25 Best PS5 Games You Should Play

best PS5 games

What do you think of the PlayStation 5 so far? That’s a pretty interesting question to ask. While we’re already 4 years into the console’s life, it’s not a stretch to suggest that it’s struggled to massively distance itself from the PS4 so far, thanks to a bunch of reasons. Even though PS5-only games are becoming more common, we’re still seeing a tonne of cross-generation releases in 2024.

Has the 9th generation really kicked off yet?

Make no mistake, though: the PS5 is a fantastic console, and its controller is arguably one of the best controllers ever made. We’re seeing countless fantastic games released every week, almost far too many for those with seemingly endless backlogs, but which are the best of the best on the console? Let’s find out by delving into the best PS5 games that you should be playing.

Just a couple of quick rules to go over first. We’re not including games that launched on PS4 but were ported to PS5 later, because that’s extremely boring and nobody needs to hear any more praise for The Witcher 3, GTA 5, or Ghost of Tsushima. We’re also only including one game per mainline franchise, just to give more games a chance to shine.

If you’ve just got yourself a shiny new PlayStation 5, or are just looking for something to hoover up all your spare time like THQ Nordic hoovering up bad business decisions, here are the best PS5 games that you should check out.


25. Astro’s Playroom

Astro's Playroom
Astro’s Playroom

Honestly, there’s a massive temptation to rank this absolute trip down PlayStation memory lane even higher than this. It’s just pure, unbridled joy.

Astro’s Playroom is a platformer designed to showcase what the PlayStation 5 is capable of, and really there aren’t many better tech demos in the history of gaming. It looks and sounds amazing, the nods to PlayStation mascots are basically that Leo meme over and over again, and it makes very good use of all of the DualSense’s many awesome features. It really makes you feel like you’re Spider-Man. Wait, that’s not quite right.

However, it is quite short, which does make sense considering that it’s basically a free pack-in title. If you have a spare couple of hours and want to buff up your Platinum collection, Astro’s Playroom is a real gem.


24. Armored Core 6

Armored Core 6
Armored Core 6

It took a long time for Coreplayers (that’s what they’re called, don’t search it up) to get a new Armored Core game. FromSoft has become very busy in recent years with their various  captivating blend of medieval masochism, but it’s their mech masochism (mechochism?) that a lot of people crave.

Prayers were finally answered with the almost surprising release of Armored Core 6, which took the classic Armored Core formula and modernised it without compromising any of what made it such a cult favorite.

While this does mean that Armored Core 6 isn’t going to be for everyone, those who jive with its nice blend of deep mech customization, intense combat, and general suffering will find one of their new favorites. We got a job for you: play this game.


23. Balatro


The three most addictive things on the planet are poker, roguelikes, and watching that bit in The Mist when the annoying, radical woman gets shut up to a permanent end. Unfortunately, you can’t do the latter in a video game yet, but you sure can enjoy the former in a massively addictive indie called Balatro.

While probably not a game for those who want their console games to be cinematic spectacles, Balatro has better gameplay than most of them. A fiendishly simple card game where you build your deck up until they get more and more cursed, allowing you to blend all manner of seriously mental synergies.

The best thing about Balatro is that you don’t really have to like poker in order to get something out of it, or even card games in general. If Slay the Spire was like an FDA-disapproved substance for you when the game came to PlayStation Plus, Balatro is like something cooked up by Umbrella.

Gambling: sometimes it’s good for you, actually.


22. A Plague Tale Requiem

A Plague Tale Requiem
A Plague Tale Requiem

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s got rats in it, put more rats in it. While you probably couldn’t make that into a catchy slogan for a t-shirt, A Plague Tale Requiem takes a lot of what made the first game, Innocence, such a surprise hit and just amps it up.

While the novelty of seeing thousands of rats on-screen isn’t quite the same this second time, and the gameplay generally remains the same, what we have here is still a grotesquely beautiful AA game that almost feels slightly forgotten about already. That’s a shame, as Requiem’s second journey with Amicia and Hugo  tells one of the most compelling, devastating stories on PS5.

