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The 25 Best PS5 games to justify your next-gen PlayStation purchase

Sony's stellar lineup just keeps getting bigger

The best PS5 games bring brand new experiences to a brand new console, combining the latest PlayStation’s innovative haptic feedback with Sony’s extensive roster of incredible developers and third-party connections to create an amazing lineup of games.

As well as a cutting-edge slew of PlayStation exclusives, or timed exclusives at least, the PS5 is also the best place to play a number of multi-platform and multiplayer games, so you will find the cream of that crop here too.

What’s more, you can also play most of the top titles from the last generation on your shiny new PS5, so all of the greatest hits from the past are available to you here too.

However, since we want to keep the focus on the next generation of PlayStation, we will steer clear of older games that don’t specifically have a PS5 upgrade - otherwise things would start to look awfully familiar.

PS5 upgrades can include anything from a 4K graphical upgrade, improved performance, new costumes, cosmetics, or DLC, or even new missions and story content.

In no particular order, these are the best PS5 games, including exclusives.

The 25 best PS5 games

Returnal

Dripping with dank lovecraftian atmosphere, Returnal is a tough, frenetic action game with shifting levels, beautiful effects and a deep and esoteric story that’s as intriguing as it is mysterious.

An incredible big-budget interpretation of the ‘rogue-lite’ genre where you start back at the beginning of the game every time you die, Finnish developer Housemarque managed to marry both the gameplay and narrative elements of Returnal almost perfectly.

This is one of the best early examples of the PS5’s adaptive trigger technology having a strong practical effect on how you control a game – where weapons have different fire modes based on how hard you press the trigger - and the controller sounds and haptic feedback suit the Alien-esque retro sci-fi aesthetic fantastically well.

Story-wise, Returnal boasts one of the best mid-game twists literally of all time, and while it’s a real head-scratcher at some points, the ambiance is nearly second to none.

Resident Evil Village

After revitalising itself with Resident Evil 7, this latest entry in the venerable series shows that vampire and werewolf stories are even better when they’re long in the tooth.

Thanks to its incredible visuals, a peerless sense of atmosphere, and that classic combination of chunky shooting and brain-teasing item puzzles, Resident Evil Village is an absolute must play on PS5, even if you’re not usually a horror fan.

Where less considered games rely heavily on jump scares and gruesome ghoulies, Village has those as well as gorgeous, chilling environments, tense and well-balanced combat, and a castleful of memorable set-pieces.

Spider-Man Miles Morales + Spider-Man Remastered

The Spider-Man licence was a huge get for PlayStation, and Insomniac Games absolutely knocked it out of Citi Field with both the first game and this expanded PS5 revamp.

With the “ultimate” edition of the game combining both a remastered version of the original and the new Miles Morales campaign, that’s a huge chunk of superhero goodness starring your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

Swinging around the busy streets of New York is as exhilarating as it ought to be, while the original stories do their comic book and movie inspirations proud.

Hitman 3

Long have the modern Hitman games been criminally underrated as a series, and Hitman 3 is the best of the bunch.

As you stalk the murderous sandboxes following assassination stories that make you feel really clever, you find new routes, solutions and weapons that enable future runs to play about completely differently to your first attempt.

Agent 47 pretends to serve a drink in Hitman 3

What’s more, if you’ve already got the first two games - or picked them up on PS+ over the years - you can import all of the older levels and access them from the same hub.

Control Ultimate Edition

Improved for PS5 and including all of the post-launch DLC, the ultimate edition of Control is easily one of the coolest games out there, fusing brain-melting scifi with snappy action and strikingly stylised visuals.

You follow Jesse Faden as she searches for her brother inside The Oldest House, headquarters of the mysterious Federal Bureau of Control, only to be sucked into a situation far outside of her understanding.

With exceptional effects, otherworldly powers and a tantalisingly inscrutable plot, once you start, Control’s brainworms won’t be leaving any time soon.

Deathloop

Cole Vahn is stuck in a time loop and there’s only one way to bust out: assassinate all of the Blackreef Visionaries in one day to break the cycle.

