The 20 best cheap PS4 games in 2021
Who needs AAA games when you have the best cheap PS4 games? They’re not always the biggest or most visually impressive games around, but one thing’s for sure: they’re fun and affordable.
The entries on this list are some of the greatest titles available on the PS4, but cost a very reasonable $20 or less. Varied in genre and gameplay, in age and length, you will be able to find something you like here that costs a third or even less of the price of a standard new game you’d pick up in a store. Although you could of course go for the best free PS4 games and pay nothing at all.
Some players like to pick up cheap games because they have limited budgets and don’t mind waiting to pick up older titles once their prices have dropped. Others are less interested in the price and more in the unique ideas that inexpensive indie games can explore. And others may want to build out their collection to make sure they don’t miss out on the best titles of years gone by. Whichever category you fall into, you’ll find the best way to make use of your $20 on the PlayStation Store here.
If you wind up with a lot of these games and need extra storage space, check our recommendations for the best external hard drives for PS4 and Xbox One.
What are the best cheap PS4 games?
Before revealing our favorites, we’ve got to mention that none of these games are free to play. You can check out our other list for our best free PS4 games.
But as for the best cheap PS4 games, my personal pick of the bunch would be Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete Edition. An enormous open world made even larger by the presence of all the available DLC in one package, this game has both interesting mechanics and an entertaining story, all for an amazingly cheap price.
The latest multiplayer craze is Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, a platforming game that you complete simultaneously with and against other players online. You can spend money to get fancy cosmetics, but the basic experience comes in under our $20 limit.
For co-op players, Cuphead is a great test of you and a partner’s skills. Platforming and shooting are challenging and often lethal, but the ability to quickly revive one another means with good communication, you’ll be able to make it through even the toughest of the game’s charmingly animated bosses.
If you’re after story and nothing else, Night in the Woods is the games you should check out. There is some platform puzzling to do as you navigate from plot beat to plot beat, but you get to spend lots of time with some of the most endearing characters in gaming.
For strategy fans, John Wick Hex will scratch that itch. You’ll require a mind for tactics in order to shoot your way in slow motion through hordes of baddies. If you’re wanting a different kind of puzzle to solve, perhaps Mini Metro’s abstract subway networks will let you flex your mental muscles with a less intense theme.
You can also check out the best split screen PS4 games for multiplayer fare.
The best cheap PS4 games you can buy today
1. Axiom Verge 2
Enter another strange new reality in this sequel to the original Axiom Verge, one of the best “metroidvania” games released in the last ten years.
Like the first game, the main goal is exploration of a large interconnected world. As you travel you’ll find roadblocks, but you’ll find the tools to overcome them at the ends of other paths, so if you’re struggling, just look elsewhere.
There are of course many enemies and even a few boss monsters to tackle on the way, but with a varied array of weapons, you might just be able to find your way through and discover why you’ve been brought here.
Yu and Kay are a couple in a tight spot, and so have escaped to a desolate planet. In the body of their old spaceship, they plan to build their home, with the help of the friendly denizens of their new world, and by defeating those who seek to tear them apart.
In keeping with a game about an intimate relationship, Haven makes you control both characters simultaneously, both when roaming the world and in a fight. You can do this with a local co-op partner or by yourself as you prefer, but either way the mechanics of moving and battling in unison matches perfectly with the tone of the game, told through interactive conversations. Plus the electronica soundtrack is a treat to listen to throughout.
Cloudpunk is the name of the company you work for, a shady courier operation. As Rania, a driver responsible for making these deliveries, you’ll travel the city on your assignments, learning more about the activities of its diverse inhabitants over the course of one dramatic night.
The city of Nivalis has a thick, oppressive atmosphere, and you’ll explore its skyscrapers from top to bottom as you drive and walk between destinations. In suitably cyberpunk style, there are few happy moments to be found across the different stories, but many different secrets for you to uncover.
4. Sayonara Wild Hearts
A self-described “pop album video game”, this is a high-speed puzzle that takes through a neon world on the back of a motorcycle, skateboard and other vehicles, and with an emotive soundtrack to boot. You’re playing a young woman with a broken heart, who has found herself on an unending road in the sky; part of a world that takes after the cards of a tarot deck.
Each level, which is individually scored, sees you collecting items, dodging obstacles and battling foes as you ride towards the end of the level. There are boss battles too that mix in other mechanics to break up the action with new challenges. Once the story is through, you may want to go back through and improve your scores so you can get a perfect set of gold medals.
