The Best Games For The PS5

The Best Games For The PS5

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Congratulations! You weathered the queues and were able to nab a PS5. You’ve somehow finagled the thing into your TV stand and turned it on without issue. So, what comes next? Of all the options at your fingertips, what are the best PS5 games worthy of your time and energy?

First, know this: The vast majority of games playable on the PS4 are playable on the PS5 via backward compatibility. (Here’s our list of the best games for that console.) Beyond that, members of the PS Plus subscription service get access to the PS Plus Collection, a perk that offers some of the most acclaimed PS4 games — including Bloodborne, Uncharted 4, and God of War — at no extra cost. All of those titles are downloadable from the PS5’s dashboard. No matter what, you’ll rarely be short of terrific things to play on the PS5.

But if you’re looking for something suitably cutting-edge — something designed with this new console in mind — you needn’t look far. Plenty of great games released across generations, with the superior versions, no surprise, out on the PS5. The system has fewer next-gen-only offerings at this point, but the few it has are an impressive lot. Here, without further ado, are the best games for the PS5.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

Horizon Forbidden West

Image: Guerilla Studios/PlayStation

Yes, yes, big shocker: The sequel to one of the best games of the PS4 generation is one of the best games of the PS5 generation. Though Horizon Forbidden West isn’t quite as groundbreaking as its predecessor, Horizon Zero Dawn, it captures everything that helped it stand out—the splendour, the bow-based combat, the unique take on post-apocalypse—and then some. Once again, you play as Aloy, a young woman who carries the burden of “saving the world” on her shoulders. You fight giant robot animals and explore derelict ruins of human civilization, not unlike the first game. But Forbidden West also builds on that foundation with a bunch of welcome additions, including a hang-glider, a better climbing system, and a remarkably engrossing tactics mini-game called “Machine Strike.”

A Good Match For: This may sound strange, but fans of turn-based strategy games: Seriously, “Machine Strike” is top-notch for the genre, practically a game unto itself. Oh, yeah, also fans of open-world games.

Not A Good Match For: Anyone who bounced off the first one, or can’t stomach a truly bonkers third act.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Amazon Australia | Big W | Dick Smith

Elden Ring

ps5 xbox series x elden ring
Image: FromSoftware

If you like getting your ass handed to you, you’ll love Elden Ring. It’s the latest game out of FromSoftware, a studio best known for establishing a relentlessly difficult live-die-repeat formula of action-RPGs with its Souls series (which has spawned a gazillion copycats). It’s also the first to apply that formula to an open-world framework. Unlike most similarly structured games, Elden Ring refuses to hold your hand, instead letting you roam free. Sometimes, that means meeting a boss who kills you 242 times. But more likely, you’re just…seeing what exists in the nooks and crannies of this carefully designed realm. Though Elden Ring can be frustrating at points, there’s truly no game like it (until, of course, it spawns another gazillion copycats).

A Good Match For: People who like dying in Demon’s Souls, exploring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and watching the withering corpses of dead gods decay into dust.

Not A Good Match For: People who don’t like dying in Demon’s Souls, exploring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or watching the withering corpses of dead gods decay into dust.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Amazon Australia | Big W | Dick Smith

Lost Judgment

Image: Sega

Lost Judgment, the sequel to a spinoff of Sega’s immensely popular Yakuza series, is one of those rare games that’s both a throwback and a modern marvel. Unlike the prior entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which featured a turn-based combat system, Lost Judgment revives the fast-paced, no-holds-barred brawling of previous Yakuza games. The characters are a hoot. The writing’s sharp and clever. Plus, you get to ride around town—the series’ stalwart location of Kamurocho makes a return—on a skateboard.

A Good Match For: Fans of levity, mini-games, and old-school brawlers.

Not A Good Match For: People who value free time. Those damn kids.

Read our review.

Purchase from: PlayStation Store | Dick Smith | JB Hi-Fi | Kogan

Life is Strange: True Colors

Image: Square Enix

You probably know what you’re getting into when you start a Life is Strange game: pastel visuals, light puzzles, and pivotal choices for which there’s no “right” decision, with deliciously twee indie rock playing while you mull your options. Yes, Life is Strange: True Colors is all of that, but it’s also much, much more. You play as Alex Chen, fresh out of a group home, visiting her brother, who’s offered her a chance at a fresh start in an idyllic new town. Though the plot starts slow, the stakes quickly hit a peak, folding in developments more bonkers than anything in prior Life. You often hear chatter about how games imitate films. Life is Strange: True Colors is one example where films should definitely imitate games.

