The 17 Best Games For The PlayStation 5

The 17 Best Games For The PlayStation 5
Contributor: Kotaku Staff
At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

We’re just over six months into the PlayStation 5’s fourth year, and it feels like this generation is officially picking up steam. Perhaps there are too many video games coming out in 2024? When is someone meant to catch their breath between all these big games? But if you’re new to the PlayStation 5, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best games available on the system and added a few new contenders that have come out this year.

First, know this: The vast majority of games playable on the PS4 are playable on the PS5 via backward compatibility. (Here’s our list of the best games for that console.) Then of course the revamped PS Plus means either system can get access to a wealth of PS1, PS2 and PS4 titles, as well as stream those from PS3. No matter what, you’ll rarely be short of terrific things to play on the PS5.

But if you’re looking for something suitably cutting-edge – something designed with this new console in mind – then read on. Many of these are still being released for the PS4, but they’re unquestionably better looking, and better running, on the more modern machine. Here, without further ado, are the best games for the PS5.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

The best games for the PS5

Final Fantasy XVI

Image: Square Enix

The sixteenth Final Fantasy has been divisive since it launched last year. The game skews pretty hard into action, with almost none of its old RPG DNA to show for it. But it’s also a pretty sublime action game evocative of series like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Its story isn’t a series highlight, but there are some memorable character moments in the mix that make the brooding protagonist Clive and the charismatic Cid stand out alongside classic fan favourites. Time will tell where it falls in the pantheon of Square Enix’s blockbuster series, but for now, it’s got a spot on here as one of the games you should probably play on your PlayStation 5.

A Good Match For: Anyone who wants a tight character action game and to thirst over a bisexual roguish type who smokes.

Not A Good Match For: Those looking for a robust RPG experience.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | Big W | Kogan

Street Fighter 6

cheapest copies street fighter 6
Image: Capcom

Capcom has pretty much rehabilitated the Street Fighter brand with the sixth entry. On top of it being a return to its world-class form after Street Fighter V’s stumbles, Street Fighter 6 is secretly a pretty okay RPG thanks to its World Tour Mode and a dense character creation suite that gives even the least skilled fighting game player something to sink their teeth into. The excellent core mechanics are elevated by Street Fighter 6’s expansive modes and ways to play. It’s one of the most full-bodied fighting games at launch in a long time, which stands in stark contrast to its predecessor. The future of Street Fighter looks bright once more.

A Good Match For: Anyone who wants to go real sicko mode in character creation or just wants a really solid fighter with a long life ahead of it.

Not A Good Match For: Someone who doesn’t like being caught in a throw because players do be grabbing.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | Catch | Kogan

God of War Ragnarök

Image: Santa Monica Studios

Kratos is back, in the sequel to the adored reboot of God of War, in which father and son once more explore the realms of the Norse gods. With third-person combat, a pile of puzzle solving, and plenty of downtime paddling their boat, the mini-family is this time concerned with eschatological issues—Thor and Odin are battling their way to the end of the world.

Like most of Sony’s current next-gen offerings, God of War Ragnarök saddles the over-extended generational gap, releasing both on PS4 and PS5. And the PS4 version is a great (if noisy) swan song for that console, sure. But Ragnarok on PS5 is a far superior experience, supporting higher resolutions and silky smooth framerates. It really is the best way to play the game and luckily, God of War Ragnarök is also a damn fine game that should be enjoyed on Sony’s next-gen hardware.

A Good Match For: Folks who love epic and (extremely) long single-player action-adventure games or people who love Norse mythology.

Not A Good Match For: People who didn’t like the first game, players who prefer shorter games, or folks who can’t stand door puzzles. (It has a lot of door puzzles…)

Read our review.