If you love The Last of Us but wish it had more actual rats and not just this absolute nightmare to use as really clever puzzles and also unfortunately eat your eyes out on occasion, A Plague Tale Requiem is worth a slingshot. Because she uses a slingshot? Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so cheesy.


21. Horizon: Forbidden West

Forbidden West 2 discs
Forbidden West

Don’t let Forbidden West’s placement here put you off: it’s a fantastic game, and a very solid follow-up to Zero Dawn that may just be the best looking game of all time. Pretty much every single screenshot is worth framing.

The same unique blend of Monster Hunter meets Metal Gear Solid V can be found here, with Aloy having all kinds of wild gadgets and gizmos to help her take down robot Godzillas. The world itself is teeming with life, and its post-post-apocalyptic vibe may have been aped a few times over the years, but Horizon’s vibe remains distinctly its own.

Forbidden West finds its way lower on the list for just not being quite as essential or fresh as the previous game, with some, at times, kind of bland quest design and open world filler. However, if you’re searching for a giant, beautiful world to ride around on a big metal bird in, you won’t do much better.


20. Stray

Stray game
Stray game

Stray is the kind of game we don’t really get enough of these days: a cinematic AA experience that is perfectly paced for people who have Way Too Much Stuff. As big as your backlog may be, you can definitely make some room for Stray.

In Stray, you play as a lost cat who winds up in a strange robot commune under the planet’s surface, with no humans in sight. In terms of gameplay, Stray is about as straightforward as puzzle platformers get.

However, that’s really just kind of refreshing. Stray accomplishes what it sets out to do (let you play as a cat and demand pets) and doesn’t overcomplicate itself for no reason to increase engagement times or any other metric that most modern games use as gospel.

Stray is a charming tale of friendship and giving cats adorable harnesses. Sometimes that’s all you need.


19. Inscryption


From a cute game about cats to a genuine descent into madness — but with cards. On paper (well, technically, cardboard), card games can be quite uninteresting, almost too uninvolved for some, but Inscryption basically takes every card game convention and makes LSD tabs out of them.

When you wake up in a stranger’s cabin, you’re forced to play a seemingly rigged card game with your captor. Except the cards are telling you what to do. And the cabin itself houses its fair share of secrets.

Inscryption is a game that’s impossible to discuss at any length without spoiling any surprises, but if you like Pokémon but wish it was about 99% more nightmarish, Inscryption is one of the devilishly unique and innovative games you can play on PlayStation 5.

Keep your eye out for this one on sale.


18. Sifu

Sifu game
Sifu game

You know a game is a pretty good one when its Oldboy send-up is only one of about a dozen brilliant action sequences.

In Sifu, the story is that old classic chestnut: your father has been murdered, and you must set out on a quest to get revenge on the gang responsible. With nothing to aid you but a strange amulet with the ability to keep coming back from the dead, you must master Kung Fu through failure over and over again.

You see, what’s brilliant about Sifu is that each time you die and are brought back, you also age, which changes up your abilities and even your playstyle. However, age too much and you will basically reverse Benjamin Button yourself (read: die) before you can complete your quest for vengeance, meaning you will have to start all over again.

Sifu is a brutal game that, at times, can feel like it’s aging you in real life. However, its fantastic aesthetic, sea deep moveset potential, and satisfying thwang when you hit some idiot with a baseball bat will keep you coming back for more again and again.


17. Returnal


Speaking of punishingly difficult time loop games in which you die again and again (what was developers’ beef for a while there?), here’s Returnal. You play as Selene, an astronaut stranded in a loop on a seemingly ancient, Lovecraftian planet.

Released at a time when people were still balking at the increased price tag for PS5 games, it doesn’t feel like Returnal quite hit the audience it deserved. That’s a shame, because Returnal deserves all of the love.

