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The Best Games On PlayStation Now (April 2022)

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 18:36 PM
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PS Now has a library of over 700 titles, but which are the best games on Sony's subscription service?

p>Over the years, Sony's PS Now has amassed an absolutely massive collection of PS4, PS3, and PS2 games. While the service tends to be overshadowed by Xbox Game Pass, PS Now is a great option for those looking to sample some of the best PlayStation games of the last two decades.

The subscription service contains Sony exclusives, third-party masterpieces, and more than a few indie darlings. Whether someone prefers action, horror, adventure, or RPGs, PS Now has them covered. Due to the sheer size of the service's library, it can be difficult to know where to start; however, there are a couple of titles that stand out from the crowd. Here are the best games on PS Now.

On the PS5 and PS4, PS Now offers the option to download certain games, mainly PS4 and PS2 titles. PS3 games can only be streamed.

Shadow Warrior 3

Developer Flying Wild Hog
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre First-Person Shooter
Release Date March 1, 2022

Shadow Warrior 3 is a unique addition to the PS Now library since it is basically unheard of that a new game launches on Sony's subscription service. While this could prove to be nothing more than an exception, Flying Wild Hog's first-person shooter might be an indication that Sony plans to compete with Xbox Game Pass more directly in the future.

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As a game, Shadow Warrior 3 is a fun corridor/arena shooter similar to 2016's Doom and its sequel. In terms of structure and gameplay, this entry is closer in spirit to the first Shadow Warrior reboot rather than its looter-shooter successor; however, it is also considerably shorter. For those looking for a fun way to spend a few hours, Shadow Warrior 3 gets the job done.

Mortal Kombat 11

Developer NetherRealm Studios
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Fighting
Release Date April 23, 2019

Added to PS Now as part of its January 2022 line-up, NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 11 serves as a vicious continuation of the good work done by Mortal Kombat 9 and 10. Unlike its immediate predecessor, MK11 comes with an enjoyable single-player campaign that delivers the type of over-the-top action and silliness that fans of the franchise have come to expect. It is a lot of fun and should do a decent job of introducing players to the game's mechanics, although newcomers should definitely spend a few hours in MK11's tutorial mode. It is one of the best in the genre.

Mortal Kombat lives and dies by its multiplayer scene, and the 2019 entry is still very much active all these years later. Supporting co-op and online play, the multiplayer includes plenty of customization options for those looking to add a touch of personality to their chosen fighter.

Celeste

Developer Extremely OK Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre 2D Platformer
Release Date January 25, 2018

Added as part of PS Now's November 2021 lineup, Celeste is a highly regarded side-scrolling indie game with a steep learning curve and an absorbing narrative. As Madeline, players climb the Celeste mountain, taking on seemingly impossible challenges and dangerous foes in the process.

Celeste's campaign guides the character and players on an emotional journey of self-discovery. This voyage is not meant to be easy, and the game makes sure that it is not. The fantastic story is accompanied by precise gameplay and a soundtrack that ranks among the best of the late 2010s.

God Of War

Developer Santa Monica Studio
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Action-Adventure
Release Date April 20, 2018

There are a handful of games that anyone with a PS Now account should definitely play, and it's arguable that 2018's God of War should be at the top of that list. This "reboot" of the series sees Kratos living in a different part of the world, far from the Greecian roots players are used to seeing him in.

Kratos' move to Midgard gave developers a chance to shine a spotlight on some different gods, tapping into the deep Scandanavian folklore surrounding the Norse Gods and their mythology. With RPG elements, an incredible story, breathtaking visuals, and some stellar combat mechanics, God of War is a must-play PS Now game.

Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition

Developer Vigil Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Action RPG
Release Date October 27, 2015

All the Darksiders games are available on PS Now, and each entry is its own beast. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition plays like a mix of God of War and The Legend of Zelda, Darksiders 3 takes a few pages from Dark Souls' manual, and Darksiders Genesis is a co-op twin-stick shooter. Lastly, Darksiders 2 seems inspired by hack and slash games like Devil May Cry, offering faster and more vicious combat than any of its peers.

Darksiders 2 is also an action RPG, one that incorporates a smallish open-world and a robust loot system. Players can even complete secondary quests, some of which contain boss fights that are harder than anything in the main storyline.

Final Fantasy 7

Developer Square Enix (Formerly Squaresoft)
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Turn-Based JRPG
Release Date December 5, 2015

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake saw critical success and fans are anxiously awaiting the next installment in the chaptered series. There's no time like the present to revisit this iconic franchise at its roots, especially for those that have never had the chance to place the iconic PlayStation RPG. Thankfully, the PS4 version of the PS1 classic is now available on PS Now.

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Because the Remake is likely to veer off on its own in some spots (as it's already done), players should have a good gauge between the differences and it'll be a lot more fun to have a frame of reference before the next chapter drops in the (hopefully) near-ish future.

Final Fantasy 8, Final Fantasy 9, Final Fantasy 10/10-2, and Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age are also available on PS Now.

Chicken Police – Paint It RED!