Purchase From: PlayStation StoreAmazon Australia | Big WCatch

Horizon Forbidden West

Image: Guerilla Studios/PlayStation

Yes, yes, big shocker: The sequel to one of the best games of the PS4 generation is one of the best games of the PS5 generation. Though Horizon Forbidden West isn’t quite as groundbreaking as its predecessor, Horizon Zero Dawn, it captures everything that helped it stand out—the splendour, the bow-based combat, the unique take on post-apocalypse—and then some. Once again, you play as Aloy, a young woman who carries the burden of “saving the world” on her shoulders. You fight giant robot animals and explore derelict ruins of human civilization, not unlike the first game. But Forbidden West also builds on that foundation with a bunch of welcome additions, including a hang-glider, a better climbing system, and a remarkably engrossing tactics mini-game called “Machine Strike.”

A Good Match For: This may sound strange, but fans of turn-based strategy games: Seriously, “Machine Strike” is top-notch for the genre, practically a game unto itself. Oh, yeah, also fans of open-world games.

Not A Good Match For: Anyone who bounced off the first one, or can’t stomach a truly bonkers third act.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation StoreAmazon Australia | Catch | Dick Smith

Elden Ring

ps5 xbox series x elden ring
Image: FromSoftware

If you like getting your ass handed to you, you’ll love Elden Ring. It’s one of the latest games out of FromSoftware (who also released Armored Core VI last year), a studio best known for establishing a relentlessly difficult live-die-repeat formula of action RPGs with its Souls series -which has spawned a gazillion copycats. It’s also the first to apply that formula to an open-world framework. Unlike most similarly structured games, Elden Ring refuses to hold your hand, instead letting you roam free. Sometimes, that means meeting a boss who kills you 242 times. But more likely, you’re just…seeing what exists in the nooks and crannies of this carefully designed realm. Though Elden Ring can be frustrating at points, there’s truly no game like it (until, of course, it spawns another gazillion copycats). On top of that, the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is dropping imminently, adding even more content to what’s already a gargantuan adventure.

A Good Match For: People who like dying in Demon’s Souls, exploring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and watching the withering corpses of dead gods decay into dust.

Not A Good Match For: People who don’t like dying in Demon’s Souls, exploring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or watching the withering corpses of dead gods decay into dust.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | Big W | JB Hi-Fi

Lost Judgment

Image: Sega

Lost Judgment, the sequel to a spinoff of Sega’s immensely popular Yakuza series, is one of those rare games that’s both a throwback and a modern marvel. Unlike the prior entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which featured a turn-based combat system, Lost Judgment revives the fast-paced, no-holds-barred brawling of previous Yakuza games. The characters are a hoot. The writing’s sharp and clever. Plus, you get to ride around town—the series’ stalwart location of Kamurocho makes a return—on a skateboard.

A Good Match For: Fans of levity, mini-games, and old-school brawlers.

Not A Good Match For: People who value free time. Those damn kids.

Read our review.

Purchase from: PlayStation Store | EB Games

Life is Strange: True Colors

Image: Square Enix

You probably know what you’re getting into when you start a Life is Strange game: pastel visuals, light puzzles, and pivotal choices for which there’s no “right” decision, with deliciously twee indie rock playing while you mull your options. Yes, Life is Strange: True Colors is all of that, but it’s also much, much more. You play as Alex Chen, fresh out of a group home, visiting her brother, who’s offered her a chance at a fresh start in an idyllic new town. Though the plot starts slow, the stakes quickly hit a peak, folding in developments more bonkers than anything in prior Life. You often hear chatter about how games imitate films. Life is Strange: True Colors is one example where films should definitely imitate games.

A Good Match For: Anyone who’s dreamed of having a superpower (the ability to sense others’ emotions, in this case) and wondered how they’d grapple with its related consequences.

Not A Good Match For: Folks looking for a mechanically intensive game.

Read our review.

Purchase from: PlayStation Store

Guardians of the Galaxy

gaming deal Guardians of the Galaxy
Image: Square Enix

Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just candy for Marvel fans. It’s also a decadently crafted story-driven game about the lengths to which lonely souls will go to make families out of friend groups. Though you only play as Star-Lord (voiced by Jon “Not Chris Pratt” McLaren), you spend near-constant time with the whole group of galaxy-trawling heroes. You can further direct these companions in a battle system that mixes action-forward combat with RPG menus—kind of like (modern) Final Fantasy games—giving GotG more pep and verve than your standard sole-protagonist action game. And yes, the gameplay is serviceable, but the real draw is the story, which goes from 0 to 60 out of the gate and doesn’t slow down after. Not bad for a game about a talking raccoon!

