The PlayStation 4 is nearing the end of its lifespan.
But its online multiplayer scene is hotter than ever.
The little black box has over seven years of amazing multiplayer games under its belt.
Tried-and-true classics stand proud among Sony’s PlayStation collection – and hundreds more are waiting for you to discover them.
The past couple of years have taught us not to take our friends for granted – but they’ve also reminded us we don’t need to leave the house to play some games with other people.
So let’s take a look at the best games to play online on the PS4.
25. Knockout City (2021)
Everybody likes a good game of dodgeball – especially if it doesn’t hurt when you get hit.
Knockout City was one of 2021’s most creative multiplayer experiences, allowing players to engage in over-the-top dodgeball matches between rival gangs online.
Character designs are lovely and varied, the environments are gorgeous, and the gameplay is top-notch.
Gameplay is easy to grasp, too. But there’s a lot of room to improve your skills.
This could become one of the next big E-Sports, so be sure to jump in fast!
24. Dark Souls III (2016)
Why do we keep playing Dark Souls?
Is it the fading glory of its once-great kingdoms? The emotional stories of those who roam these darkened lands?
Is it mere masochism?
For some, the answer is simple:
They just really like invading people to ruin their day.
Dark Souls’ always-online multiplayer can be challenging and unpredictable.
You never know what to expect when you’re randomly invaded, and even as a red-tinted attacker, you might get surprised by a skilled defender.
Even if you hate the whole invading thing, I’m sure you’ll appreciate summoning blue phantoms to help you traverse perilous routes and defeat the more challenging bosses.
23. Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition (2020)
If you’re good at Street Fighter – meaning you’re at the point where you’re not just mashing buttons and hoping for the best – then you should be banned from couch multiplayer.
Take a minute to think about it.
When was the last time you actually passed the controller after losing a match?
Might as well write your name on it!
Instead of pointlessly humiliating your friends, consider taking the fight online for a real challenge.
No matter how good you are, there’s always someone better online!
Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition is the ultimate version of the game (as of this writing), featuring all DLC content like new characters, outfits, and stages.
22. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition (2014)
Minecraft’s console editions are a big hit with friend groups thanks to their split-screen support and easy-to-use online multiplayer.
You can invite your friends over to your world to explore the land and build a new civilization from scratch, or jump into an online server where you can play with thousands of players around the world.
It’s probably the best multiplayer option for younger children.
And it’s an excellent way for parents or older siblings to make some memories with a new generation of gamers.
You’d be surprised how exciting this game can be if you let yourself view it through the eyes of a child.
21. The Forest (2018)
More mature audiences might appreciate The Forest’s more realistic approach to survival in monster-infested lands.
The game casts you and up to three friends as plane crash survivors on a mysterious island.
It’s like Lost, but instead of temporal anomalies and creepy polar bears, you’ve got man-eating savages.
You’ll have to scour the forest and coast for resources and build fortifications to defend yourself from the tribe of horrifying cannibal monsters that call the local cave system their home.
If you like trial-and-error survival games like Don’t Starve (2013) or Rust (2013), you’ll love The Forest.
20. Destiny 2 (2017)
If you’d rather play something you’ll enjoy playing with or without your friends, you can’t skip Destiny 2.
This third-person shooter takes place in a far future where a giant sphere known as “The Traveler” has set up shop over the Earth and enlisted humans as its Guardians.
These immortal warriors will come to life over and over to stand firm against the Traveler’s enemies.
The game features much PvE content to enjoy alone, with friends, or with random players. There are open worlds to explore, massive raids to take part in, and a ton of guns to collect for your arsenal.
You can also challenge The Crucible and test your shooting prowess in traditional PvP matches.
If shootin’ and lootin’ sound like your kind of thing, this could be your next go-to online game.
19. Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
Meanwhile, in a galaxy, far, far away…
STAR WARS Battlefront 2 is another phenomenal third-person shooter set in space that’ll trap fans of the culture classic.
The game is perfect from an aesthetic perspective.
There are tons of units and vehicles pulled straight from the movies, and watching heroes like Yoda and Darth Vader duke it out amid chaotic shootouts never gets old.
You can tackle the story mode, try co-op missions, or compete against random players online.
The main online modes range from fierce large-scale infantry battles to fast-paced hero duels – and you can even take the fight out of orbit in Starfighter Assault.
18. ARK: Survival Evolved (2017)
We may have come too late to explore the Earth and too early to pioneer space travel – but we’re just in time to discover colossal video game open worlds.
One of my favorites belongs in ARK: Survival Evolved.
It’s a lush world full of prehistoric flora and fauna co-existing with more mythical creatures like phoenixes, griffins, and wyverns.
In a world where you’re just another creature in the lower rings of the local food chain, you’ll have to use your brain to tame beasts and add their power to yours.
The game is full of gorgeous biomes to explore and majestic beasts to fight or befriend, and a lot of content has been released since 2017 with new patches coming out constantly.
