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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 and Returnal review for prime examples.

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) and God of War 5 Ragnarök. Also, check out our System of the Stars piece, where we meet the therapist using videos games to teach mental health. If you're looking to get into streaming, check out our Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 review.

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. Deathloop

Deathloop best PS5 games

Deathloop is the PS5 game we've been waiting for, filled with immersive, stealth-action gameplay and a mysterious time-loop story that keeps you engaged. (Image credit: Arkane Studios)

Deathloop is like a chaotic, violent melange of Groundhog Day, a dash of My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and favorite game of all time, Dishonored. In fact, Arkane Studios is the talented team that brought us the latter and they’re the same folks who worked on Deathloop — and the similarities are striking. Deathloop delivers all the beloved aspects of Dishonored: supernatural abilities, dual-wielding fighting styles, gritty, explorable worlds, and merciless, annoying enemies who call the whole damn town for backup. 

However, Deathloop offers a more modern twist, ditching stuffy ol’ 19th century royal protector Corvo for au courant Colt who’s got a colorful, snide personality à la Samuel L. Jackson and hilarious quips that make you chuckle. With Colt’s on-edge temperament and affinity for cursing, he’s one step away from yelling, “Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these [expletive] time loops on this [expletive] island!”

As you step into Colt’s shoes for the first time, you’re just as clueless as he is. You, too, are trying to collect all pieces of the puzzle to create the big picture of what the hell is going on here and how you’re going to put a stop to this maddening time loop.

— Kimberly Gedeon

See our full Deathloop review.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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

6. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

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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

7. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village review best PS5 games

(Image credit: Capcom)

As much as I loved Resident Evil 7, I wasn’t a fan of the overarching plot mostly because it wasn’t relevant to the series’ batshit lore -- which, despite being cheesy as hell, I'm in love with. Resident Evil Village, however, goes places I didn’t expect, and the entire presentation of the story very much feels like a fairy tale as opposed to a traditional Resident Evil game.

It’s not a huge surprise that Resident Evil Village plays like a mix between Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 4, since that’s what Capcom intended. The developers very much accomplished that, but I’ll spice up that comparison by saying that it felt like I was playing an Uncharted game at certain points.

Resident Evil Village is gorgeous. It’s one of the few next-gen games I’ve played that actually feels next-gen. For some people, graphics might not add much to a game, but in this scenario, I was 100% immersed because of the visuals.

See our full Resident Evil Village review.

— Rami Tabari

8. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart review best PS5 games

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the first full entry to the original series since A Crack in Time launched in 2009. As a fan of the franchise since I was four years old, the wait for a proper sequel has been excruciating. And after replaying the entire series this year, I’ve been curious what a complete and modern Ratchet & Clank experience could look like.

After 12 years, it’s finally here. With the introduction of a new playable protagonist and instant loading times, Rift Apart is a great demonstration of the PS5’s powerful SSD and technical prowess. But beyond that, this latest entry is lacking in creativity and is a disappointing continuation of A Crack in Time’s story.

Rift Apart is still a good game thanks to its satisfying moment-to-moment gameplay, astounding graphical fidelity, and unique arsenal of weapons, but it’s missing the magic found in the best entries in the series.

— Mohammad Tabari

See our full Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart review.