The Best Free PS4 Games To Play In 2022
There are plenty of great free-to-play games on PS4, from Warzone and Apex Legends to Genshin Impact and Dauntless.
The PlayStation 5 might get all the attention nowadays, but the PlayStation 4 is still a great console with an incredible library of games--some of which are entirely free to play. In fact, some of the best games available on PS4 are completely free. So, whether you recently acquired a PS4 for the first time, or you're looking for something new to play that you don't have to pay for, our list of the best free PS4 games offers plenty of suggestions. Our roundup includes shooters, MMOs, fighting games, and even single player titles that don't cost a penny to download and play. And hey, many of these games are also available for free on PlayStation 5 and even include cross-play or cross-save options, so your progress will carry over if you ever upgrade to Sony's latest console.
Apex Legends is a first-person shooter battle royale with hero shooter elements. The main mode sees 60 players broken up into squads of up to three players, with each squad vying to be the last players standing. Players select from a roster of unique combatants, each with their own unique traits and abilities, then scour the map for guns and gear.
Apex Legends requires teamwork to succeed, but don’t worry if you don’t feel like strategizing with randos over voice chat; Apex Legends’ innovative ping system lets you communicate with your squad without in-game chat. There are tons of premium cosmetic items, additional heroes, and a battle pass available for purchase in Apex Legends, but you don't need to buy any of these extras to enjoy the game--or win matches.
See our Apex Legends review.
Brawlhalla is a platform fighter (think Super Smash Bros.) with tons of single-player and multiplayer modes. You can play with up to 4 players locally or 8 players online in team or free-for-all matches or try out alternate modes like “Brawlball." The game features 100 unique characters--known as ‘Legends’--and counting, including crossover characters from other franchises like Shovel Knight, the WWE, Steven Universe, and tons more. If you’ve ever wanted to duke it out as Macho Man Randy Savage against Rayman, Chun Li, and Hellboy, this is your chance.
Free players get a rotating weekly selection of 9 Legends they can use, but you can buy each Legend a la carte if you find someone you like, or pay $20 to unlock them all at once, including any Legends added to the roster in future updates.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Warzone is Call of Duty's answer to the popular battle royale genre, but it’s more than just a CoD-skinned BR mode. Warzone cobbles together the disparate parts of the Call of Duty franchise into a standalone, free-to-play battle royale game--in more ways than one.
The game’s maps reuse elements from fan-favorite Call of Duty arenas, and you have access to firearms and other armaments from the franchise’s numerous multiplayer modes. You’ll scavenge for gear in the early parts of each match, but Warzone also features player-specific loadouts you can customize, which diminishes your reliance on finding good drops to get the edge over your opponents. Warzone features larger-scale matches than other games in the genre, supporting up to 150 players at once in solo or 3-person squad modes. The other major difference to Warzone's gameplay is the Gulag, where players battle it out for a chance to respawn after getting picked off in the main map.
See our Call of Duty: Warzone review.
Dauntless is a colorful Monster Hunter-style action RPG. If you’ve never played a game like this, the core loop is simple: Go out and hunt giant monsters using an array of novel weapon types, get resources from the dead behemoths, upgrade your weapons and armor using said resources, repeat. That may sound simplistic, but it's devilishly compelling, especially when you play with others online.
Like many free-to-play games, Dauntless offers premium cosmetic items and a “Hunt Pass” with unique skins you can unlock each month, but you can also play the game without spending a cent and you won’t miss out on much.
See our Dauntless review.
DC Universe Online
This superhero-themed MMO lets players create their own super-powered character with iconic powers like flight, super-speed, or inhuman strength, and join up with characters from the DC comic book universe.
Gameplay takes place in large, fully-open environments and cities, and you’ll spend lots of time battling NPCs and building your character, but the real draw here is the story. You’ll team up--or duke it out--with everyone from Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman on the hero side, and Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and the Joker on the villain’s side, and the game is bursting with easter eggs comic fans will love.
See our DC Universe Online review.
Destiny 2 New Light
Destiny 2 New Light is a free-to-play version of Bungie’s popular FPS looter-shooter. New Light players get access to a large chunk of the game, including all locations for exploration; all competitive multiplayer modes; the year-one story campaign missions, strikes, raids, and more. While you can’t jump into the latest Destiny 2 story content with New Light, what’s on offer will keep you busy for a long time, and more than enough to see if the full version is worth your money.