While bullet hell roguelikes in which you’re facing off against something dark and a little bit sticky are often a hard sell for a mainstream crowd, Returnal’s blend of chaotic action and “one more room” progression is hard to resist who want to get a little weird.

If you loved Risk of Rain 2 but need a bit more cosmic horror, Returnal is the perfect PS5 game for you. And, thanks to Housemarque’s post-launch updates, you can now drag a friend along to share in some of the sticky, sticky misery.


16. Tekken 8

Tekken 8
Tekken 8

There’s few bigger fighting game franchises out there than Tekken. We can think of two that compare, those being Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but in the 3D fighting game space, Tekken is the undisputed king. Despite the series starting out life in the Japanese arcades, the Tekken franchise has long been synonymous with the PlayStation brand, becoming a core part of the PS1’s identity during the console’s formative years. Now, with Tekken 8 on PS5, it’s not only an amazing fighting game, but among the best games on the entire platform.

A continuation of the long-running video game narrative in history, which is quite the accomplishment, Tekken 8 continues the long-running tradition of dads and sons, followed by a roster of weirdos and freaks, beating the snot out of each other. The story mode is among the best in the genre, but the Arcade Quest mode and new suite of tutorial and training options should help new players find their footing when trying to win The King Of Iron Fist Tournament 8.


15. Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

YLAD Infinite Wealth
YLAD Infinite Wealth

For anyone who played the original games when they debuted on PS2, or even their PS3 releases, watching the Yakuza/Like A Dragon series blossom into one of SEGA’s crown jewels has to be a gratifying feeling. Vindication in a bottle, almost. Since the release of Yakuza: Like A Dragon (the names get confusing sometimes), the series has really exploded in popularity, and the most recent installment, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, might just be the best RPG the series has to offer.

Some might prefer the story to the previous game, which introduced new hero Ichiban Kasuga, but for long-time fans, the care and attention shown to long-time protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is fantastic. As for the gameplay, the turn-based combat has been massively improved to give players more options and control during a fight, instead of just picking moves from a menu. Plus, they gave Kiryu the ability to just skip turn-based combat entirely and start whooping ass like the old days. That alone moves Infinite Wealth up the rankings by at least a couple of spaces.


14. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Rift Apart
Rift Apart

When your shiny new console has a bunch of cool new gimmicks, you need the games to sell players on them. Astro’s Playroom was the ideal way to pitch the DualSense, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was the perfect showcase for the console’s SSD.

Introducing new characters Rivet and Kit to go along with the titular duo, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a dimension-hopping adventure that feels like a greatest hits voyage for the PlayStation brand. Any game that features Jak, even if it’s a very brief cameo, is more than an alright game by us.

Gameplay-wise, Rift Apart is more of the series you know and love, except with some more dimension-based puzzling and a new set of protagonists to play as. Ratchet & Clank is definitely a bit of a comfort platformer, and it’s still just as magic on PlayStation 5, with it being basically playable Pixar.


13. It Takes Two

It Takes Two
It Takes Two

It Takes Two: it takes one brilliant game to make you feel this bad for a toy elephant.

Released in 2021 at arguably the perfect time, It Takes Two is pretty much the best couch co-op game in recent memory. It’s a game you feel people are going to look back on fondly years from now much with the same reverence as people do when they talk about screen-cheating in Goldeneye.

With one player controlling May and another controlling Cody, you and a friend are playing as basically disappointing parents who find themselves shrunk down as dolls. You must work together to navigate your now gargantuan family home, taking part in some of the best mini-games ever that never settle on one genre for long.

Even if your co-op partner isn’t much of a gamer, It Takes Two is the kind of game that generates unforgettable memory after memory. Best of all: you can also play it online with someone else, with only one of you needing a copy of the game. Free is often a very good deal.


12. Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7
Gran Turismo 7

Though it’s had many, many pretenders over the years, even from within the Sony umbrella (rest in peace, Driveclub, the people just weren’t ready for you yet), not many racing franchises have been able to match Polyphony’s sheer love of cars with Gran Turismo.

