How to put your PS4 in Safe Mode to troubleshoot issues, or get out of Safe Mode if you’re stuck

Playstation 4 PS4 controller
You may want to boot up your PS4 in Safe Mode if there’s a bug or glitch.

  • PS4 Safe Mode is a simple way to troubleshoot issues with your console.
  • When you put your PS4 in Safe Mode, it can also get stuck in a Safe Mode loop.
  • To get your PS4 out of Safe Mode, try restarting the console, replacing cords, rebuilding corrupted files, or updating system software.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The PlayStation 4’s Safe Mode is a great option for troubleshooting problems you might have with your console.

Starting your PS4 in Safe Mode can help you resolve an issue or troubleshoot a bug the device may be having. The Safe Mode menu includes options to change your console’s resolution, rebuild its storage database, and restore the device to factory settings.

How to put PS4 in Safe Mode

1. Turn off your console by holding the power button for 3 seconds. After blinking a few times, your PS4 will power off.

2. Press and hold the power button, releasing your finger only after the second beep sound. This should take about 7 seconds.

3. Your PS4 will start in Safe Mode. Make sure your controller is connected to the console, and press the PS button.

How to get PS4 out of Safe Mode

If your PS4 is stuck on Safe Mode, you may be dealing with a Safe Mode loop that makes it difficult to resume playing.

In these cases, there are a few things you can try to get your PS4 out of Safe Mode. Most of these involve the Safe Mode menu, which appears when you first boot your console into Safe Mode.

Here are four troubleshooting methods you can use.

Method 1: Restart your PS4

restart
Restart will be the first option in the Safe Mode menu.

First, try restarting your PS4 using option 1 in the Safe Mode menu. Press “X” on your controller to select this option.

Method 2: Make sure there are no power issues

Why won't my PS4 turn on
Hold down the power button on your PlayStation until the light stops flashing.

If the first method fails, check to make sure all of the cables, including your USB and HDMI connections, are working properly. 

You can also try unplugging your PS4’s power cord and plugging it back in. Also, unplug the HDMI cord and switch which end is plugged into the TV and which end is plugged into the PS4.  

If one of the cables or connections is broken or failing, try replacing it.

If the cables and connections are working fine, try power cycling your PS4, as explained in our article on troubleshooting a PS4 that won’t turn on.

Method 3: Rebuild corrupted files

Image 2
Rebuilding your database can sometimes take several hours, depending on how much data you have saved on your PS4.

If the second method fails, the problem might be caused by a corrupted file. 

Select option 5 on the Safe Mode menu, “Rebuild Database,” and press “X.” This will build a new database for your PS4 without affecting any save data. It will take a while for your PS4 to rebuild — when it’s done, restart your PS4. 

Method 4: Update your PS4’s software

mehod5
There are two major ways to update your PS4’s settings through Safe Mode.

Try updating your PS4’s system software from the Safe Mode menu. 

Press “X” to select elect option 3 on the menu, “Update System Software.” Then, press “X” to select “Update Using Internet.” From there, follow the instructions on the screen.

If nothing else works, select option 7, “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software),” and press “X.” Follow the instructions on the screen.

PlayStation 5 (small)

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Sony admits it made the ‘wrong decision’ and will now keep storefronts open for classic PlayStation games after fans complained

playstation 3 sony console
Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console.

Following an outcry from impassioned PlayStation fans, Sony is reversing course on a major recent announcement.

The company will continue operating the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita digital storefronts, PlayStation leader Jim Ryan announced on Monday.

“It’s clear that we made the wrong decision here,” Ryan said on the PlayStation Blog. Both storefronts will continue operating in perpetuity, which will enable users to continue buying and downloading games from both storefronts.

“We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future,” Ryan said, “so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations.”

Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita have distinct digital storefronts disconnected from the current PlayStation Store, and purchases made on those platforms don’t carry forward to more recent PlayStation consoles. If Sony were to shutter those storefronts, a variety of games would simply disappear from availability.

Read more: The processor shortage that made the PlayStation 5 and some cars harder to find was almost over – until a ship got stuck in the Suez Canal. Here’s why it’s likely to get even worse.

When Sony announced the impending closure of both storefronts in late March, it was met with criticism from fans who saw it as Sony dismissing older game libraries. More specifically, it was viewed by some as the latest example that PlayStation leadership doesn’t respect its own history.

In an oft-cited 2017 interview with Time, Ryan said, “I was at a ‘Gran Turismo’ event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

Notably, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is able to play most PlayStation 4 games, while Microsoft’s new Xbox consoles are able to play Xbox games from throughout the history of Xbox. It’s a major point of distinction between the two competing game console makers, and one that Ryan has downplayed.

“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Ryan said in the Time interview.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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5 ways to fix a PS4 controller that won’t charge

Playstation 4 PS4 controller
Sometimes PS4 controllers don’t quite charge the way they’re supposed to, but you can try a few troubleshooting tricks.

  • If your PS4 controller won’t charge, you can try swapping out the charging cable or checking the charging port.
  • You can also try resetting and re-pairing your controller, or performing a power cycling on the PS4.
  • The issue may also be with the charging port or the charging cable.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There are many reasons why your PS4 controller may not be charging. And those reasons can range from the minor, like cable issues or dust, to more major problems, which might mean you need to buy a brand new controller.

Before you go out and replace a finicky PS4 controller, it’s always a good idea to first do some troubleshooting to see if you can get your device to charge again – which could be easier than you think.

Here are five troubleshooting tips to get you back to gaming sooner.

Plug your PS4 into your laptop or another device to charge it

playstation controller PC gaming desktop set-up
Make sure that the charging cable is inserted correctly into the outlet at the top of the controller and your computer.

Sometimes controllers have difficulty charging directly from the PS4, but testing out the controller by plugging it into another device — like your Mac, PC, or Android — can help you narrow down the reasons why it’s not charging.

If it’s not charging from another source, then you know that it’s not the PS4 itself that’s causing the problem. 

Swap out the charging cable

PS4/Playstation 4 controller charger
You might need to switch out the charging cord if your PS4 controller isn’t charging properly.

The issue may not be with the controller itself but with the charging cable. Try a different cable or try using that cable to charge another controller.

