Following possibly the most tantalising wait in video game history, the PlayStation 5 is now out and up for grabs — but it’s not exactly cheap. As well as the console itself being a bit pricey, game prices have also seen a hike for the ninth generation with Sony’s first-party games being particularly expensive. That’s where the best free PS5 games might come in handy.
The following games are free on PS5 for everyone — you don’t need PlayStation Plus to play them or take them online. While most of them will have their own form of in-game currencies, Battle Passes, and all forms of monetisation, free really means free with these PS5 games. You don’t have to sink any money into them to have fun. Just head on over to the PlayStation Store and press that giant download button and you’re ready to go.
Those games are perfectly optimized for the console, and you can sink dozens of hours into them. Again, most of them have microtransactions, though most of these additional purchases are cosmetic, so you don’t have to pay to win.
Here, then, are all the games on PlayStation 5 that cost you a grand total of zero and that we highly recommend. From genre-hopping behemoths to games that come installed on the console from day one, there’s plenty for you to check out.
Developer: Sirlin Games Publisher: Sirlin Games Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Both
Fantasy Strike is a game for players who love fighting games but hate losing every online match. It’s also a nice match for those new to fighting games.
Fantasy Strike eschews complex fighting controls in favor of tactical play, helping newbies to learn the fundamentals of this genre.
It’s a relief that the game’s characters aren’t hidden behind a paywall. Instead, players have access to all of them for free. And in terms of game modes, you can play ranked, online casual, practise or go against the AI.
Fantasy Strike has some of the most memorable characters in a PS5 game, and it helps that the graphics are also unique and different to the norm. This is one of the most balanced and polished fighting games out there, so give it a try for the low, low price of free.
12. Rogue Company
Developer: First Watch Games Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Multiplayer
If you had to pick the cocktail of competitive shooter games, it would probably be Rogue Company. It cherry-picks elements from other games and puts them together to create something that’s both new and familiar.
Rogue Company has a glider like the one you use in Fortnite, an upgrade and weapon shop on a plane like the one in CS: GO, a ping system similar to the one in Apex Legends, and more. Blending so many things together should make the game a mess, but it surprisingly works.
Thankfully, though, that’s not the only thing Rogue Company has going for it. The shooting feels amazing, the maps are interesting, and the action will keep you coming back.
11. Genshin Impact
Developer: miHoYo Publisher: miHoYo Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Both
Genshin Impact is basically the free, anime-esque version of Breath of the Wild. You play as one of two twins whose vacation is spoiled by a mysterious god. After that, you go on a quest to find your twin. On that journey, there are guilds to join, foods to cook, friends to make and monsters to slay.
Everything in the game is beautifully rendered, from the characters to the environments. And gameplay is nearly as compelling as Breath of the Wild. You can easily spend over 40 hours in the game and still want more. Genshin Impact is a free game with AAA thrills.
10. Path of Exile
Developer: Grinding Gear Games Publisher: Grinding Gear Games Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Both
For anyone who grew tired of Diablo or Blizzard in general, Path of Exile has proven to be the perfect dungeon crawler replacement. Developed by Grinding Gear, who have been lauded for, funnily enough, not making the game too much of a grind, Path of Exile regularly places in the upper tiers of Steam charts and is no doubt broadly played on PS5, too.
Playing as a titular Exile, you have to try and survive on Wraeclast as you also seek to take revenge on those who left you banished. Choose from many different classes, get utterly lost in character customisation, and then collect literally all of the loot until you can loot no more. There’s even PVP for those grow tired of slashing monsters.
Developer: Phoenix Labs Publisher: Epic Games Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Multiplayer
The elevator pitch for Dauntless is incredibly simple but effective: Monster Hunter but free and made by Pixar. Comparisons to Capcom’s mega hunting franchise seem unavoidable, particularly because the guys at Phoenix Labs leaned into them real hard — it’s hard not to see the Monster Hunter inspiration in every pore of Dauntless.
However, if you want a fun, less intense version of the mac daddy and just want something much simpler and more straightforward, Dauntless is a pretty fantastic option. Phoenix Labs have been updating and adding to Dauntless as time has worn on and while it will likely always lack a little compared to Monster Hunter, there’s something to be said for a leaner hunting experience sometimes.
8. Rocket League
Developer: Psyonix Publisher: Psyonix Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Both
One of the biggest surprise success stories of the last ten years, Rocket League originally made its name on PS4 as part of PlayStation Plus and went on to reach a huge audience. With Psyonix now owned by Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, Rocket League is free for everyone on PS5. It’d be a crime if you didn’t play it.
A straightforward game with a steep learning curve, Rocket League is basically soccer/football but with RC cars — that’s it. Where the game really comes into its own, though, is in the kinds of things you can do with these cars, the ridiculous goals you can score and the goal-saving clearances you can make.
Plenty of players are super good at the game five years on from release, so don’t, erm, flip out if you’re not immediately the best at Rocket League.
Destiny 2 has travelled a very interesting road throughout the years since its 2017 release. While initially a success, players didn’t seem to gravitate to it for hundreds and hundreds of hours like they did the previous game. Following tonnes of reshuffling (no more Activision, drastic content changes), Destiny 2 is free on PS5 and arguably in its best shape ever.
The brilliance of Destiny 2 has to lie in its gunplay, which Bungie are revered as the masters of. That’s lucky as you will be doing a whole bunch of shooting here on the neverending quest for loot across different planets, raids, and much, much more.
