The PlayStation 5 is almost a year old, but in that time it’s already amassed a small collection of must-play exclusives. But for the most part – and thanks to the console’s excellent backwards compatibility with previous-generation titles – most of the best games on PS5 right now also happen to be the best games on PS4.
While your existing collection of PS4 games won’t look any better running on PS5, a handful of classic titles, such as God of War and Control, have been specially adapted for the new console to improve their performance, loading times and visuals. Some PS4 games will run at slightly improved frame rates, but don’t expect to see an enormous difference.
That said, if you’re upgrading from the base PS4, the enhancements on PS5 are way more noticeable. Any games in your collection that were developed to run on the mid-generation PS4 pro will receive an automatic facelift and run at super-sharp 4K on your shiny new console.
We’ve put together a list of the best new PS5 games to suit players of all tastes, from couch co-op platformers like Sackboy: A Big Adventure, to sprawling, open-world action titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales. We’ve focused on games you can only play on PS5, but we’ve also included a few multi-platform and previous-generation titles that shine on Sony’s latest console. For more recommendations, take a look at the best PS4 games.
We’ll continue to add new entries to this list as the PS5’s library of games grows. It’s early days for Sony’s new console, and the pandemic delayed production of a number of big-budget titles on both PlayStation and Xbox. As the industry returns to normal we expect to see some big PS5 announcements and game launches in the second half of 2021 and beyond. Sony also promises an update to PlayStation VR on PS5 by 2022.
If you don’t know where to buy the new PS5, keep an eye on our PS5 stock checker page, where we track the biggest online retailers in order to find new consoles as they arrive.
The best PS5 games in 2021 are:
Best free game – Astro’s Playroom: Free, Playstation.com
Best action game – Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales: £44.99, Currys.co.uk
Best single player game – Deathloop: £59.99, Argos.co.uk
Best action RPG – Demon’s Souls: £59.99, Currys.co.uk
Best stealth game – Hitman 3: £51.99, Argos.co.uk
Best open world game – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: £36.99, Currys.co.uk
Best fighting game – God of War: £14, Asda.com
Best horror game – Resident Evil Village: £48, Asda.com
Best third-person shooter – Control: Ultimate Edition: £32.99, Argos.co.uk
Best roleplaying game – Yakuza: Like A Dragon: £44.99, Argos.co.uk
Best hack ’n’ slash – Hades: £24.99, Argos.co.uk
Best platformer – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart: £55.99, Amazon.co.uk
Best adventure game – Sackboy: A Big Adventure: £51, Ao.com
Best roguelike – Returnal: £59.99, Currys.co.uk
Best co-op multiplayer game – It Takes Two: £29.99, Argos.co.uk
Best: Free PS5 game
Release date: 12 November 2020
Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Don’t be fooled into thinking Astro’s Playroom is a demo with ideas above its station. Coming pre-installed for free on every PS5, this imaginative platformer is a nostalgia-drenched adventure through PlayStation history, from the demo CD bundled with the original PS1 to modern classics of the PS4 era.
A love letter to a 27-year legacy, Astro’s Playroom serves as both an introduction to the features of the PS5’s tactile new DualSense controller, as well as an old-school, full-featured and inventive platformer in its own right.
Buy now, Playstation.com
‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales'
Best: Action game
Release date: 12 November 2020
Developer: Insomniac Games
One way to improve Spider-Man? Ditch Peter Parker and replace him with his awkward teenage protégé, Miles Morales. Insomniac’s 2018 game broke a long-standing series curse by being very good indeed: an open-world action adventure that made you feel, emphatically, like you were web-slinging between skyscrapers and thwacking crooks.
A next-generation spin-off, Spider-Man: Miles Morales refines the original’s formula. This is a streamlined adventure with a more focused story, far less busy work and an endearingly clumsy protagonist still getting to grips with his powers. The city looks stunning too, dressed up in fancy modern ray-tracing effects that make the real world seem unacceptably bleak.
Buy now £44.99, Currys.co.uk
Release date: 14 September 2021
Developer: Arkane Studios
Already tipped to be 2021’s game of the year, Deathloop is a freestyle assassination game with a Groundhog Day style time-warping mechanic. You’re trapped on a mysterious island, and doomed to repeat the same 24 hours over and over again until you can figure out a way to kill eight VIPs before the stroke of midnight.
Doing this requires learning your targets’ schedules over the course of your repeated failed attempts, and using detective work and careful planning to pull off your murder-spree and escape the loop. Engrossing, beautifully designed and full of character, Deathloop is truly the PS5’s first great exclusive.