You can also check the cable for physical signs of damage such as fraying on the cord or built-up grime in the plug. 

 

Check out the charging port

Why won't my PS4 controller charge
Make sure that the charging cable is inserted correctly into the outlet at the top of the controller and your computer.

Built-up dust or grit may be interrupting the power flow and keeping your controller from charging. A quick pass with a wooden toothpick or compressed air may help.

Reset and re-pair your controller

ps41
Use a toothpick or bobby pin to press into the small hole on the back of your PS4 controller to reset it.

Go to the Settings menu on your PS4 and under “Devices,” remove all devices from the list. Then, on your controller, press something into the small hole on the underside of the controller and hold it for five seconds. A toothpick or bobby pin, for example, may do the trick.

Finally, re-sync the controller to the PS4 using the PS button. If you have issues re-pairing your PS4 controller, see our article on how to connect your controller to your PS4.

Conduct a power cycling on your PS4

PlayStation 4 PS4 controller
Turning off your console and controller, unplugging them, and restarting them may do the trick.

Turn off your PS4 console and controller, and unplug the PS4’s power cord from the outlet. Wait 5 to 10 minutes, and with the PS4 still unplugged, hold down the power button for 30 seconds to drain all its leftover energy. Then, plug the PS4 back in, turn it on, and see if the issue has been fixed. 

If your controller still isn’t charging after troubleshooting, check if it’s still under warranty with Sony or the retailer you purchased it from. 

If so, you may be able to get a replacement, or swap out some of the hardware, without having to shell out money for a brand new controller.

DualShock 4 Controller (small)

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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The PlayStation 5 is getting its first major system update this week, but one much-requested feature is still missing

PlayStation 5
Sony’s PlayStation 5.

  • Just about six months after launch, the PlayStation 5 is getting its first major update.
  • The software update adds a variety of quality of life features.
  • Unfortunately, a highly-requested feature – adding additional storage space – is still in the works.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Just over six months after the launch of the PlayStation 5, Sony is giving the console its first major software update – but it still doesn’t address the core issue PS5 users have been complaining about.

On Wednesday, April 14, the first major update is scheduled to roll out with a slew of additions and changes to the wildly popular game console.

Prime among those changes is support for USB game storage – a solution intended for users running into the PS5’s limited storage space. The PlayStation 5, like Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and X consoles, uses a new type of solid-state storage which enables much faster game loads. But games like the latest “Call of Duty” can gobble up huge portions of precious storage space, and PS5 users have been forced to decide which games to keep on their consoles.

Since PlayStation 5 games cannot be played from external storage, the addition of USB storage is intended as a temporary solution to a longer term problem. Rather than having to delete games to make space for new ones, PS5 users will be able to move a game temporarily to a USB storage device.

Sony has said that support for additional solid-state storage is in the works for the PlayStation 5, but no date has been given.

PlayStation 5 update, April 2021
Another such addition in the update is the ability to share a gameplay stream with a friend on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.

“It is faster to reinstall PS5 games from USB extended storage than to re-download or copy them from a disc,” Sony platform planning and management senior VP Hideaki Nishino said on the PlayStation blog. “It’s a great way to extend the storage capabilities of your PS5 console, and you can seamlessly copy your PS5 games back to the console’s internal storage when you’re ready to play.”

Beyond the storage changes, a variety of smaller “quality of life” features are being added in the update: The ability to share your screen with friends over the internet, pre-downloads of game updates while the console is resting, and the ability to change which games show up in your game library are just a few.

Check out the full list of changes right here.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Sony’s PlayStation 5 remains hard to find months after its launch – here are the latest details on where to buy the next-gen console

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

PlayStation 5 PS5 Product Line
  • Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched with two models- the $500 standard PS5 and a $400 digital edition.
  • The PS5 has been consistently sold out since release, but retailers have been restocking weekly.
  • We’ll continue to update this post with purchase options and new details about PS5 availability.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyPlayStation 5 (small, Preferred: Best Buy)Playstation 5 (All-Digital) (small, Preferred: Best Buy)

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched worldwide in November 2020, but it’s still one of the hardest items to buy in stores, whether you’re looking for the $500 standard edition or the $400 all-digital edition. Retailers have primarily been selling PS5s online, but the high demand makes them a target for resellers, many of whom use automated tools to purchase the consoles as soon as they’re available.

We’ve seen weekly restocks of the PS5 at retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, and Sony’s own PlayStation Direct store. Walmart usually announces PS5 restocks a few hours before consoles are available online. GameStop sends emails to subscribers ahead of PS5 restocks but typically only makes the PlayStation 5 available in bundles.

Amazon and Newegg have also made PS5 consoles available, though on a less consistent basis. Newegg uses a raffle system to give shoppers a chance to buy rare items like the PlayStation 5.

In February, PlayStation President Jim Ryan told the Financial Times that PlayStation 5 consoles will likely be in low supply until the second half of the year.

We’ll keep this post updated as we get more information about PS5 restocks, but ultimately you’ll need to keep checking multiple stores and get a bit lucky with timing to secure the console. For detailed thoughts on the PS5’s performance, you can read our full PlayStation 5 review here.

Where to buy a PS5: stores and price

PlayStation 5 price
The digital edition of the PlayStation 5 doesn’t have a disc drive.

Several stores including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Newegg have regularly restocked PlayStation 5 consoles since launch, but they typically sell out as soon as they’re available online. Some GameStops have had consoles for sale in-store, but availability depends on when they’re shipped.

The PlayStation 5 comes in two different models — one that has a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive and a “digital edition” with no disc drive at all. The standard model is priced at $500, and the digital edition is priced at $400.

At popular sites for resellers, like eBay and StockX, you can expect to pay between $700 or $800 for the PlayStation 5.

You can check the links below to see if the PS5 is currently available at each retailer; we’ll update this post if a specific store announces a restock.

PlayStation 5 (Standard Edition) 

PlayStation 5 (Digital Edition)

Tips for buying the PS5

Setting up PS5 console
A gamer sets up the new Sony Playstation PS5 at his home in Seoul after Sony launched the new console.

Buying the PlayStation 5 has been a struggle since release, but retailers have been making a steady stream of consoles available. If you have a preferred store, you should look into setting stock alerts with their online tools.

