PS5 is the fastest-selling console in U.S. history based on dollar sales – an impressive feat considering it’s rarely been in stock, a problem that will unfortunately persist into next year, according to Sony. Those lucky enough to secure a new console, however, already have a wealth of excellent games to choose from, and IGN is here to help with a curated list of the ten best PS5 games you can play right now.
Between exclusive launch titles, third-party games, and backward compatibility on PS5, there’s a lot to choose from, and with a few big releases in the beginning of 2021, we’ve updated our list to feature all PS5 games — no more PS4 backward-compatible games. Our main qualifier now is that, given how many cross-gen games there are, games on this list have to have a dedicated next-gen version available.
Some games make excellent use of the DualSense controller’s innovative haptic feedback, others will make your gaming TV shine with 4K gameplay, and some are just plain great games. Without further ado, here are our initial picks for the ten best PS5 games.
Most recent updates were made on April 23, 2021.
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The Best PS5 Games
10. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
If you’ve never played a Yakuza game, fear not. Yakuza: Like a Dragon acts as a soft reboot, introducing a new protagonist and swapping the usual solo real-time brawling for turn-based combat and a party system. Yakuza has always had some role-playing DNA, but Like a Dragon fully embraces it to big success. Its hero Ichiban Kasuga is a die-hard fan of the Dragon Quest games, and many familiar JRPG tropes and mechanics are simultaneously parodied in Like a Dragon and also implemented extremely well. There’s a layer of meta-comedy sprinkled throughout, and though it gets extremely silly, it never feels out of place or distracting. Like all Yakuza games, there’s a long, engrossing, deadly serious crime opera of a main campaign, a slew of utterly ridiculous substories around every corner, and a suite of surprisingly addictive minigames, from business management to kart racing. But this time it’s set in Yakuza’s biggest locale to date, the bustling port city of Yokohama, coming together to set the franchise off in a new, exciting direction.
Following the success of Like a Dragon, the Yakuza series will remain a turn-based RPG moving forward.
9. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
While Sackboy: A Big Adventure foregoes the creation side of the LittleBigPlanet series, its focus on being a fun, charming platformer pays off in a delightful adventure that can be played both solo or co-op. Sumo Digital’s level variety keeps things fresh, so one moment you’re riding a train through a moving level that has you occasionally jumping off to grab collectibles, while the next you’re grooving through a level set to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk (yes, really).
The humor is cheeky, particularly when playing in co-op – you can help your teammates or just slap them with a fish. And – as with most games we’ve seen on PS5 – it’s a visual treat. Sackboy looks great; the different fabrics and accessories on each of his customizable costume pieces dazzling thanks to the new system’s improved graphical capability.
Developer Sumo Digital is now working on a AAA game in a well-known and beloved fantasy franchise.
Talkin’ bout Bugsnax started out as internet meme fodder brought on by a strong marketing campaign and a catchy tune, but Bugsnax deserves to be recognized for much more than that.
Developer Young Horses continued its absurdist streak with this environmental/creature based puzzle game that has you snapping photos and catching tasty critters. Underneath Bugsnax’s cute and quirky exterior is a heartwarming story full of ominous twists and turns as you try to rebuild a settlement by fulfilling folks’ requests. Each returned resident means another person to interview for the story you’re writing about Bugsnax, Snaktooth island, and – ultimately – what happened to Elizabert Megafig, who invited you to the island, to begin with. Its progression systems continue to pique our curiosity, too, which makes the gameplay loop enticing throughout – and Bugsnax’s big reveal (no spoilers!) didn’t disappoint.
Bugsnax’s cute, colorful exterior originally hid a much darker ending.
7. The Pathless
The Pathless marries a simple-but-elegant (and completely engrossing) movement mechanic with a gorgeous open world. Running, jumping, and gliding through developer Giant Squid’s forests, rocky plateaus, and snow-capped mountains is a treat thanks to the main bow-and-arrow gameplay relying less on precision accuracy and more on empowering you to carve a fun path through the terrain. It’s a world that encourages exploration and satisfies your curiosity, making the destinations you reach as fun as the journey itself thanks to a host of clever puzzles. Add in a handful of boss battles that are part epic chase scene and part Zelda-esque showdown – all backed by a moving, epic score – and you’ve got one of the most intriguing launch titles on the PS5.
6. Hitman 3
Hitman 3 acts as the finale in IO Interactive’s phenomenal “World of Assassination” trilogy, turning Agent 47 loose on some of the biggest and most intricate levels yet, including the inspired Dartmoor Mansion. And it’s perhaps the finest example of IO’s formula: He can assassinate his victims with badass cold-blooded efficiency, or trigger some Rube Goldberg-style series of events that results in a much more comical death… or if something backfires, a Wile E. Coyote-grade failure. When making a new Hitman game for next-gen consoles, IO Interactive could’ve shipped one game and called it a day, but they also remastered the first two games to the point that they’re visually indistinguishable from the latest installment (sold separately, unless you own them already, in which case it’s a free upgrade). In any case, the World of Assassination Trilogy was great on PS4, but it’s even better on PS5. Anyway, long story short, you can kill a guy by making him slip on a banana peel, which is funny anywhere, but on PS5 it’s also very pretty thanks to increased resolution, smooth 60fps, and an overall smoother experience over the last-gen version.