A Good Match For: Players who like choice-based RPGs and PS3-era action platformers. Anyone who enjoys gaping slack-jawed at gorgeous sci-fi environments.

Not A Good Match For: MCU fans hoping for a to-the-letter adaptation of the films.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase from: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | EB Games


Image: Housemarque

Few games show off what the PS5 can do better than Returnal. Developed by Housemarque (the folks behind the PS4 launch title Resogun), Returnal is a cross between a roguelike and a third-person shooter. You play as Selene Vassos, an interstellar scout who crash-lands on the uncharted planet of Atropos. Your goal, which sounds simple, is to escape Atropos and crawl your way back to civilisation. Every time you die, you’re sent all the way back to where you started, with none of the items or weapons you acquired in your prior life.

Yes, Returnal is a time loop game and a relentlessly difficult one at that, but Returnal is much more than what you see on the screen. When it rains in-game, you’ll feel the cadence of a gentle rainstorm in your palms. When you shoot, you’ll feel the trigger tense up at the halfway point; pushing past the tension activates a secondary firing mode in a technical display you can’t experience on the PS4 or a simple DualShock. Plenty of games look like next-gen games. Returnal feels like one, too.

A Good Match For: Fans of time loops, particle effects, roguelikes, and time loops.

Not A Good Match For: Players who grapple with soul-crushingly challenging gameplay. Anyone who wants to save in the middle of a run (knowing that runs can easily last hours).

Read our review.

See it in action above.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | JB Hi-Fi

Resident Evil Village

ps5 games
Image: Capcom

Resident Evil Village will give you anxiety. Picking up shortly after the events of Resident Evil 7, Village once again puts you in the shoes of Ethan Winters. At the start of the game, Chris Redfield, another longtime Resident Evil hero, shows up at Ethan’s house, shoots his wife, kidnaps his daughter, and disappears into the night. Ethan is dropped in a nondescript European village in search of answers. Instead, he finds monsters.

The moment-to-moment gameplay is tense and is far less focused on action than some of the more recent series entries. Ammo isn’t exactly plentiful. Guns can jam up (a gameplay tick made all the more impactful by the DualSense’s pressure-sensitive triggers). And though fear is of course subjective, there are some moments that are genuinely terrifying. Oh, yeah, and there’s also a tall lady.

A Good Match For: Longtime fans of the series’ “good” entries, particularly those who liked Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 7.

Not A Good Match For: Longtime fans of the series’ “bad” entries, particularly those who liked Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.

Read our review.

See it in action.

Purchase FromPlayStation Store | Amazon AustraliaCatch | EB Games

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

ps5 games
Image: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

If you’ve played a Ratchet & Clank game, you’ve played Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Everything that made the series a mainstay in the first place—clever writing, airtight third-person shooting and platforming, just the right amount of wacky hijinks—is present here.

So, no, Rift Apart doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but it’s self-evidently among the best-looking and smoothest-playing console games out right now. A new player character, a Lombax called Rivet whom you spend half the game playing as, injects some freshness into the formula. At the start of the game, longtime series villain Dr. Nefarious steals a machine that allows its user to travel between dimensions.

Of course, everything goes wrong, and the universe is…well, read the name of the game. It is then up to you to bounce between these two characters—and between dimensions—to restore the fabric of reality. Tall order for a pair of small space-cats. But given that you have more than a dozen unique guns at your disposal—including one that turns every enemy in the vicinity into shrubbery—you’ll be fine.

A Good Match For: Series newcomers. Series not-newcomers. Anyone who likes platformers, third-person shooters, and fast-paced, lighthearted games.

Not A Good Match For: Players craving a massive, endless open-world game, as Rift Apart is fairly contained. Dr. Nefarious.

Read our review.

