Top 20 Best PS4 Games of 2016 So Far: The Heavy Power List

best ps4 games 2016

2015 was an absolute beastly year for great new PS4 games to play, and now that we’ve almost completed the first quarter of 2016, we’re blown away by the quality games that have already been released this year. Superhero romps, the best fighting game ever made, mind-boggling puzzlers and fantastic indie games have already filled up the first quarter’s release calendar, and our backlog is as thick as it has ever been.

With Gamescom this week, PAX West soon and other conferences right around the corner, the earlier games of the year might get lost in the hustle and bustle. But, believe it or not, there have been over 40 new games released on the PlayStation 4 so far this year, and we combed through them all to pick out our favorites. Here are the top 20 best PS4 games of 2016 so far (you can also check out the best new video games to play of April 2016 here):

See Today’s Hottest Deals on PS4 Games


1. Far Cry Primal

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: February 23, 2016

Ubisoft is known for rushing out incomplete games that upset the gaming community, but Far Cry Primal isn’t one of those games. Although it feels like it was a short time from its announcement to its actual release, the game is as solid as any of the Far Cry games of the past. We were admittedly worried when Ubisoft said that they were stripping away guns and vehicles for an experience set in 10,000 B.C., but to our delightful surprise, Far Cry Primal exceeded our expectations. Taking down mammoths with spears is as satisfying as anything offered in the previous games, and hunting and scavenging for crafting mats is an all-around great experience. The story is also unique, as there isn’t a single bit of English spoken in the game. The game is a well-thought out experience, and if it weren’t for another game on this list (The Division), we’d still be playing it. But we’ll get back to the stone age for more eventually, and we highly recommend that you jump into the game as well.

Buy Far Cry Primal here.


2. The Division

Developer: Ubisoft Massive
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: March 8, 2016

Now that The Division has been released, it’s hard to imagine our lives without it — seriously, it’s THAT good. And, surprisingly so, being that Ubisoft has a track record of letting us down in the past. But it feels like a much better version of Destiny, minus the space sci-fi setting. Sure, it too has its problems, but they’re all minor. At its core, The Division‘s gameplay is incredible. It truly has an MMO feel, thanks to the upgrade mechanics, and its skill and ability trees. There’s virtually no loading, and you don’t have to venture to space on a spaceship, choose a planet to go to, fly to that planet, wait for it to load, etc etc etc like you do with Destiny. The game’s PvP zone, named The Dark Zone, is also unique and provides for incredibly fun and challenging gameplay. You’re going to want to play this one with a headset on so that you can communicate with your squad, so you might want to check out our list of the best PS4 gaming headsets. If you own a PS4 and you’re not currently playing The Division, you’re simply not doing the whole gaming thing right. You can check out The Division screenshots here, and know that in our opinion, The Division is THE best PS4 game 2016 has to offer.

Buy The Division here.

3. The Witness

Developer: Jonathan Blow, Thekla
Publisher: Thekla
Release Date: January 26, 2016

We were all waiting for Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, and now that The Witness is finally out on the PS4, we’ve been enjoying it for numerous reasons. It’s set in a gorgeous, stylized world, and it’s a puzzle game that will definitely have you scratching your head. Some of the puzzles contained within are truly frustrating, and we’ve spent more than an hour on a single puzzle in the game, trying different ideas and combinations until we finally struck the right solution. Is The Witness the most challenging puzzle game out there? We’re not quite sure, but it’s certainly a rewarding experience, and one that every puzzle game-lover should partake in.

Buy The Witness here.


4. Not a Hero

Developer: Rollingmedia Limited
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Devolver Digital already has tons of great games under their umbrella, including OlliOlli, Broforce, Titan Souls, and more. Now, they also have Not a Hero, which is not only on the PC, but it’s now on PS4 as well. It’s developed by Roll7 (OlliOlli). It follows an anthropomorphic purple rabbit BunnyLord as he travels back in time from the 2048 to become mayor in an effort to save the world. It’s a 2D, cover-based shooter with the player fighting his/her way through buildings, killing criminals along the way. It’s simple, high-octane fun that’s well deserving of your time, and it’s one of our favorite PS4 games of 2016 so far.


5. Gravity Rush Remastered

Developer: Project Siren, Bluepoint
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Every PlayStation console gamer was disappointed when the original Gravity Rush wasn’t published on the PS3, as it was a PS Vita exclusive. Earlier this year, Sony blessed gamers with a Gravity Rush Remastered, a remastered version of the game that is absolutely unmissable. It quickly became one of Sony’s best offerings for the PS4, and it’s now the quintessential version of Gravity Rush. In the game, players take control of Kat, a strong female character who has gravity-altering abilities that will help her protect her future. The gravity-controlling mechanics are incredibly cool, as you’ll use them to walk on walls, fly through the air, and devastate your foes with a gravity-powered kick. The Gravity Rush world is beautifully-designed, and we can’t wait for a sequel. It’s the second best PS4 games 2016 has to offer.

Buy Gravity Rush Remastered here.


