While the PlayStation 5 already has and will continue to have amazing third-party titles, it’s the exclusives that take the fullest advantage of the console’s unique power, such as the adaptive triggers of DualSense and the 3D audio of Tempest. On top of that, Sony is investing heavily in single-player games with captivating storylines and gameplay, so you can go solo in many of the new PS5 exclusive games to come out over the next year and beyond. Here are the biggest upcoming PS5 exclusives of 2021.
First-Party PS5 Exclusives 2021
Below are the PlayStation 5 games with the PlayStation Studios name attached that will launch as PlayStation exclusives, though as we saw with Horizon Zero Dawn on PS4, may also release on PC or even other platforms at a much later date.
Destruction AllStars | February 2nd, 2021
Developers: Lucid Games Limited, Wushu Studios Ltd, XDev Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platform: PS5
Destruction AllStars is a vehicular combat game, the “primetime sport of dangerous drivers”, where you must destroy your opponent’s car. Players will take control of one of 16 AllStars, each of whom has vehicles with unique assets such as blades or nitro boosts.
But that’s not all, as the characters whose vehicles are destroyed will be able to navigate the arena on foot. They must survive the oncoming attack of other vehicles and use their special abilities to try to get back in the game. Upon its release, Destruction AllStars will be included in PlayStation Plus (for two months) at no additional cost.
Returnal | March 19th, 2021
Developer: Housemarque Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platform: PS5
Returnal is a third-person shooter game that is due to land this March. After a crash, Selene is trapped on the barren landscape of an ancient civilization and stuck in a time loop. “Even death is no escape” because she is forced to restart her journey everytime she dies.
The planet changes with every cycle and so do the resources at your disposal. The announcement trailer shows how the world around Selene gets shaped by her thoughts and memories. She must fight her way through this strange land on her own and escape, death after death. As in other exclusives, PS5’s immersive 3D audio will bring the alien world alive for the players, and help them navigate it.
Returnal will also make full use of the DualSense’s features and looks like it may be a sleeper hit, as long as people don’t mind paying its high price.
God of War: Ragnarok | TBC 2021
Developer: Santa Monica Studio Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platform: PS5
The official title for the new God of War game is not confirmed yet, but it is coming in 2021 and will start off Ragnarok, a series of events leading to the death of Norse Gods and bringing the end of the world.
Ragnarok, as the game is being referred to now, will be set in ancient Norway and will again feature Kratos alongside his son Atreus. David Jaffe, a former mind behind God of War, has suggested that God of War could be a cross-gen game. Sony had earlier said that they will support their previous gen console until 2022, and while nothing is confirmed, there’s every chance that Ragnarok will be available on PlayStation 4 as well.
Horizon Forbidden West | TBC 2021
Developer: Guerrilla Games Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platforms: PS4, PS5
Following the events of the first game, Aloy is on her journey to the Forbidden West and is trying to find the source of a mysterious plague that kills everything it infects. It is up to her to restore balance to the world.
Horizon Forbidden West is a third-person open world RPG set in post-apocalyptic America, which is filled with dangerous machines and ruins left by the Old Ones. Players will get to explore distant lands, including lush forests, sunken cities, and snowy mountains.
As you travel through the world, you must reunite with old friends, forge new alliances, and engage in strategic battles to stop the approaching extinction. Horizon Forbidden West is set to release in 2021 for both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5, so while not technically a PS5 exclusive, is a PlayStation exclusive so we will allow it if you do.
Gran Turismo 7 | TBC 2021
Developer: Polyphony Digital Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platform: PS5
Building on 22 years of experience, Gran Turismo 7 brings the best features of the franchise: classic vehicles, tracks, and the famous GT Simulation mode. You will be able to compete in FIA Championships, practice in Driving School, and refine your vehicle in the evolved Tuning Mode.
On the PlayStation 5, Gran Turismo 7 will take advantage of the DualSense controller to provide better haptic feedback, and the Tempest Audio engine will produce realistic spatial audio, creating an incredibly immersive racing experience.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart | TBC 2021
Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platform: PS5
Ratchet and Clank are back, this time trying to fight a villainous emperor who plans to destroy all organic life. A malfunctioning device has caused a dimensional collapse, and the protagonists must travel through multiple realities to stop him.