Developer The Wild Gentlemen
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Adventure
Release Date November 5, 2020

It is a cold, cruel world out there, one filled with murder, deceit, and animals. In the case of Chicken Police - Paint it RED!, the latter descriptor is meant to be taken literally. A 2020 visual novel inspired by classic noir films, Chicken Police guides players through a captivating narrative defined by rich dialogue, unforgettable characters, and a deep sense of mystery. Outside the occasional minigame, Chicken Police’s gameplay loop revolves nearly entirely around reading text, collecting information, and investigating scoundrels and femme fatales.

Boasting absolutely fantastic writing that does not know the meaning of a dull moment, Chicken Police – Paint it RED! drops players in a fully-realized monochrome world that oozes corruption and danger. Visual novels might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is a must-play for people fond of movies like Chinatown or Double Indemnity.

The Wolf Among Us

Developer Telltale Games
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Adventure
Release Date November 4, 2014

An adaptation of Bill Willingham's Fables comics, The Wolf Among Us is a top contender for Telltale's best game, a claim not made lightly. Split into five episodes, the story follows Sheriff Bigby Wolf who gets dragged into a conspiracy that would not look out of place in a classic noir film. Boasting stylish visuals that complement the game's fantastical and gritty setting, The Wolf Among Us builds beautifully with each new chapter, introducing and expanding upon a wide roster of unforgettable characters.

The gameplay follows Telltale's prototypical structure, although there is a heavier focus on exploration since Bigby has to investigate locations. With a sequel in development, this is the perfect time to jump into the original game.

Fallout: New Vegas

Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre RPG
Release Date October 19, 2010

While there is a trio of Fallout games available on PS Now, it feels right to feature Fallout: New Vegas as the standout of the group. Although it might not feature the refined combat and gameplay experience of Fallout 4, it stands as one of the best story-driven RPGs ever made.

Obsidian Entertainment spent a lot of time developing the world of New Vegas and then filled it with a wide array of entertaining NPCs, giving players a playground of story-based quests to interact with. There are so many small details to be found in New Vegas and the subsequent DLC released for the game added many more.

Crysis Remastered

Developer Crytek
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre First-Person Shooter
Release Date September 18, 2020

Included as part of PS Now's March 2022 lineup, Crysis Remastered is a first-person shooter set in a jungle and boasting an overpowered protagonist. The 2007 release garnered a reputation for testing the might of PCs, so much so that this discussion (and meme) tended to overshadow the game's quality. The thing is that Crysis is a pretty awesome FPS, and it has more to offer than just impressive visuals for its era.

Armed with a Nanosuit and an arsenal of satisfying weapons, players can opt to stalk human and alien prey from the shadows (or trees) or engage in direct firefights. Although not overly easy, Crysis empowers players so they can live out their Predator fantasies. It is a lot of fun.

F.E.A.R. FIRST ENCOUNTER ASSAULT RECON

Developer Monolith Productions
Platform PlayStation 3
Genres First-Person Shooter, Horror
Release Date October 17th, 2005

There have been a lot of amazing shooters produced over the years but some of them are much more unique than others and manage to stand out among a heavily saturated crowd. F.E.A.R. is a much different experience than the norm, branding itself as a First-Person Shooter/Horror hybrid, the release was definitely ahead of its time both visually and mechanically.

It may look a little dated now (although it still holds up pretty well in the modern age) but it's still a blast to play. Slowing down time is an FPS gimmick that's always fun and there are some thrilling (and downright scary) moments in the first game.

Guilty Gear Xrd Games

Developer Arc System Works
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Fighting
Release Dates December 16, 2014 - May 26, 2017

PS Now has three Guilty Gear games; 2014's -Sign-, its 2016 sequel -Revelator-, and that game's expansion called Rev 2. They are all incredible anime fighters developed by Arc System Works, a studio that has established itself as one of the genre's most prominent creators of the modern era.

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Rev 2 is the most accessible of the bunch, so total newcomers to these types of games might be better served jumping in the most recent release available on PS Now. Rev 2 is also the most complete entry, although its single-player story is difficult to follow without familiarity with the lore. These games have deep combat, impressive visuals, and an online community filled with masters.

XCOM 2

Developer Firaxis Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Turn-Based Tactics
Release Date September 27, 2016

The sequel to 2012's fantastic XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 introduces an Earth that lost the war against the alien invaders. Now, players are part of a scattered resistance group that is fighting an uphill battle against an all-powerful regime.

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XCOM 2 improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way, an accomplishment that definitely didn't come easy. The turn-based tactical combat is punishing but fair, and on higher difficulties, players must carefully plan each move or they will soon find themselves overwhelmed. While newcomers should consider starting with XCOM: Enemy Within that is also on PS Now, XCOM 2 is quite accessible for a sequel.

Detroit: Become Human

Developer Quantic Dream
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Adventure
Release Date May 25, 2018

Quantic Dream's interactive games are not for everyone, but they provide something different from the majority of PS Now's other games. BEYOND: Two Souls is also on the subscription service, and while that title has plenty of great moments, it is quite inconsistent compared to Quantic Dream's follow-up, Detroit: Become Human.

