Between its stunning graphical capabilities, unique 3D audio technology and innovative DualSense controller, it’s no wonder the PlayStation 5 is flying off shelves. However, it’s the games that count. The PS5 continues Sony’s ability to deliver captivating first-party exclusives, which are complemented by some great third-party releases for a well-rounded library of games.
$49.99 at Amazon
Sifu puts players in the role of an unnamed fighter looking to avenge the death of their father. A unique twist on developer Slocap’s debut martial arts game Absolver, Sifu blends arcade-like action brawling with roguelike sensibilities. Players have to master the game’s complex fighting system where death means resurrection — with the twist that you’ll age several years ahead each time. Growing stronger yet weaker in health with each death, players are limited in the number of deaths before finishing the game.
$59.99 at Amazon
The undisputed king of arcadelike rally racers, Codemaster’s Dirt series continues to up the ante with each release. Dirt 5 brings the series to the next generation through the introduction of dynamic weather systems and seasons during races, alongside a wonderful 125Hz refresh rate for those with televisions that support it. Then there are PS5-specific enhancements like DualSense capabilities that make races feel more immersive. Besides offering online multiplayer, it’s the only racing game available for the PlayStation 5 with four-player split-screen.
$69.99 $46.99 at Amazon
Essentially creating the “Soulslike” genre, the original Playstation 3 game Demon’s Souls was met with a tepid response when released in the States over a decade ago. Since then, creator From Software has become a pioneer with follow-ups like Dark Souls and Bloodborne that prove that there are gamers who want overwhelmingly brutal difficulty. Developed by Bluepoint Games, Demon’s Souls doesn’t change many of the fundamentals that made the original a cult classic. A punishingly difficult action role-playing game, Demon’s Souls features a unique take on dying. However, the visual presentation is a great showcase of what the PlayStation 5 can really do.
$69.99 $49.99 at Amazon
Arguably the best-looking PlayStation 5 game available, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a showcase for everything awesome about Sony’s latest console. From the visual presentation and usage of spatial audio to DualSense implementation, developer Insomniac Games has set a new standard within the current generation of consoles. In the latest iteration, the titular heroes are joined by female Lombax Rivet after series villain Doctor Nefarious accidentally opens an interdimensional rift. The action shooter and platformer hybrid even lets you instantly hop between dimensions thanks to the PS5’s SSD storage.
$69.94 at Amazon
PS5 exclusive Returnal sees protagonist Selene attempting to break out of an infinite time loop after crashing on a mysterious planet named Atrops. In order to help her do so, players use high-tech weaponry to shoot through randomly generated areas in one of the best roguelikes available for the console. There’s a sense of wonder, dread and accomplishment as each death serves as a lesson on how to survive everything Atrops throws at the player.
$69.99 at Amazon
Horizon Zero Dawn was a third-person adventure role-playing game where players stepped into the shoes of Aloy, a hunter attempting to survive a world overrun by machine-like creatures. For PlayStation 5-focused sequel Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy looks better than ever, and there’s a bigger yet denser open world to explore. The game’s mix of ranged and melee combat has been enhanced with more abilities for Aloy’s spear, and players can utilize new traversal mechanics including underwater exploration.
$49.95 at Amazon
A semi-sequel to Insomniac’s spectacular Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales builds on its predecessor with non-stop action in a better-looking open-world New York that takes advantage of the PS5’s higher resolution texture quality and ray tracing. Though the single-player campaign is relatively short at 8 to 10 hours, swinging around the city and fighting bad guys is as enjoyable as ever through DualSense controls. The story of Miles attempting to balance his life as a superhero and teenager hits all the right notes as well.
$59.99 $34.99 at Amazon
The first next-gen release from Dishonored maker Arkane Studios, Deathloop is a PlayStation 5 console exclusive with a lot of style and phenomenal gameplay to match. Players step in the shoes of assassin Colt, a man stuck in a time loop who has to kill eight Visionaries before midnight. If not, he has to replay the entire day and start over. Meanwhile, he’s targeted by Julianna, a mysterious woman who will do everything to stop him. In a cool twist, players can assume the role of Julianna to stop Colt’s progress. Similar to Dishonored, there’s no one way to accomplish your due to gameplay mechanics that cater to many play styles — from stealthy combat to all-out chaos.
$49 at Amazon
The Uncharted series is known for offering some of the most explosive cinematic action and platforming in gaming today. A current-gen remaster of the PlayStation 4 games Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the Legacy of Thieves collection makes a number of improvements to these two beloved action-adventure games. These include visual enhancements such as the ability to play the games at a high 120Hz refresh rate, as well as spatial audio and DualSense capabilities.
$34.95 $32.32 at Amazon
If Resident Evil 7: Biohazard took the series back to its more frightening survival horror roots, Resident Evil Village takes that foundation and dials up the action to Resident Evil 4 levels. A methodically paced survival horror game set in a European-inspired village, the latest Resident Evil game strikes a perfect balance between the intense combat and intricate puzzles the series is known for. Despite being available on last-gen consoles, Capcom’s latest entry still plays best on PlayStation 5. Besides offering DualSense controls, Resident Evil Village supports spatial audio, which helps in ramping up scary moments.
$69.99 $48.98 at Amazon
Released in 2020, Ghost of Tsushima was praised as a breathtaking open-world action game about a samurai tasked with protecting Tsushima against the Mongol’s first Japanese invasion. Developed by Sucker Punch Productions, the game plays out like a classic samurai film like “Yojimbo,” complete with nail-biting standoffs against multiple enemies. For the new Ghost of Tsushima: Directors Cut, many more features were added to take advantage of the PS5’s extra power. This includes dynamic 4K resolution, improved load times, Japanese lip-sync, DualSense support and spatial audio alongside new missions through the expanded Iki Island.
$69.99 $24.99 at Amazon
The NBA 2K series continues to improve with each annual release, and NBA 2K22 is no exception. Besides revising both offensive and defensive gameplay, the fatigue system has been overhauled as well. On next-gen consoles, the huge open-world online hub The City returns. This time, The City features non-playable characters to interact with alongside a quest system. Another standout next-gen feature comes in the form of The W, a single-player career mode for WNBA players.
$69.99 $39.99 at Amazon
Madden NFL 22 makes some great refinements for the second PS5 entry. The biggest changes come through in The Franchise mode, with various ways of making a championship-winning team. When it comes to the on-field gameplay experience, the biggest next-gen console improvements include Gameday Atmosphere, which takes into consideration the crowd’s impact on the game, including a momentum meter. Artificial intelligence gets improvements through Next-Gen Stats: Star-Driven AI with real-world NFL stats determining how players perform in-game.
$59.99 $34.99 at Amazon
Square Enix’s first Marvel-based video game, Marvel’s Avengers, didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Its Eidos-Montreal-developed follow-up, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, more than makes up for the comic book fumble. The single-player campaign has the player control team leader Star-Lord while issuing commands to other members like Gamora and Groot. Besides offering a respectable shooter experience, the beautiful visuals, great soundtrack and comical voice acting really help Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy stand out.
$49.99 at Amazon
Inspired by classic franchises like The Legend of Zelda, the Ember-Lab-developed Kena: Bridge of Spirits does well in paying homage. Players explore a lush world featuring some slick fast-paced combat that has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Helping players on their journey are collectable companions called the Rot. The Rot are not only cute as a button but can be utilized in traversal and combat as well.