Despite global shortages, Sony sold more than 13 million PS5 consoles in its first year on the market. It’s a great start for the system, and things might get much more intriguing in 2022 when Sony is rumored to be working on an Xbox Game Pass competitor. However, the system already has a large library of amazing games, and to help you sort through it all, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best PS5 games you can play right now.
Our list has been updated to include all PS5 titles — no more PS4 backward compatibility. Our key criteria currently are that considering the number of cross-gen games available, games on this list must have a specific next-gen version.
Some titles make fantastic use of the DualSense controller’s revolutionary haptic feedback, while others will make your gaming TV sparkle with 4K gameplay. Without further ado, here are our updated recommendations for the top ten PlayStation 5 games.
10. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Don’t worry if you’ve never played a Yakuza game. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a soft reboot that introduces a new protagonist and replaces the customary solo real-time brawling with turn-based gameplay and a group structure.
Yakuza has always had some role-playing DNA, but Like a Dragon embraces it wholeheartedly and with great success. Its hero, Ichiban Kasuga, is a huge lover of the Dragon Quest games, and many famous JRPG clichés and techniques are both ridiculed and executed flawlessly in Like a Dragon. There’s a layer of meta-comedy strewn throughout, and while it becomes ridiculous, it never feels out of place or annoying. There’s a long, compelling, deadly serious crime opera of the main campaign, a plethora of utterly absurd substories around every corner, and a suite of unexpectedly addictive minigames ranging from company management to kart racing, like in all Yakuza games. But this time it’s set in Yakuza’s largest setting to date, the busy port city of Yokohama, and it all comes together to propel the franchise in a new and exciting direction.
Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio is currently working on Yakuza 8. It’ll be a direct sequel to Like a Dragon, taking place a few years later.
9. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
While Sackboy: A Big Experience skips the creative aspect of the LittleBigPlanet series, its concentration on being a fun, appealing platformer pays off in a lovely adventure that can be played single or together. Sumo Digital’s level diversity keeps things interesting, so one minute you’re riding a train through a moving level, occasionally stepping off to gather collectibles, and the next you’re grooving through a level set to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk (yes, really).
The humor is cheeky, especially when playing co-op — you can either help your teammates or smack them with a fish. And, like most games we’ve seen on the PS5, it’s a visual pleasure. Sackboy looks fantastic, with the numerous fabrics and trimmings on each of his customizable outfit pieces gleaming thanks to the new system’s enhanced graphics capabilities.
Talkin’ bout Bugsnax began as internet meme fodder fueled by a powerful marketing effort and a catchy music, but Bugsnax deserves to be acknowledged for much more.
Young Horses’ absurdist streak continues with this environmental/creature-based puzzle game that has you capturing photos and catching delectable critters. Underneath Bugsnax’s endearing and eccentric surface is a wonderful story full of foreboding twists and turns as you try to rebuild a town by fulfilling people’s demands.
Each returned inhabitant means another person to interview for your narrative about Bugsnax, Snaktooth Island, and – ultimately – what happened to Elizabeth Megafig, who invited you to the island in the first place. Its growth algorithms continue to capture our interest, making the gaming cycle all the more appealing – and Bugsnax’s big revelation (no spoilers!) did not disappoint. In early 2022, a large update named The Isle of Bigsnax will be made available for free.
7. The Pathless
The Pathless combines a simple but elegant (and totally fascinating) movement system with a stunning open landscape. Running, jumping, and gliding over developer Giant Squid’s forests, rocky plateaus, and snow-capped mountains is a joy owing to the main bow-and-arrow gameplay, which relies less on pinpoint accuracy and more on empowering you to carve a pleasant path across the environment. It’s a universe that promotes exploration and fulfils your curiosity, with smart riddles that make the places you reach as enjoyable as the voyage itself. Add in a few boss bouts that are half epic pursuit scenario, part Zelda-esque showdown – all accompanied by a stirring, dramatic tune – and you’ve got one of the more fascinating PS5 launch releases.
6. Hitman 3
Hitman 3 serves as the conclusion to IO Interactive’s brilliant “World of Assassination” trilogy, letting Agent 47 wild on some of the most massive and sophisticated levels yet, including the imaginative Dartmoor Mansion. And it’s possibly the best example of IO’s formula: he may slaughter his victims with badass cold-blooded efficiency, or he can set off some Rube Goldberg-style chain of events that culminates in a far more comedic death… or, if something goes wrong, a Wile E. Coyote-level failure.