Set in an alternate reality where AI has become commonplace, Detroit: Become Human revolves around three androids who have very different roles in society. Throughout the engrossing campaign, players make choices that impact the story, determining who will survive or die. The sci-fi narrative is quite strong, arguably Quantic Dream's best up to this point, and the characters are interesting, likable, or memorable.

Frostpunk

Developer 11 Bit Studios
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre City-Building Survival Sim
Release Date April 24th, 2018

Those looking for fun and well-made Indie games should definitely check out Frostpunk. A very different type of game than most others on this list, Frostpunk is all about survival and making tough choices when faced with unfair circumstances.

It's up to the player to keep their citizens warm amid a frozen wasteland, making seemingly impossible choices when presented with them and simultaneously trying to avoid mutiny while keeping people from freezing solid. Players who enjoy simulators and strategy games should put this at the top of their list.

The Last Of Us

Developer Naughty Dog
Platform PlayStation 3
Genres Action-Adventure, Horror
Release Date June 14, 2013

While the PlayStation 3 had a somewhat slow start to life, the console bowed out in style. Naughty Dog's The Last of Us is a haunting action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with infected creatures. The narrative follows the grizzled Joel and the immune Ellie as they travel across the United States in search of a group rumored to be able to craft a cure.

The journey is tough, brutal, and unforgettable. Both of the main characters undergo a great deal of development, particularly Joel, while The Last of Us raises questions of morality through its ambiguous storyline. The game holds up extremely well, and while the PS4 remaster is the ideal way to experience this title, the PS3 version is still great.

Cities Skylines

Developer Colossal Order (& supported by Tantalus Media for the PS4 port)
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre City-Building Sim
Release Date August 15, 2017

City-building simulation games are heavily associated with the PC scene, and while that has started to change slightly in recent years, the shift has been incredibly gradual. Cities: Skylines' successful console port showed that these types of games can work even when they are not guided by a mouse and keyboard combination.

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Although its control scheme is simplified to cater for a controller, Cities: Skylines on the PS4 is by no means a stripped-down experience. Genre veterans will find that the port offers control over all the minute details that these titles live and die by; meanwhile, newcomers should not feel too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options at their disposal.

Limbo

Developer Playdead
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Puzzle-Platformer
Release Date February 24, 2015

Playdead's puzzle-platformer has cemented itself as an indie darling, and any praise thrown towards the game is fully earned. Presented in black and white, Limbo follows a boy who is searching for his sister, a journey that is not for the faint of heart.

Utilizing stark imagery and eerie backdrops, Limbo is a gorgeous and haunting game that harmonizes its visuals with its unforgiving but not unfair gameplay. Limbo is a relatively short experience that can be completed in a single lengthy sitting, and it is so good that quite a few people might be tempted to do just that.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker Definitive Edition

Developer Owlcat Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Isometric RPG
Release Date August 18, 2020

An isometric RPG built on the foundations of classic '90s titles such as Baldur's Gate, Pathfinder: Kingmaker was added in September 2021 to PS Now. Focusing on character customization, alliances, and realms, Pathfinder: Kingmaker is an ambitious game with a strong story and complex systems that combine to create an intimidating experience.

Although this title is not for everyone, Pathfinder: Kingmaker will scratch an itch that no other game on PS Now can reach. It is also very long, lasting approximately a hundred hours.

Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

Developer Volition, Kaiko Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Third-Person Shooter
Release Date July 3, 2018

Look, sometimes you just need to swing a hammer at a wall until it goes boom. Red Faction: Guerrilla has a terrible story and a Martian environment that can get repetitive after a while, but none of that matters when the mere act of destroying everything is so much fun. Find an enemy's base, turn it into rubble, and rinse and repeat until there are no more building to demolish; this formula sounds like it should get boring quickly, yet, somehow, it never does.

The Re-Mars-tered edition improves the graphics to a certain extent, making the visuals slightly more pleasant on the eyes. Otherwise, this is the same Red Faction; Guerrilla that debuted in 2009, which is definitely a good thing.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance

Developer Owlcat Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Tactical JRPG
Release Date August 18, 2020

PS Now has four Disgaea games, but newcomers to the series should start with the most recent entry available on the service. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance represents the peak of the tactical RPG franchise's classic gameplay, throwing countless mechanics upon each other as players engage in demonic battles, craft an army of minions, and maybe explode a Prinny or two.

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Although the story is a bit forgettable, Disgaea 5 is all about its addictive gameplay and progression system, both of which offer plenty of depth. The RPG is also packed to the brim with content to ensure that players can continue grinding for as long as they feel like.

Metro Redux

Developer 4A Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre First-Person Shooter
Release Date August 26, 2014

Two shooters for the price of one, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light were brilliant games on seventh generation consoles and their Redux versions are even better. Set two decades following a nuclear holocaust, these fps games predominantly take place within Moscow's claustrophobic metro tunnels, although trips to the surface happen occasionally.

