The best apps are the ones you like to watch tv on. What channels do you want?
I have all the ones that are cable/sat channels. Beyond that the usual netflix, youtube(sucks on the ATV) and plex. I use haystack tv for news on all my devices.
I have the tablo app as I have a Tablo OTA 4 tuner.
I don't use music apps on it as I just airplay to the apple tv from my phone to play music through my receiver. And I leave my tv off. Just easier that way. Or i'll spotify to my receiver as it supports that.
This would be highly subjective from user to user, but I will list my families most used apps, and some noteworthy ones to try. I won’t mention Apple’s apps like Movie, computer, or music. I separated them by type of app, and then sorted them from most used to least.
Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Nick Jr, Plex, CW, AMC, Crunchyroll, NBC (for only BlackList), HBO, Showtime, Stars, Trailers…
There are many more video apps and Amazon Prime is coming soon (maybe?). So there really isn’t a lack of content.
Another thought, the app quality is visually pleasing, but the UI of tvOS’s apps are not nearly as good as the ATV3 when it comes to functionality and user friendliness. While the ATV3 doesn’t have all the video apps that the ATV4 and later can have, I find that I enjoy using the ATV3 version a lot more.
If you only plan on using the “basic” video apps, (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO, Showtime and others) and don’t have an interest in other apps or 4K, I would highly recommend getting the older ATV3 which is available for the fraction of the price of the newer ones.
Beside Apple’s options, it is the only one we use. This might change is Amazon brings their app to tvOS.
Weather, Foxnews, CNN, WSJ….
We hardly use any of these except the weather app…
Risk, Alto’s Adventure, Crossyroad, Sonic, SongPop, Mindcraft, Real Racing, and a few others…
Most of the games are “bubble gum” games that quickly lose their flavor. There are other good ones, but they were not good enough for me to remember the names of them. This is one of the most disappointing things about tvOS, the lack of good games.
PapaJohns – it might be a little more than using a computer or phone app due to not being able to use coupons, but regular priced items are 25% off. Also, they have pizza porn, which is awesome.
Risk – This game is awesome, but after beating the AI on hard-mode on every map many times, I have taken a break from it. I wish more maps were added.
Alto’s Adventure – Very relaxing game. Play it after a long day at work.
YouTube – This is noteworthy for a bad reason, the app is so basic and barebones, it is frustrating. Why can’t they show you the channel of the video you are watching? The ATV3 version is much better.
I only have a few but they are super for my love of surfing and extreme sports...
RedBull TV, WSL World Surf League, Vimeo, Youtube, Netflix, Mubi (Foreign film / independent), M2M (Fashion), SoundCloud, MixCloud, AirBnB, Vevo.
Don't just look for TV and music apps. There could be a few apps on your phone that the dev offers and ATV version if it could be useful.
For example, Canary security cameras offer an AppleTV app. I have a friend that uses it as a baby monitor while he's works from home (in his basement). Although admittedly the apps currently sucks, Canary is being cheap with their streams and its not very fluid.
I can only really give you my opinion on the gaming aspect of the device as that is what I am using my Apple TV 4K for so I will stick to that. There were some great games mentioned above and I definitely second those games. But here is a list of the games that I have found to be really good on the Apple TV 4K. I was quite surprised at the difference in these games from my old Apple TV 4th Gen to the new Apple TV 4K also.
Some caveats.... I use the Steel Series Nimbus controller which I really like and I play these games on a non-4K tv right now. Just 1080P for a bit as I didn't plan on watching 4K movies on it anyway and the games still look great in 1080P. In the near future I will be picking up a 4K tv, but it is not a priority for my Apple TV 4K gaming right now.
Looks and plays great on the Apple TV 4K and is much smoother on this new one. The game has not been updated in a while and is not kept at the same version as the iOS version, but it is simply so much fun. The economy within the game can be a bit harsh though, but it can still be fun even if you do not want to spend money.
2. Modern Combat 5
Again, this game has not been updated in a while, but is simply fantastic on the Apple TV 4K. Super smooth and the campaign is pretty fun too. There are not many players online though you can find more players on the weekends and late at night. But it's just fun to play. More crates to open with real money and the economy seems about what other games are. If you want great weapons, you will be tempted to spend real money. But like Afterpulse, you can play without spending. Just much harder to acquire and upgrade good weapons.
3. F1 2016
Hopefully, they will release F1 2017 also, but right now, 2016 is a great game for F1 fans and racing fans in general. The game runs smooth and is quite deep for a "mobile" game (I know most of the games are ports of iOS games, but I like to think of the device as a console instead). I play this one quite a bit when I am not playing the 2017 version on my Mac Pro.
Fantastic game and worth every penny in my opinion. Flying from system to system finding new species and progressing however and whenever you want is really nice. On the Apple TV 4th Gen, the graphics had to be turned down quite a bit to get the game to be as smooth as possible, but on the Apple TV 4K, you can turn almost everything up and it runs beautifully. The soundtrack is nice too. Just a really good experience and the gameplay is cool too.
5. Oddworld: Strangers Wrath
This is a remaster of sorts from the old game. It translates well to the Apple TV 4K and the visual options can be turned up as high as they can go and the game runs great. Just a well rounded and funny game. Switching from third person to first person is a cool feature also. Might sound stupid, but I think if you try it out, you might like it.
6. Real Racing 3
I am sure you have probably heard of or seen this game on iOS, but it looks beautiful on the big screen. The IAP's in the game are quite bad though if you really want every car. You can spend thousands, and I know some who have, just to own and upgrade your favorite rides. The visuals are superb and the control is tight and smooth. Many classes of cars and tracks. There's just a lot here to love.
7. Rush Rally 2
Small developer? Check. Small price for the game? Check. Huge fun? Check! Love this rally game. It's got great control, doesn't cost much and visually you can treat yourself to an ultra graphics experience. It's a wonderful game and the developer is working on the third installment which will also hit the tvOS platform. Can't wait.
8. Alliance: Air War
This game is in a constant state of development, but the flight sim/arcade nature of it is very well done. The planes are nicely modeled and the action is fast and intense at times. The sound is good too. Visually, it looks really good and the volumetric cloud cover is cool to fly through. A lot of fun to be had. You can purchase support bundles which I did in the beginning to show the developer my appreciation for bringing the game to the Apple TV platform, but I think it was well worth it. I really enjoy the overall gameplay and it does have multiplayer which is a WIP still.
9. Quantum Revenge
Like an old arcade shooter from the past, but with great sound and gameplay. It’s a pretty short game, but it’s fun and challenging to try to get your score up to par.
10. Tennis Champs: Season 2
It’s a remake of a classic Amiga tennis game and it is more fun than I remember. It gets very challenging and takes time to really master it. Classic style visuals and fast, smooth gameplay makes it something worth checking out in my opinion.
Gods of Rome
Sky Force Reloaded
and so many others.....
I really think that the Apple TV 4K is a good gaming platform. It needs some fresh exclusives, at least for a short time, to get more players interested, but I really like it. Good luck with your Apple TV 4K viewing and I hope you enjoy the platform as much as I do.