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Best PS5 games in 2021: The best PlayStation 5 games out now

Best PS5 games in 2021: The best PlayStation 5 games out now
(Image credit: Sony)

The best PS5 games range from the super-obvious PS5 exclusives and AAA cross-platform titles to those really obscure indie games no one talks about. Yes, the PS5 is currently in its infancy, but there are still plenty of games to play. If you’re not careful, you’ll be swimming in sequels and remakes before you know it. That’s why you should play the best PS5 games now so you’re ready for the future.

We kicked off our PS5 games coverage with a full PS5 review, and we were blown away by the controller, distinct UI and numerous features the console offers. To put it bluntly, the PS5 DualSense crushes the Xbox Series X controller. When we started our testing to determine the best PS5 games, we played a few games that didn’t make it on this list — check out our Godfall review for a prime example. There's also our recent Returnal review as well.

It’s going to take some time to properly fill out this list, but the best PS5 games you can play right now are titles that aren’t original or might not even be considered a full new game, like Demon’s Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, respectively. Don't worry though, there are plenty of exciting titles on the horizon, like Horizon: Forbidden West (pun intended), God of War 5 Ragnarök and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

While we await the potentially ground-breaking games to give us a taste of what next-gen is supposed to feel like, here are the best PS5 games that you can play today.

What are the best PS5 games?

Well, a salty gamer would tell you that there are not many PS5 games to begin with, and they’re not far off. Yes, there’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which is an amazing addition to the Spider-Man PlayStation universe thanks to its spiced-up gameplay, unique characters and well-paced story. Then there’s Demon’s Souls, which not only made the first FromSoftware Souls game accessible, but also rebuilt the entire game from the ground up. Bluepoint’s vision of Demon’s Souls involves colorful worlds, grandiose battles and bombastic music compositions.

There’s also the sensation known as Bugsnax. Bugsnax is not as laugh-out-loud funny as, say, Octodad, but it's irresistibly heartwarming. At its core, Bugsnax is a puzzle game. It borrows heavily from Pokémon Snap and the traditional Pokémon games in that your main objective is to capture Bugsnax and learn their traits. While the game can feel repetitive at times, capturing Bugsnax and learning about the citizens of Snaxburg makes for a fun adventure. Of course, there’s also the game that the PS5 comes packed with: Astro’s Playroom. Yeah, it’s relatively short, but it’s one of the most surprisingly good experiences to showcase the full capabilities of the PS5. Plus, the entire game is like a trippy nostalgia trip down PlayStation’s memory lane.

Another popular and cute PS5 exclusive is Sackboy: A Big Adventure, which is a platformer like Astro’s Playroom, but a spinoff of the critically acclaimed LittleBigPlanet franchise. It’s an excellent game if you want to play couch co-op or even online co-op. There are also a bunch of cross-platform games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Immortals Fenyx Rising that fill in the gaps that Sony left. Sure, there might not be a lot to play at the moment if you’ve already finished the aforementioned games, but you and I both know that there’s a hefty PS4 backlog waiting for you as well. And a number of them are getting updates for PS5, so they too count as some of the best PS5 games.

The best PS5 games you can play today

1. Spider-Man: Miles Morales

(Image credit: Sony)

From the title screen, you can tell that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is something special. From our titular Spider-Man’s hair wave pattern to the stitching on his winter boots, Miles Morales brought in the PS5 in a big way — with a whole new Spidey. Spider-Man: Miles Morales sees players jump into the eager spandex of Morales as your usual neighborhood Spider-Man Peter Parker goes on assignment to Europe. 

A new hero means new powers. Since this isn’t Insomniac Games’ first rodeo with the web-crawler, the developer did a great job of making Miles’ gameplay feel simultaneously different and familiar. Thanks to the DualSense controllers, you could feel the crackling from Morales’ electric-based Venom powers. And running at 4K, 60fps, the game looks incredibly photorealistic. 