See our Destiny 2 review.
eFootball PES 2021 LITE
If you fancy some free footy, a pared down version of Konami’s latest soccer title, eFootball PES 2021 LITE, is available on PSN. This version includes the “MyClub” single-player mode, where players create and manage a team of rookies, coaching them into a club of superstar players. There’s also online and local PVP modes featuring five playable clubs from the full game: Arsenal, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern München, Juventus, and Manchester United. More clubs and arenas are also available in the limited online “Match Day” events in the LITE version.
Fantasy Strike is a 1-on-1 fighting game that bills itself as simple enough for non-fighting game fans to understand, but with enough depth that genre veterans will have plenty to master. The full roster of 12 fighters is available for free, as are the online ranked and casual multiplayer modes, single-match AI bouts, and the practice mode. If this one gets its hooks in you, the premium “core pack” adds more gameplay modes including a story-based arcade mode, boss rush, and local multiplayer.
Final Fantasy XIV (free trial version)
In case you somehow haven’t heard by now: the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has an expanded free trial that includes all storyline content, dungeons, and raids from the base game, A Realm Reborn, and the Heavensward expansion (considered by many players as the best storyline in the game). Free accounts can only level characters up to level 60, cannot engage with certain social features or join Free Companies (the equivalent of guilds), can’t use the in-game market, and other restrictions, but you still have over 100 hours of free content if you take your time.
Note that at the time of writing, Final Fantasy XIV’s free trial version is temporarily unavailable due to server congestion following the release of the most recent expansion, Endwalker, but is expected to return in the near future.
For many gamers, Fortnite is probably the game you think of when you hear “free to play.” Chances are you know the gist of Fortnite’s battle royale gameplay, but for those who don’t: you and up to 99 other players jump out of a flying bus, parachute down to an island, scavenge for weapons and items, and battle to be the last person alive.
Fortnite started as a paid fort-building zombie survival game, but its free battle royale mode exploded in popularity soon after release and evolved into a multimedia juggernaut featuring crossover events with popular franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and more. There’s now a bevy of gameplay modes and rotating seasonal content to enjoy--and the survival mode, known as “Save the World,” is still available for purchase--but the battle royale mode remains the main thrill.
See our Fortnite review.
This colorful, anime-inspired action-RPG wears its inspirations openly, but despite surface-level comparisons, it’s very much its own game. The core of Genshin Impact’s gameplay is its combat; you’ll be managing elemental weaknesses and swapping between multiple party members in battle. Outside of enemy encounters, Genshin Impact focuses on exploration in the open world and a cutscene-heavy storyline.
While Genshin Impact’s exploratory gameplay and narrative presentation are perfect for solo play, multiplayer options are available if you want to play with friends. The game is also actively supported with new story quests, new zones, and gameplay enhancements--all of which are available for free. There’s a lot to see and do in Genshin Impact without spending money, just be careful with its paid in-game store. A lot of the “best” weapons and characters are locked behind gacha-style purchases with low drop rates.
See our Genshin Impact review.
Hitman 2 - Free Starter Pack
Unlike the free-to-play and free trial games we’ve listed so far, Hitman 2 Free Starter Pack is more of a free-to-start demo for the full Hitman 2 experience, but it’s still worth checking out--especially if you’re looking for a free game that isn’t just another multiplayer shooter or MMORPG.
The starter pack includes a single story mission plus over 40 additional challenges and 5 mastery levels to take on in the Hawke’s Bay location from the full game. That may sound slim, but considering Hitman 2’s level are sprawling sandboxes and you can complete missions using a seemingly infinite number strategies, there’s tons of replay value here.
See our Hitman 2 review
Neverwinter is an MMORPG set in the Forgotten Realms Dungeon & Dragons universe--is there anything more fitting? All playable content is available for free-- including all storyline quests, dungeons, and raids--and any future expansions or updates are immediately available to all players on release.
As with any proper D&D game, you build a unique character based on the races, classes, and abilities from the tabletop game. Drow rangers, dwarf paladins, wood elf rogue--pretty much any D&D archetype you can think of is playable in Neverwinter. But while Neverwinter’s setting and character creation options stick close to its source material, the gameplay differentiates it from other fantasy MMOs. Neverwinter’s combat melds action-RPG inputs with the strategy of D&D for a more active and dynamic pacing than the “tab targeting” combat found in games like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV.