See it in action.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon AustraliaCatchJB Hi-Fi | Kogan

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade

final fantasy 7 remake intergrade
Image: Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s 2020 PS4 release was shockingly groundbreaking. More than a phoned-in remake, it showed what could happen when developers reimagined a beloved game. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, the PS5 version, is the same thing but better looking. Remake takes the first party of Final Fantasy VII—a several-hour stretch of game in which Cloud and pals blow an energy reactor to bits and then escape the city—and expanded it into a 40-hour adventure.

Intergrade adds to that a currently PS5-exclusive bit of DLC in the form of an add-on chapter starring Yuffie, another character from the original. There’s only one catch: If you’re picking up Intergrade new, you get the Yuffie chapter at no extra cost. If you already own the PS4 version, you can upgrade your game for free, but you’ll have to get the add-on piecemeal.

A Good Match For: Fans of the original game, or action-forward JRPGs in general. The door.

Not A Good Match For: Remake is mostly on-rails, so those who like open-ended RPGs might not get much enjoyment out of it.

Read our review, and our impressions of the new DLC.

Study our tips for the game. Here’s some extra tips for some of the harder fights.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store 

Hitman 3

Image: Hitman 3
Image: Hitman 3

Make no mistake: Hitman 3 on next-gen consoles is the definitive Hitman. Not only is IO Interactive’s stealth paradise visually stunning (no surprise there) but, on PS5 at least, it also makes subtle use of the DualSense controller’s advanced haptics. You can also carry over all of your data and unlocked levels from Hitman 2, though the process is admittedly somewhat confusing. Any stages you import will join the six included in Hitman 3: Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, Chongqing, Mendoza, and the Romanian backcountry.

For the most part, these are just like any other level from the recent Hitman games. You’re given one or more targets and let loose in a sprawling open area. You have to pay attention to the environment and nearby characters for clues. You can lift the clothing off incapacitated NPCs for a disguise. The missions aren’t long, but they’re designed to be played over and over as you unlock new starting locations, stash spots, and pull off unique kills. It’s tense, tough, often silly, and just as approachable for novices as it is accommodating for longtime fans.

A Good Match For: Fans of stealth, puzzles, environment analysis, and costume parties. Anyone plagued with serious wanderlust.

Not A Good Match For: Those who prefer to go in guns blazing (unless you’re down to play the bombastic final level ad infinitum).

Read our review.

Find all* of the bananas.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store

Destiny 2

Few games are better for coping with a quarantine than Destiny 2: Beyond Light. (Screenshot: Bungie)
Image: Bungie

In December, Destiny 2 received a next-gen overhaul. Before the update, Bungie’s space-faring loot crawl was a solid shooter. Now, it’s one of the best on the market, with stunning visuals, top-shelf performance, and even support for 120fps in the Crucible PvP mode (provided you have a compatible display). A November update — the Europa-bound Beyond Light — brought a new area, new missions, and new abilities, but the fundamental gameplay remains blessedly unchanged. If you’ve been away for a while, it’s worth getting back in the fight. And if you never checked it out in the first place, now’s as good a time as ever — Beyond Light includes an easy start point for new players, and The Final Shape is out now.

A Good Match For: Fans of first-person shooters with endless streams of loot. Anyone who likes poring over in-game lore text.

Not A Good Match For: Those hungry for a competitive scene on the level of Bungie’s pivotal Halo 3. Anyone who can’t take storylines about Light vs. Dark seriously.

Read our review of Beyond Light.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Image: Insomniac

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is everything its predecessor (2018’s Spider-Man) was and more. Playing as Miles Morales gives you access to a far deeper bag of tricks than Peter Parker had at his disposal. You can still swing from Harlem to Fidi in seconds, but can bust out more than 20 stylish SSX-style flips along the way, rather than just a handful. Miles also has a literally shocking set of powers that augment his strikes, and can turn invisible at the drop of a hat. Beyond the toolkit, the narrative is tighter, more personal, and more contained than the 2018 game’s. (Full disclosure: Kotaku alum Evan Narcisse wrote for the game.) Also, there’s a cat suit. (See above.) Of course, since this is a next-gen launch title and all, you’re probably wondering about visual enhancements and the like. The answer is yes, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is quite a looker, featuring two different rendering modes that prioritise either razor-sharp resolution and image quality or a smooth framerate of 60 fps. Both are stunning. Just like this game.

