The best free PS4 games may be just what you need if you're trying to keep gaming while saving money - for a new next-gen PlayStation, for example.
Without needing to spend a dime, you have a surprisingly wide variety of games you can access on the PlayStation Store. Many of them instead offer optional purchases to keep going, meaning they're still top-quality titles but you don't have to pay if you have to.
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Free games can be a great way to easily play online with your friends. If you can't all agree on a new major release to buy together, then an F2P (free to play) multiplayer game means you can all play together (or against each other) without feeling like you're paying for something you're not enjoying fully.
Browsing the F2P section of the store can also be the best way to get a taste of a new genre, or try a game that you're not too sure about. While you may end up having so much fun with one of these free PS4 games that you decide to pay for the full version or buy some microtransactions from the in-game store, that's not a necessity.
What are the best free PS4 games?
You may notice that as you scroll through this list that many of the games have multiplayer elements, which is great for if you and your friends want to play something together without having to contend with differing gaming budgets and such. Warframe is one of these, and while you can spend money on cosmetic items and upgrades, it is an exceptionally fun title to play co-operatively.
If you want something a bit more competitive, then the battle royale genre, represented by Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Cuisine Royale on this list, might be what you need. Fortnite: Battle Royale probably needs little introduction - it's one of the biggest games on the planet right now. However if you want something with a modern military theme and extra elements like vehicles, you may want to try Warzone. On the other hand, Cuisine Royale makes things weirder by adding in cobbled-together armor sets and magic powers.
If these options still aren't enough, then there's also Hyper Scape, which will let you get involved as either a player or viewer, and whether you're still alive in-game or just an "echo" trying to aid your squadmates from beyond the virtual grave.
There's also a couple of fighting games on the list for a more traditional multiplayer game. The 2d Brawlhalla acts a lot like Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. with its focus on vertical and horizontal movement and defeat by ring-outs. Dead or Alive is a 3d fighter, in which you'll spend more time trying to step around your opponents to deliver your deadly strikes in longer combos.
If a more solo experience is what you're looking for, you should make a beeline for Genshin Impact. While it has an optional co-op mode, you can enjoy this RPG by yourself, adventuring through its enormous map, discovering its secrets and fighting off bad guys with your magic powers.
The best free PS4 games to play today
1. Genshin Impact
The Seven gods of Tevyat hold many secrets. Having woken up in this new world with no knowledge of it, and separated from your brother or sister, the answers to your predicament must be in their hands.
You'll have to travel around Tevyat to find these deities, with your weapon of choice being the seven magical elements that the gods represent. You'll also be able to traverse the landscape freely by land, water and air as the weather above you dynamically changes. Plus you can join up with up to three others to form a squad of adventurers.
This game is compared to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and with good reason. So if you're looking for an RPG with a focus on exploration and magical combat that also happens to be free, then you really should take a look at this one.
The newest battle royale on the block which wants to get both players and spectators involved in the action.
As a competitor in Crown Rush, the game world's virtual free-for-all battle, you face off against 99 other players in a shrinking area of the map, finding weapons and other special items to ensure your survival. But when you get to the final round, you can either eliminate your remaining opponents, or possess the 'Crown' for 45 seconds to claim victory. Even if you do happen to die earlier in the round, you can still take part as an "echo", alerting your squadmates to incoming danger.
Keeping everyone on their toes are automatic map modifications that shake up the game. If you happen to play with, or indeed be, a game streamer, you get to make use of chat voting to influence which of the conditions come into effect. This all makes sure there are memorable moments for everyone involved until the very end of the game, not just 98 bored spectators waiting for two players to duke it out.
3. Cuisine Royale
If even the cartoon style of Fortnite is too serious for you, then Cuisine Royale is a particularly strange cooking-based take on the battle royale genre. After spawning randomly on the map, you have to scramble for weapons and the safe zone like normal, except your offensive abilities are augmented by kill-powered magic abilities, and your armor is made of both actual vests and plating and kitchen equipment.
There's a couple of different maps to play on, and both are filled with a decent variety of biomes and hazards to navigate. You'll be doing this either alone or in a squad of four, with built-in ping features allowing you to easily communicate even if you're not using a gaming headset. It's a less epic (no pun intended) experience than other popular BR games, but the exciting squad vs squad fights combined with the game's bizarre added powerups and dangers provide tactical challenges and funny gameplay moments.
4. Call of Duty: Warzone
You don't need to have another CoD game on your PS4 to access Warzone, the franchise's take on the battle royale genre. When you boot up the game and dive out of the plane into the game map, you'll find yourself in a 150-player battle, on a huge island made of components taken from classic maps from the franchise. And when you take a fatal hit, you have a second chance in the form of the Gulag, a 1v1 match in a cramped environment against another player looking for a free rez.
You can pick from two different game modes: the standard Deathmatch which puts you in small squads to take on everyone else while the playable area slowly shrinks, and also Plunder mode, which tasks you with completing certain tasks to earn cash that you then need to extract from the map before it's taken. Overall, there's plenty here to convince a Fortnite or PUBG fan to try a different game for once.
