The PlayStation 5 has been hard to find since its release in November 2020, but that hasn’t stopped developers from supporting Sony’s latest console with incredible games. The PlayStation 5’s games library has continued to grow with a mix of titles from both monolithic and independent developers. These game makers have had enough time with the PlayStation 5 to fully take advantage of its hardware, pushing the limits of graphical fidelity, and using extra features (like haptic feedback) found in its DualSense 5 controller. If you’ve recently gotten your hands on Sony’s newest system, these are the best PS5 games available now.
— Best Overall: “Final Fantasy VII Intergrade”
— Best Indie: “Hades”
— Best Budget: “Astro’s Playroom”
— Best Sports: “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2”
— Best Licensed: “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”
— Best Action: “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”
— Best Shooter: “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart”
How We Picked the Best PS5 Games
We have a PlayStation 5 on hand, and have had the opportunity to check out some of the system’s best games for ourselves. This guide is comprised of titles we’ve played, along with popular titles we haven’t had the opportunity to check out quite yet. We’ve relied on sources like Metacritic, a site that aggregates video game review scores from major outlets along with user reviews to fill in any gaps. Our guide to the best PS5 games will be regularly updated as new titles are released. The console is becoming more available, which will encourage even more developers to release PlayStation 5 games in the coming year.
Genre: The PlayStation 5’s library is comprised of games from every major genre, including JRPGs (Japanese Role-Playing Games), First-Person Shooters, Strategy, Adventure, and Fighting titles. Our guide to the best PlayStation 5 games reflects this wide array of choices. You’ll find something to play regardless of what types of games you generally favor.
ESRB Rating: The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) certifies every video game released on every system with a rating based on its contents. The scale starts at E (Everyone) and generally goes to M (Mature). In some cases, games have received an AO (Adults Only 18+) rating, but those titles are typically revised to earn an M. When picking a PlayStation 5 game, it’s important to consider the ESRB’s rating if you’re shopping for a younger player. Almost all video game genres on the PlayStation 5 include titles available at every level on the rating scale.
Exclusives: Our guide to the best PS5 games includes a mix of exclusive titles, which can only be played on this console, and cross party games that are available on multiple systems. Sony has been particularly good at releasing enhanced versions of marquee PlayStation 4 games on the PlayStation 5. If you didn’t have Sony’s previous-generation console, this is a great way to catch up on older games that are still very fun.
Game Length: The amount of time it takes to finish a PlayStation 5 game can vary dramatically based on its genre. Role-Playing Games can take roughly 80 hours to complete, while you can get through the campaign of a first-person shooter in under half that time. We’ve consulted the website HowLongtoBeat, which tabulates the average time it takes to complete a game. In our experience, the site has been quite accurate in predicting a game’s length. If you have a lot of time on your hands, this metric won’t be important, but it’s pivotal to consider if you can only dedicate a couple of hours a week to playing PlayStation 5 games.
We further explain how we test video game equipment here.
The Best PS5 Games: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Sports: “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2“
Why It Made The Cut: Many remastered games fall flat, but this one bucks that trend by mixing nostalgia with worthy quality-of-life improvements that make the original Tony Hawk games feel modern.
— Genre: Sports
— Length: 6.5 Hours
— ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
— Online multiplayer
— Excellent soundtrack
— Substantially upgraded graphics
— Short campaign
The first two entries in the Tony Hawk’s “Pro Skater” franchise are amongst the most celebrated sports games of all time. The remastered version of these games includes the same large roster of skaters, varied locations, and engaging gameplay as the originals. Critically, most of the games’ original soundtracks, which have become iconic in their own right, remain intact.
It won’t take much time to complete the story mode of the two games included in this collection, but it’s easy to spend dozens of hours completing every mission, finding every gap, and designing custom skaters and levels. The best feature added to this collection that wasn’t available in the original Hawk’s “Pro Skater” games is online multiplayer. The ability to face off against friends whether they’re in the room or around the world means you’ll probably return to this game time and time again.
Best Indie: “Hades“
Why It Made The Cut: “Hades”‘ repetitive gameplay manages to stay engaging during its length campaign, and you’ll find yourself wanting “just one more round” each time you play.
— Genre: Action
— Length: 21.5 hours
— ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
— Long campaign
— Engaging story
— Incredible art
— Can feel repetitive
— Rouge-likes aren’t for everyone
Since its release, “Hades“ has been hailed as one of the best “rogue-like” games to be released in several years. Rogue-likes are action games whose gameplay is influenced by “Rogue,” a game released in 1980, wherein the objective is to traverse areas of escalating difficulty before ultimately being defeated.