Third-party stock-tracking websites like HotStock.io can tell you when a store last had the PlayStation 5 in stock and let you set alerts for multiple retailers. A reseller who made more than $40,000 reselling PS5 consoles last year shared more specific tips on how to find the console online.

If you encounter issues while trying to check out with an online retailer, keep trying to refresh the product page to add the console and make sure the PS5 is available and in your cart. If possible, create an account with your preferred retailer and enter your payment and shipping information in advance to help the checkout process move quickly.

PlayStation 5 specifications

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition PS5 DE Render

The PlayStation 5 boasts much more powerful hardware than the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. Upgrades include a solid state hard drive and a graphics card capable of ray-tracing technology.

For detailed impressions, check out our full PlayStation 5 review here.

PlayStation 5 accessories

PlayStation 5

The new PlayStation 5 family of peripherals haven’t been nearly as hard to find as the console itself, though they’re not of much use without the main course. That said, they do complement the features of the PlayStation 5, so we’ve taken to the time to explain what they all do.

Sony’s $70 DualSense controller is a worthy successor to the PS4’s popular DualShock, implementing a built-in microphone, haptic feedback for adjustable trigger tension, and advanced rumble features while also improving the battery life and adopting a USB-C charging cable.

Wireless Controller for PS5 (small)

The $100 Pulse 3D headset is a direct successor to the gold and platinum wireless headsets Sony released for the PlayStation 4. The headset has an adjustable band, built-in microphone, and hardware buttons for mute, voice monitoring, and volume. While the Pulse 3D headset is worth the investment, PS5’s 3D audio features will also work with any third-party headset that’s been licensed for use on PS4.

Pulse 3D Wireless Headset (small)

The $30 PlayStation media remote might look appealing, but for $30 you can find a better or cheaper universal remote to control the console. Several smart TV brands also let you control the PS5 with your standard TV remote too, so it’s worth giving that a try before making this investment.

PlayStation 5 Media Remote (small)

The $30 DualSense charging stand can charge two controllers and makes for a nice stand alongside the PS5, but it doesn’t actually charge your controllers any faster than using a regular cable.

PlayStation 5 DualSense Charging Station (small)

The $60 HD camera can be used for streaming in full 1080p and even has a background removal tool, but it cannot be used as a microphone like the PlayStation 4 camera. Luckily, you can just use the DualSense’s built-in mic to communicate while playing.

PlayStation 5 HD Camera (small)

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How to connect and pair a PS4 controller to your PC using Bluetooth or a USB cable

  • You can connect a PS4 controller to your PC via Steam, the DS4 Windows Utility, or Bluetooth.
  • To connect your PS4 controller to a PC using Steam or the DS4 Windows Utility, you’ll need a micro-USB cable.
  • When you pair your PS4 controller on a PC with Bluetooth, the connection is wireless.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Hardcore PC gamers often swear by the precision of a mouse and keyboard – it’s so popular that even console players sometimes prefer keyboards to joysticks.

However, there’s no denying that leaning back with a controller in your hand is much more relaxing than crouching over a mouse and keyboard.

Fortunately, just like you can connect your mouse and keyboard to a PS4, you can likewise connect your PS4 controller to a PC.

Here are three different ways to connect your PS4 controller to a Windows 10 PC.

How to connect PS4 controller to PC with USB

If you want to connect the controller with a micro-USB cable (the same cable you use to charge the controller), you have two options.

Connect via Steam

If you’re a PC gamer, chances are that you have a Steam account. Luckily, Steam makes connecting new controllers easy.

1. Open Steam and click the “Big Picture Mode” icon in the top-right – it looks like a square with two arrows pointing out.

1   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Open Big Picture Mode, which turns Steam into a full-screen application.

2. Once in Big Picture Mode, select the gear icon at the top-right to navigate to Settings.

2   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
You can click the power button icon next to the gear to close Big Picture Mode, and Steam.

3. Under the “Controller” tab, click “Controller Settings.”

3   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Other Steam options, like display and audio controls, can be found here as well.

4. Check the box for “PlayStation Configuration Support.”

4   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Steam has the ability to connect controllers across gaming platforms.

5. Plug the PS4 controller into your PC using the micro-USB cable. Make sure the backlight on the controller glows to indicate there’s a connection.

6. Steam should automatically detect and configure your controller. Click it when it appears at the bottom of the page.

5    How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Click the controller’s name when it appears.

Connect via DS4 Windows Utility

If you want to use the wired controller with a non-Steam game, this is another option.

1. In a web browser on your PC, go to DS4Windows.com. Click “Download Now.”

2. You’ll be redirected to Github. Find and click the DS4Windows.zip file, and then download it onto your computer.

11   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
The most recent version of this software was released in 2016, but it still works.

3. Find the downloaded .zip file on your computer and open it, and then double-click “DS4Updater” and click “Extract All.”

14   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Files with the .zip extension should be extracted before they run.

4. Pick a location for the files to be extracted to – it should be a location that you can find easily.

5. Once extracted, open the location you picked and double-click “DS4Windows.” If you’re asked to confirm that you want to run the program, click “Run.”

6. You’ll be asked where you want to save the program’s files. If you don’t care where they go, pick “Appdata” – if you want to be able to move them around, pick “Program Folder” and select a location.

7. Once you’ve picked a spot to save the files, click “Step 1: Install the DS4 Driver” and let the program install its files. If you’re asked whether you’d like to install the software, click “Install.”

16   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Assuming you’re on a Windows 10 computer, select the first option.

You can now use the PS4 controller on your PC with a micro-USB cable, although you may need to restart your computer first.

How to connect PS4 controller to PC with Bluetooth

If your PC supports Bluetooth – and if it was made in the last ten years, chances are it does – you can pair and connect your controller wirelessly.

This method also works for the newer PS5 DualSense controller, although that controller might not be supported by every game.

1. Open your PC’s search menu (you can press the Windows key + Q to open it immediately) and search for “Bluetooth.”

2. When “Bluetooth and other devices settings” appears in the search results, click on it.

3. Make sure your computer has Bluetooth enabled by setting the switch labeled “Bluetooth” to “On.”

6   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
Enable Bluetooth connections.