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Although these games flow well from one to another, they have their differences. Metro 2033 plays out like a survival horror game with limited resources and challenging gunplay. Last Light improves the gameplay considerably and is closer to a (slow-paced) action game than a horror title. The Redux package incorporates elements from Last Light into Metro 2033, allowing for a more consistent overall experience.

Heavenly Sword

Developer Ninja Theory
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Hack And Slash
Release Date September 12, 2007

One of the PS3's earliest significant exclusives, Heavenly Sword struggled to live up to expectations as a game that could justify the existence of the console. Although not without flaws, when analyzed on its own, Heavenly Sword is a polished hack and slash game with animation that was far ahead of the competition at the time.

As Nariko, players take on armies-worth of enemies utilizing Heavenly Sword's enjoyable fluid combat system. Whenever the game focuses solely on melee battles, Heavenly Sword is a delight with few peers on the PS3. The story is also satisfying, with Andy Serkis delivering the goods as the game's main antagonist.

Bloodborne

Developer FromSoftware
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Action
Release Date March 24, 2015

FromSoftware has cornered the hard-hitting action RPG genre through its immaculate Dark Souls trilogy, and that looks set to continue with Elden Ring. Out of all the studio's many great games, Bloodborne might just be FromSoftware's magnum opus. Boasting a Gothic aesthetic and reflex-based combat that demands aggression from players, Bloodborne delivers a kinetic experience that delights on a visual, auditory, and gameplay level.

Naturally, Bloodborne is not an easy game, but it is one of the most rewarding PS4 exclusives. Consequently, it is easily among the best games on PS Now.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma

Developer Team Ninja
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Hack And Slash
Release Date July 3, 2007

While overshadowed by Ninja Gaiden Black on the Xbox, the PS3's Sigma version is still a must-play for anyone remotely interesting in (challenging) hack and slash games. Team Ninja's reboot of the classic SNES franchise offers intense but controlled combat, enemies that really want to kill Ryu, and a solid selection of weapons that each feel different.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma's punishing nature requires split-second reflexes, which doesn't lend itself brilliantly to the PS Now's streaming requirement for PS3 games since some lag tends to be unavoidable. However, permitting someone has a strong internet connection, this game should not be missed.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition

Developer Guerrilla Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Open-World Action-Adventure
Release Date February 28, 2017

In a sea of open-world games, Horizon Zero Dawn stands out due to its slow but satisfying story, great world-building, and gorgeous visuals. An outcast from a young age, Aloy sets out to discover the truth behind her world's current state, one that involves massive dinosaur-esque machines that roam the wild with reckless abandon.

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Horizon Zero Dawn's combat is immensely fun, particularly once Aloy has access to her full range of weapons. Like most open-worlds, this PS4 title is packed with side content and markers to check, but the game manages to make the simple act of clearing a camp enjoyable.

The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel

Developer Nihon Falcom
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Turn-Based JRPG
Release Date December 22, 2015 (NA)

The first two entries in Nihon Falcom's Trails of Cold Steel series are available on Sony's subscription service, and they are two of the best JRPGs on PS Now. While it might not have the brand recognition of a Dragon Quest, Persona, or Final Fantasy, The Legend of Heroes has continually produced well-written turn-based JRPGs that place a heavy emphasis on social interaction and world-building.

Each one of these games has more than 50 hours of content, and these two entries only cover half of the overall storyline.

Shadow Of The Colossus

Developer Team Ico (PS2 Original) & Bluepoint Games (Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection)
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Adventure
Release Date September 27, 2011

PS Now might not have the PS4 Shadow of the Colossus remake, but Sony's streaming service does have 2011's Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection. Carried out by Bluepoints Games, this package remasters Team Ico's iconic PS2 adventure titles that pushed the idea that games could be art. Ico is great in its own right, however, Shadow of the Colossus is widely regarded as one of the best PlayStation games of all time.

The story boils down to the protagonist, Wander, traveling through a mostly barren wasteland in search of 16 colossi that he needs to slay in order to save a girl named Mono. Shadow of the Colossus' boss encounters essentially function like elaborate puzzles, and the game builds up its narrative steadily while giving players plenty of space to reflect on Wander's actions.

Red Dead Redemption & Undead Nightmare

Developer Rockstar San Diego
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Open-World Action-Adventure
Release Date May 18, 2010; October 26, 2010

Rockstar does not believe in doing anything in half-measures, and Red Dead Redemption reflects that mentality. The open-world action-adventure game tells a relatively straightforward tale about one man who is forced to face his past in order to protect his present and future. Set during a period in American history defined by change, Red Dead Redemption blends thrilling Western gameplay with timeless themes of agency, violence, and governmental influence.

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After completing Red Dead Redemption, players should make sure to try out Undead Nightmare, an expansion pack that introduces zombies to the mix. While not canon with the base game or its sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, Undead Nightmare is a lot of fun and the type of thing Rockstar should do more often.

