We didn't think things could get much better than 2017's Horizon Zero Dawn, Call of Duty: WW2, The Last Guardian and Assassin's Creed: Origins, but that was just the start. 2018 promises even more - check out our most anticipated games to find out what's on the way.
We've played each and every game in this round-up, and have reviewed all of them to help you decide whether they're your cup of tea. We've got everything from solo adventure games to huge online open worlds, as well as fighting games, shooting games, racing games and more.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2017, exclusive to the PS4 and PS4 Pro. But what makes the post-apocalyptic open world of Horizon Zero Dawn so attractive? Apart from roaming mechanical dinosaurs and a fiery red-headed heroine, of course.
The game’s storyline is much like a Hollywood movie with an engaging and intriguing storyline: after proving herself worthy to those that labelled her an outcast as a child, it’s up to Aloy to unmask the secrets of her past and in doing so, shed some light on why the world it is as it is, and where the mysterious dinosaur-like Machines are coming from.
Now, combine that with extended cut scenes and a game where every frame could be a painting and you’ve got something that’s engaging, gorgeous and hands down one of the best games to grace the PS4 ever.
Frankly, what’s most impressive about Horizon Zero Dawn is that it’s powered by a PS4, and not a high-end gaming PC. This is especially true when running Horizon Zero Dawn on a PS4 Pro, as we did, offering a 4K output at 30fps by rendering the game in 2160p checkerboard.
Lines are clear and defined, textures are of an extremely high quality and the frame rate is stable while providing one of the greatest gaming experiences available on a console. We take our hats off to you, Guerrilla Games, we really do.
Read more in our Horizon Zero Dawn review.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
Following a 'year off' after the release of AC: Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed Origins was released in late 2017. We think it's hands-down the most in-depth and enjoyable title in the Assassin’s Creed series so far, and ancient Egypt is the perfect location to showcase it.
The redesigned combat mechanics make battles fun while still providing a challenge and a tactical element for those that want to exercise their minds. Senu, the Eagle, is a fantastic Egyptian take on Eagle Vision and compliments gameplay perfectly.
Combine that with a detailed and vibrant environment and a storyline that Hollywood writers would be proud of, and you’ve got one of the best games of 2017.
Find out more in our full Assassin's Creed Origins review.
The Last Guardian
We had to wait nine years, and it managed to somehow skip the PS3 entirely, but it was worth it: The Last Guardian is the sort of exclusive that should make anyone without a PS4 very jealous indeed.
The latest game from the creator of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus sees you play as a young boy tasked with escaping a derelict castle. Your only companion? A giant, magical, half-bird, half-cat creature named Trico, who you'll have to befriend and help if you want to make it out in one piece.
Across the game's platforming, puzzles, and fights, it's that bond with Trico that'll keep you coming back for more, as you slowly build up trust between the two of you, until by the end of the game you're happily plunging off teetering towers, confident that the big fluffball will catch you on your way down.
There are a few performance issues and occasional frustrations with the controls, but The Last Guardian is beautiful - and emotional - enough that you're not likely to care.
Final Fantasy 15
At 200 hours for a complete playthrough (and at least 40 for the main story alone), Final Fantasy XV is pretty undeniable value for money- luckily, it's also a good enough game that you'll probably want to stick around for all 200 of those hours.
The game sets you on a road trip with a few buddies, but since this is a Final Fantasy game, there's obviously a lot more to the story than that, and it's packed with all the requisite twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout.
FFXV shakes up the series' turn-based combat with a new dynamic, real-time system that lets you perform joint attacks with your teammates. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do it's effective, intuitive, and above all fun.
The open world lets you travel just about as far as the eye can see, and visit everything along the way, and the game world is packed with activities and side quests to keep you occupied.
Overwatch is an online multiplayer first person shooter (FPS) and as such there is no single-player story mode to be found here. Instead, you'll simply play with others online, either your friends or a randomly selected bunch of other players from around the world. You'll be part of a team of six players on a random map and game mode.
There are more than 20 heroes to choose from in each match, spread across different classes: attack, defense, tank and support. With so many heroes there's plenty of variation, even within each class you're bound to find one or two that suits your personal style of play. Unlimited switching means you can try out lots of heroes within one match or make tactical substitutions based on what's happening at any given moment.
One of our only complaints about Overwatch is that we'd like more variation with the game modes, because despite being four different modes they're all quite similar.
There is a weekly brawl mode that's pretty fun, though. They change each week, with one forcing everyone to play as the same hero with 50 percent health, for example. The rules can be pretty much anything and it makes for some interesting gameplay that's for sure.
There might be some borrowed elements that feel a lot like Team Fortress 2, but Blizzard has done a grand job with Overwatch. It's fun, fast paced and accessible to a wide range of players of different abilities.
When have secret experiments on space stations ever gone right? Throw in memory modifications and eery aliens and it's hard to really feel surprised that everything went a bit skewy on Prey's Talos I.