Rocket League’s gameplay conceit is simple: it’s 3-on-3 soccer with cars. And not your average automobiles--fast, gravity-defying RC cars that fly through the air, drive up walls, spin, and flip. These acrobatic movements are easy to pull off, fun to experiment with, but tough to master, so there’s always room to grow even if you’ve played the game for hours.
Rocket League is free to play and features online multiplayer or AI-based matches. We recommend playing with other people, though, since the AI isn’t as good (or as fun to play against). Luckily, there’s cross-play with virtually every other platform the game is available on, so finding a match is easy.
See our Rocket League review.
Rogue Company is a competitive third-person shooter that draws upon elements from tactical shooters like Counter Strike and MOBAs like League of Legends. Players select one of 18 playable characters (or “Rogues” as they’re called in-game), each with its own unique capabilities and tools to aid your teammates--and, of course, rare skins to unlock and collect. Matches play out in 4v4 or 6v6 depending on the mode, but each game type has players racking up kills, fulfilling objectives, and earning money (not real money) to spend on upgrades throughout the match. There’s a surprising variety of maps, characters, weapons, and strategies on offer here--and best of all, you can unlock the entire cast and jump into all maps and game modes without paying for anything.
PC gamers have a myriad of free-to-play MOBAs to check out, but console players have far fewer options. Luckily, one of the best is available on PS4. In Smite, players select from a pantheon of combatants that includes mythological heroes like Sun Wukong, Odin, Thoth, and.. Optimus Prime?
Players are split into two teams that battle it out against each other, as well as AI mobs, with the ultimate goal to push into the enemy territory and destroy their base (in the normal Conquest mode, anyway). Smite has in-game purchases, but they’re almost exclusively unique skins and bonus characters, and don’t impart any benefits to gameplay so each match is balanced.
See our Smite review.
Spellbreak is unique in the battle royale space. Whereas most games in the genre feature a modern-day or sci-fi shooter aesthetic, Spellbreak is set in a medieval fantasy world where you sling magic missiles and fireballs at your foes.
Spellbreak’s cartoony visuals and third-person perspective will draw comparisons to the juggernauts of the genre, but its plethora of unique character classes and movement options give the game its own feel. Characters can float, teleport, and sprint around the maps, which are designed with plenty of verticality to accommodate the unique traversal options. Spellbreak also borrows elements from RPGs and MOBAs, letting players customize their character’s class, gear, and ability loadouts to suit their playstylSee our Spellbreak impressions.
Splitgate is a console-style arena shooter (think Halo), but throws portals into the mix for a novel take on a classic gameplay experience. Instead of just running-and-gunning, you can also drop portals that instantly warp you around the game’s numerous maps.
While everyone has access to these mini wormholes, they can only be placed at key locations, so it’s not utter chaos. Instead, the portals add a refreshing layer of strategy to a genre already known for intense map control, and opens up a range of gameplay strategies that you won’t find in other modern shooters, nor in the classics that Splitgate pays homage to.
Warframe often draws comparisons to other games in the online action-RPG space, but this is a game that stands wholly on its own. Everything from the striking (and oftentimes weird) sci-fi aesthetic and storyline, to the smooth parkour movement and ninja-like combat are unlike any other game out there--free-to-play or otherwise.
There’s so much to do in Warframe, from exploring open-world zones, taking on hordes of enemies in missions, dogfighting in space, raising alien pets--but the core of Warframe’s gameplay loop is in collecting and customizing the various frames available in the game. These can be unlocked in game or purchased with real-world money. Unlocking the rarest items for free can be a grind, but Warframe is chock full of so much varied content that there will always be something new to try.
See our Warframe review.
World of Tanks
World of Tanks is one of the longest-running free-to-play games that's still relevant today, but it's seen numerous updates over the years to keep its tactical tank warfare gameplay relevant. World of Tanks is, naturally, a tank game, but unlike the hardcore tank sims that are difficult to understand and often require a whole team of players to operate a single vehicle, World of Tanks leans more “arcadey” in its gameplay. That makes it more approachable for players of all skill levels, but victory still requires lots of strategy and communication with your team. World of Tank’s large maps host two teams of up to 15 players each, and each player gets to pilot their own custom war machine. There’s a long list of tanks to acquire, too--just be prepared to play (or pay) a lot to unlock them all.
See our World of Tanks review.