A Good Match For: Fans of action games. Friendly neighbourhood heroes. Manhattanites (have fun tracking down your office or apartment).

Not A Good Match For: Rhino. Anyone looking for a 700-hour time-sink; Miles Morales can be fully completed in under 30 hours.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon AustraliaDick Smith | Kogan

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

ubisoft acquisition
Image: Ubisoft

By now, you probably think you know what you’re getting with Assassin’s Creed. That’s what makes Assassin’s Creed Valhalla such a pleasant surprise. Though unmistakably more similar to the recent series entries (Origins, Odyssey) than the middle-aged ones (Syndicate, Black Flag), Valhalla is very much its own creature. For one thing, side-quests don’t exist at all, supplanted instead by a dizzying amount of bespoke narrative vignettes and environmental challenges.

For another, the narrative is vivisected regionally, so you get a bunch of shorter main arcs alongside an overarching narrative (kind of like a long-running, well-crafted TV series). And the setting — England and Norway in the late-9th century — is distinct, at least in the video game world. That it’s rendered so marvelously is just icing on the cake; you can practically taste the crunchy autumnal leaves of Cent and Sciropescire.

A Good Match For: Fans of massive, compelling open-world games — including the prior two Assassin’s Creeds — and historical drama.

Not A Good Match For: Players tired of Ubisoft “map” games. Anyone not down to play a morally dubious raider.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | Dick Smith| Kogan

Demon’s Souls

best playstation 5 games
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Although the PlayStation 5 might not have a lot to offer right now, the Demon’s Souls remake developed by Bluepoint Games is one of the best console launch titles in recent memory. It maintains most of what made the PlayStation 3 original so special, sprucing things up a bit with a massive upgrade to visual fidelity and some very useful quality-of-life updates. It may not be the best or most fulfilling Souls adventure — a high bar — but Demon’s Souls both justifies making the jump to a next-generation system and solidifies Bluepoint as a studio we’d want to remake our favourite games if and when the time comes.

A Good Match For: Demon’s Souls fans who don’t mind a few aesthetic changes, folks looking for a relatively easy entry point into the Souls series, and anyone who doesn’t mind a good challenge.

Not A Good Match For: Demon’s Souls fans who wanted just a straight-up port. Players who want their games to be as free of frustration as possible.

Read our review.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: PlayStation Store | Amazon Australia | Dick Smith| Kogan

Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:

The Best PC GamesThe Best PS4 GamesThe Best Games On PS NowThe Best Xbox One GamesThe Best Games For The Xbox Series X And SThe Best Games On Xbox Game PassThe Best Nintendo Switch GamesThe Best Wii U GamesThe Best 3DS GamesThe Best PS Vita GamesThe Best Xbox 360 GamesThe Best PS3 GamesThe Best iPhone GamesThe Best iPad GamesThe Best Android Games

How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:

Update 6/07/2023: Final Fantasy XVI and Street Fighter 6 join the fray.

Update 15/02/2023: Astro’s Playroom has finally slipped off the bottom, its promotional work now done, heralding the arrival of God of War Ragnarök.

Update 4/21/2022: We’ve added Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West, while removing Immortals Fenyx Rising.

Update 1/21/2021: The Pathless loses its way on the path, but three newcomers are found: Guardians of the Galaxy, Lost Judgment, and Life is Strange: True Colors.

6/28/2021: And that’s 12! Returnal, Resident Evil Village, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart join the list. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, once a PS4-exclusive, knocks off Godfall, which will soon no longer be a PS5 console-exclusive.

2/4/2021: Excellent work, 47. Hitman 3 joins the ranks.

12/25/2020: Immortals Fenyx Rising has earned a seat on the pantheon. Also, Destiny 2‘s next-gen update and Beyond Light expansion make it feel like a new, and awesome, game.

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At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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