Eurogamer's best games lists aim to guide you to the highest quality, most original, most exciting games around today. Each regularly updated list presents between 10 and 20 varied games that we think would make a fine foundation for any game collection.
At time of writing, PS4 is flying off shelves at an almost unprecedented rate - it's selling faster than the all-conquering PS2 did - despite boasting few must-have exclusive games in its line-up. It's not hard to understand why: at the risk of sounding like we're talking about a hatchback or a washing machine, Sony's offering is a perfect balance of performance, features and price, especially if you get it with the great value PlayStation Plus subscription service for online gaming and monthly freebies.
But it's easy to underestimate what a compelling library of games the PS4 has built up after just a year and half on sale. The best of the last and current generations is available in a series of brilliant remasters and re-releases - definitive versions of titans like The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Diablo 3 - while Sony's canny charm offensive with smaller developers has flooded the system's download store with the very best indie games of the last few years, delights as diverse as Minecraft, Spelunky and Fez. Then there are surprises like Final Fantasy 14, a full-fledged online world on console, and a good one too. There's loads to discover on PS4 already, and it's a simple but huge pleasure to have such a broad range of brilliant games gathered in one place. It's truly the console for all seasons, the platform with something for everyone.
This relentlessly tense first-person survival horror isn't the first game to be spun out from the Alien franchise, of course - and all too many of them we'd rather forget - but it can stake a claim to being the very best, which is no small feat given the series' age. What sets British developer Creative Assembly's take apart is its laser focus on the dry horror of Ridley Scott's original 1979 film, with Amanda Ripley, Ellen's daughter, pursued across an abandoned space station by a single, implacable xenomorph. What makes it really sing is its dedication to its inspiration, the set design and artwork of Ron Cobb and Chris Foss brought to life like never before. Walking the corridors of Alien: Isolation is like taking a tour of those original sets, and you'd be excused for just stopping and staring at all the glorious detail - if it wasn't for the seven foot beast that stalks you.
Is Bloodborne the best game ever, or simply the second best? Rich Stanton's tongue might have been firmly in his cheek when he pondered that upon the release of From Software's PS4 exclusive, but for a lot of people it's a valid question: the first game under the direction of Hidetaka Miyazaki since 2011's Dark Souls, for many this is the true successor to that much-loved masterpiece. What a successor it is too, its scarlet-splashed cobbled streets dense with secrets and home to a more focussed, more violent game than we've seen so far in the Souls series. The debate's still up over whether it's a better game than Dark Souls or not, and it's a question that likely won't be answered for some time, if ever. One thing's for sure, though. This is the first essential new game to arrive on either Sony or Microsoft's new generation of consoles.
Bungie's first-person shooter was first described as World of Warcraft in space - and that's pretty much how it turned out. Established massively multiplayer online role-playing elements such as character classes, stats and levelling up have been streamlined and slotted expertly within a Halo-esque sci-fi shooter that favours co-operative play over solo adventuring. While the story is threadbare, the script laughable ("I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain") and the grind can be overwhelming, once Destiny gets under your skin, there is no escape. And don't let anyone tell you it's not worth it: amid the never-ending hunt for exotic guns and legendary hats, you'll discover some of the best FPS design and most satisfying gunplay ever. Here's some Super Good Advice: get some friends together and play the incredible Vault of Glass raid. Seriously. Play it.
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition
While owners of the original Diablo 3 console release never had to endure the PC version's infamous auction house system, which allowed players to buy loot rather than earn it, both shared a rather dry storyline layered over a fussy difficulty system. Together, these bogged down the deliciously frenetic combat, abundant loot and endlessly satisfying character advancement that are Diablo's trademarks. The Reaper of Souls expansion - more of an extended remix, really - changed all that with the addition of Adventure Mode, which breaks the action up into discrete chunks of deliciously destructive content, not to mention sprawling, randomised Rift dungeons. Add a new class and a new Act, and local as well as online co-op, and you truly have the ultimate edition of the ultimate action-RPG.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition is the video game version of that doorstop tome of fantasy fiction that you read for so long you began to live it. For the role-playing-game obsessive, it has everything: a rich, sprawling and beautiful world, enormous maps packed with quests, screen-stuffing dragons, ornate loot and stunning geography. If there's a shortcoming to this fantasy feast, it's that it takes a long time to really get going, and there are perhaps too many distractions along the way. Persevere, though - let the emotional tale of a group of heroes standing against evil sink in - and it will leave you with plenty of fond memories. After the divisive second game, it's Dragon Age redeemed.
Gomez is a little blob-man living in a 2D, pixel-art world. One day, a magical red hat bestows upon him the knowledge that his world has three dimensions - sort of - and so begins an adventure in which we guide him through a bewildering, branching map, folding from one camera perspective to another as if turning the pages of a pop-up book. If the retro style and clever-clogs mechanic make you think of any number of other punishingly hard and convoluted indie platform games, think again: Fez is special. It channels the pure mystery and joy of exploration you'd find in early Nintendo games - Mario, Zelda, Metroid - then mixes in the riddling whimsy of point-and-click adventures with gorgeous art and music that strain 60s psychedelia through an 8-bit sieve. Far out, man.
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
You likely know the common narrative about the Final Fantasy series: a 90s heavyweight that's fallen from grace after the limp Final Fantasy 13 saga, one whose glory days are firmly in the pixel-art past. Players of Final Fantasy 14, the second online offshoot of Square's long-running role-playing game series, are in on another secret, though: the PS4 and PC MMO sees Final Fantasy at the freshest it's been for years, its open plains, endless distractions and endearingly sunny disposition harking back to the brilliance of Final Fantasy 12. Even if you're not enamoured of massively multiplayer online games, this one's pretty much essential, and it lets you fight alongside PC players too.
