10 Best PS4 Shoot ’em Up Games So Far

The Playstation 4 has a decent growing library of Shoot ‘Em Up (also known as: shmup) games. Every year a handful of great shmup’s are released for the console. Many of these games are unknown to the average ps4 gamer. Only hardcore fans of this genre will seek them out. If you are a hardcore fan or  new to the shmup genre, this top list is a great starting point. Featuring the best Shoot Em Up games available on the PS4. As new games are released, this list will be updated.

NOTE: PS4 Japanese Imports were not included in this top list. Only shmup’s released in North America and UK.
– This Article was updated on January 26th, 2018

1. Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours

#1 Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours
– See it on Amazon
Dariusburst takes the number one spot because it’s jam packed with content and fun to play alone or with friends via 4 player Co-Op. Story mode is pretty cool if you want to know more about Darius history. The robotic boss fights are always challenging and memorable in Darius games. AC Chronicle mode is strait epic with over 3000 levels to unlock and play through. The Zuntata soundtrack is unforgettable and varied nicely. The price of Dariousburst might be the only turn off for some gamers interested. It was released back in 2015 and still retails physically and digitally for $60. The game is worth $60 if you are willing to explore all of its content. If you are not willing to pay that much, wait for a sell on Playstation Network. During digital sells you can find it for $25 or possibly less.

Gameplay Trailer:

2. Raiden V: Director’s Cut

#2 Raiden V Directors Cut PS4
– See it on Amazon
I am personally a huge fan of the Raiden series. I was very delighted when I heard the news of the new Raiden V: Director’s Cut being ported to the PS4. Some of the games in the series have lacked content and excitement, that’s come to be expected. Luckily Raiden V exceeds most expectations. Players will find 8 different levels to play through with different rank paths. There are 3 different airplanes to choose from with 3 different weapon styles for each airplane. In raiden power ups are vital. You can collect up to 10 weapon upgrade power ups while playing, boosting your weapons to beast mode, and bombs destroy most all enemies on the screen. The gameplay of course is the main attraction, but the story and characters are pretty cool also, even though most of it is text dialog. Raiden is a bit on the short side, but compared to others there is a lot of content here and it’s worth owning if you love shmups.
Gameplay Trailer:

3. Jamestown+

#3 Jamestown Plus
Available on the PlayStation Store.
You can sure tell the developers put tons of love into Jamestown+. The style reminds me of classic NEO GEO arcade shmup’s, except Jamestown is more polished in every way. The game takes place in the 17th-century. Take the battle to steam punk mars with up to 4 players Co-Op . Level design, gameplay, bosses and ships are all extremely detailed and balanced. Not much else to say, Jamestown is just a solid Shmup that old and new coming fans will probably enjoy.

Gameplay Trailer:

4. Sine Mora EX

#4 Sine Mora EX
– See it on Amazon
Not everyone will agree with Sine Mora as the number 3 spot on the list. I absolutely love the gameplay and graphics style of it though. The level design has a lot of variation. The boss’s scream out quality. It’s an older game that has been re-released on August 8th, 2017 as the EX version on PS4 and other platforms. The EX version has some nice additions. Like the options for 16:9 aspect screen ratio, english voice overs, 2 player co-op through story mode and a few new modes. The graphics also look much sharper than the dated ps3 and Xbox 360 versions. If you are looking for a quality unique shmup with its own style, look no further then Sine Mora EX.

Gameplay Trailer:

5. Resogun

#5 Resogun
– See It On Amazon
Originally released as a free game at the launch for the PS Plus service on Playstation 4. Resogun is a fantastic arcade style shmup that features amazing graphics and challenging gameplay. The amount of particle effects on the screen when blowing up enemy space ships is extremely impressive. Not much story to it, but the unique gameplay makes up for it. The levels are placed in a circular connected ring, so there is no structural barriers or walls. I guess its a bit like Super Stardust, but I enjoyed it much more.

Gameplay Trailer:

6. Astebreed

#6 Astebreed
– See It On Amazon
Astebreed is a Japanese Mech shmup that has a 2.5D type camera view system. Some parts of levels play like a traditional horizontal side scrolling Shmup, while other parts play like a top down 3D on the rails Shmup. The way these camera view changes happen during gameplay, makes for a very unique, almost cinematic feeling experience. The lock on power attacks are epic and going up to enemy’s slashing around your mech sword is satisfying.