4. Hold down the Playstation and Share buttons on your controller until the backlight starts flashing.

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Hold down the PlayStation and Share buttons.

5. On your PC, click “Add Bluetooth or other device,” and select “Bluetooth.”

7   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
“Bluetooth” is the first, default option – if this doesn’t work, pick “Everything else” instead.

6. You’ll see your PS4 controller listed as “Wireless Controller.” Click it to finalize the connection. If you’re asked for a passcode, enter “0000.”

8   How to connect PS4 controller to PC
You may see the controller under an alternative name as well, like “Dualshock 4.”

Dave Johnson contributed to a previous version of this article.

‘Which VR headsets work with Steam?’: A full guide to virtual reality on the Steam gaming appHow to connect your PS4 controller to a Mac computer wirelessly to play digitally downloaded games‘Why won’t my PS4 controller charge?’: How to troubleshoot your controller in 4 waysHow to charge a PlayStation 4 controller using your PS4 console

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The 50 best video games of all time, according to critics

"Super Mario Bros."
  • The 50 best games of all time are a surprisingly diverse list of games spanning decades of consoles.
  • There are iconic household names, cult classics, and forgotten gems.
  • Did your favorite game make the list? Let’s find out.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

There are dozens of ways you could put together a list of the best video games ever made.

You could look to classics, like “Super Mario Bros.” You could look at impact on the medium, or highest sales. You could write down your personal favorites on pieces of paper, then throw them into the air. Where the pieces land? That’s your list!

But what we’ve got here is something slightly more scientific. Reviews aggregation site Metacritic compiles all reviews of games, then it averages those scores into an overall average. What you’ll find below is the top 50 highest-rated games of all time, based on the averages obtained by Metacritic.

One quick disclaimer!

Super Mario

We made one small change: Since there are a handful of duplicates on the list (multiple versions of the same game, released on multiple platforms), we’re using the highest-ranked version of the game to make room for a handful of games that wouldn’t have otherwise made the list.

Without further ado, these are the 50 best video games of all time:

50. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Modern Warfare 2’ continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. An entirely new gameplay mode which supports 2-player co-operative play online that is unique from the single player story campaign. Special Ops pits players into a gauntlet of time-trial and objective-based missions. Rank-up as players unlock new Special Ops missions, each more difficult. Missions include highlights from the single player campaign, fan favorites from ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’ and all new, exclusive missions. Setting a new bar for online multiplayer, ‘Modern Warfare 2’ multiplayer delivers new capabilities, customization, game states and modes, including: Create-a-Class Evolved. Secondary Weapons – Machine Pistols, Shotguns, Handguns, Launchers. Riot Shields. Equipment – Throwing Knives, Blast Shield, Tactical Insertion. Perk Upgrades. Bling (Dual Attachments). Customizable Killstreaks – AC130, Sentry Gun, Predator Missile, Counter-UAV, Care Package. Accolades (Post match reports).”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, OS X

Buy it here >>

49. “Final Fantasy IX”

Final Fantasy IX

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The last ‘Final Fantasy’ for the PlayStation, ‘Final Fantasy IX’ returns to the pure fantasy roots that spawned the series. This latest installment features highly detailed characters, vehicles, and environments, and breathtaking cinema-graphics. The addition of brand new features such as the story-enhancing Active Time Event system and the return of mini-games that grant additional gameplay make ‘Final Fantasy IX’ not only a memorable gaming experience, but also a significant step forward in the series.”

Platforms:  PlayStation, iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

48. “BioShock Infinite”

BioShock Infinite (The Collection)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Once conceived as a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was emerging as a world power, Columbia has been dispatched to distant shores with great fanfare by a captivated public. What begins as a brand new endeavor of hope turns drastically wrong as the city soon disappears into the clouds to whereabouts unknown. The player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the lost city to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and engage the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

47. “World of Goo”

World of Goo

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘World of Goo’ is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful ‘World of Goo’ don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.”

Platforms: Wii, PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Nintendo Switch

Buy it here >>

46. “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Following the prologue Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain concludes the Metal Gear Solid V experience by following the story of the protagonist of the series, Big Boss (a.k.a. Snake). The Metal Gear Solid V experience is Creator and Director Hideo Kojima’s first time incorporating open world gameplay to the groundbreaking Metal Gear franchise.”

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

45. “Portal 2”

portal 2

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Portal 2’ is the sequel to the title named “Game of the Year” 2007 by over 30 publications around the world. ‘Portal 2’ promises to break new ground in next generation gaming by expanding the award-winning recipe of innovative gameplay, immersive story, and creative inclusion of music while also introducing multiplayer co-op game modes.”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Buy it here >>

44. “Persona 5 Royal”

Persona 5 Royal

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Prepare for an all-new RPG experience in Persona 5 Royal based in the universe of the award-winning series, Persona! Don the mask of Joker and join the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. Break free from the chains of modern society and stage grand heists to infiltrate the minds of the corrupt and make them change their ways! Persona 5 Royal is packed with new characters, confidants, story depth, new locations to explore, and a new grappling hook mechanic for stealthy access to new areas. With a new semester at Shujin Academy, get ready to strengthen your abilities in the metaverse and in your daily life. Persona 5 Royal presents a unique visual style and award nominated composer Shoji Meguro returns with an all-new soundtrack. Explore Tokyo, unlock new Personas, customize your own personal Thieves Den, discover a never-before-seen story arc, cutscenes, alternate endings, and more! Even for the most seasoned Phantom Thieves among us, Persona 5 Royal is a new challenge to defy conventions, discover the power within, and fight for justice. Wear the mask. Reveal your truth.”

Platforms: PlayStation 4

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43. “Madden NFL 2003”

Madden NFL 2003

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Take Your Game Online: Access an online community where you can meet, chat, and play head-to-head against other gamers. Audio Dream Team: Dynamic play-by-play and analysis by Madden and Michaels. All-New Mini-camp: Hop on John Madden’s Cruiser Tour Bus and travel to all NFL cities to complete skilled tasks. Create-A-Playbook: Customize receiver routes, player formations, and your team’s entire playbook. Deepest Franchise Mode Ever: Play 30 years of Franchise mode and draft players each season with tips from your scouts.”