A Good Match For: Anyone who’s dreamed of having a superpower (the ability to sense others’ emotions, in this case) and wondered how they’d grapple with its related consequences.

Not A Good Match For: Folks looking for a mechanically intensive game.

Read our review.

Purchase from: PlayStation Store | Amazon | Dick Smith | JB Hi-Fi | Kogan

Guardians of the Galaxy

gaming deal Guardians of the Galaxy
Image: Square Enix

Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just candy for Marvel fans. It’s also a decadently crafted story-driven game about the lengths to which lonely souls will go to make families out of friend groups. Though you only play as Star-Lord (voiced by Jon “Not Chris Pratt” McLaren), you spend near-constant time with the whole group of galaxy-trawling heroes. You can further direct these companions in a battle system that mixes action-forward combat with RPG menus—kind of like (modern) Final Fantasy games—giving GotG more pep and verve than your standard sole-protagonist action game. And yes, the gameplay is serviceable, but the real draw is the story, which goes from 0 to 60 out of the gate and doesn’t slow down after. Not bad for a game about a talking raccoon!

A Good Match For: Players who like choice-based RPGs and PS3-era action platformers. Anyone who enjoys gaping slack-jawed at gorgeous sci-fi environments.

Not A Good Match For: MCU fans hoping for a to-the-letter adaptation of the films.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase from: PlayStation Store | Amazon | Dick Smith | JB Hi-Fi | Kogan


Image: Housemarque

Few games show off what the PS5 can do better than Returnal. Developed by Housemarque (the folks behind PS4 launch title Resogun), Returnal is a cross between a roguelike and a third-person shooter. You play as Selene Vassos, an interstellar scout who crash-lands on the uncharted planet of Atropos. Your goal, which sounds simple, is to escape Atropos and crawl your way back to civilisation. Every time you die, you’re sent all the way back to where you started, with none of the items or weapons you acquired in the prior life.

Yes, Returnal is a time loop game, and a relentlessly difficult one at that, but Returnal is much more than what you see on the screen. When it rains in-game, you’ll feel the cadence of a gentle rainstorm in your palms. When you shoot, you’ll feel the trigger tense up at the halfway point; pushing past the tension activates a secondary firing mode in a technical display you can’t experience on the PS4 or a simple DualShock. Plenty of games look like next-gen games. Returnal feels like one, too.

A Good Match For: Fans of time loops, particle effects, roguelikes, and time loops.

Not A Good Match For: Players who grapple with soul-crushingly challenging gameplay. Anyone who wants to save in the middle of a run (knowing that runs can easily last hours).

Read our review.

See it in action above.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon

Resident Evil Village

ps5 games
Image: Capcom

Resident Evil Village will give you anxiety. Picking up shortly after the events of Resident Evil 7, Village once again puts you in the shoes of Ethan Winters. At the start of the game, Chris Redfield, another longtime Resident Evil hero, shows up at Ethan’s house, shoots his wife, kidnaps his daughter, and disappears into the night. Ethan is dropped in a nondescript European village in search of answers. Instead, he finds monsters.

The moment-to-moment gameplay is tense, and is far less focused on action than some of the more recent series entries. Ammo isn’t exactly plentiful. Guns can jam up (a gameplay tick made all the more impactful by the DualSense’s pressure-sensitive triggers). And though fear is of course subjective, there are some moments that are genuinely terrifying. Oh, yeah, and there’s also a tall lady.

A Good Match For: Longtime fans of the series’ “good” entries, particularly those who liked Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 7.

Not A Good Match For: Longtime fans of the series’ “bad” entries, particularly those who liked Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.

Read our review.

See it in action.

Purchase FromPlayStation Store | Amazon | Mighty Ape | JB Hi-FiBig WCatch | EB Games

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

ps5 games
Image: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

If you’ve played a Ratchet & Clank game, you’ve played Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Everything that made the series a mainstay in the first place—clever writing, airtight third-person shooting and platforming, just the right amount of wacky hijinks—is present here.

So, no, Rift Apart doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but it’s self-evidently among the best-looking and smoothest playing console games out right now. A new player character, a Lombax called Rivet whom you spend half the game playing as, injects some freshness into the formula. At the start of the game, longtime series villain Dr. Nefarious steals a machine that allows its user to travel between dimensions.

Of course, everything goes wrong, and the universe is…well, read the name of the game. It is then up to you to bounce between these two characters—and between dimensions—to restore the fabric of reality. Tall order for a pair of small space-cats. But given that you have more than a dozen unique guns at your disposal—including one that turns every enemy in the vicinity into shrubbery—you’ll be fine.

A Good Match For: Series newcomers. Series not-newcomers. Anyone who likes platformers, third-person shooters, and fast-paced, lighthearted games.