Gran Turismo 7 isn’t necessarily the most modern-minded racer on the market, as it doesn’t really have a lot of gimmicks to pull in the casuals, but it doesn’t really need them. This is just driving done really well, with you taking your car and upgrading it over and over until your Mini Cooper is basically a Nissan Skyline.

While the level of microtransactions for a full-price game is less than ideal, and yeah the Gran Turismo Cafe is almost too twee in how it governs your progression, but if you’re after old school racing with a current-gen lick of paint, Gran Turismo 7 is the way to go.

And if you can afford a PSVR 2 headset and a rig, it’s a damn sight cheaper than renting out Silverstone for the weekend.


11. Dead Space

Dead Space Remake
Dead Space Remake

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and while we were all very happy to see the series return, apparently absence also made us forget that Dead Space is very bad for your heart.

You see, Dead Space is one of the scariest games of all time. This is something it makes you very aware of after about 5 minutes aboard the USG Ishimura as spider-men (not the good ones, either) scuttle out of every creaking pipe in order to turn you into a kebab.

Though the first game still holds up pretty well, this remake improves upon horror royalty in basically every way. The viscera is extremely visceral, the improvements to just getting around this hulking thing of space metal are very much appreciated, and the sound design is pretty much why headphones were invented.

Here’s a shorter pitch for playing Dead Space on PS5: stomping a mudhole into Lovecraft mutants in 4K.


10. Demon’s Souls

Demon's Souls
Demon’s Souls

The slightly awkward yet still deeply, fatally charming cousin to Dark Souls, Bluepoint’s remake of a PS3 cult classic that spawned 1000 thinkpieces was one of the best options to showcase the power of the PS5. Compare it side-by-side with the original and you will see just how far we’ve come.

Visit the kingdom of Boletaria, which is beset by traditional FromSoftware decay and general bad stuff. There’s a lot of interesting things going on under the hood of Demon’s Souls, including the rather complicated but brilliant tendencies, your job getting harder every time you die, and its uncanny ability to make you hate bridges.

Demon’s Souls is very faithful to the original, almost to a fault when it comes to attracting newcomers who’ve maybe been drawn into a life of masochism by Elden Ring. Demon’s Souls is relentless, but that just makes its victories all that sweeter.

Demon’s Souls is a very ambitious, daring game even two generations on — and probably for every generation still to come.


9. Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 Editions
Alan Wake 2

It’s still almost surreal that Alan Wake 2 even came out. A franchise which is seemingly completely resistant to making money got a big budget sequel that’s one of the best, most inventive horror games of all time, and not enough people give it its flowers.

It’s a pity, but Alan Wake 2’s complete disinterest in appealing to absolutely everyone is what makes it interesting. Could you imagine if Alan had to collect 40 light bulbs in order to upgrade his frown speed?

No, Alan Wake 2 is a pretty unique ride, a bizarre gonzo mixture of a little bit of Resident Evil’s remakes, a big old lashing of Twin Peaks, and a nice heap of art film. It’s also a musical for a bit, which somehow feels completely natural for this world.

So, yes, while the combat perhaps isn’t as fulfilling as it could be, and the original ending is a bit frustrating, games like Alan Wake 2 are absolutely worth treasuring for as long as we’re allowed them. They won’t be making them like this for much longer.


8. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Peter Parker Spider-Man 2
Peter Parker Spider-Man 2

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is everything you loved about the first two Insomniac Spider-Man games, but just dialed all the way up. Double the protagonists. Double the speed. Double the cool factor of Spider-Cat.

With Peter Parker and Miles Morales both working together to keep New York City, Kraven the Hunter’s machinations and a rather strange symbiote look to tear them apart.

While Spider-Man 2 is iterative rather than innovative in a lot of ways, Insomniac already created a formula that works wonderfully, and it’s at its best here. The ability to swap between Miles and Peter at will is the perfect selling point for the PS5’s SSD, while every second of the game’s many sumptuous cutscenes show where all that money went. All that money, and no pocket change for Knack 3? Cowards.