Overcooked! 2

Developers Team17 & Ghost Town Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Party Sim
Release Date August 7, 2018

PS Now has its share of options when it comes to co-op games, and Overcooked! 2 ranks among the very best. Building upon the extremely solid foundations of its predecessor, Overcooked! 2 once again tasks friends with efficiently running a kitchen as they desperately attempt to keep up with orders. Fun as the mechanics are, this game is also a sim, one that does a pretty impressive job of capturing the stressful nature of a high-pressure customer-oriented job.

Like the best co-op games out there, Overcooked! 2 is so good at what it does that there is always a slight chance that a play session will genuinely test a friendship. So, who has what it takes to work in this kitchen?

Doom

Developers id Software
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre First-Person Shooter
Release Date May 13, 2016

Following more than a decade of near complete inactivity, Doom came roaring back onto the scene with a majestically violent entry that reminded the world of this franchise's awesomeness. As the Doom Slayer, players rampage their way through arenas and hallways filled with demons that are just waiting to be sawed in half or blasted with a shotgun, and delivering judgment feels good time and time again.

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All thrills and no filler, Doom does not have a quiet moment in it, serving as a proper throwback to classic shooters from the '90s. There is no hiding behind cover here; diving headfirst into combat is the only way to survive. Doom is the gaming equivalent of an adrenaline shot.

Metal Slug 3

Developers SNK
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Run And Gun
Release Date December 21, 2017

When done right, there is nothing quite like an arcade game, and Metal Slug 3 is done perfectly. By 2000, SNK's franchise had already produced a couple of awesome run and gun shooters, but the studio somehow find a way to top their previous masterpieces with the third entry. Metal Slug 3 is non-stop destruction, literally since the bullets never take a break.

An absolute joy when played in co-op, Metal Slug 3 is also fantastic when experienced solo, and the game's difficulty ensures that players will not be reaching the final boss for quite a few hours.

The Surge 2

Developers Deck13 Interactive
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Action
Release Date September 24, 2019

Obviously, PS Now subscribers looking for a Souls-like experience should start with FromSoftware's Bloodborne, but Sony's subscription service has a few other notable games that fit the bill. The Surge 2 takes Dark Souls and gives it a sci-fi twist, and Deck13 does a more than adequate job of replicating the formula.

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In some ways, The Surge 2 represents the endpoint in the studio's endeavor to create a Souls-like that can stand alongside the subgenre's greats, building upon the foundation laid by Lords of the Fallen and the first Surge game.

Prey

Developers Arkane Studios
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Open-World First-Person Shooter
Release Date May 5, 2017

While Bethesda is nowadays operating under Microsoft's flag, a couple of games published by the company continue to be available on PS Now. Those familiar with Arkane's Dishonored and Deathloop will feel right at home with Prey, although the 2017 first-person shooter does incorporate a hint of horror that is quite unusual for the studio.

Prey's gunplay is satisfying, but the game is at its best when it highlights its claustrophobic atmosphere and sense of mystery. This is a title that rewards exploration and immersion, and Prey provides players with just enough freedom that repeat playthroughs are destined to be quite distinct from each other.

Amnesia: Collection

Developer Frictional Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Horror
Release Date November 11, 2016

2010's Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the most influential horror games of the last two decades. Stripping players of their ability to fight back, The Dark Descent drops them into a strange castle without much context and challenges them to preserve their wits while experiencing unspeakable horrors. The game would go on to spawn many imitators, but few compare to the brilliance of The Dark Descent.

The Amnesia: Collection also includes Justine, The Dark Descent's expansion, and A Machine for Pigs, the 2013 sequel. Even if they do not quite reach the same heights as The Dark Descent, both stories are well-executed and creepy. When it comes to horror games on PS Now, this collection is among the best.

Gravity Rush 2

Developer Japan Studio's Team Gravity
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Open-World Action-Adventure
Release Date January 20, 2017

Gravity Rush started life out on the PS Vita, before making its way to the PS4 in the form of a remaster. The latter is available on PS Now and worth a playthrough, but its sequel is the better of the two games.

Building upon the unique world and traversal mechanics of its predecessor, Gravity Rush 2 is a stylish and fun adventure like no other. The comic-style visuals lend a timelessness to both entries in this series, while Kat is an instantaneously likable protagonist.

Nioh

Developers Team Ninja, Kou Shibusawa
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Action RPG
Release Date February 7, 2017

Nioh 2 is no longer available on PS Now, however, Team Ninja's original game is still on the service. While the sequel includes a few improvements, its existence does nothing to diminish the excellence of its predecessor. Nioh takes a few ideas from Dark Souls' playbook, but the game's samurai setting and fast-paced combat allow it to have a presence that is genuinely unique.

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As William, players navigate open areas filled with secrets, enemies, and bosses, the latter of which are usually well-designed and very challenging. Along with a robust loot system, Nioh's combat allows players to swap between different stances, adding an element of strategy to encounters. Nioh is a long game that could easily take 50+ hours to complete, but its gameplay is more than strong enough to keep a player engaged as they work their way through the campaign.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Ultimate Edition

Developer PlatinumGames
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Hack And Slash
Release Date May 21, 2013

Here is another case of a brilliant PS Now game that can only be recommended if a user enjoys a seamless experience when streaming PS3 titles. PlatinumGames' Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a gloriously bombastic hack and slash extravaganza that demands quick reflexes, especially in its boss fights. Lag really cannot be tolerated when playing this release, but MGR is so entertaining that any PS Now subscriber into character action games owes it to themselves to at least try this one out.

