10 best PS4 games
So, here we are, slap bang in the middle of the year. And in terms of gaming, it’s been an excellent six months. From much anticipated sequels to brand new contenders, the diversity and quality on offer to PlayStation devotees has been stellar. Here, we round up our 10 favourite releases of 2016 so far.
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: £44.99, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Leaping around the picturesque, exquisitely rendered world of Uncharted 4, the latest instalment of the hugely popular Nathan Drake adventure, it’s easy to forget your objective, stop and just admire the view. The story is tremendously well-paced and acted, while free-running action gameplay is snappy and satisfying – both enemy and friendly AI are clever and tactically informed. Add into the mix strong multiplayer modes, truly impressive blockbuster set-pieces, and non-linear ways to reach your objective and this is a 20-hour tale you’ll definitely want to sink your teeth into.
2. MLB: The Show 16: from £39.99, Sony Interactive Entertainment
We had no idea baseball could be this enthralling. The depth in roster (both players and statistics) and modes is staggering, the gameplay is addictively challenging and every aspect is polished to perfection by developer SCE San Diego Studio, from immersive, accurate commentary to a transfer-savvy AI to keep you on your toes in franchise mode. Other developers should take note of the love shown in this broadcast-quality recreation of Major League Baseball – this is how to be faithful to a sports experience and ensure even non-fans will spend hours on end playing it. Try it, you’ll love it.
3. Ratchet & Clank: £19.99, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Ratchet and Clank is back and as good as ever. Honed, approachable gameplay and plenty of nostalgia awaits fans and newcomers alike in this polished, funny return to the classic Insomniac series. Firefights and brawls are maelstroms of cartoonish flips, explosions, jetpacks and grenades, which do a sleek job of making you feel far more proficient than you are, while the upgrades system lends a nice RPG element to a strong and engaging adventure tale. A must-buy for ages 8 to 88.
4. Overwatch: £42, Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch’s 12 well-designed maps, populated by diverse, interesting characters, are home to some of the best first-person shooter gameplay available. If you’re a deadeye shot, this game is for you; if your strength is tactical decision making, this game is for you; if you’re a support player, this game is for you. It’s a refreshing multiplayer experience that has balanced gameplay by strengthening different ways to play a shooter, rather than refining one singular style like Call of Duty or Halo. You won’t find a more accessible or fun multiplayer experience than this.
5. Dark Souls III: £37, FromSoftware, Bandai Namco Entertainment
The latest instalment of Dark Souls is a third person game that mercilessly bludgeons you, while you thank it for the experience. Every boss in the nightmarish world seems impervious, before you learn its weaknesses, the way to methodically beat it down to make your eventual triumph all the sweeter – before stumbling upon another invulnerable behemoth. The combat system is precise and expansive, which makes it all the more frustrating when you’re defeated for the 374th time – you only have yourself to blame – but overall the experience is one you could immerse yourself in for months.
6. UEFA Euro 2016/Pro Evolution Soccer 2016: £16.99, Konami
Comparisons to EA’s Fifa series are inevitable, and this year Pro Evolution Soccer rises to the challenge, delivering more tactical nuance and gameplay realism than its competitor. The visuals are stunning (post-patch for missing licenses), the AI is intelligent, and breaking down teams for a five-yard tap-in has never felt more deserved. A well-handled Uefa international tournament experience, which here also includes the full game, makes this the only football game you’ll need this summer. It also calls into serious question which one you’ll buy next season. Those who already own PES 2016 can download the Euro 2016 iteration for free.
7. Tom Clancy’s The Division: £32.99, Ubisoft
Bugs hampered the initial, long-anticipated release but Tom Clancy’s The Division has stabilised into a very strong game. Online only, you can choose to campaign through a post-pandemic New York with friends, strangers or alone. Objectives, although sometimes tedious to travel to, offer up addictive loot alongside a story told with sincerity, style and unpredictability. Played with friends, this duck-for-cover, third-person shooter offers a real campaign treat; it’s just a shame the post-game isn’t a little stronger.
8. Trackmania Turbo: £24.99, Ubisoft
Apex-hitting precision junkies need look nowhere else, despite the arcade feel of this frantic racer. The depth of the initial 200 courses is amazing, boosted by a course creator mode with which you’ll spend hours tinkering to create a gem for other online players. The time trial-based online fun is incredibly approachable, but competing with 50 players online means you’ll struggle to break out of the middle of the field. Racing has never been easier to pick up, but difficult to conquer, and that’s a fantastic thing.
9. The Witness: £29.99, Thekla Inc
The Witness is, first and foremost, a beautiful game, a maze of puzzles which vary around a single format with variation and spectacle. There’s plenty to discover in the sprawling island environment and there is enough difficulty per puzzle to engender a deep sense of satisfaction at each completion, but you’ll never be stumped enough to be infuriated either. Overall, it’s a masterclass in carrying out a simple premise.
10. Battleborn: £23.45, 2K Games
This is a chaotic first-person shooter which reaches for the humour and style of Gearbox’s signature series Borderlands, but sadly falls a little short of compelling in the campaign. The variation in character abilities, however, makes for a scintillating, well-balanced multiplayer mode which will satisfy your FPS cravings. Managing upgrades on-the-fly forces you to make smart, snap decisions about the way you play mid-game, in real-time. If you are looking for a shooter multiplayer that’s had way too much sugar, this is the venture for you.
While we think every single game included here is worthy of your playing time, we can’t look beyond the fourth instalment of the Uncharted series, A Thief’s End. It combines everything you look for in a game: enthralling gameplay, beautiful visuals, well-written storylines and a whole heap of fun.