Platforms: Game Boy Advance, PC, GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox

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42. “The Last of Us”

last of us

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Twenty years after a pandemic radically transformed known civilization, infected humans run amok and survivors kill one another for sustenance and weapons – literally whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a salty survivor, is hired to smuggle a fourteen-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a rough military quarantine, but what begins as a simple job quickly turns into a brutal journey across the country.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

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41. “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Thrown into a parallel world by the mischievous actions of a possessed Skull Kid, Link finds a land in grave danger. The dark power of a relic called Majora’s Mask has wreaked havoc on the citizens of Termina, but their most urgent problem is a suicidal moon crashing toward the world. Link has only 72 hours to find a way to stop its descent.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo 3DS

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40. “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”

a link to the past

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In a ‘Link to the Past,’ Link travels between the light world and the dark world, conquering fierce monsters and uncovering Hyrule’s deepest secrets along the way.”

Platforms: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (various platforms)

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39. “Halo 2”

Halo 2

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The Covenant alien race threatens to destroy all humankind, and the only thing standing in its way is Master Chief, a genetically enhanced supersoldier. Master Chief returns in ‘Halo 2,’ which features new vehicles, weapons, environments, and more. This time, you can interact with your environment, wield two weapons at the same time, board opponents’ vehicles, and even switch sides to play the role of a Covenant Elite. ‘Halo 2’ also supports broadband multiplayer action via Xbox Live.”

Platforms: Xbox, Xbox One

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38. “Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec”

Gran Turismo 3

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “With the addition of two new courses (a downtown Tokyo circuit and the Monte Carlo Grand Prix course), an impressive range of cars (from Vipers to Cooper Minis), and a soundtrack featuring everything from Lenny Kravitz to Jimi Hendrix, this highly anticipated title is finally ready to be driven.”

Platform: PlayStation 2

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37. “Red Dead Redemption”

red dead redemption

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Developed by Rockstar San Diego, as a follow up to the 2004 hit game ‘Red Dead Revolver,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption’ is a Western epic, set at the turn of the 20th century when the lawless and chaotic badlands began to give way to the expanding reach of government and the spread of the Industrial Age. The story of former outlaw, John Marston, ‘Red Dead Redemption’ takes players on a great adventure across the American frontier. Utilizing Rockstar’s proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), ‘Red Dead Redemption’ features an open-world environment for players to explore, including frontier towns, rolling prairies teeming with wildlife, and perilous mountain passes – each packed with an endless flow of varied distractions. Along the way, players experience the heat of gunfights and battles, meet a host of unique characters, struggle against the harshness of one of the world’s last remaining wildernesses, and ultimately pick their own precarious path through an epic story about the death of the Wild West and the gunslingers that inhabited it.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

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36. “The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition”

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Receive four complete classic Zelda games all on one disc when you buy the Zelda GameCube Bundle: ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Zelda II – The Adventure of Link,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.'”

Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Console (various platforms)

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35. “LittleBigPlanet”

LittleBigPlanet

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 6.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In ‘LittleBigPlanet,’ players meet on a blue and green planet scattered with individual plots – and use their character’s amazing abilities to play, create and share what they build with other gamers throughout the world via the PlayStation Network. The ‘LittleBigPlanet’ experience starts with players learning about their character’s powers to interact physically with the environment. There are places to explore, creative resources to collect and puzzles to solve – all requiring a combination of brains and collaborative teamwork. As soon as players begin their creative skills will grow and they will soon be ready to start creating and modifying their surroundings – the first step to sharing them with the whole community. Characters have the power to move anything in this glued and stitched-together 3D landscape; they have the power to design, shape and build both objects and entire locations for others to view and play. There’s no complicated level editor; all of these skills can be learned by simply playing the game. Creativity is part of the gameplay experience and playing is part of the creative experience. Players can make their world as open or as secretive to explore as they like. When it’s ready, they can invite anyone within the LittleBigPlanet community to come and explore their patch – or can go and explore everybody else’s.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

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34. “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”

Grand Theft Auto 3: Vice City

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Welcome to Vice City. Welcome to the 1980s. Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his re-appearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He’s set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself. Vice City offers vehicular pleasures to suit every taste. For the speed enthusiast, there’s high-performance cars and motorbikes. For the sportsman, a powerboat or a golf buggy lets you enjoy the great outdoors. For those that need that sense of freedom and escape, why not charter a helicopter and see the beauty of Vice City from the air.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

33. “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”

Grand Theft Auto 3: San Andreas

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas… a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where film stars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gangbangers. Now, it’s the early 90s. Carl’s got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mac, PlayStation 3, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

32. “Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn”

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “An epic continuation of the story that began in ‘Baldur’s Gate,’ this RPG is set along the southern portion of the Sword Coast, a detailed and rich area of the Forgotten Realms called Amn. It features 300 spells and 130-plus monster types compared to only 130 spells and 60 monster types in ‘Baldur’s Gate.'”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux

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31. “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty”

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (HD)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Since the incident on Shadow Moses Island, Metal Gear’s top-secret technology has been leaked into the black market through the machinations of Revolver Ocelot. As a result, countless variations of Metal Gears have sprung up in every corner of the globe, making the weapon an increasingly common component of the armed forces of nuclear powers. In the midst of all of this, Solid Snake, now a member of the anti-Metal Gear group ‘Philanthropy,’ has learned that a new prototype Metal Gear has been developed by the U.S. Marines and is being transported in secret to an unknown destination. To learn more about this new machine, Snake must infiltrate the transport, disguised as a tanker, as it makes its way down the Hudson River. Just as Snake is about to begin his mission, however, the ship is seized by a mysterious and well-armed group bent on stealing the new Metal Gear for their own, nefarious purposes

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Vita

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30. “Gran Turismo”

Gran Turismo (PlayStation 1)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Welcome to the most advanced racing game ever created! Encounter exhilarating high-speed racing in 11 stunning environments. Feel handling agility and throttle response so convincing, the car seems to be an extension of yourself. Experience the extraordinary world of ‘Gran Turismo’!”