In “Hades,” you’re an Olympian trying to escape hell. Every time you die, you’ll retain experience, items, and weapons you’ve accumulated from your previous run. Eventually, you’ll be strong enough to defeat the final boss and regain freedom. Each floor is randomly generated, so no two runs will ever be completely the same, which keeps the game feeling fresh instead of repetitive.
“Hades” has been universally praised for its fast, fluid gameplay, incredible art, and catchy soundtrack. If you’re not used to “Rogue”-likes, they can take some time to get used to. Once you get over that hump, you’ll be rewarded with a game that’s extremely fun and almost endlessly repayable.
Best Budget: “Astro’s Playroom“
Why It Made the Cut: This is not only one of the best-looking games on the PlayStation 5, it’s the best pack-in game any console maker has made since Wii Sports in 2006.
— Genre: Platformer
— Length: 3 hours
— ESRB Rating: E (Everyone 10+)
— Teaches you about the DualSense controller
— Fun nostalgia
— Relaxing to play
— No real story
Sony includes “Astro’s Playroom“ with every PlayStation 5 console, but it’s a surprisingly deep (if short) pack-in title that’s actually worth your time. The game is ultimately a glorified tech demo with four worlds. Each stage takes advantage of one of the features found in the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, including its motion sensors and adaptive triggers, which can sense how much force you’re using when squeezing them.
The game’s visuals are cartoon-y but surprisingly detailed, making Astro’s Playroom one of the best-looking games on the system. What really sells this game is the fact that each world is loaded with PlayStation history. The title’s collectables include older systems, games, and accessories. It’s nice to see Sony embrace its gaming heritage as a celebration of its new system.
Best Licensed: “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy“
Why It Made The Cut: This is one of the few games tied to a license that manages to feel fun and original.
— Genre: Action
— Length: 17 hours
— ESRB Rating: T
— Tells an original story in an established world
— Features a whole cast of familiar characters
— Varied environments
— May not appeal to non-comics fans
“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy“ is one of the rare video games tied to a major media that’s actually good. Instead of being a cash grab, this action game could itself be considered part of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). The title allows you to play as the Marvel super hero Star-Lord, and features an all-new story campaign rather than having you play through the plot of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The choice to build a unique experience is part of what sets this game apart from most licensed titles.
The action-packed gameplay gives off the feeling of being the protagonist in a comic book that’s come to life. The difference is that you have control over some of the decisions your character makes instead of watching passively. While it’s designed to appeal to Marvel fans specifically, this is a solid action game that can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys action games.
Best: “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart“
Why It Made The Cut: This game moves at a brisk pace, and is one of the PS5’s best-looking games.
— Genre: Third-Person Shooter
— Length: 11 Hours
— ESRB Rating: E10+
— Beautiful visual style
— A shooter appropriate for everyone
— Action-packed gameplay
— Fairly short campaign
“Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart“ is a technical showpiece for the PlayStation 5, demonstrating what a modern game can look like in native 4K. The action game is the latest entry in the long-running “Ratchet & Clank” series, one of the few third-person shooters that’s appropriate for most players. The game’s main hook is jumping through different dimensions to complete puzzles and defeat enemies. Yes, there are guns, but they’re more cartoon-y than realistic. Likewise, the enemies are robots and aliens rather than humans.
The game is a little on the short side, but it’s so gorgeous that you may find yourself pausing at certain points to take in the atmosphere between fighting waves of foes. The story starts off a little cliche, but has enough little twists and turns to keep you interested throughout. The game’s short length also ensures that no environment overstays its welcome, and pairs well with the title’s kinetic go-go-go gameplay.
Best Action: “Spiderman: Miles Morales“
Why It Made the Cut: “Spiderman: Miles Morales” manages to tell a worthwhile story without overstaying its welcome.
— Genre: Action
— Length: 7.5 Hours
— ESRB Rating: T
— The New York environment feels hyper realistic
— Movement is incredibly fluid
— Heartfelt story
— Shorter campaign than most Marvel games
“Spiderman: Miles Morales“ is not only one of the best PS5 games, it’s among the top comic book games of all time. The dialogue is well written, the story never misses a beat, and the designers nailed the look and feel of New York City. Native New Yorkers will recognize that this game’s version of the Big Apple is truncated, but that never gets in the way of the sheer enjoyment of web-slinging your way up the Flatiron Building or through Central Park.
