If you’re browsing through the PlayStation Store trying to figure out what to buy, LevelCamp has you covered with our list of the best PS4 games of 2016. Since we’re barely in Q4 right now, you can check back from time to time and see more games added to this list as we get to the blockbuster blitz that is October and November.
We’re not going to rank these games in any particular order, so don’t think that one is necessarily better than the other. What we hope to accomplish here is to give you several really great options, and then let you choose something that fits with your personal video game preference.
Should you prefer to see lists for the other major platforms out there, you can read about our ideas for the best Xbox One games of 2016, or even the best PC games of 2016. Those lists will also be kept up to date as we progress to the holiday season of 2016.
We’ll start with Overwatch, a game that’s pretty much taking over the first-person shooter genre for the immediate future. It makes sense, too. Overwatch is visually stunning and optimized well on all platforms. It also helps that it’s fun as hell.
Overwatch gives players a decent number of characters to choose from, and success depends heavily on having a good team that communicates and works well together. Game modes include Escort, Assault, Hybrid and Control, played out over 12 well designed maps. Blizzard Entertainment, the game’s developer, is doing a fine job of adding more content to increase the longevity of Overwatch.
If you’re a fan of first-person shooters and have friends that you can play and chat with, Overwatch is a must-buy as one of the best PS4 games of 2016. If you’re a lone gamer, however, you might want to keep browsing through our list to see if there are some more suitable options for you.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
If you bought yourself a PS4, exclusives are probably part of the thought process for why you went with it over an Xbox One to begin with. In fairness, you might have purchased your PS4 specifically for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, as one of the best PS4 games of 2016, and we wouldn’t blame you one bit.
Nathan Drake’s final adventure is a good one. We found the story to be a tad long in some places, like every time we had to fight a field full of bad guys with the game’s average-at-best shooting mechanics. In the end, even with a few long chapters that could be trimmed down, the journey is well worth it, and fans of the franchise will be glad they went on it.
If you haven’t played the first three Uncharted games, don’t fear. Those have been remastered for the PS4 in the form of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. We would highly advise that you play those, and then get busy with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Not only is Unravel one of the best PS4 games of 2016 due to its ratio of content to price, but it’s one of the best regardless of how you feel like classifying it.
Developed by Coldwood Interactive and published by Electronic Arts, this puzzle-platformer sees Yarny, the main protagonist, traversing a variety of levels in order to collect badges. At the end of each level, Yarny will place the collected badge into a photo album of memories. As players might expect, the levels get more complicated as the game progresses, but rarely (if ever) feel overwhelmingly difficult. The story is beautiful, the puzzles are fun but not too hard, and the price tag is perfect for gamers on a budget.
Firewatch is another game that is perfect for those who are looking for value without the huge price tag. Unlike Unravel, however, it’s geared more towards the adult gamer who appreciates a spectacular story and top-notch voice acting.
In Firewatch, players assume the role of Henry, a man taking a job as a fire lookout in Wyoming in 1989. Soon after reaching his post, Henry develops a relationship with Delilah, who is a veteran fire lookout and his supervisor. The two communicate via two-way radio, exploring personal issues, as well as trying to solve a mystery or two along the way.
Players who are into action games should avoid Firewatch, which is definitely more on the adventure side, with a heavy dose of dialogue. On the other hand, if you’re looking to kill a few hours with a story-driven title that is one of the best PS4 games of 2016, Firewatch will fill that role nicely.
Hitman is one of the best games available on the PS4 that few people know about. That’s likely due to the timed release of content rather than a complete package right from launch. That’s the biggest criticism of Hitman, which we’re here to tell you is nonsense. The game isn’t without its flaws, but the way it’s releasing content is certainly not one of them.
It’s hard to keep up with the story that IO Interactive is trying to tell with Agent 47 and Hitman, but you’ll enjoy the gameplay enough that you probably won't care. The levels are gigantic and filled with hundreds of AI that you can interact with how you choose, and targets are interesting in ways that make you want to assassinate them.
That’s where Hitman is great - the assassinations. There are dozens of ways to kill each target, and each time you find a new one, you increase your mastery of that level and unlock cool stuff. The replay value is through the roof, and by the time you finish with a location, IO is ready with another region, elusive target or batch of contracts to keep you busy.
Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3 is going to go down as one of the best PS4 games of 2016. That fact is already in the bag thanks to FromSoftware and the brilliant design of the Kingdom of Lothric. Full of challenge and intrigue, Dark Souls 3 is a game you won't soon forget.
In Dark Souls 3, players will fight enemies from the third-person perspective, exploring and discovering in what is rightfully considered one of the most difficult games of 2016. For this reason, Dark Souls 3 is not for the impatient gamer. Players need to value mechanics that punish you for mistakes and reward you for adapting and learning as you progress. If you think you can handle that, consider watching the first 15 minutes on YouTube. If you’re still interested, Dark Souls 3 is likely a must-buy for your PS4 collection.
The Witness and Dark Souls 3 have a lot in common when you think about it. Both are titles that require a great deal of patience, and neither one of them will hold the player’s hand. Like Dark Souls 3, the Witness will require you to learn the game mechanics through trial and error.
Puzzles in The Witness will start off simple, teaching gamers some very basic mechanics. As players solve more puzzles and progress, new mechanics, often built on a base of previous mechanics, are brought in to make things more challenging.
If you’re not really into first-person shooters and grappling hooks, The Witness might be the game you’re looking for. The environment is stunning, and the puzzles are interesting and progressively challenging.
Younger gamers likely won’t recall the first three Doom games, but that’s not really important if you’re into fast-paced, first-person shooters that value gore and badass weapons. Although things were up in the air during the beta, we can now safely say that Doom is one of the best PS4 games of 2016…if you’re into that kind of thing.
Doom is a bit more open-ended than the third installment released in 2004, going back to a similar game play style as the first two iterations. Whether you’re playing single-player or multiplayer, expect a quick pace to the action.
Doom also introduced a map-building feature called SnapMap that allows players to create their own levels without making things too complicated. It’s a cool addition to a mode that isn’t as highly praised as the single-player campaign.
Whether or not you choose to buy Doom will come down to several things. Are first-person shooters your kind of games? Do you love Doom? Does the idea of “glory kills” appeal to you? If you’ve answered yes to even one of those, look for Doom on the PlayStation Store.