Not A Good Match For: Players craving a massive, endless open-world game, as Rift Apart is fairly contained. Dr. Nefarious.

Read our review.

See it in action.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | AmazonJB Hi-FiBig W | EB Games

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade

final fantasy 7 remake intergrade
Image: Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s 2020 PS4 release was shockingly groundbreaking. More than a phoned-in remake, it showed what could happen when developers reimagined a beloved game. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, the PS5 version, is the same thing but better looking. Remake takes the first party of Final Fantasy VII—a several-hour stretch of game in which Cloud and pals blow an energy reactor to bits and then escape the city—and expanded it into a 40-hour adventure.

Intergrade adds to that a currently PS5-exclusive bit of DLC in the form of an add-on chapter starring Yuffie, another character from the original. There’s only one catch: If you’re picking up Intergrade new, you get the Yuffie chapter at no extra cost. If you already own the PS4 version, you can upgrade your game for free, but you’ll have to get the add-on piecemeal.

A Good Match For: Fans of the original game, or action-forward JRPGs in general. The door.

Not A Good Match For: Remake is mostly on-rails, so those who like open-ended RPGs might not get much enjoyment out of it.

Read our review, and our impressions of the new DLC.

Study our tips for the game. Here’s some extra tips for some of the harder fights.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon

Hitman 3

Image: Hitman 3
Image: Hitman 3

Make no mistake: Hitman 3 on next-gen consoles is the definitive Hitman. Not only is IO Interactive’s stealth paradise visually stunning (no surprise there) but, on PS5 at least, it also makes subtle use of the DualSense controller’s advanced haptics. You can also carry over all of your data and unlocked levels from Hitman 2, though the process is admittedly somewhat confusing. Any stages you import will join the six included in Hitman 3: Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, Chongqing, Mendoza, and the Romanian backcountry.

For the most part, these are just like any other level from the recent Hitman games. You’re given one or more targets and let loose in a sprawling open area. You have to pay attention to the environment and nearby characters for clues. You can lift the clothing off incapacitated NPCs for a disguise. The missions aren’t long, but they’re designed to be played over and over as you unlock new starting locations, stash spots, and pull off unique kills. It’s tense, tough, often silly, and just as approachable for novices as it is accommodating for longtime fans.

A Good Match For: Fans of stealth, puzzles, environment analysis, and costume parties. Anyone plagued with serious wanderlust.

Not A Good Match For: Those who prefer to go in guns blazing (unless you’re down to play the bombastic final level ad infinitum).

Read our review.

Find all* of the bananas.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon

Destiny 2

Screenshot: BungieScreenshot: Bungie

In December, Destiny 2 received a next-gen overhaul. Before the update, Bungie’s space-faring loot crawl was a solid shooter. Now, it’s one of the best on the market, with stunning visuals, top-shelf performance, and even support for 120fps in the Crucible PvP mode (provided you have a compatible display). A November update — the Europa-bound Beyond Light — brought a new area, new missions, and new abilities, but the fundamental gameplay remains blessedly unchanged. If you’ve been away for a while, it’s worth getting back in the fight. And if you never checked it out in the first place, now’s as good a time as ever — Beyond Light includes an easy start point for new players.

A Good Match For: Fans of first-person shooters with endless streams of loot. Anyone who likes poring over in-game lore text.

Not A Good Match For: Those hungry for a competitive scene on the level of Bungie’s pivotal Halo 3. Anyone who can’t take storylines about Light vs. Dark seriously.

Read our review of Beyond Light.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Screenshot: Insomniac / KotakuScreenshot: Insomniac / Kotaku

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is everything its predecessor (2018’s Spider-Man) was and more. Playing as Miles Morales gives you access to a far deeper bag of tricks than Peter Parker had at his disposal. You can still swing from Harlem to Fidi in seconds, but can bust out more than 20 stylish SSX-style flips along the way, rather than just a handful. Miles also has a literally shocking set of powers that augment his strikes, and can turn invisible at the drop of a hat. Beyond the toolkit, the narrative is tighter, more personal, and more contained than the 2018 game’s. (Full disclosure: Kotaku alum Evan Narcisse wrote for the game.) Also, there’s a cat suit. (See above.) Of course, since this is a next-gen launch title and all, you’re probably wondering about visual enhancements and the like. The answer is yes, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is quite a looker, featuring two different rendering modes that prioritise either razor-sharp resolution and image quality or a smooth framerate of 60 fps. Both are stunning. Just like this game.

A Good Match For: Fans of action games. Friendly neighbourhood heroes. Manhattanites (have fun tracking down your office or apartment).