6. Dying Light: The Following Expansion

Developer: Techland
Publisher: WB Entertainment
Release Date: February 9, 2016

Dying Light flipped the zombie game genre upside-down, quickly becoming one of the top 5 zombie games of all-time. The game was great already, but its DLC titled The Following made it even better by adding new game mechanics, environments and challenges. Now, players are able to drive a buggy, smashing through zombies in their path from mission to mission. The car is fully upgradeable, which adds another element to the game. Although it takes damage quickly, it’s still incredibly fun to drive. The map is now huge, and there are tons of new areas for players to explore. So far, it’s the best zombie game of 2016.

Buy Dying Light: The Following Expansion here.


7. Firewatch

Developer: Campo Santo.
Publisher: Panic Inc
Release Date: February 9, 2016

Firewatch sort of sneaked under the radar. Aside from its reveal in 2015, it didn’t get many updates in the time it took to release. But, surprise, it’s now on the PS4 (and PC). The game places you in the role of Henry, a man who leaves his life behind to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Your job is to look for signs of fire, and keep the wilderness safe. Now, your only contact is a woman named Delilah, your supervisor whom which you’re only able to contact through a handheld radio. But it’s not as cut and dry as it sounds, as you’re quickly removed from your tower to explore a largely unknown environment. It’s landscape is beautiful, as you’re set in an 80s Yellowstone filled with gorgeous canyons and beautiful meadows. The story is what’s most interesting here, and it’ll keep you intrigued throughout.


8. Unravel

Developer: ColdWood Interactive
Publisher: EA
Release Date: February 9, 2016

Unravel is another surprise hit of 2016, and despite the middling reviews, it’s one of the best games on PS4 so far in 2016. You’ll take on the role of Yarny, a cutesy doll created with yarn, and you’re tasked with playing through a hyper realistic world, solving puzzles along the way using unique mechanics only made possible by the fact that you’re made of yarn. It’s not the same mechanics you find in Yoshi’s Woolly World, as it has its own type of unique gameplay. The soundtrack is beautiful, the world is beautiful, and it’s an experience worthy of your time. You can read my Unravel review here for more information.

Buy Unravel here.


9. Street Fighter V

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: February 16, 2016

PS4 and PC exclusive Street Fighter V is what I call a slow-burner. The game is just mediocre when you first play it, but somehow, you find yourself wanting to go back to playing it more and more. Why? Because the fighting is so fantastic and balanced. Even though it’s missing an arcade mode and it’s currently a barebones experience, it’s still well-worth the buy-in, especially when we know so much more content is on the way. I’ve already put well over 40 hours into the game, and the online matchmaking now works flawlessly. It brings new characters into the Street Fighter franchise, each of which has their own unique style of fighting. It’s easy to pick up and play, but tough to master, and there’s a huge difference in the challenge of playing a casual match and a ranked match online. Although it has its issues (mostly along the lines of over sexualization), the gameplay, at its core, is what makes it one of the top PS4 games of 2016 so far.

Buy Street Fighter 5 here.


10. Lego Marvel’s Avengers

Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: WB Interactive
Release Date: January 26, 2016

For a mindless romp set in a LEGO world, you won’t find any better than Lego Marvel’s Avengers. Easy puzzles and some minor glitches aside, you’ll never want to stop smashing everything into tiny Lego pieces. The game contains a massive roster filled with Marvel superheroes, and some areas in the game require two specific characters to progress any further. Despite the fact that it’s a Marvel game, it takes the Lego route of being child-friendly. However, adults will find plenty of joy in it as well (especially if they enjoy smashing things).

Buy Lego Marvel’s Avengers here.


11. Overwatch

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard
Release Date: May 24, 2016

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably noticed that Overwatch is everywhere and everyone seems to be playing it. There’s a lot to love about this hero shooter which has shaken up the multiplayer shooter genre, and even now that there are so many similar games released (and being released) out there, we’re still sticking with Overwatch. In fact, I’ve put in over 120 hours of the game already, perfecting my Dragonstrike and Scatter shot. Overwatch is everything but bland, and it’s the game’s unique flavor that makes it so appealing. If somehow you haven’t played Overwatch yet, you’re seriously missing out on the best multiplayer game of the year.

Buy Overwatch here.


12. Uncharted 4

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: May 10, 2016

Nathan Drake’s supposed final adventure, Uncharted 4, is on my own personal top 3 best PlayStation 4 games of 2016 list, alongside Overwatch and Ratchet and Clank. I’ve already shared my thoughts about Naughty Dog’s latest in my Uncharted 4 review earlier this year, but to reiterate, it’s the highest quality game on the PS4 so far (yes, that includes The Last of Us). Uncharted 4 hits all of the right notes, with its incredible visuals and massive set pieces leaving players in awe, and if it weren’t for the couple of false endings that dragged the game out, it would’ve received a perfect score from us here at Heavy. Still, sitting at a pretty 9.5/10, it’s an essential PS4 game you need to play.

Buy Uncharted 4 here.


