Editors Note: Eurogamer is relaunching its series of 'best games' features, and today we're looking at the PlayStation 4. You'll continue to see more platform lists appearing on the home page in the coming weeks, with the aim to update them several times a year as new releases supplant a given system's existing library.
If you want to hear us explain why we're doing 'best games' lists, and our process, you can listen to how we decided our best Switch games live with a dedicated episode of the Eurogamer Podcast.
The PlayStation 4 has had a good few years and that makes choosing our favourite games extremely tough. Niche favourites like the mini-epic Ground Zeroes and the gorgeous VR blaster Polybius had to make way for others, but it truly is the breadth of the console's back catalogue as much as the exclusives that gives it its personality.
There's lots to argue about, in other words, but we also hope that there's something for everyone in the games we've eventually chosen.
A delicious nightmare of a game, Bloodborne sees FromSoft transpose its formula to a richly dark Lovecraftian world, full of horror and splendour in equal measure. It's a close cousin of the Dark Souls series, but with its own flavour; action is more aggressive, doing away with the turtling that many players relied on, while the story it spins is more explicit.
It's a heady mix, and arguably director Hidetaka Miyazaki's strongest game yet; come the end of the generation, it's really between this and Breath of the Wild as to which was the greatest game of the era.
Want to read more? See our full Bloodborne review.
The Last Guardian
So long in development and so rarely breaking cover, The Last Guardian became a mythical beast in its own right. In truth, though, this game turned out to be everything we might have hoped - and while it's filled with bright mysteries, there's something wonderfully familiar to the way the story unfolds.
A boy nurses an injured beast back to health, and then boy and beast make their way through a vast, almost deserted kingdom. From dank grottos to spindly peaks of sun-bleached stone, this is a journey as much as it's a game. And as much as it's a journey it's also a rumination - on companionship and complicity and the kindness we owe the living things around us.
Want to read more? See our full The Last Guardian review.
Marvel's Spider-Man is also Insomniac's Spider-Man, and while players weren't suffering for luxuriously tooled action games in the summer of 2018, Peter Parker just edges out Kratos as far as we're concerned. The sheer freedom and sense of fun that this game conjures is palpable.
Spidey's Manhattan is a wonderful playground, and also a site of some lovingly crafted fan-service. Cameos and collectibles abound, while the heart of the game blends combat and traversal - and characterisation - in a way that has never been better. What a glorious game.
Want to read more? See our full Spider-Man review.
Thanks to Sega's more enthusiastic approach to localisation these past few years, there are now plenty of Yakuza games to choose from, and Zero emerges as the pick of the bunch. A prequel set across Tokyo and Osaka, it's the perfect introduction to this most brilliant of series - and as it's a prequel it excuses some of the excesses that Yakuza is known for, which are here exaggerated to great effect.
Showers of cash flutter across the screen when you successfully complete a fight, and there's an extra seediness to Yakuza's already tawdry world. It's outstanding, and a welcome reminder that the Sega you once loved never really went away.
Want to read more? See our full Yakuza 0 review.
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
It's tempting to say that even without PSVR Astrobot would be one of the greatest platformers of this hardware generation. But in reality there is no Astro Bot without PSVR.
Sony's Japan Studio builds a world that places the player at the very centre of it, and then it sends its delightful hero scampering up, over, around and behind. Colour and imagination abounds, but it's the clarity of the thinking that really surprises. Astro Bot is as tactile and intelligent as Super Mario, and there's no higher praise than that.
Want to read more? See our full Astrobot review.
Rockstar's open-worlds are made for the West Coast, with its range of terrain, its dangerously free spirits and its reality that is already several clicks past satire.
But GTA 5 is still an astonishing piece of work, offering an island that feels hand-crafted down to each metre of tarmac and three protagonists who are going to be very hard for the series to top or even move beyond. In 2019 we know that all of this comes at a steep human cost.
GTA 5 is a deeply problematic masterpiece, an example of the staggering highs and extreme lows of modern video games
Want to read more? See our full GTA 5 review.
Can you improve upon the perfect game? Well, maybe not, but you can certainly push it in new and interesting directions, and that's an exercise that Enhance excelled at in Tetris Effect.
It's an easy enough proposition to grasp - on the one side you've got the classic puzzler in all its glory, and on the other there's the rhythm action chops of the people that brought you Rez, Child of Eden and Lumines. Yet in that mix Tetris Effect manages to become so much more; a meditation on life and love, or simply the ultimate chill-out experience.
Oh, and if you try it in PlayStation VR then it's something else entirely...
Want to read more? See our full Tetris Effect review.