The only problem is that they’re not going down without a fight.

Arkane Studios are masters of elegant design, so it's no surprise that Deathloop’s narrative-action-puzzle is one of the most essential games on PS5.

Set across 4 districts, all with unique encounters and activities across 4 different times of day, unravelling the secrets of Blackreef feels like top-tier sleuthing as you pick up new pieces of the puzzle day by day.

As you defeat more Visionaries Deathloop gets progressively more challenging, but there’s another twist. Throughout the day you’re also being hunted by Blackreef head of security Juliana, an intelligent enemy with access to all the same time-twisting powers as Cole.

Disco Elysium (Final Cut)

Do you know what’s more fun than being the world’s greatest detective solving a murder? Being a terrible detective who’s lost their gun, their memory and their dignity in a cold seaside town… who’s also solving a murder.

The Final Cut version of Disco Elysium, complete with new voice acting and quests, is out on PS5, giving console players a chance to experience this utterly unique adventure for themselves.

The town square in Disco Elysium, the best adventure game on PS5

Broaching dark and adult themes with idiosyncratic gallows humour, Disco Elysium is about as complex and strange as games get in just about the best way possible.

Genshin Impact

While its gameplay isn’t the most original and the gacha-game character acquisition isn’t the most satisfying, there’s something really compelling about the breezy, anime world of Genshin Impact.

From its striking visual style to its truly massive map, the amount of content that you get in what is ostensibly a free-to-play game is nearly unbeatable - especially when it comes to RPGs.

The Traveller looks out over Teyvat in Genshin Impact, one of the best open world games on PS5

When the barrier to entry is so low it makes even more sense to dip a toe in Teyvat. Plus the game looks astonishingly good on PlayStation 5 thanks to its 4K upgrade.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade

A gorgeous modern reinterpretation of the PS1 masterpiece, this next gen update to Final Fantasy 7 Remake dials up the amazing graphical fidelity to even greater heights.

Unlike a lot of rereleases, here you’re not paying for a bog standard remaster with a fresh lick of paint over an old game with no mechanical upgrades; remake really means remake.

This is a completely new game with reconstructed environments, modern combat, and a sprawling story to explore.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Upgrade)

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order delivers awesome, authentic Star Wars action along with an engaging original story that touches on some fan-favourite locations and characters without diving too deep into the mire of fan service.

It’s heavily inspired by the Dark Souls games with tough, respawning enemies, upgrade points that disappear on death and frequent checkpoints where you refresh, resupply and improve your abilities.

You play as Kal Kestis, a Jedi padawan driven into hiding in the wake of Order 66 at the end of Revenge of the Sith. With Imperial Jedi hunters on his tail, he decides to step up and try to make a difference in the fight against the Empire, with his quest taking him everywhere from the lush jungles of Kashyyyk to the deserts of Dathomir.

The Forgotten City

Originally conceived as a downloadable quest mod for Skyrim, The Forgotten City is a unique little detective game where you solve the secret of a hidden Roman settlement sealed underground.

There’s intrigue aplenty across the myriad interwoven stories, all building up to an incredible conclusion you won’t forget in a hurry.

Citizens of The Forgotten City walk the streets in one of the best PS5 RPG games

What’s more, this is an indie game made with a core team of just a few people. That means the scope is lower and much more manageable than a lot of bloated, big-budget games that are easy to burn out on.

You can quite easily finish The Forgotten City over a decent weekend, making it a short, perfectly formed package that you can enjoy all at once.

Hades

With its novel take on Greek mythology, stellar voice acting and fast-paced beat-em-up gameplay, Hades is a brilliant rogue-lite with a lot more to discover than you first realise.

Prince Zagreus wants to escape the underworld, but he’ll have to make it through floor-after-floor of his father Hades’ goons to do it.