In this third-person shooter platformer, as in previous games of the series, players will get to travel through exotic locations and use advanced gadgets. Thanks to the PlayStation 5’s SSD, players will be able to switch between different worlds at hyper-speed. This time there will also be a playable female lombax, who has already been the subject of plenty of fan art the world over.
Third-Party & Timed Console Exclusives
Below are the PlayStation 5 games that will be exclusive to PlayStation consoles for a period of roughly a year, if previous timed exclusivity deals are anything to go by.
In Deathloop, Blackreef is a paradise for its inhabitants, “a never-ending party”, but one where hunting the protagonist, Colt, is the main attraction. Because of a mysterious time loop, he is reliving the same day over and over again.
In order to escape this endless cycle, you must take out several targets, including your rival assassin Julianna Blake. From the creators of Dishonored comes another unique first-person shooter game where with each loop, you learn about a new piece of the puzzle. So, don’t worry, “if at first you don’t succeed… die, die again.”
This may be the last game from Arkane we see on a PlayStation console, so here’s hoping it’s a good swansong.
Stray | TBC 2021
Developer: BlueTwelve Studio Publisher: Annapurna Interactive Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5
A cat gets separated from its family and is now lost in the alleys of a decaying cybercity in Stray. The city is inhabited by droids, and you as the stray cat must learn how to defend yourself from its unforeseen threats.
In this third-person adventure game, players look at the world through a completely different perspective. Along the way, the cat will befriend a flying drone called B12. With its assistance, you must untangle an ancient mystery and find a way home. The game is set to be released on PC, PS4, and PS5 in 2021.
Goodbye Volcano High is a cinematic narrative adventure game set in a world of anthropomorphic dinosaurs. The game is about the final year of high school, “the end of an era, and the beginning of a love story”.
The story revolves around VVorm Drama, the band of the lead characters. There has been little information about what the gameplay will be like, but the website suggests that it will involve you making different choices for your characters as they are about to graduate.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is a platformer game that serves as a sequel to Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!, and hopefully a game that’s been worth the wait. Protagonist Abe returns in Soulstorm and he must save his people from slave labour in the long-awaited next entry in the Oddworld series.
Like the previous games, Soulstorm is a 2.5D side-scrolling game. Even though most of the game is linear, players will be able to access different levels and areas in a train hub area. The game will feature advanced mechanics and a new crafting system through which Abe can create and customize weapons.
99% of Tokyo’s population vanished overnight, and the city is now invaded by dangerous supernatural forces. In this action-adventure game, you must unravel the mystery behind the strange events in Tokyo, as you fight the Visitors and eventually encounter a group wearing Hannya masks.
Players will be able to use an arsenal of spectral abilities to fight the ghosts. GhostWire features a unique combat system—“karate meets magic” as one of the creators says—and is inspired by Kuji-kiri hand gestures. Just like Deathloop, this might be the last Tango game we see on PlayStation, so here’s hoping it delivers.
Project Athia is the working title of the debut game of Luminous Productions, a studio formed by the development team of Final Fantasy 15. And that’s it, that’s just about all we know, except that it looks very pretty indeed.
Although the trailer does not give away a lot of details, it suggests that this is an open world action game that follows the story of a woman “in a world not her own”. We see her travelling through ruined cities and cloudy mountaintops, fighting blazing monsters. Project Athia will launch on PS5 and PC.
Final Fantasy XVI | TBA
Developers: Square Enix, Creative Business Unit III Publisher: Square Enix Platform: PS5
For years, glittering mountains of crystal called Mothercrystals have blessed Valisthea with their aether. But now a sickness called the Blight spreads through the land, bringing the six factions on the verge of conflict.
The main story revolves around three main characters: Clive Rosfield, his younger brother, Joshua, and their foster sister, Jill Warrick. A central part of this action RPG will be Eikons, summoned monsters who are controlled by humans called Dominants. The trailer shows beautiful cinematic scenes and combat involving melee-based sword attacks and magical abilities.
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