While it was incredibly tough to get hold of a PlayStation 5 during the beginning of the console’s lifecycle, the downfall of scalpers and the end of the hardware shortage has meant that the console is more plentiful than ever. Because of this, it’s a safe bet that picking up a PS5 game or two this Christmas will make a great gift for that passionate gamer in your life. Just try to make sure they haven’t bought the games you’re looking to buy already.
If you’re struggling for PS5 gift ideas though, allow us to guide you towards a host of games that’ll make for excellent additions under the Christmas tree this year. To that end though, we’re focusing on games that specifically are available physically as well as digitally, so digital only releases from this year like Alan Wake 2 haven’t made the cut. It has to actually stuff a stocking, those are the rules. Also, we’re leaning more towards games from this year, but we’ve chucked a few great older PS5 games in there for good measure. Anyway, these are the best PS5 games for Christmas 2023.
Sifu might have slipped through the net of many players last year, so if you’re buying a game for Christmas this year, this is a great shout. A kung-fu inspired beat ‘em up, Sifu offers beautifully animated combat, satisfying controls and plenty of replayability, and the updates that have been added to the game post-launch, such as new difficulties and the Arenas mode, make Sifu even more enjoyable now over 18 months after launch. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than most $70 PS5 games, so think of it like a great bonus gift idea.
Developer: Housemarque, Climax Studios Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 16
The PS5 has plenty of roguelikes to choose from, including Hades and others, but Returnal might be the most ambitious and challenging of the lot. Following a lone astronaut called Selene who’s crash-landed on a hostile alien planet, Selene is attacked on all sides by terrifying aliens. Death is all but certain, but Selene is trapped in a time-loop of sorts, with the planet changing shape every loop. With powerful weapons and abilities to discover, Returnal is a tough journey, but one worth undertaking.
Developer: NetherRealm Studios Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Age Rating: ESRB M/PEGI 18
Christmas might be the favorite time of year for children, but there are games you definitely shouldn’t play when the kids are around. Mortal Kombat 1 is this year’s brilliant reboot of the long-running fighting game series, as this new version of MK utilizes the Kameo fighter system, which allows players to pick from a separate roster of characters, each with their own assists that help in a match. Combine that with an excellent Invasions mode and the always enjoyable NetherRealm Studios trademark Story Mode, and Mortal Kombat 1 is a great gift for any gaming adult this Christmas.
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Publisher: SEGA Age Rating: ESRB M/PEGI 18
At this point, with as many games as there are in the series, recommending someone the Yakuza/Like A Dragon franchise is like telling someone to start watching One Piece. Instead of forcing that massive commitment on them, instead consider giving the gift of both Judgment games, which offer a lot of the same gameplay and formula, but without the decades of lore and character development to catch up on. Two excellent action RPGs which, at the moment, can easily be picked up for less than a 2023 AAA release. What’s not to love?
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Age Rating: ESRB M/PEGI 18
The PS5 boasts plenty of open world RPGs to choose from, but if you want to give someone arguably the best that the genre has to offer on PlayStation, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut can’t be beat. From its moving story about a samurai forced to turn their back on the code they swore to uphold in order to survive a brutal invasion, to the gameplay which expertly blends stealth and character action-like combat, Ghost of Tsushima is a must-have in any PS5 owner’s collection.
Developer: FromSoftware Publisher: Bandai Namco Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 16
FromSoftware might have gained more notoriety in the past decade for their work on games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Sekiro, but this year they re-established what brought them to the dance in the first place with the fantastic Armored Core VI: Fires Of Rubicon. Perhaps the best mech combat game ever made, Armored Core VI requires no prior knowledge of the franchise, offers plenty of tutorials to get players up to speed, and when the action kicks off, there’s nothing else quite as exhilarating.
Developer: Respawn Entertainment Publisher: Electronic Arts Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 12
Considering Respawn were known for just FPS games beforehand, a Soulslike-esque game such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a bit of a revelation in 2019. Now, in 2023, they’ve launched Jedi: Survivor, which built off the foundations that the first game established, adding new stances, powers and abilities to enhance the overall experience. Throw all that together with a story that’s actually one of the most interesting things happening with the Star Wars franchise right now, and you’ve got a gift most nerds will appreciate.