Sure, the story has a lot going on at some points, and the constant distractions from the Spider-Men themselves upsets the tempo a bit, but Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is the kitchen sink of superhero games and deserves all its recognition.


7. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Square Enix saw that you liked the first entry in the Final Fantasy VII remake trilogy and simply went “more”. Those who didn’t like the action RPG switch and timey wimey storyline stuff probably won’t be convinced here either, but Rebirth is a reminder that Square Enix still has some magic left in the tank.

In Rebirth, Cloud and the gang venture outside of Midgar, which can only mean one thing: segways. It can be easy to see the conflict with Sephiroth and Shinra and think Rebirth is going to be a very serious game, but it can also be incredibly goofy in the best of ways.

Rebirth also possesses the most interesting regions to explore in any Final Fantasy game to date, with a nice amount of verticality and a few lessons cribbed from the likes of Breath of the Wild. There’s even a nice amount of mini-games here for those who love their Yakuza.

Chuck in an almost overwhelming amount of side content, a seriously affable cast, and some combat flourishes that take nicely from Tales of Arise, and you’ve got a pretty compelling package. Let’s just hope they clear up that ending a little down the road.


6. Hades

Hades game
Hades game

It takes a special kind of game to make failure not feel like, well, failure. While it’s gutting to lose your Hades run as you’re nearing escape from the Underworld, returning back to its depths is just another chance to get to know some of gaming’s most likable characters.

You play as Zagreus, son of the titular Hades, who finds himself wanting to escape from basically captivity and discover more about his mother. After his dad cancels his PlayStation Plus subscription, Zag plots his escape — and then dies. Again and again.

Hades can be a pretty challenging roguelite, especially without a lot of very necessary upgrades and unlocks, but never an unfair one. There are plenty of ways you can totally break the game if you get your builds just right, and having the whole screen be like a violent version of Fantavision is always fulfilling.

However, it’s not the combat that’s the main attraction here, it’s the story. Hades has a frankly staggering amount of dialogue, but none of it bores and all of it serves a purpose, even if that purpose is to get you to fall in love with a sociopath.


5. Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2

Never in a million years would I have thought that Helldivers  2would end up being half as good, innovative and outright democratic as it actually is, and I’m saying this as a big fan of the first game.

Taking the top-down action firmly behind the expectant corpse known as your character instead, Helldivers 2 takes what made the first game so unique, makes it more cinematic, and basically prints money with it.

On the surface, pushing back hordes of (apparently) Communist bugs and bots isn’t very different to the hordes of Left 4 Dead imitators over the years. However, just like Valve’s iconic co-op shooter, the brilliance of Helldivers 2 comes in the details, the little things that showcase a game made with love, not just to cash in on a trend.

Helldivers 2 is also just a very funny, goofy game. Come for the opportunity to blow your friends up with a nuke, stay for the hilarious satire, non-predatory progression, and absolute goosebump-inducing soundtrack. Then blow your mates up with a nuke again anyway.


4. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 remake
Resident Evil 4 remake

Resident Evil 4 didn’t even need a remake as such, but Capcom has been on such a tear with the franchise lately that they decided to make one just because they could. And, what do you know: they created yet another all-time classic.

Resident Evil 4’s 2023 remake brings in a few obvious mechanical and visual changes, while also tweaking some things in the story to make it a little darker than the kinda pulpy original. Remarkably, it doesn’t diminish the original game in any way — both versions of Leon’s unfortunate Thomas Cook package deal gone wrong stand on their own.

There’s a lot to absolutely adore about this new vision of Resident Evil 4, from Leon and Ashley’s excellent chemistry together, to its amazing aesthetic, attention to detail, wild raft of unlockables, and the ability to deflect a chainsaw with your dad’s Swiss army knife that he keeps in the forbidden drawer of man. Every dad has one.