Not A Good Match For: Rhino. Anyone looking for a 700-hour time-sink; Miles Morales can be fully completed in under 30 hours.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Screenshot: Ubisoft / KotakuScreenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

By now, you probably think you know what you’re getting with Assassin’s Creed. That’s what makes Assassin’s Creed Valhalla such a pleasant surprise. Though unmistakably more similar to the recent series entries (Origins, Odyssey) than the middle-aged ones (Syndicate, Black Flag), Valhalla is very much its own creature. For one thing, side-quests don’t exist at all, supplanted instead by a dizzying amount of bespoke narrative vignettes and environmental challenges.

For another, the narrative is vivisected regionally, so you get a bunch of shorter main arcs alongside an overarching narrative (kind of like a long-running, well-crafted TV series). And the setting — England and Norway in the late-9th century — is distinct, at least in the video game world. That it’s rendered so marvelously is just icing on the cake; you can practically taste the crunchy autumnal leaves of Cent and Sciropescire.

A Good Match For: Fans of massive, compelling open-world games — including the prior two Assassin’s Creeds — and historical drama.

Not A Good Match For: Players tired of Ubisoft “map” games. Anyone not down to play a morally dubious raider.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon

Demon’s Souls

Screenshot: SonyScreenshot: Sony

Although the PlayStation 5 might not have a lot to offer right now, the Demon’s Souls remake developed by Bluepoint Games is one of the best console launch titles in recent memory. It maintains most of what made the PlayStation 3 original so special, sprucing things up a bit with a massive upgrade to visual fidelity and some very useful quality-of-life updates. It may not be the best or most fulfilling Souls adventure — a high bar — but Demon’s Souls both justifies making the jump to a next-generation system and solidifies Bluepoint as a studio we’d want to remake our favourite games if and when the time comes.

A Good Match For: Demon’s Souls fans who don’t mind a few aesthetic changes, folks looking for a relatively easy entry point into the Souls series, and anyone who doesn’t mind a good challenge.

Not A Good Match For: Demon’s Souls fans who wanted just a straight-up port. Players who want their games to be as free of frustration as possible.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon

Astro’s Playroom

Screenshot: SonyScreenshot: Sony

Astro’s Playroom may be a free game, coming pre-installed on every PS5, but that doesn’t make it a wash. Make no mistake: It’s a delightful platformer, oozing with charm and effervescence. You play as a cheery, emotive robotoid (an Astro bot). Each level is themed after some technological aspect of the PS5 — Memory Meadow, for instance, offers winks and nods to the system’s technical guts, while SSD Speedway pays homage to the internal storage — and switches seamlessly between two- and three-dimensional perspectives. As you play, you’ll uncover various references to PlayStation history, which get stored in a museum-like collection. The main draw, though, is how it feels. No other game currently utilises the DualSense’s cutting-edge haptics as well as Astro’s Playroom. You’ll use motion controls to scale a cliff one minute; the next, you’ll blow on the microphone to propel yourself forward. All the while, the controller hums with a responsive, reactive vibration that’s so much more than, “Hey, look, you just got attacked.” This may sound like sacrilege, but Astro’s Playroom may be the most Nintendo-feeling game released this fall.

A Good Match For: Anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of using the PS5’s DualSense controller. PlayStation devotees. Mario fans.

Not A Good Match For: Dude, it’s free, and is already installed on your console. Give it a whirl!

Watch it in action.

Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:

The Best PC Games • The Best PS4 Games • The Best Games On PS Now • The Best Xbox One Games • The Best Games For The Xbox Series X And S • The Best Games On Xbox Game Pass • The Best Nintendo Switch Games • The Best Wii U Games • The Best 3DS Games • The Best PS Vita Games • The Best Xbox 360 Games • The Best PS3 Games • The Best Wii Games • The Best iPhone Games • The Best iPad Games • The Best Android Games

How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:

Update 4/21/2022: We’ve added Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West, while removing Immortals Fenyx Rising.

Update 1/21/2021: The Pathless loses its way on the path, but three newcomers are found: Guardians of the Galaxy, Lost Judgment, and Life is Strange: True Colors.

6/28/2021: And that’s 12! Returnal, Resident Evil Village, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart join the list. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, once a PS4-exclusive, knocks off Godfall, which will soon no longer be a PS5 console-exclusive.

2/4/2021: Excellent work, 47. Hitman 3 joins the ranks.

12/25/2020: Immortals Fenyx Rising has earned a seat on the pantheon. Also, Destiny 2‘s next-gen update and Beyond Light expansion make it feel like a new, and awesome, game.