5. Spelunky 2
Even if you never played the original, you’ll still find this roguelike platforming game easy to get into. Playing as one of several explorers, you’ll be tasked with delving into the depths of the Moon. Each playthrough is made up of randomly-generated levels, which means you’ll never see the same content in the same way twice. And even if you win (which is quite unlikely on any particular run), there are still more secrets for you to find on subsequent playthroughs.
If you don’t want to adventure alone, you can invite up to three other players in local co-op or one other player online, either fighting through the caverns together, or against each other in Arena mode.
6. Watch Dogs 2
The second game in the open-world hacking series takes you to San Francisco, where, as new protagonist Marcus Holloway, you join Deadsec to take on the ctOS system that monitors the city.
As well as conventional weaponry, you also have the ability to hack nearby devices, such as your enemies’ smartphones, drones or even parts of city infrastructure, to help you fight back. And if fighting against the city isn’t enough, you can also join up in co-op to get or give a helping hand, or invade another user’s game and engage in a tense game of cat and mouse, trying to figure out their disguise and take them out first.
7. Fight of Animals
Taking inspiration from viral animal memes, this game puts pets and wild beasts together in an arena for a Street Fighter-style showdown that manages to be both complex but very dumb.
To cut through to the heart of the game, it’s a 2D fighter. That means you’ll be moving and jumping backwards and forwards in a straight line, deciding when best to block and attack in order to win the best of three rounds.
You’ll need to be seriously online to understand where the ideas for the characters came from, but anyone can appreciate the absurd spectacle of a jacked Shiba Inu punching a magical squirrel. There’s also a pretty robust combo system beneath the silly visuals, meaning that if you spend some time getting to grips with the game, then you can become the apex predator when you challenge your friends, try the game’s arcade mode or fight against others online.
8. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
The newest game to take social media by storm, this battle royale-style title doesn’t involve fighting directly, but rather platforming by way of running, jumping, diving and grabbing.
Each round takes you through your way to the end of one of several tricky obstacle courses. Make it to the end fast enough, or complete one of the other unique goals tied to different maps, and you’ll get to progress to the next round, until a victor is decided in a final free-for-all.
With up to 60 players a match each playing as a cute bean-shaped character, there’s a lot of visual appeal, particularly when you begin to unlock cosmetics to customize your avatar’s look and emotes. Sometimes you’ll be playing against all of the other players, but other times you will be split into teams for a more cooperative experience.
After two years of Xbox and PC exclusivity, you can finally play this beautifully designed and dastardly difficult platformer/shooter. As Cuphead and/or Mugman, you’ll travel across the world to hunt down and defeat a number of bosses who owe their souls to the Devil, just like you. It’s a dark-sound theme, but it’s presented with charming hand-drawn animation designed to look like 1930s cartoons. In motion, there’s no other game that looks like this.
You’ll be seeing frequent restarts as you tackle each boss, as you’re only a fragile cup and they will strike you down with some brutal attacks. But the good thing is you won’t mind, since the game looks great, and sounds awesome thanks to its jazzy soundtrack, and there’s customization options if you feel you need to change up your tactics. If you have patience to learn the game’s systems and the enemies’ patterns, you’ll be hooked on Cuphead.
Puzzle games often require you to look closely at your environment to figure out what to do next, but in Superliminal it’s even more important. Your perspective on the scene matters, because moving things around changes their size, allowing paths to be uncovered and built out of the everyday items you find around you in-game. This is a game that’s definitely going to stretch your mental muscles in a way they have not been tested before.
While the world you find yourself in is quiet and peaceful (apart from the comically small and large objects you’ve left behind), there’s a strange story going on in the background, in which you’re the subject of a strange kind of therapy represented by the puzzles. The voiceover narrator may remind you of another unusual puzzle solving game involving portals, but Superliminal is its own unique beast that deserves your attention.
11. Moving Out
Helping your friends move out of their house is a chore in real life, but it’s a lot more fun in this game. With up to four people, you’ll extract furniture from homes and other buildings full of junk outside and into your truck. Luckily for you, you can carry the possessions out in more ways than just the door, and your clients don’t seem to mind about breakages, but the environment around their homes and business will be full of more hazards than you may have expected.
You’re able to collect a variety of character customization pieces to swap between as you complete removals in your quest to become the best company in town. There are usually a couple of different ways to complete a level depending on if you want to blast through the game or you want to master the game’s strange physics system and controls. And if you want an even tougher challenge, then the Arcade Mode lets you try moving a sofa through some more difficult environments. Whichever one you choose, you’ll find a scenario that’s the perfect level of difficulty for you and your friends.
12. John Wick Hex
Just like the film trilogy that this game is based on, John Wick Hex is about strategizing your way through an overwhelming number of armed enemies.
This isn’t a shooter, it’s more of a strategy title that is somewhere between real-time and turn based, the game pausing each time you reach an enemy so you can figure out your approach to the situation. Every action you then take is measured on the in-game timeline, be it movement, shots or reloads, against those of the enemies, allowing you to play around with options to see which solution lets you survive unscathed.
The game has a look that’s just as interesting as its blend of genres. You’ll travel between varied environments all rendered in a comic book style that makes a whole lot of sense given the apparent superpowers that John Wick has with whatever gun is in his hands.
13. Telling Lies
There’s a mystery that needs solving, and the only evidence you have is a series of clips from video chats between four different people going back over four years. Using the search capabilities of the data based you’ve ‘acquired’, you have to go through the clips to find out what happened between them.
The catch is that you’ll only get the first five results for whatever term you search for, even if that word appears in the transcript of more than five clips. This means you can’t just skip to the end immediately, and even if you did, there’s no guarantee you’ll know what’s going on. You’ll need to choose your search terms carefully, taking note of key names, places and phrases to learn what you should search for next, and from there figure out the answers to your questions.
14. Untitled Goose Game
As the Goose named in the title, you have only one goal – bother the villagers in as many ways as you can find. They may be going about their day tending to their garden, running a pub or just relaxing reading the newspaper, but you have a list of mischievous tasks to get on with, and you can’t be reasoned or bargained with. You’ll be breaking, entering, stealing, flapping and honking from start to finish and any boundary you come across won’t stop you for long.
This short but very sweet experience will take you to various areas around a picturesque village where there are lots of ways you can spoil a person’s day. The simple graphic style and piano score give the game an atmosphere like an old-fashioned cartoon, making it a pretty enjoyable spectator experience as well as a player one.
When you’re done with what you might call the game’s campaign, you can try out a speedrun of each area, or look for hidden tasks that combine the items from around the map in fun ways.
15. Castle Crashers Remastered
A refreshed edition of the 2008 beat ’em up with a uniquely bizarre take on the fantasy genre. You and up to three other people play as knights on a quest to save princesses, defeat an evil wizard and recover a stolen treasure, which sounds normal enough. However, on your way to rescue these damsels, you’ll need to take on giants, fish and other strange enemies with your fists, weapons and magic.
The game takes place over various stages, each with their own obstacles and rewards that you can then spend on ability upgrades or new items to help you in the next battle. You can play alone with CPU allies or enlist other teammates online or locally, which can help you take on your enemies or revive you if you get overwhelmed. But no matter how many friends you have along with you, you’ll have a great time.
This remastered version was released last year, and is undoubtedly a superior product to the original game too. The graphics and performance have been touched up for a prettier and smoother experience, and an additional mini-game has been added for a bit more variety in gameplay too.
16. Mini Metro
A good city needs an effective subway system, and in Mini Metro, it’s your job to plot the routes between an ever growing number of stations. Each stage is based on a real-life city, simplified into a couple of landmarks like rivers and different available train types. You’ll need to link every station to your network, either to an existing line or a new one, making sure you have enough trains and carriages to handle the demand, as well as keeping an eye on extra resources like bridges and tunnels, which you’ll only get more of at the end of each in-game week.
Every time you open a new line, it adds a new instrument to the procedurally generated soundtrack, the rhythm determined by the speed and length of the line. It’s a fun way to illustrate the complexity of the rail system you’re building without needing any additional graphics, which also makes the game enjoyably hypnotic.
The game comes with a handful of modes, including an unlimited mode, so your experience can be as hectic or relaxing as you like. It’s definitely not a detailed simulation, but watching your rectangular trains take polygonal passengers up and down the track, expanding the map and appreciating your network’s unique melody will satisfy all kinds of players.
17. Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete Edition
In the distant future, Earth has been taken over by animal-like machines, with humanity forced back to a pre-industrial way of living, scared of the technology that drove them there. The brave and curious Aloy is a part of this society. Her strange connection to the machines makes her an outcast, but also drives her to explore this world and understand the importance of her place in the world.