Familiarity with the main Metal Gear Solid games is not required as Revengeance largely does its own thing. The version on PS Now also includes all the game's DLC, so it is the complete package.

Batman: Arkham City

Developer Rocksteady Studios
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Action-Adventure
Release Date October 18, 2011

Except for Batman: Arkham Knight, all the main Arkham games are available on PS Now. Rocksteady's Arkham City takes everything that was great about Arkham Asylum and expands it; the world is bigger, the combat system is more fleshed out, and Batman's rogues gallery is improved.

Batman: Arkham City set a high benchmark for the action genre, one that has arguably yet to be surpassed. Fans of the DC character who have not played this game since its debut in 2011 should consider booting this one up on Sony's subscription service.

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time

Developer Insomniac Games
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Action-Adventure
Release Date October 27, 2009

PS Now covers most of the native PS3 Ratchet & Clank games, with the best of the bunch being the fantastic A Crack in Time. Setting the stage nicely for the gameplay of 2016's Ratchet & Clank, A Crack in Time features a highly satisfying combat system, one that takes priority over the platforming segments.

Although the story falls short of the PS2 trilogy, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time is a fast-paced and accessible adventure that gives players a robust selection of tools to play around with.

God Of War 2 HD

Developer Santa Monica Studio
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Action
Release Date November 17, 2009

Unsurprisingly, the entire God of War franchise can be played through PS Now, although most of the games can only be streamed. Nevertheless, Sony's subscription service is a great way for newcomers to Santa Monica's series to experience Kratos' full story. While 2018's God of War is not a terrible entry point since it marks a new era in the franchise, the pre-PS4 releases are nearly all highly enjoyable action games, particularly the numbered entries.

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God of War 2 marks the pinnacle of the license's original run, arguably doing a better job of balancing epic action and storytelling nuance than either its predecessor or sequel. Expertly paced and boasting some of the best boss fights in gaming history, God of War 2 is nothing short of brilliant.

Dark Cloud & Dark Cloud 2

Developer Level-5
Platform PlayStation 4 (PlayStation 2 HD Classics)
Genre Action RPG
Release Date December 5, 2015; January 19, 2016

These two JRPGs were released on the PS4 through Sony's PlayStation 2 Classics program, and they eventually made their way to PS Now. Developed by Level-5, the Dark Cloud games are epic adventures that blend elements of city-building along with strong hack and slash gameplay. The sequel is generally considered to be the better of the two games, but both titles are overflowing with charm.

While the PS Now's PS2 games line-up is nothing to write home about, the Dark Cloud series helps pick up the slack by offering deep and lengthy campaigns.

Ape Escape 2

Developer Japan Studio
Platform PlayStation 4 (PlayStation 2 HD Classic)
Genre Action-Adventure
Release Date August 2, 2016

Debuting with 1999's Ape Escape on the PS1, this strange Sony exclusive series feels like it was tailor-made to evolve into a cult classic. All the main entries in the franchise revolve around Spike's attempts to catch himself some wayward apes. As dumb as the premise sounds, the numbered Ape Escape games somehow make it work through sheer charm and whimsy.

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When not engaging with some colorful apes, Spike spends his time platforming and playing around with gadgets. Ape Escape 2 is very much a product of its time, but it has aged better than quite a few platformers from the PS2 era. For one, it stands out from the crowd due to its unique gimmick; more importantly, the gameplay is solid.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

Developer Sega & Media.Visionteractive
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Tactical RPG
Release Date May 17, 2016

Sega might be out of the console business but the company has published some fantastic games over the last few decades. The Yakuza series has blossomed into one of gaming's most consistent treasures, while Valkyria Chronicles is at least a contender for the most underexposed JRPG of the PS3 era. The PS4 remaster doesn't do too much beyond improving the resolution and performance, however, that is enough to justify this title's existence. The more people who get to experience this franchise, the better.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered takes place in a world torn by war, putting players in charge of a unit as they take part in tactical warfare. Valkyria Chronicles' combat system is complex and addictive, providing the tools for users to control the unit as a whole and the characters as individuals. Outside the battlefield, Sega's game places heavy emphasis on building its characters and relationships. The game's graphics have also aged beautifully, utilizing a water paint art style that is breathtaking.

DiRT Rally Or DiRT 4

Developer Codemasters
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Racing
Release Date April 5, 2016

F1 2020, WRC 8, NASCAR Heat 5, Project Cars 2, and Assetto Corsa; PlayStation Now has a solid selection of racing titles, with the subscription service covering a wide plethora of game styles. Feel like a kart racer? Go for Team Sonic Racing. Want a sim? Try F1 2020. Want a Star Wars? Racer Revenge is the ticket.