You step into the shoes of Morgan Yu, one of the station's head scientists, as you contend with the outbreak of the Typhon, an assortment of gooey black extraterrestrials with a penchant for mind control and murder.
While most of these enemies are pretty typical, the best are the Mimics, scuttling spiders that also have the ability to disguise themselves as every day objects - potentially making Prey the first game to scare you with a coffee cup.
There's a pretty open character progression system, with options to focus on strength, hacking and repairing, or more outlandish Typhon powers of your own, while Talos I itself is also open to explore (mostly) freely.
If there's a downside to Prey it's that the story, while initially promising, never quite comes together entirely. That, and it'll all feel very familiar if you've played the likes of BioShock or Dishonored before. Still, it's tremendous fun, and easy to recommend.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
After a few disappointing games in a row, and a steady shift away from horror and towards AAA action, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is an attempt to reclaim the franchise's survival horror crown. With a new first-person perspective and focus on hiding and stealth (lovingly borrowed from the likes of Amnesia and Alien: Isolation), there's a lot here that's new to the series, not least the setting: a Texas Chainsaw Massacre take Louisiana, complete with sweltering heat and bloodthirsty cannibals.
But as much as it introduces new themes, Resident Evil 7 also harks back to the oldest games in the series. You'll be exploring a decrepit mansion, using green herbs to heal yourself, and carefully lining up headshots to save ammo - at least when you're not running away.
Yeah, the story gets a bit silly (though mercifully avoids almost all the expansive Resident Evil lore - this is a great entry point to the series) and the boss fights are slightly rubbish, but Resident Evil 7 is really, really scary - and you can't ask for much more than that. Just don't ask us to try it out in PS VR, we haven't dared yet.
Read more in our full Resident Evil 7 review.
Metal Gear Survive
Metal Gear Survive takes place following the events of Ground Zeroes, and is technically a spin-off from the MGSV timeline. Essentially, a wormhole appears and promptly sucks Motherbase into its churning maw and end up in a desolate dimension where you’re forced to survive.
You’ll find new features when compared to previous MGS games, most notably the introduction of a hunger and thirst system that really limits -ahem-, that really enhances the survival experience. Your character levels up and unlocks new talents as you progress through the game, and the growing library of things to craft should keep you busy for a while.
But while some of these activities are certainly enjoyable, there is a lot of busy work required before you can progress through the story. Finding food on top of scavenging for materials so you can actually play the game gets a lot less interesting after you’ve done it for the fifth time. And when that’s combined with oxygen consumption in the dust, you’ll find yourself heading back to Base Camp fairly often to replenish your stats.
But despite the frustrations, fans of Metal Gear Solid V will feel right at home here with the game’s tone and feel. The wanderers being dangerous up close, and a need to be more tactical makes a nice difference to other zombie titles that encourage you to hack and slash. If you’re a fan of zombie games and the Metal Gear series, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Read more in our full Metal Gear Survive review.
Call of Duty: WW2
Call of Duty WW2 takes the CoD franchise back to its roots. During the campaign you’ll storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day before fighting your way across Europe, experiencing events of the second world war including the Battle of the Bulge and The Rhine through the eyes of a solider.
Clocking in at around six hours of play time, the intense campaign is packed with intense close-quarters combat and spectacular events, all enhanced with impressive sound design and incredible visuals. It’s a stunning game with detailed environments – even the facial animations are detailed.
The multiplayer boasts 10 diverse maps across Europe, featuring maps with tight corners and enclosed areas perfect for shotguns or submachine guns to open maps ideal for patient snipers. A big change is the removal of Classes. They’ve been replaced with Divisions, each with unique unlockable benefits like SMG suppressors or bayonet charges.
But while the changes are welcome, we can’t help but feel it’s a little underwhelming compared to other games like Battlefield 1 with huge multiplayer modes and various vehicles to use, especially with CoD’s 12-player limit.
There’s also a Nazi Zombies mode with a great new co-op campaign mode, featuring an original story separate from the campaign.
Read more in our full Call of Duty: WW2 review.
For Honor has the potential to be the best hack-and-slash style fighting game of 2017 with players taking on the roll of either a Knight, Viking or Samurai in intense close-quarters war-based combat.
What you'll get for your money is a three-tier story that puts gamers in control of the The Legion (Knights), The Warborn (Vikings) and The Chosen (Samurais) at various stages in their ongoing battle. It's an interesting way to get the perspective of all involved in the war, and also provides a great way to try out all the different heroes available before heading online for PVP-based fun.
There are different classes of warrior available, each with their own moveset, weapons and fighting styles, and it's up to you to find what best suits your style. What we must admit that the battle mechanics do take a while to get used to as they're unlike any game we've played in recent years, but with experience you'll be able to perform incredible combos and over the top executions.
Though there's an element of brute force to the game, there's a lot of tactic and skill required to do well in For Honor, both in the offline story and in the online multiplayer. Pair that with a variety of ways to customise each of your warriors (both visually and in terms of skills) and you're left with a hack-and-slash fighting game that you'll come back to time and time again.