A seven-part expansion, Seven Deadly Sins, is currently in its second act; the Season of Pride will run through June 13.
5. Spider-Man Remastered
Marvel’s Spider-Man was already one of the best superhero games ever made, but the PS5 remaster elevates it to a new level. Insomniac’s visual updates don’t look slight in any way – the entire relighting of New York City (along with upgrades to facial animation) brings the look of the adventure up to par with the brand-new Miles Morales. The addition of ray tracing with 4K resolution and HDR support makes any time of day so beautiful that you’d be forgiven for forgetting this wasn’t running on code originally developed for the PS5. Add in the quality of life improvements Spidey got post-launch, new accessibility options, photo mode updates, and all the DLC episodes, and this is the definitive way to play one of the PS4’s best games.
The superhero’s next movie, meanwhile, is titled Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film is scheduled to open on December 17.
4. Astro’s Playroom
The DualSense is one of the most defining characteristics of the PS5, as the nuanced haptic feedback and strategically used adaptive triggers create a level of immersion that feels genuinely special. Nowhere is that tech better showcased than in Astro’s Playroom which is – quite literally – designed to show off the capabilities of the Dualsense controller.
But this would-be tech demo is also a fantastic game in its own right, with a delightful set of worlds to explore that all celebrate a different facet of the PS5 and the different eras of PlayStation software and hardware. Astro’s Playroom reminds players why they’ve loved PlayStation while giving them a reason to fall in love all over again. Its solid platforming, fun environmental puzzles, and enticing set of collectibles will have you gunning for the platinum and getting it in no time.
Astro’s Playroom took home two of IGN’s end-of-year awards: Best Platformer and Most Impressive Feature in Games.
The latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed series proves the franchise shows no signs of fatigue. Centering the story around the Viking expansion into England during the 9th century, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has redefined the rules of the franchise yet again with the ability to sack monasteries, build up your budding Norse settlement, and uncover unique gear and powerful abilities. The PS5 beautifully captures the icy mountains of Norway and the bending rivers of England alike in stunning 4K, and the ability to travel between the war-torn kingdoms quicker than you can sound the horn for a raiding party remains impressive throughout.
Valhalla’s first major DLC, Wrath of the Druids, is now available. IGN’s review said “the new Irish setting adds only a few genuinely fresh takes on the process and a handful of new and interesting fights.”
2. Demon’s Souls
Bluepoint Games had some high expectations to meet with the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls. Not only was it an anticipated remake of a beloved and landmark game, but also as the first major showcase of what a dedicated PS5 game of this scope could look like.
Fortunately, Bluepoint delivered, and Demon’s Souls is not only jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly faithful to the source material.It’s handily one of the deepest, richest, and most challenging experiences currently found on the console.
Demon’s Souls received a BAFTA Game Awards nomination for Technical Achievement.
1. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Though not a full-blown sequel, this standalone expansion sends Peter Parker on vacation and leaves his young spider-apprentice Miles Morales to look after New York. Building on the rock-solid foundations of Insomniac’s first game, New York has been gorgeously blanketed with snow, holiday cheer, and next-gen polish.
The improvements aren’t just cosmetic, however – the eponymous hero has a few more spider-powers at his disposal than Peter Parker, and these are cleverly adapted into new gameplay mechanics that, while they don’t reinvent the wheel, they put enough of a spin on it to make it feel fresh – sometimes literally, thanks to the DualSense controller. It doesn’t feature as robust of a campaign or as many colorful villains as 2018’s Spider-Man, but Miles Morales’ story has just as much charm and heart as its predecessor, possibly more. Its tagline of “Be Greater” set a high bar, but Miles Morales somersaults over it with ease.
Miles Morales took home the DICE Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character.
Upcoming PS5 Games
PS5 owners have a lot to look forward to in June to kick off their summer of gaming. The fun begins right away on June 1 with the Warhammer 40k FPS Necromunda: Hired Gun. That will be followed on June 8 by Chivalry 2, which our preview said might be the ultimate melee combat simulator.
June 10 and 11 are big days for the platform with the release of two big PS5 exclusives: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Developer Insomniac Games recently revealed the extensive list of Rift Apart’s accessibility features.
Moving into the back half of the month, the PS5 version of Metro Exodus will be released on June 18 as a free upgrade to existing owners. Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is out June 22, followed by Bandai Namco’s flashy action-RPG Scarlet Nexus on June 25.
Updates: On April 23, God of War and Ghost of Tsushima were removed from the list, while Hitman 3 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon were added. Bugsnax and Sackboy: A Big Adventure also shifted positions on the list.
Those are our picks for the best games currently available on PlayStation 5. What’s on your list that didn’t make ours? Lets us know in the comments, and be sure to check out how the PS5 stacks up against the Xbox Series X after six months, and have a look at what we love about Sony’s new console and where we think it needs some work.