I own a lot of PlayStation 4 games.
Some I’ve played to completion, collecting every trophy and relishing every moment along the way; other games I’d started and stopped, for one reason or another. Honestly though, I wish I had time to play them all — even some of the ones I didn’t spend much time with initially.
Many people may not consider video games to be “works of art,” but many of the titles on this list truly deserve that recognition.
If you own a PlayStation 4 — and you should, since it’s an excellent media center (think: Netflix and Amazon Video) in addition to a game console — consider this list if you’re looking for games to buy.
My two cents: I so badly wanted this game to be good, and it was so, so terrible. I forced myself to play it.
My verdict: Hard pass. If you can find a way to play the original 'Mass Effect' trilogy, do that instead.
My two cents: The visuals were incredible but the game felt frustratingly limited in terms of scope. The game is only multiplayer modes, with a frustrating progression system.
My verdict: Pass. The sequel actually does sound much more promising, for what it's worth.
My two cents: If I hadn't gotten a free copy of this game, I wouldn't have played it at all. My instincts were right: The game was simply not fun or at all satisfying.
My verdict: Pass.
My two cents: I downloaded this game as a free game of the month for being a PlayStation Plus member. I played it for a couple of hours, and stopped.
My verdict: It's cute, definitely driven towards kids, but the mechanics are a bit too slippery to be satisfying.
My two cents: I really loved exploring the game's famous 'infinite universe' at first, but then you realise you're doing the same thing over, and over, and over again. In the end, the game's exploration takes a back seat to the survival element, and harvesting materials endlessly just isn't my bag.
My verdict: Cool to try.
My two cents: I absolutely loved the ability to fly in this game -- well, it's the ability to change the direction of gravity in any direction, which sort of lets you fly. But aside from that satisfying gameplay element, the story was hard to follow and the missions were boring and redundant.
My verdict: Fun to try. I would boot this game up in the future to experience that flying element again.
My two cents: I used to really love NBA games. The latest ones look better than ever, but I can't game the system like I did in the older games where I could constantly steal out-of-bounds plays and dunk on fools. Realism has its downsides.
My verdict: The NBA 2K games are great. If you want a good sports game for your collection, I'd recommend picking up the latest edition of this series.
My two cents: This game only features boss fights -- basically, you fight one really difficult enemy at a time. I played the first few levels but the difficulty ramps up considerably after that.
My verdict: It's a unique experience for sure. Maybe try it if the price is right (think: $US5 to $US10).
My two cents: I didn't spend much time in this game but I liked how the game really let you experiment with your environment to complete missions.
My verdict: You're better off waiting for 'Far Cry 5' at this point.
My two cents: One of my friends swears by this game -- and when he came to visit me in New York, he literally bought this game for me. Watching him play this game was awesome, since he knew all the secrets. Trying to play this game myself was not as awesome.
My verdict: The game looks simple but goes incredibly deep. This might be your favourite game, but it wasn't my cup of tea.
My two cents: If you like interactive games where you get to talk to characters and solve puzzles, you'll like this one. It has clever writing and gameplay.
My verdict: I only played about 30 minutes of this game, but I liked what I played. Would recommend.
My two cents: I desperately wanted this game to be great. I love Batman, and the 'Arkham' series, but some aspects of the game (particular side missions, and everything involving the Batmobile) were just too frustrating for me.
My verdict: Unless you're a huge Batman fan, this one's ok to pass on.
My two cents: This was the first PlayStation 4 game I played. It gave me a great idea of the console's graphical capabilities, and I enjoyed some of the missions, but in the end I wasn't all that interested.
My verdict: I'm not a huge 'Assassin's Creed' guy, so this game was just fine.
My two cents: I loved the environments, and I loved the puzzles -- those I was able to complete. The puzzles I couldn't complete drove me to the brink of insanity.
My verdict: The difficulty of some of the puzzles wasn't for me (I looked up some solutions online and realised I would have never completed many of them), but I admire the effort that went into this game.
My two cents: I only played about 30 minutes of 'Fez,' but it has a cute art style with a clever mechanic that lets you rotate the world 90 degrees at a time to let you see your environments in a new perspective to solve puzzles.
My verdict: I wish I had more time to play this game, but I'd recommend trying it based off of what I played.