Buy now £59.99, Argos.co.uk
Best: Action RPG
Release date: 12 November 2020
Developer: From Software
A complete remake of From Software’s infamously punishing action RPG, Demon’s Souls on PS5 is a showcase of what the new console is capable of. The oppressive gothic architecture, yawning arches and festering dungeons of this cult classic look spectacular on the new hardware, while remaining faultlessly faithful to the aesthetic and vibe of the original game.
Challenging to the point of repelling new players, Demon’s Souls gets away with it by being as rewarding as it is difficult to master. Once it clicks, and so long as you don’t hurl your DualSense controller out of the nearest window, you unlock an enormously gratifying adventure through a dark fantasy world.
Buy now £59.99, Currys.co.uk
Best: Stealth game
Release date: 20 January 2021
Developer: IO Interactive
A freestyle assassination game in which you can approach your target however you please, Hitman 3 plays out like an elaborate, Groundhog Day-style puzzle. Though there are only a handful of levels, each one is an interactive play with an enormous cast of wandering characters who react to your actions.
You might be infiltrating the upper floors of a Dubai skyscraper dressed as a janitor in one mission, and disguising yourself as the detective investigating an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery in the next. There are hundreds of ways to reach your objectives, and Hitman 3 invites and rewards the player’s experimentation.
Buy now £51.99, Argos.co.uk
‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla'
Best: Open-world adventure
Release date: 10 November 2020
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Set in the 9th century during the Viking invasion of Britain, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has you cavorting about the unspoilt English countryside bothering Anglo-Saxons and pillaging unsuspecting monasteries. There’s a vast amount to see and do, from managing your growing settlement to raiding towns and lopping the heads off local kings.
Also launched for the last-generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, Ubisoft’s open-world adventure looks stunning on PlayStation 5, with richly detailed environments, higher resolutions, upgraded lighting effects and even bloodier decapitations.
Buy now £36.99, Currys.co.uk
'God of War’
Release date: 20 April 2018
Developer: Santa Monica Studio
God of War is a series that’s matured with its fans. What began in 2005 as a bloody escapade through Greek mythology in which you, a loincloth-wearing Spartan warrior named Kratos, must track down and violently murder a series of ancient gods with a magic axe, is now all of that plus a thoughtful exploration of fatherhood to boot.
This is one of the PS4’s best games, upgraded on PS5 with silky smooth 60fps refresh rates and pin-sharp, 4K resolution. The series has never looked better.
Buy now £14.00, Asda.com
‘Resident Evil Village'
Best: Horror game
Release date: 18 April 2021
The latest entry in the long-running survival horror series, Resident Evil Village further departs from its old-school zombie heritage and continues in the vein of the immersive, first-person horror experience that made Resident Evil 7 such a huge success.
Set in a fictional Romanian village overrun by a bunch of absolute creeps, the game is part Island of Doctor Moreau, part What We Do In The Shadows, and part abandoned ghost train at a local amusement park that had to be shut down over safety concerns. The ever-present threat of the game’s nightmarish cast of vampires, werewolves and monsters that resemble the contents of a butcher’s wheelie bin make for a claustrophobic and thrilling adventure.
Buy now £48.00, Asda.com
‘Control: Ultimate Edition'
Best: Third-person shooter
Release date: 27 August 2020
A third-person shooter set in a paranormal world that could have slithered from the dreams of a napping David Lynch, Control: Ultimate Edition is set entirely within the confines of the headquarters of an off-books government organisation, tasked with investigating everyday objects that have gained supernatural powers.
The bureaucratic backdrop of grey cubicles, copy machines and filing cabinets serves to compound all of the interdimensional weirdness going on. In combat, furniture and chunks of debris become kinetic, hurled around by psychic forces in an impressive demonstration of particle physics, which are further enhanced by the PS5’s crisp 4K resolution and smooth frame rates.
Buy now £32.99, Argos.co.uk
‘Yakuza: Like A Dragon'
Best: Roleplaying game
Release date: 2 March 2021
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is the most approachable entry in the series so far, ditching one long-running protagonist in favour of an entirely new – and even weirder – cast of characters. Set in a fictional Tokyo prefecture, it follows the story of a low-level gang member sent to prison for 18 years who attempts to reintegrate into a modern criminal lifestyle following his release.
Like A Dragon is a blend of turn-based street fighting, weird mini-games and goofy, dialogue-heavy roleplaying in which you’re throwing bicycles at drunk businessmen one moment and carrying out missions for a gang of nappy-wearing adult babies the next. It defies summary. Knowingly strange and wantonly convoluted, there really isn’t any other game like it.