Gran Turismo Sport
The omens weren't great for Polyphony Digital's PlayStation 4 debut. Coming well into the system's life-cycle and after the gloriously maximalist Gran Turismo 6 - a game that had you racing from the Mulsanne to the moon and seemingly everywhere in-between - its slim vehicle and track list felt seriously lacking.
For all that Gran Turismo lost, though, it gained an awful lot more; a sense of focus, as driving experts Polyphony set about creating a serious racing game for arguably the first time. It's an approachable iRacing for console, basically, and it works brilliantly.
The PlayStation 4 isn't short of great racing games - and a shout-out, in particular, to Codemasters' excellent F1 games and Dirt Rally 2.0 - but Gran Turismo Sport sees Polyphony reclaim its position at the head of the pack.
Want to read more? See our full Gran Turismo Sport review.
Housemarque stepped beyond aping the arcade work of Eugene Jarvis and brought him on board for this twin-stick shooter which is so exuberant and explosive that it could serve as a send-off for the entire genre. Warp and dash through brain-melting levels as mechanical beasties swarm and multiply around you. No game since Robotron 2084 wrings so much joy from the simple pleasures of moving and shooting.
Arcade isn't dead, of course, regardless of what Housemarque has said of late. And Nex Machina, the death machine, is a brilliant argument for why arcade games will live forever.
Want to read more? See our full Nex Machina review.
What Remains of Edith Finch
Death in games is so commonplace that it's rarely much more than a nuisance - a blip on your journey, a small stumble on the way. How refreshing, then, to have a game that offers a playful, touching meditation on the ways death has touched the myriad branches of one comically unfortunate family.
What Remains of Edith Finch is at once fantastical and far-fetched but never anything other than utterly, winningly human - and it pushes at the boundaries of video game storytelling in a way that anyone with even a passing interest in the medium simply has to experience for themselves.
Want to read more? See our full What Remains of Edith Finch review.
Hohokum says that video games are art and movement, sound and colour, action and reaction. They can be solved, but they can also be played with, and there should always be a mystery that lingers: what remains, what has been said, and how on earth the entire thing came into being.
On the surface of Hohokum you guide a snake around bright, shifting 2D environments. But the surfaces are always deceptive and the connections between one place and another are always surprising. Hohokum is a puzzle, a toy and an adventure. In other words, it's a video game, and an absolute blinder too.
Want to read more? See our full Hohokum review.
Final Fantasy 14
You know the story behind this one by now, I'm sure - a botched launch, a tearful public apology and then a comeback so comprehensive it really felt like a thing of fantasy. All that's in the distant past now, though, and in recent years Final Fantasy 14 has gone from strength to strength.
It's generous, characterful, colourful, stylish and shot-through with a sense of adventure, all served by a community that's one of its greatest assets. It's the best series entry for a generation or two, in short, and so expansive is its world you're catered for no matter what particular flavour of Final Fantasy is your poison.
Want to read more? See our full Final Fantasy 14 Stormblood review.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter's been slowly evolving over the years, but this marked its most radical change yet, introducing a living, breathing world stalked by impossibly grand, arrestingly characterful beasts.
They're so beautiful you almost don't want to spend 30 minutes chasing around, bonking them on the nose with a switch axe so that you might make a fancy pair of trousers out of them. Almost. It's for the best, though, that the pull of Monster Hunter's core loop has never been stronger, and at long last the world beyond Japan seems to have opened its eyes to the majesty of Capcom's series.
Want to read more? See our full Monster Hunter World review.
Now that there are plenty of Battle Royales to compare it to, it's becoming easier and easier to see what makes Fortnite special. Sure, it popularised the Battle Pass and now it has all the money in the world it can beat any competitor for speed of updates and the richness of its detailing.
What marks Fortnite out, though, is that it supports so many different play styles, from people who want to shoot to people who want to build and - brilliantly - people who just want to ramble around one of the most engaging video game settings yet made.
Fortnite's world changes, which makes the density of memories it holds feel that much more special. Other games are better shooters, but none can match this one for its sheer power of place.
Want to read more? See our Digital Foundry's appraisal of Fortnite on Android, iOS and Switch.
It might have taken nearly 40 years, but one of sci-fi cinema's great texts finally got a game worthy of its legacy in this slow-burn horror from Creative Assembly and Sega. It's thick with atmosphere, conjuring a world of soft lights and whirring disk drives with a vivid authenticity.
As a piece of digital tourism it's peerless - so what a bonus to have a well-crafted story thrown into the mix, alongside the constant threat of the lone xenomorph that hunts you down. Alien: Isolation sadly never got the success it deserved, but that doesn't stop it being an outstanding adventure and one of the PS4's very best.
Want to read more? See our full Alien: Isolation review.