18 great PS Now games you might not have heard of

Alongside big-name blockbusters, the PS Now library hosts all manner of lesser-known gems. Here's our pick of the best curios, cult favourites, and miniature classics...

1. ABZÛ

ESRB EVERYONE: Mild Fantasy Violence
First released: 2016, PS4
Developer: Giant Squid Studios
What is it? A serene underwater exploration adventure

ABZÛ is a visually stunning exploration game from some of the creative minds behind seminal PS3 title Journey (also available to play via PS Now), that sends you into the briny deep to uncover long lost secrets on the ocean floor. You'll encounter extraordinary creatures along the way, solve environmental puzzles, and track down all manner of collectables.

2. Bound

ESRB EVERYONE 10+: Fantasy Violence
First released: 2016, PS4
Developer: Plastic Studios
What is it? An eccentric platforming adventure

Ponder the fragility of family in this unique adventure in which you guide a mysterious ballet dancer through a shifting abstract landscape. Best enjoyed in a single sitting, Bound is a true original, exploring sophisticated themes through extraordinary visuals, spellbinding narrative, and best-in-class character animation.

3. Alienation

ESRB MATURE 17+: Violence, Blood and Gore
First released: April 2016, PS4
Developer: Housemarque
What is it? Visceral cooperative top-down shooter

Gather together Earth's fiercest soldiers and prepare to make bloody mulch out of invading alien forces in this thrilling top-down shooter from arcade specialist Housemarque (Resogun, Dead Nation). Go it alone if you're feeling brave, but to help even the odds call in up to three additional players for extra firepower.

4. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

ESRB MATURE 17+: Violence, Strong Language, Blood, Alcohol Reference, Suggestive Themes
First released: August 2015, PS4
Developer: The Chinese Room
What is it? A puzzling post-apocalyptic narrative adventure

Immerse yourself in a rich, narrative-focused adventure from award-winning developer The Chinese Room and investigate the fate of the idyllic Yaughton Valley. Uncover traces of its vanished population and witness fleeting fragments of events to help piece together the mystery of the apocalypse.

5. echochrome

ESRB EVERYONE
First released: July 2008, PS3
Developer: Game Yarouze
What is it? A stylish, minimalist perspective puzzler

Feed your brain and exercise your imagination as you tackle mind-bending optical challenges in this influential perspective puzzler. Find your way through 315 topsy-turvy 3D mazes by shifting the camera angle to establish a path to the exit. Definitely one for any M. C. Escher fans out there.

6. Guacamelee!

ESRB EVERYONE 10+: Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Use of Alcohol, Suggestive Themes
First released: April 2013, PS3
Developer: DrinkBox Studios
What is it? Laugh-out-loud platformer/brawler mash-up

Step into the shoes of Mexican luchador Juan Aguacate in this tongue-in-cheek platforming adventure from seasoned developer DrinkBox Studios. Master wrestling moves to take down enemies, unlock special powers to help you reach new parts of the game world, and swap between alternative dimensions on your quest to rescue the girl you love.

7. Hohokum

ESRB EVERYONE 10+: Crude Humour, Fantasy Violence
First released: August 2015, PS3
Developer: Honeyslug
What is it? An out-there sensory experience like no other

After something a little bit different? Enter the whimsical, colourful universe of Hohokum. Take on the role of a curious flying kite-like being and travel to extraordinary worlds full of eclectic characters. More a playground than a traditional game, Hohokum is weird, wonderful, and a true feast for the senses.

8. Joe Danger 2: The Movie

ESRB EVERYONE: Mild Fantasy Violence
First released: September 2012, PS3
Developer: Hello Games
What is it? Physics-based stunt bike romp

AKA, what Hello Games did before No Man's Sky — but Joe Danger is a world away from that game's open-ended space exploration, offering a riotous set of daredevil assault courses to master as the titular stuntman. Lean, hilarious, and perfectly crafted, Joe Danger 2 is an absolute blast.

9. Velocity 2X

ESRB EVERYONE 10+: Fantasy Violence
First released: September 2014, PS4
Developer: FuturLab
What is it? Finely tuned arcade action that demands fast reflexes

Two classic game formats combine in this just-one-more-go action game that demands precision control and lightning-fast reactions. Engage the Quarp Drive teleport to outsmart your enemies in top-down space combat, then dock your ship to infiltrate their bases via side-scrolling action. 