Prince Zagreus fights his way out of the underworld in Hades, one of the best roguelike games on PS5

The hardest enemies and climactic bosses seem impossible in the beginning, however as you raise your stats, become more accustomed to your weaponry and learn the best ways to take advantage of your enemies’ weaknesses, you get further and further with each run.

A stylish indie game with a huge amount of heart, Hades comes highly recommended.

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 is one of the first big budget massive open world games to release on next-gen consoles, and the huge scale and enemy density of its world makes it worth a look if nothing else.

With hordes of shambling zombies to smash, tons of loot caves to sneak through and a twisty story that takes a lot of inspiration from prestige TV, there’s a massive amount of open world content to chew through - with the added novelty of exhilarating first-person parkour.

Since Techland is technically an independent developer and Dying Light 2 is self published, it’s kind of an indie game, just one with a budget more comparable to a mainstream release.

As such, it can be a bit rough around the edges. But even though Dying Light 2 isn’t a perfect experience, it is a memorable one.

Sifu

A classic tale of revenge, Sifu is like every great kung-fu movie you’ve ever seen rolled into one kinetic, skin-slapping brawl-fest.

Martial artists fight in Sifu

Once you’ve wrapped your head around the complicated button-per-limb control scheme, the flow of combat feels so instinctual and reflexive. It’s not an easy game, but beating up hundreds of goons with your bare hands isn’t easy.

Horizon: Forbidden West

In Aloy’s second adventure, the world of Horizon is back and bigger than ever. To save the world this time, she must strike out into the wilds of the Forbidden West searching for answers hidden in old world ruins.

Horizon: Forbidden West is as vast as it is beautiful with incredible diversity across its different biomes, from dense forest to arid desert and frozen, wintry tundra.

It’s not just a great game to show off the PS5’s visual chops though, the story is full of great performances, and while the side content can be a little pedestrian, there’s a massive amount of effective storytelling to enjoy.

Horizon is undoubtedly a blockbuster series, but despite that, the combat is far from the dumbed-down single button mashing you see in a lot of big games. Aloy is a master hunter and uses stealth, explosive traps and elemental ammo to freeze, immolate or electrify her foes.

Shooting your bow feels as sharp as an arrowhead, and ripping pieces - which you can collect and use to craft new gear - off of giant machine creatures never gets old.

Elden Ring

What is there to say about Elden Ring that hasn’t been said already?

A genuine phenomenon, and with good reason, which is set to take its place in the pantheon of greatest games of all time.

Almost unfathomably deep, Elden Ring manages to simultaneously be the most accessible From Software game and the largest, with a more conventional open-world structure and more present storytelling letting players experience the best parts of the Souls series - the lore and gratifying feeling of discovery - more slickly than ever before.

There’s so much to uncover in The Lands Between, so many quests to unravel, items to hoard and arcane knowledge to learn, but Elden Ring never loses the opaqueness and mystery that makes its world feel so organic.

On the more visceral side, From Software’s trademark difficulty is still here - if a little softened by new mechanics and quality of life improvements - and there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of defeating the latest in a long line of epic bosses on what feels like your millionth attempt.

Gran Turismo 7

When it comes to racing on PlayStation, you can’t go wrong with Gran Turismo.

While long-time fans rightly feel that some of the racing purity has been lost to modern live service design, there’s no denying that Gran Turismo 7 looks frankly incredible on PS5, with recent advances in global illumination making it seem uncanny in places.

A drifting car in the best PS5 racing game, Gran Turismo 7

As always there are tons of cars to unlock: all the way from the kind of hatchback your cool uncle might have to exotic sports cars only people under investigation by the IRS can afford.

While online is the true test of your driving skill, there’s a long single player campaign here too, as well as plenty of driving assists and aids under the hood if you’re not typically a racing game kind of person.

GTA 5

The game that refuses to die, GTA 5 seems destined to outlast even Keith Richards and cockroaches.

As if written in the stars, the PlayStation 5 is now the definitive place to play Grand Theft Auto 5, and even more so the immensely popular - if a little under the radar in the world of gaming discourse - GTA Online.

