Over the years, the PlayStation 4 has matured into a fine games console and no mistake. The system software tweaks have added all manner of extra features, including support for external hard drives and high dynamic range (HDR) visuals.
And then, of course, there's the PS4 Pro - by far and away the best PlayStation yet.
But it's 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.
That's why we've put together a list of games we've enjoyed since the console's launch in 2013, each of which having its own merits. All of them are worth adding to your library. And considering some are legacy titles, you might even manage to snap them up for peanuts.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
One of the most recent entries to our list is also one of the best games on the console full stop. Combining tribal themes with robotics and technology, the setting is as fascinating as it is unique. And in Aloy, we get one of the strongest female lead characters in years. There are many RPG elements and precise action sequences in the massive open world game. It is also one of the best-looking on the PS4, especially when hooked up to a HDR TV.
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 is an excellent online 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 proved 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 turned out to be the richest, most detailed ones ever seen in any Hitman game.
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 easily one of the finest rereleased games in the PS4's line-up. It's 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.
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 was improved to better match the sequels.
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. And there's a stack of great DLC available too.
Sony's interactive horror story was one of the unsung hits of 2015, 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.
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.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
With Syndicate not being as well received as Ubisoft hoped and the film being basically a flop, something special was needed to kick the franchise back into shape. Assassin's Creed: Origins does exactly that. It tells the story of how the original group of assassins was formed, through the eyes of founder Bayek. Setting it in ancient Egypt turns out to be a masterstroke, with an enormous open world playing field and refined combat system being undoubted highlights.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
This is very much a Pro Evo game worthy of its forebears. The franchise might have lost its way over the years, but 2018’s continues the superb groundwork set by PES 2016; it is, quite frankly, 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 PES fans want. Fast, frantic footy to play against your mates.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Kojima’s last Metal Gear Solid game for Konami also happens to be his grandest moment yet. 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 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.
You might have previously wondered what a "toys to life" game was, and with Disney Infinity and Skylanders struggling in recent times, you might never have found out. Lego, however, continues to expand its Dimensions series with new sets and game add-ons that are superb each time. 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 II
The last Battlefront was the first Star Wars console release since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the rights to the franchise, so naturally lots of eyes were on Dice’s reimagining of the Battlefront games. It impressed but not having a campaign mode spoiled it for some solo players. That's been rectified second time around, with an original story that bridges the gap between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Space battles have also been dramatically improved, we feel.
FIFA 18 is by far and away the most realistic football game to date. The artificial intelligence of players has been overhauled in order to present a tougher, more flowing, match. And measured, clever play is now rewarded, That might not be for everyone, but it makes for a more tactical game. The second season of The Journey is included and is as fun as the first, while Ultimate Team gets better each year.
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 the community created Project Cars matches it for realistic driving experiences. In addition, the first 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. In our opinion, it's better than its own sequel too.
Call of Duty: WWII
Returning Call of Duty back to World War II was a masterstroke. The campaign, while short, is poignant and full of splendid set-pieces, while the War Mode multiplayer option is great. You have to complete set goals throughout a gaming session, with other members of your team, and after you succeed or fail in your tasks, you swap with the other team and take on their goals instead. Superb.
Game of Thrones
Telltale Games has shaken up the adventure gaming genre in the last few years, most notably with its episodic series based on The Walking Dead comic books and a stab at giving Minecraft a storyline. Game of Thrones also got the treatment and the six episode series is a must for fans of the show. 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.
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.
Destiny 2 might have its critics but we feel the story this time around is far better than the first. We also feel it's more accessible to newbies and those not as hardcore as some FPS gamers. Plus, with the Curse of Osiris expansion pack now available, there's even more to see and do in the fabulous world Bungie has created.
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.
Watch Dogs 2
The first Watch Dogs presented an open world game with an interesting premise - you could hack pretty much anything electronic in the city. The second is a better game by far though, adding social commentary about major tech companies and with more than a little nod to Mr Robot. The graphics are better too, partly thanks to a shift to a sunnier, brighter playfield in San Francisco - from the drab Chicago of before.
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.