Taking control of her survival and hunting abilities, you’ll travel a world full of dangerous metal creatures and unfriendly humans from other tribes. Some you’ll be able to tame or even ride, but others are like miniature boss battles every time you encounter them. You’ll need to make use of your entire arsenal of slings, bows and spears to take on larger enemies or groups, either setting a careful network of traps or slowly picking off your foes with silent, well aimed arrows
There’s a great story to follow as you do this too. Learning how the current world came to be, and how familiar landscapes and items are recontextualized in this time is fun on its own, while the story of Aloy and her friends as they fight against a machine-worshipping cult that seeks to enact a destructive plan, helps ground it with meaningful stakes.
18. Invisible Inc.
This stealth strategy roguelike starts you very much on the back foot. Your private spy agency has been compromised by the very megacorporations you get paid to infiltrate, and now you have just 72 hours to regroup and begin a final last-ditch mission to preserve the life of your AI companion, Incognita, who is your only defence against total defeat.
Armed with various tools, you control a pair of agents on assignments to gather resources and allies, with each location and its goals being randomly generated. There’s only a limited number of turns you can spend on each mission before security becomes too tight, so you’ll spend a long time agonising over who to take on a mission, as well as each move you make. This is a game where your mistakes stick, no matter how terrible the outcome, and even if you play perfectly, your successes, whether it’s knocking out a guard or an entire security system, are temporary. This is a high stakes puzzle that always has a fresh experience for you every time you play.
Combining both fantasy and horror in an action-adventure role-playing game, Bloodborne takes you on an unforgettable expedition throughout the ancient city of Yharnam. You select your own origin story and shape characters through stats and in-game decisions, but you’ll always find yourself armed with a transforming “trick weapon” and faced with abominations that either used to be human or is something so alien you can barely comprehend it.
As the game progresses, you’ll uncover dark secrets and fight to survive while you explore Yharnam’s cursed streets. Cinematic visuals ensure you enjoy every visceral detail in this gothic environment, while Bloodborne’s challenging gameplay puts your wits, strategy and reflexes to the test. You can’t take many hits, and death means you drop all your currency, so dodging and parrying is the order of the day.
Alongside the story, there’s the optional online mode that allows you to invade or be invaded by enemy players. Or you can try out the randomly-generated Chalice Dungeons, which blend enemies old and new into twisted labyrinths full of unique rewards.
Critically acclaimed for its stunning visuals and musical score, Journey lets players explore an ancient and mysterious world. The game puts you into the place of a robed traveller, looking for a way up to the peak of a mountain. You don’t know why you’re going there, but you’re left with no doubt that it’s what you must do.
Whether it’s with a CPU companion or a real life player, you’ll travel towards the summit without a word, communicating only in charming musical tones. The actual mechanics are like a platforming game, requiring you to jump and slide through environments, helped by your companion and enchanted pieces of fabric that respond to your songs, helping you reach new areas.
The story and world is shown to you with little direct explanation and no spoken dialogue, forcing you to interpret the game’s storyline on your own. It sounds quirky, but Journey provides innovative and immersive gameplay that will get you hooked, and leave you with a strong impression that will last for a long time afterwards.
21. Night in the Woods
If adventure is something you seek, Night in the Woods is a unique exploration game that may pique your interests with its dark humor and contemporary story. You play as Mae Borowski, a snarky college dropout who also happens to be a cat. Mae’s just returned to her hometown, Possum Springs, which has fallen upon hard time since the local mines were shut down. Reuniting with your friends, you gradually begin to adapt back to your old life as Fall rolls in. And then stuff starts to get weird.
Gameplay-wise, you’ll be running, jumping and use a few different supernatural powers to voyage into Mae’s past and present life in the town. You have some control over the game’s outcomes with your choices too, the friends you spend more time with revealing more of their secrets to you, which means you have a good reason to replay the game when you’re done. It has a cute visual style, but this will lull you into thinking that the content of this story is anything but the unflinching look at modern life for young people.
- Use a PS4 VPN to stream extra content and avoid network throttling
How to choose the best cheap PS4 games for you
All of these games are well regarded by critics, but not every title here will be right for you. When considering a purchase, go by genre, not just reviews. Check what kind of game mechanics, play modes and other features these games have, and you will have a better idea of what you’re in for, whether you’re searching for a new game in a familiar genre or want to try out something entirely different.
If you’re still not sure, look for demos. Some of these games have limited free versions if you search the PlayStation Store. Download these and you can then try out the game hands-on to see if it’s worth your time and money.
Now while these games are indeed cheap, they can get cheaper. The prices of these games drop several times a year for various events, so if you’re willing to be patient, waiting for one of these sales will let you get even more for your money.
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