Destiny has always been deadly when it comes to creeping addiction — without even realising it, you will be utterly hooked and then diving into all the extra content it has to offer.
6. War Thunder
Developer: Gaijin Entertainment Publisher: Gaijin Distribution Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Multiplayer
One of the very first free PS4 games (and first games on the PlayStation 4 in general) is also one of the very first free PS5 games you should check out. Compared considerably with Wargaming’s “World of” franchises, War Thunder is a record-breaking military sim that just keeps going from strength to strength.
Whether by land, sea, or air, War Thunder offers players the chance to take on combat however they like in worldwide warfare. Want something a little sillier? Try Arcade. Want to feel like you’re clambering into an actual tank, clunkiness and all? You’ll want Simulator instead.
Whether in PVP or PVE, War Thunder has pretty much everything, including crossover content with My Little Pony. Yes, really.
Developer: Digital Extremes Publisher: Digital Extremes Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Multiplayer
You got absolutely nothing on your agenda for the next 1000 hours of your life? Enter Warframe, the ludicrously addictive sci-fi ninja game where the universe is your very own fashion show. As satisfying as it is slice your way through enemies, it’s all a little pointless unless you look great doing it.
The Warframe that the game launched at is almost unrecognisable from the game that it is now, and that’s all thanks to just how well Digital Extremes have supported it throughout the years. With it now even having an open world to explore, as well as multiple playstyles to be the exact Tenno you want to be, Warframe is a giant game that just keeps on getting bigger and better.
Developer: Respawn Publisher: EA Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Multiplayer
Apex Legends was a smash hit right out of the block, it breaking streaming and playing records one after the other. While it hasn’t quite managed to continue that momentum, millions still play Apex Legends’ unique vision of the battle royale every day across a multitude of different Legends with special abilities.
We say “unique”, but there isn’t a single mechanic in Apex that hasn’t been completely aped by other battle royales over the last couple of years, namely Fortnite. Still, if you’re a Titanfall fan or just want your BR games to have a bit more personality and lore, you should be playing Apex faster than you can ping a Mozambique.
Free Call of Duty: an idea so simple yet so lucrative that it’s a wonder Activision didn’t pull the trigger any sooner. Warzone uses the also quite great Modern Warfare as its basis to provide one of the PS5’s best battle royale games, all backed up by the smooth gunplay that CoD has become a household name from for over almost two decades.
Just like Apex before it, Warzone really came into its own with the unique twists it brought to the battle royale party. Gulags allowed players another chance after death, while the game’s currency system also grants them the ability to call in their loadouts from the traditional multiplayer experience, as well as buy fallen teammates back.
This all gives Warzone a constantly hectic pace — there’s always someone to shoot, some cracked kid to cuss out.
Developer: Epic Games Publisher: Epic Games Microtransactions? Yes Single-Player/Multiplayer? Multiplayer
Fortnite isn’t really just a game anymore — it’s a brand and a platform, as well as one of the most popular multiplayer games of the last ten games. It’s also a great PlayStation 5 game to get for free, specifically if you’re a battle royale fan. That said, you can also mess around a tonne in Creative, building almost whatever you want — maybe even your own game.
If you’re thinking of playing Fortnite competitively, bear in mind that, as with any game that’s been around for a few years, the playerbase is generally pretty good nowadays and the learning curve is damn steep. Knowing how to shoot isn’t enough, you also have to build and edit and just generally get to grips with the game’s many moving parts.
Luckily, though, SBMM makes your introduction to Fortnite pretty gentle. On top of that, Creative also allows you to practice things like building and editing, so there’s no rush to get up to speed.
1. Astro’s Playroom
Developer: SIE Japan Studio Publisher: SIE Microtransactions? No Single-Player/Multiplayer? Single-Player
Yes, it’s true that Astro’s Playroom comes pre-installled with the PS5 and therefore a free game that’s pretty hard to miss, but you get the feeling that many people gloss over its brilliant charms and instead move straight onto something else. Astro is a PlayStation mascot who doesn’t command much respect, but he really should.
Astro’s Playroom is a simple, constantly delightful platformer that seeks to celebrate PlayStation history while looking forward to its future. That means plenty of DualSense integration that makes the most of the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers to great effect, whether that’s you firing a bow or climbing up a rock face as a giant robot monkey.
There’s so much to be effusive about when it comes to Astro’s Playroom, whether that’s the wonderful soundtrack, the gorgeous visuals, the offbeat tone or, to the delight of completionists, an exceptionally easy Platinum trophy. Play Playroom so we can get another Rescue Mission for PS5.
Bonus: The PlayStation Plus Collection
Here’s a bit of a bonus for you on your PlayStation 5.
While not technically “free” as you need to pay for Plus, anyone subscribed to PlayStation Plus will be able to download and play a selection of some of the best games from the PlayStation 4.
Here’s all of the games included with the PlayStation Plus Collection:
– Batman Arkham Knight
– Battlefield 1
– Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
– Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
– Days Gone
– Detroit: Become Human
– Fallout 4
– Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
– God of War
– Infamous Second Son
– Monster Hunter World
– Mortal Kombat X
– Persona 5
– Ratchet & Clank
– Resident Evil 7
– The Last Guardian
– The Last of Us Remastered
– Uncharted 4
– Until Dawn
It does seem like these will be a permanent fixture for Plus subscribers, so if you’ve been missing out on some classics from the PS4, now’s the time to check them out.
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