Now is the best time to start playing ARK.
17. Overwatch: Legendary Edition (2019)
Say what you will about Blizzard’s consumer-unfriendly practices, but Overwatch remains one of the most active and engaging hero-based first-person shooters available today.
After five years of updates, the game is rich in content to discover.
This includes several characters with entirely different playstyles to try out and countless vanity items to customize them.
The combat, inspired by classics like Team Fortress 2 (2007), is strategic and fast-paced, relying on every team member knowing their character’s role in battle.
It takes a bit to learn the ropes.
But once you do, it gets addictive fast.
The fact that every single character in this game is so attractive – even the monkey – definitely helps keep it popular.
16. Dead by Deadlight (2017)
I’ve never been superstitious. But it’s apparent that I have bad luck.
I always step on dog poop, and red spaces are the only ones I land on in Mario Party.
After a while I fell in love with the asymmetrical challenge of 3v1 mini-games – and Dead by Deadlight takes the concept to the next level.
The game pits a team of four survivors against an opposing killer (also controlled by a player) who’ll do their worst to catch them all and sacrifice them to “The Entity.”
The best part about Dead by Deadlight is how much excellent licensed DLC is available.
Want to play as Pyramid Head? Sure!
Escape from Nemesis in Raccoon City? Definitely!
15. Human Fall Flat (2017)
People who say that puzzle games are boring clearly haven’t played Human Fall Flat.
This hilarious physics puzzle game lets you and up to seven more friends join forces – sometimes literally – to overcome various brain-teasing obstacles.
You’ll play as “Bob” – a blob-person with the fine motor skills of a drunk college frat boy.
Each player can customize their own blob by painting over their body and adding accessories.
Watching up to eight of these wobbly characters try to accomplish the simplest tasks can provide hours of fun and laughter.
14. Red Dead Online (2019)
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most beautiful and expansive open-world adventures on PS4 – but have you tried its online multiplayer?
Red Dead Online features the same lush environments and detailed graphics as the main campaign – but instead of following Arthur Morgan and his posse, you’ll make your own adventuring cowboy and team up with real players.
There are tons of bounties to collect, and many unique quests all over the Wild West for you and your squad to complete.
Alternatively, you can join the Showdown Series for some competitive cowboy PvP.
13. Grand Theft Auto Online (2014)
GTA Online is all about freedom.
The freedom to be who you want and do what you want, without anyone – not even the authorities – messing with your vibe.
The game lets players customize their own avatar and connect with others online to take part in all sorts of absurd activities in San Andreas.
You can meet up with your peeps to rob a bank, spend all your ill-gotten cash on jet-skis, crash them into the nearest bridge and take some pictures amid the rubble – all in a day’s work.
After almost a decade of frequent updates and new content, you’ll never run out of stuff to do in San Andreas.
12. Fortnite: Battle Royale (2017)
Fortnite is so famous among younger generations that it’s almost redundant to mention it in multiplayer rankings.
PUBG (2017) may have done the Battle Royale thing first.
But Fortnite took it to the next level with a unique art style, creative character design, and tons of new content every month to keep up with the times.
The building mechanic may look like a gimmick at first, but how skilled players use it to leverage height and mobility shows it to be a well-designed, core combat mechanic that sets this game apart from the competition.
Plus, it’s the only game that’ll let you watch Ariana Grande fight John Wick with a Lightsaber.
11. Genshin Impact (2020)
The year 2020 was full of surprises.
And Genshin Impact was one of the biggest surprises in gaming.
This Chinese-developed action RPG brought gacha gaming even further into the mainstream with a free-to-play game that brings together the refreshing exploration and RPG elements of Breath of the Wild, with an expansive cast of beautiful anime characters.
The soothing soundtrack by Yu-Peng Cheng also plays a role in its popularity, and it remains a pleasure to listen to even when I’m not playing.
Plus if you’re looking for a Waifu or Husbando, Genshin Impact has tons to choose from.
10. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (2015)
Most people who’ve played and enjoyed Skyrim or any other The Elder Scrolls game should know the intense feeling of longing you get every time you remember it’ll never be real.
The best we can hope for is immersion.
And it really doesn’t get better than ESO in that regard.
This game’s living & breathing Tamriel is a bustling fantasy land full of monsters to slay, quests to challenge, and people to adventure with.
Five years of new content have made ESO into a behemoth of an MMO where you can explore regions like Morrowind, the Summerset Isles, Elsweyr, Greymoor, and many more.
If you’re into MMOs (outside of FFXIV or WoW) then this is a must-try.
9. Warframe (2013)
The Elder Scrolls Online is a big game. But if you’re looking to tackle something truly massive, Warframe is the way to go.
It’s not so much the numerous open-world areas and procedurally generated levels that make it so extensive.
Instead, it’s the sheer amount of activities you can partake in.