Gameplay Trailer:

7. Ghost Blade HD

Ghost Blade HD
– See It On Amazon
If you love traditional 1990’s Japanese bullet-hell Shmup’s such as DoDonPachi and ESP Ra.De you will absolutely love Ghost Blade HD. It plays and looks like those classic games but offers beefed up graphics and 1080p resolution. It is a bit short on content, but for arcade style game with leaderboards, what more can you expect? For $10 as digital download you can’t go wrong.

Gameplay Trailer:

8. Sky Force Anniversary

#8 Skyforce Anniversary
Available on the PlayStation store.
Sky Force Anniversary probably won’t be appealing to hardcore shmup fans. Originally a android mobile exclusive, The gamplay is simple and limited. As far as content goes and challenge it is very robust. So many levels to play through. You have to defeat missions to earn stars. With enough stars you can unlock more levels. At the same time you are consistently earning more cash that can be used to buy upgrades for your airplane. The game is fun and if you are into upgrading and challenges this one is a must buy.

Gameplay Trailer:

9. Caladrius Blaze

#9 Caladrius Blaze
– See It On Amazon
Caladrius Blaze is a bit short on content and the characters/story can be laughable at times. What I loved most though was the music and gameplay. I loved the electric rock sound tracks, they suited the levels very well. The three weapon powers all feel like they serve a purpose to the attack mechanics. You will have to use them at the right time and manage them well, because there power gauges need to charge up. 6 levels and tons of characters to choose from. This is a great top down shmup overall.

Gameplay Trailer:

10. Score Rush Extended

#10 Score Rush Extended
Available on the PlayStation store.
The name pretty much explains the game. It’s a Score Rush that will test your Bullet-Hell skills to the max. Fun one to play in spurts, to see how far you can get and the highest score you are able to achieve. If you want to dodge, have thousands of bullets coming at you, and challenge the online leader-boards! Score Rush Extended is a must play.

Gameplay Trailer:

* Honorable Mentions *

These games are still great but barley missed the top 10 list.

Super Stardust Ultra
#10 Super Star Dust Ultra
– See It On Amazon
Super Star Dust Ultra is great twin stick shooter. Enter planet levels and try to gain high scores to unlock more levels. The controls and gameplay are very satisfying, the action will always keep you on your toes. I like this game, but many people love it. Honestly Star Dust is great, I just think I played so many past versions, this one feels a lot like previous entries. So I became bored of it quickly. Not to take away from it, it is one of the best twin stick shooters ever made. Some people will rate this at the top of the list. Overall if you enjoyed Resogun, be sure to check this one out if you are not burnt out from previous games.

Hyper Void – I was almost going place this in the number 10 spot. It’s a top down space shooter with traditional gameplay levels as well as Tempest style circular levels. Later on it becomes very challenging. The darkness of levels gives out a Silpheed sort of retro feeling. Recommended for anyone that loves classic retro shoot ’em ups, with welcomed new age twists.

Galak Z – A fantastic Roguelike. I can see people liking this more who you are into Roguelikes. As a shoot em up its pretty good also.

Steredenn – A roguelike style shoot em up with retro graphics. I thought it was pretty good, but never felt like trying to beat it.

Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet – A bullet-Storm Japanese fighting Game? It’s unique, fun, but not for everyone.

Blue Rider – Top down 3D levels with a Kiddy graphic style. A good easy one to play through.

Dogos –Similar top down 3D levels as Blue Rider, but more mature and challenging.

Nano Assault NEO-X – Battle against millions of deadly virus cells. It’s you vs millions. Nano Assault plays similar to Super Stardust, with great graphics and gameplay. I would say if you liked resogun and Super Stardust, give this one a try also. Not as good as those but worthy.

Know of any other Shmup’s I missed? Let me know what your favorite Shumps are for the PS4 below in the comments.


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Chris D.
Level Smack founder. I am a long time webmaster. I have been playing video games all my life since the NES days. I am a video games fanatic and a self-proclaimed video games historian. I hope to bring unique & helpful articles as often as I can. We are seeking writers for, Please Contact Us.