Yes, the villains probably aren’t quite as iconic this time out, but Resident Evil 4 creates its own fair share of iconic moments thanks to its dynamic, emergent, wonderful nonsense. Plus, you get to roundhouse kick people in glorious 4K. It more than does the job until the next Marvel vs Capcom game.


3. God of War: Ragnarok

God of War Ragnarok
God of War Ragnarok

2018’s God of War proved that change can be a very good thing, and while Ragnarok isn’t massively different from its predecessor, being similar to one of the greatest action games of all time certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Ragnarok is a more ambitious game than its predecessor, with a frankly incredible scale both in terms of spectacle and narrative. Much like Resident Evil 4’s remake, Kratos having primary functions other than ripping limbs off of things doesn’t hurt the previous games’ legacies at all — it just improves the legacy of the franchise as a whole.

And the action here is kinetic and chaotic in all the right ways, with the synergies with all of Kratos’ gear (including that amazing spear) offering so many different ways to approach fights. Hack and slash diehards may still prefer the originals, but there’s something to be said for lining up all of your cooldowns to finally unleash Hel.

There’s no denying that the narrative sags at a few points, but the highest highs of Ragnarok’s story are a pretty good reminder that it’s now movies that should start emulating games.

Chuck in a free story-focused roguelite DLC and you have one of the most compelling tales of redemption and the power of change on your PlayStation 5.


2. Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3

It’s hard to distill the success of Baldur’s Gate 3 down to one key thing. Is it the level of actual role-playing in an RPG? The sheer depth of its mechanics and the intricacies of its character relationships? Or is it because you can have sex with a bear?

Yes, it’s probably the latter, but all of those other things definitely don’t hurt.

While the broad strokes of Baldur’s Gate 3 are the same for everyone (bug in brain, brain turning to bug yada yada, that old chestnut), everything that you do between point A and point B is almost miraculously your call. Want to role-play as the Dungeons & Dragons character you’ve always dreamed of, but don’t have the table, board game, or 4-5 friends past the age of 30 to play with? Your prayers have been answered.

It’s fair to say that not everyone will jive with Baldur’s Gate 3, particularly those that have grown accustomed to more action in their RPGs. However, Larian’s mastery of turn-based is on full display here, and there’s plenty of fun to be had with exploring dungeons and definitely not save scumming your way to glory.

If you need any more convincing, PS Plus subscribers get to enjoy a two-hour trial of this absolutely behemoth of a game as part of their subscription. Just don’t get mad at us when you spend those two hours solely on creating your character.


1. Elden Ring

Elden Ring Ranni
Elden Ring Ranni

Elden Ring is the absolute culmination of every painful lesson From Software has given their players over the last 15 years of medieval masochism with a side salad of poison swamps. It’s a game so good that it’s basically ruined every other open world game for me since I played it.

You play as the Tarnished, a warrior who awakens in a decaying world called the Lands Between beneath a glowing gold tree — fairly standard FromSoftware stuff, then. It’s not long before you suffer your first death of no doubt hundreds, and are then set loose on Limgrave in one of the most eye-opening moments in video games since Mario first started doing backflips.

Even people who don’t usually get along with FromSoftware games will probably enjoy Elden Ring, as it’s far more beginner friendly without sacrificing any of that notorious challenge. The sheer depth of build options means that you can probably unga bunga your way through even the toughest of challenges eventually, while the wild breadth of the map means that you can always go off and level up elsewhere. It also doesn’t hurt that save points are no longer a mile away from bosses.

And how about that world-building? As absolutely impenetrable as the Elden Ring lore is for anyone without a wiki to hand, the minutiae here is almost hard to believe — nothing means nothing, and everything means something. Then the open world itself is a total joy to discover, a far cry from, well, the Far Cry checklists of so many modern western RPGs. You usually just end up discovering a new way to die, but still.

Even if you don’t think Elden Ring is to your tastes, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try on your PlayStation 5. It really is as good as they say. Fair warning: there’s a boss here that may actually make you throw your PS5 out of the window.

We are, of course, talking about Soldier of Godrick.

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