13. Ratchet and Clank

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: April 12, 2016

This year’s return of Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank franchise marked the series’ PS4 debut, and it released to a wild level of praise. In fact, it was our first perfect score of the year, as you can see in my Ratchet and Clank review. The game was a successful update for the franchise that not only utilized the graphical prowess of the PS4 but also introduced the characters to a new generation of gamers who might not have played previous games in the series. Ratchet and Clank does everything right as it has impressive graphics, incredibly cool guns, and a meta story that is genuinely funny. Just when you think the game has given you everything it has to offer, it introduces new gameplay elements to add to the variety.

Buy Ratchet and Clank for PS4 here.


14. Madden NFL 17

Developer: EA
Publisher: EA
Release Date: August 23, 2016

We’d fully understand if you’re burnt out on the Madden NFL franchise and sports games in general, as the yearly release schedule can certainly take its toll. But there’s still an undeniable quality set with Madden NFL 17, albeit an incremental notch up from last year’s iteration. Still, for those who prefer scoring touchdowns and intercepting passes as opposed to dungeon-crawling and looting, Madden NFL 17 is not only the clear choice, it’s the only choice. For more on this year’s game, check out our Madden NFL 17 review.

Buy Madden NFL 17 here.


15. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: August 23, 2016

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided marks the sci-fi cyberpunk-themed action role-playing game’s debut on the PlayStation 4 system, and it’s definitely the franchise’s biggest game yet. The game brings a major revamp to protagonist Adam Jensen’s augmented abilities, placing him in a cybernetic playground that feels entirely new, although it’s a longstanding franchise that we’ve played, and will continue to play, over and over again. Mankind Divided is a 30+ hour sci-fi adventure that has a conclusion that is sure to leave you in shock.

Buy Deus Ex: Mankind Divided here.


16. Dark Souls 3

Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: March 24, 2016

It’s said to be the last Dark Souls game, and gamers are all agreeing that it went out with a bang instead of a whimper. It is the fast-selling game in Bandai Namco’s history, and with the Dark Souls 3 DLC announcement imminent, we’re ready to hop back in. The action role-playing game is second to none in its class, and its brutal gameplay will have you begging for mercy — which is one of the reasons that it’s so popular. What’s best about Dark Souls 3 is that you don’t have to play the first two games for it to make sense. So, if you happened to skip those two gems (also great games, by the way), you can hop right into Dark Souls 3 without missing a step.

Buy Dark Souls 3 here.


17. DOOM

Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda
Release Date: May 13, 2016

DOOM brings back the frenetic multiplayer that we all loved, with Bethesda giving the game a formidable reboot earlier this year. The gruesome kills, awesome weapons, and the character customization for multiplayer modes all add up to a great multiplayer experience. What’s more, fans love the style of the fight encounters from the single player campaign. Now, DOOM is already sub $60, coming in at $40 for the upcoming holiday season. So, now is the perfect time to jump in and experience the newest iteration of the classic series.

Buy Doom here.


18. King of Fighters XIV

Developer: SNK
Publisher: Atlus
Release Date: August 23, 2016

With many already sending Street Fighter V down the river, King of Fighters XIV is primed to become the best fighting game of the year. And, if the PS4 demo is any indication of its quality, we’ll certainly see you in an online battle soon. Our very own Elton Jones has been playing it for the past few weeks, and his King of Fighters XIV Review went live this morning, noting that its many roster additions help to make it feel fresh. The game is filled with deep mechanics that hardcore players will love, but it still remains accessible to newbies to the franchise. Its numerous modes make Street Fighter V a laughable offering.

Buy King of Fighters XIV here.


19. F1 2016

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: 
Codemasters
Release Date: 
August 19, 2016

Codemasters is well-known for their quality racing games, and F1 2016 is no exception. In fact, it holds one of the highest user scores for any PS4 game on Metacritic right now. The new career mode is absolutely brilliant, and the game breathes new life into the F1 genre. Handling and AI are the best that they’ve ever been in the series, and the game is a graphical showcase for the PS4’s power. It’s perfect for not only casual F1 fans, but there’s also plenty of depth for hardcore fans to dive into.

Buy F1 2016 here.


20. Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-

Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: 
Aksys Games
Release Date:
June 7, 2016

Typically considered a 3rd-tier fighting franchise, this year’s Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- deserves to be in your playlist even moreso than SFV, and it holds an impressive 86/100 Metascore. It brings new characters to the game with new mechanics and story, and it has one of the best story modes we’ve seen in a fighting game to date. It also helps that the game runs at a buttery smooth 60 fps, making gameplay look stunning. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- is now a 2nd tier franchise, but it’s still one of the best fighting games on the PS4 right now.

Buy Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- here.


Honorable Mention:

The Banner Saga

Developer: Stoic Studio
Publisher: Versus Evil
Release Date: January 12, 2016

If you love a good viking story — and who doesn’t — The Banner Saga is an absolute gem. It’s a well-designed viking-themed RTS that has a well-written story, a beautiful soundtrack, and stunning visuals. Players take control of their own narrative, weighing the risks and rewards along the way. If you love story-driven games, The Banner Saga is a great choice.

See Today’s Hottest Deals on PS4 Games


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

2 Comments

Discuss on Facebook