The best PS5 games

A buyer's guide to the best PlayStation 5 games, from first-party exclusives to third-party blockbusters

Valhalla, Miles Morales, Sackboy

by William Lobley |

The Sony PlayStation 5 is still fresh on the market - or at least it is when it's in stock - but that doesn’t mean there isn’t already an impressive selection of excellent third-party blockbusters and first-part exclusives available for the system.

Since the console's launch in November 2020, the gaming world has witnessed Bluepoint Games’ loving remake of the brutally hard Demon’s Souls, a grimdark delight. Insomniac’s PS4 classic Spider-Man too has found itself remastered for the PS5’s hardware while also receiving an equally excellent follow-up in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Related: The best monitor for PS5 | Sony Pulse 3D headset reviewed

Ubisoft has been busy, with Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed bringing gamers to Britain, a first for both series - though one takes place in a bustling tech-dystopia and the other the Viking-invaded Anglo-Saxon countryside.

Games like these have given us a taste of what the PS5 can offer, and there are more titles besides. That’s we’ve rounded up the very best PS5 games available.

The best PS5 games shortlist:

• Elden Ring

• Deathloop

• Spider-Man: Miles Morales

• Returnal

• Demon’s Souls

• Hitman 3

• Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

• Spider-Man Remastered

• Yakuza: Like A Dragon

• Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

• Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

• Astro’s Playroom

• Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

• Sackboy: A Big Adventure

• Dirt 5

If you’ve been lucky enough to nab an elusive PlayStation 5 already, you’re going to find your next hit. For those still waiting patiently, it’s a good glimpse of what’s waiting for you.

Related: The best PS4 games

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The best PS5 games

A screenshot of Elden Ring
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Developer: From Software | Publisher: Bandai Namco | Released: 25 February 2022 | Age Rating: 18

Triumphantly galloping onto next-gen platforms, Elden Ring is easily one of the most anticipated titles to ever be released, and crazily enough, it more than meets expectations. First and foremost, this game isn't just big, it's huge. Bigger than you can possibly imagine. Yet where size can often lead to the downfall of many games, Elden Ring packs its world with hundreds of encounters, stories, and of course, bosses for the player to overcome.

Upon its release there was a ton of speculation as to how difficult this game might be, some players claiming it to be the toughest, others believing it to be the easiest. It is our opinion that this is quite easily one of the more challenging titles, it will truly test your mettle as a gamer - be warned.

Elden Ring's largest triumph, in our opinion, is the absolutely seamless perfection of mounted combat with Torrent, your loyal spirit-steed. While it's certainly tricky to get a hang of initially, you'll soon find yourself swooping through hordes of knights, trolls, demi-humans and demi-gods. Do not sleep on this one.

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Deathloop
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Developer: Arkane Studios | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | Released: September 2021 | Age Rating: 18

Deathloop is an action FPS with more than a little innovation in its DNA, with playful combinations of stealth and parkour elements adding freedom to gameplay. Taking place on Blackreef, an island trapped in a time loop thanks to some strange experiments. To escape the said loop, player-controlled Colt needs to take down eight of Blackreef's leading figures.

To do so, you need to learn the movements of islanders and targets, recognise how your decisions impact others and plan and improvise to eliminate all of the targets in one run. Each run sees your knowledge, arsenal and experience grow. Just be aware, there's a rival assassin on the lookout for you, too - switch on a multiplayer mode to have this character controlled by random players online for some extra challenge. Undeniably, developer Arkane Studio has a way with games - don't miss out on this one.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales
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Developer: Insomniac Games | Publisher: SIE | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 16

Following up 2018's Spider-Man, the PS5's Miles Morales sees Peter Parker taking a vacation and leaving the young Miles to guard New York in his absence. In many ways, the story is smaller than in the previous game but its personality is undeniable: Miles and his supporting friends are full of spirit, swinging around snow-driven New York is a beautiful experience, and the action is free-flowing and rewarding.

Throughout the game, the player will come to wholly admire Harlem's Spider-Man. The game is also available on PS4 or bundled with the Spider-Man remaster in the Ultimate Edition.

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Returnal
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CREDIT: Housemarque

Developer: Housemarque | Publisher: SIE | Released: April 2021 | Age Rating: 16

Returnal is Housemarque's sci-fi third-person shooter that drags roguelike gameplay into the new generation. You play as Selene, an intergalactic scout trapped in a time loop on an alien world.

Your job is to escape from the everchanging, hellish and mind-bending planet by investigating the source of the time loop's signal. As if fighting gigantic monsters while doing so wasn't enough of a challenge, the plot also sees you battling with reality and Selene's sanity as the game twist-and-turns itself into a truly excellent psychological horror.

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Demon's Souls
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Developer: Bluepoint Games | Publisher: SIE | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 18

For the intrepid From Software fans comes Bluepoint Games’ blood-pumping, positively stunning remaster of Demon's Souls. Journey across the Kingdom of Boletaria and slay the demonic plague that has engulfed it, encountering a plethora of soul-crushingly difficult bosses along the way.

Bluepoint Games' latest addition to their remaster roster brings quite easily the most stunning graphics in the Souls series to date, while not re-inventing the wheel and remaining true to the Souls series' fundamental mechanics. Dragons, ogres, spiders, Gods; nothing will stand in your path to victory.

While Demon's Souls certainly isn’t the most difficult entry into the ‘Souls’ games, it remains a totally unforgiving, yet enrapturing experience that only the bravest of gamers will endure. Will you take the challenge?

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Hitman 3
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Developer: IO Interactive | Publisher: Square Enix | Released: January 2021 | Age Rating: 18

IO Interactive's final outing with Agent 47 is arguably the pinnacle of the Hitman franchise - sorry, Blood Money stans. Featuring some incredibly detailed level designs - including one in which 47 goes all Sherlock Holmes in Blighty's picturesque Dartmoor - the game refines the Hitman experience, and the PS5's power makes the visuals pop.

Fans of the franchise will be satisfied with the narrative chops and innovative interaction with the maps from Hitman 2 (2018). Newcomers are going to get just as much from it too, and there's plenty of post-game content, with new approaches to each map opening up, countless kill tactics to master and online rankings to climb.

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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
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Developer: Insomniac Games | Publisher: SIE | Released: June 2021 | Age Rating: 7

The PlayStation icons' first outing on the new system is a real spectacle. Showcasing the powers of the PS5's processing power, Rift Apart has you zipping seamlessly between worlds, warping between level areas and generally messing with physics. Visually and technically, the game impresses. Outside of this, it's business as usual for Ratchet, Clank and newcomer Rivet, with crazy guns to experiment with and platforming to indulge in.

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Spider-Man Remastered
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Developer: Insomniac Games | Publisher: SIE | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 16

Insomniac's Spider-Man is one of the best superhero games ever crafted, and even though it only arrived in 2018, it's already been remastered. This isn't just a bit of spit and polish - while still the same base game, Spider-Man Remastered has had its visual performance significantly improved to exploit the power of the PS5, and the load times are all but gone (sorry, no more subway rides here).

The game also includes additional stories and characters. If you already own Spider-Man on PS4, you can get the upgrade online via the PlayStation Store. The only way to get the game physically is to purchase Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition.

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Yakuza: Like A Dragon
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Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio | Publisher: Sega | Released: March 2021 | Age Rating: 18

Yakuza: Like A Dragon is a JRPG that's violent and bizarre, serious and slapstick, satirical and optimistic. You take control of Ichiban Kasuga, a betrayed ex-Yakuza with a heart of gold, as he treads the neon-lit streets of Ijincho with a rag-tag band of equally charming characters.

Like A Dragon is a notable deviation from the rest of the series in both tone and gameplay and is the first to adopt a brilliant turn-based battle system. It's also the most accessible instalment of the Yakuza series, as it doesn't rely on you having played any of the other games (though, if you're so inclined, it's certainly worth your time).

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
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Developer: Square Enix | Publisher: Square Enix | Released: June 2021 | Age Rating: 7

Inelegantly named but beautifully realised, FFVII Remake Intergrade is an enhanced and expanded version of the 2020 release. The base game successfully brings together the atmospheres of 1997's journey through Midgar and fuses them with new mechanics, beautiful artistry and a little narrative twist.

It focuses on the first portion of the original game and promises great things for what is to come. The all-new Intergrade element introduces fan-favourite Yuffie into the mix - an interesting choice, given that she doesn't appear until much later in the PS1 original. Additional niceties for the PS5 release include shorter loading times and pumped-up graphics.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla
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Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Publisher: Ubisoft | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 18

The latest instalment of the long-running Assassin's Creed sees Ubisoft bring gamers to Anglo-Saxon England. As the Viking warrior Eivor, players will pillage their way through countless main and side quests, landscapes stunning and developing towns. The combat is a real success here, feeling tactile and weighty - the PS5's DualSense plays a role in this. Fully loaded with content and a compelling spirit for adventure, Valhalla is a real step forward for the franchise.

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Astro's Playroom
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Developer: Japan Studio | Publisher: SIE | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 7

No need to buy this one - it's already installed. Astro's Playroom is effectively a tech-demo for the PS5's DualSense controller wrapped up in a charming platforming skin. The worlds and lobbies are littered with artefacts from the history of PlayStation, including both hardware and beloved gaming characters, and the levels themselves are pleasantly diverse in gameplay. It's a quick game and an easy Platinum, but it's surprisingly full of heart and works well as a showcase of the DualSense's power.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
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Developer: Treyarch & Raven Software | Publisher: Activision | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 18

Black Ops Cold War delivers the full COD experience in a glistening fashion, taking the player to 1981 to hunt down a USSR splinter group. Say what you will about the FPS stalwart, but no one can deny that the gunplay and OTT set-pieces tick some satisfying boxes. Online mode is as chaotic, addictive and infuriating as it has always been, and the Zombies mode provides plenty of co-op tactical joy.

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Sackboy: A Big Adventure
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Developer: Sumo Digital | Publisher: SIE | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 7

Formerly of LittleBigPlanet fame, Sackboy sees himself upgraded to a title credit in this latest adventure. Sackboy is the hero that the cutesy land of Craftworld needs, as it faces the threat of being turned Topsy Turvey by villain Vex. There's a lot of platforming fun to be had by players new and seasoned, with loads of well-thought-out puzzles and collectables to unlock. The game even holds some great vocal turns by actors Richard E. Grant and Dawn French. As was the case with LittleBigPlanet, it's even better enjoyed with friends online or in a local co-op.

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Dirt 5
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Developer: Codemasters Cheshire | Publisher: Codemasters | Released: November 2020 | Age Rating: 12

Codemaster's well-seasoned hand in making quality racers comes to bear once again in Dirt 5. This game is home to fast and furious off-road racing of many sorts, across surfaces of every type and in cars of every make, model and year. The vehicles are fun and responsive, and the visual performance is stunning. There are several game modes to explore, from the more grounded career and multiplayer races, through to buggy-on-buggy scraps and stadium arena showdowns. If you like cars, you'll like Dirt 5.

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William Lobley is a Senior Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online

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