My two cents: This game had satisfying combat with some good ideas of its own, like the Nemesis System where enemies that kill you rise up through the ranks and become bigger targets.
My verdict: This is one of those games I'd like to play again. It has a sequel coming out soon, though, so maybe check that one out instead.
My two cents: I completed the game's main storyline in about 50 hours. The game is really beautiful and it has some solid mechanics, but the plot and the dialogue (and even some of the combat) just felt a bit incomplete.
My verdict: I enjoyed the game when I played it, but I was happy when it was over, if that makes sense.
My two cents: If you like 'Mortal Kombat,' or any kind of fighting games, you'll probably like this game. It doesn't take itself seriously and its gameplay is fluid and enjoyable. It even has plenty of options for single players.
My verdict: Would recommend if you're looking for a fighting game in your collection.
My two cents: This game feels very similar to 'Bioshock,' but the enemies feel uninspired and some areas of the game can be pretty frustrating.
My verdict: It's a solid first-person shooter similar to 'Bioshock,' but you're honestly better off playing the 'Bioshock' trilogy.
My two cents: It's a beautiful game with some really clever puzzles, but I never finished it because entering an area, completing a giant puzzle, and moving into the next area was getting too repetitive for me.
My verdict: I feel like this is someone's favourite game, but it's just not mine. That said, I deeply appreciate the years that went into making this game.
My two cents: I loved sneaking around and taking down targets in clever ways. But the game fell apart in its second half, and I stopped playing before I beat the game.
My verdict: I'd recommend this game if the price is right, but the unevenness of this game makes it difficult to recommend outright. Some moments are great, other aren't.
My two cents: I really enjoyed what I played of 'The Witcher 3,' but I didn't play much. I quickly got overwhelmed with the number of things I could do in that world that I started playing other games.
My verdict: More so than any other game, this is the one I want to give a fresh try. So many people swear by 'The Witcher 3.'
My two cents: I sunk maybe 50 hours in 'Dragon Age: Inquisition' but didn't finish the game. I forget where I stopped, or what I was doing.
My verdict: I enjoyed what I played, but I remember that battling took some getting used to. It's not as satisfying or intuitive as other shooters and RPGs on this list.
My two cents: This was a fun game you can complete in 1-3 hours. I played it with my fiancée, who doesn't really love games, and we had a great time.
My verdict: If you like story-driven games that are small in scope but super memorable, pick this one up.
My two cents: This was a really cool, fast-paced third-person adventure, where you get lots of different weapons to fight lots of different enemies.
My verdict: I'm honestly not sure why I stopped playing this game! It's fun!
My two cents: This game is exclusively online multiplayer -- there's no single-player campaign or anything -- but the game has tremendous replay value.
My verdict: Though my friends and co-workers play this game way more often than I do, I can't argue that it's a valuable title to have in your collection. It's a great game to play when you can't decide what to play.
My two cents: Please don't kill me, Internet, but I never finished this game. I've been playing it on and off with my fiancée, and I desperately want to finish it because I hear the ending is so good, but we're not there yet.
My verdict: I really love what I've played so far, but the ending that I haven't experienced yet apparently makes it a must-own.
My two cents: This game originally came out for the Xbox (yes, the original Xbox from over a decade ago), but there's a PS4 version with slightly upgraded graphics. Of course, the graphics are totally secondary to the story, dialogue, humour, and style of 'Psychonauts,' which are all top-notch.
My verdict: 'Psychonauts' is, and has been, one of my favourite games. I will continue to play it on every platform it's made available.
My two cents: I still haven't finished 'Rise of the Tomb Raider,' but it's a solid adventure game like 'Uncharted' or 'Horizon Zero Dawn,' but with a storyline that's not quite as interesting as those games.
My verdict: I really want to finish this game. It has a lot of satisfying mechanics and progression systems for your character, outfits, and weapons.
My two cents: Not all games need to be stressful. I love this game because you literally can't die, and it's all about puzzle-solving in a gorgeous ocean, playing with sea animals, and saving the planet.
My verdict: I loved this game. It's got a beautiful look with a great underlying environmental message.
My two cents: This game took my favourite aspects of 'P.T.' (another hyper-realistic horror/puzzle game) and added solid shooting gameplay and an easy-to-follow story. I also deeply appreciate that this game wasn't too long; it was the perfect length.