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The service does lack some heavy hitters, and a Sony subscription service without Gran Turismo feels incomplete, but there are enough good titles to keep racing fans happy. If asked to select the best of the best, DiRT Rally and DiRT 4 are difficult to beat. Out of the two, DiRT Rally is the better game; however, it is a pure racing sim and a difficult one at that. DiRT Rally rewards perseverance and practice, and once everything clicks, it is a magical experience.

DiRT 4 is a more casual title, offering a wider variety of race types compared to DiRT Rally's laser-focused approach. DiRT 4 is a fun pick-up-and-player racer that does not sacrifice depth or challenge.

Infamous 2

Developer Sucker Punch Productions
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Open-World Action-Adventure
Release Date July 7th, 2011

While PS5 owners have a lot to look forward to with the recent (and very welcomed) open-world Spider-Man games, there are some other fantastic superhero-like releases packed into PS Now. A gem hidden among the number of available titles is Infamous 2, the sequel to the cult-classic Infamous.

This installment follows protagonist Cole MacGrath as he researches, plots, and trains, to become stronger and better than "The Beast," one of his most sinister rivals. A robust Karma system will allow players to make "good" and "bad" choices that will help influence the story, as well as how individuals perceive Cole. This super-charged release is filled with lightning-based powers, a solid story, and fun gameplay mechanics.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception GOTY Edition

Developer Naughty Dog
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Action-Adventure
Release Date November 1st, 2011

The Uncharted series has been an absolute boon for Sony and has likely helped to sell some PlayStation consoles over the years. Fans have been enthralled with Nathan Drake's Indiana Jones-like adventures ever since the franchise began back in 2007.

While a lot of Nathan's journey is available on PS Now, the third leg of his quest for treasure is a blast to play through. Although there is some healthy debate on which Uncharted title is the best within the series, there is a lot to love about Uncharted 3. It features a good story, great visuals for its time, brain-bending puzzles to solve, and all of the mechanics and movement that players have come to appreciate over the years.

Desperados 3

Developer Mimimi Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Real-Time Tactics
Release Date June 16, 2020

A strategy game on PS Now, Desperados 3 should scratch someone's real-time tactics itch. Mimimi's game pushes stealth to the forefront, providing players with plenty of tools so they can freely take on combat scenarios to the best of their abilities. The studio has been making tactics games for a long time, and Mimimi's experience is on full display through Desperados 3's fair AI, expertly crafted maps, environmental storytelling, and balanced skills.

Veterans of the genre will feel right at home in Desperados 3's Wild West, while newcomers can certainly do much worse than this game.

Braid

Developer Number None
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Puzzle-Platformer
Release Date November 12, 2009

The 2010s marked a golden era in indie gaming, and an argument could be made that Braid helped launch this decade of brilliance. A puzzle platformer with gorgeous artwork and a seemingly conventional narrative that proves to be anything but straightforward, Braid is an epic in every sense of the word. Even all these years later, Number None's release is still a joy to experience, and while some of its ideas have become more commonplace, Braid remains a fresh experience with precious few peers.

One of the best games on PS Now without any qualifiers needed, Braid is a landmark release in gaming history. An anniversary edition has been announced for the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch; in the meantime, players can try out the timeless original.

Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown

Developer Sega AM2
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Fighting
Release Date June 1, 2021

The fact that a proper sequel to 2006's Virtua Fighter 5 has yet to materialize is a travesty, however, Sega did at least treat fans to a PS4 remaster in 2021. Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown is designed with online in mind, with the PvP content taking center attention. Consequently, the single-player options are quite underwhelming, being largely limited to Arcade along with the standard teaching-oriented modes.

While the remaster touches up the visuals, Ultimate Showdown leaves the combat unchanged because there is no point in messing with near perfection. Virtua Fighter 5 was one of the best fighting games when it came out, and in 2021, it holds up impressively well.

Until Dawn

Developer Supermassive Games
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Horror
Release Date August 25th, 2015

Horror fans looking for something a little "different" will definitely want to check out Until Dawn. The release does a great job blending together a gripping narrative with player choice, character interactions, and some seriously creepy environments. The end result is a spectacularly spooky "playable movie" that will have most players on the edge of their seats throughout.

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Much like Telltale's series of games, players will be forced to make tough choices during tense story moments. These decisions will have a direct influence on the story, as characters develop ideas about one another. Making decisions quickly, and correctly, is key to helping everyone survive a terrifying vacation to a remote mountain resort.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Developer Kojima Productions
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Open-World Action-Adventure
Release Date September 1st, 2015

Before gracing the world with the wonderfully weird Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima helped make a name for himself with the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Touted by some as one of the greatest video game franchises ever made, fans know they're in for a story-driven treat whenever they load up a Metal Gear Solid game. Thankfully, there are an array of them to play on PS Now.

While it's definitely a good idea to check out as much of the series as possible, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is arguably a must-play for those looking to experience Kojima's unique visions. It features an engrossing storyline and some of the best Metal Gear Solid gameplay mechanics available in the franchise. Players should put this on their playlist if they haven't already.