Platform: PlayStation

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29. “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In this ninth entry in the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series, Link debuts on GameCube with a fun new cel-shaded look, but the game stays true to the respected heritage of the series. The classic mix of sword-swinging action, perplexing puzzles and stirring story lines remains intact, but the stunning cel-shaded graphics give the people and places of Link’s watery world a wildly artistic new look. And for the very first time, Link sails freely on the high seas. Join Link on his most epic and scenic adventure yet. Face unimaginable monsters, explore puzzling dungeons, and meet a cast of unforgettable characters as he searches for his kidnapped sister, Aryll.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii U

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28. “Half-Life”

Half-Life

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Half-Life’ combines great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King with intense action and advanced technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. ‘Half-Life’ has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, and was named ‘Best PC Game Ever’ in PC Gamer’s November 1999 issue.”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 2

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27. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”

skyrim

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The next chapter in the ‘Elder Scrolls’ saga arrives from the Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose. Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling, and adventure of ‘The Elder Scrolls’ is realized like never before. Skyrim’s new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields, and ancient dungeons. Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities. The new character system allows you to play any way you want and define yourself through your actions. Battle ancient dragons like you’ve never seen. As Dragonborn, learn their secrets and harness their power for yourself.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

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26. “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess”

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In the next chapter in the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series, Link can transform into a wolf to scour the darkened land of Hyrule. With the help of Midna, a mysterious being, you must guide Link through hordes of foul creatures and challenging bosses using new moves and a new horseback combat system. Many puzzles stand between Link and the fulfillment of his quest, so you must sharpen your wits as you hunt for weapons and items.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii

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25. “Mass Effect 2”

Mass Effect 2

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The ‘Mass Effect’ trilogy is a science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life forms and mysterious uncharted planets. In this dark second chapter, Saren’s evil army of Geth soldiers has just been defeated, and humans, who are still struggling to make their mark on the galactic stage, are now faced with an even greater peril.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

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24. “Tekken 3”

Tekken 3

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “An ancient evil force has reawakened, attacking in secret and feeding on the souls of mighty warriors. To lure it out of hiding will take the greatest fighting contest the world has ever seen…Tekken 3. Some are fighting for revenge, some for honor. Ultimately, all are fighting for their lives and the fate of all mankind.”

Platforms: PlayStation, Arcade

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23. “Batman: Arkham City”

arkham city batman

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Developed by Rocksteady Studios, ‘Batman: Arkham City’ builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum,’ sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security ‘home’ for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

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22. “The Orange Box”

"Portal"

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Games included in The Orange Box compilation: The original Half-Life 2 – The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people – people he cares about – are counting on him. ‘Half-Life 2: Episode One’ – The player reprises his role of Dr. Freeman, who must immediately face the repercussions of his actions in City 17 and the Citadel. Freeman reconnects with Alyx Vance and her robot, Dog, as they continue their support of the resistance’s battle against the Combine forces. ‘Half-Life 2: Episode Two’ — the second installment in Valve’s episodic trilogy advances the award-winning story, leading the player to new locations outside of City 17. ‘Portal’ – a pioneering type of single player action game that rewrites the rules for how players approach and manipulate their environment – much like how Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun reinvented the way gamers interact with objects in the game. ‘Team Fortress 2’ – an all-new version of the legendary title that spawned team based multiplayer action games. The game’s daring new art style features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Linux, Mac

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21. “Resident Evil 4”

resident evil 4

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In ‘Resident Evil 4’ players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop from ‘Resident Evil 2.’ It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and in that time, the U.S. government has been able to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. Fast forward to 2004 and players rejoin Leon, who is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission. He has been tasked to look into the abduction of the President’s daughter and his investigation has led him to a mysterious location in Europe. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.”

Platforms: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Wii, Zeebo, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

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20. “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves”

uncharted 2 among thieves ps3 game

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Fortune hunter Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a third-person action-adventure/shooter created by award-winning developer Naughty Dog. Down on his luck, Drake is lured back into the treacherous world of thieves and mercenary treasure-seekers he had sought to leave behind. When a mysterious artifact propels Drake on an expedition to find the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse against a fugitive war criminal who’s after more than just the fabled riches of the lost city. Caught in a web of deception and plunged into an increasingly deadly pursuit that tests the limits of his endurance, Drake will be forced to risk everything – but has his luck finally run out?”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

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19. “GoldenEye 007”

"GoldenEye 007"

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “You are Bond. James Bond. You are assigned covert operations connected with the GoldenEye weapons satellite. M will brief you on your mission and objectives from London. Q Branch will support your efforts with a plentiful supply of weapons and gadgets. Moneypenny offers you light-hearted best wishes and you’re off! Your mission begins in the heavily guarded chemical warfare facility at the Byelomorye Dam in the USSR. Look and shoot in any direction as you navigate 12 interactive 3-D environments. Use stealth and force as you see fit in matters of international security. Consider the military personnel expendable. You are licensed to kill!”

Platform: Nintendo 64

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18. “BioShock”

bioshock

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Going beyond ‘run and gun corridors,’ ‘monster-closet AIs’ and static worlds, BioShock creates a living, unique and unpredictable FPS experience. After your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists, the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses, wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very survival. Upgrade your weapons with ionic gels, explosives and toxins to customize them to the enemy and environment. Genetically modify your body through dozens of Plasmid Stations scattered throughout the city, empowering you with fantastic and often grotesque abilities. Explore a living world powered by Ecological A.I., where the inhabitants have interesting and consequential relationships with one another that impact your gameplay experience. Experience truly next generation graphics that vividly illustrate the forlorn art deco city, highlighted by the most detailed and realistic water effects ever developed in a video game. Make meaningful choices and mature decisions, ultimately culminating in the grand question: do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture…or save them?”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS

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17. “Half-Life 2”

Half-Life 2

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, ‘Half-Life 2’ opens the door to a world where the player’s presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors — even the emotions — of both friends and enemies. The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people — people he cares about — are counting on him.”

Platforms: PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac, Linux, Android

Buy it here >>

16. “NFL 2K1”

NFL 2K1

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 6.3/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In the end, NFL 2K1 is a deeper, more refined version of the original game.”