When you get bored of cutting down Grineers and questing, you can go do parkour on an obstacle course. Or chill out and make music as Octavia, or head to the nearest market to sell your wares.
Frankly, it can be a little bit much to take in at first.
But if you put in the time to watch some YouTube videos or look into some beginner’s guides or ask an experienced friend to explain it, you’ll fall in love with this gigantic game.
8. Gran Turismo Sport (2017)
Car racing is a fantastic competitive option on the PS4.
Today’s trend of online-only multiplayer is a perfect fit for a genre dominated by ultra-photorealistic games that would fry most computers if they supported split-screen.
GT Sport is Sony’s answer to Forza Horizon 5 on the Xbox One.
It’s a gorgeous-looking game with myriad amazing supercars and tracks – adding up to over 300 cars and 80 tracks to try them in.
Car enthusiasts will find a lot to love in the game’s in-depth customization options. Fine-tuning your car may be the difference between victory and 2nd place.
7. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (2019)
Monster Hunter has been wildly popular in Japan since the original came out in 2004.
MH: World has made monster hunting accessible and fun for international audiences – plus, there’s a renewed focus on visuals and self-expression through character customization that resonates with today’s audiences.
While the game is definitely playable by yourself, it’s clearly designed around online play.
It’s possible to beat the Behemoth and the Ancient Leshen alone, but fighting shoulder to shoulder with other battle-hardened hunters makes it less of an upstream battle.
6. Rocket League (2015)
Realistic racing games are fun. But they’re also pretty hard.
And they get even harder when the online community is full of people who know what they’re doing (unlike me).
Whenever I want to have some high-speed fun, I turn to the least realistic car racing game I can think of: Rocket League.
This fantastic title pits two teams of up to four drivers against each other in what can only be described as soccer on wheels.
Just hitting the ball can be a real feat during your first few matches, but Rocket League gets more exciting the better you get.
If you think the game is played on the ground, you haven’t seen pro players using their boost to follow the ball around in mid-air, hoping for an epic goal.
5. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (2015)
If the frantic pace of rank-and-file first-person shooters doesn’t appeal to you, consider the brainy special operations of Rainbow Six Siege.
This game is more about strategy than shooting.
If you and your friends have good communication skills and work well as a team, R6S will take your multiplayer experience to the next level.
There are also tons of weapons and attachments – but it’s not just to give you variety.
Each of them has a unique tactical advantage that’ll come in handy in different situations.
4. Call of Duty: Warzone (2020)
Well-oiled squads should also try out Call of Duty: Warzone, the perfect middle ground between the classic fast-paced gameplay of CoD and the tactical operations of R6S.
As its name suggests, Warzone is a Battle Royale where up to 150 operatives airdrop into disputed territory and scramble to find ammunition, protective equipment, attachments, and most importantly, distracted enemy teams.
While 150 sounds like a lot, the game’s environments are massive.
So you get to choose whether to come in hot and start shooting a ton of people, or to drop quietly into a remote location and strategically work your way into the battle from there.
3. Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn (2013)
Warframe and ESO are incredible online games that excel in different aspects.
But if you want something that ticks all the boxes for an MMO, you should be playing FFXIV.
This game just does everything right.
It has gorgeous visuals and an expansive and intriguing world to explore.
Its combat system is also a work of genius that’s easy to get into, despite high-level battles being some seriously challenging affairs.
Additionally, the land of Eorzea (where the game takes place) is full of familiar creatures, characters, and motifs that JRPG fans will undoubtedly remember from previous Final Fantasy adventures.
2. Apex Legends (2019)
Nobody expected Titanfall 2’s free-to-play battle royale offshoot would become such a popular title.
But it’s easy to see how it happened.
Hero-based shooters are all about their characters – and the Legends in Apex are some of the most colorful and interesting heroes I’ve ever seen in a shooter.
Their usually edgy personality reflects their violent but stylish world perfectly.
Of course, the actual gameplay also plays a significant role.
It’s fast-paced but strategic, and you’ll need to memorize a ton of stuff so you can loot smartly and know what to expect from enemy Legends.
But give a try and see what you think – you might be surprised to learn how fun it is.
1. Ghost of Tsushima: Legends (2021)
Apex Legends is impressive, but it’s not the only game with “Legends” in its title that’s legendary enough to earn a top spot in our ranking.
Ghost of Tsushima: Legends is the stand-alone online component for Sucker Punch’s famous PlayStation exclusive.
It’s a different kind of multiplayer that mixes its measured hack-and-slash gameplay with the thrill of large-scale battles that are only winnable through co-operation.
There are challenges and raids to complete, amazing loot to drool over, and a ton of new content not present in the original Ghost of Tsushima.
I especially enjoy the new 2v2 Rivals mode, which pits two teams of samurai against increasingly brutal waves of enemies.
Why they didn’t call this “Ghosts of Tsushima” is beyond me.
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