The game also nails the feeling of being Spiderman, mixing the character’s most famous combat tactics — punching, kicking, wrapping foes in webs — with fun combo moves that feel great when pulled off correctly. “Spiderman: Miles Morales” has an original story that’s heartfelt without venturing into overly sentimental, and supplemental missions extend the game’s replay value without feeling repetitive.
This game was met with some controversy upon release because it’s shorter than Marvel’s previous Spiderman title, but it’s ultimately one of the first games we recommend picking up when you get a PlayStation 5.
Best Overall: “Final Fantasy VII: Remake Intergrade“
Why It Made the Cut: This is the definitive version of the most iconic role-playing game of all time.
— Genre: Role Playing
— Length: 33 Hours
— ESRB Rating: T
— A compelling retelling of an iconic video game
— Engaging battle system
— Good length for a Role Playing Game
— Slightly too long
It’s fair to say that Square Enix’s remake of “Final Fantasy VII” was one of the most anticipated games of all time. Rather than polishing the original title — an iconic game that, without hyperbole, changed the perception of role-playing games in America — Square rebuilt it from the ground up.
While it follows the same story, “Final Fantasy VII: Remake Intergrade“ fleshes it out, and smooths over parts (most notably the Honey Bee Inn sequence) that haven’t aged well. Square replaced the turn-based RPG combat with an action system that feels fresh, and rewards you for using different weapons and abilities. Side quests hit the sweet spot in terms of length, and the rewards are good enough that they’re almost always worth doing.
This title was originally released for the PlayStation 4, but this enhanced version includes 4K visuals and an entire side story starring Yuffie. It’s the definitive edition of one of the best role-playing games of all time. Bear in mind that this is the first entry in a three-part series, so you shouldn’t expect a neat resolution to the story when the credits roll.
Things To Consider When Buying A PS5 Game
The PlayStation 5 can play games in resolutions up to 4K, but many still top out at 1080p (full HD). While 4K PS5 games look better than their HD counterparts, they take up a lot more data and are harder to create. We imagine that more 4K PlayStation 5 games will become available by the end of 2022.
A game’s frame rate signifies how quickly a game is running. Games locked to 60 frames per second (the current standard for many titles) will look a lot smoother than titles running at 30 frames per second. Recently, game consoles (including the PlayStation 5) and TVs have become powerful enough to display games at 120 frames per second. This is still quite rare, but we’re confident that more PS5 games will support higher frame rates throughout 2022.
If you plan on creating a digital library of PS5 games instead of collecting discs, it’s crucial to consider a game’s file size. Newer, 4K-compatible games can require over 100 GB (gigabytes) of storage space, which will fill up a PlayStation 5’s 1 TB (terabyte) internal drive very quickly. It’s easy to add additional storage to the PlayStation 5, but that’ll cost an extra $150 to $200.
Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription service costs $60, and entitles subscribers to free, unlimited access to a handful of games per month. Once these titles are added to your game library, you’ll be able to play them as much and often as you’d like as long as you maintain an active subscription. PlayStation Plus is a cost-effective way to sample a lot of PlayStation 5 games in 2022. Just be mindful of the fact that Sony picks which games become available each month, not players.
Q: Can the PlayStation 5 play all PlayStation 4 Games?
No, only PlayStation 4 games that have been ported to the PlayStation 5 can be played on the new system. Sony has continually added titles to its backwards compatibility list, though, so this number is growing.
Q: Do I need special hardware to play games in 4K?
Yes. If you want to play PlayStation 5 games in 4K, you will need a 4K TV and the proper HDMI cable. Sony ships the PlayStation 5 with the appropriate HDMI cable, but if you want a spare make sure to buy one that meets the HDMI 2.1 specification. This will ensure you can play 4K games at the highest possible frame rate. For more advice, consult our Best HDMI Cables guide.
Final Thoughts PS5 Games
The PlayStation 5 is home to a robust library of games that continues to grow every month. Early adopters who managed to get the console near its launch have had plenty to play, and gamers who are just picking up the system will have a lot of time catching up. The PlayStation 5 is a big enough technical leap over the PlayStation 4 that developers are able to create games that look better and run more smoothly than ever before. New entries in classic franchises, updated versions of last-generation titles, and totally new games are guaranteed to keep you satisfied for hundreds of hours.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.