Platform: Dreamcast

Buy it now >>

15. “Halo: Combat Evolved”

Halo: Combat Evolved

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Enter the mysterious world of Halo, an alien planet shaped like a ring. As mankind’s super soldier Master Chief, you must uncover the secrets of Halo and fend off the attacking Covenant. During your missions, you’ll battle on foot, in vehicles, inside, and outside with alien and human weaponry. Your objectives include attacking enemy outposts, raiding underground labs for advanced technology, rescuing fallen comrades, and sniping enemy forces. ‘Halo’ also lets you battle three other players via intense split screen combat or fight cooperatively with a friend through the single-player missions.”

Platforms: Xbox, PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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14. “Super Mario Odyssey”

Super Mario Odyssey

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Mario embarks on a new journey through unknown worlds, running and jumping through huge 3D worlds in the first sandbox-style Mario game since ‘Super Mario 64’ and ‘Super Mario Sunshine.’ Set sail between expansive worlds aboard an airship, and perform all-new actions, such as throwing Mario’s cap.”

Platform: Switch

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13. “Grand Theft Auto III”

Grand Theft Auto 3

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Players are put at the heart of their very own gangster movie, and let loose in a fully-realized 3 dimensional city with a cast of hundreds, 50 plus vehicles, ranging from sports cars to ice cream trucks and from boats to buses, 3 hours of music, including opera, reggae, house, drum and bass, pop and disco, and a huge array of street ready weapons.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire OS

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12. “Metroid Prime”

metroid prime

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.3/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Samus returns in a new mission to unravel the mystery behind the ruined walls scattered across Tallon IV. In Metroid Prime, you’ll play the role of this bounty hunter and view the world through her visor, which displays information ranging from current energy levels to ammunition. Equipped with a Power Beam and Gravity Suit, you must shoot locked switches, solve puzzles, and eliminate enemies. It’s up to you to explore the world and recover more power-ups and weapons, which gradually open more gameplay areas.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii

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11. “Perfect Dark”

Perfect Dark (N64)

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Step into the Dark… As Carrington Institute’s most promising new Agent, Joanna Dark must uncover the truth behind the dataDyne Corporation’s recent technological breakthroughs – breakthroughs which could have serious consequences for mankind.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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10. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3”

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Challenge up to four friends in online competitions over a LAN or the Internet. Take them on in both Trick Attack and Graffiti modes.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, PC, Nintendo 64, Mac

Buy it here >>

9. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda games. Step into a world of discovery, exploration and adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a boundary-breaking new game in the acclaimed series. Travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the ruined kingdom of Hyrule in this open-air adventure. Explore the wilds of Hyrule any way you like.”

Platforms: Wii U, Switch

Buy it here >>

8. “Grand Theft Auto V”

grand theft auto v

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 7.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Los Santos: a sprawling sun-soaked metropolis full of self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities, once the envy of the Western world, now struggling to stay alive in a time of economic uncertainty and cheap reality TV. Amidst the turmoil, three very unique criminals plot their own chances of survival and success: Franklin, a street hustler looking for tangible opportunities and serious money; Michael, a professional ex-con whose retirement is less rosy than he figured it would be; and Trevor, a violent dude driven by the opportunity for a cheap high and his next big score. With options at a premium, the crew risks it all in a myriad of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC

Buy it here >>

7. “Red Dead Redemption 2”

Red Dead Redemption 2

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): ” Developed by the creators of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ and ‘Red Dead Redemption,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world also provides the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience. America, 1899. The end of the Wild West era has begun. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang has to rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal fissures threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang that raised him.”

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

6. “Super Mario Galaxy 2”

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to the galaxy-hopping original game, includes the gravity-defying, physics-based exploration from the first game, but is loaded with entirely new galaxies and features to challenge players. On some stages, Mario can pair up with his dinosaur buddy Yoshi and use his tongue to grab items and spit them back at enemies. Players can also have fun with new items such as a drill that lets our hero tunnel through solid rock.”

Platform: Wii

Buy it here >>

5. “Super Mario Galaxy”

Super Mario Galaxy

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The ultimate Nintendo hero is taking the ultimate step … out into space. Join Mario as he ushers in a new era of video games, defying gravity across all the planets in the galaxy. When some creature escapes into space with Princess Peach, Mario gives chase, exploring bizarre planets all across the galaxy. Mario, Peach and enemies new and old are here. Players run, jump and battle enemies as they explore all the planets in the galaxy. Since this game makes full use of all the features of the Wii Remote, players have to do all kinds of things to succeed: pressing buttons, swinging the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and even pointing at and dragging things with the pointer. Since he’s in space, Mario can perform mind-bending jumps unlike anything he’s done before. He’ll also have a wealth of new moves that are all based around tilting, pointing and shaking the Wii Remote. Shake, tilt and point! Mario takes advantage of all the unique aspects of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller, unleashing new moves as players shake the controller and even point at and drag items with the pointer.”

Platform: Wii

Buy it here >>

4. “SoulCalibur”

SoulCalibur

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “This is a tale of souls and swords, transcending the world and all its history, told for all eternity… The greatest weapons-based fighter returns, this time on Sega Dreamcast. Soul Calibur unleashes incredible graphics, fantastic fighters, and combos so amazing they’ll make your head spin!”

Platforms: Dreamcast, iOS, Arcade, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

3. “Grand Theft Auto IV”

Grand Theft Auto IV

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Belic, fresh off the boat from Europe. It’s the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them an a living nightmare for those who don’t.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Buy it here >>

2. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2”

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Hawk’s back – with new technology, new pros and new tricks! ‘THPS2,’ the legend rides on! Skate as legendary Tony Hawk or any one of 12 other pro skaters. Create your own custom skaters. Multiple play modes including 1-Player, Career and Free Skate modes, as well as 2-player modes such as Trick Attack, Graffiti Tag and Horse. Build your own custom skate parks with the real-time 3D park editor”

Platforms: PlayStation, PC, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, Mac, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, iOS, Xbox

Buy it here >>

1. “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Critic score: 99/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “As a young boy, Link is tricked by Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo Thieves. The evil human uses Link to gain access to the Sacred Realm, where he places his tainted hands on Triforce and transforms the beautiful Hyrulean landscape into a barren wasteland. Link is determined to fix the problems he helped to create, so with the help of Rauru he travels through time gathering the powers of the Seven Sages.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

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Get used to playing 2020’s biggest video games: The pandemic is devastating this year’s lineup

Gran Turismo 7
Upcoming PlayStation 5 game “Gran Turismo 7” is among the group of games that have already been delayed out of 2021.

