Despite the fact that we are at the end of the PlayStation 4’s life cycle, there are still a TON of great games to be found on Sony’s popular hardware. From console exclusives to incredible indie titles, there is truly something for everyone. Among these are a selection of games that are entirely free to play. Some of these freebies are not worth your time but if you dig through the drudgery, there are a few truly spectacular experiences that won’t cost you a dime.
From Battle Royales to Looter-Shooters and even full MMOs, there are loads of free content out there. However, to avoid having to sift through some less-than-stellar games, we’ve done it for you. So put that wallet away and prepare to be amazed!
Updated July 29, 2022 by James Kennedy: With the bombastic public beta of MultiVersus going live, free-to-play games are popping off on the Playstation platform. There are a bunch of great free-to-play titles that are providing an incredible value. So, we thought that it was a good time to update this list. We’re obviously going to add the aforementioned MultiVersus, but we also have an underrated fighting game that is super beginner-friendly, as well as an enjoyable PVP mech game. This is a juicy little update for those looking to game on a budget!
25/25 Fantasy Strike
If you have ever wanted to start learning fighting games but feel intimidated by the barrier of entry created by the motion inputs, Fantasy Strike is the game for you. It has all the good stuff that makes fighting games so enthralling. Footsies, spacing, zoning… it is all here! This is a real fighting game. However, it also removes that notorious barrier of entry. No more Hadouken motions. All the special moves are single button presses now.
Hell, if you decide to move onto the more established titles in the genre, you will still be able to take a lot of what you have learned over to other games like Street Fighter or King of Fighters. If you are concerned about the game’s economy, don’t be. You get every character and the online versus mode. You can pay to play the single-player content or buy skins. That’s it. Very reasonable stuff!
24/25 Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2
The Armored Core rumors have been swirling around for years now. Is it being made? No one can say. However, there is a pretty damn solid mech game out right now that you don’t have to pay a dime for, and it is called Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 is a team-based PVP title. It does have a gacha element, which is how the title is largely monetized, but you can absolutely play it without having to spend a dime. If you are hankering for a mech game, you could do far worse!
It is fair to say that most people probably thought the failure of Playstation All-Stars killed our chances of ever seeing a proper challenger to the Smash Bros throne. When the announcement of MultiVersus first dropped, WB’s entry into the genre was certainly not convincing people otherwise. And yet, here we are. The game has been released, and you know what? It is excellent!
MultiVersus is a take on the platform fighter genre that emphasizes teamwork and pushes for a more skirmish-based style of combat. The universal shield? Gone. So, you either dodge, or you get hit. And it is so much fun. The roster of characters all feel super unique, and the online is absolutely incredible (something Smash certainly can’t claim). Not only is the game great, but unlocking characters is very reasonable. The skins are expensive, but everything you would need to play the game is absolutely easily obtained for free. MultiVersus rocks!
Developed by 1047 Games, Splitgate is a first-person shooter that was originally released through early access in 2019. But following a substantial revamp of its gameplay, the console versions were released in 2021 for the Xbox One and PS4, with versions for current-gen consoles expected to release sometime in 2022.
The free-to-play title borrows elements from other popular sci-fi-based shooters, most notably the ones in the Portal series, in the form of the titular wormholes that allow you to instantly jump between one point of the map to another. This means gameplay takes a more tactical spin than your typical first-person shooter.
While there might be no shortage of free-to-play MOBAs on the PC, the same can’t be said about consoles or the PS4 specifically. This is why a game like Smite immediately stands out to any fans of the genre.
It was published by Hi-Rez Studios and released on the PS4 in 2016. In it, you play in a team made up of gods and other mythological characters and must face off against opposing teams and their minions. The game has proven popular in eSports arenas, even receiving a nomination for eSports Game of the Year at the Golden Joysticks in 2017.
20/25 Destiny 2
Following the success of the original Destiny, the team at Bungie hadn’t wasted much time before churning out a sequel. Originally released as a pay-to-play game in 2017, Destiny 2 eventually went free-to-play in 2019, opening its doors to even more players.
The game continues to support a thriving community through regular updates, with The Witch Queen expansion currently slated to launch on February 22, 2022.
The battle royale genre wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (also popularly known as PUBG). This game took the online multiplayer world by storm with its previously unheard-of 100-player matches and unique focus on survival.
And while a free-to-play mobile version has been available since 2018, the main game only recently went that route. No doubt in a bid to better compete with the host of free-to-play titles available today. And while it is an incredibly competitive field, PUBG still offers one of the grittier experiences in the genre. It may have been the first, but that doesn’t mean it is outdated. It is still worth checking out now.
18/25 Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play action RPG developed by Chinese-based developers, miHoYo. Its distinct cel-shaded visuals, and vast open world, should immediately call to mind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But what many initially dismissed as a knockoff of Breath Of The Wild has quickly grown to become one of the biggest live service games currently available.
And it isn’t hard to see why. This is an ever-expanding world with a giant cast of characters. And while it has gacha mechanics, it doesn’t feel hard at all to obtain everything you need without ever paying a penny. And that isn’t even mentioning that combat system which is fun, fluid, and has you frequently swapping between your party of four to take advantage of elemental synergies. It is a ton of fun and absolutely worth checking out!
17/25 Rogue Company
The already crowded hero shooter genre got even rowdier with last year’s release of Rogue Company. Developed by First Watch Games and published by Hi-Rez Studios, the game has teams of four players duking it out across various maps and game modes.
Rogue Company supports cross-platform play, meaning that you can play with your friends playing on other consoles or PC. With a fun cast of characters, and engaging, twitchy combat, Rogue Company is a great addition to any free-to-play gamer’s roster of titles.
Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer has formerly made the transition to the free-to-play model under the new title, eFootball 2023. The new game promises the same quality football simulation the older series was known for, with a very low barrier to entry.
And despite a rocky launch that saw many people poking fun at its various player likenesses and gameplay inefficiencies, the game itself appears to be here for the long haul. While there are still a large number of players who seemingly prefer the Fifa series, the truth is thta eFootball is getting better and better with every update. And when it comes to the price of admission, it can’t be beaten.
15/25 Hitman 2
If you haven’t played the Hitman games before, you can try out a mission from Hitman 2 for free on PS4. The games are fantastic and very in-depth and detailed. You truly get to experience what it would be like to live as an assassin or superspy.
The free mission for Hitman 2 will let you travel to New Zealand as Agent 47, who is on the hunt for a mysterious shadow client. While there is only one mission unlocked, you can try to master it and accomplish more than 40 different challenges created by improvisation and experimentation.
For those of you who love games like Runescape and World of Warcraft, you should give Neverwinter a chance. It’s one of the simplest MMORPGs to get into, and yet it still delivers tons of content, all for free.
Depending on how much time you put into the game, you might eventually run into a potential paywall, but it’s not mandatory. You’ll just have to be patient with some of the waiting times and leveling up processes. If you’re familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, you probably recognize the name as the game is based on the fictional Forgotten Realms city from D&D.
13/25 Fishing Planet
Fishing Planet Holding A Fish
Are you a fan of simulator games? Fishing Planet is an impressive fishing simulator, it’s extremely realistic and has great graphics. Plus, the fish in the game are supposedly intelligent and meant to mimic the unique behavior of their species. There are over 110 types overall!
Beyond that, there are more than 17 different scenic waterways for you to choose from that all vary with their climate conditions and terrain. You can also choose between a multitude of bait and tackle bombinations and even three different fishing styles. Not bad for a free title, eh?
12/25 Z1 Battle Royale
Z1 Battle Royale is a free battle royale game that lets you compete against players all over the world. It is a reimagining of the original game, redesigned for the PS4. It’s popular enough that when it was first released, more than one million players tried to access it at one time and crashed the servers.
As with most free games, there are microtransactions, but they’re very easy to avoid. As for the gameplay itself, it’s somewhat similar to Fortnite. It’s easy to learn how to play it, but it’s hard to become very skilled.
11/25 Fallout Shelter
For those of you that can’t get enough Fallout, make sure you don’t miss out on this free simulation game that’s officially a part of the franchise. The point of the game is, as the title suggests, to manage your own underground commune and fallout shelter. While that may sound a touch dry, Fallout Shelter does a great job infusing the title with its famously cynical humor.
There are microtransactions, but they’re really just there to speed up wait times, so if you’re patient, you can easily avoid them. It will be your job as Overseer to make sure your citizens are protected and have all the resources they need.
Love it, or hate it, there is no denying the incredible success of Epic’s Fortnite. What began as a horde-mode-style game, has since added a battle royale experience which quickly became the highest-grossing free-to-play game of all time. Last year alone, the game brought in over 2.4 billion dollars.
In Fortnite, 100 players drop into a large open map, filled with guns, vehicles, and buildings to destroy/build. The goal? Be the last player, or squad left alive as the map around you slowly shrinks. Not only is Fortnite Battle Royale free, but it also supports cross-play with basically all the latest consoles, phones, and computers.
9/25 DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is a dream for everyone who is a fan of the comic book source material. In it, players will create their own, original superhero or villain and battle alongside, or against, Batman, Superman, and the like. This MMO-style adventure allows you to partner up with your friends and take on dungeons, raids, and bosses featuring many of DC’s iconic characters.
Even when you hit the max level, there is a ton of post-game content to keep you invested for hours. This is one of the older games on the list, with it first appearing on the PlayStation 3 in 2011, before making the jump to PS4 in 2013. However, since then, it has continued to be updated with new content, items, and characters. This is a must-have for any DC fans out there.
8/25 Paladins: Champions Of The Realm
If hero-based shooters like Overwatch are more your style, Paladins from Hi-Rez Studios may be just the game to scratch that itch for free. With over 35 heroes with different load-outs and abilities to choose from, this shooter offers a lot of variety. Not only can you battle as a giant tree, or use a snakehead as a venom launcher but Paladins offers a crazy amount of customization for each hero.
Before each match, you can use special cards to buff certain abilities. Likewise, during the match, you can purchase items to assist you in battle, similar to many MOBA-type games. This game is chaotic, action-packed, and definitely worth your time.
When The Witcher 3 was released, it was obvious this game was special. There was SO much to see and do, the amount of detail was almost overwhelming at times. Featured in the main game was a “side-game” called Gwent, which allowed you to battle cards against various NPCs. Gwent has now been released as a stand-alone title on the PS4, for free. Those familiar with The Witcher 3 version will know what to expect.
You choose a faction, build a deck, and battle other players using strategic maneuvers. This is an incredibly well-developed card game that will hook you immediately, with new modes being released regularly. The more you play, the better decks you can build, and the greater the challenges you can face!
6/25 Let It Die
With the overwhelming success of the Souls games, it was only natural that there would-be imitators. Let It Die borrows heavily from its far more popular peer, but it sets itself apart with zany characters, settings, and weapons. Your character is tasked with battling to the top of the Tower of Barbs, a feat that has never been accomplished.
Along the way, you will meet outlandish NPCs, and discover some truly hilarious weapons like buzzsaw knuckles, a firework launcher, or a flame wand. It’s all as weird as it sounds while the flashy mayhem on display here is truly a joy to watch. Just be prepared to die…a lot.