Devil May Cry HD Collection & Devil May Cry 4

Developer Capcom Entertainment
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Hack And Slash
Release Date March 28, 2012; January 31, 2008

Capcom's Devil May Cry HD Collection contains remasters of the PS2 trilogy, and it is a must-play for fans of the hack and slash sub-genre. Despite featuring similar aesthetics and the same protagonist, each game plays quite differently:

  • Devil May Cry is closer to Resident Evil, delivering a claustrophobic setting with impactful and punishing gameplay. The original DMC stands slightly apart from the rest of the series due to the combat being more restrictive than in its sequels, but the game has aged incredibly well.
  • Devil May Cry 2 is quite forgiving and opts for large open spaces rather than tight corridors. It is generally regarded as the weakest entry in the trilogy, if not the entire franchise.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening greatly expands the gameplay, introducing four combat styles that each come with their strengths, weaknesses, and unlockable moves. Stylish, challenging, and replayable, DMC 3 is a fantastic game.

Devil May Cry 4 is also on PS Now and expands nicely on its immediate predecessor. This entry also introduces Nero as a playable character, and he controls quite differently from Dante.

Resident Evil 4

Developer Capcom Production Studio 4
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Action-Horror
Release Date September 20, 2011

Those looking for a little more action with their horror should give a look at Resident Evil 4. Considered one of the best Resident Evil games ever made by many fans, the fourth installment follows a battle-hardened Leon Kennedy on a quest to rescue the President's daughter. A lot of the classic Resident Evil mechanics are here, including puzzles, third-person shooting combat, and an array of terrifying boss encounters.

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With rumors floating around about the possibility of a Resident Evil 4 remake, players should definitely revisit this classic. For those new to the Resident Evil franchise, this title is definitely a great starting point.

Sonic Adventure 2

Developer Sonic Team
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre 3D Platformer
Release Date June 19th, 2001

Although one could argue that the Sonic series has seen some less-than-stellar releases since its heyday, there are still some legitimate gems sprinkled throughout the franchise. Sonic Adventure 2 is a testament to this, offering up some stellar 3D Sonic-style gameplay and some wonderful level design. It also includes a colorful cast of characters, some of which are so beloved by fans that they're found in modern Sonic media.

There's a decent amount of replayability to be found in Sonic Adventure 2 and it features a rather catchy soundtrack. The visuals may be a bit dated to some but it's the perfect game to boot up for anyone looking for something colorful, fast-paced, and energetic.

Sonic Mania

Developers Christian Whitehead, PagodaWest Games, Headcannon
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre 2D Platformer
Release Date August 15, 2017

Sonic Adventure 2 should scratch someone's 3D itch, but for those looking for a traditional experience starring the Blue Blur, Sonic Mania is the way to go. Created by a team known for working on Sonic the Hedgehog fangames, Sonic Mania amounts to far more than just a loving tribute to the classic 2D entries in Sega's series. It masterfully modernizes the gameplay while retaining the core appeal of those timeless titles, crafting an experience that stands out among the franchise's uneven recent releases.

Sonic Mania looks, sounds, and plays brilliantly. It delivers speed, expertly designed levels, and a lot of personality.

Terraria

Developer Re-Logic
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre Sandbox
Release Date November 11th, 2014

There's no denying that Minecraft was one of the most influential titles ever created, with a lot of developers attempting their own version of an "open-world procedurally generated survival crafting game." There have been a lot of imitators over the years, many of which fell short of capturing the same magic as Minecraft. But a handful of developers have produced titles that not only stand up next to the juggernaut but put their own unique spin on the formula it helped to create.

Terraria is arguably one of the greatest Indie games ever developed, taking the concepts of a procedurally generated world with crafting elements and ramping them up to eleven. The 2D epic features a wide array of items, weapons, enemies, bosses, and building materials. There are tons of NPCs to engage with, secrets to uncover, and a progression system that gets punishingly more difficult as time goes on.

Journey

Developers Thatgamecompany, Santa Monica Studio
Platform PlayStation 3
Genre Adventure
Release Date March 13, 2012

The 2010s were stacked with industry-defining indie games, and Journey was one of the earliest examples of this trend. As implied by its name, Journey takes players on a moving trip of self-discovery, one that prioritizes solitude for the most part. Visually, the game is a masterpiece filled with beautiful vistas and splendid music.

Journey only lasts a few hours and there is no other game quite like it. It is thought-provoking and accessible; a generally relaxing experience punctuated with moments of heightened emotion and spirituality. Frankly, it is just a great game.

BioShock Remastered

Developer 2K Boston
Platform PlayStation 4
Genre First-Person Shooter
Release Date May 29, 2020

There have been a lot of great first-person shooters over the years but few have truly subverted the "traditional FPS formula." BioShock took the concept of visceral gun-based combat and flipped it on its head by introducing Plasmids, specialized concoctions that gave players a multitude of abilities. Gamers could cover their foes in a swarm of bugs, instantly set them ablaze, or even manipulate security turrets to fight for them.

BioShock isn't just a run-of-the-mill shooting game. It features a fantastic storyline, an engrossing environment, and some rather creepy horror elements. It's not just one of the best FPS, but one of the greatest games ever released.

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