When developing a new Hitman game for next-generation consoles, IO Interactive could have simply released one game and called it a day, but they also remastered the first two games to the point where they’re visually indistinguishable from the latest installment (sold separately, unless you already own them, in which case it’s a free upgrade). In any case, the World of Assassination Trilogy was fantastic on PS4, but it’s much better on PS5.
Anyway, long story short, you can kill a guy by having him slip on a banana peel, which is hilarious everywhere, but it’s also really pretty on PS5 thanks to enhanced resolution, smooth 60fps, and an overall smoother experience over the previous-gen version.
5. Spider-Man Remastered
Marvel’s Spider-Man was already one of the best superhero games ever created, but the PS5 remake takes it to a whole new level. Insomniac’s visual tweaks aren’t little – the full relighting of New York City (with with face animation improvements) brings the adventure’s appearance up to par with the brand-new Miles Morales. The addition of ray tracing with 4K resolution and HDR support makes any time of day so stunning that you’d be forgiven for thinking this wasn’t built for the PS5. Add in Spidey’s post-launch quality of life enhancements, additional accessibility choices, photo mode updates, and all of the DLC episodes, and this is the definitive way to play one of the PS4’s best games.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will be released on PS5 in 2023. Candyman’s Tony Todd, who will voice Venom in the sequel, describes it as “huge,” while Insomniac’s Bill Rosemann describes it as “darker” than the studio’s previous two Spider-Man games.
4. Astro’s Playroom
The DualSense is one of the PS5’s most distinguishing features, as the nuanced haptic feedback and carefully placed adaptable triggers offer a degree of immersion that feels truly unique. Nowhere does that technology shine brighter than in Astro’s Playroom, which is explicitly built to demonstrate the potential of the Dualsense controller.
However, this would-be tech demo is also a terrific game in its own right, with a delightful series of worlds to explore, each of which celebrates a different aspect of the PS5 and different generations of PlayStation software and hardware. Astro’s Playroom reminds players of why they love PlayStation while also making them fall in love all over again. Its strong platforming, enjoyable environmental puzzles, and alluring variety of goodies will have you aiming for the platinum and achieving it in no time. Astro’s development team, Team Asobi, is now an official PlayStation Studio. The firm is presently developing its “biggest ambitious game to date.”
3. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed series demonstrates that the franchise is far from done. With the opportunity to sack monasteries, build up your blossoming Norse settlement, and discover the unique gear and potent abilities, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has altered the rules of the genre yet again. The PS5 catches the cold mountains of Norway and the bending rivers of England in gorgeous 4K, and the ability to travel between the war-torn countries faster than a raiding force can sound the horn remains amazing throughout.
2. Demon’s Souls
Bluepoint Games faced some lofty goals with the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls. Not only was it a highly awaited remake of a famous and iconic game, but it was also the first big demonstration of what a dedicated PS5 game of this scope could look like.
Bluepoint, thankfully, delivered, and Demon’s Souls is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also remarkably loyal to the source material. It’s easily one of the most in-depth, rich, and demanding experiences available on the console right now. Bluepoint Games has been officially acquired by PlayStation. Instead of another remake, the studio’s next project will be an original game.
1. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Though not a full-fledged sequel, this standalone expansion takes Peter Parker on vacation and leaves Miles Morales, his youthful spider-apprentice, to look after New York. New York has been beautifully coated with snow, festive cheer, and next-gen polish, building on the rock-solid foundations of Insomniac’s original game.
The improvements aren’t just cosmetic; the eponymous hero has a few more spider-powers than Peter Parker, and these are cleverly adapted into new gameplay mechanics that, while not reinventing the wheel, but enough of a spin on it to make it feel fresh – sometimes literally, thanks to the DualSense controller. Miles Morales’ story has just as much charm and heart as its predecessor, if not more. It doesn’t have as extensive a campaign or as many colorful adversaries as 2018’s Spider-Man, but it has just as much charm and heart as its predecessor, if not more. Its tagline, “Be Greater,” sets a high threshold, but Miles Morales easily clears it.