Most MOBA games place you as an aerial observer of the battlefield, but Smite puts you right behind your chosen character, who will be one of hundreds of gods from pantheons around the world. You stride, pounce or fly into battle against opposing heroes and their minions to destroy their Titan and win the match, taking out towers along the way.
Smite is easy to pick up thanks to automatic settings for leveling your character’s abilities up and buying key items. but there’s plenty of depth and tactical enjoyment too once you turn off these settings, and look around the enormous 108 character roster for your favorite champions in each role. This MOBA/third-person action game combo is a unique experience with a well-executed theme, and one that might help fans of either genre appreciate the other.
6. Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2
You don’t need to have kept up with the enormous Gundam franchise of movies, TV shows and other games to enjoy this multiplayer game. Two teams of six head out onto the battlefield either on foot or in one of the series’ titular mechanical battle suits.. This sequel also adds the option to leave the planet and fight in space, adding a whole new dimension to the fight.
You can unlock more and more suits as you play, or pay with real money to unlock one of the 130 available mechas that takes your fancy straight away. The interactive lobby lets you meet up with other players to show off your collection, make upgrades and plan for the next battle. The developers are adding more and more content and holding special events too, so there's always something new to check out.
It’s hard to find a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title on consoles, but Genesis wants to be the PS4’s answer to League of Legends and other massive titles that dwell on PC. You can pick one of 28 heroes to take into a 5v5 battle in a sci-fi themed maps with dynamically changing elements, either in traditional multiplayer, single-player or in a co-operative PvE campaign.
The game continues to grow over time to maintain your interest, allowing you to equip the champions with different items and weaponry. The inclusion of the PVE mode means you can learn to play or just chill out by fighting against AI opponents by yourself or with friends. The developers are also very open to discussing balance changes, which means you can hopefully change the game for the better if you really want to get involved.
If you like Capcom's Monster Hunter series, then this is one of the best free PS4 games for you. Either alone or with up to three other companions, you will be tracking and defeating enormous beasts, then taking the loot you've gathered home to upgrade your gear. The world’s rendered in a charming cartoon-ish style too, making it a joy to behold as you look for your next target, which will be one of many unique Behemoth creatures.
Along with the standard mode, you can also try out Escalation, a series of five battles that continue to raise the stakes and the difficulty so you and your companions can truly prove your hunting skills. There are also weekly trails which add different modifiers to add a fresh twist to your encounters, in return for unique rewards.
9. Apex Legends
Say hello to the new king of battle royale. Apex Legends puts a fresh spin on the genre made popular by PUBG and Fortnite, offering tactical, team-based gameplay in which 20 squads of three battle to be the last team standing. Apex Legends stands out from the pack by allowing you to choose from distinct characters each with their own abilities (a la Overwatch), creating endless possibilities for how you strategize with your team. The game's brilliant ping system lets you mark locations, weapons and enemies for your teammates without saying a word, and the smooth movement and gunplay just feels great -- this is the team that delivered Titanfall, after all.
10. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Free Edition
In a battle between Materia and Spiritus, the gods of protection and destruction, two teams of heroes from the Final Fantasy series to fight for them. In this free version, you can pick from a rotating selection of four fighters from the original roster and fight in online or offline bouts, swinging your weapons and casting spells in teams of three to take down your opponents. You can’t play the game’s story mode, but you can play online with people who have bought the game, and transfer your progress from the free version if you decide you enjoy it enough to buy the full experience.
11. Fortnite Battle Royale
Despite some serious competition from games like Apex Legends, Fortnite is still one of the best free PS4 games for a reason. This multiplayer shooter has 100 players parachute onto a battlefield and scavenge for weapons and supplies, then fight until there's one person or team left standing. However, Battle Royale stands out by incorporating the base-building mechanics of the core Fortnite game, which adds an exciting wrinkle to the formula by letting you create traps and strongholds as you fight to survive.
Fortnite remains one of the biggest games out there thanks to constant updates and in-game events, from new skins and map changes to rebalanced weapons to live in-game concerts and even a whole fresh start in the form of Fortnite Chapter 2. Its colorful, whimsical art style also makes it a great battle royale starting point for younger players.
12. Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters
Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters lets you try one of the biggest fighting games out there before you buy it. But this is no limited demo -- while you'll be restricted to a handful of characters (which rotate out on a regular basis), you can still play the bulk of this frenetic 3D fighter's modes, including training mode, online battles and a portion of the game's story mode.
Dead or Alive 6 evolves the iconic fighting franchise with a new meter system that lets you unleash devastating Break attacks, as well as the Fatal Rush which allows you to perform combos with a single button. All of this looks great thanks to the most stunningly realistic graphics the series has seen yet. If you like what you play, you can purchase individual characters a la carte, or upgrade to the full game.
Remember Gwent, the card game from The Witcher 3 that you spent more time playing than you did tackling actual quests? That card game is now its own stand-alone experience. Building on the original Witcher 3 iteration, Gwent is a free-to-play collectible card game that's all about customizing your deck, summoning all kinds of cool attacks and spells, and outsmarting your opponent.