Buy now £44.99, Argos.co.uk
Release date: 6 December 2018
Developer: Supergiant Games
Hades is a fast-paced action game in which you die over and over again, each time becoming incrementally more powerful and better equipped to face the game’s clever shapeshifting dungeons and novel enemies.
It tells the story of the son of Hades, embarking on a suicide mission to escape the depths of hell, and abetted by a pantheon of friendly gods who give you random new powers each time you play. This makes each new attempt feel fresh and interesting, and, combined with the pixel-perfect controls, rewarding skill-based combat and brilliant characters, forms one of the best PS5 games around.
Buy now £24.99, Argos.co.uk
'Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’
Release date: 11 June 2021
Developer: Insomniac Games
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a colourful, funny and explosively energetic platformer that takes full advantage of the PS5’s unique features to create one of the console’s freshest feeling experiences.
The haptic feedback of the DualSense controller makes weapons and abilities come alive in your hands, while fast loading speeds enable incredible instant transitions between different stages. Great for players of all ages, it’s a spectacular introduction to the PS5.
Buy now £55.99, Amazon.co.uk
‘Sackboy: A Big Adventure'
Best: Co-op multiplayer game
Release date: 12 November 2020
Developer: Sumo Digital
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a kid-friendly platformer set in a meticulous, handcrafted world of corrugated cardboard, fuzzy felt patches and hot-glued buttons, as though you’ve just been plunged headfirst into an arts and crafts box by a ruthless assailant.
A magical co-op adventure for up to four players, Sackboy is best played with a buddy or three, where you can either work together to pummel enemies and solve each level’s series of pleasingly designed puzzles, or be a nuisance by hurling random bits of furniture at your friends. Joyously soundtracked and with a surprising cast of celebrity voices, Sackboy is gloriously fun no matter how you choose to play it.
Buy now £51.00, Ao.com
Release date: 30 April 2021
The first major PS5 exclusive, Returnal divided opinion at launch. Housemarque’s sci-fi shooter is an obscenely difficult ‘roguelike’ (a sub-genre of RPGs in which levels are randomly generated and dying sends you right back to the very beginning of the game) with a steep learning curve that frustrates even experienced players.
If you can endure the challenge and take the time to skill up, what awaits you is a stunning alien world, sharp combat mechanics and an immersive and rewarding plot. Either that, or Stockholm syndrome will kick in and you’ll convince yourself you’re having a brilliant time.
Buy now £59.99, Currys.co.uk
'It Takes Two’
Release date: 26 March 2021
It Takes Two is a brilliantly inventive co-operative platformer designed to be played by two players on the same sofa. You control a couple who, while in the midst of their divorce, are transformed into a pair of tiny dolls who must set out on an adventure to return to their human form. This tongue-in-cheek adventure traverses problems and puzzles as varied as battling squirrels and collaborating on an enormous dot-to-dot picture.
Crucially, It Takes Two is just as much fun for inexperienced players, and crams so many wonderful ideas into its 10-hour playtime that it can easily be played in short bursts.
Buy now £29.99, Argos.co.uk
PlayStation 5 FAQs
Can you play PS4 games on PS5?
Yes. With a handful of exceptions, almost every PS4 game in your collection will work on PS5. If you’ve purchased and downloaded digital versions of PS4 games in the past, these can be redownloaded on PS5 and added to your library. If you own physical copies of PS4 games, these will work with the standard PS5 but not the PS5 digital edition, as this version of the console doesn’t have a disc drive.
Most games will run the same on PS5 as they did on the PS4 pro, so besides a more stable frame rate you’re unlikely to notice much of a difference. However, when there’s a PS5 version of a PS4 game you own, you might be offered a free upgrade after inserting the disc or redownloading. This is true for games like Spider-Man, God of War and eventually Cyberpunk 2077, but other developers may still charge PS4 players to upgrade to the PS5 version.
The verdict: Best PS5 game
If you’ve been a PlayStation fan since the early days, then we can’t recommend Astro’s Playroom enough. It’s an explosively fun (and free) platformer that charts a course through PlayStation history while celebrating the new console’s best features.
For something more contemporary, check out Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It effortlessly captures the free-flowing movement style of the web-slinging superhero, opening up an entire city’s worth of action in a package that’s slick, stylish and looks gorgeous on PS5.
For the latest discounts on PS5 games and other tech offers, try the links below:
Not sure which of the new consoles you should buy? Here’s our guide to choosing between the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5