The city of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the best sandbox games on PS5

The online mode is free on PlayStation too, so you can hop into the slickly produced heists and story missions without the base game.

The Ascent

Originally a timed Xbox exclusive, The Ascent is a cyberpunk twin-stick shooter in the classic mould of Schwarzenegger, Paul Verhoeven, and Blade Runner movies.

You explore an expansive, breathtakingly lit, and surprisingly diverse alien world as an indentured corporate worker climbing the ranks towards freedom by gunning down any unfortunate meat that gets in your way in 80s ultra-violent style.

Of all the cyberpunk games out there, this one nails the themes, vibes, and amount of flying guts.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Goofy, cosy, and filled with all of the best moments from all 9 episodes of the iconic series, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga makes a whistle-stop tour through a galaxy far, far away more fun than ever.

With hundreds of characters to collect, puzzles to solve and tons of planets and space systems to explore, there are more activities to play through than you can shake a lightsaber at. So even though the campaign whips through the movie stories at a relative pace, there’s a lot to keep your attention in the whole package.

Darth Maul peers out from a hood in one of the best kids games on PS5, LEGO Star Wars

It’s not just an expensive YouTube parody either, while there must have been a huge temptation to cover a lot of ground in cutscenes, the sheer amount of unique character mechanics and set pieces, from pod racing to dogfighting in the Millenium Falcon, make this latest LEGO Star Wars one of the most complete experiences around.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

It might seem like a bit of a kids game, but Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a fantastic PlayStation exclusive for all ages.

With some of the densest and most beautiful environments we’ve ever seen on a games console and a roster of explosively over-the-top weapons, this is one of the best games to show off your new acquisition - boasting breathtaking detail on a 4K TV.

It’s also another game which takes full advantage of the awesome DualSense pad to enhance shooter gameplay, as well as pump out fun and immersive controller sounds.

God of War (PS5 upgrade)

One of the undisputed best games of last generation, God of War is even better on PS5 thanks to improved visuals, performance, and new 4K graphics modes.

Kratos fights Baldur in one of the best PS5 games, God of War

If you’ve never played this imperiously good game before, come for the best-in-class, bone-cracking third-person combat, and stay for the rich world filled with the lore of norse mythology, as well as the great performances throughout the deep and affecting story.

Astro’s Playroom

Don’t write off the bundled-in game, Astro’s Playroom, that comes with your PS5.

It’s a really fun platformer in its own right, showing off all of the new and innovative things that your console can do.

There’s not much else to say other than download it whenever you can and give it a try.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2

After so many iterations in the noughties it’s no wonder the series ran out of push, but with the remakes of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 on next-gen consoles, it’s back and almost better than ever.

From the iconic soundtrack, which has been reloaded with some great newer tunes as well, to the frantic trick-attack gameplay, these games stuff everything that was awesome about the originals into a package that’s fresh enough to feel new and exciting again.

A skateboarder does a trick in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, one of the best sports games on PS5

Whether you know nothing about skateboarding or live on four wheels, this is an engaging and endlessly replayable sports game anyone can get down with.

With revival of the more realism-focused competitor Skate 4 also in development, it will be so interesting to see where the Hawk-ster goes next. More remakes? More original stories? Either way, it’s great to see fans deservedly eager for a new Tony Hawk game again.

Chicory: A Colourful Tale

Not everything has to be a white-knuckle, adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride through some dystopia or another.

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is a chill RPG where you play as a cute dog restoring colour to their white paper world, using a magical paintbrush to paint inside the lines, solve puzzles and beat bosses.

It’s sweet, contemplative, and quickly gets more narratively complex and intriguing than it first appears. Chicory: A Colourful Tale is another smaller game that doesn’t outstay its welcome, but still scratches that RPG itch without taking months on end to complete.

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About the Author

James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

James suffers so you don't have to. Whether it's raging so hard at Sekiro that he bit his own hand, or confronting a 20-year fear of zombies to complete Resident Evil 2 eight times, he creates guides and reviews for the biggest blockbuster games.

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