Even if you're not a fan of CD Projekt Red's high-fantasy universe, Gwent is one of the best free PS4 games for anyone who wants an addicting card battler. You'll need to position your cards carefully and play them wisely, otherwise you'll find yourself winning by a mile in the first round and losing the second and third. There's a choice of factions too to compliment your play style, meaning there's plenty to explore.
Brawlhalla is the closest you'll come to playing Super Smash Bros. on your PS4, though it's more than a mere knockoff. This frenetic platform fighter features beautiful hand-drawn 2D art, a colorful cast of characters and a unique battle system that lets you pick up weapons to completely change your fighting style midmatch as you strive to knock your opponent off the stage.
The game supports everything from local, four-player party brawls to intense, one-on-one, competitive online matches, and you can experience it all for free. The only thing you'd have to pay for is permanent access to all of the game's characters; otherwise, you can pick from a limited, rotating pool of fighters. Even if your friends don't own a PS4, you can still play with them thanks to cross-play with the Xbox One, Switch and PC.
15. DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game lets you create the DC hero or villain of your dreams, complete with a costume and a unique set of traits and abilities. The game features an original storyline filled with time travel, alien invasions, and iconic characters like Lex Luthor and the Joker, as well as a fluid, real-time combat system that lets you wield (and customize) all kinds of neat powers and weapons. Plus there's the normal set of MMORPG features like parties, raids and lots of leveling up to try.
You'll have to pay up if you want to check out DCUO's later story chapters, but you can experience a good chunk of what the game has to offer for free, plus there's seasonal events if you want to shake up the game without paying.
16. Let It Die
The latest over-the-top action game from the twisted mind of famed game creator Goichi "Suda51" Suda, Let It Die is essentially a highly stylized, wacky version of Dark Souls. You'll make your way up a tower filled with brutal enemies to fight and powerful gear to earn, each floor adding more and more challenge. When you die, your character will be reanimated in other players' games, turning your misfortune into another fearsome foe for someone else.
Because this is a Suda51 game, you'll do this all while taking advice from Uncle Death, a skateboard-riding Grim Reaper (yes, you read that right) and consuming dubious mushrooms to enhance your abilities before taking on some of the strangest looking bosses you'll ever see. If you like your action games difficult, deep and extremely weird, Let It Die will scratch that itch and then some.
It's easy to pass off Paladins as a cheap Overwatch clone at first glance, but this team-based shooter has its own special quirks — and costs nothing to play. Paladins stands out from the hero-shooter crowd by letting you customize your character via collectible cards, adding an extra level of strategy to the game's tried-and-true objective-based combat. You'll either be capturing points, pushing payloads into your opponent's base, or just defeating as many as you can in straight-up combat, enhanced by a blend of fantasy/sci-fi themes and designs.
With a rich fantasy aesthetic and an ever-growing roster of champions, Paladins is a great team shooter for folks who don't want to pony up the cash for Overwatch or dive headfirst into the well-established community of Team Fortress 2 — or for those who need a break from either one.
18. Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online is an online role-playing game that lets you live out every fantasy you've ever had about boldly going where no one has gone before. This sci-fi space adventure lets you play as a human, as a classic Star Trek alien such as a Vulcan and Cardassian, or even as a member of your own custom alien race.
You'll engage in both starship combat and on-the-ground shoot-outs, all while upgrading your tech to become even more power and playing through a rich storyline that delivers plenty of new lore for hardcore Trekkies to sink their teeth into. While Star Trek Online lets you purchase in-game currency for things like outfits and ship skins, you can also experience the entirety of its story for free. There are expansion packs on offer too if you'd prefer to spend your money on extra content.
Warframe has been around since the PS4's launch, and the game is still evolving. This online sci-fi shooter casts you as a futuristic space ninja who commands their own Warframe: a remote-controlled robo-suit that has its own distinct attacks and abilities. You can team up with friends to tackle the game's story missions or test your strength in competitive multiplayer, fighting across a Solar System of the far future.
Warframe is constantly getting new characters and content, such as customizable spaceships, open-world sections, cinematic quests and of course extra weapons. All this content makes this game a great pick for folks who want to loot and shoot their way through a bunch of cool-looking sci-fi worlds. It's great if you're community-minded too, with one of the busiest fanbases around and an annual fan expo too.
How to choose the best free PS4 game for you
One of the best ways to get a feel of what a game is about is to simply check the genre. While there's no reason why a game that's not like anything you've played before won't be to your tastes, it's worth checking what type of game each title labels itself as. It will give you a good idea of what mechanics to expect, so you aren't blindsided by a complicated combo system or left unsatisfied by a simplistic control scheme.
Some games give you everything they have to offer from the start, and hope you like them enough to spend some real money on them. Others are cut-down versions of paid products, which may result in locked-off content. Either way, it's likely that going for the free option means missing out on something If it's going to bother you not having access to all parts of the game, then steer clear or keep your credit card handy to rectify the situation.
The most crucial tip however is: don't get invested if it isn't fun. These are the best free PS4 games after all, emphasis on free. There's no price to pay and no harm done if you don't like one of these games after trying it out. Just try out as many as you fancy until you find one you actually enjoy.