My verdict: This is a great game worth buying. I recommend keeping the lights on, or playing it with a friend in the room. It's more fun that way.
My two cents: This game makes you feel incredibly calm. You are a floating flower petal... be the flower petal.
My verdict: Like 'Journey' and 'Abzu,' 'Flower' is one of those feel-good games everyone can and should play. There's no other game like it.
My two cents: This was the second PlayStation 4 game I purchased, and I loved this one. The story isn't really memorable, and I remember the characters being pretty unlikeable and the dialogue pretty corny, but this game let you have superpowers! Lots of them! And you could unleash them in the city of Seattle! I loved that.
My verdict: I'm a sucker for games that give you superpowers and let you unleash them in various ways, so this was up my alley.
My two cents: The single-player campaign of 'Titanfall 2' was probably the best I've played since the 'Halo' trilogy. The multiplayer is pretty great too. It's a very well-balanced game.
My verdict: This game is sadly underrated, but it's totally worth playing, if only for the memorable single-player story campaign.
My two cents: This game includes 'Bioshock,' 'Bioshock 2,' and 'Bioshock: Infinite,' which are all excellent first-person sci-fi adventures.
My verdict: These three games are all heavy favourites in my book. I highly recommend picking up the collection, especially if you've never played a 'Bioshock' game.
My two cents: It's very similar in gameplay to the 'Dark Souls' trilogy and 'Bloodborne,' but with ninjas and samurai. It's fast-paced, satisfying action.
My verdict: Highly recommend if you love action titles.
My two cents: This game has memorable characters, crazy weapons and enemies, and some really wild missions. Lots of people have their gripes about it not being as good as the previous games, but I personally had a blast.
My verdict: I had a great time, with lots of laugh-out-loud moments, many of them by accident. The expansions are worth picking up, too.
My two cents: I spent about 100 hours playing, and beating, 'Dark Souls 3.' It's one of my biggest accomplishments to date.
My verdict: This game is really hard, but incredibly rewarding. It will beat you down, but getting relentlessly beaten builds character, right?
My two cents: I still have not finished 'Doom,' which is unfortunate because the game takes up a huge amount of storage on my hard drive (it's almost 80 gigabytes!). But I love the look, feel, speed, and attitude of this game.
My verdict: I love what I've played, and I can't wait to finish this game.
My two cents: Like 'Overwatch,' 'Rocket League' is a game everyone should own in case they can't decide what to play. It's a little bit of everything: racing, battling, and sports!
My verdict: 'Rocket League' is a clever little game with an incredible level of depth ot it. Highly recommend.
My two cents: There's a lot of hyperbole about this game and that game being 'the most gorgeous ever.' No joke -- this game is easily the prettiest game I've ever played. Seriously.
My verdict: Definitely worth playing, if only to see how cinematic video games can look and feel in 2017.
My two cents: This is one of those rare games that everyone seems to not just enjoy, but love. It's a game, yes, but it's more of an experience. And the music. It is sublime.
My verdict: Get it.
My two cents: Honestly, I don't know why more people don't know about 'Hohokum.' This was one of the most creative games I've ever come across -- each world is a surprise, and every character, puzzle, and moment is pure delight.
My verdict: Buy this game. It's a beautiful experience.
My two cents: This game shocked me: I wasn't expecting much from this title, but 'Horizon Zero Dawn' has probably the best plot or lore in any video game I've ever played, and it also has incredible characters, dialogue, and visuals to boot.
My verdict: Buy this one. It's one of the best reasons to own a PlayStation 4.
My two cents: I spent hundreds of hours dying, and thriving, in 'Bloodborne.' It's one of my favourite games ever.
My verdict: If you own a PlayStation 4, you owe it to yourself to play 'Bloodborne.' The deeper you get in the game, the more you feel like you're overcoming your fears. I can't stress enough how good this game is.
My two cents: I've never spent so much time in a single video game -- I've played over a thousand hours of 'Destiny.' It may not be the best game, but it's been my personal favourite game over the past three years, and it's probably my favourite first-person shooter ever. You, too, will be compelled to play it for hours on end if you try it. The sequel arrives in about a month from now.
My verdict: Don't buy 'Destiny' right now, as that game is complete and will not be getting further updates; instead, do yourself a favour and pre-order 'Destiny 2,' which comes out in early September. You can play the beta this weekend as well.