  • In 2020, the video game industry enjoyed explosive profits with more people than ever stuck indoors.
  • In 2021, the game release calendar is slimmer than ever and several major games are being delayed.
  • For many of these games, the difficulty of development during a pandemic is the cause of the delay.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of Americans to shelter in place starting in early March 2020, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was just days away from launch.

The combination of the game’s charming atmosphere, its busywork, and a sudden infusion of free time for millions of people turned “Animal Crossing” into one of Nintendo’s biggest hits in years.

It was one of several games that had especially strong sales in 2020 – the benefit of accidentally lining up launch with a totally unexpected global pandemic. But with 2020 rapidly fading into the past, the other impact of the pandemic on the video game industry is starting to emerge: Several of this year’s biggest games have already been delayed to 2022 due to development struggles related to the pandemic.

The developers of a marquee PlayStation 5 game, “Gran Turismo 7,” directly cited the impact of the pandemic for their delay.

Gran Turismo 7

Making the game was, “impacted by COVID-related production challenges,” Sony told GQ in late February. The game’s launch was moved from 2021 into 2022.

“With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months,” the statement said.

For a game series like “Gran Turismo,” which intends to simulate real-life racing, pandemic-related development challenges abound: There is no way to capture the sound of an engine, or to model a real-life car, or to track a race, without being there in person.

But even without the added complications of creating a racing video game, several other major video games have been pushed out of the 2021 launch window into next year.

Hogwart's Legacy
“Hogwarts Legacy” takes place in the 1800s.

A long-in-development game based on the “Harry Potter” book franchise was scheduled to launch in 2021: “Hogwarts Legacy” will have players creating their own wizard and progressing through a unique story set long before the events of the books.

Though the game has been cooking for at least the last three years, WB Games announced a delay to 2022 back in early January.

“Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs,” a statement published on Twitter said.

It’s one of two major games from Warner Bros. that have been pushed back into next year.

Gotham Knights

“Gotham Knights,” a Batman spinoff game, was also just recently delayed into next year.

Instead of playing as the Dark Knight, players control Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood in a Gotham City that has no Batman. Players will have to wait until at least 2022 to give it a shot.

“We are giving the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players,” the statement said.

Notably, it’s still March – there’s a lot of 2021 left, which means these games likely have a long way to go before they’re ready for publishing. That’s especially notable right now, in early 2021, when new owners of new consoles from Xbox and PlayStation are desperately in need of new games to play.

This isn’t a surprise problem: Xbox leader Phil Spencer even warned about the impacts of the pandemic on 2021’s game lineup in an interview with Insider back in May 2020, as did Nintendo leadership in a May 2020 investor call. Though all three major console makers have a handful of major games on the horizon, 2021’s game release calendar for each is looking slim.

When Nintendo laid out its plans for the first half of the year in a recent video presentation, fans largely balked: Aside from a new “Mario Golf” game, there are next-to-no heavy hitters scheduled for launch on the Switch in the first six months of 2021.

As coronavirus vaccines are distributed worldwide, and work on video games returns to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, the cadence of game launches will assuredly return.

For now, though, 2021 is looking light on major games – and the pandemic is largely to blame.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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It’s not just you: It’s still nearly impossible to buy a PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5 purchase
A customer buying Sony’s PlayStation 5.

  • It’s been over five months since the PlayStation 5 launched, and it’s still very difficult to buy.
  • Despite regular restocking, PS5 consoles sell out instantly through Sony and major chains.
  • Supply of the console isn’t expected to meet demand until this fall at the earliest, Sony said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When the PlayStation 5 launched in fall 2020, it was nearly impossible to find.

Five months later, with spring just days away, Sony’s wildly popular game console remains as elusive as ever.

Though resupplies have been frequent, demand for the PS5 continues to vastly outstrip supply. And when the resupplies do go live, people overwhelm digital storefronts in a mad dash to maybe, hopefully, finally get a PlayStation 5.

More often than not, they are met with disappointment.

During a three-hour PS5 resupply marathon that Walmart spaced out in ten minute intervals on Thursday, Insider repeatedly encountered errors or crashes while trying to purchase the console. The item couldn’t be added to the cart, or the website would hang while trying to load, or it simply did nothing after clicking an input.

Each time, even when the website did technically “work,” the same result: The resupply sold out instantly.

Walmart websites, PS5 restock, March 2021
A restock of the PS5 was made available at 3:00 pm. By 3:01 pm., supplies were exhausted.

Those issues were echoed by other people attempting to buy the new console.

“I was able to add the PS5 to my cart, get all the way to the payment method, and then it said item out of stock,” one Twitter user said.

“None of it is working,” another Twitter user said. “I keep trying and it [doesn’t] want to let me get it in the cart.”

Those same errors and near-instant sellouts persisted in ten minute intervals throughout the three hours of PS5 stock resupplies on Walmart’s web store.

Beyond the technical issues retailers are having, and the overwhelming demand from consumers for Sony’s latest PlayStation console, many are still being swept up by resellers – some of whom are using bots to beat out human buyers.

A quick look at resale websites like StockX demonstrates why: Resellers are offering the PS5 for about $730 as of this week – just shy of a 50% markup over the $500 retail price of a PlayStation 5 model with a Blu-ray disc drive. Over on eBay, both versions of the PlayStation 5 are going for $700 and up.

eBay PlayStation 5
The top results for PlayStation 5 consoles in the “Buy it Now” section of eBay.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Sony will be able to catch up with demand anytime soon.

In several interviews in late February, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan warned of an ongoing supply issue continuing through the second half of 2021.

“By the time we get to the second half [of the year], you’re going to be seeing really decent numbers indeed,” PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told the Financial Times in February. Though the company has, “been relentless in terms of trying to increase production,” he said, some obstacles are out of the company’s hands.

The global microchip shortage and the ongoing global pandemic are both impacting Sony’s ability to produce more PS5s, for instance, but Ryan said the supply situation, “will start to get better hopefully quite quickly.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider