While the PS5 doesn’t overhaul the visuals or add any new effects like ray tracing, the stable 60FPS it runs in on Performance mode makes combat even more of a joy than it already was – though you will
have to settle for that experience in 1080p. Even so, the action is still as satisfying as ever and it’s world and story remain some of the best that gaming has to offer.
8. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
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, 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.
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 game could look like in this new console generation.Fortunately, Bluepoint delivered, and Demon’s Souls is not only jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly faithful to the source.It’s handily one of the deepest, richest, and most challenging experiences currently found on the console.
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.
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, and have a look at what we love about Sony’s new console and where we think it needs some work.