Exclusives can either make or break a console. If you look back at the PS4, its exclusives what really sold so many on it over the Xbox One and it’s easy to see why with hit after hit. When it comes to PS5 exclusives, however, we’re looking at a whole different ballgame, at least for the first couple of years of the PlayStation 5’s life.
Due to Sony’s commitment to making the vast majority of its first-party games available on both the current and previous generation for the foreseeable future, there aren’t going to be many outright exclusives for the PS5. In fact, there were only two at the console’s launch: one a remake and one a pack-in title.
On top of that, Sony are also seemingly more open to porting their properties to PC than ever before. We saw it early on with the likes of Ready Set Heroes and Death Stranding, but few of us ever expected a property as huge as Horizon Zero Dawn to make its way exclusively from PlayStation 4 onto PC. Will we be seeing the same thing on PS5, exclusives eventually being ported elsewhere after a few years have passed?
Until then, let’s start reeling off the best PS5 exclusives, the games that you can’t find anywhere else — and we’re being pretty strict about it, too. Games that are also available on any other PlayStation platform are excluded, as are any games that can also be found on PC. On top of that, we’re not including timed exclusives as they just shouldn’t count. While remasters are excluded, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, we will allow full-fat remakes like Demon’s Souls. We’ll also be adding to this list over time, so watch this space.
2. Astro’s Playroom
Developer: SIE Japan Studio, Team ASOBI! Publisher: SIE Release Date: November 12th, 2020
There’s a good argument to be made for Astro’s Playroom being one of the best free games ever released, as well as the perfect launch title. Don’t overlook this gem sitting on your SSD the first time you boot up your PlayStation 5.
Astro’s Playroom is, in essence, a tech demo that’s been stretched out into almost a full game. Taking you roughly five hours to complete and also get the Platinum trophy for, Astro’s Playroom guides you through the history of PlayStation while bringing its own charms, namely in just how good it feels to play thanks to the DualSense functions.
An innovative, consistently brilliant platformer, Astro’s Playroom is yet another reminder of how great Sony’s most underloved mascot can be. Here’s hoping they release another full-length Astro game on PS5, hopefully in the form of Astro Bot Rescue Mission 2.
1. Demon’s Souls
Developer: Bluepoint Games Publisher: SIE Release Date: November 12th, 2020
Demon’s Souls on the PlayStation 3 may have started the Soulsborne series and a whole raft of Souls-likes by association, but it’s fair to say that time hasn’t been kind to the misery simulator. Heck, you could even argue that it was a little rough around the edges back then.
That’s why a Demon’s Souls remake felt inevitable for the PlayStation 5 and the fact that it would be developed by Bluepoint Games, the minds behind the also excellent Shadow of the Colossus remake on PS4, put a lot of minds at ease. Fast loading and haptic feedback along with some refined edges make this remake the perfect entry point for those who’ve always been curious about Souls’ special brand of masochism.
It’s almost a waste of time to tell you that Demon’s Souls is a challenging game, so let’s just say that it’s the perfect technical showcase for the early period of the PlayStation 5. With the console already capable of something this grimly beautiful, we can’t wait to see what developers can do achieve a few years from now.
Upcoming PS5 Exclusives
No console has a whole swathe of first-party games available from day one, so here’s what you can expect in terms of PS5 exclusives over the next year. We will add more here as they’re announced.
Destruction AllStars | February 2021
Originally intended to release around launch for the PlayStation 5, Sony wisely shifted Destruction AllStars to early 2021 as a PlayStation Plus title to help it have a better chance of standing out among the crowd. It looks like a Saturday morning cartoon version of Twisted Metal and that’s basically all it needs to be to make us want to play it.
God of War: Ragnarok | TBC 2021
We were huge fans of the 2018 God of War here, so it’s fair to say that a PS5 sequel is pretty much at the top of our list for next year’s releases. Little is known at this time of writing, though we can expect a pretty big showdown with Thor as well as Kratos’ axe to feel especially meaty thanks to the DualSense’s adaptive triggers.
Gran Turismo 7 | TBC 2021
The king of racing returns roughly four hundreds years on from the last true Gran Turismo entry. While GT Sport was a good racer, its focus on eSports and the competitive scene made it a tough sell for everyone, yet Gran Turismo 7 looks every inch like the classic GT game. Expect Polyphony’s excruciating attention to detail to shine on PS5 in 2021.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart | TBC 2021
The movie adaptation that was actually a remake (kind of?) on PS4 proved to many people that they’d been overlooking the best platformer duo for too long. Rift Apart takes full advantage of the PS5’s SSD to switch you between worlds at ease while also introducing a brand new female character to the franchise.
Returnal | TBC 2021
Too many people are sleeping on Returnal, which is probably what you could say for all of Housemarque’s releases to date. The brilliant minds behind Resogun and Nex Machina are dipping back into sci-fi on PS5 for their most ambitious game to date. The Groundhog Day-like Returnal is shrouded in mystery, but one thing is already clear: it looks rad.
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