The shiny new graphics and cool powers are great. But what makes Spider-Man: Miles Morales a must-play is the story. Not only is Miles coming to grips with his new powers, but he’s also still mourning his father’s loss from the previous game. Setting up shop in Spanish Harlem, this Spider-Man story is much more intimate, testing the bonds of friendship, legacy and responsibility. 

Sherri L. Smith

2. Demon’s Souls

(Image credit: Sony)

It would be dishonest of me to claim that Bluepoint's Demon's Souls is everything I wanted it to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic game, but FromSoftware's 2009 masterpiece presents a world so gritty and striking that many of its moments still haunt me. It's quiet, subtle and far more contemplative than any other Soulsborne title in the series.

Demon's Souls on the PS5 evokes something far different. Bluepoint has turned this dark, deranged world into a visual and aural spectacle. It's stunning and awesome, but sacrifices much of its atmospheric terror to achieve these wondrous qualities.

This vision is surprisingly different from what I originally wanted, regardless, I adored it. Bluepoint has crafted a breathtaking spectacle at a level I’ve only experienced in a few other  games. It’s one of the best PS5 games you could play right now.

— Mohammad Tabari

See our full Demon’s Souls review.

3. Bugsnax

(Image credit: Young Horses)

It may be among the weaker PS5 launch games, but Bugsnax is still a joyous romp filled with silly smirk-inducing moments and some genuinely challenging puzzles. Easy to recommend for players of all ages, Bugsnax blends Pixar-worthy characters with a compelling mystery that will fill your head with questions about Snaktooth, a strange island where the animals are edible. 

Bugsnax is a game you should play with friends and family watching so everyone can enjoy these irresistible half-fruit, half-snack creatures. The puzzles you complete to capture Bugsnax grow complex and hugely rewarding while the wonderful cast of characters bring whimsy to the engrossing narrative. 

Bugsnax isn't perfect. The game can feel repetitive at times, there is no multiplayer mode, and the gameplay doesn't possess the same depth as its contemporaries (Pokemon, Monster Hunter). Don't worry though, those faults are quickly forgotten when you're chatting with the brilliant Floofty Fizzlebean or tracking down a delicious Charmallow. 

— Phillip Tracy

See our full Bugsnax review.

4. Astro’s Playroom

Astro's Playroom best ps5 games

(Image credit: Sony)

Before you play anything else on that shiny new PS5, you’ve got to play Astro’s Playroom. If you want to know why everyone’s raving about the new DualSense controller, this is where you find out. From using the touchpad to pulling back a bowstring to blowing on the controller’s microphone to generate wind, Sony’s new controller is a futuristic marvel and Astro’s Playroom gives it room to shine. 

And it doesn’t hurt that the game is a massive love letter to PlayStation’s history. From bots acting out scenes from popular games to the PlayStation collectables found throughout the game, it’s a fun jaunt down memory lane. And despite the cutesy robot veneer, Astro’s Playroom has a fair bit of challenge to it. But whether you’re playing for the tech or the fan service, the game is a great representative to where Sony thinks the future of gaming lies. 

Sherri L. Smith

5. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Sackboy: A Big Adventure best PS5 games

(Image credit: Sony)

If you wish Astro's Playroom were longer, play Sackboy: A Big Adventure. This wildly creative platformer from Sumo Digital is a spinoff of the critically acclaimed LittleBigPlanet franchise. It takes the same basic mechanics of the previous entries, but builds on them by taking advantage of the PS5's ultra-fast SSD and DualSense controller. 

In Sackboy: A Big Adventure, you play as our beloved knitted character who must traverse one world after the next to rescue his enslaved friends from the dastardly Vex. Your goal in each mission is to collect Dreamer Orbs while earning points to clinch a gold trophy. Each level requires you to use different gameplay mechanics (using tools like a boomerang, grappling hook and plasma guns), adding variation to a tried-and-true formula. As you find your way through jungles, mountains and even space, you're accompanied by a beautiful and varied soundtrack and some gorgeous imagery. 

— Phillip Tracy