Gaming is accelerating as an art form. Games like Undertale are showing that emotionally affecting stories can be told directly through gameplay, while AAA monsters like God of War Ragnarok use their incredible production values to arguably match the quality of Hollywood cinematic narrative.
Even still, sometimes you just want to gather a few friends and have some fun with your PS4. Luckily, Sony’s console has a rich library of party games that you can play, provided you’ve got the requisite amount of DualShock 4 controllers, of course. Here are the 15 best PS4 party games to play right now!
1. The Jackbox Party Pack
We’d be here all year if we listed every Jackbox game available on PS4, so just take this as a blanket recommendation for every Jackbox collection on the console. If you’re unfamiliar with Jackbox, it’s essentially a collection of party minigames that you can play using a smartphone and your console; anyone can join in, and the range of minigames on offer is impressive, so you’re bound to find something that everyone in your group will love.
Both Overcooked! games and all additional content are bundled together in this handy package. This is one of the most hectic, frantic party games out there, so don’t play it if anyone in your group is conflict-averse; while you will be working together, there will likely be a lot of shouting and attempts to coordinate the group, because Overcooked! quickly gets difficult. Still, if your group has the stomach for it, Ghost Town’s cook-’em-up is well worth a look.
3. The Quarry
We know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t this one of those cinematic adventure games?” Indeed it is; Supermassive Games is well-known for its choices-matter narrative adventures, and The Quarry, being a spiritual successor to Until Dawn, is one of them. However, the game’s multiplayer mode lets you and up to 7 friends online (or in couch co-op) watch along together, making the experience akin to a scary movie night rather than a gaming session.
The PS4 may not have Mario Kart, but this is the next best thing (and, for many, CTR is arguably superior to Nintendo’s iconic racer). Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a more skill-based affair than Mario Kart; while it has its fair share of power-ups and wacky level hazards, learning shortcuts and driving well are far more likely to reward you here. This is a colourful, chaotic racer with plenty of multiplayer fun to be had, and there’s a robust single-player campaign for when everyone goes home, too.
5. That’s You!
It doesn’t get much more straightforward than That’s You! when it comes to party games. The premise is simple; you take a selfie on your mobile device, then everyone in the group answers questions about everyone else. You might be asked, for instance, who is most likely to get takeaway then pretend they cooked it on a date. Other challenges include drawing on photos and texting, so if you’re looking for a Jackbox-style affair rather than a conventional game, this is the one for you.
6. Gang Beasts
Wobbly physics game Gang Beasts is great for a group of gamers of varying skill levels. We’re sure that highly-skilled Gang Beasts players exist, but the fun in this game is running headlong into your opponents and mashing buttons until something hilarious happens, and that won’t take long. Across a variety of silly locations, you and your opponents will do battle as jellybean-style featureless humanoids, and you can customise your characters to make them look as ridiculous as you want as well.
Much like Gang Beasts, high-level Rocket League play is enjoyable to watch, but it’s much more fun to get a group of people together who have no idea what they’re doing and unleash them on this football-meets-cars game. Up to 4 players can enjoy the split-screen multiplayer mode simultaneously, too, so Rocket League is perfect for smaller gatherings (or for taking turns). Batting the ball around the arena and lining it up for the perfect goal is just as fun as diving headlong into the fray with no clue about how it’ll go.
Again, the idea behind TowerFall Ascension is simple. You are an archer, and it’s your job to take down your opponents, who are also archers. You have a limited supply of arrows, as well as character-specific power-ups, but so do they. You must leap around a series of expertly-arranged platforming levels, firing arrows at your opponents and trying to dodge theirs. The angle and timing of your shot are crucial; if you miss, you’ll be leaving yourself wide open to retaliation.
Although Golf With Your Friends doesn’t support local multiplayer with multiple controllers, it does have a “hot seat”-style arrangement whereby you’ll hand the controller over to other players when it’s their turn. Given that this is a take on classic minigolf, this setup makes sense, and the ridiculous range of courses and cosmetics make Golf With Your Friends enjoyable in a group, even if you’re not all playing at the same time. Play this one online for extra fun!
10. Rock Band 4
Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult to obtain instruments for Rock Band 4 right now; unless you look on sites like eBay, you’re not going to be able to locate a bundle easily. If you do manage to get your hands on one, though, then there are endless hours of fun up for grabs in Rock Band 4. With a singer, a guitarist, a drummer, and a bassist (provided you can get an extra guitar), Rock Band 4 becomes a rollicking good time, and there are plenty of extra songs to download via DLC as well.
11. Moving Out
If you’ve ever moved house, then you’ll know how excruciating and frustrating the process can be. That’s the idea behind Moving Out; you and your friends must move a series of possessions out of a house, although obviously, it’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds. Objects will collide with walls, door frames, and other players, and much like Overcooked!, the shouting will likely start pretty quickly. It’ll be good-natured shouting, though, since Moving Out is so much fun.
In Totally Reliable Delivery Service, you and your friends must deliver a series of packages around a sandbox environment. That’s all there is to it, but a wonky physics engine makes even the act of putting a parcel in the back of a truck difficult. If you love games like Gang Beasts but you would rather play something less confrontational, then Totally Reliable Delivery Service should fit that bill nicely. Just don’t expect to master its crazy controls on your first try.
This is an ideal party game if you’re lucky enough to own a PlayStation VR headset (although it can also be played without one). It only supports two players, but there’s nothing stopping others from getting involved in the action too. One player has a bomb in front of them, and the other has a set of instructions they need to read out. Using the instructions, the player must help their partner defuse the bomb. Puzzles are procedurally generated so that the game constantly feels fresh, too.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is kind of like competitive Mario Maker. Together with your friends, you create platforms in order to reach the flag at the end of the stage, but you can also create hazards and obstacles to stop other players from getting there. The goal is therefore to try and reach the flag while stopping your opponents from doing so, which is actually much harder than it sounds. If you like your multiplayer games with a dollop of strategy, Ultimate Chicken Horse is perfect for you.
15. Among Us
It’s the game that needs absolutely no introduction whatsoever. If your group is online, Among Us is the ideal party game; it doesn’t work in local play, for obvious reasons, but online, it’s a masterfully-constructed game of deception, subterfuge, and sabotage. This isn’t one for the faint of heart; you’ll be slinging accusations at your fellow players constantly, so make sure that you’re playing this with a robust friendship group that isn’t worried if its dynamics are tested a little.
There are plenty of other excellent party games out there, but for our money, these are the 15 best that you can play on PS4 right now. Make sure you’ve got enough PS4 controllers to support the number of players you want; there’s nothing worse than booting up a great party game only to discover that you don’t quite have the peripherals to make it work. If that happens, you’re probably better off with a smartphone-enabled game like Jackbox or That’s You!. Happy partying!