIFA 16 is the most realistic football game to date. The artificial intelligence of players has been tweaked in order to present a tougher match, where gamers can’t simply whip through balls past your defence and batter you relentlessly. Measured, clever play is now rewarded, and while that might not be for everyone, it makes for a more tactical game. There’s also women’s football as an option for the first time, which is a step in the right direction.
Read more: FIFA 16 preview: Refinement not reinvention
Batman: Arkham Knight
Arkham Knight wraps up the trilogy in spectacular fashion with a far bigger playground than ever before. Without giving away too many spoilers, the use of the Joker throughout the game is inspired and we think the inclusion of the Batmobile – which hasn’t gone down well with everybody, admittedly – adds variety to missions and the overall gameplay. Plus, the playable areas of Gotham City are so big this time around that it’s a thrill racing around them in the superpowered vehicle.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Not just one of the best games on the PlayStation 4, The Witcher 3 can lay claim as being one of the best of all time. It is an extraordinary feat in game design, where it seems that every action undertaken in the massive third-person RPG has an effect on the game world. Save a merchant from some bandits in a random encounter, for example, you might meet him again many hours later in a city, where he gives you a massive discount on items he has for sale. The world itself also seems alive and vibrant while the game is also capable of testing your skills so you don’t just blitz through it. Superb.
The Gran Tursimo series might be the best known in the simulation driving game genre when it comes to PS4, but while we await a current generation game in that series, the community created Project Cars matches it for realistic driving experiences. In addition, Project Cars offers the most amount of customisation for races you are likely to see in a racing game, even down to the ability of choosing how the weather will change with each lap.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Although it sets the action even further into the future and is more sci-fi than the Call of Duty games before it, Black Ops 3 stands out as one of the best in the series. That’s partly down to the bombastic, fast-flowing single-player campaign and fun and frenetic multiplayer matches, but the return of zombies to the franchise are almost worth the cover price alone. CoD is back to its best, hurrah!
Game of Thrones
Telltale Games has shaken up the adventure gaming genre in recent times, most notably with its episodic series based on The Walking Dead comic books and a recent stab at giving Minecraft a storyline. Game of Thrones also got the treatment and the last episode (of six) is now available to complete the set. The inclusion of TV show faves Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, plus Margaery Tyrell, all voiced by the regular cast members sets the stall for an ideal accompaniment to the superb TV series.
Far Cry 4
One of our favourite first-person shooters, Far Cry 4 has everything a modern game should offer. At its heart it's an FPS, but there are role-playing game elements, driving challenges, wonderful co-op play and one of the largest open world maps we've seen in such a game. The mission structure is excellent, while the amount of side missions and other things you can do is almost overwhelming. But perhaps the best thing about Far Cry 4 is the superb villain in Pagan Min. Evil and funny in equal measure and the closest you'll get to a truly realised Bond-style foe in gaming.
Read more: Far Cry 4 review: A shooter like no other
To win the best game category at the O2 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2014 is high praise indeed, and Alien: Isolation maybe took many by surprise with its adherence to the tone of the first Alien movie, both graphically and thematically. Rather that arm you with hefty weaponry and send floods of xenomorphs in your direction, the name of the game is survival as you are hunted through a destroyed space station by just the one Alien. Cue some pant-wettingly scary moments.
Read more: Alien: Isolation review
There are some that didn't get on with the core game of Destiny after its initial release, but we thoroughly recommend they give it a revisit. The multiplayer first-person shooter rewards persistence in spades and the Taken King expansion redefines the entire experience, making it one of the best shooters around. To be honest, even without that paid-for update we're more than happy to blast our way across the landscapes we have on offer already.
Read more: Destiny review
Indie game Transistor is an action role-playing adventure from the same team behind Bastion and it oozes with invention. The gameplay is set on isometric levels as you must guide Red through each, battling enemies along the way. Where it is interesting is that you can freeze time and plan movements in advance to solve puzzles and dispatch foes, which is a talent that is limited, so careful planning is in order.
The downloadable game Resogun was one of the first titles released for the PS4 and, indeed, the first game to be free as part of PlayStation Plus. It's an old-school sideways scrolling shoot-em-up in the same vein as R-Type or Defender, but with incredible visuals and urgent musical underscore. It won't tax the brain cells too much but we've found ourselves coming back to it often over the last year.
Ubisoft's open-world epic Watch Dogs may not have hit every note right, thereby never quite meeting expectations put on it by the hype of two consecutive E3 showings, but it's a game we've found ourselves drawn back to constantly in order to finish the story. That's rare with games nowadays and it's made us realise that the driving engine was better than first though. As was the hacking everything and anything mechanic.
A bizarre hybrid of footy, driving sims and Robot Wars, Rocket League in an online multiplayer team game that's become a massive cult hit. Two teams of up to eight players have to basically use their rocket-powered cars to force a giant football into their opponents' goal. Bonkers and brilliant in equal measure.
Far Cry Primal
Far Cry games have always been open-world first-person shooters, right? Well, not any more. Since Primal is set in 10,000BC, in the Stone Age, there's no way that it could have been a shooter. But the new setting proves utterly compelling – those who derived the most joy from Far Cry games by simply bimbling around its map, exploring and hunting in a deliciously aimless manner will absolutely love Primal. Its game-world is fabulous to behold and utterly believable, and it's packed with obscure places to explore and resources to sniff out.