Developer: Sumo Digital Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 7
Again, there’s a lot of adult-themed games to enjoy on the PS5, but that doesn’t mean children can’t enjoy some games too. If you’re looking for some legally distinct, Mario-esque platforming fun, you can’t go wrong with Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Spun-off from the incredibly popular LittleBigPlanet series, Sackboy: A Big Adventure sees the materially-made mascot embark on his own 3D platforming adventure, traveling through varied worlds and taking on levels that throw new gimmicks and hazards at you regularly. There’s up to four player local support too, meaning you could even convince your nan to play this Christmas.
Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studio Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Age Rating: ESRB M/PEGI 18
Sony’s list of incredible AAA franchises is as long as it gets, though perhaps few have received a second wind quite like God of War has. The original trilogy and spin-off games were incredibly enjoyable button mashers, but Kratos’ journey to the PS4/5 and Norse mythology have matured the series, giving it a new lease on life. While God of War (2018) also makes for a great gift this Christmas if someone hasn’t played it yet, God of War: Ragnarok’s bigger story, higher stakes and improved combat make it just that little bit better.
A new Final Fantasy game is always an event that causes even the most hardened RPG-skeptics to take notice, and if any game in the FF series is going to appeal to the broadest audience, it’s Final Fantasy XVI. Like most FF games, FFXVI is a tale of oppression and rebellion, but the combat has been overhauled to feel even more like a character action game. If Final Fantasy games in the past have been “too slow” and you’d just rather play Devil May Cry, FFXVI is your Final Fantasy game.
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Age Rating: ESRB E10+/PEGI 7
A lot of games on PS5 can be quite serious, so sometimes it’s nice to just play a game that aims to be fun above all else. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart massively succeeds in that brief, cementing itself as both the best game in the series and one of the best action platformers ever made. With its incredible graphics, always bonkers weapons and impeccable usage of the PS5’s internal SSD to create some truly memorable set pieces, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a future classic in the making.
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 12
Fighting game fans have been eating good this past year, so if you’re buying for one, they probably already own Street Fighter 6 anyway. However, if you’re looking to get someone into the genre, SF6 is probably your best bet at converting a total noob into a future EVO champion. The range of modes, along with control schemes that cater to players of all skill levels, make Street Fighter 6 such an accessible game, and that’s without getting into the actual accessibility features. A best in class fighting game, Street Fighter 6 is a brilliant Christmas gift.
Developer: Motive Studio Publisher: Electronic Arts Age Rating: ESRB M/PEGI 18
Spooky season might be over, but that doesn’t mean Santa can’t deliver a fright or two this Christmas, and if you’re wanting to spread some festive fear, this year’s Dead Space remake is utterly brilliant. While it’s much the same as the first game, complete with similar levels, cutscenes and those iconic Necromorphs, the improvements made to the map design, gameplay flow and combat make Dead Space miles better than its original. No one will be scared to see this in their stocking, though they might be scared to play it.
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Age Rating: ESRB M/PEGI 18
Yes, this might be another horror remake, but when you’ve got two horror remakes of the caliber of Dead Space and Resident Evil 4, you can’t complain. While purists might prefer some of the idiosyncrasies that the original RE4 offers, 2023’s version of the action horror classic is certainly a bigger effort, with more emphasis on gameplay fun. Suplexing villagers as Leon will never get old, even after multiple playthroughs, and with additions like Mercenaries and the paid Separate Ways DLC, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into.
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 16
In terms of pure PS5 exclusives in 2023, there’s simply no beating Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Continuing the story left off in Marvel’s Spider-Man and its half-sequel, Miles Morales, Spider-Man 2 allows you to control both Spider-Man as they try to contend with both Kraven The Hunter and the Venom symbiote. The story alone is the best in the series yet, but the gameplay improvements such as the wingsuit and Black Suit Spider-Man powers are the icing on the cake. As PS5 gifts go this Christmas, this is the best there is.
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