Grand Theft Auto 5
Is there a better open-world playground available for the PS4 than Grand Theft Auto 5's Los Santos? There's certainly not a prettier one, Rockstar's new-generation reimagining of its sprawling 2013 crime caper delivering everything from purple Californian sunsets as seen through the side-window of a speeding car to rain-storms that lash down on sleepy desert provinces. The campaign might stutter over Rockstar's ham-fisted humour and mindless drama, but that's not much of a problem when you can introduce some roughshod slapstick and stupidity of your own thanks to GTA Online - a mode that keeps on going from strength to strength.
Hotline Miami flows as smoothly as Ryan Gosling cruises through the night in the movie Drive, the game's obvious inspiration. As you stylishly invade gangster strongholds and slay their mobs, Dennaton's neon top-down f***-'em-up rapidly oscillates between quick, messy moments of ultra-violence and slow, meticulous planning. You need only lean a pixel too far into a window frame for a sniper to abruptly end your kill streak with a bullet to the head, so you'd best slaughter carefully. Or rambunctiously. Whichever suits your fancy. Plus, its shimmery, pulsating soundtrack is simply glorious.
The Last of Us Remastered
This makeover for Naughty Dog's instant classic is a very welcome addition to the PS4's library, even if there was only so much it could do to prettify the already strikingly handsome PS3 original. A tale of father-figure/daughter-surrogate bonding in a post-apocalyptic world, The Last of Us is that rarest of things: a sober, serious and touching action game. The characters have real human warmth and real human motivations - as complex and contradictory as those can be; the artwork shows nature reclaiming a ravaged USA with melancholy majesty; the taut and brutal action stays on point, just the right side of excess. It's an unforgettable journey into the west. The stunning mini-prequel Left Behind, included in this version, is no less essential.
What is there that's left to say about Minecraft, Mojang's world-building phenomenon that's not just carved out its own genre within video games, but also its own place within the wider world of treasured childhood toys? Microsoft, having bought it for a mere few billions, has hinted at a different kind of future for the game, thanks to its Hololens augmented reality visor. But Minecraft in its purest form remains a unique, generation-spanning experience that transcends technology. Spawn a world, pick a project, invite your friends and see where your journey together takes you.
P.T. redefined both the concept of a demo and the nature of horror games when it was released as a surprise teaser for the upcoming Silent Hills, a reboot of the classic PlayStation series. Despite a handful of clichés, such as static-laden radio broadcasts and rain-streaked window jolts, this is a horror experience that goes so much further than mere jump-scares. Instead, it burrows deep into your bones by immersing you within a photo-realistic, looping environment laden with dread, trepidation and collar-tugging claustrophobia. A physically exhausting endeavour, the emotional turmoil of completing P.T. will return to you with the persistence of a toothache in the days that follow. And it's free!
It says everything about Rayman Legends that it made it into our list of the best Wii U games, despite facing competition there from the undisputed kings of cartoon platforming, Nintendo themselves. It really is that good - so on a console that's relatively deprived of old-school fun in such pure form, it's a double must. (It's also a nice bit of nostalgia for older PlayStation fans, for whom Rayman was the 2D platforming icon on Sony's first console.) The hand-drawn art looks stunning in flawless HD, but what really dazzles is the balance of Rayman's trademark zany, chaotic energy with some crisply tuned design that will keep you coming back. Local co-op is a riot and there's an embarrassment of extras, too.
Housemarque's been remixing arcade history for years, but Resogun sets a new standard. A voxel-based reworking of the basic Defender template, in which your spaceship zips left and right blasting enemies and saving humans, the Finnish studio's PS4 debut scored extra points for wrapping the whole thing around a drum and piling on some of the most beautifully choreographed enemy waves ever seen. It's a sweet kind of glory to watch the entire landscape come apart under laser fire, while a multiplier clock conspires with a dash boost to make this a modern hi-score masterpiece. It may not have the wildness of its arcade descendant, but it has a vivid personality that's all its own.
Derek Yu's platformer all but ushered in a new generation of 'roguelikes' - frantic exploration games where the environments and monsters are procedurally scrambled, and death erases any signs of progress, kicking you right back to the start. In truth, though, the true genius of Spelunky lies with two clever tweaks. The first is transposing the stat-heavy world of the RPG into the jump-and-run milieu of the cartoon platformer. The second lies with the fact that, while the environments change each time you play, there are steel cables of ritual tying the whole thing together and allowing you to level up where it counts the most - in your own head. Spelunky is a clockwork death trap that always feels fair and always delights. You will leave with scars - but you will also leave with a story.
Jump, shoot, dodge - these are the only three moves you need to know to play TowerFall: Ascension. A local-multiplayer-only affair, TowerFall may seem like a simple competitive action game, but mastering its limited move set takes time, and TowerFall's astonishing level of customisation opens up the combat options drastically. Cursed weapons kill anyone frazzled enough to fire them when they're out of ammo, for example, while other power-ups increase the physical size of opponents, making them easier to target. The icing on this party cake, however, is the Replay feature which rewinds the end of each round, so you can curse and admire the final blow in delicious detail. Endless fun when you're in the company of friends and rivals.
Compiled by the Eurogamer editorial team and written by John Bedford, Oli Welsh, Martin Robinson, Christian Donlan, Wesley Yin-Poole, Jeffrey Matulef and Robert Purchese. For more on our best games lists and how they are curated, read our editor's blog.
If you're looking for more inspiration, check out our index of recommended PS4 games.