10. Nidhogg

ESRB TEEN: Violence, Blood
First released: October 2014, PS4
Developer: Messhof
What is it? Lunatic party game dust-up

One of the finest, funniest couch multiplayer games of recent years, Nidhogg pits two players against other, each armed only with a sword, their bare hands, and their wits. The winner is the first combatant to successfully retreat to the safety of their respective goal-zone. Sound straightforward? Well, this one has to be seen to be believed...

11. OlliOlli

ESRB EVERYONE
First released: January 2014, PS Vita
Developer: Roll7
What is it? Side-scrolling skating sim for the nimble-fingered

Roll7's brilliant 2D riff on the skateboarding genre is genuine must-play material. Master over 120 tricks across 50 levels and 250 challenges, and perfect your timing to dominate the leaderboards. But be warned, this is no cakewalk: be prepared to taste concrete. The excellent sequel – OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is also part of the PS Now library.

12. Puppeteer

ESRB EVERYONE 10+: Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Alcohol Reference, Suggestive Themes
First released: September 2013, PS3
Developer: Japan Studio
What is it? A beautiful, one-of-a-kind platforming adventure

Step into the shoes of Kutaro, a young boy transformed into a puppet by the evil Moon Bear King in this lavish side-scrolling adventure. Armed with a pair of magical scissors, cut and crop your way through a rich fantasy world, and swap Kutaro's head to harness special powers. Featuring a stunning visual aesthetic and charm to spare, Puppeteer is an unforgettable adventure.

13. TOKYO JUNGLE

TEEN: Violence, Blood
First released: September 2012, PS3
Developer: Crispy's
What is it? A uniquely odd post-apocalyptic action game

Mankind is extinct. Tokyo's metropolitan bustle has been replaced by a windswept wasteland of empty streets. All that remains are vicious wild animals fighting to survive by any means possible. Hunt prey, feast on plants, or do whatever it takes to stay alive as you fight your way to the top of the food chain in this out-there survival action game.

14. Rain

ESRB EVERYONE 10+: Fantasy Violence, Use of Tobacco
First released: October 2013, PS3
Developer: Acquire
What is it? An emotional puzzle adventure

Guide a young boy on a journey through a mysterious rain-drenched world to save an invisible girl from ghostly creatures in this atmospheric action adventure. Interact with the environment, solve puzzles, navigate through the unknown and use the rain to guide and protect the brave duo.

15. Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones

ESRB TEEN: Violence, Blood
First released: April 2015, PS4
Developer: Curve Studios
What is it? Ruthless puzzle-platforming with its tongue in its cheek

When you find yourself trapped in a deadly high-security compound armed with nothing but a pair of top-of-the-range stealth goggles, you'll need to rely on your wits if you want to survive. Sneak your way through more than 100 fiendish levels, using stealthy skills to avoid security robots and motion sensors in this smart side-scroller from Curve Studios.

16. Strider

TEEN: Violence, Blood
First released: February 2014, PS4
Developer: Double Helix Games
What is it? A stylish revamp of an arcade favourite

The team at Double Helix did justice to Capcom's fan-favourite 1989 arcade platformer with this slick, exciting reboot. As assassin Hiryu, harness a range of futuristic weaponry to help you take down Grandmaster Meio and his army of cybernetic soldiers. Expect great combat design, creative boss fights, and an enormous map to explore. 

17. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

ESRB MATURE 17+: Violence, Strong Language, Blood and Gore
First released: September 2014, PS4
Developer: The Astronauts
What is it? Solve a gruesome crime in this supernatural mystery

As a detective with the paranormal ability to visualise grisly crime scenes, you are called in to investigate the disappearance of a young boy in a picturesque mountain town, where the trail leads you to the mutilated body of one of the boy's kidnappers. Piece together the story behind one crime to prevent another, in this handsome, haunting mystery. 

18. Tricky Towers

ESRB EVERYONE
First released: August 2016, PS4
Developer: WeirdBeard
What is it? Get competitive in this multiplayer puzzler

Be faster than your opponents at building a tower of tetrominoes in this frantic action puzzler. Spice things up with a bit of magic and use spells to help keep your tower standing or to interfere with your adversary's efforts. Featuring a range of solo and multiplayer modes, this is a hugely enjoyable couch multiplayer title perfect for game night with friends.