The PS5 has been out since November 2020, but it might have been hard to tell that’s the case if you’re not a diehard tech junky. Normally, when a new home console comes out, you can get your hands on it by walking into a retailer like Best Buy or Target and asking to purchase one. That hasn’t been the case with the PS5 until very recently.
Through roughly the end of 2022, it was essentially impossible to just walk into a store and buy a new console. Thankfully, as shipping lanes cleared up and the microchip shortage bottleneck abated, it became easier for Sony to send out large restocks of the system. Moreover, the hottest demand for the PS5 waned throughout the two years it was on the market as the most diehard users already got their hands on the system.
Now, with scalpers finally easing off the systems and shoppers able to just buy the systems for MSRP, it’s time for newcomers to get caught up on the best games in the PS5’s library. Now that you can buy a PlayStation in stores, here are the best game you can play on your shiny new game system.
Deathloop is a stylish action game and immersive sim from legendary developer Arkane. It was initially a PS5 exclusive before receiving an Xbox port, and it takes full advantage of the PS5’s high-end DualSense controller. Players control Colt, and each of the foul-mouthed merc’s actions has tactile feedback from the DualSense.
His footsteps reverberate from one side of the controller to the other. Weapons kick and rumble loudly in the controller, and you can hear distant shell casings landing through the controller’s built-in speaker. It’s an immersive experience that helps make Deathloop a one-of-a-kind action game.
The high-concept and sci-fi-style story is also a delight. Colt is trapped in a time loop on an island called Blackreef, and he needs to use careful planning and his own killer instincts to find a way out. If he can kill all eight of the Visionaries, the bosses on the island, in a single loop, he’ll be free to finally leave. Thankfully for him, he’s one of the only people on the island who can remember previous loops. Unfortunately, there’s one other person who has that power–his nemesis, Juliana, another Visionary who wants to keep the loop going.
Returnal was one of the first AAA PS5 exclusives and one of the earliest games to take full advantage of the DualSense controller. Players control Selene, a scout astronaut who crash-lands on a bizarre planet called Atropos. She soon learns that death is meaningless on this planet, as she’ll simply wake up back at her ship–seemingly only moments after the crash.
The DualSense makes Atropos feel like a real place. Rain splashes along the controller with the haptic rumble, enemies hit you with the force of speeding trains, and different landscapes “feel” different as you walk over them. The game’s stunning graphics also help present its alien world in a way that is equal parts engrossing and terrifying.
Returnal is a tough video game, too. You’ll die a lot, and you’ll always start back from the beginning rather than getting to pick up where you fell. For players dedicated enough to push through the tough game, a mind-bending story awaits on the other side.
The follow-up to 2018’s stellar Spider-Man, titled Miles Morales, is a fantastic character study and the surest evidence yet that Miles is a worthy successor to Peter Parker. The game isn’t a PS5 exclusive, but its enhanced PS5 port takes full advantage of the system’s beefier graphics processor and lightning-fast load times.
Miles is a more ground-level hero than his mentor, and he spends far more time talking to his neighbors and solving small-scale problems. Most of his adventures are centered around Harlem, his home neighborhood, helping him feel much more like a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, not the globe-trotting superhero that Peter has morphed into.
Miles Morales still brings plenty of high-octane thrills, though. It’s one of the best games on the PS5 just due to how fun it is to control Spider-Man as he web slings through the city and pummels bad guys. If you didn’t get a chance to play this masterpiece back on the PS4, give it a shot on the PS5 to get the definitive version.
Ratchet and Clank has been a mainstay on the PlayStation since the PS2 era. The games are classic, old-school 3D platformers with a heavy emphasis on over-the-top third-person shooting mechanics. It’s basically a Saturday morning cartoon come to life–and it rules. If you’re a new PS5 owner who wants something that will make you smile, get Rift Apart
The game is easily one of the most visually-stunning video games ever made. Its bold art style and eye-catching colors help it stand out from the crowd, and the PS5 absolutely soars to deliver a seamless gameplay experience. The smooth 60-frames-per-second action is perfect for a fast-paced action game like this. Moreover, the solid-state drive makes the titular rift mechanic function without any loading screens or breaks, making it one of the most impressive modern games on the market.
While Rift Apart isn’t going to win any awards for its storyline, it’s a fun-enough distraction to give you a reason to tackle each level. If you like platformers, you’re going to love this creative and well-made game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 might not be the newest game on this list, but it still merits a spot. It’s a feast for the eyes when you see it running on the PS5, taking the photorealistic graphics to the next level. You can feel yourself completely immersed in the stunning recreation of the American Old West in this beautiful game.
Players control Arthur Morgan, a member of the infamous Dutch van der Linde gang. Dutch has been leading the gang on more and more outlandish capers recently, and things take a turn for the worse after a botched heist in the city of Blackwater forces them to hide out in a snowy mountain range to avoid the long arm of the law. Arthur and his fellow bandits do their best to keep the group together even as Dutch’s worsening grip on reality leads him–and the gang–astray.
Red Dead 2 is among the most beautiful games ever made. It’s also a heartbreaking tale of the Old West that meditates deeply on mortality, morality, and justice. If you’re a fan of all things cowboy-adjacent, you should give this game a try.
It’s not easy to remake one of the most beloved games of all time. But Square Enix did just that with the stellar Final Fantasy VII Remake. The enhanced PS5 port of the game is easily the prettiest video game ever made, and it’s not even close. You can make out the individual fibers of fabric in Cloud’s shirt during normal gameplay. This is truly next-generation gaming.
Final Fantasy VII Remake also isn’t content to just rehash the exact events of its predecessor. It reinterprets its progenitor in numerous ways, giving players far more time with side characters like Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie before moving on from the Midgar storyline. In a stunning twist, the game is also far from beholden to the exact sequence of events that unfold in the original.
Without spoiling too much, Remake does more than just retread story beats from over 20 years ago. It finds some fresh ways to inject new events into one of the most recognizable video game narratives in the history of the medium. It also just so happens to be extremely fun–and it runs like a dream on the PS5.
The God of War reboot came out on the PlayStation 4 in 2019 and was one of the final big-budget exclusives for that aging console. Its sequel, Ragnarok, picks up right where it left off with the climactic grudge match between Kratos and Thor. And it’s a sight to behold. The game practically jumps off the screen when it runs on PlayStation 5, with each falling snowflake and cascading drop of water serving as an eye-catching reminder of how powerful the console is.
Ragnarok is more than just a feast for the eyes, too. It’s a deceptively simple game with an addictive gameplay loop. Kratos’s combat proficiency is unchanged from the 2018 game out of the gate–if you remember how to string together combos with the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos, you’ll pick right back up in Ragnarok.
The sequel is also crammed full of new surprises for returning players. We don’t want to spoil some of the biggest reveals for you, but let’s just say that you’ll be stunned at how much content developer Naughty Dog managed to cram into one $70 package. This is the PS5’s best game–for now. If you own a PS5, get Ragnarok and immerse yourself in its excellent story and addictive gameplay.